Entertainment behind the scenes
“I believe that blues, the way things are today, are more important now than ever before,” KIng said backstage after picking up a Grammy Sunday for Best Traditional Blues Album for “One Kind Favor.”
He said that when people are having hard times, they can see that blues is “kind of an international thing, not just from Mississippi.”
King said the election of Barack Obama as the nation’s first black president showed that America is “growing up,” and urged the country to give the new Commander-in-chief time to clean up the economic crisis.
“I think he’s doing very well,” said King. ”I don’t think we’ve been supportive enough or given this guy enough time,” he said, but added, “I’m happy that they did get him elected…it makes me believe America is really growing up.”
Jamie Masada, the owner of L.A. comedy club The Laugh Factory, says he wants a little bit of federal bailout money to take jokes and good cheer on the road to U.S. communities struck by the recession. After all, he argues, if bankers can get a bailout, why not comedians?
But he tells Reuters that he promises not to pocket any of the cash, in the unlikely event he gets it. He just wants to pack comedians in a bus and take them to perform on the road, and buy hard-up Americans some coffee and donuts.
As for that bus, don’t expect any whoopee cushions or rubber chickens onboard.
“We’re not going to do something sleezy with a whoopee cushion or anything like that,” Masada said. “We’re going to really try to bring a smile to someone’s face.”
How much would that cost? Masada pegs his project at $700,000, which he says is a bargain compared to the roughly $800+ billion price tag on President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan.
You couldn’t blame Obama if he’s a little busy these days to consider the proposal, but Masada said he wants to take comedians to Washington, D.C. to plead his case.
Obama himself is no slouch as a jester. Weeks before the Nov. 4 election, he appeared at a formal dinner and simultaneously joked that he was no messiah, while playing up his love of Superman comics.
“Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger,” Obama said. “I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-el, to save the planet Earth.”
If Obama keeps jokes like that coming from the White House, maybe he could headline his own recession comedy tour.
Who guitarist performed a solo acoustic version of the 37-year-old anthem in front of a few hundred fans at the Troubadour in West Hollywood on Friday.
Likening Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama to a political “trailblazer,” singer Barbra Streisand has become the latest Hollywood celebrity to join the Obama campaign bandwagon, switching from her past support of Sen. Hillary Clinton.
“Barack has awakened in many of us the notion that we can again be hopeful, enabling us to believe that we are capable of lifting our brothers and sisters out of poverty, of providing quality education for all our children, of ending this unjust war in Iraq and bringing our troops home safely,” Streisand wrote on Tuesday in a posting on her Web site, http://www.barbrastreisand.com/.