Country Boy’s Not a Malibu Man

Times Staff Writer

Dwight Yoakam, one of country music’s biggest stars, has sold his Malibu getaway, with a panoramic ocean view, for close to its $825,000 asking price.

Yoakam, who appeared Thursday at the Universal Amphitheatre, released his “” album in June and has been working on the new studio album “Tomorrow’s Sounds Today,” due out in the fall.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. Oct. 29, 2000 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday October 29, 2000 Home Edition Real Estate Part K Page 3 Real Estate Desk 2 inches; 53 words Type of Material: Correction
Producer’s activities--Panacea Entertainment chief Eric Gardner co-produced the movie “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark” in 1988 with Mark Pierson, but Gardner is no longer producing Elvira movies, as was reported in Hot Property, Aug. 20. “Elvira’s Haunted Hills,” to start filming in November, is being produced by Pierson, husband of Cassandra Peterson, who plays Elvira.

The country heartthrob, who has been in the cast of several movies, including “Sling Blade” (1996), made his film writing-directing debut this year in “South of Heaven, West of Hell,” starring himself, Bridget Fonda, Vince Vaughn, Billy Bob Thornton, Peter Fonda, Paul Reubens and Michael Jeter.


The movie, which premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival in January and was screened again at Cannes in May, was abandoned by its financier before the start of production, but Yoakam proceeded, financing the picture largely out-of-pocket before his production company, set up for the movie, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The movie was originally budgeted at $4 million to $4.5 million.

In April, Yoakam borrowed $500,000 against the 12.6-acre Malibu property, which has a three-bedroom, 2,500-square-foot ranch-style house, a two-bedroom guest house, a six-stall horse stable and a garage with a shop.

Yoakam, 44, had owned the property since 1989, when he bought it for $550,000. He made his debut as a singer-songwriter-guitarist in 1984 and made his major-label debut, “Guitar, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.,” in 1986.

Since then, the Grammy-winning Kentucky native has sold about 15 million albums in the U.S. and has written such hit songs as “Yet to Succeed,” “A Long Way Home” and “Miner’s Prayer,” inspired by his grandfather’s death.

Yoakam sold his Malibu property to prominent Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Frank H. Ryan, who plans to use the property as a weekend retreat. Yoakam and Ryan have other residences in the L.A. area.

Clifford M. Kaye of Metropolitan Development in Beverly Hills represented Ryan in buying the property, and Diane Everett of Coldwell Banker in Malibu had the listing.


The longtime Beverly Hills home of the late entertainer Mel Torme, who will be honored Sept. 6 at an all-star tribute at the Hollywood Bowl, has been put on the market at $2.85 million.

Torme was called “Mr. Hollywood Bowl” because he headlined the venue for 19 consecutive years. His friend Dame Cleo Laine will headline the upcoming tribute.

The Beverly Hills estate was home to the jazz legend from 1969 until he died at 73 in June 1999. Built in 1934, the nearly 6,000-square-foot Monterey Colonial-style home has four bedrooms and maid’s quarters. Van-Martin Rowe of Pasadena designed many of the interiors.

The two-time Grammy-winning singer and songwriter was often quoted as saying that some of his happiest memories were of times spent in this house. (“The Christmas Song,” with the well-known lyrics that begin, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” is among the 250 songs that he wrote.)

A movie fanatic, Torme regularly gathered with friends and family in the projection-media room in his home to watch films. He also wrote five books and numerous musical arrangements in the house, and he gave print and TV interviews there, including one for A&E;'s “Biography.”

His widow, Ali, still lives in the home, which has a pool, pool house and tennis court.

Lisa Duffy-Sinclair at Sotheby’s International Realty, Beverly Hills, has the listing.


The Society of Singers, co-founded in 1984 by former singer Ginny Mancini (widow of Oscar- and Grammy-winning composer-conductor Henry Mancini), has purchased a 24-unit apartment building in Sherman Oaks for professional singers in dire need.

