The Insider

updated 09/24/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/24/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

GOING TO THE CHAPEL?
You can forget about Linda Ronstadt's ever singing the song "I Never Will Marry" again. According to some of her closest friends, the song will be retired permanently because Ronstadt will indeed get married, sometime during the Christmas holidays, to New Orleans music impresario Quint Davis. Ronstadt, 44, and Davis, 42, met in 1989, when she was in New Orleans recording her Cry like a Rainstorm, Howl like the Wind album and have been dating ever since. Ronstadt, who is part Mexican, is said to have suggested Cuernavaca, Mexico, as a possible wedding site.

BOMBS AWAY

Alan Smithee has directed some of the most offbeat and just plain bad films ever made. His most recent movie. The Shrimp on the Barbie, starring Cheech Marin and Emma Samms, is another in a long line of Alan Smithee films to get a less than full-promotional release. So how come Smithee keeps getting hired? He doesn't. In truth the real director on Barbie was Michael (Mannequin) Gottlieb. Smithee is a pseudonym used by movie and TV directors who want their real names off the credits.

Though Gottlieb couldn't be reached and Barbie producer R. Ben Efraim wouldn't discuss the matter, Harry Evans, an officer at the Directors Guild of America, explains that an as-yet-unresolved dispute between Gottlieb and Efraim over the final version of the movie led to Gottlieb's choosing the pseudonym "so he couldn't be identified with the picture. The director didn't feel that the film represents his work."

The use of Smithee dates back to 1967 with Death of a Gunfighter, starring Richard Widmark. Since then the name has been seen on such bombs as 1968's Fade-in, with Burt Reynolds, and 1986's Let's Get Harry, with Mark Harmon. Warns Evans: "If nothing else, the Alan Smithee credit surely signals that it's a troubled film."

FRANK'S FOR THE MEMORIES

Given that Ronstadt has always considered Frank Sinatra's singing an important influence on her career, we offer the perfect gift item for her to take on her honeymoon: 156 Sinatra songs on CD.

In honor of Sinatra's 75th birthday—Frank fans, mark Dec. 12 on your calendars—the two record companies that control the majority of his masters, Capitol and Reprise, have agreed to release in October and November two similarly packaged Sinatra compact disc sets, The Capitol Years and The Reprise Collection.

The Capitol set, which represents Sinatra's 1951-60 output, contains 75 songs on three CDs. The remaining 81 songs (from 1960 to the present) will be put out on four CDs by Reprise, the label founded by Sinatra in 1960.

How did Capitol manage to get almost the same number of songs on one less CD? Capitol/EMI Music President Joe Smith says, "Frank's songs in the early years tended to be shorter in length."

Of the even earlier years, a reflective Sinatra says now, "I had big ambitions, but it was very hard at first. Sometimes used to work all night for nothing or a sandwich or cigarettes. I had a couple of very frustrating years singing at weddings, at roadhouses and amateur nights. My success has always come as a surprise to me."

FRILL SEEKER
Roseanne Barr has input into everything concerning her hit TV show, including the design for the uniform she'll wear this season when her character gets a waitress job on ABC's Roseanne. Barr knows waitressing: She once served cocktails in a restaurant-bar in Denver. Jay Daniel, Roseanne's executive producer, says Barr's waitress costume on the show won't be a replica of the one she used to wear but a "sort of a frilly apron kind of thing with a plain blue dress underneath and a little frill at the collar. It's very midwestern mallish. Rosie describes it as 'half little girl and half slut.' "

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