Carol Elaine Channing was an American actress, singer and comedian, known for starring in Broadway and film musicals. Her characters radiated a fervent expressiveness and an identifiable voice, whether singing or for comedic effect. Channing began as a Broadway musical actress starring in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in 1949 and Hello, Dolly! in 1964, winning the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the latter. She revived both roles several times throughout her career, most playing Dolly in 1995, she was nominated for her first Tony Award in 1956 for The Vamp, followed by a nomination in 1961 for Show Girl. She received her fourth Tony Award nomination for the musical Lorelei in 1974; as a film actress, she won the Golden Globe Award and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Muzzy in Thoroughly Modern Millie. Her other film appearances include The First Traveling Skidoo. On television, she appeared as an entertainer on variety shows, from The Ed Sullivan Show in the 1950s to Hollywood Squares.
She performed The White Queen in the TV production of Alice in Wonderland, she had the first of many TV specials in 1966 An Evening with Carol Channing. Channing was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1981 and received a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 1995, she continued to perform and make appearances well into her 90s, singing songs from her repertoire and sharing stories with fans, cabaret-style. She released her autobiography Just Lucky I Guess in 2002, Larger Than Life was released in 2012, a documentary film about her career. Channing was born in Seattle, Washington, on January 31, 1921, the only child of Adelaide and George Channing, her father, born George Christian Stucker, was multiracial and changed his surname before Carol's birth. He became a Christian Science practitioner and teacher. George Channing's mother, was African-American, his father, George Stucker, was the son of German immigrants. Carol's maternal grandparents, Otto Glaser and Paulina Ottmann, were both of German origin.
A city editor at The Seattle Star, he took a job in San Francisco and the family moved to California when Channing was two years old. Channing attended Aptos Junior High School and Lowell High School in San Francisco, graduating in 1938, she won the Crusaders' Oratorical Contest and a free trip to Hawaii with her mother in June 1937. When she was 16, she left home to attend Bennington College in Vermont and her mother told her for the first time that her father's mother was African American and his father was German American, her mother felt that the time was right to tell her since now that she was going off to college and would be on her own, she didn't want her to be surprised if she had a black baby. Channing wrote:I know it's true the moment I sing and dance. I'm proud. It's one of the great strains in show business. I'm so grateful. My father was a dignified man and as white as I am. My grandparents were Nordic German, so I took after them. Channing publicly revealed her African-American ancestry in 2002.
Channing majored in drama at Bennington and during an interview in 1994 admitted that she first wanted to perform on stage as a singer when she was in the fourth grade. She recalled being drawn to the stage after seeing Ethel Waters perform. Channing stated that in the fourth grade she ran for and was elected class secretary: "I stood up in class and campaigned by kidding the teachers; the other kids laughed. I loved the feeling — it was a good feeling, she read the class minutes every Friday impersonating the children who were discussed. She considers the fact that she was able to see plays while young to have been an important inspiration:I was lucky enough to grow up in San Francisco and it was the best theater town that Sol Hurok knew and he brought everybody from all over the world and we schoolchildren got to see them with just 50-cent tickets, her election to class secretary continued through grammar and high school: "It was good training—like stock" Those weekly sessions in front of students became a habit which she carried to Bennington College, where she would entertain every Friday night.
During her junior year she began trying out for acting parts on Broadway. After playing a small part in revue, The New Yorker magazine noted her performance: "You'll be hearing more from a comedienne named Carol Channing." The inspiration she received from that brief notice made. However, it was four years. During that period she performed at small functions or benefits, including some in the Catskill resorts, she worked in Macy's bakery. Channing was introduced to the stage while helping her mother deliver newspapers to the backstage of theatres, her first job on stage in New York City was in Marc Blitzstein's No for an Answer, starting January 1941, at the Mecca Temple. She was 19 years old. Channing moved to Broadway for Let's Face It!, in which she was an understudy for Eve Arden, 13 years older than Channing. In 1966, Arden was hired to play the title role in Hello Dolly! in a road company after Channing left to star in the film Thoroughly Modern Millie role. Channing won the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre in 1966.
