Thursday, August 28, 2014


The annual Emmy Awards were televised recently.  Congrats to “Breaking Bad” for winning the ‘Drama Series’ Emmy.  “Breaking Bad” stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn won in their respective categories of ‘Actor, Drama Series’, ‘Supporting Actor, Drama Series’ and ‘Supporting Actress, Drama Series’.  Jim Parsons won ‘Actor, Comedy Series’ for a fourth time in his role as Sheldon Cooper on “Big Bang Theory”.  
The four major awards that many performers aspire to are collectively known as ETOG which stands for Emmy (television), Tony (Broadway), Oscar (film) and Grammy (music).  Very few performers win all four...many have won three.  So that’s what our quiz is about this time.  Singers, actors and songwriters who’ve won either three of four of these prestigious awards.  You just have to figure out who they are.  And the ETOG award goes to.....

1.  This songwriter has his ETOG scorecard filled.  He’s won all four major show business awards.  He tasted success initially with a Top 20 hit he wrote that Lesley “It’s My Party” Gore recorded in 1965.  He later became an in demand composer for movies (“The Sting”) and for the Broadway stage.  He’s actually won multiple Emmy and Academy Awards.  He’s closely associated with Barbra Streisand and wrote several hit songs for her.  Can you name him?
2.  This British singer/songwriter is only missing an Emmy award.  He has the other three.  His musical success started in the late 1960’s and has continued into every decade since.  He’s sold more than 250 albums worldwide and racked up ten #1 hits.  He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.  He’s the ‘Rocket Man’ and ‘Honky Cat’ who won’t ever go breaking your heart.  Who is he?               
3.  She started her career as a back-up singer for producer Phil Spector, then teamed up with her future husband for hit records, a successful weekly TV show and a couple of not-so-hot movies.  After they divorced, her acting career really took off, plus she had a slew of hit solo records (including four # 1’s).  She still tours, despite a ‘Farewell Tour’ several years ago.  She has three of the four ETOG awards.  Who is this one-name performer?             

4.  This songwriter has dozens of # 1 songs to his credit.  His early work includes a half dozen hits with Dionne Warwick.  Other artists who’ve had Top 10 hits with his songs include Dusty Springfield, Gene Pitney, Carpenters, B.J. Thomas, Neil Diamond, Christopher Cross, Bobby Vinton, Tom Jones, Jackie DeShannon Herb Alpert and The Shirelles.  The Beatles even recorded one of his songs on their debut album.  He branched out into film work and composing for Broadway.  He won 2 Tony Awards and a Grammy for one of those plays that he scored as well as three Academy Award, but no Emmy.  He’s made cameo appearances in all three “Austin Powers” movies.  Can you name this composer?                        
5.  This award winning composer/singer loves LA.  And well he should.  His family has been in the film composing business for generations.  In 1978, he had a hit single that caused a ‘short’ (HINT ALERT) bit of controversy.  His film scoring includes “Toy Story I, II & III”, “Ragtime”, “A Bug’s Life”, “Seabiscuit”, “Monsters Inc.” and “Monsters University” among many others.  He’s been nominated for Academy Awards twenty times and has two ‘Best Song’ Oscar statues (2002 and 2011).  He also has three Emmy’s and six Grammy’s.  So who is this guy?                                                                


1.  The late Marvin Hamlish won four Emmy awards, a Tony, three Oscars and four Grammy awards– the quadruple crown of show biz awards.  The Tony was for his score to “A Chorus Line” (for which he also won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama).  Marvin composed the scores to 40 films that included his three Oscar wins (all in 1973) for “The Way We Were” (‘Best Original Dramatic Score plus ‘Best Original Song’) and “The Sting” (‘Best Original Song Score and/or Adaptation’).  He won his first Grammy Award in 1973 for ‘Album of Best Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special’ for “The Way We Were”.  In ’74, he won three times – ‘Best New Artist’ along with ‘Best Pop Instrumental Performance’ for “The Entertainer” from “The Sting” and ‘Song Of The Year’ for “The Way We Were”.  Marvin Hamlish passed away on August 6, 2012.  Oh yeah, that Lesley Gore hit he wrote was 1965’s “Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows”.                   

2.  Elton John has won 3 of the 4 biggest awards – an Oscar, a Tony and a six pack of Grammy Awards (plus many others).  The only one to elude him, thus far, is an Emmy.  His first # 1 hit single was 1973’s “Crocodile Rock” and his latest was “Candle In The Wind 1997”, a tribute to Princess Diana that Elton sang at her funeral in Westminster Abbey in London.  He’s charted over 80 hits on Billboards’ Hot 100 and has 5 Grammy Awards plus a 2001 Grammy Legend Award.  His ‘Best Original Song’ Oscar (1995) came courtesy of “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” from the Disney motion picture, “The Lion King”, a collaboration with lyricist Tim Rice.  The Tony Award in 2000 for ‘Best Original Musical Score’, also a collaboration with Tim Rice, was for the Broadway play “Aida”.                
3.  Cher also has three out of 4 ETOG awards on her fireplace mantle (since I’ve never been to Cher’s house, I don’t actually know if she even has a fireplace, let alone a mantle).  Her only missing award is a Tony.  Of course, she already had a Sonny, but that’s a whole different story.  Her 1988 ‘Best Actress In A Leading Role’ Academy Award was for her role in “Moonstruck”.  Cher’s Emmy in 2003 was for ‘Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special’ for “Cher: The Farewell Tour”.  In 2004, Cher won a ‘Best Dance Recording’ Grammy award for the song “Believe”.  She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that she shares with former husband and singing partner Sonny Bono.  Cher’s D2K (“Dressed To Kill”) tour starts in September with her only Canadian date (so far) in Toronto on October 4th.

4.  If we celebrated Burt Bacharach for his amazing musical talents, then we’d all be humming melodies.  We can never forget the role that lyricist Hal David played in the Burt Bacharach success story.  Burt won two Academy Awards in 1969 for Hal David and his work on “Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid”.  “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” won ‘Best Song’ and Burt also won for ‘Best Original Score For A Motion Picture’.  Burt’s third Oscar was in 1981 for ‘Best Song’ for “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)”.  He has eight Grammy Awards, including ‘The Trustees Award’ (with Hal David) and a ‘Lifetime Achievement’.  His two Tony awards (and one Grammy) were for a collaboration with playwright/author/screenwriter Neil Simon on the Broadway hit “Promises, Promises”.  Burt was married to actress Angie Dickinson from 1966 until 1980 then in 1982, he wed fellow songwriter Carol Bayer Sager.

5.  Randy Newman first arrived on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in late 1977 with his controversial hit, “Short People”, which climbed to # 2 in ’78 and featured two of The Eagles (Glenn Frey and Timothy B. Schmit) on backing vocals.  While his chart success has been spotty, his career as a film/television composer has been spectacular.  His three Emmy Awards are for ‘Achievement In Music and Lyrics’ for the short lived series “Cop Rock” (1991), ‘Main Title Theme Music” and ‘Original Music and Lyrics’ for the long running TV series “Monk” (2004/2010).  Randy’s six Grammy Awards include ‘Best Score Soundtrack Album’ for “Toy Story 3” in 2011.  His two ‘Best Original Song’ Oscar wins are for 2002’s “If I Didn’t Have You” from “Monsters, Inc” and 2011’s “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3”.  Randy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.  He has three uncles who were all successful film composers, Lionel Newman, Emil Newman and Alfred Newman.  Several of his cousins also compose music for film.    

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