Sunday, December 31, 2006

Passings 2006

As the artists of the vinyl era get older, the list gets longer. Here are the artists we lost during 2006:
  • Clifford Antone - Owner of Austin blues club that launched Stevie Ray Vaughan - May 23; 56
  • Etta Baker - Blues guitarist - September 23; 93
  • Prentiss Barnes - Singer with the Moonglows (Ten Commandments of Love, Sincerely) - September 30; 81
  • Syd Barrett - Co-founder of Pink Floyd - July 7; 60
  • Ray Barretto - Jazz percussionist (El Watusi) - February 17; 76
  • James Brown - The biggest artist in the history of the R&B charts (Say It Loud, I'm Black, I'm Proud, I Got You (I Feel Good)) - December 25; 73
  • Ruth Brown - Atlantic records biggest selling R&B artist of the 50's (Teardrops From My Eyes, (Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean) - November 17, 78
  • Raymond "Boz" Burrell - Bass player for Bad Company (Can't Get Enough) - September 21; 60
  • John Allan Cameron - Canadian Folk musician - November 22; 67
  • Janette Carter - Last surviving member of the Carter Family (Keep on the Sunny Side, No Depression) - January 22; 82.
  • Helen Cohn - With her husband, designed and made rhinestone creations for Elvis Presley, Roy Rogers and others - April 7; 92

  • Ian Copeland - Agent who represented the Police, R.E.M., Go-Gos and others. Brother of Stewart Copeland - May 23; 57
  • William Cowsill - Lead singer of the Cowsills - February 18; 58
  • Desmond Dekker - Reggae artist who had the first hit from the genre in the U.S. (Israelites) - May 25; 64
  • Willie Denson - Songwriter (Mama Said, Backstage) - July 1; 69
  • Mike Douglas - Talk show host and singer (The Man in My Little Girl's Life) - August 11; 81
  • Johnny Duncan - 1970's country singer (Thinkin' of a Rendezvous, She Can Put Her Shoes Under My Bed Anytime) - August 14; 67
  • Ahmet Ertegun - Founder of Atlantic Records, producer, songwriter - December 14; 83

  • Freddy Fender - Tex-Mex and country singer (Before the Next Teardrop Falls, Wasted Days & Wasted Nights) - October 14; 69

  • Maynard Ferguson - Jazz trumpeter and bandleader (Theme from Rocky) - August 23; 78
  • Danny Flores - Saxophone player (and Tequila! shouter) for the Champs - September 19; 77
  • King Floyd III - Soul singer and songwriter (Groove Me) March 6; 61

  • Freddie Garrity - Lead singer of Freddie and the Dreamers (I'm Telling You Now, Do the Freddie) - May 19; 69
  • Bruce Gary - Drummer for the Knack (My Sharona, Good Girls Don't) - August 22; 55
  • Georgia Gibbs - 50's pop vocalist (Dance With Me, Henry, Kiss of Fire) December 9; 87

  • Johnny Grande - Keyboardist of Bill Haley & the Comets - June 2; 76
  • Irving Green - Co-Founder of Mercury Records - July 1; 90
  • Lula Mae Hardaway - Mother of Stevie Wonder and songwriter (Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I Was Made to Love Her) - May 31; 76
  • Jessie Mae Hemphill - Blues musician - July 22; 71
  • Perry Henzell - Filmmaker of The Harder They Come - November 30; 70