Five years Channing had a featured role in Lend an Ear, for which she received her Theatre World Award and launched her as a star performer. Channing credited illustrator Al Hirschfeld for helping
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees, it employs over 20,950 staff in total. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time and fixed-contract staff are included; the BBC is established under a Royal Charter and operates under its Agreement with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture and Sport. Its work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee, charged to all British households and organisations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts and iPlayer catch-up; the fee is set by the British Government, agreed by Parliament, used to fund the BBC's radio, TV, online services covering the nations and regions of the UK. Since 1 April 2014, it has funded the BBC World Service, which broadcasts in 28 languages and provides comprehensive TV, online services in Arabic and Persian.
Around a quarter of BBC revenues come from its commercial arm BBC Studios Ltd, which sells BBC programmes and services internationally and distributes the BBC's international 24-hour English-language news services BBC World News, from BBC.com, provided by BBC Global News Ltd. From its inception, through the Second World War, to the 21st century, the BBC has played a prominent role in British culture, it is known colloquially as "The Beeb", "Auntie", or a combination of both. Britain's first live public broadcast from the Marconi factory in Chelmsford took place in June 1920, it was sponsored by the Daily Mail's Lord Northcliffe and featured the famous Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba. The Melba broadcast caught the people's imagination and marked a turning point in the British public's attitude to radio. However, this public enthusiasm was not shared in official circles where such broadcasts were held to interfere with important military and civil communications. By late 1920, pressure from these quarters and uneasiness among the staff of the licensing authority, the General Post Office, was sufficient to lead to a ban on further Chelmsford broadcasts.
But by 1922, the GPO had received nearly 100 broadcast licence requests and moved to rescind its ban in the wake of a petition by 63 wireless societies with over 3,000 members. Anxious to avoid the same chaotic expansion experienced in the United States, the GPO proposed that it would issue a single broadcasting licence to a company jointly owned by a consortium of leading wireless receiver manufactures, to be known as the British Broadcasting Company Ltd. John Reith, a Scottish Calvinist, was appointed its General Manager in December 1922 a few weeks after the company made its first official broadcast; the company was to be financed by a royalty on the sale of BBC wireless receiving sets from approved domestic manufacturers. To this day, the BBC aims to follow the Reithian directive to "inform and entertain"; the financial arrangements soon proved inadequate. Set sales were disappointing as amateurs made their own receivers and listeners bought rival unlicensed sets. By mid-1923, discussions between the GPO and the BBC had become deadlocked and the Postmaster-General commissioned a review of broadcasting by the Sykes Committee.
The Committee recommended a short term reorganisation of licence fees with improved enforcement in order to address the BBC's immediate financial distress, an increased share of the licence revenue split between it and the GPO. This was to be followed by a simple 10 shillings licence fee with no royalty once the wireless manufactures protection expired; the BBC's broadcasting monopoly was made explicit for the duration of its current broadcast licence, as was the prohibition on advertising. The BBC was banned from presenting news bulletins before 19.00 and was required to source all news from external wire services. Mid-1925 found the future of broadcasting under further consideration, this time by the Crawford committee. By now, the BBC, under Reith's leadership, had forged a consensus favouring a continuation of the unified broadcasting service, but more money was still required to finance rapid expansion. Wireless manufacturers were anxious to exit the loss making consortium with Reith keen that the BBC be seen as a public service rather than a commercial enterprise.
