Red Around Town: November 22

A busy week comes to a close: the Global TV crew and I made our way to GM Place to interview New Kids On The Block and Natasha Bedingfield, who was the opening act for NKOTB. Natasha is the U.K.’s  biggest female pop star. Her song Unwritten was the most played on American mainstream radio last year. She has the distinction of being the first British female singer to score a number one hit in the U.S. Billboard pop chart since Kim Wilde 19 years ago. She and brother Daniel share the Guinness Book of World Records record for being the only siblings to have had solo number one hits in U.K. chart history. She was a delight to interview and she will be featured on a future Global Morning News Red’s Reunion feature… I was fortunate to sit down with the two principals of New Kids On The Block, Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood. Donnie and Danny grew up in Boston and were boyhood friends. In its heyday the group sold over 70 million records and generated hundreds of millions of dollars through concerts, and merchandise. NKOTB disbanded in 1994 and have come together only recently. In 1991 the group topped Forbes list of highest paid entertainers. Donnie is known for his appearances in Saw, The Sixth Sense and the Steven Spielberg TV series Brothers.  I asked him what his favorite role was and he answered, “The Sixth Sense”. He indicated that he will continue to act. Brother Mark Wahlberg has become a major movie star… look for my interview with NKOTB next Wednesday on my morning appearance on Global… I was taken aback on my recent weekly Global TV appearance when anchor Lynn Colliar held up the Vancouver Sun and its special edition saluting B.C.’s 150 years as a province. The page she turned to featured a column by Peter Birnie titled Top 20 Stars For A B.C. Birthday. It listed 20 entertainment players in the entertainment field in B.C. and I placed number 8. I couldn’t believe it. What a great honor. Now the Vancouver Sun is asking readers to help determine who the most influential citizens are in B.C.’s history. You can vote by heading to the Sun’s website and selecting your own top 10 candidates. Victoria has already selected their top 150 and I am honoured again by being in that original selection this past spring and summer. This list is a quest by the newspaper and your input is appreciated… on the weekend at the Red Robinson Show Theatre it was a reunion of sorts with David Clayton Thomas. He and I had crossed paths many times before. The former lead singer with Blood, Sweat and Tears is still going strong but his  most remarkable attribute is the fact that his voice is stronger than ever.

Kevin Statham photo

He told me that he does only about a dozen shows a year now and is truly tired of touring — he spent 40 years on the road.  David has a new CD titled The Evergreens and it is comprised of many of his own songs. He wrote great songs like Spinning Wheel for BS&T.  He also gave me a copy of his autobiography titled the same as the disc. Both are available at stores now. He is a most engaging personality and a Canadian treasure… Joe Rogan came to the Red Robinson Show Theatre last week and wowed them. He is funny and very much into foul humor and the crowd loved it as they had expected no less from the former host of Fear Factor and actor on the highly regarded television series Newsradio with Dave Foley and Phil Hartman.

Kevin Statham photo

Joe has an easy going personality and enjoys stand-up comedy over all his otherwork. He told me Fear Factor would most likely return to a television set near you. Meantime, you can catch Joe doing color on the Ultimate Fight shows… Jerry Dennon, who recorded many Pacific Northwest talents over the decades, is recovering from heart surgery and we wish him a speedy recovery.  Many of my interviews are available on CD through Jerry’s firm Soundworks. This company specializes in spoken word. They are available at the Red Robinson Show Theatre. The catalog consists of interviews with Johnny Cash, Charlie Rich, Sam Phillips, Elvis, Roy Orbison, Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly, Bill Haley and others.  Jerry is responsible for first recording the Kingsmen and the biggest hit of the sixties out of Washington state, Louie, Louie.  Good health old friend… My old friend Dan Holiday has returned to radio and his famous Rock and Roll Time Machine but this time it’s on KSER FM 90.7.  As he says in his note to me: “no jingles, no stagers, no bumpers, no spots, no kidding!” Just Danny and his music.  He is on air from 11am to 1pm each Sunday. I recommend it… even though it’s the middle of Red Rock Diner, my Sunday show at 104.9fm…

photo: Linda C.

I was at the Doormen’s Dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel this past week. The “Doorman of the Year” was Jack Poole, the man most responsible for bringing the 2010 Olympic Winter Games to our city. Premier Gordon Campbell gave one of his best speeches saluting Jack, the first man to hire the Premier when he was a very young man. A great function that raised much money for my pet charity The C.H.I.L.D. Foundation.