Monday, February 28, 2011

Blues Musician Eddie Kirkland Killed In Auto Accident

It's the Blues ManBlues guitarist, harmonica player and singer Eddie Kirkland was killed on Sunday morning when his car was struck by a Greyhound Bus.  He was 88.

According to reports, Kirkland was attempting a U-Turn on Highway 98 in Crystal River, FL (north of Tampa) when his car was struck in the right side by the bus.  The bus pushed Kirkland's Ford Taurus about 200 yards before coming to rest.  Kirkland was medivaced to Tampa General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  Nobody on the bus was injured.

His website read "Cry a river of tears for the Lord has called the road warrior home. 8:30 am, Feburary 27th 2011 in Tampa, Florida."

Kirkland was born in Jamaica but moved to Alabama when he was 2.  In 1943, at the age of 15, he headed off to Detroit and, in 1948, met and started working with John Lee Hooker.  His work is heard on many of Hooker's recordings over the next seven-and-a-half years along with a series of recordings under his own name on RPM, King and Fortune Records.

In 1962, he released his first album, It's the Blues, Man!, on Tru-Sound Records with backing by King Curtis' band.  That same year, he signed on with Otis Redding's band and eventually became his opening act.

The latter part of the 60's were lean for Kirkland but, in the early 70's, he signed with the Trix label and released Front and Center and The Devil and the Other Blues Demons.

Kirkland continued to record and tour for most of the rest of his life, even though he never reached the level of popularity of other in his genre.  Even into his 80's, he was touring 42-weeks of the year, earning him the nickname "Gypsy of the Blues."  Most recently, he has recorded for Telarc, JSP, Blue Suit and Hedda Records.  His last recording was as a guest on Foghat's 2010 release Last Train Home.

Kiss' Paul Stanley and Wife To Have Baby Number Three

Live to WinPaul Stanley is about to become a father for the fourth time.  The singer-and-guitarist and his wife Erin have announced they are expecting a baby girl, their third child together.

He told People: 'There is nothing greater in life than family, and my accomplishments as a father rank at the top of my successes. Erin and I are blessed with our expectation of the addition of another princess to our family and a new member of the KISS army."

The new arrival is due in August and the family, which includes Colin Michael, four and Sarah Brianna, two, couldn't be happier.

And Paul, who also has a 16-year-old son, Evan Shane, from a previous relationship, isn't worried about the impending sleepless nights, despite his advancing years.

The Rock and Roll All Nite singer joked: "I may be 59 but the only rocking chair this rocker is getting ready for is the one for my new baby."

Paul is set for a busy 2011 as KISS are recording their 20th studio album this year.

The group, which is comprised of Paul and bass player Gene Simmons from the band's original line up alongside guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer - are planning to head into the studio in March to start work on the follow-up to 2009's Sonic Boom.

Tommy recently said: "The great news is that we are going in the studio again in the next month or two. We are starting to work on writing some songs, approach it just like we did with Sonic Boom and keep it all in the band in terms of the writing, with no agenda besides writing great rock n' roll songs that we love.

"I'm sure you'll see a spanking new KISS album that's gonna kick some butt soon!"

Pat Moran, Producer for Queen, Robert Plant, Passes Away at 63

Pat Moran, the Irish producer who worked on albums for Queen, Robert Plant, Iggy Pop and Big Country, has passed away at the age of 63 after a long battle with Pick’s Disease.

Pick’s disease is a rare and permanent form of dementia. Pat started showing signs of the disease in 1998 and had been unable to care for himself since 2005.

Pat was the lead singer for the U.K. prog-rock band Spring that also included Pick Withers who later joined Dire Straits. The one and only Spring album was produced by Gus Dudgeon (Elton John). They were a different sounding band, featuring three Mellotrons and guitar.

In 1970, Spring toured with the Velvet Underground.

Moran’s credits include Robert Plant's Principle of Moments and Pictures At Eleven, Iggy Pop's Soldier, Big Country's No Place Like Home, Hawkwind's Sonic Attack and John Miles' Transition.

Pat passed away last month. His survivors Brien and John Moran published this obituary in The Guardian today.

Listen: Bob Seger's New Single of Tom Wait's Downtown Train

Not the best quality recording, but here's the new Bob Seger single, a cover of Tom Waits' Downtown Train.  Seger recorded this originally back in the 90's but was beaten to the release by Rod Stewart.  He went back and revisited the song for his new album.

