You may not know Darlene Love’s name (though you should).
You sure know her music. Under Phil Spector, she sang lead on the Crystals’ “He’s a Rebel.” She worked with everyone from Sam Cooke, Dionne Warwick and the Beach Boys to Elvis Presley, Tom Jones and Sonny & Cher. She performed on Broadway (“Hairspray,” “Grease,” and as herself in the first jukebox musical ever, “Leader of the Pack”), then won a Grammy for her featured role in the Oscar-winning “20 Feet From Stardom,” about backup singers.
The New York Times said: “Darlene Love’s thunderbolt voice is as embedded in the history of rock and roll as Eric Clapton’s guitar or Bob Dylan’s lyrics.”
Oh, yeah. She’s ranked among Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers. And in 2011, she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
On July 16, Darlene Love comes to the Levitt Pavilion. It’s a benefit performance that helps support dozens of nights of free programs. Tickets go on sale today (Monday, June 21) at 2 p.m. Click here for details, and to purchase.
So what free programs will Darlene Love’s show support?
Here’s the rest of June:
June 22: Treehouse Comedy
June 24: Aztec Two-Step 2.0, featuring Westport’s own Dodie Pettit and Rex Fowler
June 25: PJ Pacifico (full band show)
June 26: Nicole Henry
June 27: Bunky Griptite Orchestra
June 29: Suzanne Sheridan Band
June 30: Grammy winner Joanie Leeds — Children’s Series launch.
For free tickets to those June shows, more details, and a calendar for July and August, click here.
Tomorrow is worldwide “Make Music Day.” There are more than 1,000 events, in over 120 countries.
Unfortunately, there is no specific Westport celebration. But residents Louis Fuertes and Pat Blaufuss — members of the 4-person band Picnic on the 4th of July — will perform at Old Post Tavern in Fairfield (7 to 8 p.m.).
The CUkes — a ukulele group that originated at the Westport Weston Family YMCA — entertain in the Nordstrom Courtyard of The SoNo Collection mall (Norwalk, 6 p.m.).
And Talking Heads members Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth — who live just over the line in Fairfield — are part of an international “This Moment in Time” musical event. Click here for details.
It’s one of Westport’s lost, mostly forgotten mysteries: Pearl Bailey’s early-1950s recording of “I Caught Her in the Kitchen Playing Westport.”
It was even the subject of a previous Friday Flashback. But all I had were the lyrics. Even YouTube — where you can find anything — came up blank.
Today — thanks to the magic of Ellen and Mark Naftalin, and Miggs Burroughs — all of “06880” (and the world) can hear the sultry tune.
Ellen and Mark — longtime Westporters and musicians; she’s also a historian, he’s a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band — found the song.
In an album in their very own collection. It’s called — appropriately — “More Songs for Adults Only.”
Miggs turned the vinyl into an Mp3.
Click below to listen.
And if you want to sing along with Pearl, the lyrics are below.
There’s a little ranch house in the vale, Pretty little ranch house up for sale; All the shutters drawn, Tenants all gone And thereby hangs a long, unhappy tale.
‘Cause he caught her in the kitchen playing Westport, A game indigenous to suburban life, Where you take a wife of whom you’re not the husband, While someone else’s husband takes your wife.
Some people may claim that the name of the game is Scarsdale, Or Beverly Hills, or even Shaker Heights, But commuters from Manhattan call it Westport. And it’s the game that some of our local leading lights play To while away those cold Connecticut nights.
Now in that little ranch house used to dwell An advertising feller and his Nell. Two kids and a pup, living it up, And everything was sounder than a bell — ‘Til he caught her in the kitchen playing Westport Between the washing machine and thermostat.
The husband thought it really was an outrage. Said he, “You might at least remove your hat!” Well, they may play it that way in Great Neck, While in Levittown they’d never think it odd. But there is not an architect in Westport Who’ll ever forgive the cad that said, “My God! Sir. I must have got the wrong cape cod!”
Since they are no longer groom and bride, Quoting from the Sunday classified: “Are there any takers For three lovely acres Of peaceful old New England countryside?” ‘Cause he caught her in the kitchen playing Westport Which would ordinarily be a cause for gloom; But though the sanctity of wedlock’s on the downgrade, Currently housing is enjoying quite a boom!
And while they defame the name of the game in Boston, Where naturally they think it’s a dirty shame, In the green and fertile pastures of suburbia The local dealers in real estate acclaim It the best thing since the FHA, hey,
Westport is a grand old … ‘Midst pleasures and palaces … Westport is a grand old game.
