The Starland Vocal Band is alive and well, but while one-half of its personnel are pregnant (i.e., Taffy Danoff and Margot Chapman), Jon Carroll is keeping busy with a local aggregation temporarily known as Jon Carroll's Coda. Band members include former Mike Cotter Band guitarist Dexter Hodges, Rent's Due (and ex-Cotter) bassist Ronnie Newmyre, Austin drummer Paul Blakemore (who daylights as an engineer for National Public Radio) and Carroll on piano, guitar and lead vocals. Coda is planning a number of area appearances in the next couple of months, kicking off with a Dec. 21 date at the Cellar Door. Material is being provided by Bill and Taffy Danoff, Carroll and Tom Cotter.
The Nashville Sound: Beleaguered country singer Tammy Wynette is back in the hospital, this time with anemia... Sgt. Barry Sadler, who topped the charts in 1966 with "The Ballad of the Green Berets," last week shot and killed a man outside the Nashville apartment of Sadler's girlfriend. The victim, a former boyfriend of the woman, had been harassing her for nearly a year, according to Sadler. The police, calling it self-defense, will file no charges against Sadler.
The Toys for Tots benefit at the Capital Centre Sunday (3 p.m.) is nearly sold out. Acts scheduled include Firefall, the Atlanta Rhythm Section, Pablo Cruise and Dr. Hook. A new or used toy is required along with the ticket for admission.
The Cap Centre is planning an Elvis Presley Tribute late in January which will feature three Elvis lookalikes impersonators: John Seton of Beltsville, Little El of Delaware and Elvis Wade of Nashville. Presley's two favorite back-up groups, J. D. Summer and the Stamps and the Jordannaires, will also appear. The three clones are due in Washington next week for a preview peek and press conference.
The Local Line: Polish-born jazz pianist Adam Makowicz makes his first Washington club appearance Friday-Sunday at One Step Down... The Nighthawks return to D.C with a one-nighter Dec. 20 at Desperado's... Sea Level plays Tuesday at the Bayou... Jazz flautist Dave Valentine, who opens for the Persuasions at the Cellar Door this weekend, was a schooltecacher in the South Bronx up to and including the day of his debut with Maynard Ferguson at Carnegie Hall a couple of weeks ago... The Blanchard-Hummel Duo (Carver Blanchard, guitar, and George Hummel, flute) will perform a free concert of original, Spanish-flavored and jazz music Sunday afternoon (3 p.m.) at All Souls' Church, 16th and Harvard Streets NW. The concert, which includes works by Chick Corea and Maurice Ravel, is made possible by a National Endowment for the Arts grant... Alan Lee of WGRB-FM will host a salute to the Howard Theatre Saturday (8 p.m. and midnight) at the Howard, featuring the '50s R&B sounds of the Skyliners, the Jive Five, the Moonglows and the Spaniels. For information phone 587-1858 or 332-2300... The Urban Verbs will provide the entertainment at the Beaux Arts Masquerade Ball Saturday night to benefit the Corcoran's School of Art. Judges for the costume competition will range from Nan Powell to Father Gilbert Hartke... During his Dec. 29-Jan. 1 stint at the Cellar Door, Danny Gatton will record a live album backed by the Redneck Jazz Explosion featuring steel guitarist Buddy Emmons. Meanwhile, when the current stock of red-vinyl copies of Gatton's last "Redneck Jazz" album runs out, 2,000 will be pressed on gold.
The lineup for the UNICEF benefit concert at the U.N. General Assembly building Jan. 9 (which will be aired on NBC the next evening as a 90-minute special) will include: ABBA, the Bee Gees, Rita Coolidge, John Denver, Earth, Wind & Fire, Andy Gibb, Elton John, Kris Kristofferson, Olivia Newton-John and Rod Stewart. All the artists except the Bee Gees will be introducing a song composed especially for the UNICEF drive; all proceeds and royalties from these records and from the Bee Gees already released "Too Much Heaven" will be donated to UNICEF. David Frost, the Bee Gees and their manager, RSO president Robert Stigwood, will serve as executive producers.
Tracks: Warren Zevon is rumored to be signing up for management by Irv Azoff, the Little Big Man who handles the Eagles, Dan Fogelberg and Jimmy Buffett... Aerosmith's Steve Tyler was struck in the face by broken glass from a bottle thrown out of the audience in Philadelphia's Spectrum. Last year a cherry bomb injured another band member at the same venue; word is that Aerosmith has vowed never to set foot in Philly again... Chuck Mangione has swept the '78 Record World Jazz Awards, as Top Male Artist, Top Solo Album ("Feels So Good"), Top Fusion Artist and of course Top Trumpet/Flugelhorn... Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, who had to give up the tour temporarily after bronchitis laid him low one concert after Washington, is recuperating in San Francisco; missed December dates (including two sellouts in Madison Square Garden) will be rescheduled in January... Are those background vocals on the newly released (but oldie) Jerry Lee Lewis version of "Save the Last Dance for Me" really Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins? ... The Rolling Stones have won Cue Magazine's "Golden Apple Award" for best recording group for their "contribution to improving the quality of life in the arts in New York City."
WHFS-FM (102.3) will broadcast a series of concerts live from the Cellar Door this week, beginning Monday at 10 p.m. with the Pirates; Wednesday, 8:30 p.m., Guy Clark; Thursday, 9 p.m., Jessie Winchester (taped at his Warner Theater appearance earlier this year); and Friday, 10 p.m., Tanya Tucker.