Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

VVN Music would like to thank you for our best year ever.  Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve and a great 2011!

Passings 2010

Essential Teddy PendergrassAs we pass into the new year, here are just some of the musicians and craftsmen that we lost in 2010:
  • Tony Clarke (Musician & record producer (Moody Blues) (January 4)
  • Willie Mitchell (Musician & record producer (Al Green)) (January 5)
  • Teddy Pendergrass (Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, numerous R&B hits) (January 12)
  • Bobby Charles (writer of See You Later Alligator, Walking to New Orleans) (January 14)
  • Carl Smith (Country Music Hall of Famer) (January 16)
  • Kate McGarrigle (McGarrigle Sisters, mother of Rufus & Martha Wainwright) (January 18)
  • Shirley Collie Nelson (Country singer of Why, Baby, Why, Dime a Dozen) (January 27)
  • Dale Hawkins (Rockabilly pioneer)(February 13)
  • Doug Fieger (The Knack) (February 14)
  • Larry Cassidy (Section 25) (February 27)
  • Tom "T-Bone" Wolk (Saturday Night Live, Hall & Oates) (February 28)
  • Ron Banks (The Dramatics) (March 4)
  • Lolly Vegas (Redbone) (March 4)
  • Alex Chilton (Box Tops, Big Star) (March 17)
  • Marva Wright (Blues singer) (March 23)
  • Johnny Maestro (Crests, Brooklyn Bridge) (March 24)
  • Herb Ellis (Jazz guitarist) (March 28)
  • Malcolm McLaren (Manager of the Sex Pistols, Bow Wow Wow; Double Dutch, Buffalo Gals) (April 8)
  • Mississippi Slim (Blues singer) (April 14)
  • Dave Fischer (The Highwaymen) (May 7)
  • Lena Horne (Singer, actress) (May 9)
  • Ronnie James Dio (Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven & Hell) (May 16)
  • Larry Dale (Blues singer) (May 19)
  • Judy Lynn (Country singer (Footsteps of a Fool) (May 26)
  • Ali-Ollie Woodson (Temptations) (May 30)
  • Marvin Isley (Isley Brothers) (June 6)
  • Crispian St. Peters (The Pied Piper) (June 8)
  • Jimmy Dean (Country singer (Big Bad John), TV host) (June 13)
  • Gary Shider (Parliament-Funkadelic) (June 16)
  • Pete Quaife (Kinks) (June 23)
  • Harvey Fuqua (the Moonglows; producer) (July 6)
  • Bill Porter (Producer of Cathy's Clown, Oh Pretty Woman, It's Now or Never, Suspicious Minds) (July 7)
  • Sugar Minott (Jamaican dance hall pioneer) (July 10)
  • Tuli Kupferburg (The Fugs) (July 12)
  • Hank Cochran (Songwriter of Make the World Go Away, I Fall to Pieces, She's Got You) (July 15)
  • Andy Hummel (Big Star) (July 19)
  • Phillip Walker (Blues musician) (July 22)
  • Al Goodman (Ray, Goodman & Brown) (July 26)
  • Mitch Miller (Band & chorus leader, music executive at Columbia Records) (July 31)
  • George Richie (Country songwriter and manager) (July 31)
  • Bobby Hebb (Singer (Sunny)) (August 3)
  • Ted Kowalski (The Diamonds) (August 8)
  • Abbey Lincoln (Jazz Singer) (August 14)
  • Robert Wilson (Gap Band) (August 15)
  • Kenny Edwards (Stone Poneys, guitarist for Linda Ronstadt & others) (August 18)
  • Michael Been (the Call) (August 19)
  • Bill Phillips (Country singer, Put It Off Until Tomorrow) (August 23)
  • George David Weiss (songwriter of The Lion Sleeps Tonight, What a Wonderful World, Can't Help Falling in Love) (August 23)
  • King Coleman (R&B singer (Do the Mashed Potato) (September 11)
  • Eddie Fischer (Singer and actor) (September 22)
  • Solomon Burke (Soul singer (Everybody Needs Somebody) (October 10)
  • Dame Joan Sutherland (Opera) (October 10)
  • General Johnson (Lead singer of Chariman of the Board) (October 13)
  • Ari Up (the Slits) (October 20)
  • Gregory Isaacs (Jamaican singer) (October 25)
  • Little Smokey Smothers (Blues guitarist and singer) (November 20)
  • Peter Christopherson (Coil, Throbbing Gristle (November 24)
  • James Moody (Jazz flute & sax player) (December 9)
  • Woolly Wolstenhome (Barclay James Harvest) (December 13)
  • Captain Beefheart (Rock music visionary) (December 17)
  • Myrna Smith (Sweet Inspirations) (December 24)
  • Dorothy Jones (The Cookies) (December 25)
  • Teena Marie (Disco & R&B singer) (December 26)
  • Bernie Wilson (the Blue Notes) (December 27)

Annie Lennox, Trevor Horn, Richard Thompson Receive Queen's Honors

The Annie Lennox CollectionQueen Elizabeth II announced her semi-annual list of honors on Thursday, naming performer and producer Trevor Horn as a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) and Annie Lennox and Richard Thompson as OBE's (Order of the British Empire).

The honors, which the queen bestows twice per year, are given at a number of different levels.  At the top are Knighthoods, which allow the receivers to be known as Sir and Dame.  The lower honors do not carry the title but honorees can add their particular order to their names.  In descending order, they are CBE (Commander of the British Empire), OBE (Order of the British Empire) and MBE (Member of the British Empire).

Trevor Horn receives his CBE for his service to the music industry.  Horn originally formed the Buggles (Video Killed the Radio Star) in 1978 and went on to produce (and many times perform on) albums by Yes, ABC, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, the Pet Shop Boys, Seal, Rod Stewart, Robbie Williams and many others.

