The Seventy-Second One... and Toni Basil


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By Wendi McLendon-Covey & Dfernando Zaremba, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Dfernando Zaremba. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Episode 72 and Wendi and Dfernando's guest interview is legendary multi-award winning singer, dancer, actress, choreographer, and film director Toni Basil.
Toni Basil is a multiple Emmy Award winner and Grammy Award nominee and has choreography and directorial credits on over 50 videos and has choreographed and co-directed concerts for Tina Turner, David Bowie, Bette Midler, David Lee Roth, Mick Jagger as well as many others. She has also collaborated with Elvis Presley, Talking Heads, to The Muppets.

In 2008 Toni received Hip Hop International's highest award "Living Legend of Hip Hop." Former recipients include Don “Campbellock” Campbell, Boogaloo Sam, MC Hammer, DJ Kool Herc, and Grandmaster Caz.

Toni is co-founder and one of the 7 original members of the 1970s legendary The Lockers, which now is considered "the group that changed the face of dance." She is recognized as a seminal influence in bringing street dance to the attention of the American public. She is currently writing a book on the history of American Street Dance.

Toni was presented with an Emmy Award for a commercial featuring MC Hammer. She has worked on an incredible range of television programming, from TV Land’s SALUTE TO SOUL TRAIN, NAACP IMAGE AWARDS, NBC TV’s SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, SESAME STREET, and countless music awards shows.

Toni's most notable feature film credits include choreography for such classics as George LucasAMERICAN GRAFFITI, PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED, MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING, to LEGALLY BLONDE. Her subtle choreographic hand was visible throughout Tom Hanks’ directorial debut THAT THING YOU DO!, and more recently in Quentin Tarantino's 2019 film, ONCE UPON TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margo Robbie.

Toni received a double platinum record for her multi-million-selling global smash hit single “Mickey” and a Gold Album for 1981's WORD OF MOUTH album, which also led to Gold Albums in the UK, Canada and Australia. She received a Grammy Award nomination for her WORD OF MOUTH long-form video album, which she conceptualized, produced, choreographed, and directed.

Billboard Magazine's #1 Song for the Month of December 1982, “Mickey” was installed in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as one of the ground-breaking singles of the 1980s. The “Mickey” music video was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in 1992, which earned Toni a place as an American Video Artist in the coveted Museum of Modern Art's calendar.

She starred, co-directed, and choreographed two self-titled BBC-television specials, which were re-aired in record time due to unprecedented audience response, and are credited as launching “Mickey” as a hit single in the U.K. charts and, ultimately, worldwide after appearing in a wide variety of television shows.

Toni has acted in numerous legendary films including EASY RIDER and FIVE EASY PIECES, and has appeared as a dancer in countless films in the 1960s from PAJAMA PARTY to Bob Fosse’s SWEET CHARITY.

Toni has also directed short art films: GAME OF THE WEEK, A DANCE FILM, OUR TRIP, and THE PING PONG MATCH. Pre-dating music videos, these avant-garde pieces found a new audience and were exhibited at the Santa Monica Museum of Art and New York's Grey Art Gallery. The L.A. Times noted that filmmaker Toni Basil's deft editing transformed an ordinary ping pong match between Gray and Stockwell (both noted American actors) into an energetic dance routine.

As a classically trained dancer, Toni continues to dance and attend Locking, Hip Hop, and African dance classes by day, and underground dance clubs at night. She has immersed herself in the Latin music and dance scene, and has guest performed singing, dancing and playing percussion with the top Los Angeles based salsa bands.

She adds to her list of expertise in world dance and partnering Afro/Cuban, Tango, Flamenco, Salsa, East Coast and West Coast Swing.

Continuing in the family tradition (her father: an orchestra leader, and mother: a vaudevillian), she has excelled in every entertainment medium: stage, music, commercials, television, film and video. Her unique form of artistic mastery is at the heart of all of her work. She remains a true pioneer in the dance world, a visionary, and a genuine American treasure.

From judging street dance events internationally to being a trending viral video, Toni has always being on the cutting edge of pop culture, and shows no sign of stopping.

Want to know more? Just do a Google search for Toni Basil and choose from over 69,000 references.

Also on Episode 72, Wendi and Dfernando go into the new RENO 911! film THE HUNT FOR QANON (now streaming on Paramount Plus), 2 of Dfernando's new works: the cover editorial for CLIENT U.S. Magazine and his editorial in YEARBOOK FANZINE Magazine (both now on newstands and on digital download), and Wendi addresses a recent situation over at THE GOLDBERGS, and gives out a few shoutouts to some fans who recently rated and reviewed the podcast.

Watch Wendi and Dfernando and their TEAM GENERATION RIPE: Greg Covey, Shelley McLendon and Ponciana Badia on Season 7 Episode 2 of CELEBRITY FAMILY FEUD - now on ABC OnDemand and Hulu and on the GENERATION RIPE website.

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84 episodes