The recommendations of the Crawford Committee were published in March the following year and were still under consideration by the GPO when the 1926 general strike broke out in May. The strike temporarily interrupted newspaper production, with restrictions on news bulletins waived, the BBC became the primary source of news for the duration of the crisis; the crisis placed the BBC in a delicate position. On one hand Reith was acutely aware that the Government might exercise its right to commandeer the BBC at any time as a mouthpiece of the Government if the BBC were to step out of line, but on the other he was anxious to maintain public trust by appearing to be acting independently; the Government was divided on how to handle the BBC but ended up trusting Reith, whose opposition to the strike mirrored the PM's own. Thus the BBC was granted sufficient leeway to pursue the Government's objectives in a manner of its own choosing; the resulting coverage of both striker and government viewpoints impressed millions of listeners who were unaware that the PM had broadcast to the nation from Reith's home, using one of Reith's sound bites inserted at the last moment
Jo Elizabeth Stafford was an American traditional pop music singer and occasional actress, whose career spanned five decades from the late 1930s to the early 1980s. Admired for the purity of her voice, she underwent classical training to become an opera singer before following a career in popular music, by 1955 had achieved more worldwide record sales than any other female artist, her 1952 song "You Belong to Me" topped the charts in the United States and United Kingdom, the record becoming the first by a female artist to reach number one on the U. K. Singles Chart. Born in Coalinga, Stafford made her first musical appearance at age twelve. While still at high school she joined her two older sisters to form a vocal trio named The Stafford Sisters, who found moderate success on radio and in film. In 1938, while the sisters were part of the cast of Twentieth Century Fox's production of Alexander's Ragtime Band, Stafford met the future members of The Pied Pipers and became the group's lead singer.
Bandleader Tommy Dorsey hired them in 1939 to perform back-up vocals for his orchestra. In addition to her recordings with the Pied Pipers, Stafford featured in solo performances for Dorsey. After leaving the group in 1944, she recorded a series of pop standards for Capitol Records and Columbia Records. Many of her recordings were backed by the orchestra of Paul Weston, she performed duets with Gordon MacRae and Frankie Laine. Her work with the United Service Organizations giving concerts for soldiers during World War II earned her the nickname "G. I. Jo". Starting in 1945, Stafford was a regular host of the National Broadcasting Company radio series The Chesterfield Supper Club and appeared in television specials—including two series called The Jo Stafford Show, in 1954 in the U. S. and in 1961 in the U. K. Stafford married twice: first in 1937 to musician John Huddleston, she and Weston developed a comedy routine in which they assumed the identity of an incompetent lounge act named Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, parodying well-known songs.
The act proved popular at parties and among the wider public when the couple released an album as the Edwardses in 1957. In 1961, the album Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris won Stafford her only Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album, was the first commercially successful parody album. Stafford retired as a performer in the mid-1960s, but continued in the music business, she had a brief resurgence in popularity in the late 1970s when she recorded a cover of the Bee Gees hit, "Stayin' Alive" as Darlene Edwards. In the 1990s, she began re-releasing some of her material through Corinthian Records, a label founded by Weston, she died in 2008 in Century City, Los Angeles, is interred with Weston at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City. Her work in radio and music is recognized by three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Jo Elizabeth Stafford was born in Coalinga, California, in 1917, to Grover Cleveland Stafford and Anna Stafford —a second cousin of World War I hero Sergeant Alvin York, she was the third of four children.
Both her parents enjoyed sharing music with their family. Stafford's father hoped for success in the California oil fields when he moved his family from Gainesboro, but worked in a succession of unrelated jobs, her mother was an accomplished banjo player and singing many of the folk songs which influenced Stafford's career. Anna insisted that her children should take piano lessons, but Jo was the only one among her sisters who took a keen interest in it, through this she learned to read music. Stafford's first public singing appearance was in Long Beach, where the family lived when she was twelve, she sang ``", a Stafford family sentimental favorite. Her second was far more dramatic; as a student at Long Beach Polytechnic High School with the lead in the school musical, she was rehearsing on stage when the 1933 Long Beach earthquake destroyed part of the school. With her mother's encouragement, Stafford planned to become an opera singer and studied voice as a child, taking private lessons from Foster Rucker, an announcer on California radio station KNX.