RT: The Life and Music of Richard ThompsonRichard Thompson also receives his OBE for his service to music.  He was a founding member of Fairport Convention and went on to critical acclaim, both as a solo performer and with his ex-wife Linda, as a superb guitarist and songwriter.

Annie Lennox, on the other hand, is receiving her OBE not for music, but for her work with Oxfam in the fight against AIDS in Africa.  Lennox was honored by the award but added "As somewhat of a renegade, it either means I've done something terribly right or they've done something terribly wrong."

She also said that she was getting "getting my fake leopard pillbox hat dusted and ready" for the official presentation of the award at Buckingham Palace.

The honors are usually given to those outside the limelight with other music-oriented awards going to those with more philanthropic contributions.  One of those honored was Herbert Ketzmer, writer of Yesterday, When I Was Young (a hit for Roy Clark) and lyricist for the Broadway musical Les Misérables.

John Mellencamp and Wife Split After Eighteen Years of Marriage

Whenever We Wanted (Rpkg)John Mellencamp and his wife Elaine have announced through a spokesman that they are ending their twenty year marriage.

"John and Elaine Mellencamp are proud of their 20 years together and are very happy with their accomplishments both as parents and as a family. They will continue to raise their two children in Indiana but have decided to call it a day as a couple."

Mellencamp and the former Elaine Irwin first met when she came in to shoot the cover of his 1991 album Whenever We Wanted.  At the time, she was 23 and he was 40.  The couple wed on September 5, 1992 and have two sons, Hud and Speck whom they say they will continue to raise in Indiana.

No details have been released about the split.  This was Mellencamp's third marriage.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Veteran Artists on TV & Radio for Thursday, December 30, 2010

Veteran artists appearing on TV tonight during prime time and late night.  All times are EST.

  • 7:00 PM
    • Leif Garrett - Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (VH1)
  • 9:00 PM
    • George Strait, more - ACM Artist of the Decade All Star Concert (GAC)
  • 10:30 PM
    • Various Artists - Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America (BET)
  • 11:00 PM
    • Rush - Behind the Lighted Stage (VH1 Classic)
    • Various Artists - Soul Train (Centric)
  • 11:35 PM
    • John Mellencamp - David Letterman (CBS) (R)
  • 12:35 AM
    • Toots & the Maytals - Jimmy Fallon (NBC) (R)
  • Syndicated (Time Varies by Market)
    • James Gang - In the Studio (Rides Again) (December 27 - January 2)
    • Loudon Wainwright - E-Town (NPR) (December 29 - January 4) 
  • On-Demand
    • Jose Feliciano, Daryl Hall - Live From Daryl's House (
If you know of an upcoming television, radio or internet appearance by a veteran artist, please send it to us at

Chart Watch Britain: Chart of January 1, 2011

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current British music charts. Chart highlights:
  • Michael Jackson drops only from 4 to 5 to retain the title of biggest selling album by a veteran artist.  Bon Jovi's Greatest Hits is not far behind at 8 (up from 9).  Beyond that, there are very few changes on the Album chart.
  • Jackson also has the biggest single by a veteran artist in Britain with Hold My Hand.  Last week's top veteran track, Surfin' Bird by the Trashmen, falls 3 to 41.  
  • New to the singles chart at 36 is Lonely Sky by Ben & Jamie Hazelby and Chris DeBurgh.
  • On the country albums, Willie Nelson's Country Music, which first hit the charts in mid-May, rebounds from 14 to 3.
Previous week position noted in parenthesis. (N) is a new entry. (R) is a re-entry. Grayed charts were not available for update at time of publication.

2nd Week as Top Veteran
Top 100 British Albums
  • #1 (1) - Progress - Take That
  • #2 (2) - Loud - Rihanna
  • #3 (3) - Crazy Love - Michael Buble
  • #4 (5) - Olly Murs - Olly Murs
  • #5 (4) - Michael - Michael Jackson
  • #8 (9) - Greatest Hits Bon Jovi
  • #16 (18) - A Christmas Cornucopia - Annie Lennox
  • #23 (21) - The Ultimate Collection Barbra Streisand
  • #26 (24) - Fly Me to the Moon: The Great American Songbook Volume 5 - Rod Stewart
  • #34 (34) - 1967-1970 - Beatles
  • #35 (32) - 1962-1966 - Beatles
  • #42 (42) - Gold: Greatest Hits - ABBA
  • #45 (45) - Going Back - Phil Collins
  • #48 (40) - The Promise - Bruce Springsteen
  • #55 (61) - Memories of You Bette Midler
  • #60 (76) - Some Guys Have All the Luck - Rod Stewart
  • #64 (78) - See My Friends - Ray Davies
  • #65 (74) - Number Ones - Michael Jackson
  • #66 (55) - The Collection: 1973-1984 - Bruce Springsteen
  • #67 (63) - Dreams Neil Diamond
  • #68 (87) - Mothership Led Zeppelin
  • #73 (92) - Very Best of Fleetwood Mac
  • #79 (99) - Piece of the Action: Best of - Meat Loaf
  • #94 (72) - Band of Joy - Robert Plant
  • #95 (85) - 1962-1966/1967-1970 - Beatles
  • #96 (120) - 25: The Greatest Hits - Simply Red

Original Boney M Member Bobby Farrell Dies While On Tour

Bamboo SongBobby Farrell, the frontman for Boney M, was found dead in his hotel room at the Ambassador Hotel in St. Petersburg, Russia on Thursday morning.  He was 61.

