Grandma’s Celebrity Gossip

After a restorative hiatus, our popular California columnist returns to memorialize Aretha Franklin and Della Reese and comment on their successors.


So sad I was when I heard that Aretha Franklin had died. One of the greats she was — a real mechaieh. Once on TV I saw her sing a quiet little love song that stirred my soul and made me think of my Sidney and how I miss him. Beautiful. There will never be another Aretha Franklin.

I never got to see Aretha perform in person, but Sid and I almost managed to see Della Reese’s show at a nightclub in Harlem. That was before she was somebody. We went with Sid’s cousin, Leon Schmidlapp, a real nudnik. A wooden leg he had, and he did what for a living? What didn’t he do? He played the flugelhorn in a mariachi band. He sold 8-track tapes under the boardwalk in Atlantic City. He repaired TVs so bad that afterwards you got cross-eyed from looking at them. Oy, gevalt!

So, a nice table they gave us in front. The house lights go down, the spotlight comes up, and Della glides onto the stage. It’s at that moment when Leon reaches down and pulls a bottle of Schnapps (or who knows what!) out of his dummy leg, and out they toss us for bringing our own booze. So much for seeing Della Reese.  Oy, gevalt again!

Adele Luskin thinks Beyonce will be the next Aretha. Hoo-hah! She’s got no voice, that Beyonce. All she can do is wiggle her ample toches.

And then Madonna, who’s got some chutzpah going on TV to eulogize Aretha Franklin, and instead kvell about herself, and her own sordid career. She’s another one who can’t sing without the auto-lube (Auto-Tune.) Most of her public life she’s spent cavorting half-naked with shikkers like Sean Penn and Dennis Rodman, making movies nobody wants to see, and studying the Cabala. And did anybody see her on “Live with Kelly and Ryan?” So frumpy-looking she was in a shlock house-dress, I thought she was Ethel Mertz.

Madonna, bubeleh, you’re 60. Do us all a favor and get yourself to a rocking chair.

I’ve said enough already.

Editor’s Note

Below is a photo of the dress Madonna wore for the Kelly and Ryan interview.

Here’s a link to the event itself.  The Id cultural team believes Grandma’s points merit consideration.

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