Because of the Great Depression, she abandoned that idea and joined her older sisters Christine and Pauline in a popular vocal group The Stafford Sisters. The two older Staffords were part of a trio with an unrelated third member when the act got a big booking at Long Beach's West Coast Theater. Pauline was too ill to perform, Jo was drafted in to take her place so they could keep the engagement, she asked her glee club teacher for a week's absence from school, saying her mother needed her at home, this was granted. The performance was a success, Jo became a permanent member of the group; the Staffords' first radio appearance was on Los Angeles station KHJ as part of The Happy Go Lucky Hour when Jo was 16, a role they secured after hopefuls at the audition were asked if they had their own musical accompanist. Christine Stafford said that Jo played piano, the sisters were hired though she had not given a public piano performance; the Staffords were subsequently heard on KNX's The Singing Crockett Family of Kentucky, California Melodies, a network radio show aired on the Mutual Broadcasting System.
While Stafford worked on The Jack Oakie Show she met John Huddleston—a backing singer on the programme—and they were married in October 1937. The couple divorced in 1943; the sisters found work in the film industry as backup vocalists, after graduating from high school, Jo worked on film soundtracks. The Stafford Sisters made their first recordi
Julie London was an American singer and actress, whose career spanned more than 40 years. Born in Santa Rosa, California to Vaudevillian parents, London was discovered while working as an elevator operator in downtown Los Angeles, began her career as an actress. London's 35-year acting career began in film in 1944, included roles as the female lead in numerous Westerns, co-starring with Rock Hudson in The Fat Man, with Robert Taylor and John Cassavetes in Saddle the Wind, opposite Robert Mitchum in The Wonderful Country. In the mid-1950s, she signed a recording contract with the newly established Liberty Records, released a total of 32 albums of pop and jazz standards during the 1950s and 1960s, with her signature song being "Cry Me a River", which she introduced in 1955. London was noted by critics for languid vocal style, she released her final studio album in 1969, but achieved continuing success playing the female starring role of Nurse Dixie McCall, in the television series Emergency!, in which she appeared opposite her real-life husband, Bobby Troup.
The show was produced by her ex-husband, Jack Webb. A shy and introverted woman, London granted interviews, spent the remainder of her life out of the public sphere. In 1995, she suffered a stroke, which left her with permanent health problems, died five years of a heart attack. Julie London was born Julie Peck on September 26, 1926, in Santa Rosa, the only child of Josephine and Jack Peck, who were a vaudeville song-and-dance team. At one time, her mother worked in a pharmacy. In 1929, when she was three years old, the family moved to San Bernardino, where she made her professional singing debut on her parents' radio program. Throughout her early life, both London and her mother were admirers of Billie Holiday. London was described by friends and family as a shy child "without much self-confidence."In 1941, when she was 14, her family moved to Hollywood. In her teenaged years, she began to sing in local nightclubs in Los Angeles, she graduated from the Hollywood Professional School in 1945, worked as an elevator operator in downtown Los Angeles throughout high school.
In 1943, London met Sue Carol, a talent agent and then-wife of actor Alan Ladd, while operating the elevator at Roos Bros. an upscale clothing store on Hollywood Boulevard. Struck by London's features, Carol facilitated a screen test for the inexperienced actress, London signed a contract with her. London subsequently met Esquire photographer Henry Waxman while working her second job as a clerk at a menswear store, he shot photographs of her that appeared in the magazine's November 1943 issue; these photos helped establish her as a pin-up girl prized by GIs during World War II. She made her film debut while still in high school, appearing under the name Julie London in the exploitation film Nabonga in 1944. After a series of uncredited roles, she signed a contract with Warner Bros. Pictures, appearing in the war film Task Force and the Western Return of the Frontiersman, she was cast in the lead role of Pat Boyd in the William Castle-directed film noir The Fat Man, opposite J. Scott Smart and Rock Hudson.