Farrell's agent John Seine told Reuters "He did a show last night as part of Bobby Farrell's Boney M and they found him this morning dead in his hotel room.  He did not feel well last night, and was having problems with his breathing, but he did the show anyway."

The cause of death is currently be investigated by the St. Petersburg branch of Russia's investigative committee.

Farrell was born on Aruba and, at 15, went to work as a sailor, eventually settling in Norway.  He went on to DJ both in the Netherlands and, eventually, Germany.

In 1975, German singer Frank Farian recorded the song Baby Do You Wanna Bump under the name Boney M.  When the song went on to become a hit in Europe, he needed to put together a group who could perform at shows and lip-synch to his recordings.  After some initial changes in personnel, the final group was made up of Farrell, Liz Mitchell, Maizie Williams and Marcia Barrett.

The group's first album, Take the Heat Off Me, only included the voices of Farian, Mitchell and Barrett; however Farrell sang live at some of the shows.  The album produced the singles Daddy Cool, which hit number one in five European countries, and Sunny (a cover of the Bobby Hebb hit) which did the same in three.

The group continued to have major hits for the balance of the 70's from their albums Love For Sale (containing Ma Baker and Belfast), Nightflight to Venus (Rivers of Babylon, Rasputin, Mary's Boy Child) and Oceans of Fantasy (Gotta Go Home).  Overall, they had eight number ones in Germany, six in Austria and two in the U.K.

The band was also brought in to play shows in the U.S.S.R. in 1978, one of the few acts that were allowed to do so.  That same year, there was some controversy over the fact that only two of the members sang on the recordings; however, all four performed in concert (as a side note, Farian would later go on to produce the recordings of the most notorious of lip synchers, Milli Vanilli).

Over the years, Farrell had become a liability to the group and, during the extended recording sessions for the album Boonoonoonoos during 1980 and 81, Farian finally got fed up and fired him from the group.  That was followed in 1985 by the group splitting apart, although the original members would reform to record Greatest Hits of All Times - Remix '88.

Over the years, the various members have fronted new versions of Boney M with Farrell recorded under the names Boney M Featuring Bobby Farrell and Bobby Farrell's Boney M along with solo records under his own name.

Lawyers in Dr. Murray Case Will Claim Michael Jackson Committed Suicide

Michael Jackson: Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous TourDr. Conrad Murray is set to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson.  Jackson died of acute Propofol intoxication in June 2009 while under the direct care of Murray and an initial hearing yesterday (Wednesday) indicated his legal team plan to argue the iconic star administered the lethal dose of the anaesthetic himself.

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney David Walgren spoke out after the doctor's lawyer clashed with prosecutors over who should test residue from two syringes discovered in the star's bedroom.

David said "I do think it's clear the defence is operating under the theory that the victim, Michael Jackson, killed himself.

"They don't want to say it but that's the direction in which they are going."

Defence lawyer J. Michael Flanagan said his client gave the singer just 25 milligrams of Propofol, much less than was found in his system.

It is understood that Dr. Murray's lawyers will claim Michael awoke and gave himself the lethal dose of the drug while the physician was out of the room.

Mr. Flanagan also revealed a fingerprint found on a broken syringe on the bedroom floor has not been identified.

A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled to begin next Tuesday, where Judge Michael Pastor will decide if there is enough evidence to support the involuntary manslaughter charge.

As many as 30 witnesses are expected to be called to testify in the two-week hearing.

Dr Murray, 52, faces up to four years in prison if he is convicted.

Bon Jovi Tops All Tours in the World for 2010

Bon Jovi: Live at Madison Square Garden [Blu-ray]Bon Jovi made quite an impression on the concert world during 2010, topping the ticket sales for touring acts for the year.

Their Circle The World tour of 2010 scored Bon Jovi over $200 million in ticket sales.

The $201.1 million earnings beat out AC/DC and U2 by a huge margin of more than $41 million.

Lady Gaga’s Monster's Ball tour netted her $133.6 million in sales (from 138 shows) and Metallica scored $110.1 million.

Michael Bublé was the sixth highest-earner, followed by the Walking with Dinosaurs tour, Paul McCartney, the Eagles and Roger Waters rounding out the top ten.

When the list was limited to US ticket sales alone, Bon Jovi was first, followed by Roger Waters, Dave Matthews Band, Bublé and the Eagles.

Brian Setzer Cancels Shows Due to Serious Infection

Don't Mess With A Big Band: LiveBrian Setzer has cancelled the shows in Palm Springs and Sacramento, CA that were scheduled for Thursday and Friday night due to a serious foot infection.  The shows, with the Brian Setzer Orchestra, were the only current appearances on his schedule.

Setzer posted the following on his website:

I regret to inform you I will not be able to play with the BSO at the Palm Springs and Sacramento shows. On Christmas Day my foot started to hurt and swell up. By the next morning, I couldn't walk on it so I went to the Doctor. He told me I have a very serious infection. Thinking it would get better, I held out until the last minute before canceling the shows, Doctor's orders.

I am confined to the couch and it has since gotten worse. I am so sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. I have played many shows with the flu and other such ailments, but I can't take this one lightly. Again, the last thing I want to do is cancel a show. I look forward to seeing you next year on tour and hopefully I'll start this one off on the right foot! (Sorry, I had to do it!)

--Brian Setzer

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chart Watch Australia: December 27, 2010

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current Australian music charts. Chart highlights:
  • With a drop of only 2 to 3, Bon Jovi notches its seventh straight week as the top selling veteran artist in Australia.  
  • While the Michael Jackson album Michael and single Hold My Hand are doing relatively well in the rest of the world, Australia has not seemed to take to it.  The album drops 10 to 17 in its second week while the single goes 37 to 41.  In addition, neither the album nor the single appear on the country's Urban music charts.
Previous week position noted in parenthesis. (N) indicates new entry. (R) indicates re-entry.

