Seriously, community member Billie e-mailed that her station (Dallas NPR) aired the Liza Minnelli episode tonight.
So I went online and streamed that. Song Travels with Michael Feinstein is a wonderful radio program hosted by Michael Feinstein. It's an hour long, weekly show where he and his guests talk songs.
If you don't know Liza, why the hell don't you?
Seriously, just as a child of you should know her. Her father was Vincent Minnelli who directed many film classics including Frank Sinatra's Some Came Running, Judy Garland's Meet Me In St. Louis and The Pirate (with Gene Kelly, one of my all time favorites), Barbra Streisand's On A Clear Day, and much more. Her mother was Judy Garland.
In case you're reading this 15,679 years from now and all that has survived is text, Judy Garland was one of the all time great singers. She wowed them in concert after concert. But that was actually the 'backup' when her main career ended. She was a film actress. She came to fame with The Wizard of Oz playing Dorothy Gale and singing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow." She went on to do a series of hit films with Mickey Rooney (not just the Andy Hardy films, also stuff like Babes In Arms), and then she transitioned to adult roles in classics like For Me and My Gal (with my favorite Gene Kelly) and Summer Stock (also with Gene) and Easter Parade (with Fred Astaire) and tons and tons of other films.
MGM kicked her to the curb in the midst of her drug addiction (she would note that they were the ones who started her on pills) and with a need for money and no film roles, Judy began doing concerts. Liza is her oldest child and her only child with Vincent Minnelli.
Liza loved performing and performed with Judy when she was a child and then as a young adult. As she notes to Michael Feinstein, she was putting together her solo show at 18. She was going to be playing casinos where she was too young to be on the gambling floor.
They played a portion of "Liza With A Z" (a 1972 recording of) and she talked about how that came about. Michael sang the song "Liza" to her (she's named after it). They talked about the Gershwins (Ira was her godfather).. "It's like snippets of people's lives," she said of the songs she sings and explained how she works out this entire backstory on the character singing the song.
He asked about her collaboration with My Chemical Romance. "My darling friend called me" and asked her to do it. "I said sure just like I did with the Pet Shop Boys." They played a clip of her recording of "Losing My Mind." She sang two songs with Michael. "Mama," by the way, is the track she did with My Chemical Romance.
A number of e-mails came in asking me did I meet Michael Feinstein when Betty did? (Betty wrote about that last week.) No. I may have been at that party and elsewhere or I may not have been. I also haven't met Liza Minnelli who C.I. also knows (and C.I. and Liza are friends).
But I enjoyed the hour listening and I bet you will as well.
Though it's a song show, I should note that Liza is an Academy Award winning Best Actress whose films include Cabaret, The Sterile Cuckoo, Arthur, Arthur II, Lucky Lady, Tell Me That You Love Me Julie Moon, Steppin Out and Martin Scorsese's New York, New York.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"