London completed shooting the film in August 1950. After Warner Bros. dropped her contract, London was offered a contract with Universal Pictures based on the role, but turned it down, opting instead to focus on her marriage to actor Jack Webb. After divorcing Webb in 1954, London resumed her career, appearing in the drama film The Fighting Chance, filmed in May 1955 and released by 20th Century Fox. Earlier in 1955, London was spotted singing at a jazz club in Los Angeles by record producer Simon Waronker, recommended to her by her friend Bobby Troup. Despite her notable stage fright, Waronker was impressed by London's vocals and delivery, recalled that "The lyrics poured out of her like a hurt bird." Waronker convinced London to pursue a recording career, signed her with the then-newly established Liberty Records. London recorded 32 albums in a career that began in 1955 with a live performance at the 881 Club in Los Angeles, her debut album, Julie Is Her Name, was released in December of that year after a self-titled single, Billboard named her the most popular female vocalist for 1955, 1956, 1957.
She was the subject of a 1957 Life cover article in which she was quoted as saying, "It's only a thimbleful of a voice, I have to use it close to the microphone. But it is a kind of oversmoked voice, it automatically sounds intimate."London's debut recordings were completed under the New York-based Bethlehem Records label. Four additional tracks recorded during these sessions were included on the album Bethlehem's Girlfriends, a compilation album released in 1957. Bobby Troup was one of the session musicians on the album. London recorded the standards "Don't Worry About Me", "Motherless Child", "A Foggy Day", "You're Blasé". London's most famous single, "Cry Me a River", was written by her high-school classmate Arthur Hamilton and produced by Troup; the recording became a million-seller after its release on her debut album in 1955. While her music career earned her public notice, London continued to appear in films, with lead roles in the film noir Crime Against Joe, as well as appearing as herself in the Jayne Mansfield musical comedy The Girl Can't Help It, in which London performs three songs, including "Cry Me a River".
The film was a box-office success, became one of the top-30 highest-grossing films of 1956. London subsequently appeared in a television advertisement for Marl
Harry Winston was an American jeweler. He donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958 after owning it for a decade, he traded the Portuguese Diamond to the Smithsonian in 1963. Winston founded the Harry Winston Inc. in New York City in 1932. He had been called by many as the "King of Diamonds". Winston's father Jacob started a small jewelry business after he and his mother immigrated to the United States from Ukraine. While growing up, he worked in his father's shop; when he was twelve years old, he recognized a two-carat emerald in a pawn shop, bought it for 25 cents, sold it two days for $800. Winston started his business in 1920 and opened his first store in New York City in 1932. Winston's jewelry empire began in 1926, with his acquisition of Arabella Huntington's jewelry collection, for $1.2 million. The wife of railroad magnate Henry E. Huntington, Arabella amassed one of the world's most prestigious collections of jewelry from Parisian jewelers such as Cartier; when Winston bought the collection after her death, the designs of the jewelry in the collection were quite old fashioned.
Winston redesigned the jewelry into more contemporary styles and showcased his unique skill at jewelry crafting. According to the Huntington museum, "He boasted that Arabella's famous necklace of pearls now adorned the necks of at least two dozen women around the world."When he died, Winston left the company to his two sons and Bruce, who entered into a decade-long battle over the control of the company. In 2000, Ronald along with new business partner, Fenway Partners, bought Bruce out from the company for $54.1 million. Winston was among the most noted jewelers in the world, well-known to the general public. In the 1953 musical film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" includes the spoken interjection "Talk to me, Harry Winston, tell me all about it!" The Lauren Weisberger comic novel, Chasing Harry Winston, was published in May 2008. In 2015, Harry Winston, Inc. operated 39 salons and numerous retail affiliates in locations such as New York, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Honolulu, Bal Harbour, Costa Mesa, other countries around the world.