  • Buddy Killen - Country songwriter and producer who helped start Dolly Parton's career - November 1; 73
  • Arthur Lee - Front-man for Love (My Little Red Book, Seven & Seven Is) - August 3, 61
  • Gerald Levert - Member of Levert and solo artist (Casanova) Nov. 10; 40
  • Denis Linde - Songwriter (Burnin' Love, John Deere Green) - December 22
  • Robert Lockwood, Jr. - Blues artist who first learned from Robert Johnson - November 21; 91
  • Arif Mardin - In house producer for Atlantic Records. Produced Aretha Franklin, Rascals, Wilson Pickett and many more - June 25; 72
  • Fred Marsden - Drummer for Gerry and the Pacemakers (Ferry Cross the Mercy) - December 9; 66
  • Scott Mateer - Songwriter (Dear Me) and disk jockey - December 18; 46
  • Paul Mauriat - French composer and orchestra leader (Love is Blue, Love in Every Room) - November 3; 81
  • Gene McFadden - Of McFadden and Whitehead (Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now) -January 27, 56
  • Grant McLennan - Lead singer of the Go-Betweens (Was There Anything I Could Do) - May 6; 48
  • Bill Miller - Pianist for Frank Sinatra - July 11; 91
  • Paul Nelson - Rolling Stone critic - July 4; 40
  • Anita O'Day - Master jazz vocalist - November 23; 87
  • Bonnie Owens - Wife of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard and minor country hitmaker - Age 76. April 24; 76
  • Buck Owens - One of the original purveyors of the Bakersfield Sound in country music (Act Naturally, Love's Gonna Live Here) - March 25; 76
  • Johnny Paris - Of Johnny & the Hurricanes (Red River Rock, BeatnikFly) - May 1; 65
  • John R. Pepper II - Co-founder of WDIA-AM (Memphis), the first radio station with programming black audiences - November 20; 91
  • Wilson Pickett - R&B great recorded for Atlantic in 60's (In the Midnight Hour, Land of 1000 Dances) - January 19; 64
  • Gene Pitney - Recorded sixteen Top 40 hits in the 60's (Only Love Can Break a Heart, (The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance) - April 5; 66
  • June Pointer, 52. Youngest of the Pointer Sisters (I'm So Excited, Jump) April 11; 52
  • Billy Preston - Keyboard great who played with Beatles & Eric Clapton. Recorded string of 70's hits (Nothing from Nothing, Will It Go Round in Circles) - June 6; 59
  • Lou Rawls - Pop, jazz and R&B great (Love is a Hurtin' Thing, You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine) - January 6; 72
  • Jumpin' Gene Simmons - Rockabilly musician (Haunted House) and songwriter (Indian Outlaw) - August 29; 69
  • Bennie Smith - St. Louis blues musician - September 10; 72
  • Claydes Charles Smith - Guitarist for Kool and the Gang (Celebration, Too Hot) - June 20; 57
  • Mariska Veres - Singer for Shocking Blue (Venus) - December 2; 59
  • Phil Walden - Co-founder of Capricorn Records. Guided the careers of Otis Redding and the Allman Brothers - April 24; 66
  • Billy Walker - Country singer with 38 hits between 1954 and 1976 (Charlie's Shoes, Cross the Brazos at Waco) - May 21; 77
  • Cindy Walker - Country music songwriter (You Don't Know Me, In the Misty Moonlight, Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream) - March 23; 87
  • Vince Welnick - Last keyboard player of the Grateful Dead. Also former member of The Tubes - June 3; 51
  • Sandy West - Drummer for the Runaways (Cherry Bomb) - October 21; 47
  • Johnnie Wilder, Jr. - Lead singer of Heatwave (Always and Forever, Boogie Nights) - May 13; 56
  • Marijohn Wilkin - Country songwriter (The Long Black Veil, Waterloo) - October 28; 86

Saturday, December 30, 2006

One Final Memorial for James Brown

The final James Brown memorial was held Saturday for 8,500 at the James Brown Arena in Augusta, Georgia. Hundreds more lined the streets outside the arena and listened on a public address system.

Those speaking included the Reverend Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Dick Gregory and Michael Jackson. Jackson stated that "James Brown is my greatest inspiration. When I saw him move, I was mesmerized. I knew that's what I wanted to do for the rest of my life because of James Brown."

The biggest round of applause came when Jesse Jackson talked about Brown's distaste for today's music with lyrics that were demeaning to women and other blacks.

The Soul Generals, Brown's band, and Bootsie Collins filled the arena with music while M.C. Hammer danced.

Brown was scheduled to play the B.B. King Blues Club in New York on New Years Eve. The club and concert promoters have done a pretty good job of filling his spot as the new headliner will be Chaka Khan.