Bon Jovi Greatest Hits - The Ultimate Collection
7th Week as Top Veteran
Top 50 Albums
  • #1 (1) - Greatest Hits...So Far - Pink
  • #2 (3) - The Gift - Susan Boyle
  • #3 (2) - Greatest Hits - Bon Jovi
  • #4 (4) - Altiyan Childs - Altiyan Childs
  • #5 (5) - Volume 4 - Glee Cast
  • #17 (10) - Michael - Michael Jackson
  • #24 (24) - Fly Me to the Moon: The Great American Songbook: Volume 5 - Rod Stewart
  • #28 (29) - Jack John Farnham
  • #32 (30) - Dreams Neil Diamond
  • #42 (39) - Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time - Santana
  • #47 (R) - The Promise - Bruce Springsteen
  • #50 (R) - The Complete Greatest Hits - Eagles

Veteran Artists on TV & Radio for Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Veteran artists appearing on TV tonight during prime time and late night.  All times are EST.

  • 7:00 PM
    • Leif Garrett - Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (VH1)
    • Mark Hudson, Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot) - Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp (VH1 Classic)
  • 8:00 PM
    • Leif Garrett - Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (VH1)
    • Michael Anthony - Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp (VH1 Classic)
  • 9:00 PM
    • Leif Garrett - Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (VH1)
    • Lita Ford - Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp (VH1 Classic)
  • 10:00 PM
    • Leif Garrett - Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (VH1)
    • Ace Frehley, Lemmy Kilmister - Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp (VH1 Classic)
  • 11:00 PM
    • Leif Garrett - Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (VH1)
    • Bret Michaels, Michael Anthony, Ace Frehley - Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp (VH1 Classic)
    • Various Artists - Soul Train (Centric)
  • 11:35 PM
    • Cher - Jay Leno (NBC) (R)
  • 12:30 AM
    • Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band - Live in Barcelona (VH1 Classic)
  • 12:35 AM
    • Paul McCartney - Jimmy Fallon (NBC) (R)
  • Syndicated (Time Varies by Market)
    • James Gang - In the Studio (Rides Again) (December 27 - January 2)
    • Loudon Wainwright - E-Town (NPR) (December 29 - January 4) 
    • Jimmy Page - Rockline
  • On-Demand
    • Jose Feliciano, Daryl Hall - Live From Daryl's House (
If you know of an upcoming television, radio or internet appearance by a veteran artist, please send it to us at

English Heritage Rules Ringo's Birthplace Not Worth Saving

English Heritage, the organization in charge of naming places in England that should be preserved, has ruled that the birthplace of Ringo Starr in Liverpool is not worth adding to their list.

The home at 9 Madryn Street was scheduled for demolition before a committee was formed and petitioned the British government to make the house a historical site.  The local council wants to knock down the home and surrounding streets to make way for new housing.

This past August, Philip Coppell, a Beatles tour guide for the past twenty years and Chairman of the Save Madryn Street Society, told the Britain's Telegraph "What the council is proposing to do is nothing short of criminal and they will be convicted in the court of international public opinion if they go ahead with it. If the council in Stratford wanted to knock down Shakespeare's birthplace and move it to the NEC there would be outrage. The only difference between the two is that Shakespeare has a four hundred year head-start on the Beatles.

"If they move it to the museum it will lose the sense of the area where it stands. Seeing it in a museum is just not going to have the same impact as visiting the street where Ringo was born. Ringo Starr lived in other houses, but he was only born in one. If it's knocked-down, even if it is moved, fans all over the world are going to be up in arms. They will just not understand how Liverpool can carry-out this kind of cultural vandalism."

Making the recent decision even more controversial is the fact that English Heritage recently ruled that the street crossing in London where the cover of Abbey Road was shot should be preserved.  A spokesperson for Save Britain's Heritage, which opposes the demolition, told the website BDOnline "How is it possible to argue that (the) birthplace of Ringo Starr is less important than the Abbey Road crossing? Madryn Street, which Ringo frequently refers to in his own writings and lyrics, draws in thousands of visitors from across the globe.

"It is in an area desperately trying to cling on to its historic identity in the face enforced blight and threatened destruction. The house and neighbourhood embody the romance of the Beatles story."

Review: The Promise - Bruce Springsteen

Review by Andy Snipper

The PromiseThe album opens with a haunting harmonica wail and slow and deliberate piano and that voice – your mind can see the tendons straining in his neck - and at first it sounds like Thunder Road revisited and then, as the track develops, you hear Dancing In The Streets a la Sproingsteen and the hairs on the back of your neck are standing to attention and your mind rocks back to the first time you ever heard The Boss and you remember just what made the E-Street Band the most powerful weapon of music on the planet. And for the whole 6 minutes 58 seconds of Racing In The Street you fully understand the meaning of the album title.

If the review stopped there it would be a five star review with all the attendant bells and whistles that go with a truly great lost recording brought to light but it isn’t quite that – close for sure, just not quite.

The album has been talked about at horrendous length – the lost recordings from the Darkness On The Edge Of Town sessions; the tracks that The Boss had to cover up for legal reasons for years; the holy grail for all Springsteen watchers.

The questions that really need to asked are: Are they worth issuing now? Do they take our understanding and reverence for one of the finest songwriters that has ever walked the planet to a new place? Are these 21 songs the wonders of the period when Springsteen was becoming a Rock God? Or are they just a collection of out-takes from an awkward period between the power and majesty of Born To Run and the stripped down punkiness of Darkness ...

So many questions and the real answer is ..... all of the above.

