Cast Blog: #WWHL

Willie And Dolly Speak From The Heart

Andy recounts great country music in great films.

While you're watching 2 of this season's big Oscar contenders, listen closely and read between the lines at the significance of the songs that play over their closing credits.

Two of America's most mainstream country legends have provided instant-classic songs for two of the most thought-provoking and boundry-breaking films in history. I'm referring to Dolly Parton - who's song "Travelin' Thru" closed "Transamerica" - and Willie Nelson - with the haunting "He was a Friend of Mine" for "Brokeback Mountain." I quite by accident (and crazily) met Willie Nelson at a dinner party last month and quizzed him about his ode to cowboy love. He told me that at the time he recorded the song, he'd only been shown the final scenes of "Brokeback" in order to get the context of how his song would play. The motivation worked. His song continues the mood of the film perfectly, coming right after the its tearful ending, as Ennis says "Jack, I swear." Willie sings: "Every time I think of him, I just can't keep from cryin'. Cuz he was a friend of mine.... He never done no wrong. A thousand miles from home, and he never harmed no one. And he was a friend of mine."

Willie said he liked the movie very much and that the talk on his tour bus had been whether the story of two cowboys in love would play down in Austin, Texas. Judging from red state box office receipts, it looks like folks all over are buying it. (And the great Emmylou Harris is getting nominated all over the place for her great "Brokeback" song, "A Love that Will Never Grow Old.")

Later in the evening he told me with a laugh that he'd written another song about 2 cowboys in love years and years ago with what sounded like a pretty amusing title at the time. I should say that by that point in the night we'd been tippin' back the glasses pretty hard, and - now that I'm sober- for the life of me I can't find the name of the song online. I CAN tell you that it's not "Mamma's Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" or "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" and it doesn't seem to be "Are There Any More Real Cowboys," but maybe it's "So You Think You're a Cowboy!" Man, Willie writes a lot about cowboys!

He also revealed that he's thinking about making a video for the song at a gay bar down south and had offers from some surprising A-list names to appear in it! Willie Nelson is one cool customer who's bus rolls to the beat of his own supercool drum.

Speaking of cool drums, Dolly Parton is the Albert Pujols of country music - hitting a grand slam whenever she opens her mouth. As if her latest album (featuring covers of "Imagine," "Me and Bobby McGee" and more) still doesn't have me covered in goose bumps, she closes one of the most original movies in years with a beautiful song called "Travelin' Thru" that perfectly conveys the spirit of the film. In the final moments of "Transamerica," Dolly preaches: "God made me for a reason, and nothing is in vain. Redemption comes in many shapes, with many kinds of pain. Sweet Jesus if you're listenin' keep me ever close to you, as I'm stumblin', tumblin' wonderin', as I'm travelin' thru." It's not exactly headline news that the Queen of Country loves people who are different, but, having been to Dollywood I can report that Dolly's core followers aren't likely to be rushing to see "Transamerica."

When asked about the song, Dolly said "I was proud to be asked to write a song for 'TransAmerica.' It's a remarkable movie that touches you in every single place of human emotion." To date, "Travelin' Thru" was nominated for a Golden Globe and will most likely be up for an Oscar. I'm not going to go into a microbiotic analysis of what it means that 2 Red State Country Gods/Superstars are preaching acceptance of same-sex love and gender tolerance in the age of American conservatism. I just think it is pretty damn cool.

Wish Upon a Giggy

WWHL's Associate Producer reveals her ultimate wish while recapping the wild week that was.

Catfights, Ron Ron Juice, and Lea Black - oh what a week it’s been. 

Tuesday night was filled with the gloriousness of one Ms. Joan Collins. She is classy and spicy and came to our studio clad in a white, sequined blazer. How can you beat that? Answer: you can’t.

Now, the 'Real Housewives' franchise has given us wig pulls, table flips, and year after year of Posche Fashion Show meltdowns. However, I must say, I’ve never seen anything quite as impressive as the Alexis and Krystle fights on 'Dynasty.' The WWHL staff knew that this level of lady-on-lady fighting was screaming for a remix. So, that’s exactly what we did. Check it out…

  

 

If I can only be granted one wish from my Giggy in a Bottle, may it be that I am lucky enough to engage in a fight that results in being pushed into a lily pond. *Fingers Crossed*

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(P.S. I don’t actually have Giggy in a bottle. Lisa Vanderpump, please don’t have me arrested.)

Wednesday night, we were joined by the ladies of 'Jersey Shore.' I must say, every single member of the 'Jersey Shore' brood is so darn nice. They’re like a modern-day version of 'Full House.'  Think about it, Pauly D is the perfect uncle. He has the same fervor for hair products as Uncle Jesse and the loveable laid back nature of Uncle Joey. Snooki’s baby, Lorenzo, is so lucky!

Speaking of fervor, I cannot stress how much our staff loves Ron Ron Juice. No, it’s not that we actively seek it out. However, when our 'Jersey Shore' friends stop by, our awesome Production Assistant, Tori, whips up a few pitchers. After the show is over, the WWHL staff scrambles to get a glass of the slushy beverage. It’s ice-y, it’s watermelon-y and it’s full of booze. A perfect post-show cocktail!

Finally, we ended our week with the fabulous “Mayor of Miami,” Lea Black. I love Lea Black. I love her jewelry, her chuckle, her family and her Galas. Thanks to Amy Phillips and her spot-on impersonation, we had not one, but TWO Lea Blacks for the night!

 

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After the show, Amy and Lea stuck around for a few moments and chatted by my desk.  I can only hope that the two of them will have a Kiki in Miami, and that Elaine Lancaster will be there, and maybe a fight will break out, and maybe someone will get pushed into a lily pond, aaand maybe that person will be me! Dream accomplished! However, I promise we will not splash water on Lisa Hochstein’s speakers and ruin her party.

Check out Lea Black and Amy Phillips playing the role of Lea Black here…

Follow Lindsey on Twitter: @lkdinsmore