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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Feisty Girl From Flushing

Greetings, friends. Today I attended a fund raising luncheon hosted by Fran Drescher to support her new groundbreaking organization Cancer Schmancer. Fran, the star of the TV series "The Nanny" for which I got to write and sing the TV theme, is a uterine cancer survivor and now a powerful healthcare advocate. Her lobbying efforts recently helped pass "Joanna's Law", a bi-partisan bill also known as "The Gynecologic Cancer Education and Awareness Act." Before a packed room of concerned citizens including actresses Kim Cattrall and Donna Dixon, Fran spoke eloquently about the imperative need for better health care for women.

Here's how she describes her mission: "to ensure ALL women's cancers be diagnosed in STAGE 1, when it is most curable. Early detection equals survival. It's as simple as that. Through education, legislation and social reform, we will not stop until the very landscape of America's women's healthcare consciousness has been replanted."

The health of women is an extremely vital and neglected issue that affects everyone. Please take a moment to check out Fran's website and become part of the movement for early cancer detection and longer lives- www.cancerschmancer.org.


Saturday, February 3, 2007

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

Only a few days after my last blog on global warming, today’s New York Times released an article by Elisabeth Rosenthal and Andrew Revkin who write, “In a grim and powerful assessment of the future of the planet, the leading international network of climate scientists has concluded for the first time that global warming is “unequivocal” and that human activity is the main driver, “very likely” causing most of the rise in temperatures since 1950.”

As disturbing as this is, it’s gratifying to see that this crisis is starting to command the appropriate level of concern it deserves on an international level. Please, as a caring citizen read the rest of the piece if you haven’t already. For the entire article go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/03/science/earth/03climate.html

There is good news. It’s still not too late to make significant changes in restoring the earth to a much healthier condition. How much time we really have remains to be seen. But what is amazing about this crisis, is that if we unify as nations to take responsibility towards the fate of our Earth, we can bring about untold other benefits to our economies, our relationships and our future as a global community.

It’s time to get creative, passionate and proactive. How many heroes are among us? Perhaps all of us. Let’s dedicate our actions to our children and our children’s children. They deserve to count on tomorrow. So do we.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It's Too Darn Hot

Greetings, fellow music lovers and concerned citizens. Those of you who regularly keep tabs here are aware of my passionate concern about global warming. I recently wrote a song called "Tomorrow Is Today" on this subject and am still trying to find ways to let it be of service to the cause. Barbra Streisand is apparently still considering recording the piece from what I've been told. I've sent the song to Bill Clinton and Al Gore who have been working tirelessly on trying to create true positive change on this issue. I've also sent it to President Bush who I pray will take a much more active role in acknowledging this threat and finding effective ways to arrest further damage.

The title of the song is taken from a quote by Martin Luther King. You can listen to my recording of it, arranged by my friend Irwin Fisch, with this link: http://www.annhamptoncallaway.com/news.html#anthem

Here are the words:


Words and music
By Ann Hampton Callaway

1. Now in this moment
The corners of the Earth are melting away
How can we stand here
And watch the end begin with nothing to say?
So many signs
Of a planet in distress
Still, we close our eyes pretending not to see
Ev’ry hurricane, ev’ry storm
Grows worse as Earth grows warm
When nature warns her children
We must need the call
Let us heed the call

Tomorrow is today
Tomorrow is today
Our only home might slip away
Tomorrow is today

2. Come, ev’ry nation
All keepers of the earth- man, woman and child
Heal and protect her
Her forests, oceans, glaciers and creatures wild
All things that live
Have a purpose and a place
Lose the balance and we’ve lost each other
But we have the chance we need
If we, the people, lead
There still is time to change
If we don’t hesitate
We cannot wait

Tomorrow is today
Tomorrow is today
Our only home might slip away
Tomorrow is today

3. INSTRUMENTAL 1st half with spoken word:
“After the first picture of earth was taken from space, the poet Archibald MacLeish wrote: ‘To see the Earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the Earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold-brothers who know now that they are truly brothers.’”

Let us lay down our arms
And raise our hearts up high
We can be the heroes that our children need
So their fam’lies live to see
Nature’s majesty
Let us honor life
As ev’ry day we strive
To help the Earth survive

Tomorrow is today
Tomorrow is today
Our only home can’t slip away
Tomorrow is today

© 2006 Works of Heart Publishing
Administered by Williamson Music

On a more practical note, I want to share with you an invitation today from Barbara Boxer to take part in prioritizing possible global warming solutions. No matter where you are in the world at this moment, please take a few minutes to participate and help make this a bipartisan and international effort. The magnitude of our climate control crisis is universal. Here is the link to Global Warming- Stop It:

And here are some other links to explore to become a part of the solution:
Environmental Defense- http://fightglobalwarming.com/?source=searchg_200701
An Inconvenient Truth- http://www.climatecrisis.net/
EPA Kid's Site- http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/kids/
Union of Concerned Scientists- http://www.ucsusa.org/
Spectra Fund- http://www.spectrafund.com/sf/appmanager/spectraportal/welcome

Thanks so much for caring and thinking of generations to come and their welfare.
Each of us can play a vital role in safeguarding our future and the future of our children.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Song and Winding Road

Greetings from c-c-cold New York City. I was away at my beach retreat this week working on a big folder of unfinished songs from the last year or so. I'm happy to report that four new babies have been born this week! The muse/stork has been kind to me.

