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Posts Tagged ‘Louis Armstrong’

When James L. Brooks Interviewed Louis Armstrong

Actor Kevin Pollak recently sat down with writer-director James L. Brooks for Episode #128 of his fantabulous online Chat Show. It was, he noted, the sixth time the program has welcomed an Academy Award winner.

Right off the bat, Pollak wondered if those stories of Brooks having interviewed Louis Armstrong for the Weehawken High School newspaper were Internet hooey. Brooks was happy to confirm a semi-wonderful New Jersey journalism world:

“It was a high school of 300 students. I was fairly resented for it [interviewing famous people for the paper]. I was beaten for it, because my picture was on the front page of the newspaper every single issue.”

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Louis Armstrong: The Film

Charlie Parker will have to step aside for Satchmolouis2.jpg as Forest Whitaker forest.jpghas signed and agreed to direct “What A Wonderful World” for Paris-based Legende, Variety says.

New York-based producer Ed Pressman and Legende’s Alain Goldman will produce the film, which will be the first big-screen project authorized by the Louis Armstrong estate.

Ron Bass will write the original script.

Legende was also responsible for the award winning “Ma Vie En Rose.”

The Armstrong film will kick off during the musician’s impoverished early years in New Orleans and primarily chronicle his career as a trumpet virtuoso and improvisational singer.

“Armstrong left a monumental mark on our lives and our culture,” said Whitaker, who portrayed jazz great Charlie Parker in “Bird.” “He lived an amazing life and, through his art, shifted the way music was played and would be heard after him, not just here in the U.S. but all over the world.”

“What a Wonderful World” will begin shooting in the summer in Louisiana.

Lunch: Anna Wintour & Coming Soon — The Rolling Stones!

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— DIANE CLEHANE

We’re guessing that spring break with the kiddies kept more than a few bold face names we’ve become accustomed to seeing away from 55th and Fifth today. Luckily, some of our favorite regulars were on hand — along with the first ever (at least since I’ve been at my perch) Wednesday Anna Wintour sighting — kept us more than interested in the goings on in the dining room. But, we hear, the really big doings will be taking place this Sunday night when The Rolling Stones are coming to party with Martin Scorsese, who directed the documentary Shine A Light about the iconic rockers. If you haven’t gotten your invite, it probably just got lost in the mail…

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Frank Gifford and his charming daughter Cassidy enjoying a pre-theater lunch before seeing The Little Mermaid (again!). I’d met Cassidy once before when mom Kathie Lee Gifford brought the incredibly well-mannered 14-year-old to Michael’s this summer. Today, father and daughter dined alone (she sipped a Shirley Temple while he flipped through what looked like a Tiffany’s catalog!) On the way out when they stopped by to say ‘Hello,’ I asked Frank when there would be word of Kathie Lee’s all but imminent arrival at Today. Putting his hands up in mock protest, he turned to his daughter and said, “Diane wants me to talk about things I can’t talk about.” But Frank, you know I’d never tell anyone …

2. William Morris’ Wayne Kabak and a pal.

3. “Mayor” Joe Armstrong, who was nice enough to introduce me to guest, longtime pal and fellow Texan Sarah Gray Miller. The dynamic duo worked together when Joe was the founding publisher of Garden Design and Saveur and Sarah, now editor-in-chief of Oprah’s O At Home, was a media maven in training. Mr. Mayor, who knows everyone, lunched yesterday at Michael’s (where else?) with another one of his favorite Texans Lance Armstrong. He said the two of them spent part of the afternoon dishing over the stunning reports that Dick Cheney is a “distant cousin” of Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton and Angelina Jolie are branches on the same family tree. Perhaps, says Joe, he and Lance are related to jazz great Louis Armstrong. To commemorate their possible kinship, the Mayor presented Lance with a mini statue of their may be ancestor. Between bites of his burger, Lance howled with laughter. “We love to laugh,” says Joe who is off to Texas to visit his mom Dorthadele. See you when you get back!

4. Über agent Ed Victor (looking quite literary in a black turtleneck and jacket) with Alan Grubman.

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