Friday, September 29, 2006

Steve Goodman - Live at the Earl of Old Town

I don't normally talk at length about new releases, but it is a great day when we get a new Steve Goodman album. Especially a live one.

For most people, Steve Goodman is the Chicago singer/songwriter who wrote "The City of New Orleans" and died of leukemia in 1984. For me, Goodman was one of the greatest songwriters and, especially, performers. I had the pleasure of seeing him at the 1973 Buffalo Folk Festival and his set was superb, fun and mesmerizing. He didn't stick to his own compositions, but sprinkled the set with early Rock songs and even standards from the 20's through the 40's. The most amazing part was his amazing guitar playing. He was a true virtuoso on the instrument.

Now, there is finally an album that captures the magic of Steve Goodman live. "Live at the Earl of Old Town" documents a 1978 performance that covers Goodman classics like "City...", "Men Who Love Women Who Love Men", and "Lincoln Park Pirates" along with standards like "Red Red Robin", "I'll Fly Away" and "The Auctioneer." My only disappointment was that one of the most beautiful songs about love and old-age was not included, Mike Smith's "The Dutchman." I don't think there are many performances where Goodman didn't play the song, but it may have been cut here so the set would fit on a single CD.

There are also plans for a biography of Goodman to be released in 2007, tentatively called "Face the Music."

The Rolling Stones have added October 29th and 31st shows at New York's Beacon Theater. Rumors are that the show on the 29th will be part of Bill Clinton's 60th Birthday bash. Get your tickets early as the Beacon only seats about 2,200.

Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders hosts "Mark After Dark" every Saturday night from 7 PM to Midnight (PST) on KISN in Portland. You can listen over the Internet through the KISN website.

Rhino/Stiletto New Media is releasing a new Barry Manilow DVD chronicling a 1974 rehearsal for his first tour and his last arena show in 2004. "First & Farewell" hits stores October 31st. It's about his 352nd Live DVD (OK, I think it's his fourth).

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dylan's Real Basement Tapes

In 1959, Bob Dylan recorded a few songs on his friend's real-to-real. Luckily that friend, Ric Kangas, held on to that tape and it will soon be auctioned off in Dallas with expected selling price to be around $100,000.

On the tape, Dylan sings "I Got a New Girl", "I Got Troubles" and "The Frog Song" along with another song where he plays guitar. Some of the tape was used in Martin Scorsese's "No Direction Home."

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith has revealed that he has been battling Hepatitis C for the last three years, including a round of chemotherapy. Today, he says it is barely perceptible in his blood stream

It seems like I've been writing a lot about Memphis recently. It is one of the most influential and exciting cities in the 50-plus years of the Rock Era, but the chamber of commerce has also been really doing their job.

They have now announced that 2007 is going to revolve around "Memphis Celebrates 50 Years of Soul Music." The kickoff this week at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music was attended by William Bell, Isaac Hayes and David Porter along with former Stax president Al Bell and former astronaut Buzz Aldrin (don't ask...I don't know either).

Etta Baker didn't get serious about her music until after she retired from a Morgantown, NC textile mill at the age of 60's. Earlier in her life, a couple of recordings were included on a 1956 album called "Instrumental Music of the Southern Appalachians", but it was her later years when she became recognized on the folk-festival circuit playing her guitar blues. In 1991, she won the Folk Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts.

Baker passed away last Saturday at the age of 93.

Here's an interesting article on Roger McGuinn from the St. Petersburg Times as he talks about touring, growing older and eavesdropping on the trash collectors at Walt Disney World.

We've talked in the past about the Vocal Music Hall of Fame's efforts to stop knock-off groups from using the names of the original artists when they have no rights to do so and have no members of the original group. More than a dozen more are considering similar bills. Here's a short article from the Asbury Park Press on this new trend.

In another situation with an imposter, Paul Vance, the man who wrote "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" passed away on Tuesday. At least that's what the obituary and the deceased's wife claims. Fortunately, the Paul Vance who really wrote the song (and who is still receiving the royalty checks) is alive and well in Westbury, NY.

Evidently, the deceased Vance had been claiming for years that he wrote the song but then sold the rights when he was still a teenager (thus, no royalties). His widow never questioned it, so the whole development has come as quite a shock to her.

