Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chart Watch - February 27, 2009

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current music charts. Chart highlights:
  • Former Gap Band leader Charlie Wilson makes the big splash on the charts this week, premiering at number 2 on the Pop and 1 on the R&B Album charts. The single from the album, There Goes My Baby, sits at number 33 on the R&B Singles chart.
  • Morrissey's Years of Refusal also does well in its first week, coming in at 11 on the Pop and 4 on the Rock Album chart. In England, the album is the biggest debut of the week at number three while in Canada it starts at 36.
  • The other debut of the week is the Annie Lennox Collection which premiers at 34 in the U.S. at 13 in Canada.
  • While sales slowed considerably for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' Raising Sand, it is still doing well for a 16-month old album. On the Pop Album chart it drops from 2 to 9 while on the Country chart it stays at number 2.
  • On the R&B Album chart there are two notable jumps as Janet Jackson's year old Discipline goes 61 to 33 and LL Cool J's Exit 13 moves 67 to 35.
Previous week position noted in parenthesis.

Top 100 Albums

Top 50 Singles
  • #1 (1) - Right Round - Flo Rida
  • #2 (2) - Dead and Gone - T.I. Featuring Justin Timberlake
  • #3 (4) - Heartless - Kanye West
  • #47 (48) - Down the Road - Kenny Chesney With Mac McAnally
  • #49 (52) - Cowgirls Don't Cry - Brooks & Dunn featuring Reba McEntire
See the rest of the charts below the cut.
Top 25 Digital Songs
  • #1 (1) - Right Round - Flo Rida
  • #2 (3) - Dead and Gone - T.I. Featuring Justin Timberlake
  • #3 (2) - Crack a Bottle - Eminem, Dr. Dre & 50 Cent
  • No Veteran Artists Charting

Top 25 Pop Catalog Albums


Top 50 R&B Albums

Top 50 R&B Songs

  • #1 (1) - Blame It - Jamie Foxx Featuring T-Pain
  • #2 (2) - Turnin' Me On - Keri Hilson Featuring Lil Wayne
  • #3 (3) - Diva - Beyonce
  • #33 (33) - There Goes My Baby - Charlie Wilson

Top 10 R&B Catalog Albums


Top 25 Country Albums

Top 25 Country Songs
  • #1 (2) - God Love Her - Toby Keith
  • #2 (1) - Down the Road - Kenny Chesney with Mac McAnally
  • #3 (3) - Sweet Thing - Keith Urban
  • #4 (5) - Cowgirls Don't Cry - Brooks & Dunn featuring Reba McEntire
  • #7 (7) - River of Love - George Strait

Top 10 Country Catalog Albums
  • #1 (1) - Enjoy the Ride - Sugarland
  • #2 (2) - Some Hearts - Carrie Underwood
  • #3 (5) - 30 #1 Hits - Elvis Presley
  • #8 (7) - 16 Greatest Hits - Johnny Cash


Top 10 Rock Albums

Top 10 Hard Rock Albums
  • #1 (1) - Dark Horse - Nickelback
  • #2 (2) - Rock N Roll Jesus - Kid Rock
  • #3 (5) - Swan Songs - Hollywood Undead
  • #5 (3) - Death Magnetic - Metallica
  • #9 (4) - Black Ice - AC/DC

Top 20 Mainstream Rock Tracks
  • #1 (2) - Something in Your Mouth - Nickelback
  • #2 (1) - Second Chance - Shinedown
  • #3 (3) - Do What You Do - Mudvayne
  • #4 (5) - Cyanide - Metallica
  • #11 (13) - Big Jack - AC/DC

Top 20 AAA Tracks
  • #1 (2) - You Found Me - The Fray
  • #2 (1) - Get On Your Boots - U2
  • #3 (3) - Crack the Shutters - Snow Patrol
  • #5 (4) - Working on a Dream - Bruce Springsteen
  • #8 (8) - Love's a Mystery - Pretenders
  • #11 (26) - We Let Her Down - Chris Isaak

Adult Contemporary

Top 20 Adult Contemporary Tracks
  • #1 (1) - I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
  • #2 (2) - Viva La Vida - Coldplay
  • #3 (5) - Love Story - Taylor Swift
  • #12 (13) - It's Growing - James Taylor
  • #17 (22) - Just Go - Lionel Richie

Top 20 Adult Top 40 Tracks
  • #1 (2) - You Found Me - The Fray
  • #2 (1) - Gotta Be Somebody - Nickelback
  • #3 (5) - Love Song - Taylor Swift
  • No Veteran Artists Charting


Top 25 Dance Club Play
  • #1 (2) - T-Shirt - Shontelle
  • #2 (3) - Away - Enrique Inglesias Featuring Sean Garrett
  • #3 (4) - Circus - Britney Spears
  • #18 (24) - Superlover - Labelle

Top 10 Dance Singles Sales
  • #1 (-) - Omen - The Prodigy
  • #2 (1) - Just Dance - Lady GaGa featuring Colby O'Danis
  • #3 (6) - Day 'N' Nite - Kid Cudi
  • #4 (2) - Miles Away - Madonna


Top 15 Jazz Albums

Top 15 Contemporary Jazz Albums

  • #1 (-) - Send One Your Love - Boney James
  • #2 (2) - Rhythm & Romance - Kenny G
  • #3 (3) - River: The Joni Letters - Herbie Hancock
  • #9 (17) - Encanto - Sergio Mendes


