Music News & Reviews


Downtown Durham, NC, becomes magnet for diners, art-lovers

On a recent Sunday, chatter from people waiting on the sidewalk for tables at Dame's Chicken and Waffles wafted on a fall breeze across a tree-lined plaza where several people sat, read and sipped coffee. Across the street, a group celebrating their friends' anniversary wandered into the barroom of Pizzeria Toro to drink cocktails and eat Neapolitan-style slices.


Celebrity birthdays for the week of Oct. 11-17

Oct. 11: Actor Ron Leibman is 78. Country singer Gene Watson is 72. Singer Daryl Hall of Hall and Oates is 69. Actor David Morse ("St. Elsewhere") is 62. Actor Stephen Spinella ("24") is 59. Actress Joan Cusak is 53. Guitarist Scott Johnson of Gin Blossoms is 53. Actor-writer Michael J. Nelson ("Mystery Science Theater 3000") is 51. Actor Sean Patrick Flanery is 50. Actor Luke Perry is 49. Actor Artie Lange ("MADtv") is 48. Actor Jane Krakowski is 47. Rapper U-God of Wu-Tang Clan is 45. Actress Constance Zimmer ("UnREAL," "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.") is 45. Rapper MC Lyte is 44. Singer NeeNa Lee is 40. Actress Emily Deschanel ("Bones") is 39. Actor Trevor Donovan ("90210") is 37. Actress Michelle Trachtenberg ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Inspector Gadget") is 30.

Music News & Reviews

Neil Sedaka doesn't quite have a million of 'em, but he's close

The first hit Neil Sedaka ever wrote, with partner Howard Greenfield, was singer Connie Francis' "Stupid Cupid." Shortly after that, working five days a week in New York's famous Brill Building, he landed hits with R&B singers Clyde McPhatter and Laverne Baker. All this from white Brooklyn kids in the late 1950s. Did segregation come into play? "Not at all," recalls Sedaka, 76, in a phone interview. Then he shifts to a different question. "I used to go in as a teenager. I took the subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan and played for Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler at Atlantic Records, hoping they would not only take the song, but to sign me as a singer. But they didn't.

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