James Brown had a special relationship with his band and had always told his agent, Frank Copsidas, that the band had to go on. "Gotta take care of them. They're family. They're like my kids."

Based on his wishes, the band will stay together and hit the road as early as February. They will meet next week to make a decision on bringing in a new lead singer or sharing duties among the eleven members.

Pianist George Shearing received his knighthood as announced on the New Year's Honours List published on Saturday at the request of the Queen of England. Shearing was not only a great musician but also composed over 300 works including Lullaby of Birdland.

Rod Stewart
received a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for contributions to the music industry over the last forty years.

Blue Oyster Cult will have two of their 70's albums reissued on the Legacy label on February 13th with bonus tracks.

1977's Spectres will contain four additional tracks, Night Flyer, M For Murder, Please Hold, and the Ronettes' Be My Baby.

1978's Some Enchanted Evening will have seven bonus tracks, ME 262, Harvester of Eyes, Hot Rails To Hell, Summer Of Love, 5 Guitars, and covers of Steppenwolf's Born To Be Wild, and the Animals' We Gotta Get Out Of This Place. This release will also have a live DVD from a 1978 concert at the Capitol Center in Landover, Maryland.

U2 may be changing direction on their next release. "Our band has certainly reached the end of where we've been at for the last couple of albums," said Bono during a BBC Radio interview. "I want to see what else we can do with it, take it to the next level; I think that's what we've got to do."

"We're gonna continue to be a band, but maybe the rock will have to go; maybe the rock has to get a lot harder. But whatever it is, it's not gonna stay where it is."

One suggestion made was to go the voice and acoustic guitar route. The aim is to have the new album out by the end of 2007.

Madonna will be releasing a CD/DVD set of the Confessions Tour on January 23rd. They chronicle an appearance during her last tour at Wembley Arena in London. The CD will have 13 tracks while the DVD will be 21. The track listing (with CD tracks marked with an asterisk):
  • Future Lovers/I Feel Love *
  • Get Together
  • Like a Virgin *
  • Jump *
  • Confessions *
  • Live To Tell
  • Forbidden Love
  • Isaac *
  • Sorry *
  • Like It Or Not
  • Sorry (Remix) *
  • I Love New York *
  • Ray of Light
  • Let It Will Be *
  • Drowned World/Substitute for Love
  • Paradise (Not for Me)
  • Music Inferno *
  • Erotica *
  • La Isla Bonita
  • Lucky Star *
  • Hung Up *

Notable Links:

A remembrance of working with Willie Nelson during his days with Atlantic Records by Ed Ward of the Austin Chronicle.

A story on Judee Sill, a lesser-known singer-songwriter who recorded two albums for Asylum in the early-70's and whose work is being reissued by Rhino U.K., via the Washington Post.

Retro Charts

23 Years Ago (1983)
  1. Say, Say, Say - Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson
  2. Say It Isn't So - Daryl Hall & John Oates
  3. Union of the Snake - Duran Duran
  4. Owner of a Lonely Heart - Yes
  5. All Night Long - Lionel Richie
  6. Uptown Girl - Billy Joel
  7. Love is a Battlefield - Pat Benatar
  8. Twist of Fate - Olivia Newton-John
  9. Undercover of the Night - Rolling Stones
  10. Break My Stride - Matthew Wilder
33 Years Ago (1973)
  1. Time in a Bottle - Jim Croce
  2. The Most Beautiful Girl - Charlie Rich
  3. Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress) - Helen Reddy
  4. The Joker - Steve Miller Band
  5. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
  6. Hello It's Me - Todd Rundgren
  7. Top of the World - Carpenters
  8. Show and Tell - Al Wilson
  9. Smokin' in the Boys Room - Brownsville Station
  10. Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up - Barry White
43 Years Ago (1963)
  1. Dominique - Singing Nun
  2. There! I've Said It Again - Bobby Vinton
  3. Louie Louie - Kingsmen
  4. Since I Fell for You - Lenny Welch
  5. You Don't Have to Be a Baby to Cry - Caravelles
  6. Drip Drop - Dion
  7. Forget Him - Bobby Rydell
  8. Popsicles and Icicles - Mermaids
  9. Talk Back Trembling Lips - Johnny Tillotson
  10. Be True to Your School - Beach Boys

Friday, December 29, 2006

Verve Goes Through Cut-Backs

In another case of "it's a sign of the times but it still sucks," the long-time jazz label Verve has gone through a holiday shake-up with over 25% of the employees being let go. They will now be under the Universal Music Enterprises umbrella. Recent releases from Verve included albums by Gladys Knight and Natalie Cole.