Music Association Top 40 Airplay

United Kingdom

Top 100 British Albums

Top 100 British Singles
  • #1 (1) - The Fear - Lily Allen
  • #2 (2) - Just Dance - Lady GaGa featuring Colby O'Danis
  • #3 (12) - Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
  • #12 (-) - Get On Your Boots - U2
  • #54 (48) - Let Your Love Flow - Bellamy Brothers
  • #55 (21) - I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris - Morrissey


Top 100 Canadian Albums

Top 100 Canadian Singles

  • #1 (1) - Love Story - Taylor Swift
  • #2 (3) - Sober - Pink
  • #3 (4) - Poker Face - Lady Gaga
  • #16 (12) - Get On Your Boots - U2
  • #24 (21) - Down the Road - Kenny Chesney with Mac McAnally
  • #32 (33) - River of Love - George Strait
  • #35 (31) - Cowgirls Don't Cry - Brooks & Dunn featuring Reba McEntire
  • #55 (59) - Big Jack - AC/DC


Top 50 Australian Albums

Top 50 Australian Singles
  • #1 (-) - Right Round - Flo Rida
  • #2 (2) - Love Story - Taylor Swift
  • #3 (1) - You Found Me - The Fray
  • No Veteran Artists Charting

British Jazz-Rock Icon Ian Carr Passes, Converse Salutes Metallica & AC/DC, more

British trumpet player Ian Carr passed away on Wednesday at the age of 75. Early in his career, Carr played with the likes of Eric Burden, John McLaughlin and Alan Price. In the 70's, he formed the British jazz-rock band Nucleus which also included Chris Spedding and Jack Bruce.

As an author, he wrote Music Outside, about jazz in Britain during the 70's, and biographies of Miles Davis and Keith Jarrett.

Gregg Rolie, who was a founding member of both Santana and Journey, will release a DVD of his current band in performance at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally of 2007. Included will be most of the Santana hits on which he sang and/or played organ along with a selection of his solo hits.

Jazz, and now roots music, bassist Charlie Haden will make his first appearance tonight (Saturday) at the Grand Ole Opry. He will be joined by his son-in-law, actor Jack Black.

The Americana Music Association is adding one of the great country stations to its panel. Nashville's 650 WSM is playing more Americana artists along with its usual concentration on traditional country sounds. Jed Hilly, executive director of the association, said “We love the fact that WSM is mixing in Americana artists with their more traditional country acts. Not only is it cool, but its exciting and creative programming as well.”

Vintage Vinyl News reviews the AMA chart every week in our Chart Watch column.
Finally, Converse is coming out with more sneakers this fall for fans of classic rock groups. This time around, it's AC/DC and Metallica. Below are just two of the designs:

American Public Television to Present Songwriters in the Round Series

American Public Television is completing the filming of their series Legends & Lyrics. The program, to be shown on PBS stations, features three singer/songwriters talking about and performing their music in a "songwriters in the round" format.

Also included in each program will be:
  • "Out of the Box" interviews with each artist/song poet.
  • "Did You Know? Historical Facts" addressing the ancient origins and interesting facts about today’s commercial music.
  • "Legendary Recording Artist" or "Legendary Song Poets" interviews with those of "Legend" status.
  • "Rising Stars" featuring undiscovered recording artist/song poets.
  • "Tips of the Week" for aspiring song poets.
Last year, eight shows were taped with the following artists. These will begin airing in April:
  • Kenny Loggins, Richard Marx, and 3 Doors Down
  • Kris Kristofferson, Patty Griffin, and Randy Owen
  • Charlie Daniels, Phil Vassar, and Jimmy Webb
  • Michael Martin Murphey, Pam Tillis, and Ron Sexsmith
  • Shawn Colvin, John Hiatt, and Jessi Colter
  • Susan Tedeschi, Kip Winger, and James Slater
  • Leigh Nash of Sixpence None the Richer, Mindy Smith, and Regie Hamm
  • Ed Bruce, Gordon Kennedy, and Angela Kaset
In addition, interviews were filmed with the likes of Loretta Lynn, Garth Brooks, Glen Ballard and Diane Warren.

A new series of shows were taped from February 20 to 24 and, although the actual pairings of artists has not been announced, the following artists were known to have participated:
  • Felix Cavaliere
  • Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon)
  • Mac Davis
  • Lamont Dozier
  • Justin Hayward (Moody Blues)
  • Amy Lee (Evanescence)
  • Melissa Manchester
  • Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil
  • David Pack (Ambrosia)
  • Peter Yarrow
  • Guy Clark
  • Roger McQuinn
  • Dwight Yoakam
  • Tony Joe White
  • Robert Cray
  • Darryl Worley
  • Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad)
  • Kevin Griffin (Better Than Ezra)

Stax Collection to Feature Tracks Sampled in Hip-Hop

Samples from the large Stax Records catalog have been used extensively over the last two decades by many hip-hop artists. The label, now owned and operated by the Concord Music Group, has collected just a few of those gems on the new album The Soul of Hip Hop, Volume I. The set will be available on March 31 on CD and through the digital marketplace.

Featured are tracks from such Stax mainstays as Isaac Hayes, Booker T. & the MGs, the Emotions, Rufus Thomas and more. While the majority of the songs were not the hits for the Stax artists during their heyday, snippets from each will be familiar to those who are fans of hip-hop artists like Rakim, Cypress Hill, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Ice Cube, Notorious B.I.G. and Wu-Tang Clan.

