Tag Archives: ABBA

Paula’s Picks Presents You Have To Be There From Kristina

If you are lucky enough to live in the Portland, Oregon area, or happen to have an Internet connection (which I suspect you might if you’re reading this) then you had the opportunity on Thursday May, 6th, 2010 to tune into the Paula’s Picks program on KBOO FM during her program and hear her present “You Have To Be There” performed by Helen Sjöholm from the musical “Kristina.” “You Have To Be There” is written by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA. Paula Small is a friend of mine that I went to high school with and she moved to Portland and one of the fun things she does out there is host a radio program on the first and third Thursdays of every month for KBOO.

The last time I saw Paula was when she was back in town to visit some family at the end of 2008, so I took Paula to see the Xanadu production at the La Jolla Playhouse, and when I saw her online on Facebook and I said hello using the chat feature of Facebook, we ended up discussing some music. I was so excited about the live album “Kristina At Carnegie Hall” coming out and I’d just gotten it in, I sent her “You Have To Be There” to share my excitement about the show. Paula really liked the song and we both commented about how it starts out similar to “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” but ends up being a much more powerful song. Paula thought it might make a great addition to her show the following night.

Continue reading Paula’s Picks Presents You Have To Be There From Kristina

Kristina At Carnegie Hall Hits Stores Finally

Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA first let audiences in on their masterpiece, “Kristina Från Duvemåla,” in Malmö, Sweden on October 7, 1995, then record buying audiences were able to obtain the 3-CD cast recording in September of 1996. Almost immediately there was talk about translating the work to English and bringing it to an American audience, particularly because the story of “Kristina Från Duvemåla” (translating to Kristina From Duvemåla) is just as much a story about Sweden as it is a story about America. However, it seems a lot of the work in bringing “Kristina” to America would have to wait due to the surprise success of a little show launched in London in 1999, called “Mamma Mia!” would demand a lot of time and attention for Björn and Benny.

The story for “Kristina” is based on Vilhelm Moberg’s “Emigrants” series of four novels, which follows the lives of a group of Swedish settlers which include Karl Oscar and his wife Kristina, as they make the tough decision to pack up and take their chances settling in the unknown wilds of America in the mid 1800’s. While the books follow the group, the show has singled out Karl Oscar and Kristina to be the central focus of the show. The novels are considered to be some of the finest works in Swedish literature, which is what attracted Björn and Benny to wanting to tell the tale of Kristina. Their earlier musical effort, a collaboration with Tim Rice on an original idea by Tim Rice resulted in the musical “Chess.” As much as “Chess” is praised for it’s incredible songs, it’s also panned for its relatively weak plot, which left Björn and Benny looking for a well crafted story to transform into a musical. Björn and Benny felt for their second musical, they didn’t want plot to be one of the problems to plague the show.

Continue reading Kristina At Carnegie Hall Hits Stores Finally

Arrival Rocks Palm Springs With ABBA Music

When it comes to ABBA Tribute Bands, Arrival from Sweden is the world’s best. It is the most authentic recreation of an ABBA concert you’ll ever see, and Vicky Norbäck-Zetterberg, founding member of Arrival, has gone to great lengths to ensure the most authentic show possible, including enlisting the help of ABBA’s costume designer, Owe Sandström, to recreate some of ABBA’s signature costumes and choreography that’s be researched to match how ABBA originally performed the songs live. All the music is created live, unlike some ABBA tribute bands that actually bring recordings to sing to their shows. And who can resist authentic Swedish accents as they are real Swedes who are able to accurately sing the songs the way ABBA did.

Arrival’s performance in Palm Springs was part of the 2010 Evening Under The Stars charity event benefiting Palm Springs AIDS Assistance Program. The event was held on the grounds of the O’Donnell Golf Club, just a short walk away from Downtown Palm Springs. As the event was $395 a plate for the charity dinner, I was attending as a guest of the band. I had the opportunity to hang out with the band before and after the performance along with a couple of other guests the band invited.

