DIARY - 20/1/08 - KACEY JONES & OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN
AND OLIVIA SHARE SORDID LIVES
was a match made in heaven - touring Nashville comedienne Kacey Jones
and singing actress Olivia Newton-John.
They met at a Hollywood party for the Del Shores directed movie Sordid
Lives that starred Olivia as a former Texan convict and latter
day lesbian country singer.
Kacey and the late movie co-producer Sharyn Lane - her long time writing
partner penned three songs for the "black comedy about white
Sordid Lives parodies the funeral of a matriarchal Texan grandmother
who dies after tripping on one of the two wooden legs of her two timing
lover, played by Beau Bridges.
The year was 2001 and Olivia suggested Kacey belatedly tour Australia
- a dream she had since forming Ethel & The Shameless Hussies
That tour suggestion followed a lengthy conversation about romance,
death, music and Australian Rugby stars.
was cast as a former Texan convict and lesbian country singer," Jones
told Nu Country TV on the eve of her debut with Becky Hobbs at The Noise
Bar at the Railway Hotel, Brunswick on Friday February 1.
was a tad different to Grease and Xanadu so we had a broad palate to work
The resulting Jones-Lane songs - Someone to Grow Young With, No Fault
Love and Get Off the Cross, We Need the Wood - resonated with
Kacey hopes for a reunion with Olivia during her tour of Australia - the
home of her former fiancee, a former Sydney Rugby star.
IN THE RAW
met Olivia at the party at Sharyn's house," Jones added.
is a lovely person. She suggested I tour Australia - a dream I'm
"I also shared with Olivia that I had nearly married a professional
rugby player from Sydney back in the late seventies," Jones
"I met him while I was playing at a resort in Alberta, Canada.
She asked me why the nuptials never came to pass. I told her it
was because after a few months of dating, I discovered his favourite
thing to do at night was to stand at the end of the bed, butt-naked,
and sing rugby songs, with a beer in each hand. To which she replied,
"I'll bet he was still wearing his socks." She was correct
- wonder how she knew? Do all professional Australian rugby players
sing naked at the end of the bed with their socks on?"
Newton John >
flirted with fame with MCA Records trio Ethel & The Shameless Hussies
in 1988 during her parallel comedy and country careers.
She and Lane later wrote three songs for Sordid Lives that starred
Leslie Jordan, Delta Burke, Kirk Geiger and Earl Houston Bullock.
It won awards
in both film and music categories at U.S. film festivals including best
feature at the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival, best
soundtrack at the L A Outfest and best feature at Philadelphia International
Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.
Leslie Jordan also won the Grand Jury Prize Best Actor at the New York
International Independent Film & Video Festival.
Newton-John sang the movie theme and gospel songs Just As I Am, Will
the Circle Be Unbroken, Trust Yourself and Coming Home.
Lives is a hilarious 111-minutes twisted tale of three generations
of a typical dysfunctional family wrapped in white trash wrapping.
When an untimely death occurs under the most unusual circumstances,
a scandalous affair is also brought into the open, along with an assortment
of long buried gems of dirty laundry.
After Peggy dies in a freak accident, her extended family must decide
how to preserve her now-tainted image.
But dying on the out of town No Tell Motel room floor where she rendezvoused
with a handicapped lover is a challenge for upholding her reputation.
Poking fun at small town southern sensibilities, the movie relives
forbidden romance, told through the opinions of her equally mixed
up loved ones.
Bridges) believes Peggy is his one true love, even if he is already married
to calorie challenged Noleta (an eerily cast Delta Burke).
Although he's blamed for Peggy's death, G.W. didn't kill her on purpose.
How was G.W.
to know Peggy would trip on his wooden legs on the way to the powder room?
This plot's premise, along with other far-reaching scenarios, rounds out
this demented black comedy.
Among other characters are a grandson trying to find his identity in West
Hollywood and the actor son Ty (Geiger) who has spent the past twenty-three
years dressed as Tammy Wynette.
Ty, a struggling actor in Los Angeles, muses to his therapist about coming
out to mum at granny's funeral.
His uncle Earl "Brother Boy" Ingram (Jordan) - the institutionalised
drag queen with a penchant for Tammy Wynette - stolidly attempts to become
ungay with overzealous help from his own therapist (Alexander), who's
equally desperate to prove she can "de-gay" him and thereby
secure a prime slot on Oprah.
BACK TO KACEY AND BECKY
Oklahoma born country star Becky Hobbs, touring here as The Shameless
Hussy & The Cowgirl, sang for their supper on the Tamworth Country
Music Train that departed Geelong and Melbourne on Saturday January 19.
Syndicated radio comic Jones is best known for her hits with You're
The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly, Every Man I Love Is Either Married, Gay
Or Dead, Last Night I Really Laid Down The Law and I Could Get
Over Him If I Could Get Under You.
"I wrote many songs with Sharyn," Jones confided.
Lane, whose husband Ron Leavitt co-created the hit TV show Married With
Children, died of cancer in 2005.
"Sharyn was not only one of my closest friends, she was my most frequent
writing partner for many years. Sadly, she succumbed to pancreatic cancer
in 2005 after a long, brave, battle. I sang at her funeral in Los Angeles.
She was one in a million. I miss her and I miss writing with her. In addition
to all the songs we wrote, we also wrote a screenplay called Ethel and
The Shameless Hussies. It was optioned twice by Universal Pictures in
the early 90's but they never developed it into a film."
KINKY AND MICKEY
Jones, also a prolific mainstream country music hit writer, produced Pearls
In The Snow - the tribute album for singing Texan crime novelist and
failed Gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman.
San Francisco Mabel Joy - her tribute disc to late Texan singer-songwriter
Mickey Newbury - was nominated for a Grammy.
Rhodes scholar Kris Kristofferson and fellow singing Texan actor Waylon
Payne, who played Jerry Lee Lewis in the Johnny Cash movie Walk The
Line, appeared in her video for the song.
Jones' touring partner Hobbs celebrates her 58th birthday in Tamworth
on January 24.
Hobbs, launched on Mary Tyler Moore's MTM label in 1988, is known for
Jones On The Juke Box, Mama Was A Working Man, They Always Look Better
When They're Leavin', Angels Above Us and The Boots I Came To Town
Melbourne country singer Leslie Avril cut Hobbs' song Cowgirl's Heart
on her album Champagne & Desolation.
Jones and Hobbs perform The Noise Bar, Railway Hotel, Brunswick, from
8 p m on Friday February 1.
CLICK HERE for the concert
flyer. (pdf 111kb)
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