The track list:
  • Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth - 24-Carat Black
  • Blind Alley - Emotions
  • Melting Pot - Booker T. & the MGs
  • Humpin' - Bar-Kays
  • Get Up and Get Down - Dramatics
  • Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic - Isaac Hayes
  • Hung Up on My Baby - Isaac Hayes
  • I'm Afraid the Masquerade is Over - David Porter
  • After the Laughter (Comes the Tears) - Wendy Rene
  • As Long As I've Got You - Charmels
  • Why Mary - Sweet Inspirations
  • Do the Funky Penguin (Part 1) - Rufus Thomas
  • Packed Up and Took My Mind - Little Milton
  • I Forgot to Be Your Lover - William Bell

U2 Play BBC Roof, Morrissey Cancels Shows, more

U2 played a four-song set from the roof of the BBC's office tower in London on Friday night, performing Get On Your Boots, Magnificent, Vertigo and Beautiful Day. The group had been appearing on various BBC radio programs throughout the day.

When asked during one of the shows about touring plans, Bono said "We've got something very special planned, it's something we've been working on for many years, a whole way of trying to do shows outdoors and making them very intimate. And also we are trying to work on some cheaper ticket prices because this is the recession."

Morrissey has canceled the opening dates of his world tour because of illness. Canceled are shows in Boca Raton, Orlando, Jacksonville and St. Petersburg, Florida.

Cracker Barrel will be the exclusive retailer for a new Collector's Edition of Dolly Parton's latest, Backwoods Barbie. Included will be three new songs (Rose of My Heart, Hallelujah Holiday, and Berry Pie) and will also have new photos and artwork. It will be available March 23.

Americana magazine No Depression stopped printing last June to go web only. Yesterday, the company announced that they could not continue with the web version of the magazine, either, due to lack of revenue. The site will stay up as a combination message board, blog and social networking site. They are also looking to put their entire archive up.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Rolling Stone Readers' Best Oscar Songs

It has been months since we bothered to post one of the weekly Rolling Stone readers' polls because, quite frankly, we didn't think anyone would be interested in Songs About the Color Purple or Songs by Bands From Akron, Ohio.

This week, though, they asked their readers to name their favorite Oscar winning or nominated Best Original Song. Now, you might think that there are 81 great songs from which to choose, but the fact is that most from prior to 1970 were straight from the Easy Listening charts and, for a period in the late-80's and early-90's, if it wasn't from a Disney movie, it wasn't winning.

So here are 15 songs that won or should have won an Oscar from some great (and a couple of questionable) talents:
  1. Things Have Changed - Bob Dylan (from Wonder Boys)
  2. Philadelphia - Neil Young (Philadelphia)
  3. On the Road Again - Willie Nelson (Honeysuckle Rose)
  4. Streets of Philadelphia - Bruce Springsteen (Philadelphia)
  5. Live and Let Die - Paul McCartney (Live and Let Die)
  6. Miss Misery - Elliott Smith (Good Will Hunting)
  7. You've Got a Friend in Me - Randy Newman (Toy Story)
  8. Falling Slowly - Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova (Once)
  9. Blame Canada - Trey Parker & Marc Shaiman (South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut)
  10. Nine to Five - Dolly Parton (Nine to Five)
  11. I've Seen It All - Bjork (Dancer in the Dark)
  12. Lose Yourself - Eminem (8 Mile)
  13. I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing - Aerosmith (Armageddon)
  14. It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp - Three 6 Mafia (Hustle & Flow)
  15. The Power of Love - Huey Lewis & the News (Back to the Future)

Springfield Records Children's Album, Odetta Tribute, more

Rick Springfield is about to sing for children and their mothers.

Springfield wrote about his upcoming album, My Precious Little One (due March 10), on his website.

"I wrote these original lullabies for my two sons during the heady days of brand new fatherhood. As a songwriter, I wanted to do something to commemorate the birth of our children. Since neither of them were good sleepers, it seemed like a good idea to write some lullabies. I rediscovered them last year, stuck in the back of a drawer in my music room. They brought back so many good memories of our kids when they were babies, that I decided to rerecord and share them."

Odetta, who passed away in December, was remembered during a four-hour celebration of her life Tuesday night at New York's Riverside Church. Performers for the night included Sweet Honey in the Rock, Steve Earle, Peter Yarrow, Guy Davis, and Pete Seeger. Speakers included Maya Angelou, Harry Belafonte, Wavy Gravy and, on video, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez.

Paul Stanley was a guest on the Thursday edition of the Fox Business Network show Happy Hour and confirmed that Kiss would be heading into the studio next week to begin work on a new album. It's a Kiss album in the most true and classic sense. We're recording it in analog, not digital, and writing it ourselves." The group is aiming for a fall release.

Meanwhile, Stanley is unveiling three new paintings this weekend at the Wentworth Gallaries in Hackensack (Friday) and Short Hills (Saturday), New Jersey.

Marianne Faithfull will receive the World Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 2009 Women's World Awards. The award recognizes her work as a recording artist and stage and screen actor. The Awards will be in Vienna, Austria on March 5.

A collection of over fifty previously unseen photos of the Beatles and Rolling Stones from the years 1964 through 1966 will be the opening exhibition at the new Not Fade Away Gallery in New York. The photos were chosen from over 3,500 taken by photographer Bob Bonis during the groups' first tours of the U.S. The pictures have been in storage for over forty years with Bonis' family.

Jermaine Jackson is attempting to get sole custody of his two sons after reports to the L.A. Police Department that the children were being beaten. Reports say the boys told their teachers at school that their mother had been "slapping him repeatedly across the face."

