Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dirty Dancing Music Trivia

1. In 1988, "Dirty Dancing: Live in Concert," the musical tour, featuring Bill Medley and Eric Carmen, went to 90 cities in 90 days.

2.  "She's Like The Wind" was #3 on Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on Adult Contemporary in 1989.

3.  "She's Like The Wind" was originally written for but never used in the movie, Grandview U. S. A. (1984).

4.   "She's Like The Wind" is only one of many songs written by Patrick Swayze.

5.   "(I've Had) The Time of My Life"  was performed by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes.

6.  "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" won an Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe in 1988.

7.    Sylvia Robinson and Mickey Baker recorded "Love Is Strange" in 1956.

8.   "Love Is Strange" was inducted in to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004.

9.    "Hungry Eyes" performed by Eric Carmen was #4 on the billboard Hot 100 Charts in 1988.

10.     In 1989, "She's Like The Wind" won at the BMI Film & TV Awards for "most performed song from a film."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dirty Dancing Character Penny Was Based On A Real Person Jackie Horner

The Dirty Dancing character Penny was loosely based on the real-life entertainment icon, Jackie Horner. I had the great pleasure of interviewing Ms. Jackie Horner during the summer of 2009 for my book: The Fans' Love Story: How The Movie 'DIRTY DANCING' Captured The Hearts Of Millions!

Jackie spent the summer of 1985 telling Eleanor Bergstein (writer of Dirty Dancing) her story--including going through photos of the era, clothing, and hair styles and telling her various anecdotes from her experiences as a dance pro at Grossinger's from 1954-1986. Check out the Dirty Dancing screen credits and you will see Special Thanks to Jackie Horner.

Here is one anecdote from Jackie: "Shelly Winters, bless her heart, was a dear friend and a Grossinger guest so often. One day she said, 'Jackie, you are going to get hurt practicing your lifts on these hard wood stages. Why don't you come down to the lake with me on Sunday and practice your dance lifts in the lake?'" Jackie was involved in stealing vodka-spiked watermelons for staff parties. Jackie taught a couple who was stealing and her partner was blamed for it. Sound familiar? Note though that Penny had an abortion and Jackie did not have an abortion--although per Jackie, there were other staff at the hotel who did.

Presently, Jackie continues her illustrious career/her life's work--in fact she doesn't seem to be slowing down at all, and is such an inspiration. Jackie has a dance studio in the Catskills, teaches at Kutshers Hotel (one of the few remaining great Catskills' resorts) and at many various dance workshops; including her annual Spring Dance Festival. She has recently been filmed in two documentaries on the Catskills. She gives lectures on Dirty Dancing and has a special Dirty Dancing weekend coming up in November. And these are only some of the activities she is involved in.

Regarding Jackie's dance background, Jackie began taking dance lessons at the age of four and started as a touring professional at fourteen. She was a Rockette and a member of the June Taylor dance company. Here is an excerpt from "Biographical Sketch--Jackie Horner."
"Ms. Horner has danced throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and South America in night clubs, theaters, and television's top variety shows . . . At present, she teaches dance here in the Catskills, collges, regional theaters and choreographs musical theater productions as well as appearing in some . . . The Catskills are her magical mountains, where her happiest moments have been spent teaching the Stars of Hollywood, television and all the guests who come on vacations these many years."

Jackie met her husband of fifty years, Lou Goldstein, at Grossinger's. He was the entertainment and sports director there and became known as "Mr. Simon Sez."

A big thank you to Jackie for her 1985 consulting work on Dirty Dancing and her activities that help keep the film alive in so many people's hearts.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs and National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month: November

Steve Jobs will be greatly missed! Amazing legacy! Steve Jobs:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” [Stanford commencement speech, June 2005]

Let us honor all of those who have fought and who fight now by getting involved with Naitonal Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Let me share something that I received a few days ago that says it all.

October 4, 2011

Dear Sue,

The past doesn't drive me—it's the present and future that inspire me.

My name is Greg Petrosewicz. I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer in 2001. I can't change that, but I can work to make sure that nobody else loses his or her mother to this deadly disease. That is why I am a Volunteer for Progress with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. I know I am making a real difference through my volunteer efforts to advance research, support patients and create hope.

As the volunteer Affiliate Coordinator for the Austin Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, I can tell you I am encouraged to meet people from my community who are passionate about making a difference and want to fight hard to change the course of history for pancreatic cancer.

Will you join me as a Volunteer for Progress? Pancreatic cancer still has a five-year survival rate of just six percent. That's almost the same deadly statistic that it was 10 years ago when I lost my mother—but even worse, that statistic has barely changed in 40 years.

Together we can change that. Let's start by standing up for the estimated 6,996* people who will be diagnosed from today to the end of National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month in November. YOU can be one of the 6,996* people to join the fight and make a difference—the more of us there are, the more progress we'll make.

Visit and add your name to the list and be a Volunteer for Progress—when you do, you can immediately begin to make a big difference: by raising awareness in your community, calling your members of Congress and urging them to pass the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act, or participating in a local event like PurpleStride.

Get involved and be one of the 6,996 to stand up for every person diagnosed between now and the end of November. Be a hero in the fight against pancreatic cancer. Volunteer for Progress.

Thank you,

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lisa Niemi Swayze's New Book

Can't wait to read: Worth Fighting For: Love, Loss, and Moving Forward

Book is due out around January 3, 2012 and can be pre-ordered now at the publisher Simon & Schuster:
or Amazon, Barnes& Noble, etc.
Hardcover 336 pages and e-Book.

I will bet you that this will be a heart-rendering read and best-seller.