“At The End Of The Day, It’s A Relatable Record That Makes Women FEEL:” A TDQ Q&A With Singer-Songwriter Carly Robyn Green

Carly Robyn GreenThis week’s Q&A is with Carly Robyn Green. The Philly native talked with us about how the music scene from her hometown compares to LA, about her upcoming record and a life-changing conversation with Cee Lo Green (no relation). Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A with singer-songwriter Carly Robyn Green:

The Daily Quarterly: What made you want to be in show business?

Carly Robyn Green: I can’t pin-point a specific moment or event that made me want to be in the music business, but I’ve known since I was seven years old!

I remember a second grade homework assignment to create a personal business card featuring what I wanted to “be” when I grew up. I designed a hot pink business card that said “C.G. The Singer!” This was before I officially began singing… But, I always had a toy microphone in hand, since I could talk! I fell asleep listening to music, I made up lyrics and song titles as a kid, and I was always singing around the house, for my great-grandmother in the hospital, or for my family during holiday gatherings. So, when I created that hot pink business card that said “C.G. The Singer” – that’s when I knew I knew.

I’m sure I was influenced by car rides listening to the soft rock station, B101, with my mom in Philadelphia… And I must have been influenced by my dad’s obsession with Sinatra and The Beatles, and the silly songs he would make up and sing to me. Music has always had a powerful presence in my life, so I guess I have just always known it’s something I wanted to pursue professionally.

TDQ: Who was your favorite musical artist when you were a kid?

CRG: Streisand. It’s always been Streisand!

TDQ: What was your favorite album when you were a kid?

CRG: The first album I ever bought was Michael Bolton’s “Soul Provider” in 1989. I was six years old, and I loved “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You.” Haha. I also bought Whitney Houston’s first two records at that time – “Whitney Houston” and “Whitney.” My favorite overall albums were actually the Broadway concept albums of Jekyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Sunset Boulevard. I had no idea what the lyrics of these songs were about, but the sweeping melodies hooked me instantly.

(I also can’t deny my love affair with every New Kids on the Block album, too!)

TDQ: Who are your influences?

CRG: I have always been influenced by Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston, Lara Fabian, Heart, Judy Garland, Carol King, Michael Bolton, Andrea Bocelli, Meatloaf, and Burt Bacharach… And my favorite is Streisand. I’ve always been most affected by those emotional, soaring ballads, by dramatic, sweeping orchestrations, and by artists with that touch of soulfulness that added meaning and honesty to their deliveries.

TDQ: What is the best advice you have ever gotten?

CRG: The best piece of advice I’ve ever received was from Cee Lo Green, after singing back-up for him at the Grammy Awards.

I had been writing and recording very of-the-moment, trendy songs that were fun to record, very danceable, and super hooky… But they weren’t necessarily “me,” so to speak.

So, when I had the opportunity to chat with Cee Lo one-on-one backstage, I asked him how he had managed to stay true to himself as an artist for all of these years, despite changing musical trends and outside pressures…

His answer was plain and simple. He said to just do what you love.

That was a life changing moment for me – not only because a childhood dream to one day sing at the Grammy Awards had just come true – but also because the advice inspired me to refocus my energy onto writing and recording the music that really moved me… the classic, timeless, adult-contemporary style of music I’ve always loved most.

I had always respected Cee Lo’s musical integrity throughout his career, so his advice really resonated for me at that time.

TDQ: What is the worst advice you have ever gotten?

CRG: I remember the occasion as if it was yesterday…

I was at the Beverly Hills Hotel many years ago, meeting with a music consultant for the first time. I was new to the business, just figuring out who to trust – and who not to trust – and fortuitously, Clive Davis entered the hotel lobby just as we were leaving…

Here was an industry great, one of those music icons I had only read about in the trades and seen on television back in Philadelphia. And I am ALWAYS the type of person to say hello to anyone – approach them with an outstretched hand and introduce myself. That’s just my nature.

But, the person with whom I had been meeting told me to lay low, stay cool, back off and not go and introduce myself to Clive. He said it would have been unprofessional and would have made HIM look bad since he and Clive “regularly” do business together. (Right…) Using every ounce of willpower within me, I respected this person’s wishes and listened to his advice.

That was a giant mistake. It turns out that this individual was not the well-connected, savvy executive he claimed to be… But it wasn’t the missed “opportunity” with Clive that angered me most. I knew that I could meet him at any point down the line.

It was the fact that I acted against my OWN instincts and heeded someone’s bad advice out of the sheer desire to appear polite. That was the one and only time I did not do what I felt I NEEDED to do at a particular moment – for me. The situation taught me the important lesson that if I don’t “do it” for myself, no one else will.

TDQ: Aside from singing, you’re also a tremendously talented songwriter, what’s the hardest part of writing a great song?

CRG: Thank you!

I always begin with the title. Before there is a melody or a story, for me, it begins with a title that encapsulates what I want to say. It must be interesting enough to draw people in, authentic enough for listeners to connect with, broad enough to leave room for a story to unfold,and catchy enough for people to remember it. So I would say that the title is both the most important part of a song, and the hardest part of a song to write.
Carly Robyn Green
TDQ: You’ve been called the “Female Michael Buble.” How long do you think until he’s being called the “Male Carly Robyn Green?”

CRG: Well, I’m waiting for his call to record a duet with me called “IF HE NEVER SAID HELLO!” And I wouldn’t be unhappy if he told me that he wanted to cover my swing tune, “HAS ANYBODY WRITTEN YOU A LOVE SONG?” I would’t mind that at all!

TDQ: What project are you working on now?