Reference: The Arcots, first 33.70 and 23.65 carats, recut by Winston to 31.01 and 18.85 carats, respectively. The stones were thought to be a match, but when Winston bought them, removed them from their settings and discovered they were not, he decided to recut them to improve their clarity and brilliance. Both were either colorless or near-colorless, antique pear-shaped brilliants; the Anastasia, three emerald cuts weighing 42.95, 30.90 and 22.88 carats, all D color and Flawless clarity. Cut from a rough crystal weighing 307.30 carats Winston had purchased in 1972, largest gem named after Anastasia Nikolaevna, daughter of Czar Nicholas II. The Ashoka a 42.47 carats, modified elongated cushion brilliant. Purchased by Winston from a Chinese dealer in 1947. Stone was recut in 1977 from its original weight of 42.47 carats before it was sold again as a ring. The Blue Heart, a 30.82 carats, heart-shaped brilliant. After the cut was made, Cartier sold it to the Unzue family of Argentina in 1910, it reappeared in Paris in 1953 where it was purchased by an important European titled family purchased by Harry Winston in 1959.
Winston mounted it in a ring and sold it to Marjorie Merriweather Post, who donated it to the Smithsonian Institution. The Briolette of India, a 90.38 carats, briolette cut. The Cornflower Blue, 31.93 carats pear brilliant. The larger stone was sold in 1969 as the pendant for a diamond necklace. Winston repurchased it two years then sold it to a Middle Eastern client; the round brilliant was set as a ring and sold in 1969. In 1987 the pear brilliant was auctioned in Switzerland; the Countess Széchényi, a 62.05 carats, D color, pear-shaped brilliant. Purchased by Winston in 1959 from namesake and recut to a flawless 59.38 carats. Sold to an American industrialist in 1966; the Crown of Charlemagne, a 37.05 carats, sky blue, Old European cut brilliant. The Deal Sweetener, a 45.31 carats diamond plus four smaller stones, D color and Flawless, emerald cut. In 1974 Winston bought a large parcel of diamonds worth $24,500,000—at that time the largest individual sale of diamonds in history. Harry Oppenheimer, head of De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. arranged the transaction.
When Winston asked Oppenheimer, "How about a little something to sweeten the deal?" Harry Oppenheimer pulled a 181 carats rough diamond out of his pocket and rolled it across the table. Winston picked up the stone and said "Thanks." It was cut into the largest being named the Deal Sweetener. Other gems cut from the crystal: An emerald cut of 24.67 carats, plus three pear shapes of 10.80, 4.19 and 1.45 carats, respectively. All were sold that same year; the Deepdene, a 104.52 carats, antique cushion brilliant. Purchased by Winston in 1954 from Cary W. Bok sold the following year to Mrs. Eleanor Loder of Canada. Resurfaced in 1971 and put up for auction at Christie's in
Emmylou Harris is an American singer and musician. She has released dozens of albums and singles over the course of her career and won 14 Grammys, the Polar Music Prize, numerous other honors, including induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2018 she was presented the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, her work and recordings include work as a solo artist, a bandleader, an interpreter of other composers' works, a singer-songwriter, a backing vocalist and duet partner. She has worked with numerous artists. Harris is from a career military family, her father, Walter Harris, was a Marine Corps officer, her mother, was a wartime military wife. Her father was reported missing in action in Korea in 1952 and spent ten months as a prisoner of war. Born in Birmingham, Harris spent her childhood in North Carolina and Woodbridge, where she graduated from Gar-Field Senior High School as class valedictorian, she won a drama scholarship to the UNCG School of Music and Dance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she began to study music, learn the songs of Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez on guitar.