Continue reading Arrival Rocks Palm Springs With ABBA Music

Only At Wal-Mart Mamma Mia! Packaged With Xanadu

Wal-Mart is home to some interesting deals, and it seems they have a deal designed just for me, only problem is I already have both items they’ve packaged together. What they’ve done is get with Universal Pictures and packaged some of their movies together in little Wal-Mart exclusive packages usually for a great price. In this case, what was packaged together was Mamma Mia! The Movie with Xanadu.

No doubt the decision was made because Mamma Mia appeals to a musical audience that appreciates ABBA as that is the basis for the music in the musical. Olivia Newton-John headlines Xanadu as a very late 1970’s early 1980’s attempt to build on her amazing success in Grease with a musical like picture. What Wal-Mart and Universal execs probably didn’t realize the packaging of ABBA and Olivia Newton-John together is something that’s been done before. When ABBA won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden, Olivia Newton-John was also competing in the contest for England. And when ABBA were making a concerted effort to try and build their success in the United States, they appeared on one of Olivia Newton-John’s television specials along with Andy Gibb. So it’s not the first time ABBA and ONJ have crossed paths.

Continue reading Only At Wal-Mart Mamma Mia! Packaged With Xanadu

Stopping At Lou’s Records In Encinitas

I don’t often make it to the coastal areas of San Diego any more, and these days when I do it’s the coastal areas near San Diego, not so much the North County coastal areas. I opted for a nice drive down the coast and when I neared Encinitas, it struck me that it’s been ages since I last visited Lou’s Records on Coast Highway.

I spent a fortune there back in the day as they were the best place to get import CDs back when I used to buy a lot of music. In fact, my very first visit was an expensive one as I found some amazing hard to get ABBA imports that to this day I’ve never seen anywhere outside of overpriced eBay auctions. Lou’s Records was also the store where I did my very first special order of an import, which was for a Swedish language solo album by Marie Fredriksson of Roxette. So when I decided to stop in at Lou’s I wasn’t sure they were even still around as it seems stores dedicated to selling music are harder to find than they used to be. Fortunately Lou’s was still there and I was instantly nostalgic for the hours I would spend combing the racks there for the many treasures I would find there.

Continue reading Stopping At Lou’s Records In Encinitas

Ryan’s 10 Most Incredible Things About About 2009

Now that 2009 has come to a close and 2010 has begun, I can safely say that it’s a year that has been very challenging and although I am not the least bit sad to see 2009 go, it certainly was not without some really incredible experiences for me that I would like to highlight before wipe the slate clean and start fresh with 2010.

This list was especially difficult to narrow down since 2009 was the year I kicked my blogging into high gear. I had started Ryan’s Incredible World in 2007 didn’t actually start blogging until 2008 and I would maybe make no more than five entries a month. So picking my highlights of 2008 was relatively easy since there wasn’t so many blog entries to go through to pick out the defining moments.

I had joined a couple of 30-Day blogging challenges which requires 30 blog entries in 30 days and it essentially got me into the habit of making almost daily blog entries. Now it’s pretty safe to say that each month sees about 25 new blog entries. The constant blogging has actually helped bring a bigger audience to my blog, so if your first time reading any of my writing has been in 2009, then no doubt something I wrote in 2009 caught your eye and is why you’re here reading this entry now. I am grateful for the many folks who’ve read my blog and left me comments, it’s been a pleasure to hear your feedback throughout the year. In any case, I looked through every post of 2009 to select what I feel were the 10 Most Incredible Things about 2009 that happened for me. You’ll note I combined a few complimentary things to narrow it down to 10.

I do hope you enjoy my reflection on 2009 and continue to join me on my quest to find the most incredible things of 2010. Without further ado, in no particular order.

Continue reading Ryan’s 10 Most Incredible Things About About 2009

Susan Boyle Duets With Elaine Paige On ABBA Penned “I Know Him So Well”

Elaine Paige Susan Boyle IKHSWWhen Susan Boyle knocked the socks off Simon Cowell, she soon after stated that one of her dreams was to sing a song with her idol, Elaine Paige. Within days of the hubbub, Elaine Paige, who is not nearly as well known appeared on US Cable Network, CNN’s, Larry King Live program and gave an interview about Susan Boyle and said she would be open to singing with Susan. Now that dream has become a reality.