There are a number of tracks here that really were lost wonders - Racing In The Street, his own version of Because The Night, Wrong Side Of The Street and Candy’s Boy from the 1st CD and Fire, Breakaway and City of Night from the second half. And there isn’t a single bad track on either of the discs. His love for Roy Orbison and Phil Spector, not to mention The Drifters and Martha Reeves, shows through in track after track but it is unmistakably Bruce Springsteen and the playing and the production is every bit as good as the songs are.

But the reality remains that these were not considered good enough by the one man who counts in ’79 – Springsteen himself.

I am genuinely glad that I have got this set and a good few of the tracks will be regular listening for the foreseeable future: It just isn’t quite as great as either Born To Run or Darkness On The Edge Of Town.

100 Years of Robert Johnson to Be Celebrated With Album, Tour

Complete RecordingsWhat do you get when you put together such blues luminaries as B.B King, Charlie Musselwhite, Honeyboy Edwards, Ruthie Foster, Cedric Burnside and Hubert Sumlin (plus a whole lot of others)?  You get the upcoming release 100 Years of Robert Johnson, to be released on February 1 by Ryko/Big Records.

The album and accompanying tour is the brainchild of the members of Big Head Todd and the Monsters who have rechristened themselves the Big Head Blues Club (Todd Park Mohr (guitar, vocals), Rob Squires (bass), Brian Nevins (drums), Jeremy Lawton (keyboards).  They teamed up with Grammy winning producer Chris Goldsmith to try and not only salute Johnson's music but also give it a different spin.  Mohr recently said "In so many of the takes on Robert’s stuff, you don’t get the depth of emotion that’s in the lyrics and in Robert’s voice. That’s one thing that Chris and the band and my voice were able to bring to it. Chris had great ideas about how to represent the stuff, and all the musicians were just so good at what they did, the unique arrangements just came naturally."

The track list for the album covers ten of Johnson's classics:
  • Come On In My Kitchen (with Charlie Musselwhite)
  • Ramblin' On My Mind (with Cedric Burnside on acoustic guitar and Lightnin' Malcolm on electric guitar) 
  • When You Got A Good Friend (with Hubert Sumlin on guitar, Lightnin' Malcolm on electric guitar and Ruthie Foster)
  • Cross Road Blues (with B.B. King)
  • Preachin' Blues (with Cedric Burnside on drums and Lightnin' Malcolm on acoustic guitar) 
  • Kind Hearted Woman (with Ruthie Foster and Lightnin' Malcolm on acoustic guitar)
  • If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day (with Cedric Burnside on drums and Lightnin' Malcolm on electric guitar)
  • Last Fair Deal Gone Done (with Charlie Musselwhite)
  • All My Love Is Love In Vain (Todd Park Mohr solo vocal and acoustic guitar)
  • Sweet Home Chicago (just Honeyboy Edwards and Charlie Musselwhite)
The Big Head Blues Club, Edwards, Sumlin, Burnside and Malcolm will tour together in Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concerts from late-January to early-March.
  • 01/28 - San Francisco, CA - Regency Ballroom
  • 01/29 - Costa Mesa, CA - Orange County Performing Arts Center
  • 01/30 - San Diego, CA - Anthology (2 shows)  
  • 01/31 - Santa Barbara, CA - Campbell Hall / UCSB
  • 02/04 - Austin, TX - Paramount Theatre
  • 02/05 - Dallas, TX - Lakewood Theatre
  • 02/10 - Ann Arbor, MI - Hill Auditorium / U of M
  • 02/11 - Chicago, IL - Orchestra Hall
  • 02/12 - Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theatre
  • 02/13 - Meridian, MS - Riley Center / MSU
  • 02/16 - Chapel Hill, NC - Memorial Hall / UNC Chapel Hill
  • 02/17 - New Bethesda, MD - The Music Center at Strathmore
  • 02/18 - Boston, MA - Berklee School of Music
  • 02/24 - Ridgefield, CT - Ridgefield Playhouse
  • 02/25 - Princeton, NJ - McCarter Theatre
  • 02/26 - Blue Bell, PA - Montgomery County Community College
  • 02/27 - New Bedford, MA - Zeiterion Theater
  • 03/04 - Milwaukee, WI - Potowatomi Casino
  • 03/05 - Omaha, NE - Holland Performing Arts Center
  • 03/06 - Minneapolis, MN - Orchestra Hall
  • 03/08 - Urbana, IL Krannert Center - Tyrone Festival Theatre

Agnetha Fältskog Opens the Door For a One-Time ABBA Reunion

I Stand AloneDepending on the day of the week and which member you talk to, there may or may not be even the slightest chance of an ABBA reunion.  One of the biggest obstacles in the latter years has been Agnetha Fältskog's fear of flying which limits where any appearance can happen geographically.

Recently, Agnetha told the Swedish publication Magasin M that she would, indeed, entertain a reunion of the group if there were a specific purpose.  "A reunion, an occasional opportunity, maybe in connection with a charity event, I believe we could consider it.  We would not reunite for a tour like the Rolling Stones and other old bands do now. However, I could see us doing something together in the future.  It is just a feeling I have that it would be fun to get together, talk a bit about the past and maybe perform together"

Before their fans get all excited over the statement, it should be known at Fältskog has not talked to the other three members of the group about the prospects and, as recently as last March, Benny Andersson said that he would not consider performing with the group again.

Fältskog also admitted that she still has things she would like to do with her career.  Although she has only recorded three solo albums since the breakup of ABBA in 1982, she says that she has begun writing again and has a batch of half-finished songs.

Uriah Heep Heads Into Studio For New Album of Originals

Live In Budapest Hungary Official Bootleg Vol. 2Uriah Heep have gone into the studio to record their 23rd studio album and the first to contain all new material since 2008's Wake the Sleeper.  Recording is being done at Liscombe Park Studios in Buckinghamshire, England and the band is aiming to for a release sometime in 2011.