The real Paul Vance also wrote "Calcutta" (Lawrence Welk's only Number 1 record), "Catch a Falling Star" (Perry Como), "Gina" (Johnny Mathis), "Leader of the Laundromat" (Detergents), "Playground in My Mind" (Clint Holmes), "Run Joey Run" (David Geddes), "She Let's Her Hair Down" (Gene Pitney), "Tracy" (Cufflinks) and "What Will Mary Say" (Mathis).

Monday, September 25, 2006

New Releases for September 26, 2006

This Tuesday's new releases for artists of interest to the vinyl collector. We limit this list to those albums that have solid release information and track listings.
  • Johnny Adams - "An Introduction to Johnny Adams" (Fuel 2000)
  • Tony Bennett - "Duets: An American Classic" (RPM/Columbia) - with Barbra Streisand, Bono, Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Billy Joel
  • Soloman Burke - "Nashville" (Shout! Factory) - with Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch
  • Byrds - "There is a Season" (Columbia/Legacy) - 4-CD set
  • Johnny Cash - "Wanted Man" (Mercury) - 10-Tracks from his short time at Mercury
  • Bobby Charles - "An Introduction to Bobby Charles" (Fuel 2000)
  • Natalie Cole - "Leavin'" (Verve)
  • Deep Purple - "Deep Purple and Friends" (Snapper Music)
  • Robbie DuPree - "Robbie DuPree" (Wounded Bird)
  • Jerry Garcia - "Very Best of" (Rhino)
  • Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells, Diana Ross, Kim Weston, Tammi Terrell - "Marvin Gaye and His Girls" (UMVD Special Markets)
  • George Harrison - "Living in the Material World" (Capitol) - Bonus Tracks
  • Hot Tuna - "Pear a Dice Found" (Acadia)
  • Janet Jackson - 20 Y.O. (Virgin)
  • Lil' Son Jackson - "Rockin' and Rollin', Volume 1: 1948 to 1950" (Document)
  • Waylon Jennings - "Nashville Rebel" (RCA - 4 CD Set) and "Will the Wolf Survive?" (Universal Special Products)
  • John Lennon - "The U.S. vs. John Lennon" (Capitol) - Soundtrack
  • Jerry Lee Lewis - "Last Man Standing" (Artists First) - with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, John Fogarty, Bruce Sprigsteen, Jimmy Page and More and "Whole Lotta Shakin': Best of Jerry Lee Lewis at Sun Records" (Metro)
  • Little Feet - "Best of" (Rhino)
  • Paul McCartney - "Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart)" (EMI Classics)
  • Sergio Mendes & Brazil '66 - "Crystal Illusions", "Herb Alpert Presents" and "Ye-Me-Le" (all A&M)
  • Robert Parker - "An Introduction to Robert Parker" (Fuel 2000)
  • Eddie Rabbitt - "Eddie Rabbitt/Rabbitt" and "Variations/Loveline" (both Wounded Bird)
  • Sue Raney - "All By Myself" (Angel)
  • Redbone - "Redbone" (Wounded Bird)
  • Lou Reed - "Berlin", "Rock N Roll Animal" and "Transformer" (all BMG Japan)
  • Tommy Roe - "It's Now a Winter's Day" (Fallout) - Bonus Track
  • Various Artists - "The Essential Guide to American Roots Music" (Essential Guide) - 3-CDs with Carter Family, Robert Johnson, Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, John Lee Hooker, Dolly Parton and many more
  • Various Artists - "Peter Young's Soul Cellar, Volume 2" (Metro) - with Aretha Franklin, Joe Tex, Four Tops, Staple Singers, Lee Dorsey and many more
  • Edgar Winter - "Edgar Winter Album" and "Recycled" (both Wounded Bird)
  • Ron Wood - "Ronnie Wood Anthology: The Essential Crossexion" (Virgin) - 2 CDs

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music

If you have an extra $60 or so and love of Southern Blue-Eyed Soul of the 60's, take a look at the new book "The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music" by Greg Haynes.

This baby is huge, weighing in at over ten pounds and measuring over a yard wide when opened with 552 pages and over 800 photos. Plus, it comes with two CD's of music by artists like The Swingin' Medallions, the Jesters, the Box Tops, the O'Kaysions, the Del-Rays, the Viscounts, the Embers and Bill Deal and the Rhondels.