“It has been a longtime dream,” said Mancini, who sang with Torme and Tex Beneke. “We had hoped to build, but then during the ‘80s, the bottom fell out of the real estate market.”

The group had been providing counseling as well as medical and financial help but no affordable housing until now. (The nonprofit group’s funds come largely from its annual fund-raiser, the Ella Lifetime Achievement Award, initiated in 1989 to honor singing greats, starting with Ella Fitzgerald.)

This year it became possible for the society to buy an apartment building for a little more than $1.7 million. Singer Maurice Miller is among those moving in. He was a singer and drummer for seven years with the ‘60s pop group the Association and also Lena Horne’s drummer and musical director for years.

Miller, who suffered a stroke, is among the first five singers to become residents of the 20,000-square-foot building, built in two parts during the ‘50s and ‘60s.

As vacancies occur, qualified singers will move in. Need is a factor in getting assistance, and applicants must have “a continuous five-year history making a living as a singer.”

“I made a good living as a session singer until the mid-'70s, and I’ve kept in close touch with all the people I knew in those days,” Mancini said. “That closeness prompted me to take action, because I was more fortunate.”

“Now who knows? We might buy another building at some point. It is very gratifying,” she said.


William C.W. Mow, chairman and chief executive of Simi Valley-based Bugle Boy Industries Inc., and his wife have listed their Malibu oceanfront retreat at $11 million.

Mow, who arrived in the United States in 1949 on the last Pan Am flight out of Shanghai before the city was taken over by Communists, was raised in New York and earned his doctorate in electrical engineering at Purdue University.

Later he created an import company that led in 1977 to the formation of Bugle Boy, which he has predicted will do $1 billion in sales by 2001.

The Mows built their Malibu residence as a second home. They are selling it because they have completed a larger house in Hawaii as a retreat.

This is the first time that the Malibu house, built in 1991, has come on the market. One of the largest homes on Broad Beach, the house has eight bedrooms and 6 1/2 baths in 7,100 square feet.

Candice and John Watkins share the listing with Jay Rubenstein, all of Coldwell Banker Previews, Malibu West office.


Eric Gardner, chief of Panacea Entertainment, and his wife, Janis, have sold their Los Feliz home of about 18 years for close to its $2-million asking price.

The Gardners bought a home in Camarillo for slightly more than $1 million, and they spent five months renovating the house at an additional cost of $350,000. The 6,400-square-foot home, on four acres, now has a 6,000-square-foot playground and a 5,000-square-foot duck pond.

The Gardners’ former home, with a solarium and music room, was sold to a musician.

The Gardners had lived in the Los Feliz home since 1984 but moved to Camarillo for its family-oriented environment. They have three daughters.

Gardner founded Panacea in 1971 as a rock ‘n’ roll tour coordination company with such clients as the Grateful Dead, but he now concentrates on talent management and TV and film production.

Among Panacea’s clients are Paul Shaffer, who leads the “Late Show With David Letterman” band; Richard Belzer from “Homicide” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”; and Max Weinberg from “Late Night With Conan O'Brien.”

Gardner also produces the Elvira movies, Belzer’s HBO comedy specials and Johnny Rotten’s series “Rotten TV” on VH1.

Jodi Hodges of Fred Sands Realtors, Hillhurst, had the listing on the Los Feliz house.


Producer Martin Ransohoff and his wife, Joan, have sold their Holmby Hills home for about $4.2 million.

Through his Filmways company, Ransohoff, in his early 70s, produced such popular TV series as “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Green Acres” and “The Addams Family.” He also produced more than 30 movies, including “Jagged Edge” (1985), “Save the Tiger” (1973) and “Catch-22” (1970).

The Ransohoffs plan to scale down. The home they sold has six bedrooms in about 5,000 square feet. Built in 1939, the house, on an acre, also has an artist’s studio, projection theater, pool and tennis court.

June Scott of June Scott Estates of Coldwell Banker, Beverly Hills, had the listing.



Mel Torme’s estate, William C.W. Mow, Ginny Mancini and Eric Gardner.