Two legendary blind musicians, George Shearing and Ray Charles, will be appearing together in a commercial—for a videodisc player. "I think it's very clever advertising," says Shearing of the TV spot, showing this week. In the ad Charles admires a Pioneer player, saying, "If the music don't sound good, who cares what the picture looks like?" At that, according to Shearing, "I smile at Ray—or maybe it's at the wall." Shearing adds, "The campaign may invite adverse comment, but I think it shows great imagination."
Michael Jackson is planning a duet with Mick Jagger on Mick's new solo album. Jackson reportedly called Jagger and said, "Let's work together," just as he did last year with Paul McCartney (producing the hit Say, Say, Say). But Michael isn't too busy to help sisters Rebbie, Janet and LaToya, all of whom are pursuing their singing careers with renewed vigor. Rebbie, whose Centipede LP will be out this month, was nervous and uninspired in the recording studio. But Michael craftily brought an audience into the studio, and Rebbie, who started performing with her brothers 10 years ago, began to sing, sing, sing.
Is there anyone who hasn't asked, "Whatever happened to Karen Lynn Gorney?" while watching a rerun of Saturday Night Fever? Well, the girl who was Ginger Rogers to John Travolta's Fred Astaire seven years ago hasn't hung up her dancing shoes. At the Learning Annex in New York, adult students pay $40 for four evening sessions of "pop dancing" with Karen. The catalog promises the course will "allow you to find and develop your own personal dance style." But Gorney is also trying to avoid being just another Flashdance in the pan with a planned movie titled Slow Dancing, Real Close.
Yoko Ono's 1981 Season of Glass LP, in which she dealt wrenchingly with husband John Lennon's death, could become a belated big seller. Members of Yoko Only, a fan club based in New Jersey, are buying copies of Season then smashing them to pieces to symbolize the end of Yoko's mourning. One fan, according to the club's newsletter, destroyed several copies of the album with a concrete Buddha ("a conceptual thing to do," the newsletter explained), then cried when the pieces were fit back together.
Burt Reynolds has bought the exclusive right to open Po' Folks restaurants in Florida, Texas and Southern California. A spokesman for the chain, which features such Southern delights as chicken fried steak, turnip greens and catfish, said that Reynolds may eventually control 145 locations. Some Po' Folks! Meanwhile, the latest catalog of beauty products from Ernest Borgnine's entrepreneurial wife, Tova, features a full line of "BR" products, including cologne, after-shave and "deep pore scrub." Reynolds also offers such exotica as silk lounging pajamas ($292), stud services ($1,000) of his prized horse Mr. Snowbird and a sterling silver and leather replica ($550) of the collar worn by his dog, Bruiser, who Burt says is "the only female I've been able to get along with for over 12 years."
Viewers will detect at least one change in the Phil Donahue show after it moves from Chicago to New York next winter. Donahue currently appears live three times each week but prerecords the other two shows in order to have more time with wife Mario Thomas, who lives in Manhattan. Once they're in the same city, Donahue will be able to broadcast live every morning. Which means he'll take calls on the air all five days, instead of three.
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