The band's output has been spotty over the last twelve years.  In 1998, they released Sonic Origami with a lineup that included original members Bernie Shaw and Mick Box along with Phil Lanzon (joined in 1986), Trevor Boulder (1976 to 1981 and 1983 to present) and Lee Kerslake (1971 to 1979 and 1981 to 2007).  Kerslake was replaced by Russell Gilbrook in 2007 and the group released their first studio album in ten years with Wake the Sleeper.  The followed it in 2009 with Celebration which contained rerecorded versions of a number of their classics plus two new tracks.

The group also recently released a new live album, Official Bootleg Volume II: Live in Budapest, Hungary 2010, recorded at their May 4, 2010 performance at Petofi Hall.  The band said the following about the album:
"There are going to be many more recordings from around the world, as this will be an ongoing series, giving fans the chance to hear the band in many different countries.

"These recordings are true official bootlegs in every sense and they reflect that nights performance as it happened, totally untouched. You can almost feel that you are at the concert, so put the CD on, turn it up loud, close your eyes and enjoy a night in Budapest with Uriah Heep."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Biggest of 2010: Lady Gaga Sells Most Worldwide, Sade Highest Veteran Artist

Soldier of LoveMedia Traffic's United World Charts has published their list of the biggest selling albums worldwide for 2010.  Topping the list with 5.8 million copies is Lady Gaga's The Fame with Eminem just 100,000 behind with Recovery and Justin Bieber another 100,000 back with the various iterations of his My World album.

Sade sold best among veteran artists in the world last year with Soldier of Love moving 2.3 million.  Further down the list are Bon Jovi, AC/DC and Michael Jackson (twice).

The top five and the position and sales for all veteran artists in the top 40 for the year:

  • 01. The Fame - Lady Gaga (5.8 million)
  • 02. Recovery - Eminem (5.7 million)
  • 03. My Worlds (My World + My World 2.0) - Justin Bieber (5.6 million)
  • 04. Need You Now - Lady Antebellum (3.6 million)
  • 05. Speak Now - Taylor Swift (3.5 million)
  • 09. Soldier of Love - Sade (2.3 million)
  • 18. Greatest Hits - Bon Jovi (1.7 million)
  • 22. Iron Man 2 (Soundtrack) - AC/DC (1.6 million)
  • 29. This Is It - Michael Jackson (1.2 million)
  • 35. Michael - Michael Jackson (1.1 million)
To see the complete top 40, go to the Media Traffic site.

Veteran Artists on TV & Radio for Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Veteran artists appearing on TV tonight during prime time and late night.  All times are EST.

  • Syndicated (Time Varies by Market)
    • Quincy Jones - Tavis Smiley (PBS)
  • 7:00 PM
    • Depeche Mode - Tour of the Universe: Live in Barcelona (Palladia HD)
  • 9:00 PM
    • Paul McCartney, Merle Haggard, Vince Gill, James Taylor, Willie Nelson, Steven Tyler, Kris Kristofferson, more - Kennedy Center Honors (CBS)
  • 11:00 PM
    • Various Artists - Soul Train (Centric)
    • Heart, more - VH1 Divas Salute the Troops
  • 12:00 AM
    • Paul McCartney - in St. Petersburg (VH1 Classic)
  • 12:30 AM
    • Various Artists - Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America (VH1)
  • 12:35 AM
    • Annie Lennox - Jimmy Fallon (NBC) (R)
  • Syndicated (Time Varies by Market)
    • Tim O'Brien - E-Town (NPR) (December 22 - 28) 
    • James Gang - In the Studio (Rides Again) (December 27 - January 2)
  • On-Demand
    • Jose Feliciano, Daryl Hall - Live From Daryl's House (
If you know of an upcoming television, radio or internet appearance by a veteran artist, please send it to us at

Members of Cookies, Blue Notes, Astronauts, Sweet Inspirations & Eric Johnson's Group All Pass Away

It's been a long time since we've seen such a large number of musicians pass away in such a short period of time.  Just in the last week, we've lost Teena Marie and the following five artists.

ChainsDorothy Jones, a founding member of the Cookies, passed away on Christmas Day in Columbus, Ohio from Alzheimer's Disease.  She was 76.

The Cookies were originally formed in 1954 by Jones, "Ethel" Darlene McCrea and Beulah Robertson.  While performing at the Apollo Theater the next year, Atlantic's Jesse Stone spotted them and brought them to the label for recording sessions.  One of the sessions produced In Paradise, a 1956 hit that went to number 9 on the R&B charts.

They continued to sing backup for some of Atlantic's greatest artists until 1961 when a new version of the group emerged with Jones, Earl-Jean McCrea and Margaret Ross.  They did backup for a number of artists coming out of New York's Brill Building including Neil Sedaka on Breaking Up is Hard to Do and Little Eva on Loco-Motion.  Finally, in 1963, they had the second lineups first national hit with Chains (R&B #6/Pop #17).  They followed up with Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby) (1963/#3 R&B/#7 Pop) and Girls Grow Up Faster Than Boys (1964/#33 R&B/#33 Pop).

As the British Invasion hit the American shores, hits started drying up for the girl groups and, even though they continued to record under names like the Palisades, the Stepping Stones, the Cinderellas and the Honey Bees, they never managed another hit and broke up in 1967.

Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes - Greatest HitsBernie Wilson of the Blue Notes passed away on Sunday at Kresson View Center in Voorhees, NJ after a stroke and a heart attack.  He was 64.