In even bigger news for Beach Music fans, these are just the first two volumes in a 14-volume series from Ripete Records that adds even more to the history with tracks by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, Joe Tex, the Collegiates and many, many more.

For more information on the book and the CD series, check out their website at www.heybabydays.com.
Neil Young has come back from serious health problems a few years ago with a new zest for life and creativity. Among his upcoming projects:
  • September 30th he plays Farm Aid with Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews.
  • October 21st and 22nd is his annual Bridge School Benefit with Brian Wilson, Pearl Jam, Trent Reznor and Dave Matthews.
  • November 14th he will release "Live at the Fillmore East 1970", a CD/DVD set with the original members of Crazy Horse.

Columbia/Legacy will also be going the CD/DVD route on November 17th for "Johnny Cash Live at San Quentin." The set includes 2 CD's of the concert with 17 unreleased tracks in addition to the ten from the original LP and a DVD with the British documentary "Johnny Cash in San Quentin." Among the unreleased tracks are performances by supporting acts Carl Perkins ("Blue Suede Shoes", "Restless", "The Outside Looking In"), the Statler Brothers ("Flowers on the Wall", "Less of Me"), The Carter Family ("The Last Thing on My Mind" and "Wildwood Flower")
The latest classical work from Paul McCartney, titled Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart), will premiere on November 3rd at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The recording of the work hits stores this Tuesday.
George Michael is celebrating 25-years in the business by going out on a 47-date tour called "25 Live." Even though he said he would never do pop music again, his set included many of his hits from over the years along with new politically and sexually charged numbers. Many of the European concerts sold out in minutes. This is Michael's first tour in 15-years.
Danny Flores, the Saxophone player for the Champs, and the one who actually said "Tequila!" on their biggest hit, passed away last Tuesday at the age of 77.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Al Casey (1937 - 2006)

Al Casey may not be the most recognizable name in Rock, but you know his playing. Among his credits:
  • Playing guitar on Sanford Clark's "The Fool." As a matter of fact, he was instrumental in introducing Lee Hazlewood, the writer of the song, to Clark.
  • Was a member of Duane Eddy's group The Rebels and wrote "Ramrod" along with co-writing "Forty Miles of Bad Road."
  • Wrote the guitar part of Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'."
  • Played on the Beach Boys "Good Vibrations", Glen Campbell's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin'."
  • Was part of the studio group that really played the instruments on The Monkees records.
  • Backed up Elvis on his 1968 comeback special.
Casey passed away this week at the age of 69 from kidney and lung problems.

In the early days of the Rock Era, unscrupulous business men wrote contracts for young musical artists that robbed them of almost all of the profits and left many musicians with big record sales nearly penniless. Even worse are the artists who were contractually due money but never were paid.

In Memphis, there is an organization that is trying to remedy that situation. The United Music Heritage was formed in 1985 to help musicians with financial needs find the legal means to challenge and receive money that is due to them. Through their fund, they have paid for needed medical services and funerals for Memphis area musicians who found themselves in need.

This organization is just one of a growing group trying to right the wrongs of the past. Bonnie Raitt was one of the founders of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation who does similar work on a more widespread basis. Legislation has also been passed in some states such as New York where upwards of $50 million in royalties have been recovered.
Randy Newman will be hitting the road for a 17-date tour starting October 14th in Toronto. He also plans to release a new album some time in 2007.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Kinky Friedman Gets Tribute Album

Not only is Kinky Friedman trying to become the Governor of Texas, but a number of artists have banded together to make "Why the Hell Not...The Songs of Kinky Friedman", due September 26th on Sustain Records.

Along with previously recorded tracks by Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yoakam are new ones by the likes of Asleep at the Wheel, Bruce Robison, Charlie Robison and Kelly Willis.

Friedman's campaign slogans include the album title "Why the Hell Not?" and "How Hard Can it Be?"

Madonna is closing her current tour with a take of $193.7 million over 60 concerts, the most ever for a female artist. In second is Cher with a take of $192.5 million, but it took her 273 shows to get there.

I'm not expecting Sting's new album to be a chart topper. "Songs from the Labyrinth", out October 10th on Deutche Grammophone, is comprised of 16th century lute songs, recorded with lute player Edin Karamazov.

