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FAME (1986)

Bonnie as Fannie Fortune in FameBonnie and Nia Peebles on the set of "Fame"Nicole in the studio against a poster of her singing idol, Frannie FortunePromo photo of Bonnie, used for a Frannie Fortune poster in the film "Fame"

Nicole (Nia Peebles) learns a thing or two about the harder side of the music business from her singing idol Frannie Fortune (Bonnie), in the episode "Fame And Fortune" of the popular TV series "Fame" (S6E09 - 29 Dec 1986). During the story, Bonnie sings "Damaged" (mp3) in a studio recording booth, a lovely short accoustic version of "Mama, He's Treatin' Your Daughter Mean" (mp3) and "Find It In Your Mind".



Bonnie and Roseanne (1)Bonnie and Roseanne (2)Bonnie at the studio with Rosanne Bonnie singing with David Crosby

Bonnie had a recurring role as Bonnie Watkins in the hit TV series "Roseanne" between 1991-92. Most scenes involved some amusing banter with Roseanne in the cafe, where they worked together. But the real highlights were when Bonnie surprised many viewers with her singing prowess - firstly to help celebrate a Mother's Day barbecue (*) and then in a rousing duet with David Crosby (**).

Bonnie appeared in the following episodes:

* Valentine's Day (S3E17 - 12 Feb1991)
* Vegas Interruptus (S3E19 - 26 Feb 1991)
* Dances with Darlene (S3E23 - 30 Apr 1991)
* Scenes from a Barbecue (S3E24 - 7 May 1991)
- with "You've Really Got A Hold On Me" (mp3) (*)
* Take My Bike, Please! (S4E02 - 24 Sep 1991)
* Why Jackie Becomes a Trucker (S4E03 - 1 Oct 1991)
* Darlene Fades to Black (S4E04 - 8 Oct 1991)
* Tolerate Thy Neighbor (S4E05 - 15 Oct 1991)
* Stressed to Kill (S4E09 - 19 Nov 1991)
* Santa Claus (S4E12 - 24 Dec 1991)
* Bingo (S4E13 - 7 Jan 1992)
* The Bowling Show (S4E14 - 21 Jan 1992) - with "Roll On Down" (mp3) (**)
* Less Is More (S4E16 - 11 Feb 1992)
* The Commercial Show (S4E19 - 3 Mar 1992)
* Lies (S4E02 - 24 Mar 1992)
* Deliverance (S4E22 - 31 Mar 1992)
* Secrets (S4E23 - 28 Apr 1992)
* Aliens (S4E25 - 12 May 1992)

(*) Bonnie singing "You've Really Got A Hold On Me" at Roseanne's barbecue.


(**) Bonnie Bramlett and David Crosby perform "Roll On Down".

Bonnie singing on The Roseane Show, 2000 (1)Bonnie and Roseanne singing on The Roseane Show, 2000Bonnie and Roseanne get into charachter for a songBonnie singing on The Roseane Show, 2000 (2)

This work introduced Bonnie to a whole new audience and was followed by a few more sessions with her friend Rosanne Barr, starting with an interview with Rosanne on her new solo show and couple of songs with a very funky house band in 2000 - "You Really Got A Hold On Me" and "Your Kind Of Kindness". With Bonnie's enouragement - though hardly needed! - Rosanne also took a mike and showed the world how well she could sing... ending up writhing in an empassioned climax on the studio floor.

Bonnie and Bekka on The Real Rosanne show, Nashville, 2003Bonnie with Rosanne, Nashville, 2003

In 2003 Bonnie joined in "The Real Roseanne Show", along with dauhgter Bekka (above left), in the ephisode "Something's Cooking" (S1E10 - 3 Sep 2003).

Rockin' With Rosanne - Calling All Kids, DVD coverBonnie cartoon, in Rosane's song, "Calling All Kinds"

Next up was a DVD of kiddies' songs, titled "Rockin' with Roseanne - Calling All Kids". Bonnie can be heard joining in on a couple of songs, "No Monsters Allowed" and "Calling All Kids", but appears only once and briefly at that - as a cartoon charachter!