Wilson sang baritone in what is called the "classic" version of the Blue Notes with Harold Melvin and Teddy Pendergrass.  The group signed with Philadelphia International in 1972 and recorded a string of major hits including If You Don't Know Me By Now (1972/#1 R&B/#3 Pop), The Love I Lost (1973/#1 R&B/#7 Pop), Bad Luck (1975/#4 R&B/#15 Pop) and Wake Up Everybody (1976/#1 R&B/#12 Pop).

In 1976, tensions over billing began tearing the group apart and Pendergrass left to go solo.  The remaining members moved to ABC Records but Wilson departed in 1977.  In the years into the 90's, Wilson continued to perform in various versions of the Blue Notes that included other members of the group from over the years.

Lloyd Parks is now the only surviving member of the 70's version of the Blue Notes.

Surfin With / Competition Coupe 1Bob Demon, who was the rhythm guitarist in the group the Astronauts, passed away back on December 18 in Coronado, CA at the age of 71.

Demon formed a group known as the Stormtroppers while still in Boulder (CO) High School in 1956.   They stayed together, playing at local establishments, until 1961 when they changed the name to the Astronauts in a salute to local hero Scott Carpenter.

A year later, they released their first single, Come Along Baby, on the tiny Palladium label.  The record caught the eye of RCA and they were signed to the label where they released their biggest hit, Baja, in early 1963.  The record, written by Lee Hazlewood, reached 94 on the Hot 100, the highest the group ever made it on the charts.

They actually had more success as album artists, releasing four LPs in a nine month stretch during the height of the Surf music boom, three of which made the album chart (Surfin' With the Astronauts (1963/#61), Competition Coupe (1964/#123), Everything is A-OK! (1964/#100)).  The group also appeared in a number of teen oriented films of the time including Wild on the Beach.

Their real success, though, came in Japan where they outsold the Beach Boys, scoring five top ten albums and three top ten singles.  Demon left the group in 1967 and became a school teacher.

Sweet InspirationsMyrna Smith of the Sweet Inspirations passed away last Friday at a hospice near Los Anageles at the age of 69.

Smith joined the already established Sweet Inspirations in 1965 after member Dee Dee Warwick left to pursue her solo career.  The group was used extensively for backup in recording sessions for Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke and Van Morrison on Brown Eyed Girl.

In April of 1967, the group did their first recording session as a separate entity for Atlantic Records.  Their first charted hit came in June of that year with Why (Am I Treated So Bad) (#36 R&B/#57 Pop) but it was their next release one month later, a version of the Everly Brothers and Betty Everett & Jerry Butler hit Let It Be Me that established them with the record going to 13 on the R&B singles chart.

In early 1968, the group had their biggest hit with the song Sweet Inspiration which peaked at 5 on the R&B and 18 on the Pop charts.  They also continued doing backup work including singing on the track Burning of the Midnight Lamp for Jimi Hendrix and working with Dusty Springfield on Dusty in Memphis.  They also began touring with Elvis Presley in 1969 as his backup singers and as the opening act.

The group stayed together for most of the intervening years, singing with Frankie Valli (Grease), the Bee Gees and many others along with working with Elvis tribute acts.  It was while touring with Elvis: In Concert in Japan last March that Myrna came down with pneumonia from which she never totally recovered, deteriorating into kidney failure and a severe stroke.

BloomBill Maddox, who has played drums with Eric Johnson in three different bands since 1974, was killed during a burglary in his home on Monday.  He was 57.

A law enforcement officer has said that the police received a call on Monday morning from what is believed to have been Maddox's wife Rhonda saying that their was a burglar in the house.  The 911 operator reported hearing two shots during the conversation, one of which killed Maddox and the other wounding the intruder, the couple's neighbor John Debrecht.

Maddox and Johnson first worked together in 1974 as part of the group the Electromagnetics in Abilene, TX.    Over the years, he would also play with Johnson's main group along with his side project, Alien Love Child.  His last album with Johnson was 2005's Bloom.

Elton John and David Furnish Have New Baby Boy

The UnionSir Elton John and his partner David Furnish are the new parents of a baby boy.  Named Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, the baby was born via a surrogate mother.

In Elton’s classic song Levon, "Levon was born a pauper to a pawn on a Christmas Day". Zachary Jackson Levon was born on Christmas Day in California.

"We are overwhelmed with happiness and joy at this very special moment," Elton and David said in a statement.

Sir Elton is 62-years old. David Furnish is 42. They married in 2005 and have been together for 17 years.

Zachary is healthy and doing really well, and we are proud and happy parents," they said.

Elton’s latest album, The Union with Leon Russell, was released this year.

New Releases By Veteran Artists For December 28 & 31 and January 1

The World Is Yours (Classic Rock Magazine Edition - UK)Remix Collection
RaritiesDecember Song (I Dreamed of Christmas)

The full list of new releases by veteran artists is after the cut.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Veteran Artists on TV & Radio for Monday, December 27, 2010

Veteran artists appearing on TV tonight during prime time and late night.  All times are EST.

