Benefit For The New York Pops 

We attended a benefit for the New York Pops tonight at Feinstein’s 54 Below. The star of the cabaret-type show was our pal Lucie Arnaz, accompanied by our other good friend, Ron Abel. The headliner, Lucie, really sold out the house. It was standing room only. Lucie is married to actor Larry Luckinbill. They have five children.  

Eliot and I won this in the silent auction, a day with Random House authors. Maybe they can help me finish my book.

One highlight of the evening was that Lucie sang “Until Now,” created by Ron Abel and Chuck Steffan. Since Eliot and I are friends with all three, it was  a thrill to hear it. It’s such a gorgeous song that I hope you share it with others.

The other highlight of the evening was when Lucie sang “They’re Playing Our Song,” from the Broadway musical of the same name. She was the female lead and Robert Klein was her costar. The book  was written by Neil Simon, lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager, and music by Marvin Hamlisch.

You Heard About Her Here First

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Ron Abel, Rachel Ann Weiss, Eliot Hess, and Chuck Steffan

I felt like I was the late Hollywood publicist Sue Mengers last night when she first spotted Barbra Streisand singing in a small New York club at the beginning of both their careers. Mengers knew immediately that Streisand was going to be a legend, so she did what she had to do to sign her on. The same thing happened to me last night when Eliot and I went to see 25-year-old Rachel Ann Weiss at The Cutting Room, a NYC nightclub on East 32nd Street. I may be in the Golden Age of my career, but when I see something extraordinary, I feel ageless, ready to take on an exciting challenge that could last decades.

This time I don’t want the role of publicist. I want to be her manager. Rachel has all the makings of the next Adele or Amy Winehouse, maybe even greater because of her confidence and ease with the audience. Her voice is mesmerizing. She writes her own words and composes her own music. She has been performing since she was seven, strumming her guitar on stage along with her father’s band, “The Suits.” Dad Jay Weiss, a successful realtor, is a rocker. And mom Kathleen Turner is one of the best, well-known actresses in the world to appear in movies, television, and on stage. Jay has been a quasi client of HWH PR over the years, so that’s our connection.

Rachel’s parents were in the audience last night, but no one gave them a second look the minute the young singer-songwriter-guitarist took the stage. Our good friends Chuck Steffan, a lyricist for many popular singers today, and his partner Ron Abel, one of the leading music arrangers and composers in the country, were with us last night and immediately proclaimed Rachel as the next Laura Nyro. They were so excited about her that the four of us (Eliot, Chuck, Ron, and I) moved on to Joe Allen’s to discuss Rachel’s future. That is what happens when people who are so passionate about what they do discover a new something. We get drunk on euphoria. We were so high that even Joan Rivers, sitting right next to us, didn’t draw our attention.

Eliot and I have seen Rachel perform a number of times before. We always felt she had a strong and amazing voice with a totally unique style. It is quite remarkable that some major record label has not signed her up. That is where I come in. Chuck and Ron insist that I take her on. They said I’m a natural for it since I have networked so many of my clients into major deals that many thought were unattainable. I still have the fire in my belly.

Chuck and Ron’s last words to me last night as we were about to part were, “Wouldn’t it be great to finally rep a talent you can be so passionate about?” Tell that to my clients Samsung, 17 years; Helen of Troy (Revlon, BedHead, Vidal Sassoon, Toni & Guy hair appliances), 15 years; HBO Video, 12 years; Random House, DuPont, the list goes on.

The wonders of the Internet (another great love) allows me to share Rachel with you here and now. Check out Rachel’s website for her upcoming shows, her original songs, and social media links. Below are her YouTube links.

Did You Miss Me? I Was Planning A Wedding

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After 200 daily posts, I missed a day yesterday because I forgot to “publish.” I wrote a piece about the Wall Street Journal’s expose’ on Facebook but I didn’t published it because I wanted to proof it one more time. I got so involved with a party Eliot and I hosted last night, that I forgot to check in on WordPress. By the time I remembered, it was past midnight, the time when WordPress takes all of the blog posts for the day and starts blasting them to subscribers.

The topic I wrote about is a very sensitive one, so I wanted to read it a few times. I will publish it on Monday.

Today is all about celebration. Last night Eliot and I hosted a “Freedom To Marry” party at our Miami condo. Jeff Ronci and Juan Talavera, produced, organized, and directed the entire event.

“Freedom To Marry” is all about same sex marriage. Approximately 80 people showed up. Steve Rothaus, the outstanding Gay Issues Writer from the Miami Herald, attended and covered the event. Click here to read it.

Good Morning America’s Sam Champion, and his fiancé, Miami fine-arts photographer, Rubem Robierb, also showed. There is a good chance that Sam and Rubem will use the newly-produced song “Any Once Upon A Time,” at their wedding. Ron Abel and Chuck Steffan debuted the song last night to a cheering crowd.

Other notables in attendance were: Miami International Film Festival executive director Jaie Laplante, South Miami Mayor Philip K. Stoddard, and “Freedom to Marry” Federal Director Jo Ellen Deutsch, who grew up in Miami-Dade County. Her parents were there as well.

Steve recaps the story better than I did so read it here:

To find out more about Freedom to Marry, visit http://www.freedomtomarry.org/nep or
click here.

Please click here to hear Any Once Upon A Time

ANY ONCE UPON A TIME
c. Abel/Steffan Music

Music by Ron Abel

Lyric by Chuck Steffan

Sung by Von Smith

ANY ONCE UPON A TIME CAN START A TALE OR NURSERY RHYME

STORIES PASSED TO YOUNG ONES STILL

OF DICK AND JANE, AND JACK AND JILL

BUT THERE ARE TALES SO SELDOM TOLD

OF SUBJECTS EVERY BIT AS OLD

AND THOSE AFRAID TO SPEAK THE WORD

PREFER THOSE STORIES GO UNHEARD.

NO WONDER WE GROW UP IN DOUBT

NOT KNOWING WHAT OUR LOVE’S ABOUT.

AND CHANGE FOR US WON’T COME UNTIL

DICK LOVES JACK, AND JANE LOVES JILL.

MAYBE THEN THE WORLD WILL SEE

THAT WE DON’T LOVE SO DIFFERENTLY

OUR STORIES SOUND ALIKE IT SEEMS

ALL OF US SHARING THE SAME HOPES AND DREAMS

ANY ONCE UPON A TIME

ANY ONCE UPON A TIME

ANY ONCE UPON A TIME CAN START A TALE OF LOVE LIKE YOURS, LIKE MINE.

THERE ARE THOSE THAT SAY THEY KNOW BETTER

AND THEY’LL TRY TO KEEP US APART

NO ONE CAN SAY WHO WE FALL IN LOVE WITH

THAT’S A MATTER FOR THE HEART.

ANY ONCE UPON A TIME

ANY ONCE UPON A TIME

ANY ONCE UPON A TIME CAN START A TALE OF LOVE LIKE YOURS, LIKE MINE.

ANY ONCE UPON A TIME

ANY ONCE UPON A TIME CAN START A TALE OF LOVE LIKE YOURS, LIKE MINE

LIKE MINE.