Sadly, the duet does not appear on Susan’s recently released album (which gets it’s name from the song Susan sang on Britain’s Got Talent, “I Dreamed A Dream”) but made it’s debut on UK television. The song selected for the two ladies to sing together is hardly an original choice, especially for Elaine. The duet selected was “I Know Him So Well” from the musical CHESS, which was a hit for Elaine Paige and her original duet partner Barbara Dickson way back in 1984. In fact, the song still holds the record in the UK for the longest running #1 song in the UK charts sung as a duet between two women. The song is a staple for Elaine whenever she goes out on tour and it’s a special song for ABBA fans as well as the song was co-written by ABBA’s song writing team, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus along with lyricist Tim Rice.

Continue reading Susan Boyle Duets With Elaine Paige On ABBA Penned “I Know Him So Well”

What A Difference A Year Makes

Ryan Cameron Oct 2008 and Sept 2009 SmallerWhen I was asked to join Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure 12 week program, Kim, my main contact within Jorge Cruise’s group, asked me for an update on my progress and I put together this photo which merges a picture of me from a year ago, when I met Arrival, one of the world’s best ABBA tribute bands in Los Angeles, with this photo of me from my trip to New York last month, I felt the photos had similar enough poses to show the dramatic difference in how I looked then compared to how I look now.

I am really pleased to see the difference myself as sometimes I don’t always see it. I see myself daily in the mirror and so I don’t always notice the difference myself. The Belly Fat Cure has definitely been the best experience I’ve had this year. As I plan to continue the plan for life, I am sure I will continue to lose weight. I have a number of people ask what my final goal weight is and my answer is, I keep going until the weight stops coming off, then I’ll just maintain it.

Continue reading What A Difference A Year Makes

Mommie Dearest Screening In San Diego

Mommie DearestTonight I met up for dinner with my good friend Vito Grandolfo, before we attended a screening of the classic campy film, “Mommie Dearest” starring Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford. The screening was part of the local FilmOut monthly movie series at the Birch North Park Theatre in North Park. Vito and I met up with some friends who were also planning to see the show. It seemed like a good and fun idea to go see a wickedly bad movie that definitely inspired some audience participation as fans of the movie shouted out some of the biggest lines from the movie back at the screen.

I had never been to the Birch North Park Theatre before. It was a nice venue for one as old as it is. It wasn’t too large and wasn’t too small either. It looks like the venue is able to be used for stage productions as well, tonight there just happened to be a huge screen parked on the stage. Before the movie began they did a raffle for a few prizes and even awarded one for someone who had come dressed as Joan Crawford. Additionally the screening had Billy Masters as an opening act. He came, shared some stories about the movie, how Faye Dunaway thinks the movie killed her career, and gave away some prizes. I’m not entirely sure who he is, but he was moderately entertaining. He said to watch out for his favorite part in the movie which occurs during the infamous wire hanger scene and the cleaning powder where Faye goes cross-eyed for a moment.

Continue reading Mommie Dearest Screening In San Diego

Join Me And See Kylie Minogue At The Hollywood Bowl

Kylie Minogue Hollywood BowlOn October 4th, Kylie Minogue plays the Hollywood Bowl. In her only Southern California appearance, I decided I am going to take opportunity to see the global megastar live in concert. This may be my only chance to see Kylie Minogue in concert on “my turf” so to speak.

While Kylie plays Europe and Australia every time she releases an album, the United States rarely gets more than a television appearance. Granted she doesn’t have the same popularity here in the United States as she does abroad. But I think it’s awesome that she’s coming to the United States and Canada (does it really count as including Canada when its just a single show in Toronto?). I have several of her concert DVDs from past tours and they’re always enjoyable to watch. Welcome to California to perform Kylie.

I wonder if she’ll incorporate an ABBA song or two as she was recently at the BBC2 concerts in London paying tribute to the music of ABBA.

If you’d like to join me, tickets are still available from TicketMaster. Click here to visit TicketMaster and let me know if you’re coming. I’m not getting fancy seats. I managed to get $30 tickets in section N1 which is pretty close to center albeit pretty far from the stage. I just bought my tickets this morning too. The show is not yet sold out.

Continue reading Join Me And See Kylie Minogue At The Hollywood Bowl