Montreal pop singer Myriam Poirier, 17, has recorded just one album in her two-year career. As a result, she is using the phrase “chance of a lifetime” about her part in this week’s Liberal leadership convention. To open a lavish televised farewell to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, she will sing a syrupy —some would say sappy—ballad called Thank You Mister Trudeau, which she released as a single last March. Since then, several Quebec newspaper columnists have criticized composer Jean Brousseau’s lyrics, which include the lines: “You held us under your spell/ With that twinkle in your eye/And the magic of your smile.” But the television show’s producer, John Bell, defended his choice of Poirier, known professionally only as “Myriam.” Said Bell: “Having lived most of her life with Trudeau as Prime Minister, she is a living representation of the Trudeau era.” As for Poirier’s opinion of Trudeau, she declared, “He speaks so well, I could listen to him for hours.”
Since The Jackson 5 first invaded the Top 10 in 1969, several of the six Jackson brothers and three sisters have recorded 31 albums, 16 together and 15 as soloists. But the success of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, which has sold more than 33 million copies since he
released it in December, 1982, has set off an even more frenzied round of activity by five of his lesserknown siblings and former group members. At least two of the five want to cash in on Michael’s successful sound, and he has co-operated: he sang a duet with older brother Jermaine on last month’s Jermaine Jackson album and wrote and produced a song for sister Maureen’s Centipede, which will be in record shops by August. But at least one other family member is trying to escape Michael’s supershadow. His sister LaToya, whose third album, Heart Don't Lie, will be released next week, even refuses to answer questions about Michael. Said she: “Unfortunately, people try to compare you to Michael, which is unfair. I would like to hear people say, ‘That’s LaToya,’ and not know she is related to the Jacksons.”
%^/hen James Watt was President T TRonald Reagan’s secretary of the interior, he often infuriated most of the public with his comments on minority groups. His most outrageous remark cost him his job last October when he referred to the mix of people on his advisory commission on coal sales. Boasted Watt: “I have a black, I have a
woman, two Jews and a cripple.” Despite his record the Lummi Indian tribe in Bellingham, Wash., has hired Watt to act as consultant to help the tribe diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on government aid. It was only 17 months ago that Watt described Indian reservations as shameful examples of the “failures of socialism” because they displayed high rates of unemployment and alcoholism. But Gerald James, chairman of the tribe’s fish commission, dismissed the suggestion that Watt was a questionable choice. Said James: “You cannot alienate someone forever for some remarks they once made.”
Canada’s best-known nature photographer, Freeman Patterson, felt oddly at home last summer when he was clambering through rugged mountain passes in Namaqualand, South Africa, to take pictures for a book published this month. But Patterson was literally at home last week in his native New Brunswick and he felt mildly uneasy. He was on assignment, with more than 100 of the world’s other top photojournalists, to shoot ordinary Canadians for a coffee-table book called A Day in the Life of Canada. Patterson’s problem: he has always been uncomfortable photographing human beings. Said Patterson: “One of the big problems was not wanting to invade people’s privacy.” But he took the lens cap off his courage and he even woke up a friend at 6 a.m. to take his picture. And in a moment of fairplay turnabout, he turned his camera at the CTV television crew assigned to follow his progress. Said Patterson, generously: “They are ordinary people too.” EDITED BY ANN WALMSLEY
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