Harry Nilsson's Son to Record Late Singer-Songwriter's Obscure Songs and More Insider Scoop
Nilsson Sings Nilsson
Celebrated 1970s singer-songwriter and John Lennon's drinking buddy Harry Nilsson is due for a revival, and his 30-year-old son Kief Nilsson may be the one to make it happen. Lee Blackman, the attorney for Nilsson père’s estate (he died in 1993), tells Billboard that “Kief-o,” as he calls him, is recording an album of his dad’s songs, including “All I Think About Is You,” “Rainmaker,” “Daybreak,” “Maybe,” “Kojak Columbo,” “Maybe," which was recorded by Barbra Streisand and released on her 1971 Stoney End album, and "The Flying Saucer Song," which was originally recorded for Pussy Cats, the 1974 album that Lennon produced during his legendary, drunken 18-month "Lost Weekend" in Los Angeles. (The song did not make the final track list but was included on a recent reissue of the album.)
“It’s a work in progress,” says Blackman, who explains that the record has no release date or major label attached to it. He says that Kief is recording the LP with Cal Campbell, the son of singer-songwriter Glen Campbell, at Cal's Agoura Borealis Recording studio in Agoura Hills, Calif. (Kief, who plays bass, and Cal, who's a drummer, went on the road with the elder Campbell as part of his Goodbye tour band.) Fans of the elder Nilsson will be happy to hear that Kief has two working titles in mind for the record, Nilsson Sings Nilsson and Son of Son of Schmilsson, which, respectively, are nods to his father's albums Nilsson Sings Newman and Son of Schmilsson.
American Idol Christmas
The 84th annual Hollywood Christmas Parade in Los Angeles turned into an impromptu episode of American Idol. Among those who attended or performed at the Nov. 28 event were 2003 winner Ruben Studdard and runner-up Clay Aiken, 2006 winner Taylor Hicks and finalist Chris Daughtry, and 2013 winner Candice Glover and finalists Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo, who are married.
Additional reporting by Frank DiGiacomo
An edited version of this story originally appeared in the Dec. 12 issue of Billboard.