  • 5:00 PM
    • Reba McEntire, George Strait, more - Academy of Country Music Awards (GAC)
  • 6:30 PM
    • John Tavolta, Olivia Newton-John - Movie: Grease (VH1)
  • 7:00 PM
    • Elvis Costello, Crosby Stills & Nash, Crowded House, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder - Hard Rock Calling 2010 (VH1 Classic)
    • Charlie McCoy - Ralph Emery (RFD)
  • 8:00 PM
    • Iron Maiden - Flight 666 (VH1 Classic)
  • 9:00 PM
    • Heart - Night at Church Sky (Palladia HD)
  • 10:00 PM
    • Rush - Beyond the Lighted Stage (Palladia HD)
  • 10:30 PM
    • Leif Garrett - Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew (VH1)
    • Anvil - Anvil: The Story of Anvil (VH1 Classic)
  • 11:00 PM
    • Various Artists - Soul Train (Centric)
  • 11:35 PM
    • Jonny Lang With Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) - Jay Leno (NBC) (R)
  • 12:00 AM
    • Steve Miller Band - Crossroads (Palladia HD)
  • 12:30 AM
    • Anvil - That Metal Show (VH1 Classic)
  • 12:35 AM
    • Bette Midler - Jimmy Fallon (NBC) (R)
  • Syndicated (Time Varies by Market)
    • Tim O'Brien - E-Town (NPR) (December 22 - 28) 
    • James Gang - In the Studio (Rides Again) (December 27 - January 2)
    • Ozzy Osbourne - Rockline
  • On-Demand
    • Jose Feliciano, Daryl Hall - Live From Daryl's House (
    If you know of an upcoming television, radio or internet appearance by a veteran artist, please send it to us at

    Stax Records/Concord Group Issues Statement on Passing of Teena Marie

    Can't Last A DayTeena Marie's final label, Stax Records, and their owner, the Concord Group, have issued a statement on the singer's untimely passing on Sunday.
    December 26th, 2010 - Stax Records, the Concord Music Group family and millions of fans around the world, lost a great artist and friend on Sunday when soul music icon Teena Marie died at the age of 54.

    An internationally renowned singer, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and performer, Teena Marie, released her thirteenth and final album, CONGO SQUARE on June 9, 2009 for legendary soul music label Stax Records. The critically acclaimed collection was a personal milestone for the iconic, Grammy nominated soul music star and Rhythm &Blues Awards Lifetime Achievement recipient as it marked her 30th year in the industry she loved.

    Teena Marie left a sensational musical legacy. Making her debut in 1979, her sublime musical eclecticism took soul music in new directions, swiftly earning her a hallowed and singular place in the hearts of R&B purists. Throughout her groundbreaking accomplishments, Teena remained humble, unpretentious and refreshingly down-to-earth. Her talent was matched only by her kindness of spirit. She collaborated with musical giants throughout her career and they reciprocated with the kind of love and respect that indicated she was truly one of them.

    "The enduring influence of Teena's inspirational, trailblazing career, could only have been made possible through her brilliant song-writing, showmanship andhigh energy passion which laid the ground work for the future generations of R&B, hip-hop, and soul," stated Concord Music Group chief label officer, Gene Rumsey. "We feel extremely fortunate to have worked with a visionary who changed music in indelible ways. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends and of course, millions of fans around the world."
    Marie passed away on Sunday afternoon while sleeping from what is being theorized as a grand mal seizure.

    Other artists have also been issuing statements via Twitter and other media:

    Mary J. Blige - "Tina Mari inspired me vocally as a child. Her songs I sang in the mirror with a hair brush. I'm so hurt. I'll love u forever Tina Mari. Portuguese Love, Casanova Brown, Square Biz, I need your lovin, all of your music will live forever through me. In my heart she's Tina, So rest in peace Tina, i love u. Every girl that grew up in the hood, with her blasting through the windows, Cars and radio waves can Feel me. Rest in peace Teena Mari. My Love love for u is forever."

    Alicia Keys - "God bless Teena Marie & her Family! Sending Blessings &prayers I was jus sayin tht fire & desire is 1 of the most beautifully performd songs! Once a beautiful song, always a beautiful song! Certain songs jus have that "THING"! What a SANGIN Lady! Fire & Desire"

    Eddie Levert (O'Jays) - "...there are a lot of black people who swore by her and believed in her, as far as her music was concerned."

    Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff - "We're shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Teena Marie.  She was one of the most memorable, soulful and unique R&B vocalists to come out of Motown. We send our condolences to Teena's family, the entire Motown family and of course, our dear friend Berry Gordy."

    Courtesy of Soul Train, here's Tina Marie performing Lovergirl:

    Percy Sledge Looking to Storm Holiday Markets in 2011

    Shining Through the RainSoul great Percy Sledge has told AOL's that he will be entering the studio in the spring to record two new albums for the 2011 holiday season, a gospel/spiritual album and an album of more standard, pop-oriented Christmas songs.

    Sledge told Spinner "I've got letters for years and years about doing a Christmas album and a spiritual album.  I'm going to let my kids sing on the spiritual album. On my Christmas album, I'm going to have a producer out of Muscle Shoals do it. I'm going to try to get one of my old producers because they know me so well."

    "I've got a big selection.  I'm so excited. I can't wait to get in there and do this," Sledge commented about the standards album which he said could include Blue Christmas, The Christmas Song and White Christmas.

    Sledge has been relatively quiet over the last twenty years, releasing only Blue Night (1994) and Shining Through the Rain 2004.  For a look at Rhino's recent release, The Atlantic Recordings, click here.

    Eagles Going to China For First Time

    But Seriously FolksThe Eagles are taking their Long Road Out Of Eden tour to China this coming March, performing in the country for the first time in their career.  The group is set to play Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai on March 9 and Wukesong Arena in Beijing on March 12.

    Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh is looking forward to the shows. He has never been to China. "We are going to China and I have no idea what to expect," Joe tells "I am really looking forward to that. We are playing Beijing."

    Having never been there, he has no idea how the audience will react to the Eagles. "I have no idea what to expect," he says. "I don’t know it they are going sit there and look at us, or clap or if they will know any of the words. We will just go and play an Eagles concert like we do and see what happens."

    He might even change things around for the China show. He might even sing his signature tune Life’s Been Good in Chinese. "I should actually get that interpreted into Chinese and sing it in Chinese. I wonder what that would sound like?"

    You can see the full interview with Joe Walsh here.