A Wednesday night tribute to Scott Walker of the Walker Brothers at Los Angeles' Bordello as part of the launch of a documentary about his life (Scott Walker: 30 Century Man). Performers included David J (Bauhaus), John Doe (X), Ann Magnuson and Michael Des Barres (Power Station).

Ann and Nancy Wilson to Receive ASCAP Lifetime Achievement Award

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has announced that Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart will be given the group's Lifetime Achievement Award at their April 22 Pop Music Awards.

ASCAP President and Chairman Marilyn Bergman said "Their success and influence helped pave the way for other female artists, and they continue to build their musical legacy with an artistic energy that remains as strong today as when they first started out over 35 years ago."

The Lifetime Achievement Award is reserved for artists who have made pioneering contributions to music. Others who have received the award include Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Annie Lennox, Elvis Costello, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder and Neil Young.

Ann Wilson joined Heart in the early-70's. Even though the group had been kicking around since 1963, it took the creativity of Ann and sister Nancy, who joined in 1974, to put them in the forefront of critical and commercial success.

The group's 1975 album, Dreamboat Annie, was released on the small Canadian label, Mushroom, but went on to platinum success on the strength of the songs Magic Man and Crazy on You. After a move to Columbia Records, the group released their second official album, Little Queen (Mushroom also released Magazine, a set of unfinished tracks) which furthered their success with songs like Kick It Out and Barracuda.

In the early-80's, the group's album sales began to slump and they were released by Columbia. Written off by the industry, they moved to Capitol and mounted a major comeback based around major power ballads that lasted into the early-90's.

Since then the sisters have been active on and off as Heart along with their side project as the Lovemongers. They have also pursued solo careers with Nancy releasing solo albums and writing the music for husband Cameron Crowe's movie Almost Famous. Ann has worked solo and collaborated with others on projects.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Faith No More Explains Reunion

Faith No More have released a statement explaining how the upcoming reunion came about.
"Faith No More has always stood out as some sort of unique beast; part dog, part cat — its music almost as schizophrenic as the personalities of its members. When it all worked, it worked really well, even if the chemistry was always volatile.

"Throughout our 17 years of existence, the mental and physical energy required to sustain this creature was considerable and relentless. Though amicable enough, when we finally split, we all followed paths seemingly destined to opposite ends of the universe. Yet during the entire 10 years that have passed since our decision to break up we’ve experienced constant rumors and requests from fans and promoters alike. Nevertheless, for whatever reason, none of us kept in regular touch, much less to discuss any possibilities of getting together.

"What’s changed is that this year, for the first time, we’ve all decided to sit down together and talk about it. And what we’ve discovered is that time has afforded us enough distance to look back on our years together through a clearer lens and made us realize that through all the hard work, the music still sounds good, and we are beginning to appreciate the fact that we might have actually done something right. Meanwhile, we find ourselves at a moment in time with zero label obligations, still young and strong enough to deliver a kick-ass set, with enthusiasm to not only revisit our past but possibly add something to the present. And so with this we’ve decided to hold our collective breaths and jump off this cliff…. BACK, GOD FORBID, INTO THE MONKEY CAGE!!!

"We can only hope that the experience of playing together again will yield results erratic and unpredictable enough to live up to the legacy of FNM.

"Who knows where this will end or what it will bring up… only the future knows. But we are about to find out!"
The tour will include the same lineup as was in the group when they recorded their last album, 1997's Album of the Year, Mike Patton (vocals), Billy Gould (bass), Roddy Bottum (keyboards), Mike Bordin (drums) and John Hudson (guitar).

Beastie Boys Ready New Album, Pylon Guitarist Dies, more

Adam Yaunch of the Beastie Boys says the groups "bizarre" new album is almost complete. He talked to BBC Five Live about the album, tentatively called Tadlock's Glasses, saying "It's a combination of playing and sampling stuff as we're playing, and also sampling pretty obscure records.

"We're tweaking some mixes and we're going to master it in the next couple of weeks," he explained. There are a lot of songs on the record and there are a lot of short songs and they kind of all run into each other."

In an update from our earlier story, Randy Bewley, guitarist and founding member of Pylon, has passed away from the heart attack he suffered on Monday.
The Texas Historical Commission has granted the late bluesman Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown a state marker, overlooking the normal ten-year wait after a person's passing (Brown died in 2005). The marker will most likely be installed near Brown's grave vault in Beaumont, Texas.

On a side note, Brown's casket had to be identified after last summer's huricane Ike blew the concrete lids off of numerous vaults and flooding took the caskets to other parts of the cemetary.

The University of Limerick in Ireland has announced that they will be holding two-day symposium in celebration of the career of Morrissey. The Songs That Saved Your Life (Again) will include discussions on the singer as a cultural icon and the premier of the documentary Passions Just Like Mine.

Motley Crue will announce the details for this summer's Crue Fest 2: The White Trash Circus, including tour mates and dates, on March 16 from Fuse TV studios.

Reba McEntire will team up with her original mentor, Red Steagall, in a benefit concert for a local wrestling coach in Hoffman Estates, IL.

Former Alabama guitarist Jeff Cook is readying his first CD for a March digital release. Ashes Won't Burn is recorded with his new group, the Allstar Goodtime Band and will come out March 17 on Quest Records. "This new record will please rock, blues and soul fans alike...we had a lot of fun making it...we call it 'Funtry' music. Country music fans can expect to hear those familiar guitar and fiddle licks from the past."
Naomi Judd, formerly of the mother/daughter duo the Judds, will return as a judge on the second season of CMT's Duets.