Friends and relatives of James Brown gathered in North Augusta, South Carolina on Friday to pay their last respects in a small private ceremony. Among those in attendance were boxing promoter Don King, the Reverend Al Sharpton and comedian Dick Gregory. The ceremony was at the Carpentersville Baptist Church near the place that Brown called home just inside the South Carolina border from Georgia.
There's been more fun in the Paul McCartney/Heather Mills divorce. Mills called the police to report the theft of paintings, including ones by Picasso and Renoir, worth an estimated $19.5 million. It turns out that Paul had removed the paintings from the estate, reprogrammed the security codes and told Mills about it via text message.

Does David Lee Roth really want to be part of next year's Van Halen tour? He has told “A Van Halen reunion is a lot like NASCAR — are you there to see the winner or the crash? In this aspect, we’re a lot closer to Jerry Springer meets Knots Landing, which, to me, sells T-shirts.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer has taken a local poll to see which five of the nine Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees should be inducted. It was a landslide victory for Van Halen followed by R.E.M., the Dave Clark Five, the Ronettes and the Stooges. We'll know the real results on Monday, January 8th.

Back on December 12th, we first mentioned the vintage vinyl artists that made the top of Rollings Stones' Best Album and Single of 2006. The full lists are now out and there are a number of those artists populating the best of the year. On the album list:
  1. Modern Times - Bob Dylan
  2. Stadium Arcadium - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  3. Rather Ripped - Sonic Youth
  4. Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards - Tom Waits
  5. One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This - New York Dolls
  6. American V: A Hundred Highways - Johnny Cash
  7. We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions - Bruce Springsteen
  8. Alive and Kickin - Fats Domino
  9. Under the Skin - Lindsay Buckingham
  10. You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker - Willie Nelson
On the songs side:
  1. Crazy - Gnarls Barkley (yes, I know they aren't vintage but, damn, this makes me think of 70's funk)
  2. Thunder on the Mountain - Bob Dylan
  3. Tell Me Baby - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  4. How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live - Bruce Springsteen
  5. Incinerate - Sonic Youth
  6. Origin of Species - Chris Smither
  7. Black Sweat - Prince
  8. Trapped in the Drive-Thru - Weird Al Yankovic
  9. That's How I Got To Memphis - Solomon Burke
  10. Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further - Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint
  11. The Saints are Coming - Green Day and U2
  12. Saving Grace - Tom Petty

Get ready for a major change in the British record charts starting January 1st. The definition of what is counted to chart will open up to all downloaded tracks. Expect to see some classic tracks show up once in awhile, especially when a major event or death occurs.

Notable Links:

It's not often that an article gets published by a record collector for record collectors. Here's one by Ben Koch of The Daily Page on his best record finds of the year.

David Crosby - From Carefree Hippy to Father of 6 from Reuters.

Chart Watch

Our weekly recap of vintage vinyl artists on the current music charts.

