Thursday, January 29, 2009

Good Birthday Come In Threes

Who knew such great Dames of America shared the same birthday?

Three ladies I like heaps are all blowing out candles today.

The eldest on our list is Miss Katharine Ross. I like her mostly because she's so pretty, but I also enjoyed her very much in The Graduate and The Stepford Wives (the original movie, not the one I saw in the theatre simply to enjoy the A/C, later to realize standing outside and melting might have been preferable.

Next up is Miss Bettye LaVette. LaVette is an old school R&B musician who had some minor hits in the early 70s, then languished for far too long. In the mid-aughts she came out with I've Got My Own Hell To Raise, followed quickly by Scene Of The Crime. These two albums blow me away - she's R&B, country, rock, everything. On the albums she covers Aimee Mann, Bruce Springsteen, Dolly Parton, Elton John, Joan Armatrading (woohoo!), Lucinda Williams, Rosanne Cash, Willie Nelson, and more. Her versions are so unique and in cases wrenching, that even if they don't surpass the originals in my mind, they stand firmly on their own. She recently did a kick-bum version of "A Change Is Gonna Come" with Bon Jovi at an inauguration event, available on the YouTube.

Here though we're going to see her do a Fiona Apple song medley'd into Sinead O'Connor. God Bless America.

And finally, cheers to Miss Ann Jillian. We know her from Kevin's third favorite sitcom, It's A Living, and as the star of the made-for-TV Mae West bio. I liked her best in Jennifer Slept Here, a comedy that ran for one season in 1983. She played the ghost of a famous actress who haunted her old house, currently occupied by a family with a teenage son, whom I swore was Jason Bateman but apparently wasn't. Georgette from the Mary Tyler Moore show had a nice part too.

Here's the opening credits to Jennifer Slept Here.

Happy Birthday, Ladies!

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