The clamor surrounding Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday has largely drowned out appreciations of Edith Piaf, who was born in Paris seven days later, on Dec. 19, 1915. She is as important a figure in popular music in France as Sinatra is in the U.S.
On Saturday night in New York City, the Little Sparrow — as Piaf is called — dipped and soared through Town Hall, as a roster that included many downtown performers sang the praises of the French chanteuse in a dramatically charged centennial celebration.
Piaf admirers included Vivian Reed, who did amazing renditions of Jacques Laure's "Heaven Have Mercy" and Charles Dumont and Michel Vaucaire's "Mon Dieu."
The evening's headliner was the British musical theater star Elaine Paige, who starred in an early-'90s London revival of Pam Gems' play "Piaf." She didn't attempt a vocal impersonation but brought Piaf's intensity to "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien."
The French cabaret singer died in October 1963.
New York Times
Obama will join Seinfeld in the car
President Obama will be Jerry Seinfeld's first guest when the seventh season of his online talk show, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," opens Dec. 30. The show features the New York comedian picking up fellow comics in classic cars and taking them out for coffee and conversation. Obama and Seinfeld spoke at the White House earlier this month. The White House says they took turns circling the South Lawn in a 1963 Corvette Stingray split window coupe before chatting over coffee in a basement dining room. They spoke about what makes White House life both remarkable and routine. The interview is scheduled to be released Dec. 30 on Crackle, the Sony Pictures' online network, and at Comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com
Baby news: Chelsea Clinton, 35, announced Monday that she is expecting her second child next summer. "Charlotte is going to be a big sister! Feeling very blessed & grateful this holiday season," Clinton wrote on Twitter. The soon-to-be second-time grandparents tweeted out their congratulations on Monday. "Your dad and I could not be happier for you, Marc, and Charlotte. We're so excited to meet our second grandchild!" wrote Hillary Clinton. Bill Clinton added: "Christmas comes early! @HillaryClinton and I are thrilled for Chelsea, Marc and Charlotte's growing family in 2016!" Chelsea Clinton is married to hedge fund manager Marc Mezvinsky.