Bonnie on the Roseanne reunion, Larry King Live, CNN, 2005

A cast reunion on Larry King Live brought together the main players from the original sitcom for interviews and a chat on 7 Oct 2005.

Bonnie being interviewed for a Tina Turner TV documentary

Bonnie is famous for being the only ever white member of The Ikettes, the vocal backing group that supported Ike & Tina Turner. She shared some of her remarkable experiences about this short tenure, in a Tina Turner career overview produced for the Biography TV channel in 2007. Both Ike and Tina made a big impact on Bonnie as a teenager.


Vanishing Point cover  (thumbnail) VANISHING POINT (1971)

Merry Clayton, Rita Coolidge and Bonnie singing in the film in Vanishing Point
Delaney & Bonnie, joined by Mamo (Delaney's Mum) and daughter Bekka, in Vanishing Point

Delaney and Bonnie on the set of Vanishing Point

During the course of this cult road movie, the main charachter comes across a group of faith healer followers in the desert, singing "You Got To Believe" off the back of an open cart. He doesn't seem to recognise it's Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, including Rita Coolidge, Sam Clayton (soon to join Little Feat), David Gates (of Bread) and a very young Bekka Bramlett... but then that's not part of the story.

Catch My Soul cover (thumbnail) CATCH MY SOUL (1974)

Bonnie, husband Delaney, Tony Joe White, Richie Havens and others star in a modern reworking of Shakeseare's "Orthello". Bonnie contributes "Chug A Lug (The Drinking Song)" to the official sountrack album and Delaney & Bonnie can be briefly seen in the film, singing at a raucous beach party. The music in "Catch My Soul" was good but the film itself was generally panned by the critics. For many years it was difficult to find but in 2015 the film was released on DVD.

The Doors cover (thumbnail) THE DOORS (1991)

Screenshot of Bonnie as bartender in The Doors (1)Screenshot of Bonnie as bartender in The Doors (2)

Bonnie makes a brief appearance as a tough bartender.

The Guardian cover (thumbnail) THE GUARDIAN (2006)

Bonnie as club owner Maggie, backed here by James Burton on guitar, in The Gurdian, 2006Maggie (Bonnie) passes on some friendly words to Ben (Kevin Costner) in The Guardian, 2006

Maggie (Bonnie) makes a point to Jake (Ashton Kutcher)... and shares some more advice with Ben (Kevin Costner).

"Bonnie Bramlett is phenomenal as the crusty owner of a blues bar where the guys hang out; the role gives us several chances to hear her glorious singing" (St. Petersburg Times). Maggie (played by Bonnie) has some good lines, as she offers some worldly advice to old pal Ben Randall (played by Kevin Costner). Bonnie sings two newly recorded songs on the movie soundtrack: "Hold On, I'm Coming" and "Love And Happiness".






Cowboy Cafe logo and cast photo

Dottie Ashley, The Post and Courier, July 7, 1996

"Bonnie Bramlett plays the cafe's owner, Billie Joe, an veteran singer/song-writer and legendary barbecue queen, who cooks up a plan to burn down the cafe for the insurance money. Make no mistake, Bramlett still has the star quality she exuded in the 1970s when she sang with the likes of Leon Russell and Joe Cocker, in a career to music stardom that began as a back-up vocalist for Tina Tuner and recording success with the group, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends."

The role of Billie Joe is a departure from the sassy biker/waitress she played on TV's Roseanne for two seasons. As the owner of the down-and-out cafe and motel, she brings megawatts of energy to the stage, whether singing her show-stopping numbers or playing the role of the worried business-woman, arsonist, and mother of two grown daughters.

Bonnie as Billie Joe, in Cowboy Cafe

Producers T.G. Solomon and Absolute Films II, LLC, presented a company of COWBOY CAFE, opening June 27, 1996, at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center and moving to the Garden Theater in Charleston, South Carolina, where it opened on July 6, 1996.


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