Almanac: February 28, 2011

Introspect: Don't It Make You Want to Go HomeBirthdays:
  • Marty Sanders (Jay & the Americans) (70)
  • Joe South (69)
  • Donny Iris (Wild Cherry) (68)
  • Ronnie Rosman (Tommy James & the Shondells) (66)
  • Eddie Manion (Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes) (59)
  • Phil Gould (Level 42) (54)
  • Ian Stanley (Tears for Fears) (54)
  • Cindy Wilson (B-52's) (54)

Bridge over Troubled WaterOn This Day in:
  • 1966 - The police were called when over 100 people barricaded themselves in Liverpool's Cavern Club. The club had announced it was going to close because of debts.
  • 1968 - Frankie Lymon was found dead of a suspected drug overdose at the age of 25.
  • 1970 - Simon & Garfunkel hit the top of the U.S. charts with Bridge Over Troubled Waters.
  • 1970 - Matthew Fisher left Procol Harum.
  • 1972 - Patti and George Harrison were injured in a car accident with Patti being unconscious for a number of days.
  • 1974 - Bobby Bloom committed suicide at the age of 28.
  • 1977 - Ray Charles was attacked by an audience member who tried to strangle him with a rope.
  • 1981 - Eddie Rabbit hit number 1 in the U.S. with I Love a Rainy Night.
  • 1982 - Scott Gorham, guitarist for Thin Lizzy, collapsed during a stop on the band's European tour from a heroin withdrawal.
  • 1984 - Michael Jackson won a record eight Grammy Awards including Record of the Year for Beat It and Album of the Year for Thriller.  Sting won Song of the Year for Every Breath You Take and the Best New Artist was Culture Club.
  • 1985 - David Byron of Uriah Heep died after an epileptic attack and from liver disease at the age of 38.
  • 1986 - George Michael announce the break-up of Wham! over the coming summer.
  • 1988 - k.d. lang performed at the closing of the Winter Olympics.
  • 1991 - The Record Plant recording studios in Hollywood close.
  • 1991 - Los Angeles declares it Curtis Mayfield Day.
  • 1996 - Seal won Record of the Year at the Grammys for Kiss From a Rose (produced by Trevor Horn) and Album of the Year went to Alanis Morisette's Jagged Little Pill (produced by Glen Ballard). In addition, Kiss appeared on the show in full makeup and costumes for the first time in 17 years.
  • 2000 - Stan Penrige, who wrote the Kiss hit Beth, sues the group for unpaid royalties.
  • 2005 - Michael Jackson's trial for child molestation opens.
  • 2005 - Chris Curtis of the Searchers passed away at the age of 63.
  • 2008 - Boy George plead not guilty to a charge of imprisoning a male prostitute at his home.
  • 2008 - Buddy Miles of Jimi Hendrix' Band of Gypsies passed away at 60.

Kinks Issuing Deluxe Versions of First Three Albums

The Kinks are releasing their first three albums in two-CD deluxe editions with tons of bonus tracks on March 22 in the U.S. and March 28 in Britain.

Kinks (1964), Kinda Kinks (1965) and The Kink Kontroversey (1965) will each be backed with an exhilarating selection of rarities, outtakes, demos, session tracks and in depth liner notes detailing the album's creation.

KinksA hefty, 28 track version of their debut album Kinks (click on the album covers to see the full track listings), comes alongside a disc packed full of bonus material, including alternative takes of Too Much Monkey Business and Got Love If You Want It as well as BBC interviews with Ray Davies and BBC session tracks. These include the band's interpretation of Bo Diddley's Cadillac, the Number One hit You Really Got Me and Number Two single All Day and All of the Night.

Kinda KinksThe bonus material included on the Kinda Kinks re-issue is just as fascinating, with demo versions of I Go To Sleep, When I See That Girl Of Mine and A Little Bit of Sunlight in addition to alternative takes of See My Friends and Come On Now. BBC sessions of Tired of Waiting For You, This Strange Effect and Hide and Seek are also included.

Kinks KontroversyThe Kink Kontroversy's deluxe material will feature the mono single versions of Dedicated Follower of Fashion and I'm Not Like Everybody Else as well as album outtake Mr. Reporter and Time Will Tell and BBC session versions of Where Have All The Good Times Gone and Never Met A Girl Like You Before.

Randy Newman Wins Second Academy Award (in 20 Tries)

Bad LoveRandy Newman found out that 20th times the charm at Sunday night's Academy Awards as he took home Best Original Song for We Belong Together from Toy Story 3.