Sixteen Mainstream Veteran Artists Get Dove Nominations

The nominations for the 40th Annual Dove Awards for gospel music were recently announced with sixteen different mainstream veteran artists receiving nods.

Leading the way were bluegrass artists Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver who received three nominations. Vince Gill received two, both in the same category for two different albums.

The Dove Awards are presented annually by the Gospel Music Association (GMA) with this years awards scheduled for April 23 at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
  • George Strait - Country Recorded Song (I Saw God Today)
  • Randy Travis - Country Album (Around the Bend)
  • Oak Ridge Boys - Country Recorded Song (Did I Make a Difference)
  • Roy Orbison - Special Event Album (Billy: The Early Years Official Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  • Marty Stuart - Special Event Album (Country Bluegrass Homecoming Volume 1)
  • Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys - Special Event Album (Country Bluegrass Homecoming Volume 1)
  • George Jones - Special Event Album (Country Bluegrass Homecoming Volume 1)
  • Vince Gill - Special Event Album (Country Bluegrass Homecoming Volume 1), Special Event Album (How Great Thou Art: Gospel Favorites From the Grand Ole Opry)
  • Charlie Daniels Band - Special Event Album (How Great Thou Art: Gospel Favorites From the Grand Ole Opry)
  • Patty Loveless - Special Event Album (How Great Thou Art: Gospel Favorites From the Grand Ole Opry)
  • Ronnie Milsap - Special Event Album (How Great Thou Art: Gospel Favorites From the Grand Ole Opry)
  • Ricky Skaggs - Special Event Album (How Great Thou Art: Gospel Favorites From the Grand Ole Opry)
  • Whites - Special Event Album (How Great Thou Art: Gospel Favorites From the Grand Ole Opry)
  • Loretta Lynn - Special Event Album (How Great Thou Art: Gospel Favorites From the Grand Ole Opry)
  • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver - Bluegrass Recorded Song (Help is On the Way), Bluegrass Album (Help is On the Way), Special Event Album (Country Bluegrass Homecoming Volume 1)
  • Blind Boys of Alabama - Traditional Gospel Recorded Song (Free at Last), Traditional Gospel Album (Down in New Orleans)

Blues Hall of Fame Names 2009 Inductees

The Blues Hall of Fame has named its 2009 inductees, led by the great Irma Thomas and Taj Mahal. The induction ceremony will be held at The Blues Foundation's Charter Member Dinner on Wednesday, May 6, at the Memphis Marriott Downtown in Memphis, Tennessee, the night before the 30th Blues Music Awards.