Cliff Richard will be releasing a DVD concert from his 2003 World Tour on October 9th in the U.K. The concert, previously released on CD in the Cliff Richard box set, includes many of his hits ("We Don't Talk Anymore", "The Young Ones", "Devil Woman") along with songs made famous by others. He's also releasing an album of duets (but, who isn't) in November.

Emmylou Harris was honored on Tuesday night in Nashville with the Dale Franklin Award for Leadership in Music. Prior to the presentation, a number of artists who were influenced by Harris over the years paid tribute by performing her music. The artists included Elvis Costello, Patty Griffin, Dave Matthews, Gillian Welch, Allison Moorer and Rodney Crowell.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

New Releases for September 19, 2006

Here's new releases of note from artists of the vinyl era:
  • Louis Armstrong - "Gold"
  • Pat Boone - "We Are Family" (with appearances by James Brown, Sam Moore, Smokey Robinson, Kook & the Gang, Four Tops, Ray Parker Jr., Sister Sledge, Gerald Albright, Earth Wind & Fire and Kool Moe Dee)
  • Carter Sisters, Mother Maybelle & Chet Atkins - "The Carter Sisters with Mother Maybelle and Chet Atkins"
  • Champs - "Go, Chams, Go/Everybody's Rockin'"
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival - "20th Century Masters: Millenium Collection"
  • Martin Denny - "Forbidden Island: The Exotic Sounds of Martin Denny"
  • Dave Edmunds - "Subtle as a Flying Mallet" (with Bonus Tracks)
  • Freddy Fender - "Greatest Hits Live"
  • Hall & Oates - "Platinum Collection"
  • Wilbert Harrison" - Let's Work Together"
  • Buddy Holly - "Gotta Roll: Early Recordings 1949-1955"
  • John Lee Hooker - "Mastercuts"
  • Humble Pie - "The Atlanta Years"
  • Deon Jackson - "Love Makes the World Go Round"
  • Millie Jackson - "Millie Jackson"
  • Tommy James & the Shondells - "Definitive Pop Collection"
  • Elton John - "Captain & the Kid"
  • Hugh Masakela - "20th Century Masters: Millenium Collection"
  • Wes Montgomery - "20th Century Masters: Millenium Collection"
  • Gary Moore - "Platinum Collection"
  • Aaron Neville - "Bring it on Home...The Soul Classics"
  • New York Dolls - "Manhattan Mayhem: The Story of the New York Dolls"
  • Nice - "Everything Nice as Mother Makes It/The Best of the Nice"
  • Poco - "Gold"
  • Elvis Presley - "Complete Million Dollar Quartet"
  • Pure Prairie League - "Pure Prairie League/Busin' Out"
  • Lou Reed - "Coney Island Baby" (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
  • Roxy Music - "Concerto"
  • Slade - "Slayed?" (with Bonus Tracks)
  • Sweet Inspirations - "The Sweet Inspirations"
  • Toto - "Hold the Line"
  • Ike Turner & His Rhythm Kings - "Early Times"
  • Ike & Tina Turner - "Nutbush City Limits/Feel Good"

George Strait Becomes the Country Star with The Most #1's

George Strait's single "Give it Away" will be the new number one country song this week, making it Strait's 41st chart topper. He passes Conway Twitty to become the country artist to have the most number ones on the country chart.

In addition, it is Strait's 73rd Top 10 Country hit. That puts him in fourth place for Top 10's with Conway Twitty in third with 75, George Jones in second with 78 and Eddy Arnold in first with a whopping 92.

Willie Nelson and four other passengers on his tour bus were sited by the Louisiana police for misdemeanor drug possession after an officer smelled marijuana during a routine inspection. The driver of the bus also had his commercial driving privilages suspended. Nelson could receive up to six months in jail and a fine.

I guess this was not a surprise to most people, especially after Rolling Stone's recent review of his Austin City Limits Festival performance where they stated "...Nelson told us on his tour bus (which -- by the way -- sure smelled good)."

Well, if Al Jardine can't tour under the name of The Beach Boys, he might as well do the next best thing. Jardine will be joining Brian Wilson for four performances of the "Pet Sounds" album this fall. Dates are set for Boston, Washington, New York and Glenside, PA.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

ZZ Top Moves On

In an attempt to resurrect their career, ZZ Top has fired their manager of 37-years, Bill Ham, and is leaving their label of 14-years, RCA. Their last few albums have not done well, with 2003's "Mescalero" only spending three-weeks in the Top 200, and have been relegated to nostalgia turns at State Fairs and casinos. The band expects to make an announcement about a new album and tour in the near future.

