Category Archives: Music

John Williams said he never takes Spielberg for granted

By Ray Bennett LONDON – ‘My hope is that I can work with Steven for many years to come,’ composer John Williams told me. That was in 2000 by which time he had written the scores for sixteen Spielberg-directed movies … Continue reading

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Bob Dowling gave me the best job in the world

By Ray Bennett LONDON – I shall always be grateful to Robert J.Dowling, the former publisher and editor-in-chief of The Hollywood Reporter who has died aged 83, because it was thanks to him that for several years I had a … Continue reading

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When Julie Taymor met Paul and Yoko

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Julie Taymor, who turns 70 today, is known best for creating ‘The Lion King’ among a long list of theatrical productionsi but her films are just as fascinating such as ‘Titus’, ‘Frida’, ‘The Tempest’,’ The … Continue reading

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Charlie Rich loved the blues more than country music

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Charlie Rich, who was born on this day ninety years ago, was one of the biggest names in country music. His recordings of ‘Behind Closed Doors’ and ‘Most Beautiful Girl’ made him an international smash on … Continue reading

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Stuart Margolin and James Garner: ‘a perfect friendship’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Stuart Margolin, who died today aged 82, was one of the great screen sidekicks working regularly with James Garner. Traditionally, in film and on TV, there have been two kinds of heroes – loners and … Continue reading

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Recalling Little Richard, rock’n’roll’s greatest

By Ray Bennett LONDON – The first recording I ever bought was a 78rpm double-A side single of ‘Long Tall Sally’ and ‘Tutti Frutti’ by Little Richard, who was born 90 years ago today.

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Jerry Lee Lewis was no rock’n’roll hero to me

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Now that he has been laid to rest, it’s time to offer some balance to the hysterical reaction to the death of Jerry Lee Lewis. Given that today an artist can be cancelled on the basis … Continue reading

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Giggling over lunch with the great Cleo Laine

By Ray Bennett LONDON – It was lunchtime at the Hotel Pontchartrain  in Detroit and things were getting a bit silly. Cleo Laine, who turns 95 today, was talking about Kurt Weill and the Berliner Ensemble when someone mentioned Monty … Continue reading

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When Nancy Ames invited me to her show …

By Ray Bennett LONDON – American singer Nancy Ames, who turns 85 today, once said she was my biggest fan. It began when I went to interview her for The Windsor Star in Canada and fell in love.

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When two ‘hippy’ reporters crossed the U.S. border

By Ray Bennett LONDON – With the death on August 2 of my former Windsor Star colleague Bill Twaddle, aged 74, I’m reminded of a memorable escapade we had fifty-odd years ago. Inspired by Woodstock, many venues in Canada and … Continue reading

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