Starting July 1, the Senior Center will reopen. It’s limited, sure — but it will be wonderful for the thousands of Westporters who rely on our great center.
The phased reopening will include in-house, outdoor, hybrid, televised and Zoom classes all summer long.
Director Sue Pfister and her staff have meticulously established safety protocols. They includes enhanced air-handlers, sanitizers, and other CDC-guided precautions.
There’s also a canopy over part of the back patio, to extend outdoor space.
The congregate luncheon program will remain closed until September. In addition, summer plans will not include drop-in visits or congregating during the initial reopening phase. Water fountains will not be available, so participants are encouraged to bring a water bottle from home.
For months, Westporters have wondered about the fate of the Kowalsky property. The large tract of land on Morningside Drive South and Clapboard Hill Road is some of the last privately owned open space in town.
Perc tests and a Conceptual Plan are now available outlining a proposed 8 Bedroom home, Infinity Edge Swimming Pool and Septic. Build your dream home on this prestigious 2.0 Acre property in a well established Greens Farms neighborhood.
This property is truly majestic with part ownership of a man made pond, and several character outbuildings. This sought after location is less than a mile to Metro North/Greens Farms train station and Burying Hill Beach. Two homes on Morningside Drive South (# 90 and # 88) have SOLD within the year, both currently in stages of being torn down for over a million dollars an acre. There is value here on this special piece of land.
This is a Land listing. The home on the property is ‘As Is’. As with any Land listing, buyers to perform their own due diligence.
Plenty of people like Hook’d on the Sound, the new Compo Beach concessionaire.
Plenty do not like the fact that it closes at 6 p.m.
The previous snack bar tenant — Joey’s by the Shore — stayed open till dark. Two years ago, he relocated to the former Elvira’s, around the corner across from Old Mill Beach.
Now Joey’s has introduced a delivery service to Compo. It’s available Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
You can order online. Enter “2 Soundview Drive” as the delivery address. Your food will be delivered — in a thermal bag, with no extra charge — at the pickup/ dropoff location next to the Compo volleyball courts.
The undefeated, nationally ranked Staples High School rugby team kicked off its national tournament quest in Kansas City yesterday with a 26-22 win against St. Thomas Aquinas. The Wreckers are ranked #5; Aquinas was #4. The temperature at the start was 100.
Little Barn The Little Barn in Westport is the local site for viewing. The next match is tonight (6 p.m.), against #1 Herriman from Utah.
Watching yesterday’s game at Little Barn. (Photo/Terry Brannigan)
Previewing the tournament, a rugby publication described Staples as “the best-kept secret of the tournament. (They have) compiled one heck of a season up in Connecticut. Winners over big dogs Xavier, Greenwich, and Fairfield, these boys are battle-tested and battle-accomplished. Jot them down as your dark horse now.”
For more information on the national rugby tournament, click here.
Wakeman Town Farm kicks off its farm stand season tomorrow (Saturday, June 19, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
Every Saturday, the Cross Highway stand features farm-grown veggies, baked goods, honeys, Shearwater coffee, Wave Hill breads, Kneads pastries, Pam’s Jams, Guardians farm goat soap & lotion, plus logowear.
Tomorrow’s fresh produce offerings include collard greens, lettuce, kale, peas, radishes, garlic scapes, Chinese green onions, strawberries (limited quantities!), and herbs.
This year, WTF expands its offerings with a rotating list of local guest vendors. This week they welcome Lorenza Arnal, creator of Alma de Mexico’s homemade salsas, and Sk*p, a sustainably packaged hair & body care line with local roots.
Staples High School’s Class of 1976 is planning their 45th reunion. And — in the spirit of ’76 — they’re doing more than their share.
The July 30-31 weekend includes parties at the Black Duck and Compo Beach. They’ve added a “Great Gatsby” town tour.
And — because several classmates volunteer with CLASP Homes, the supportive housing organization for people with developmental disabilities (and Tracy Flood works there), the reunion-goers will do yard projects at the site. (They might not even know that CLASP was founded in 1976!)
Doug Tirola — one of the founders of the Remarkable Theater — is a native Westporter, and father of a Staples High School student. He know we’ve got some remarkable members of the senior class — and that they had a remarkable year.
Tomorrow Doug — whose day job is filmmaking — wants to hear about their experiences. He’s making a short feature starring Staples seniors. It will play before (naturally) the drive-in screening of “The Breakfast Club” later this month.
High school seniors are invited to a quick interview tomorrow (Wednesday, June 16, 3 p.m.) at Staples’ front entrance.
NOTE: Seniors who are not yet 18 should email firstname.lastname@example.org for a release form, to be signed by a parent prior to film.