The blues artists inducted this year (biographies courtesy of The Blues Foundation):
  • Irma Thomas has reigned as “The Soul Queen of New Orleans” since the 1960s and remains not only a hometown favorite but also an international legend in the annals of rhythm & blues. Born Irma Lee in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, on February 18, 1941, she always loved to sing – at home, in church, in school, in talent shows, and finally in the nightclubs and recording studios of New Orleans. She even lost jobs by singing in clubs when she was being paid to waitress, but that led to one of her first professional breaks, when the bandleader at the Pimlico Club, Tommy Ridgley, hired her and took her on the road. She was a teenaged mother of four when her first record, Don’t Mess With My Man, hit the charts in 1960. Her biggest hit was the soul-baring, self-penned Imperial single Wish Someone Would Care in 1964, but the best-known song she recorded was the flip side of another 1964 Imperial 45, Time Is On My Side, which became a rock ‘n’ roll classic for the Rolling Stones. A series of less successful records followed, along with a period of semi-retirement from music when she moved to California after Hurricane Camille devastated the Gulf Coast in 1969. Irma has been a fixture on the New Orleans scene since returning home in the 1970s, and began to win wider acclaim again after recording the first in a long series of albums for Rounder in 1985. She and her husband ran a club, the Lions Den on Gravier Street, until another hurricane – Katrina – flooded the premises and sent her away from the Crescent City again, but this time only as far as Gonzales, Louisiana. Thomas has been a perennial nominee and frequent winner in the Blues Music Awards, and is in the running again this year for Soul Blues Female Artist of the Year and Soul Blues Album of the Year.
  • Taj Mahal may have explored more farflung corners of African-rooted musical traditions than any other performer, but he has always returned to the sound at the core of his journeys, the blues. Born Henry St. Clair Fredericks on May 17, 1942, in New York, and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, Taj chose his exotic stage name well in advance of his world travels when he was at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. After relocating to California, he rose to national prominence with the release of his Columbia album, Taj Mahal , which was highlighted by his modern-day reworkings of vintage tunes by the traditional blues masters, many of whom Taj had gotten to know during the folk-blues revival era. Taj's brand of blues was embraced rock audiences and over the years inspired a number of younger African-American performers as well. His recordings have featured him on guitar, harmonica, piano, bass, banjo, mandolin, fife, and other of the 20 instruments he plays. When he delved into reggae and other Afro-Caribbean sounds, he was no stranger to the culture, since his father was a West Indian from the island of St. Kitts and his stepfather was Jamaican. Taj also recorded zydeco, New Orleans creole music, childrens’ songs, folk tunes, gospel, soundtracks, and rhythm & blues, and did sessions with musicians from Africa, India, and Hawaii. But it all revolved around and interacted with his blues, and audiences continue to be treated to inspiring performances by one of the genre’s most eclectic and charismatic performers.
  • Son Seals' fiery, hard-driven electric blues renewed the gritty Southern roots of Chicago blues during the 1970s and ‘80s, an era during which many of his contemporaries were molding their blues around the rhythms of funk and soul music or the excesses of rock ‘n’ roll. Frank “Son” Seals, born August 13, 1942, in Osceola, Arkansas, grew up with the blues at his father’s juke joint, the Dipsy Doodle. He learned from his father, Jim Seals, and from musicians who played at the club, especially Albert King, who drove a truck in Osceola, and Earl Hooker. As a guitarist he led his own band, the Upsetters, in Arkansas, and as a drummer he toured with both King and Hooker. King remained his foremost influence, and sometimes Seals would do entire sets of Albert’s material, but he could deliver them with raw fury and a harsh tonality that gave him a sound all his own. Seals’ approach exemplified the term high-energy blues in its purest form and proved to be a great match for the promotions and productions of the label he spent most of his career with, Alligator Records. Health problems slowed him down in later years, but even after he was shot in the jaw and had a foot amputated, he did his utmost to generate sparks whenever he took the stage. Seals died of complications from diabetes on December 20, 2004, in Richton Park, Illinois.
  • Reverend Gary Davis was one of the foremost guitarists in acoustic blues, gospel and folk music, a spirited performer who not only dazzled audiences with his virtuosity but who also served as a mentor and personal instructor to generations of guitar pickers. A self-taught musician, the blind Davis often played the streets for tips in the Carolinas and New York before he became a sought-after festival performer and private teacher during the 1950s and ‘60s. Born in Laurens, South Carolina, on April 30, 1896, Davis made his first recordings in 1935 under the name Blind Gary, performing both blues and gospel songs. As Rev. Gary Davis he later devoted his public performances to gospel singing, although there was still plenty of blues, jazz, and ragtime influence in his instrumental work, and students or producers might coax a few blues out of him at home or in the studio. Renowned as the master of fingerpicking styles, Davis was such a wizard that he only needed to use his thumb and forefinger while chording complex figures with his left hand. His students ranged from Blind Boy Fuller to Dave Van Ronk, David Bromberg, Ry Cooder, Jorma Kaukonen, Taj Mahal, Philadelphia Jerry Ricks, and Ernie Hawkins. Davis died in Hammonton, New Jersey, on May 5, 1972.
Inducted in the non-performers category are:
  • Clifford Antone transformed Austin, Texas, into a major blues center in the 1970s and ‘80s after he founded a nightclub called Antone’s to book the legendary bluesmen he loved. Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Albert King, Buddy Guy, James Cotton, and many more discovered a friend and patron in Antone, who even housed musicians such as Hubert Sumlin and Pinetop Perkins for months at a time. Young Austin musicians such as Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Fabulous Thunderbirds were on hand not only to perform, but to soak up the music of the masters--the club was sometimes as much a training school as it was an internationally renowned performing venue. Antone also launched a record label to further promote artists such as Sumlin, Perkins, Cotton, Lazy Lester, Angela Strehli, Sue Foley and Jimmy Rogers, and opened a record store as well. Antone was born in Port Arthur, Texas, on October 27, 1949. He attended the University of Texas and later returned to teach blues courses there. He died in Austin on May 23, 2006.
  • Mike Leadbitter (right with Jackie Wilson) was hailed as the world’s foremost authority on postwar blues during his years as editor of the pioneering magazine Blues Unlimited in England. Leadbitter, was born in India on March 12, 1942, but grew up in England. In 1962 he and fellow blues enthusiast Simon Napier formed the Blues Appreciation Society, and in 1963 they founded the first English-language blues periodical, Blues Unlimited. Leadbitter, Napier, and longtime Blues Unlimited contributor John Broven had all attended Bexhill Grammar School, and Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, became known to blues fans worldwide as the address of the magazine. Leadbitter led the way in documenting the careers and recordings of artists from across the spectrum of the electric blues era, but especially those from Memphis, Mississippi, Houston, Louisiana, and Chicago. He and Neil Slaven co-authored the groundbreaking discography Blues Records 1943-1970, and Leadbitter also edited a collection of Blues Unlimited articles published in book form as Nothing But the Blues in 1971. In addition, Leadbitter compiled albums for various record labels and coordinated research efforts among a wide network of international blues aficionados. He was at work on a book on postwar Delta blues when he died of meningitis at a London hospital on November 16, 1974. His manuscript is being updated for publication by a team of colleagues.
  • The authoritative voice of Bob Porter is familiar to radio listeners across the country from his syndicated broadcasts of Portraits in Blue, the in-depth series he launched at WBGO in Newark, New Jersey, in 1981. Porter, one of America’s leading experts on the blues, and especially on the junctures of blues with jazz, has also produced, preserved, and documented the music in the recording studio, in print, and in presentations at festivals and seminars. Born in Wellesley, Massachusetts, on June 20, 1940, Porter has produced jazz and blues sessions for Prestige, Muse, and other labels since the 1960s in addition to compiling and annotating extensive reissue sets for companies such as Atlantic, Savoy and Rhino. Porter has also donated his energy and knowledge to organizations such as the Blues Foundation and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He has worked with Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Big Joe Turner, Helen Humes, Roomful of Blues, Hank Crawford, Gene Ammons, Charles Earland, and others in the studio, and is authoring Soul Jazz: A History of Jazz in the Black Community 1945-1975 for Oxford University Press.
This years Classic of Blues Literature is I Hear You Knockin' by Jeff Hannusch.

