Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Unless you aren’t reading this on the day it published, in which case heads up, you missed Mother’s Day.
This is a weird one for a couple reasons. First, odds are pretty good you can’t actually spend it with your mother. If you don’t live with her, she’s gonna have to settle for a phone call. She’s older than you so she’s at greater risk of the plague. Second, April lasted about six hours, so a significant chunk of people don’t even realize it’s May yet.
By the way, additional heads up, it’s been May for over a week now. I know, right?
Now that I’ve warned you to call your mom, I have to parlay that into five songs, some vaguely interesting facts, and a bunch of snarky jokes, so please enjoy this list of four mothers of people you probably didn’t know had a famous mother and one total cop-out.
Minnie Riperton — “Lovin’ You”
You know this song. You’ve definitely heard it at least once. It’s pretty good, if a bit saccharine.
What you almost definitely didn’t know is that it’s performed by the mother of Maya Rudolph, the actress from “Saturday Night Live,” “Bridesmaids,” “Idiocracy,” “The Good Place,” and a bunch of really funny stuff.
And I’m not just saying Maya Rudolph is funny because she attended my alma mater, UC Santa Cruz. But it does help. I refuse to hide my shameless pro-Slug bias.
Bebe Buell — “Cosmic Kiss”
This song you definitely don’t know and probably shouldn’t have ever been recorded. It’s by Liv Tyler’s mom.
Bebe Buell was one of the inspirations for Penny Lane in the movie Almost Famous. She insists she’s not a groupie but she’s been in relationships with, among others, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Jimmy Page, Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop and obviously, Steven Tyler.
In fact, Liv Tyler was originally Liv Rundgren, because at the time Buell was dating Todd Rundgren. Buell and Rundgren broke up shortly after Liv’s birth, and Liv didn’t find out Steven Tyler was her dad until she was 9 years old. That really kinda worked out because “Liv Rundgren” is a terrible name.
Debbie Reynolds — “Am I That Easy To Forget”
This one is more well-known after they died within a day of each other, but actress and singer Debbie Reynolds is the mother of actress and overall awesome person Carrie Fisher.
Speaking of infidelity, when Reynolds’ best friend Elizabeth Taylor’s third husband died in a plane crash in 1959, her husband and Carrie’s father, Eddie Fisher, revealed he and Taylor were having an affair, and he left Reynolds to marry her instead. This was so scandalous in the ’50s that Eddie’s TV show was canceled. As opposed to now, where it’s newsworthy when a famous couple isn’t constantly cheating on each other.
Eddie went on to marry three women after divorcing Taylor. Reynolds married twice after Eddie. Taylor was married four times after Eddie, to three men. She married Richard Burton twice. Carrie Fisher was married to Paul Simon for about a year and nearly got married to Dan Ackroyd but didn’t go through with it. Every famous person has been in a relationship with every other famous person.
The Judds — “Love Can Build A Bridge”
“You fool!” you’re undoubtedly shouting at your monitor, flecks of spittle spattering the screen. “Of course Naomi Judd is Wynonna Judd’s mother! They were in that band together!”
But there’s another Judd! Ashley Judd, the actress who had to kiss Wil Wheaton in that terrible episode of “Star Trek” where everyone gets addicted to a glorified cell phone game. She then went on to be in something like three dozen movies anyway. She’s Naomi’s other daughter.
It’s always weird when the younger sibling comes out of nowhere to outshine her predecessors. Like how hate crime aficionado Mark Wahlberg got passed over for New Kids on the Block but went on to be a movie star, or how Elizabeth Olsen is an Avenger while her sisters have retired to a life of, as far as I can tell, being gaunt while paparazzi still take pictures of them for some reason.
The Supremes — “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”
Look, usually I pick songs I like for this, but none of these are my cup of tea. So I’m giving myself one I like and shoehorning it in.
One of Diana Ross’ daughters is Tracee Ellis Ross, the mom on “Black-ish.” One of her sons is Evan Ross, himself a musician and Ashlee Simpson’s husband. You know at least two of those people! So that’s all the excuse I need to put a song I really like on the list.
If you don’t like it, write your own column.
Follow editor Daniel J. Willis and tweet column ideas to him at Twitter.com/BayAreaData.