Sydney Sheldon

Windmills-of-the-Gods-195x300Best known for his television shows including I dream of Jeannie and Hart to Hart as well as his many novels, the Academy Award-winning American writer Sidney Sheldon Was Born February 11, 1917. In 1937, Sheldon moved to Hollywood, California, where he reviewed scripts and collaborated on a number of B movies. Sheldon enlisted in the military during World War II as a pilot in the War Training Service, a branch of the Army Air Corps,His unit was disbanded before he saw any action. After World War II He Returned to civilian life and moved to New York City where he began writing musicals for the Broadway stage while continuing to write screenplays for both MGM Studios and Paramount Pictures. He became a prolific writer, and at one time he had three musicals on Broadway at the same time: a rewritten The Merry Widow, Jackpot, and Dream with Music. His success on Broadway brought him back to Hollywood where his first assignment was The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, which earned him the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay of 1947. He was one of the writers on the screenplay for the 1948 musical film Easter Parade and sole writer for the 1950 musical film Annie Get Your Gun, both of which featured the songs of Irving Berlin. When television became the new popular medium, he decided to try his hand in it. “I suppose I needed money,” he remembered. “I met Patty Duke one day at lunch. So I produced The Patty Duke Show, and I did something nobody else in TV ever did. For seven years, I wrote almost every single episode of the series.”

Sheldon also created, produced and wrote I Dream of Jeannie in his co-production capacity with Screen Gems, writing all but two dozen scripts in five years, sometimes using three pseudonyms (Mark Rowane, Allan Devon, Christopher Golato) while simultaneously writing scripts for The Patty Duke Show. He also used the same pseudonyms in writing all seventeen episodes of Nancy. He later admitted that he did this because he felt his name was appearing too often in the credits as creator, producer, copyright owner andwriter of these series. He also created and wrote for the series Hart to Hart. Production for I Dream of Jeannie ended in 1970 after five seasons. It was “During the last year of I Dream of Jeannie, I decided to try a novel,” he said in 1982. “Each morning from 9 until noon, I had a secretary at the studio take all calls. I mean every single call. I wrote each morning — or rather, dictated — and then I faced the TV business.

In 1969, Sheldon wrote his first novel, The Naked Face, which earned him a nomination for the Edgar Allan Poe Award from theMystery Writers of America in the category of Best First Novel. His next novel, The Other Side of Midnight, climbed to #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list as did several ensuing novels, a number of which were also made into motion pictures or TV miniseries Including Windmills of the Gods. His novels often featured determined women who persevere in a tough world run by hostile men they also feature a lot of suspense and cliff hanger devices to keep the reader turning the page. Sadly Sheldon passed away on January 30, 2007, but remains the seventh best selling fiction writer of all time And has also been Called “mr Blockbuster” and “the Prince of Potboilers”.

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Whitney Houston

whitney_houstonThe late, great singer, actress and model, Whitney Houston, tagically died on the 11th February 2012, at the age of 48. Born 9th August in 1963 in Newark, New Jersey. Houston started performing at 11 as a soloist in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she also learned to play the piano. When Houston was a teenager, she attended Mount Saint Dominic Academy, a Catholic girls’ high school in Caldwell, New Jersey, where she met her best friend Robyn Crawford, whom she described as the “sister she never had”. While Houston was still in school, her mother continued to teach her how to sing. Houston was also exposed to and influenced by, the music of Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, and Roberta Flack. Houston spent some of her teenage years touring nightclubs where her mother Cissy was performing, and she would occasionally get on stage and perform with her. In 1977, at age 14, she became a backup singer on the Michael Zager Band’s single “Life’s a Party”. In 1978, Houston sang background vocals on Chaka Khan’s hit single “I’m Every Woman”, a song she would later turn into a larger hit for herself on her monster-selling The Bodyguard soundtrack album. She also sang back-up on albums by Lou Rawls and Jermaine Jackson.

http://youtu.be/qFUjJc2nqbI WHITNEY HOUSTON’S GREATEST HITS

In the 1980s, Houston worked as a fashion model after a photographer saw her at Carnegie Hall singing with her mother. She appeared in the magazines Seventeen, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Young Miss,Her striking looks and girl-next-door charm made her one of the most sought after teen models and While modeling, Houston also recording was a duet with Teddy Pendergrass entitled “Hold Me” which appeared on his album, Love Language (1984). The Song also appeared on her debut album which was released in February 198 and also included the soulful ballad “You Give Good Love” Which did wellon the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and reached No. 1 on the Hot R&B chart.Houston promoted the album by touring US nightclubs AND performing on late-night television talk shows. Houston released The jazzy ballad “Saving All My Love for You” next and it became Houston’s first No. 1 single in both the US and the UK. The final single, “Greatest Love of All“, became Houston’s biggest hit thus far and Houston became No. 1 artist of the year and her self titled album was the No. 1 album of the year on the 1986 Billboard year-end charts and the best-selling debut album by a solo artist.Houston then embarked on her world tour, Greatest Love Tour. At the 1986 Grammy Awards, Houston was nominated for three awards including Album of the Year. She was not eligible for the Best New Artist category due to her previous hit R&B duet recording with Teddy Pendergrass in 1984. She won her first Grammy award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for “Saving All My Love for You”. Houston’s performance of the song during the Grammy telecast later earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program. During 1986 &1987 Houston won seven American Music Awards and an MTV Video Music Award. The song “Greatest Love of All” received a Record of the Year nomination. Houston’s debut album is listed as one of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and on The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Definitive 200 list.

Houston’s second album, Whitney, was released in June 1987 debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart, Houston became the first artist to enter the albums chart at number one in both the US and UK. The album featured the singles, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)“, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, “So Emotional”, and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” which all peaked at number one on the US Hot 100 chart, giving her a total of seven consecutive number one hits, breaking the record of six previously shared by The Beatles and The Bee Gees. Houston became the first female artist to have Four number one singles on one album which was also certified 9× Platinum in the US and has sold a total of 20 million copies worldwide.In 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most-awarded female act of all-time. Houston was one of the world’s best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide. She released seven studio albums and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification. Houston’s crossover appeal on the popular music charts, as well as her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for “How Will I Know”, influenced several African American female artists to follow in her footsteps. Houston is the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. She is the second artist behind Elton John and the only female artist to have two number-one Billboard 200 Album awards (formerly “Top Pop Album”) on the Billboard magazine year-end charts. Houston’s 1985 debut album Whitney Houston was named Rolling Stone’s best album of 1986 Ranking at 254 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Her second studio album Whitney (1987) became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Houston’s first acting role was as the star of the feature film The Bodyguard (1992). The film’s original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Its lead single “I Will Always Love You“, became the best-selling single by a female artist in music history. With the album, Houston became the first act (solo or group, male or female) to sell more than a million copies of an album within a single week period under Nielsen SoundScan system. The album makes her the top female act in the top 10 list of the best-selling albums of all time, at number four. Houston continued to star in movies and contribute to their soundtracks, including the films Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher’s Wife (1996) which became the best-selling gospel album in history. Her sad demise left fans around the world in shock. The I Will Always Love You and Saving All My Love singer won multiple Grammys including album and record of the year, selling millions of albums and singles worldwide. She also carried her success into the film industry, appearing in hit movies including The Bodyguard.