Top 100 Albums
  1. Love - Beatles - Up from 8 in week 5.
  2. Duets: An American Classic - Tony Bennett - Down from 12 in week 13.
  3. U218: Singles - U2 - Up from 34 in week 5.
  4. It Just Comes Natural - George Strait - No change in week 12.
  5. At Christmas - James Taylor - Down from 26 in week 11.
  6. The Road to Escondido - J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton - Down from 42 in week 7.
  7. Stadium Arcadium - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Up from 65 in week 33.
  8. Still the Same...Great Rock Classics of Our Time - Rod Stewart - Down from 63 in week 11.
  9. Modern Times - Bob Dylan - Up from 69 in week 17.
  10. Face the Promise - Bob Seger - Down from 64 in week 15.
  11. Greatest Songs of the Sixties - Barry Manilow - Down from 68 in week 8.
  12. Cool Yule - Bette Midler - Down from 49 in week 7.
  13. The Legend of Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash - Up from 82 in week 61.
  14. Straight Outta Lynwood - Weird Al Yankovic - Down from 81 in week 13.
  15. These Days - Vince Gill - Down from 84 in week 10.
  16. Take the Weather With You - Jimmy Buffett - Down from 95 in week 11.
Falling out of the Top 100 after a one-week resurgence is Neil Diamond's 12 Songs.

Top 50 Singles
  1. Snow (Hey Oh) - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Up from 49 in week 6.
  2. White and Nerdy - Weird Al Yankovic - Up from 55 in week 13.
Top 50 R&B Albums
  1. Coming Home - Lionel Richie - Up from 31 in week 15.
  2. The Gospel According to Patti Labelle - Patti Labelle - Down from 35 in week 5.
  3. 20 Y.O. - Janet Jackson - No change in week 13.
Top 25 Country Albums
  1. It Just Comes Natural - George Strait - No change in week 12.
  2. The Legend of Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash - Up from 15 in week 61.
  3. These Days - Vince Gill - No change in week 10.
  4. Take the Weather With You - Jimmy Buffett - No change in week 11.
Top 50 European Albums
  1. Love - Beatles - No change in week 3.
  2. U218: Singles - U2 - Down from 2 in week 3.
  3. Best of, Volume 1 - Depeche Mode - Down from 5 in week 4.
  4. Twenty Five - George Michael - Down from 7 in week 4.
  5. The Road to Escondido - J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton - Down from 10 in week 5.
  6. An Other Cup - Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) - Down from 15 in week 4.
  7. Stadium Arcadium - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Up from 41 in week 32.
  8. Still the Same...Great Rock Classics of Our Time - Rod Stewart - Down form 29 in week 7.
  9. Bat Out Of Hell III - Meat Loaf - Down from 23 in week 7.
Top 50 European Singles
  1. The Saints are Coming - U2 & Green Day - Down from 13 in week 6.
  2. Snow (Hey Oh) - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Up from 50 in week 3.
  3. Jump - Madonna - Down from 21 in week 5.
Top 10 Music Videos
  1. Farewell I Tour: Live From Melbourne - Eagles - No change in week 80.
  2. Kissology: The Ultimate Kiss Collection Vol. 1 1974-1977 - Kiss - No change in week 8.
  3. Pulse - Pink Floyd - Up from 9 in week 200.
  4. An American Classic - Tony Bennett - Down from 6 in week 5.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

National Film Registry Adds The T.A.M.I. Show

Each year, the National Film Registry names a group of films they feel are of lasting importance and must be preserved and made available for the public. Twenty-five were named on Wednesday, bringing the total to 450. In this year's class is the 1964 film The T.A.M.I. Show, a document of a concert in the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium featuring Chuck Berry, the Supremes, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, the Barbarians, Lesley Gore, Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas, Gerry & the Pacemakers, the Rolling Stones and James Brown. This one is hard to find in its original form and it is especially difficult to find a copy with any of the Beach Boys' performance. Dick Clark currently owns the rights to the film. Here's hoping that this honor will be an impetus to bring this gem back to its full-length glory.

Also making this year's list is 1929's St. Louis Blues with Bessie Smith and Rocky with music by Bill Conti. Previous inductees with major music elements include American Graffiti, Jazz on a Summer's Day, Woodstock and, of course, numerous Hollywood musicals.

A horse-drawn carriage brought the body of James Brown to the Apollo Theater in New York for a public viewing before making a final trip to Augusta, Georgia. Thousands lined up outside the theater to get in and pay their final respects to the Godfather of Soul. Brown's music was being played both outside and in the theater, but a air of reverence was with the people as they passed by the coffin. Brown will be buried on Saturday.