She dropped out of college to pursue her musical aspirations, moved to New York City, working as a waitress to support herself while performing folk songs in Greenwich Village coffeehouses during the 1960s folk music boom. She recorded her first album, Gliding Bird. Harris and Slocum soon divorced, Harris and her newborn daughter Hallie moved in with her parents in Clarksville, Maryland, a suburb near Washington, D. C. Harris soon returned to performing as part of a trio with Tom Guidera. In 1971, members of the country rock group the Flying Burrito Brothers saw. Instead, Hillman recommended her to Gram Parsons, looking for a female vocalist to collaborate with on his first solo album, GP. Harris toured as a member of Parsons's band, the Fallen Angels, in 1973, the pair shone during vocal harmonies and duets; that year and Harris worked on a studio album, Grievous Angel. Parsons died in his motel room near what is now Joshua Tree National Park on September 19, 1973, from an accidental overdose of drugs and alcohol.
Parsons's Grievous Angel was released posthumously in 1974, three more tracks from his sessions with Harris were included on another posthumous Parsons album, Sleepless Nights, in 1976. One more album of recorded material from that period was packaged as Live 1973, but was not released until 1982. Warner Brothers A&R representative Mary Martin introduced Harris to Canadian producer Brian Ahern, who produced her major label debut album, Pieces of the Sky, released in 1975 on Reprise Records; the album was eclectic by Nashville standards, including cover versions of the Beatles' "For No One", Merle Haggard's "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down" and the Louvin Brothers' "If I Could Only Win Your Love". It featured "Bluebird Wine", a composition by a young Texas songwriter, Rodney Crowell, the first in a long line of songwriters whose talents Harris has championed; the record was one of the most expensive country records produced at the time, featuring the talents of James Burton, Glen Hardin, Ron Tutt, Ray Pohlman, Bill Payne, as well as two tracks that were cut with the Angel Band.
Two singles were released: "Too Far Gone", which charted at No. 73, Harris's first big hit, "If I Could Only Win Your Love", a duet with Herb Pedersen, which peaked at No. 4. Executives of Warner Bros. Records told Harris they would agree to record her if she would "get a hot band". Harris did so, enlisting guitarist James Burton and pianist Glen Hardin, both of whom had played with Elvis Presley as well as Parsons. Burton was a renowned guitarist, starting in Ricky Nelson's band in the 1950s, Hardin had been a member of the Crickets. Other Hot Band members were drummer John Ware, pedal steel guitarist Hank DeVito, bassist Emory Gordy, Jr. with whom Harris had worked while performing with Parsons. Singer-songwriter Crowell was enlisted as a rhythm duet partner. Harris's first tour schedule dovetailed around Presley's, owing to Burton and Hardin's continuing commitments to Presley's band; the Hot Band lived up to its name, with most of the members moving on with fresh talent replacing them as they went on to solo careers of their own.
Elite Hotel, released in December 1975, established that the buzz created by Pieces of the Sky was well-founded. Unusual for country albums at the time, which revolved around a hit single, Harris's albums borrowed their approach from the album-oriented rock market. In terms of quality and artistic merit, tracks like "Sin City", "Wheels", "Till I Gain Control Again", which weren't singles stood against tracks like "Together Again", "Sweet Dreams", "One of These Days", which were. Elite Hotel was a No. 1 country album and did sufficiently well as a crossover success with the rock audience. Harris appealed to those who disapproved of the country market's pull toward crossover pop singles. Elite Hotel won a Grammy in 1976 for Female. Harris's reputation for guest work continued, she contributed to albums by Linda Ronstadt, Guy Clark and Neil Young, she was tapped by Bob Dylan to perform on his Desi
"Material Girl" is a song recorded by American singer Madonna for her second studio album Like a Virgin. It was released on January 1985, by the Sire label as the second single from Like a Virgin, it appears remixed on the 1990 greatest hits compilation, The Immaculate Collection, in its original form on the 2009 greatest hits compilation, Celebration. The song was written by Robert Rans, while Nile Rodgers produced the track. Madonna explained that the concept of the song was indicative of her life at that time, she liked it because she felt it was provocative. "Material Girl" consists of synth arrangements with a robotic-sounding voice chant repeating the hook, "living in a material world". The lyrics identify with materialism, with Madonna asking for a rich and affluent life, rather than romance and relationships. Contemporary critics have identified "Material Girl" along with "Like a Virgin" as the songs that established Madonna as an icon. "Material Girl" was a commercial success, reaching the top-five in Australia, Canada, Ireland and United Kingdom.