The Georgia Music Hall of Fame held their induction ceremony yesterday, highlighted by a performance by R.E.M. with original drummer Bill Berry. Other's inducted included Greg Allman, Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri and Felice Bryant (writer with brother Boudleaux of many of the Everly Brothers hits along with others for artists like Roy Orbison).

The Hall of Fame is located in Macon, Georgia and has been inducting artists yearly since 1979 when Bill Lowery and Ray Charles became the first members. Other members run from soul greats Otis Redding and James Brown to country stars Brenda Lee and Travis Tritt to many great non-performing people who have influenced the record business like Robert Shaw, Chips Moman and Antonio "L.A." Reid.

You can read more about the hall and the members at www.gamusichall.com.

Live performances from three major soul groups of the 70's will be released on October 17th when St. Clair vision releases the first three volumes of their Sweet Soul Music DVD series. These budget priced ($7.98 SRP) DVDs will include seven or eight songs performed in concert with the selection based mainly on big hits. The 10/17 releases will be by The Stylistics, The Spinners and The Chi-Lites.

Finally, for those who cared, Elton John has ended his feud with George Michael.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Who's Busy Fall

You wouldn't know that the two surviving members of The Who were in their 60's by their current activities.
  • Their tour kicked off on Tuesday night with a full-boar two-hour set of classics. The tour continues through December 11th.
  • Their first studio album in 24-years, "Endless Wire", will be released by Universal Music on October 31st.
  • Their music will be featured on "The Who Channel" on Sirius satellite Radio. The station will play 40-years of their music along with broadcasting concerts from the tour.
Townsend and Daltry performed acoustical on Thursday night's "Late Show with David Letterman," playing the new song "Man in a Purple Dress."

It's rare when classic vocal groups of the past make a dent in the charts with new releases. Such is not the case with the latest album by The Whispers, "For Your Ears Only."

The Whispers first became popular in 1970 with their Top 10 R&B single "Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong." After a strong run later in the decade on both the R&B and Disco charts, they finally found success on the Pop charts with their 1987 "Rock Steady."

The new album opened at number 94 on the Billboard R&B charts. Making it even more impressive is the fact that the album was released on their independent label, Satin Tie. The recording is a nice mix of ballads and uptempo songs that reflect back on the classic Whispers sound. The songwriting team included the group's Nicholas Caldwell and Teena Marie ("Lovergirl").

Eric Clapton and J.J. Cale ("After Midnight", "Cocaine") are collaborating on an album for the first time. "The Road to Escondido" will be released on November 7th and includes eleven songs by Cale, one by Clapton, one by John Mayer and "Sporting Life Blues." Playing along on the album are Mayer, Taj Mahal, Albert Lee, Doyle Bramhall II and Derek Trucks. In addition, Billy Preston played keyboards before his death and the album is dedicated to him.

Marianne Faithful has been diagnosed with breast cancer. All signs point to it being caught early and she expects a full recovery. A world tour, set to start next month, has been postponed.

Part of Mike Love's lawsuit against former bandmate Al Jardine has been dismissed by Superior Court Judge James R. Dunn. The suit claims that Love is the only person allowed to use the Beach Boy's name. The judge threw out the breach of conduct and breach of fiduciary duty portions of the suit, but will allow Love's judge to revise the case before the November 6th trial.

Speaking of Jardine, his son Matt is currently out on tour with Dean Torrence's (Jan & Dean) band, singing the late Jan Berry's parts. A short article in today's San Juaquin Record discusses the current tour and the history of Jan & Dean.

While we're on the subject of surf music, here's an article from today's San Luis Obispo Tribune on Dick Dale. Not mentioned is that fact that his classic "Miserlou" was murdered the other night by the house band on "Dancing with the Stars."

In a different type of beach music, it's that time of the year again when Jimmy Buffett releases a new album. "Take the Weather With You", his 32nd record, will hit stores on October 10th. The first single, "Bama Breeze", was recently released to country radio.

The music of the Rolling Stones will be a main part of the new animated feature "Ruby Tuesday." Set to start production later this year, the film is being made by Paul and Gaetan Brizzi, famous for their "Asterix vs. Caesar" film and the "Firebird Suite" portion of "Fantasia 2000". Jaeger's Jagged Films is co-producing with EuropaCorp.


