Praiser gets soul singer pic rights

GOOD MORNING: Lee Solters, celebrating his 60th year as a publicist and who has represented singers including Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand, has for the first time obtained exclusive rights to produce a story of a singer for a movie/TV. It’s about soul singer Jackie Wilson and his association with his longtime manager and record label head, Nat Tarnopol; it will chronicle the growth of the black-music biz in Detroit, seen through the eyes of a black performer and his white entrepreneur. The late Tarnopol pulled no punches in a series of taped reminiscences. Of course the Wilson-Tarnopol story includes Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records and co-writer of Wilson’s early hits. Solters started in publicity while still at NYU, and continued even while in the Army, planting B’way column items. He is by no means departing his career of puffing: Among new clients, he is now publicizing the Morres MeubelHot Air Balloon Fest in Albuquerque! … The ever-changing face of Rodeo Drive will be missing one of its best-known and loved faces, Fred Hayman: He will move out of the building he’s owned since 1976. Louis Vuitton has taken a 20-year lease on the property on the corner of Rodeo and Dayton Way. Hayman, as one of the first presidents of the Rodeo Drive Assn., helped make the street internationally famous. He’s still on the Assn.’s board. The store, originally called Giorgio’s, was the birthplace of that fragrance and others including 273, Red, and Touch. In Feb., Hayman will introduce yet another scent, Fred Hayman’s Hollywood. He appears regularly on Home Shopping Network, where his line of women’s handbags is always a $ellout. He will appear again in Feb. and April. Hayman has been a costume consultant to the Oscars over the years and, as a music lover, has been a generous supporter of the Music Center and the L.A. Opera. His modesty is evident in his explanation of his success: “I’ve been a lucky guy.” He admits he has “mixed feelings” about leaving (but still owning) his familiar site. Will he move elsewhere? Only time will tell, he admits.

COULD IT BE THE INFLUENCE of El Nino? Barbra Streisand is giving very personal interviews, ditto Clint Eastwood (on “60 Minutes”). And now, Woody Allen will attend the Dec. 5 preem in L.A. of his “Deconstructing Harry.” Other cast members, natch, will be on hand: Kirstie Alley, Bob Balaban, Richard Benjamin, Judy Davis, Mariel Hemingway, Amy Irving, Julie Kavner, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Demi Moore, Elisabeth Shue, Robin Williams and Billy Crystal. The preem benefits Williams’ and Crystal’s favorite charity, Comic Relief for the homeless … Crystal was one of the first guests on Bob Urich’s talkshow pilot. They worked together 20 years ago on “Soap,” in which Crystal played the gay Jodie Dallas — revolutionary for TV in those days — with Urich playing the womanizing Peter Campbell. The latter looks great and was in good shape, also interviewing Jane Seymour and Fran Drescher … Ava Astaire and husband Richard McKenzie have each written a book (Roberts Rinehart publisher), both to be released St. Patrick’s Day. The McKenzies, who live half a year in Ireland, were here visiting friends and family. Jack Haley Jr. dinner-partied them with these longtime friends on hand: Cyd Charisse (who had co-starred with Ava’s father, Fred Astaire), Tony Martin, Stefanie Powers, Betty White, Carol Lynley and Barrie Chase (who also danced with Fred) … Add second generation: Nancee Borgnine has created Borgnine’s Coffee Soda, which is a giant hit. She is prez-CEO of the company that has gone national, with products in local markets including Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Hughes. A banker wants to take it public. Nancee started her career as an agent and casting director, but wanted to do something different. She originally created the drink just for her dad, Ernest … Add second generation: Loretta Young’s son, producer Chris Lewis, has packaged a seven-video box-set of 14 top segs from Loretta’s (black and white) TV series — plus home movies and a colorized version of Loretta in one of her favorite swirling gowns.

ALTHOUGH MANY OF THE CAST members of Miramax’s feature “54” were not around in the club’s heyday, celebs who were there are making cameo appearances in the movie starring Mike Myers as Steve Rubell. Donald Trump will appear in a scene to shoot at the club’s original site. And guesting this week in a scene at Elaine’s were Art Garfunkel, Peter Bogdanovich, Valerie Perrine and Lorna Luft, along with co-stars Ryan Phillippe (“I Know What You Did Last Summer”) and Sela Ward. Last week Phillippe did a cold night scene — au naturel — for several hours. Gesundheit! … Oscar-nominee (“Kiss Of Death,” 1947) Richard Widmark was honored by the Academy at N.Y.’s Museum of Modern Art. Bogdanovich hosted the program of film clips and friendly reminiscences. Acad prez Bob Rehme winged in for the toast, as did longtime Widmark friends Mona and Karl Malden (who co-starred in three pix with him) … Recording Artists Against Drunk Driving chairman David Niven Jr. flew to N.Y. to present the 1997 RADD Founder’s Award to Paul McCartney, who, with John Lennon, wrote the RADD theme song, “Baby You Can Drive My Car.” McCartney’s three-day Carnegie Hall “Standing Stone” concert is a sellout. And the record is the best seller in the classic music division … On World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, stars of “Ragtime,” “Rent” and “The Phantom” lend their talents to “When Casts Collide” at the Shubert Theater. Proceeds to Project Angel Food, B’way Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, H.E.A.L. and the Serra Project.

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