The following tracks are being inducted as Classics of Blues Recording (Singles & Album Tracks):
  • Boom Boom - John Lee Hooker (Vee Jay, 1961)
  • Caledonia - Louis Jordan (Decca, 1945)
  • Sitting On Top of the World - Mississippi Sheiks (Okeh, 1930)
The following are being inducted as Classics of Blues Recording (Albums):
  • Amtrak Blues - Alberta Hunter (Columbia, 1978)
  • T-Bone Blues - T-Bone Walker (Atlantic, 1959)
  • Blues With a Feeling (Newport Folk Festival Classics) - Various Artists (Vanguard, 1993)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Allman Brothers Beacon Run to Be Streamed Online

The entire 15-date run by the Allman Brothers at the Beacon Theater will be web-cast live on The catch? It's going to cost you $125 to see it.

Still, for Allman Brothers fans, this is less than the cost of a front row ticket for just one of the shows during the run. That amount gives you:
  • The fifteen concerts streamed live.
  • The fifteen concerts available on-demand until September 30, 2009.
  • Immediate access to a stream of the band's September 8, 2007 show from Piedmont Park.
  • Access to "scores of ABB audio concerts."
According to drummer Butch Trucks, "We wanted a way to share our special anniversary series with all of our fans worldwide, not just the ones who are able to join us in-person at the Beacon Theatre. Onstream Media is a long-standing leader in managing and producing complex, live web-casting events. We would have had to work with multiple service providers to find the type of capabilities that Onstream Media solely provides.

"With Onstream Media, this event also demonstrates a new, viable business model for the changing world of music. We hope that both new and old bands alike start following our lead in order to stay connected with their fans and to generate more direct income from their music."

The Beacon run is totally sold out, so this is the only way that fans can now experience the shows.

Faith No More Reuniting, Tom Jones Credits Son for Later Career, more

The publicist of Mike Patton has announced that Faith No More will be reuniting for a series of European festival appearances. These will be the group's first shows in almost eleven years.

At this time, the lineup and the specific dates have not been announced; however, it is being speculated that guitarist Jim Martin will not be part of the reunion.

Tom Jones credits his son, Mark, with turning his career around in the mid-80's. Mark took over running his father's career after long-time manager Gordon Mills passed away.

According to Jones, "Mark, my son, had always been suggesting things over the years: 'Why don't you record this? Why are you doing this?' So I said, 'Why don't you do something about it now?'"

Mark updated his Dad's sound an a new era in the Jones legacy was born.

The Wiz is headed back to Broadway. The R&B take on the Wizard of Oz debuted in 1975 with music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls and starring a then unknown Stephanie Mills. The late-70's movie version starred Michael Jackson and Diana Ross as a far too old Dorothy. The revival will run at New York's City Center from June 12 to July 3.

Randy Bewley of the new wave group Pylon suffered a heart attack Monday while driving, flipping over his van. He remains in intensive care.

Pylon is often cited by fellow Athens, Georgia bands R.E.M. and the B-52's as a major influence.

Former Gap Band vocalist Charlie Wilson debuts at number two on this week's album chart with his latest, Uncle Charlie. It moved 58,000 copies in a rather slow sales week. His last album, Charlie, Last Name Wilson, started at number ten.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' Raising Sand fell two to nine on sales of 32,000, down 58% from the post-Grammy win surge.

Morrissey's latest, Year of Refusal, started at number 11, equaling his highest debut which was 2004's You Are the Quarry. The Annie Lennox Collection premiers at 34 with sales of 16,000.

Overall sales for the week were 7.41 million units, down 7% from the same week last year.

Songwriters Hall of Fame Announces 2009 Inductees

The Songwriters Hall of Fame has announced their 2009 inductees ranging from greats of classic rock to pioneers of rock music on Broadway. This year's inductees are:
  • Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati were two of the original founders of the Young Rascals/Rascals, splitting vocal chores between them (Cavaliere also played organ). The pair were also responsible for some of the groups biggest hits.
    • A Beautiful Morning
    • A Girl Like You
    • Groovin'
    • How Can I Be Sure
    • I've Been Lonely Too Long
    • People Got to Be Free
    • You Better Run
  • David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash all started out in successful groups (Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and the Hollies, respectively) but came together in 1968 to form one of the most enduring trios in rock history.
    • Bluebird (Stills)
    • Carrie Anne (Nash, Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks)
    • Carry On (Stills)
    • Chicago (Nash)
    • Deja Vu (Crosby)
    • Eight Miles High (Crosby, Gene Clark & Roger McGuinn)
    • For What It's Worth (Stills)
    • Immigration Man (Nash)
    • Just a Song Before I Go (Nash)
    • Long Time Gone (Crosby)
    • Love the One Your With (Stills)
    • Marrakesh Express (Nash)
    • On a Carousel (Nash, Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks)
    • Our House (Nash)
    • Sit Down, I Think I Love You (Stills)
    • Southern Cross (Stills, Michael Curtis, Richard Curtis)
    • Stop, Stop, Stop (Nash, Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks)
    • Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (Stills)
    • Teach Your Children (Nash)
    • Wasted on the Way (Nash)
    • Wooden Ships (Crosby, Stills, Paul Kantner)
  • Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora combined a hard rock sound with a pop sensibility to produce some of rock's greatest anthems. Frequent collaborator Desmond Child was inducted to the hall last year.
    • (You Want to) Make a Memory (Bon Jovi, Sambora, Desmond Child)
    • Always (Bon Jovi)
    • Bad Medicine (Bon Jovi, Sambora, Desmond Child)
    • Blaze of Glory (Bon Jovi)
    • I'll Be There For You (Bon Jovi, Sambora)
    • It's My Life (Bon Jovi, Sambora, Max Martin)
    • Lay Your Hands on Me (Bon Jovi, Sambora)
    • Livin' On a Prayer (Bon Jovi, Sambora, Desmond Child)
    • Wanted Dead or Alive (Bon Jovi, Sambora)
    • You Give Love a Bad Name (Bon Jovi, Sambora, Desmond Child)
  • Roger Cook & Roger Greenaway started in the group the Kestrals and recorded as a duo as David and Jonathan and separately in groups like Blue Mink and the Pipkins. Their partnership ended in 1975 when Cook moved to the U.S.
    • Doctor's Orders
    • Green Grass
    • Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again
    • I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing
    • Kissin' in the Back Row of the Movies
    • Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)
    • My Baby Love Lovin'
    • Say You'll Stay Until Tomorrow
    • Softly Whispering I Love You
    • Somethings Gotten Hold of My Heart
    • Talking in Your Sleep (Cook only)
    • There Goes My First Love
    • You've Got Your Troubles
  • Galt MacDermot, James Rado and Gerome Ragni wrote the musical Hair together while each had successful careers as single songwriters. MacDermot wrote the soundtrack for Cotton Comes to Harlem along with other jazz, funk and film soundtracks. Rado and Ragni were also actors with credits including stage productions of The Lion in Winter and The Knack.
    • Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In
    • Easy to Be Hard
    • Good Morning Starshine
    • Hair
    • Where Do I Go?
  • Stephen Schwartz, writer of the Broadway shows Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show, Working and Wicked and the movie scores for Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Prince of Egypt.
    • Colors of the Wind
    • Corner of the Sky
    • Day by Day
    • Defying Gravity
    • Magic to Do
    • When You Believe
"I can think of no better way to mark our 40th anniversary than by inducting this group of eminent songwriters whose extraordinary accomplishments have made an indelible impression on the world's musical culture," Songwriters Hall of Fame chairman and CEO Hal David said in a statement.

