Pat Boone, Jerry Sharell & Johnny Mathis, who was honored at SOS
Like fine wine, fine singers seem to improve with age. Witness Tony Bennett, Elton John, Barry Manilow and Johnny Mathis, who celebrated his 50th year in the music business. Looking like a teenager, Mathis received the Ella Award by the Society of Singers, and was saluted by a slew of his peers. A much laid back Whitney Houston made a surprise entrance on the arm of music mogul Clive Davis. She confirmed she is divorcing Bobby Brown after 14 years of marriage, and is going back full force with her career. She announced she is planning to release a comeback album next year, and may even perform live at the Grammy's next Spring.
Whitney Houston at SOS
Whitney's aunt, Dionne Warwick joined composer Burt Bacharach on stage jamming some of their hits and said, "Thank heaven, Whitney has her act together again." Other performers included Frank Sinatra, Jr. (looking more and more like his celebrated Dad,) Dave Koz and Patti Austin, whose mellow voice brought back memories of Ella Fitzgerald, for whom the award was named. The surprise hit of the evening was impressionist Fred Travelena, who warbled "Misty" in a thousand different voices. What a super talented guy! The sweetest sound was that huge funds were raised to provide scholarships for young singers, and to support those in need. Kudos to President Jerry F. Sharell, President, Ginny Mancini, Chairman Emeritus, and their hard working committee for a magical musical mélange.
Dionne Warwick (Whitney's Auntie) at SOS
While on a musical note, Billy Davis, Jr. and Marilyn McCoo (Fifth Dimension) joined the Soldiers of the Second Coming, to welcome us to the Eighth Annual Praise Brunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Inspiring music and challenging messages delivered by such speakers at Ron DeShay, producer on American Idol, and two time Academy Award winner, Al Kasha, were the order of the day. Among the celebrated guests was the original hostess of Wheel of Fortune Dr, Susan Stafford, whose book, Stop the Wheel, I Want to Get Off, will be released in January . Susan left her lucrative position on the hit show, to live and work with Mother Teresa, and served with Surgeon General C. Everett Koop making documentaries in Third World countries, to help fund the cure for Leprosy. No doubt her book will be an inspiration for us all.
Dr. Susan Stafford (original hostess, "Wheel of Fortune") with her good friend, columnist Marci Weiner
And last, but not least, you are invited to the 51st Annual Thalians Ball on Saturday, October 7th, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel. Marc Cherry, creator, writer and producer of Desperate Housewives will be honored; and Connie Stevens and her darling daughters Joely and Tricia Leigh, will be lauded for their continuing life force in philanthropy. Funds raised by this black tie event support the Thalians Mental Health Clinic at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. The entire evening has been graciously underwritten by Robert Ahmanson, in tribute to the memory of June Haver. If you wish to attend this star-studded event, please call 310-423-1040. One of the most glamorous and heart warming evenings on the Hollywood Beat.
Connie Stevens with daughters Joely & Tricia Leigh who will be honored at Thalians Ball