Friday, April 05, 2013

Music Friday: Rico Wears a Diamond in Barry Manilow's 'Copacabana'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today's featured song is "Copacabana," the timeless 1978 hit by Barry Manilow. Set in the late 1940s, the song refers to the Copacabana nightclub in New York City, which was the "hottest spot north of Havana." In the song, Rico — who wears a diamond — battles with Tony, the bartender, over the affection of Lola, the showgirl.

Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 10.24.06 PM

Tony tries to protect Lola from Rico, but during the fight a single gunshot rings out and it's not clear who the victim is — until the song's final verse set 30 years later. The club is now a disco, Lola has grown old, and we learn that she has never recovered from the loss of her love, Tony.

"Copacabana" earned the Brooklyn-born Manilow his first and only Grammy Award for Pop Male Vocalist in 1979, and the song also became his first gold single. Since its release in 1978, the catchy tune has been featured in more than a dozen films and covered by at least seven artists, including Amanda Lear and Kylie Minogue.

Manilow's career has spanned five decades. Between 1974 and 1983, he earned three No. 1 singles and 25 that reached the top 40. In 1978, he had five albums on the best-selling charts simultaneously.

We know you'll be singing along when you watch the video of Manilow performing "Copacabana," so we have provided the lyrics below. The video appears at the end of the post.

Written by Jack Feldman, Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman. Performed by Manilow.

Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl
With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there
She would meringue and do the cha-cha
And while she tried to be a star, Tony always tended bar
Across a crowded floor, they worked from 8 till 4
They were young and they had each other
Who could ask for more?

At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana (Copacabana)
The hottest spot north of Havana (here)
At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana
Music and passion were always the fashion
At the Copa, they fell in love

(Copa Copacabana)

His name was Rico, he wore a diamond
He was escorted to his chair, he saw Lola dancin' there
And when she finished, he called her over
But Rico went a bit too far, Tony sailed across the bar
And then the punches flew and chairs were smashed in two
There was blood and a single gun shot
But just who shot who?

At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana (Copacabana)
The hottest spot north of Havana (here)
At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana
Music and passion were always the fashion
At the Copa, she lost her love

(Copa Copacabana)
(Copa Copacabana) (Copacabana, ahh ahh ahh ahh)
(Ahh ahh ahh ahh Copa Copacabana)
(Like in Havana, have a banana)
(Music and passion, always the fash--shun)

Her name is Lola, she was a showgirl
But that was 30 years ago, when they used to have a show
Now it's a disco, but not for Lola
Still in the dress she used to wear, faded feathers in her hair
She sits there so refined, and drinks herself half-blind
She lost her youth and she lost her Tony
Now she's lost her mind!

At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana (Copacabana)
The hottest spot north of Havana (here)
At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana
Music and passion were always the fashion
At the Copa, don't fall in love

(Copa) don't fall in love

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Pink ‘Princie’ Diamond From Famed Golconda Mine Expected to Fetch Up to $40 Mil. at Christie’s Auction April 16

For centuries, India's most prized diamonds have been known as the "diamonds of Golconda," and some of the most famous stones from the ancient Golconda mine include the Hope Diamond and the Koh-i-Noor Diamond.

On April 16, another famous Golconda diamond — the extraordinary “Princie” — will rock the auction world when it goes on sale at Christie’s New York. The striking 34.65-carat cushion-cut gem is the largest fancy intense pink diamond ever to be offered for sale at auction. It's expected to fetch up to $40 million.


The Magnificent Jewels auction will feature nearly 300 lots, including top-quality colored and colorless diamonds, rare gemstones, natural pearls and a selection of signed vintage jewelry, but the true headliner of the show is The Princie Diamond. The rare pink diamond was first recorded nearly 300 years ago in the holdings of the Royal family of Hyderabad, rulers of one of the wealthiest provinces of the Mughal Empire.


It is widely believed that the largest and most beautiful stones discovered in Golconda were reserved for kings and rulers, as they represented the highest power — a power that magically transferred to the owner.

The Princie Diamond was first seen at auction in 1960, when the London branch of Van Cleef & Arpels scooped it up for a mere £46,000 ($69,000). That same year, Pierre Arpels christened the diamond “Princie” in honor of the 14-year-old Prince of Baroda, who was attending a Paris party with his mother, Maharani Sita Devi.


“One of the largest and finest pink diamonds in the world, The Princie Diamond carries a fabulous provenance. The rich history, combined with its rare pink hue, conveys a special charm, which will speak to all collectors in the world seeking the best of the best in gemstones,” said Francois Curiel, chairman of Christie’s jewelry department.