The ceremony will be June 18 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Iggy Pop's U.K. Advertising Campaign Under Fire

Leave it to Iggy Pop to court controversy even in the most mainstream thing he's ever done. Pop started appearing in commercials for U.K. car insurance company Swiftcover back in early January. The problem is, the company will not insure anyone who says that they are a musician.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in Britain has received 12 complaints from musician who were turned down and claim that the ad is "misleading because it uses a well-known figure from the music industry to promote an insurance service which they believe excludes musicians."

Company marketing director Tina Shortle explained, " chose Iggy Pop as the face of its advertising because he loves life, not because he is a musician. He is an actor demonstrating the benefits of "The reason doesn't cover people in the 'entertainment business' is due to the risk of personal injury. That risk then becomes something for a specialist insurer to take on." She also said that entertainers have a "higher level of claim costs."

Manilow to Receive Honorary CLIO Award

Barry Manilow will receive an honorary CLIO Award at the 50th annual awards ceremony, May 12 to 14 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Also receiving an honorary award will be Matthew Weiner, the creator and executive producer of AMC's Mad Men which focuses on the advertising industry in the early-60's. The CLIO Awards salute the best advertisements of the year.

"To celebrate 50 years of excellence in advertising, design and interactive, the CLIO Awards are honored to recognize Barry Manilow and Matthew Weiner for their distinguished contributions to the industry," said Wayne Youkhana, director of the CLIO Awards. "We're thrilled to present honorary awards for the 50th Anniversary CLIO Awards to individuals who have each created bodies of work that have evolved into cultural phenomena acknowledged around the world."

Manilow will specifically be given his award at the Moving Images Award (there are five separate category of awards) on May 14. In 1976, Manilow won two CLIOs, one for his Band Aid commercial Stuck on Me and one for his performance on the Countdown commercial for Tab soft drinks.

Among Manilow's most famous commercials:
  • State Farm Insurance ("Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there")
  • Band Aids ("I am stuck on Band-Aid and Band-Aid's stuck on me")
  • Stridex ("Give your face something to smile about")
  • Bowlene Toilet Bowl Cleaner (Bathroom Bowl Blues)
  • Pepsi-Cola (Feelin' Free)
  • Dr. Pepper (The Most Original Soft Drink Ever, performer only, written by Randy Newman and Jake Holmes)
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken (Grab a Bucket of Chicken, performer only, written by Al Gorgoni and Rob Nolan)
  • McDonalds (You Deserve a Break Today, performer only, written by Keith Reinnard, Richard Hazlett, Ed Farran, Sid Woloshin and Kevin Gavin)

Depeche Mode to Be First Artist to Offer iTunes Season Pass

Depeche Mode will be the first artist to make available a "Season Pass" on iTunes. Previously, these were only available for television series, giving fans a special price for the downloading of an entire season of a show along with special content.

In the case of Depeche Mode, the season pass will provide:
  • The new single Wrong (available now)
  • The Black Light Odyssey Dub Remix version of Oh Well (available now)
  • New music and exclusive videos leading up to the release date of the album Sounds of the Universe
  • A digital download of the album on release day (April 15)
  • Additional exclusive content released over the next 15 weeks
The pass costs $19 and is now available.

According to a press release, manager Jonathan Kessler said “The relationship between Depeche Mode and their fans has always been our top priority. “We are thrilled to be the first to participate with Apple in giving fans the kind of deep musical experience they expect from Depeche Mode.”

The move is being seen as a major new initiative for artists with loyal followings. While others have done it through their own websites, the iTunes model allows for easy tracking and control over the subscription and release processes.