CRG: I just finished my new record, “WHAT LOVE IS ALL ABOUT.” Continue reading

EGOT-Achieving Director Mike Nichols Dies At 83

Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols, center, with Graduate actor Dustin Hoffman, right, and RECOiL writer/director Brian DiMaio left. The three had begun meetings to capitalize on the success of The Graduate by making The Graduate 2: Post Graduate Work. Unfortunately the project never materialized.

New York—Director Mike Nichols, one of the handful of individuals who won at least one each of an Oscar, Emmy Award, Tony Award and Grammy, died of a heart attack Wednesday at his apartment. He was 83.

Nichols won an Academy Award for directing Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft in “The Graduate.” He won a Grammy Award in 1961 for his comedy album, “An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May.” He won a total of nine Tony Awards and another four Emmy Awards.

Besides “The Graduate,” Nichols also directed such big screen gems as “Carnal Knowledge,” “Silkwood,” “RECOiL” and “Poscards From the Edge.”

Nichols is survived by his wife Diane Sawyer, children Daisy, Max and Jenny and four grandchildren. Continue reading

Glen A. Larson, To Whom Countless TV Fans Owe A Debt That Can Never Be Repaid, Has Died

Glen A. Larson

Glen A. Larson, left, and RECOiL writer/director Brian DiMaio, right, at Robin’s Nest estate discussing the possibility of making RECOiL a TV series instead of a movie. Larson’s advice: “An hour and a half of RECOiL is plenty.”

Santa Monica, CA— Prolific television writer and the creator or co-creater of some amazing shows Glen A. Larson died Friday after a battle with esophageal cancer. He was 77.

If you watched any television whatsoever between 1975 and 1985, odds are good you saw something he wrote or produced.

Larson was the showrunner and creator or co-creator of such 70s and 80s television gems as “Magnum, PI,” “Manimal,” “Knight Rider,” “Quincy, ME,” “Battlestar Galactica” and “Fall Guy.” First getting his start as a singer in the musical group “The Four Preps,” he also wrote many of the songs used as his series’ theme songs. Take a minute to go watch the opening to the “Fall Guy,” and sing along to “The Unknown Stuntman.” We’ll wait, go ahead.

Larson was also adept at adapting films or film genres to being successful on TV. He helped bring galaxy-hopping sic-fi in the same vein as “Star Wars” to TV, with shows like “Galactica” and “Buck Rogers.” In his final years, he was working feverishly to adapt “RECOiL” into a TV series.

He is survived by his third wife, Jeannie, and his nine children: James, Kimberly, Christopher, Glen, Michelle,David, Caroline, Danielle and Nicole. Continue reading

Recent College Graduate “100% Certain” She Would Be A Better Parent Than Her Older Sister, Who Is On Her Fourth Child

Contrasting Parenting Styles

Contrasting Parenting Styles

Yakima, WA—Recent college graduate and coffee house barista Nicole Baggett, 23, said she is constantly trying to give her older sister, Shannon, 31, advice on raising her four children, but, “Shannon just continuously dismisses every single bit of my advice, like just because I’ve never had a child, I don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s ridiculous.”

Nicole said she has read “dozens, maybe a hundred” articles on parenting in both her junior year psychology class and her own free time, and has gotten plenty of wonderful ideas on child-rearing from Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog. She said she doesn’t understand why her sister and brother-in-law, who both work as social workers, don’t follow her advice when disciplining or spending quality time with her two nieces and two nephews, ages nine down to eight months old.

“It pains me, it really does, to see her lose her temper with her kids and act like she’s so tired all the time,” Baggett said. “I know I could do the job better than her. I’d be so much more patient, and understanding if they were my four children. But she just won’t listen to me.”

Nicole said she constantly e-mails articles and fun ways to spend entire Saturday afternoons with children “and terrific arts and crafts ideas, and stuff about starting a garden and reading entire book series with children on a lazy Sunday afternoon, but it’s like she thinks I’m an idiot or something. My other girlfriends, we talk about it all the time when we go to the movies two or three times a week. They don’t understand it either. Like last Wednesday at brunch with my old sorority sisters, none of us could understand why she doesn’t appreciate what I’m trying to do for her. Or when we went to that impromptu concert last Monday night, we discussed it there before we headed to that after party.”

“I don’t have time for this,” Shannon Baggett said when asked to do an interview for this article. “If you want to meet me at one of the six kid’s birthday parties I have squeeze in this Saturday, I can talk to you then. Otherwise, you’re out of luck.”

“Typical,” Nicole said. “Just typical.” Continue reading

Her Dreams Were Her Ticket Out; Actress Marcia Strassman Dies At 66

Marcia Strassman

Marcia Strassman, fourth from left (third from right), met RECOiL writer/director Brian DiMaio, far right, when DiMaio was touring with Daryl Hall, second from right, and John Oates, second from right, playing backing keyboard.

Sherman Oaks, CA—Marcia Strassman, who gained fame for pretending to laugh at her TV husband’s jokes/stories on “Welcome Back, Kotter,” died after a seven-year battle with breast cancer. She was 66.

Strassman first garnered national attention as Nurse Cutler in six episodes of “M*A*S*H” during the show’s early run. Besides starring with Gabe Kapler in “Kotter,” she also appeared in “Magnum, PI,” “The Love Boat” and “Booker.”

On the big screen, Strassman appeared as Rick Moranis’ wife in “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” and its sequel, the equally-beliveable “Honey, I Blew up the Kid,” as well as the films “Another Stakeout,” “RECOiL” and “Earth Minus Zero.”

Strassman is survived by her brother, sister and daughter, Elizabeth Collector. Continue reading