I woke up this morning to the tragic news of Whitney Houston's death. Very sad. I won't comment on that since it is the big story today. And rightfully so. She was a legend in her own time. She will be missed.
Unfortunately as I was listening to a young newscaster report the news, the 20 something person referred to Whitney Houston's cousin as DIANE Warwick.
She mispronounced the name of this music icon twice before I could hit the remote and shut it off. It was worse than hearing fingernails on a chalkboard. Just for the record - and as I am sure you know if you are an adult (meaning you are over 50) - the name is DIONNE Warwick.
When I was a young person, Dionne Warwick was bigger than big. If it wasn't the Beatles or Simon and Garfunkle or the Rolling Stones it was DIONNE Warwick. In fact, her work was so popular we could never get enough. She worked with Burt Bacharach and Hal David - they wrote the music and she sang it.
I remember seeing Dionne Warwick on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. (I know, I know ... the person who mispronounced Dionne's name would have no idea who he is either and would probably call him Jimmy Carson.) I remember how poised Dionne Warwick was. She was elegant. Regal.
Oh .... here's a picture of Johnny Carson with his long time announcer, Ed McMahon. Johnny's the one behind the desk. He was on TV for over 30 years. (Good thing the kid did not try to pronounce Ed McMahon's name ... she would not have even gotten close.)
There will never be another Dionne Warwick. She turned what would have been an otherwise good song into something special. As with a lot of things in life, you sort of had to be there to understand.
For the benefit of the person who has no idea who DIONNE Warwick is, here's a video of DIONNE Warwick performing at the American Music Awards in the 1990s. She is singing a song called I Know I'll Never Love This Way Again. She won a grammy for Best Female Vocal in 1980 for this song. The man playing the piano and singing with her is Barry Manlow. He produced the song but he did not write it. However, he has written and sung many famous songs.
Even though DIONNE Warwick was most popular during the 1960s, she still retained her incredible voice 30 years later as you can see in this video. My guess is she can still sing pretty damn good today, too.
Chevy Chase introduces DIONNE Warwick and perhaps the person who mispronounced her name will have a chance to hear how the name is supposed to be pronounced. But, to be honest, it doesn't make any difference since even if Dionne Warwick's name is mispronounced, people who count still know who she is as she is unforgettable.