The original Los Angeles studio where Ray Charles recorded will be turned into a memorial library. The site will also contain equipment and a studio where musicians can record. Groundbreaking is January 25th and completion is expected in 2008.

The news has just come out that the Beach Boys lawsuit against two men who they say stole memorabilia from them has been dismissed by a Los Angeles court judge. The reason? Their lawyer showed up thirteen minutes late for a pre-trial hearing on December 11th. The lawyer is currently pleading with the judge to reconsider.

The United Kingdom is releasing a set of six stamps depicting Beatles album covers. Included in the set are the covers to With the Beatles, Help, Revolve, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Abbey Road and Let it Be. The stamps will be available January 9th.

Paul Rodgers is planning to put out a live DVD of a show from his last tour. Recorded last October, the show covers music from his Free, Bad Company and solo years.

Rory Gallagher will be honored in Belfast, Ireland this Friday with the unveiling of a memorial plaque, a screening of a 1984 concert from the city, an exhibition of memorabilia and performances. Gallagher passed away in 1995 at the age of 47.

Notable Links:

An interview with Patti Labelle on James Brown from Newsweek and MSNBC.

Rickie Lee Jones will have a new album out in February called Sermon on Exposition Boulevard. The album was influenced by the book The Words of Christ, which contrasts the words of Christ with how his words are used today. Here's an article and interview from the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Robin Gibb: Good Friend or Record Industry Lobbyist?

Who would think that ex-Bee Gee Robin Gibb would get in the middle of a controversy over the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's vacation and his plane sliding off of a runway in Miami. Most likely nothing would have come of Blair's vacation if the plane accident had happened, but now the details are out and the British press are making a big deal of whether Blair is paying for the vacation personally or if Gibb is giving the Prime Minister favors due to Gibb's involvement in the British copyright laws controversy.

The Best of Company in the U.K. has released the results of their Best of British poll. Best British male band/pop star went to the Beatles with Queen at number 3. Kate Bush was the Best British female band/pop star with Bananarama taking fifth.

Paul McCartney is producing an writing a musical he hopes to open on Broadway that is inspired by his late wife Linda McCartney and his classical compositions.

Jimmy Earle Brown a trumpet, saxophone and vocalist for a number of bands from the 40's through the 90's, passed away on December 18th at the age of 80. Also known as Jumpin' Jimmy Brown, he started his career Paul Williams and his Hucklebuckers. Throughout the 50's and early-60's he played with Etta James, Nat King Cole and in the Apollo Theater pit orchestra. Later, he was Debbie Reynolds' music director and lead trumpeter in Count Basie's band. Brown was also instrumental in launching the career of his then wife, Ruth Brown, who passed away earlier this year.

He remained popular in the 80's and 90's in the upper mid-west as a solo artist and in the local group The Senders.

The James Brown biopic has been put on the fast track by producer Brian Grazer and director Spike Lee. Lee is also working on polishing a script. The original author, Steve Baugelman, met with Brown a number of times on the venture.

Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band are filming and taping the final two nights of their Detroit homestand this weekend for possible future release. If released, it will be the first video concert ever for Seger and his first live album since 1981.

Willie Nelson has signed to star with Jessica Simpson, Luke Wilson, Rachel Leigh Cook and others in Blonde Ambition. The movie is said to be a loose remake of Working Girl.

In a rather unheard of turn of events, Sting's album Songs from the Labyrinth became the biggest selling Classical album of 2006. The album features music of 16th-century composer John Dowland.

Meanwhile, on the Blues chart, George Thorogood & the Destroyers 30 Years of Rock ended the year as the top seller. It was also the top selling blues album of 2005. B.B. King had two albums in the top 10, B.B. King & Friends: 80 at number three and Ultimate Collection at number 6. The comeback album for Betty LaVette, Take Another Piece of My Heart, finished the year at number 11.

Notable Links - More Tributes to James Brown:

Ben Wener in the Orange County Register.

Stephen Kaufman at

Tom Breihan in the Village Voice.

Jody Rosen at Slate.