The auction house expects the famous pink diamond to “achieve in the region of $30 million to $40 million.”

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Miners Challenge Glacial Frontier to Find Precious Metals and Gems in New Reality Series, 'Ice Cold Gold'

Animal Planet's brand new series, “Ice Cold Gold,” spotlights a spirited team of miners who are among the first Americans to prospect for precious metals and gems in parts of Greenland where humans never have set foot before.


Beginning April 21, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), the six-part series follows eight men who leave behind their families, friends and homeland to strike it rich against all odds while struggling to survive against the harshest of conditions.

Under the glacial ice sheets of Greenland sits an immeasurable amount of mineral wealth, including gold, silver, platinum, sapphire, rubies and other precious gemstones.

Over the past decade, global warming has awakened Greenland from its mysterious, cold isolation. Once completely inaccessible to speculators, the treasures are now within reach as glacial ice has receded, revealing mineral-rich rock that had been undisturbed for more than 400,000 years. The prospectors have only two months to explore this new mining frontier before winter returns and the ice cap thickens.


Because of Greenland’s strict environmental regulations, miners are forced to use basic tools, such as shovels, chisels and pans, to do their prospecting. What results is a dramatic battle between man and nature, where daily landslides can suddenly rain boulders the size of cars and snowstorms can blow in with 70 mph winds at a moment’s notice.


The new show was filmed last summer in the capital city of Nuuk, as well as in a remote area of fjords known as Storø. The producers believe that the Storø location was so far off the beaten path that no human had even been there before.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

After Missing $20,000 Half-Court Shot This Bride-to-Be Gets a Consolation Prize She Will Never Forget

So it’s halftime at the Amway Center in Orlando, where the Magic is hosting the Miami Heat and beautiful basketball fan Elena believes she’s been selected at random from the sellout crowd to attempt a $20,000 half-court shot.


Sporting a giant smile, Elena is eating up the moment as she dribbles a few times, takes a running start (despite wearing a dress) and launches her shot at the basket. Sadly, it drops short of its mark, but Elena is undaunted. She continues to smile and wave at the crowd.


But wait, Elena’s 15 minutes of fame is going to last a bit longer. The announcer tells Elena she’s won a consolation prize. When she turns around, she sees her boyfriend, Eric, on the far side of the court on one knee with a ring in hand.


Overcome with emotion, Elena covers her face and walks slowly toward Eric. The teary-eyed Elena accepts his proposal. The couple embraces and the crowd goes crazy as the "Wedding March" plays on the PA system.


It’s hard to fathom, but Elena was the only one of 18,846 people in the arena who wasn’t in on the ruse. Eric had contacted the Orlando Magic management with his plan to deliver his epic proposal to Elena. The organization told Eric that they loved the idea. All he had to do was get Elena to the arena.


While Elena was attempting her shot, the Orlando Magic mascot, Stuff, held a sign telling the fans that what they were watching was not a contest, but a surprise marriage proposal. The sign also encouraged the crowd to keep the secret. “SSHHHH,” read the sign. The magical moment was shown live on the arena’s giant video scoreboard.

"It was just complete shock," Elena said on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” where the couple was invited to recount their special moment. "It was probably the most exciting thing that's ever happened to me in my life, so far."

Monday, April 01, 2013

Magnificent 74-Carat Pear-Shaped Diamond Headlines Sotheby's April 17 Auction

In honor of April’s birthstone — diamond — we offer you a sneak peek at the 74.79-carat pear-shaped centerpiece of Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale that will take place in New York on April 17. Called “the most important white diamond ever to appear at auction in the Americas,” the fabulous jewel is expected to fetch between $9 million and $12 million.


Of the 401 lots to be auctioned at Sotheby’s in April, this potentially internally flawless, D-color diamond has gotten the most attention. Sotheby’s claims the gem is one of only a few pear-shaped, 50-plus-carat diamonds of the best color grade to be auctioned in decades.


The present owner — a private collector — acquired the 74.79-carat diamond for $4.3 million in 2001. That’s approximately $57,000 per carat. For the upcoming sale, the auction house has the diamond estimated conservatively at $120,000 per carat, according to Lisa Hubbard, chairman of North and South America, Sotheby’s International jewelry division. “This truly exceptional stone exemplifies the strength of the white diamond market over the last decade,” she said.

Top lots from the auction will be on display at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center from April 3 to 7, before returning to The Big Apple for the sale.