The Strawbs are back out on the road with members Dave Cousins, Dave Lambert and Chris Cronk. They've also just finished their first studio album in ten-years.

Foreigner is hardly Foreigner anymore. The current touring lineup's only original member is Mick Jones, who is joined by Jason Boneham on drums, Jeff Pilson (Dokken) and new lead singer Kelly Hansen. Word is that the arrangements are a little heavier than in the past, but that Hansen has a range very close to original lead singer Lou Graham.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

New Releases for the Week

A few new releases of note from artists of the vinyl era:
  • "American Music: The Hightones Records Story" - 4 CD/1 DVD box set with selections by the Robert Cray Band, Otis Rush, the Blasters, Joe Ely, Sonny Burgess, Dave Alvin, Dick Dale, PF Sloan, Billy Joe Shaver, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and many more. 79 tracks in all.
  • "Blind Pig Records 30th Anniversary Collection" - 2 CDs with selections from Tommy Castro, Otis Rush, James Cotton, Elvin Bishop, Savoy Brown and more. 33 tracks
  • "Face the Promise" by Bob Seger. His first album of new material in 11 years. Seger will also be on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Thursday night.
  • "Definitive Collection" disc from Asia
  • "16 Biggest Hits discs from Charlie Daniels & John Denver
  • "Definitive Pop Collection" discs from America, Bobby Darin, Dr. John, the Everly Brothers, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
  • "Ultimate Collection" disc from Vicki Carr
  • "Faithful: A Collection of Her Best Recordings" by Marianne Faithful
  • "John Phillips (John, the Wolfking of L.A.)" by John Phillips
  • "Secret Agent Man: The Ultimate Johnny Rivers Anthology" by Johnny Rivers

Those lucky enough to be near Tupelo next Sunday can attend a benefit concert for the late Rockabilly star Gene Simmons. Included will be performances by Ace Cannon, W.S. Holland & the Tennessee Three, Dickie Lee, Carl Mann, Sonny Burgess & the Pacers, Bobby Wood & the Memphis Band and others. It all starts at 2 PM at Goodtime Charlie's. Proceeds will help pay for Simmons' tombstone with a portion going to Sancturay Hospice House and Project Hope.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Little Steven's Underground Garage

One of the best programs on the radio for enthusiasts of modern music is "Little Steven's Underground Garage" hosted by Little Steven Van Zandt (E Street Band, The Sopranos). Every show mixes classic rock, garage rock, R&B and just about every form of popular music from the last 50-plus years. A recent program included music by The Beach Boys ("Do It Again"), Cream ("Those Were the Days") and Arthur Conley ("Funky Street") to the Dirty Pretty Things ("Bang Bang, You're Dead"), the Buzzcocks ("Wish I Never Loved You") and Marty Stewart ("Tempted").

While it is heard weekly on many radio stations around the country, you can also hear the current week's broadcast or a huge number of archived shows at www.littlestevensundergroundgarage.com . There's also an article on the show and his current tour with The Zombies, Colin Blunstone, Rod Argent and more at the site for the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune.

I can't emphasize enough the breadth of the music Little Steven plays on this show. It's a history or popular music every week.
  • Rod Stewart says he isn't ruling out a reunion concert or two with his Faces cohorts Ronnie Wood, Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones. Per Stewart, everyone is on-board once they find a bass player. Stewart is also working on his first rock album in a number of years, titled "Still the Same...Rock Classics of Our Time."
  • The artist formally known as Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) will be releasing his first album of new pop music in 28-years possibly as early as November. "An Other Cup" will be coming out on Atlantic in the states and Polydor in the rest of the world. Joining him on the album is Youssou N'Dour, who has recorded and toured extensively with Peter Gabriel, and former bandmates Alun Davies and Jean Roussel.
  • Lindsey Buckingham is also releasing a new solo album October 3, his first in 14 years . Fleetwood Mac partners Mick Fleetwood and John McVie play on two track of "Under the Skin," while the other eight are Buckingham providing all rhythm. He has also completed eight-tracks for another album that will be harder rock.
  • David Crosby's career will be give the retrospective treatment by Rhino on November 21st with the three-disc "Voyage." Disc one covers his time with The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash (& Young). Disc two is his solo career and disc three has sixteen unreleased tracks and demos. Also that day, Rhino will release a CD/DVD combo of Crosby's first album, "If I Could Only Remember My Name."
  • Here's an interesting article from the Daily Record in Morris County, NJ on George Clinton. It covers both his past and future endeavors.
  • Speaking of articles, here's a nice one from the Lexington, KY Herald-Leader on The Stylistics and another from Relish Now! in North Carolina on Al Green.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Pat Boone Tries to Do It Again