Notable Links:

The Counts, a Doo Wop group that was popular in the mid-Atlantic and mid-West states, is still around and performing. here is an article on them from The Noblesville Ledger.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Arrangements Set for James Brown Funeral

There will be a public funeral service for James Brown this Saturday at the 8,500-seat arena bearing his name. The Reverend Al Sharpton will preside. A small, private ceremony is scheduled for Friday.

On Thursday, Brown's body will lie in state at the Apollo Theater in New York for public viewing. It will also be displayed on Saturday at the arena before the service.

Meanwhile, Brown's last partner, Tomi Rae Hynie, was barred from their home by Brown's lawyers. They contend that Hynie was already married to a Texas man at the time she married Brown in 2001 and is, therefore, not his legal spouse. The couple have a five-year-old son.

Notable Links - Tributes to James Brown:

Terry Lawson of the Detroit Free Press.

Art Levine of the Huffington Post.

Brett Milano in the Boston Herald.

Joel Ryan at E! Online.

Otis R. Taylor at The State.

Dr. Ben at All Hip Hop.

Joe Gross of the American Statesman at

Evelyn McDonnell of the Miami Harold at the Mercury News site.

Joe Pareles of the New York Times at the Orlando Sentinel.

Michael Jackson has filed suit against his former accountants, Bernstein, Fox, Whitman, Goldman & Sloan, charging that they made unauthorized business deals and charging him millions of dollars. On the flip side, the finance firm Prescient Acquisition Group is suing Jackson for $48 million that they claim he owes for helping him find investors to pay off debt and to acquire the Beatles catalog.

There are also rumors that Jackson has been spotted in Las Vegas where he may be planning a big comeback concert.

Charlie Drake
, a legend of comedy in the U.K. who also had a successful music career, passed away on Sunday in West London at the age of 81. While mainly known in the United Kingdom for a number of successful TV series, he also had one international hit with My Boomerang Won't Come Back (1962, peaked at #21) and a number of British chart hits. In the UK, his version of Bobby Darin's Splish Splash (produced by George Martin) outsold the original.

Notable Links:

An interesting article on self-published books on rock music. In this case, the Beatles. From the New York Times.

A short report of the day James Brown played at the Grand Old Opry from Country Weekly Magazine.

An article on Mark Scott, the current lead singer of the Miracles courtesy of the Flint Journal.

Monday, December 25, 2006

James Brown (1933 - 2006)

The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, passed away last night in an Atlanta hospital at the age of 73. Brown had been hospitalized the previous day for pneumonia.

Brown started his career at the age of 20 when he teamed with gospel singer Bobby Byrd to form what would become the Fabulous Flames. In 1956, they signed with King records and released their first major hit Please, Please, Please. Two years later, they hit number one on the R&B charts for the first time with Try Me.

What followed would be the biggest career by any soul/R&B artist in history. Among his accomplishments:
  • 118 hits on the Billboard R&B Charts, 17 of which went to number one. He is listed as the number one artist in the history of the chart.
  • 96 Top 100 hits, including Top 10's Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, I Got You (I Feel Good), It's a Man's Man's Man's World, Cold Sweat (Part 1), I Got the Feelin', Say it Loud I'm Black I'm Proud and Living in America.
  • Recorded, in 1963, what many still consider the greatest live album in history, Live at the Apollo.
  • Won Grammys for Best R&B performance in 1965 for Papa's Got a Brand New Bag and in 1986 for Living in America. He also received the lifetime achievement award in 1992.
  • Was inducted with the first class into the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
Brown's life was not without controversy. He was his own man professionally and bumped up against record executives regularly. He was married four times and was arrested twice for spousal abuse. Brown was sentenced to six years in jail and served two for a 1988 arrest for drugs and a high-speed chase.

Per Jesse Jackson, "He was dramatic to the end - dying on Christmas Day. Almost a dramatic, poetic moment. He'll be all over the news all over the world today. He would have it no other way."

New Releases for Tuesday, December 26th

With the exception of the release of the Sony Beautiful Ballads compilations, it is almost exclusively an import week.