Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Today In Oldies 11/10/2010

Golden Hits Radio and GHR-2's Everything Oldies......all Oldies news, all the time!

Where In The World Is........Irene Cara? 

Irene Cara was practically born in show business.  By the age of 3, she was in the "Little Miss America" pageant.  At 5, she was playing piano, leading to the study of music, acting, and dance.  A few years later, she was appearing on American television, including the Original Amateur Hour and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.  Eventually, she became a regular on the PBS children's series The Electric Company, appearing alongside such acting giants as Bill Cosby, Rita Moreno, and Morgan Freeman.  The 70's brought a long series of off-Broadway roles, TV movie and miniseries appearances, and a regular stint on the daytime soap opera Love of Life.  By 1980, she was ready to step into the limelight all by herself.  Chart success and the biggest award of 'em all would follow. 

As a graduate of the prestigious LaGuardia High School of Music & Art in New York, she was certainly no stranger to the life of one of the school's students.  So when a movie was being made that followed the lives of that school's students, to be entitled Fame, Irene Cara was a natural!  She was originally cast as a dancer, but when producers heard her sing, they rewrote the role of Coco Hernandez, and in an even bigger turn in fortune for Irene Cara, she sang both the movie's title song and the second single from the soundtrack, "Out Here On My Own".  Both became hit singles, with "Fame" being a Top 5 smash.  As a result, both songs were nominated for Best Song at the Academy Awards.  Cara performed them both on Oscar night, making her one of a handful of artists who have done more than one song at the Oscar ceremony.  A string of award nominations followed, including the Grammys and the Golden Globes.  NBC very quickly ordered a TV series adaptation of Fame, and Irene Cara was offered the chance to reprise her film role.  She turned it down to focus on music, which proved to be a wise decision. 

While she continued to act in a string of movies and a TV series pilot meant to serve as a vehicle for her, Irene Cara's music career continued to flourish.  It would reach its peak when one of the biggest producers in the music business at the time, Giorgio Moroder, approached her to do another movie theme song.  The song she co-wrote with Moroder and Keith Forsey would be the theme for a movie called Flashdance.  "Flashdance......What A Feeling" was an unqualified smash, hitting #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and leading to a string of awards for Irene Cara.  They included a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, and the one which eluded her 4 years earlier, the Oscar for Best Song. 

After a few more modest hits in the 80's, Irene Cara has worked nonstop between music and acting.  Film credits include City Heat (co-starring Burt Reynolds & Clint Eastwood), Certain Fury (w/ Tatum O' Neal), and providing the voice of animated characters in Happily Ever After and Disney's straight-to-DVD sequel to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  She has also toured with the off-Broadway company for the anniversary edition of Jesus Christ Superstar.  She has gone back to the "Flashdance" well twice, re-recording the song in 1995 for the soundtrack to the film The Full Monty and in 2002 with Swedish artist DJ Bobo.  Reality television has provided a second career for many musicians, and Irene Cara took her turn on the second season of CMT's Gone Country, where pop stars took a shot at country music stardom.  She has also been content to slip behind the scenes and provide backup vocals for dozens of artists.  Her latest project is a girl group called Hot Caramel.  Produced by Cara, their first album is slated for release by the end of 2010. You can keep up with that project, and everything else Irene Cara is up to these days, on her official website.

Now for the song that brought Irene Cara solo fame, from a movie called Fame............

Golden Hits Radio and GHR-2's Burning Question of the Day

Which David Bowie hit was originally written for, and turned down by, Elvis?

Check back tomorrow @ Everything Oldies for the answer, and leave a comment here with your best guess!

Yesterday's Burning Question (and Answer) of the Day

Which former Saturday Night Live cast member was one of the members of the "choir" who sang USA For Africa's "We Are The World" in 1985?

Answer: Dan Aykroyd




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