Back in the mid- to late-50's Pat Boone recorded and had hits with man popular R&B records of the day. In most cases, his toned down versions of the songs were by far the bigger hits, much to the chagrin of those who love Rhythm & Blues. His very first hit in early-1955 was a remake of the Charms "Two Hearts" and he followed it up over the next few years covering "Ain't That a Shame" (Fats Domino), "At My Front Door" (El Dorados), "I'll Be Home" (Flamingos), "Tutti Frutti" and "Long Tall Sally" (Little Richard), "I Almost Lost My Mind" (Ivory Joe Hunter) and "Chains of Love" (Joe Turner).

Boone is releasing a new album on September 19th called "Pat Boone R&B Classics." The difference this time around is that he is being joined by artists that, in the past, he would have ripped off, like Smokey Robinson, Earth Wind & Fire, Sam Moore, the Four Tops, Kool & the Gang and James Brown. Songs include "Tears of a Clown," "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," "Soul Man," "That's the Way of the World" and "I Can't Help Myself."
  • Bob Dylan's latest album, "Modern Times," will be #1 on the album chart when it's published on Friday. It's his first chart-topper since Desire in "1976."
  • Monument/Legacy has re-issued Roy Orbison's first three LP's on Monument in expanded editions. Here's a detailed article from the Pop Matter's website.

Cars to Release Historical DVD/CD Set

Ric Ocasek has produced a new DVD/CD set called "The Cars Unlocked" (Docurama, October 17) which includes 20 live clips, backstage footage of the group, and a 14-track live CD (their first live album). The tracks on the CD are "Magic", "Let's Go", "Touch and Go", "Drive", "My Best Friend's Girl", "Tonight She Comes", "Moving in Stereo", "You Might Think", "Just What I Needed", "Good Times Roll", "Hello Again", "Double Trouble", "Nightspots" and "Heartbeat City."

The band, now known as The New Cars, will finally be hitting the road soon after canceling out of a tour with Blondie due to an injury to guitarist Elliot Easton. Todd Rundgren is now doing lead-singer duties in place of Ocasek.
  • Drummer Bill Berry will rejoin his former band R.E.M. on September 16th in Atlanta for their induction into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. It is only the third time he's performed with the group since leaving in 1967.
  • Victor Willis, the original policeman from the Village People, was sentenced to three-years probation today with the agreement to enter a drug treatment program.
  • Richard James "Huggy Boy" Hugg, a long-time Los Angeles disk jockey and purveyor of R&B music, passed away last Wednesday at the age of 78. Hugg started playing records at Dolphin's of Hollywood Record Store in the 1950's, moving later to KRLA and KRTH.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ron Isley Sentenced for Tax Evasion

Ron Isley of the Isley Brothers has been sentenced to three-years in federal prison for tax evasion. According to papers, he also has to pay $3.1 million in fines and back taxes.

Isley had not filed a tax return between 1976 and 1996, had millions in unreported cash and cashed royalty checks sent to his late brother, O'Kelly.
  • The String-a-Longs, who had a #3 hit in 1961 with "Wheels," will play together for the first time in 42-years this Thursday in Clovis, NM. Lead guitarist Jimmy Torres and his band mates will open this years Clovis Music Festival, a festival dedicated to producer Norman Petty. Torres and band member Keith McCormick also wrote the biggest hit of 1963, "Sugar Shack" by Jimmy Gilmore and the Fireballs. For more information on Torres, visit his website at www.jimmytorres.com.
  • Classic folksinger Ramblin' Jack Elliott is celebrating his 75th birthday with his first new album in seven years. "I Stand Alone" is 16-tracks of simple, heartfelt folk with help from such people as Lucinda Williams, Flea and David Hildago of Los Lobos. The Marin Independent Journal has a nice article and Jack's website has an extensive biography and discography.

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