I’ll Take Manhattan
Arts magnet grad signs multi-record contract.
Booker T. Washington-the Dallas arts magnet school-has another name to add to its roster of successful grads. Norah Jones just signed a major record deal with legendary jazz label Blue Note Records. By breaking in to the top ranks of the recording industry, 22-year-old Jones joins a list of Booker T. alumni who’ve hit it big in the music industry, including Erykah Badu, jazz trumpeter Roy Har-grove, and award-winning gospel group God’s Property.
After studying jazz piano for two years at UNT, Jones traveled to New York on vacation and never came back. There she was inspired to write her demo, First Sessions, which led to a six-album deal with Blue Note. Her first album is scheduled to hit stores next February.
Asked if she considers herself a Texas girl, Jones laughs. "When I lived in Texas, I only listened to jazz. But now that I’ve moved to New York, the Texan in me has come out. Now, all I listen to is Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, and Loretta Lynne. I’m in my Texas phase now that I’m in New York.€VbCrLf
|"I guess we’d better stay in shape, because when we’re 80, blue-haired, and holding on to our canes, they’ll still want to take our picture.€VbCrLf
-Former Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Carrie O’Brien on the original cheerleaders, after gracing a recent cover of Sports Illustrated.
Crystal Bernard Guns Her Way to Broadway
Hometown girl brings Texas twang to Annie Get Your Gun.
Dallas native Crystal Bernard has re-placed Reba McEntire in Annie Get Your Gun. Bernard joined the cast of the Tony Award-winning musical in late June and is scheduled to star through at least December. Fans of Bernard’s sitcom days might be surprised, but this Texan had her sights set on musical success long before she considered acting.
Bernard gained fame on the popular TV series Wings, but her musical career began at age 3. She traveled with her father, a gospel singer, as a child. The Bernards recorded 12 gospel albums before her TV career began at the age of 17. She recorded a hit song in the ’90s "(I Wanna Take) Forever Tonight,€VbCrLf a duet with Peter Cetera. She wrote songs for Paula Abdul, Lisa Stansfield, and Tracie Spence, among others. She’s also recorded two country albums, The Girl Next Door in 1996, and the critically acclaimed Don’t Touch Me There in 1999.
However, musical theater is a new venture for Bernard, who celebrates her 40th birthday this month. But Bernard believes her "backwoods€VbCrLf roots are perfect for playing Annie Oakley. So far the reviews have all been raves.