Sorry I've taken so long to respond to your email. You ask about "nicest" show biz entities. Way back in the before time, I used to write for the S.F. Examiner and interviewed dozen upon dozens of celebs flacking for their latest whatevers, and I never encountered a lemon in the lot. Always on their best behavior, and this includes Mickey Rourke and Mel Gibson. The one I liked best, though, was Ricardo Montalban. At pains, at all cost, to avoid cliche-mongering. The result was a rather interesting and thoughtful interview. Lily Tomlin was super. Unbidden, a few days later she sent me copies of her wonderful TV specials long before they were available on home vid. Nice!
BTW, I recall an absolutely wonderful Joel quote re: Mitch Miller. I thought it was on ______, but I searched and searched the archives and could not find it. Maybe he wrote it in an email he sent me? More or less it went like this: Mitch Miller is where American popular music paused on its way down to its inevitable descent into ______ . (Oblivion?. . . . . .ruin?. . .the pit of hell?)
I did, however, find one of Joel's other invariably and acerbic on-the-mark observations about Miller, to wit:
"Miller is/was an accomplished classical musician who is as responsible as anyone for the collapse of mainstream American popular music. At Columbia (and at Mercury before I believe) he imposed crap on Day, Sinatra, Clooney and developed cornball "artistes" like Guy Mitchell to lower the common denometer of public taste. With beboppers pushing jazz beyond the comprehension of most listeners and Miller grinding out pap (culminating later in his wretched "singalong" albums), is it any wonder that rock and roll emerged and came to dominate the pop charts?" Whoa!
I tracked down Patty McGovern!!!!!!