Last night I went to "Spring Awakening" on Broadway. I enjoyed the show and thought the score was refreshing and provocative. However, the phallic insistence on whipping out microphones for every number seemed truly silly. I think even Freud would have been annoyed. Tonight I am finally going to see "Company". I loved the latest production of "Sweeney Todd" (much to my surprise) so I am really excited to see this version of the first Broadway show my parents took my sister Liz and me to see. Hats off to Barbara Walsh for having the guts to put her own stamp on the role of Joanne. Elaine Stritch was so phenomenal in that role that I know she was instrumental in leaving no doubt that I had to become a performer.

One of the fun things about blogs that I want to get into is having more of a conversation with you. I have begun thinking about my next CD for Telarc and before our meeting in March to map out details, I wanted to reach out to you and tap your ideas. I love doing symphony pops concerts and so we are strongly leaning towards doing a symphonic CD with a European orchestra. Are there songs you have always wanted to hear me sing? Is there a song you've discovered that you think would benefit from the Callaway touch? A song you wish I would write that makes a statement about something on your mind? Songs you've heard me perform that I've never recorded? We are planning to go into the studio this August or September for a spring release. Since I intend this to be the most spectacular CD I have recorded, thanks for any inspiration you can offer.

For those of you in the Tri-state area, I will be performing tomorrow night with some illustrious jazz talents in a concert called "My Favorite Things" at Symphony Space. There are still tickets available so check it out in Latest News on this site and come if you can. For tickets call 212.864.5400.

My friends, thanks for reading and thanks for writing, should you be inspired. Take care, stay warm and be of good cheer!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Groggy, Foggy Blog No More

Hi everybody. Sorry you haven't heard from me in a while. It wasn't for lack of trying. Blogger.com has been going through some growing pains ever since it's changed its format. After all the bugs they couldn't de-bug and the full force of Murphy's Law in motion, Samantha, my wondrous webmistress, saved the day and constructed this blog all over in the new format so we can be in touch. Thank you, Ms. Beattie, you are the best.

Since I last published, my uncle Bert, who I last wrote about here, has gotten much better. He is finally off his tubes and even back to work and we are overjoyed about that. He loved the music I wrote to his poem when I sang it to him on the phone a few weeks ago. Yesterday I was finally able to get into a studio and record it. I am so grateful the angels are watching over him and speeding up his recovery.

This last weekend I got to sing with The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra under the baton of one of my favorite conductors, Jeff Tyzik. Since it was my Vancouver debut, there were thousands of "Callaway virgins" to deflower. What a glow there was at The Orpheum those two nights! There weren't even enough cigarettes to pass out after the shows! Thanks to Jeff and the great musicians of the VSO, it was a true joy to perform in one of the most enchanting cities I have been privileged to visit. If you have never been to Vancouver, friends, make it a destination for one of your next trips (preferably when the weather is warmer.) The only thing more beautiful than the mountains, forests and water views were the hearts of the people I met there.

I haven't stopped thinking about the amazing performance I saw on December 29th when I had the good fortune to see Grey Gardens on Broadway. What an original and haunting show this is with a once-in-a-lifetime role for the amazing Christine Ebersole. My buddy Bob Stillman plays the fey musician companion in the show and I was so happy to see how beautifully featured his talents were in this piece. Christine absolutely knocked my socks off and Mary Louise Wilson was awe inspiring as well. It was fun visiting backstage after and hearing of some of the sagas involved with putting this all together. Make sure to see the show before the Tony Awards are given and it becomes impossible to get in. And do see the movie it was based on before you go so you get the whole picture of why these women are turning in such remarkable performances as the real-life Beales.

I want to give a big cyber hug to Jennifer Hudson for making me sob every time she sang a note in the movie "Dreamgirls." What an exciting and beautiful talent she is. Make sure you see this movie and if you have them, take your kids. Movie musicals can be so inspiring to young people- that's how my sister Liz and I began dreaming of the lives we wanted to create for ourselves as performers.

Before I close, I want to honor two great jazz artists who passed away recently- Alice Coltrane and Michael Brecker. What a shock it has been to lose both of them. May their legacy live on and may their families and friends receive every blessing of support they need to get through the losses of their supremely gifted loved ones.

Every day there seems to be another reminder of how precious life is. For me and many of my friends, it's been a bittersweet time of many illnesses and deaths of late. Hope you each are doing something beautiful with every day you are given. I send you my heartfelt wishes for your health and happiness. Take good care and thanks for reading.