Michael Learned, Beverley Staunton Plus a Tribute to Pete Rugolo: Next on TV CONFIDENTIAL

Actress Michael Learned, singer Beverley Staunton and music journalist Jon Burlingame will be our guests on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, Friday at 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org.

Winner of four Emmy Awards, including three for her portrayal of family matriarch Olivia Walton on The Waltons, the long-running CBS drama that was a Thursday night ritual for many of us every week throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Michael Learned is also an accomplished stage actress who has headlined many productions on and off Broadway, including Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, the national tour of On Golden Pond, Wendy Wasserstein’s The Sisters Rosenweig and Lewis Black’s One Slight Hitch.

Michael Learned is currently starring, along with Granville van Dusen, in Southern Comforts, a romantic “opposites attract” comedy about a Southern widow and a New Jersey widower who find love late in life. Hailed by The New York Times as “a delightful and sneakily sexy romance,” Southern Comforts is playing at The Falcon Theatre in Burbank (818-955-8101; www.falcontheatre.com) through Sunday, Nov. 13. We’ll talk about what attracted Michael to the play, her early background as an actress, her fondness for the theatre and, of course, The Waltons when she joins us in our second hour.

Also joining us this week will be Beverley Staunton, primary lead vocalist on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars — a role that requires the kind of versatility that Beverley has shown throughout her musical career, which has seen her perform with such artists as Bette Midler, Michael Buble, Julio Iglesias, Barry Manilow, Kelly Clarkson, Lionel Ritchie, Martina McBride, Dionne Warwick and James Taylor.

Beverley’s new CD, Everything Changes, is an upbeat collection of songs that showcases her musical style as a Country/Pop artist. We’ll talk about the CD, as well as go behind the scenes of Dancing with the Stars, when Beverley joins us at the bottom of our second hour.

Our first hour will include a tribute to the late Pete Rugolo, the Emmy Award-winning composer and arranger who wrote the theme music for such classic TV shows as Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Thriller, Run for Your Life and The Fugitive. Though many of us think of Pete in terms of his TV compositions, his career in television only scratched the surface of his many contributions to the world of music.

Joining us as we remember Pete Rugolo will be music journalist and music historian Jon Burlingame. Jon’s writings on the subject of music in film and television include such books as TV’s Biggest Hits: The Story of Television Themes from Dragnet to Friends, which includes comments from Jon’s interviews with Pete Rugolo and other great composers. We’ll also feature some of Pete’s work in television as part of our bumper music in our first hour.

Also this week: Phil Gries with Part 2 of our look back of the early television career of Woody Allen, including rare audio of his appearances with Johnny Carson, Steve Allen and Merv Griffin. Allen’s life and career will be the subject of Seriously Funny: The Comic Art of Woody Allen, a two-part documentary that will air Nov. 20-21 on PBS.

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