Former Sri Lankan and long-time Jim Reeves devotee, Ranjit Vethakan,
took Houston, Texas in USA by storm recently with a stellar performance
at a special day in honour of the legendary singer Jim Reeves.
an Australian passport, the one-time journalist, is a regular face
in the extensive club network across the vast continent Down Under,
working under his first name.
The visit to
Texas, at the invitation of the Reeves Family, no doubt ranks as
the highlight of Ranjit's career - even dwarfing dream-time stints
as support act for other legendary entertainers of the modern era,
such as Engelbert Humperdinck, Barry Manilow, Glen Campbell, Helen
Reddy and the man who took his name from a wolf - Lobo - on their
tours of Southeast Asia.
an awesome experience singing to such an audience . . . every man
and woman sitting out there was near and dear to Jim in one way
or another," said Ranjit, shortly after he was accorded a long
standing ovation at the Panola College's magnificent QM Martin auditorium
at Jim's birth place, Carthage - about three hours by road northeast
virtually shivering in my boots when introduced by the MC (Scott
Reeves, a great nephew of Jim) but as the drums started beating
for my opening number, the distant drums, I settled in and doing
the rest of my repertoire was a piece of cake' Ranjith said in a
special mail to Sunday Times.
you, I was virtually an intruder here. This was Jim Reeves country.
To come here, more than any other place in the world, and be accorded
such a reception is an experience I'll never forget." he admitted.
Jim is still a legend all over the world after all these years,
but in this patch he is almost god. Hence, the nervousness before
I walked on stage," said Ranjit.
Reeves, who was born in Galloway, a little village just down the
road from Carthage, would have turned 80 on August 20 this year.
He was three
weeks short of his 41st birthday, when the single-engined plane
he was in control of, crashed during a wild storm not far from his
modest home in Nashville, Tennessee, on July 31, 1964.The only other
person on board was Jim's pianist, Dean Manuel.
is still the highest selling Country Artiste for RCA records and
the 11th in all genres
Jim Reeves Country music jamboree is held each spring, and has strictly
been a Texan affair. Proud of its Country music heritage, only entertainers
from within the vast American state had previously been invited
to be on the show.
invited to a gig of this magnitude is an experience that can never
be surpassed," said Ranjit. "Yeah, I'm so proud to be
the first to be imported from outside Texas."
the star of the show was John Rex Reeves, the only member of the
Reeves Clan to pursue a career under the spotlights. But, by the
time Jim's nephew hit the stage, it was pretty obvious Ranjit had
stolen his thunder.
goose bumps as I walked off stage. Man, I stood in front of 14,000-plus
people at a stadium in Manila on the night I opened for Engelbert
some years ago."
that was some experience of a life time, but this simply outshone
it . . . it was awesome!".
on stage weren't the only memorable moments for Ranjit that night.
for the now defunct Sun and the Weekend Newspapers and also spent
10 years as a senior journalist with the Bangkok Post in Thailand
before migrating to Australia with his wife, son, Andrew, and daughter,
Rebecca, in 1988.
later he turned his back on a 30-year career with the fourth estate
to give his vocal cords another go in front of audiences.
was produced by then popular radio man and close friend, Vijaya
Corea" he said
All American Beauty'
When 18-year-old Sally Buterfield (Diane Lane) enters a
Texas state beauty pageant, her goal is to win a scholarship and
further her music studies. But winning sets in motion an unexpected
chain of events for Sally, the most significant of which is competing
in the national pageant, which will require a separation from her
boyfriend, Michael Carrington (Brian Kerwin) and her family. When
she is chosen Miss All-American Beauty her life is catapulted into
a frenzy of press conferences, interviews and extensive travelling.
Soon, she fears that she is losing all that is really important
to her: her family, her music, Michael, and most of all, herself.
on Monday at 10.00 p.m.
Lane on ITN
From McG, the director of the "Charlie's Angels"
features, and John McNamara, writer for "The Fugitive"
television series, comes this new series following two cops who
have the ultimate backstage pass into the glamorous world of high-stakes
crime as they go undercover to take down the highest - and lowest
- criminals of Los Angeles.
It's like V.I.P.
without Pamela Anderson. Wait! Come back! There's still plenty of
juicy stuff to gawk at when hip Charlie's Angels director McG helms
this cheesy serving of action, hot girls and fast cars.
Facinelli, Bill Bellamy and Tiffani Thiessen
0n Every Tuesday
at 10 00 pm on ITN
on Sirasa TV
is a work of fiction, based on facts. For the first time a film
dares to take an honest and courageous look at some of the real
reasons behind terrorism and insurgency. It shows how guns and drugs
are smuggled in, across the border and how they reach the interiors
spreading terror and destruction. The film unfolds in the dense
forests bordering Maharashtra and Andra Pradesh and then moves to
the awesomely majestic deserts of Rajashtan, to the streets of Delhi
and the realistically captured underbelly of Mimabai, to narrate
a story of the proxy war that Pakistan is waging against India.
the story of a honest young man Ajay, played by Amir Khan whose
life is never the same after an encounter with terrorists leaving
in it wake - a dead brother and a paraplegic father. Despite the
odds, this young man finds A REASON TO LIVE.
canvas is vast, the narration of the film is fast paced and dramatic.
Sonali Bendre is refreshing as she brings in the romance and the
comic moments. Naseeruddin Shah's brilliance can be seen as a ghazal
singer where his performance is soft and yet remarkable in its intensity.
Amir Khan stands apart, assaying a role that is credible, taught
with a restrained violence and power that is devastating.
for this gripping story that will keep you engrossed.
Khan and Sonali Bendre
May 4 at 8.00 pm on Sirasa TV
The Wedding Dress; It is a radiant wedding gown, painstakingly
hand-stitched in loving anticipation of Hannah's fiancés
return from the war. But when a torpedo makes a direct hit on the
ship transporting Hannah's groom home, the dress is packed away
in the attic, along with Hannah dreams for her future as a bride.
girl's only wish is that someday this lovely dress will be worn
by someone with a love as deep as her own. Fifty-five years later,
Hannah ships the cherished dress to her nephew Travis for his wedding,
who is a talented freelance photographer, has proposed marriage
to a striking fashion model named Cass. The problem, though, is
that Travis has chosen the wrong bride.
indispensable assistant is the women he truly loves, but he does
not realize this until she disappears from his life. On the very
same day that Zoey leaves, Travis's car is stolen and his aunt's
treasured wedding gown also vanishes.
May 4 at 9.00 p.m. on Dynavision
life is complicated when Donna subs for Bruce who is trying to help
a young black kid who's entangled in a gang, the sentencing of a
animal killer is complicated by a Native American tribe, and her
wayward cousin, Kyle, returns to the family fold.
on ETV on Monday, May 5 at 8.00 p.m.