“The Breakfast Club”: Quite possibly the best high school movie ever made.
But the young staff — overseeing kayaks, paddleboards and the increasingly crowded Saugatuck River — has major responsibilities.
Yesterday, owners Taryn and Robbie Guimond brought Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services staff onto the Riverside Avenue site. EMTs ran everyone through every imaginable safety scenario and protocol.
The entire Westport Paddle Club staff is now certified in CPR, first aid and “stop the blood.” They’re ready for anything — and for you.
“With so much negativity about police in our country, we feel lucky we have a Police Department that responds quickly and professionally to our needs, on many levels.
“On Sunday around 2:30 p.m., my husband Larry and I, 2 Westport friends and our puppy were stranded on our small boat in the Sound. It just stopped, and refused to start again no matter what we were tried.
“To our much appreciated rescue came 2 police officers: a man and a woman. With efficiency, respect and utmost professionalism, we were towed to our marina on Saugatuck shores.
“We are privileged to live in a town with such an incredible Police Department. Thank you!”
The Lefkowitzes’ boat, after being towed to safety.
For weeks, Pequot Trail neighbors have been upset about the clear-cutting done in preparation for a teardown and new home.
Yesterday, News12 reported on the issue.
As noted in the report, owners can do whatever they want with their property. But, Tree Board chair Monica Buesser notes, trees play many roles beyond beauty — including noise abatement and reduced flood risk.
Marketplace at Franny’s of Westport celebrates its first year as a local pop-up partner this Saturday (June 19, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.).
The Bedford Square shop will be filled with live music, free samples and giveaways. Tracey Medeiros will sign copies of “The Art of Cooking with Cannabis,” and Franny Tacy — founder of Franny’s Farmacy — will be on hand too, to say, um, “hi.”
The world is opening up. But plenty of neighbors are still in dire straits.
To help fill Person 2 Person’s Norwalk food pantry, Westport Sunrise Rotary members will collect food donations in the rear of Saugatuck Congregational Church (Saturday, June 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
They urge folks to include these items on upcoming shopping trips: hearty soups, snack and granola bars, pasta and sauce, 1-pound rice boxes, peanut butter and jelly, mac and cheese, canned tuna and chicken, canned fruits and vegetables, dried and canned beans, pancake mix, cold cereal, oatmeal and shelf-stable milk.
Among the most needed household and personal items: laundry detergent, shampoo and conditioner, dryer sheets, toothbrushes and toothpaste, disinfectant wipes, hand and body soap, kitchen sponges, deodorant, liquid dish detergent, diapers and wipes (especially sizes 5 and 6), tissues and Kleenex.
From left: Greg Dobbs (Person2Person food pantry site manger) with Westport Sunrise Rotarians Rob Hauck and president George Masumian.
Trey Ellis is one of the most interesting — and accomplished — people in Westport.
He is a leading chronicle of the Black experience. An award-winning novelist, Emmy and Peabody-honored filmmaker, playwright and professor of screenwriting in the Graduate School at Columbia University, he recently served as executive producer and interviewer for the HBO documentaries “True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight For Equality,” and “King in the Wilderness.”
The other day, I spoke with Trey. We talked about writing, creativity, Black lives here and elsewhere, raising children in Westport, and much more.
It was a fascinating, wide-ranging conversation. Click here for the newest “06880: The Podcast” episode.
A tour bus was parked in the lot. Westporters opened picnic baskets, popped wine bottles, settled in for a show. The Levitt Pavilion was back.
Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers headlined last night’s benefit. Following in a long tradition — Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, John Fogerty and many more — the benefit show sizzled.
Most Levitt events are free. They’re paid for by events like this. After a summer of silence — the Levitt, like nearly every other entertainment venue in the world, went dark during the pandemic — last night’s show was more than just a benefit for the pavilion.
It was a resounding way to say: “Welcome, Westport, to another summer of joy!”
If you weren’t in the capacity crowd: Here’s what you missed, courtesy of “06880” photographer JC Martin.
First Selectman Jim Marpe and Levitt Pavilion marketing director Carleigh Welsh welcome the crowd.
Not everyone who enjoyed the concert bought a ticket. (Photos/JC Martin)
Meanwhile, summer is actually almost here. That means more folks walking, jogging, biking and driving past the former Positano restaurant on Hillspoint Road.
For over a year, permit violations have halted construction on what was to be a private residence. The building — half-finished, swathed in blue, surrounded by weeds — has become a neighborhood eyesore.
A security fence now encloses the property. That makes it safer.
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