Friday, September 19, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Betty Buckley

Artist:Betty Buckley
Album:Children Will Listen

Betty Buckley has had a long career on stage, screen, TV and music. But she is probably best known for winning a Tony in 1982 for her portrayal of Grizabella in the musical Cats. Memory is her signature song. She was born July 3, 1947 in Big Spring, TX and grew up in Fort Worth. Her mother was a dancer. She was crowned Miss Fort Worth in 1966 and was spotted by a talent scout at the Miss America pageant. She moved to New York City in 1969 and immediately won the role of Martha Jefferson in the musical 1776. In 1977, she joined the cast of the TV series Eight Is Enough after Diana Hyland died. Betty also starred in the 1976 film Carrie. When Eight Is Enough ended in 1981, she decided to go back to Broadway. Cats was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is based on the TS Eliot book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. When the musical was a success in London, they decided to move it to Broadway and bring the crew with them. But all the roles were recast for the Broadway production. Elaine Paige played Grizabella in London and also played the role in the 1998 film. And her recording of Memory was a hit in England. So it was risky to recast that role. But Betty won a Tony and Memory became her signature song. Cats became one of the biggest Broadway hits of all time. Betty left Cats in 1984 and continued to appear in movies, on TV and on the stage. Probably her most significant role was as Norma Desmond in the musical Sunset Boulevard from 1992-94. She also started recording CDs in the mid 90s. Children Will Listen was her first CD in 1994 and is a collection of Broadway favourites including Memory. Jazz pianist Kenny Werner is her musical director and he works with her in clubs as well. Normally I would recommend the Cats Broadway Cast CD. But it's expensive and Children Will Listen is budget priced. Betty Buckley still appears on Broadway and on TV and in movies. But this week she released her new CD Ghostlight produced by her old pal T-Bone Burnett and she will play a week at Joe's Pub in New York City in October. And I'm sure a short tour will follow. Here's Betty Buckley performing Memory and I believe that is Kenny Werner on piano.

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