It reached the number two position on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, becoming her third top-five single there. The music video was a mimicry of Marilyn Monroe's performance of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" from the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; the mimicked scenes are interspersed with scenes of a Hollywood director trying to win the heart of an actress, played by Madonna herself. Discovering that, contrary to her song, the young woman was not impressed by money and expensive gifts, he pretended to be penniless and succeeded in taking her out on a date, she has performed the song in five of her world tours. "Material Girl" has been covered by a number of artists, including Britney Spears and Hilary and Haylie Duff. It has appeared in the films Moulin Rouge!, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Material Girls, Crazy Rich Asians. Madonna has remarked that she regrets recording "Material Girl" as its title became a nickname for her in the mainstream media; the song has been labeled an empowering influence for women, was the subject of debates.
"Material Girl" was written by Robert Rans, while Nile Rodgers produced the track. In 1986, Madonna told Company magazine, that although she did not write or create the song, the lyrical meaning and concept did apply to her situation at that point of time, she elaborated, "I'm career-oriented. You are attracted to people who are ambitious that way, like in the song'Material Girl'. You are attracted to men who have material things because that's what pays the rents and buys you furs. That's the security; that lasts longer than emotions." During a 2009 interview with Rolling Stone, Madonna was asked by interviewer Austin Scaggs, regarding her first feelings, after listening to the demos of "Like a Virgin" and "Material Girl". Madonna responded by saying, "I liked them both because they were ironic and provocative at the same time but unlike me. I am not a materialistic person, I wasn't a virgin, and, by the way, how can you be like a virgin? I liked the play on words, I thought. They're so geeky, they're cool."
"Material Girl" consists with a strong backbeat supporting it. A robotic-sounding male voice, sung by Frank Simms, repeats the hook "Living in a material world". According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Alfred Publishing, the song is set in the time signature of common time, with a tempo of 120 beats per minute. It is set in the key of C major, with Madonna's voice spanning from the tonal nodes of C4 to C5; the song has a basic chord progression of F–G–Em–Am-F-G-C in the chorus, while the verses are based on the C mixolydian mode, giving a hip, swing-like mood. The bassline in the song with the post-disco origins is reminiscent of The Jacksons' "Can You Feel It", which appeared on their 1980 album Triumph. Furthermore, the strophes remind of the refrain from Melissa Manchester's hit "You Should Hear How She Talks About You"; the lyrics explain that what Madonna wants is money, good clothes, the perfect life and men who are able to supply those materialistic things. A cross-reference to the 1960 song "Shop Around" by The Miracles is present.
The lyrics portray relationships in terms of capitalism as commodities, romance becomes synonymous to trading stocks and shares. The title was a polysemy like the lyrics, it deduced Madonna as the most respected woman. Following the song's release on January 23, 1985, as the second single from Like a Virgin, "Material Girl" received mixed reviews from music critics. Author Rikky Rooksby, in his book The Complete Guide to the Music of Madonna, compared the song with those of Cyndi Lauper because of Madonna's shrill voice in the song, he added. Which just goes to show that pop music and irony don't mix." Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic said that "Material Girl" was one of the songs that made Madonna an icon, the other being "Like a Virgin" from the same album, both remaining as a definitive statement. He added that both tunes overshadow the rest of the record, "because they are a perfect match of theme and sound." Debby Miller from Rolling Stone, felt that the song portrayed Madonna as a more practical girl than previous female singers.
Dave Karger from Entertainment Weekly, while reviewing the album in 1995, felt that the song came off a bit repetitious and immature when compared to the present context. Jim Farber from Entertainment Weekly felt that the song provided critics a way to criticize Madon