It was Newman's twentieth nomination and only his second win, the first coming for the song If I Didn't Have You from the 2002 movie Monsters, Inc.  Both Monsters and Toy Story were made by Pixar for Disney.  For a complete list of all of Newman's nominations see our earlier article.

In the other Oscar music category, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross took the award for Original Score for their work on The Social Network.  Reznor is the frontman for Nine Inch Nails.  Ross is a musician, composer and producer who has worked with Nine Inch Nails, Grace Jones, Bad Religion, Korn and others.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Short Takes for February 20-26, 2011

A compendium of the short takes published daily in the right column of VVN Music.

Monday, February 21

John Paul Jones is currently appearing at the Royal Opera House in London playing in a jazz trio for the opera Anna Nicole. The opera is based on the life of the infamous Anna Nicole Smith.

Deep Purple is releasing a special vinyl single for April 16's Record Store Day. Containing the 1969 versions of Hush ad Speed King, the pressing will be limited to 1,400 copies.

Tuesday, February 22

Metallica has announced that the vinyl version of Garage Inc. will be released on February 24 as a 3-LP set at 33-1/3 or a 6-LP set at 45 RPM.

Madonna has announced that her third Hard Candy Fitness Center will be in St. Petersburg, Russia with an opening set for sometime mid-year.

is releasing a "new" single to tie in with the opening of their Stormtroopers in Stilettos gallery exhibition in London. The single will have a unreleased versions of the songs Stone Cold Crazy and Keep Yourself Alive. A vinyl 45 version will be released for Record Store Day on April 16.

James Taylor will appear on the March 16 episode of ABC's Mr. Sunshine where he'll duet with Allison Janney on A Song For You.

You can hear a stream of Lucinda Williams latest album, Blessed at NPR.

Nick Cave is teaming up with Guillermo Del Toro on a new, creepier, version of Pinocchio.

Terry Clements, who has been the guitarist with Gordon Lightfoot for years, passed away on Sunday after a stroke.

Wednesday, February 23

Alice Cooper has completed his new album, Welcome 2 My Nightmare. It is being billed as the sequel to his 1975 album of (nearly) the same name, bringing the story of "Steven" forward thirty years.

First it was the Pet Shop Boys and now Paul McCartney has written a ballet. The New York Times reports that Ocean's Kingdom will be in four acts over 45 minutes with a cast of about forty. It will premier at the New York City Ballet's fall gala on September 22.

A statue of Doc Watson is being erected in Boone, NC. Watson's only request was that it read "Doc Watson: Just one of the people."

Ozzy Osbourne has been named the official ambassador for the April 16 Record Store Day. He says it gives him "the power to command you to attend Record Store Day."

Friday, February 25

NPR will be streaming the entire new R.E.M. album Collapse Into Now this coming Tuesday, March 1 at 2 PM ET.

The soundtrack album to the upcoming British film Killing Bono includes a previously unreleased track by U2's first incarnation, The Hype, called Street Mission.

Motley Crue's Vince Neil was released from a Las Vegas jail on Friday after serving ten days of a fifteen day sentence for drunk driving. He now has to serve the balance of his term (20 days...5 left from jail plus 15 days additional sentence at his residence) under home arrest.

Willie Nelson will duet with Snoop Dogg on a track for Snoop's upcoming album.

The music site Music2Nite is giving away a copy of the Aretha Franklin album The Great American Songbook starting Sunday and every day for the next week. Click here to enter.

R.E.M.'s Mike Mills Talks About Collapse Into Now

Collapse Into NowR.E.M.'s fifteenth studio album, Collapse Into Now, will be in stores a week from Tuesday (March 8) and bassist Mike Mills recently talked to Billboard about the album and how it differs from 2009's Accelerate.
"With Accelerate we sort of made a statement record -- everything short, fast and loud and on this one we just wanted any good songs, regardless of the type or the tempo. What we like to do when possible is have a nice diversity, and this has that. It's got some serious rockers. It's got some beautiful slow stuff, and it's got some of that nice, mid-ballad stuff we do so well. We felt free to make Collapse Into Now into whatever record it needed to be."
Accelerate gave the group their best charting album in 13 years, reaching number 2.  Their previous album, Around the Sun, didn't even make the top ten and the last to reach the top two was 1996's New Adventures in Hi-Fi.

Guesting on Collapse Into Now are Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, the Hidden Cameras' Joel Gibb, Peaches, Lenny Kaye of the Patty Smith Band along with Patti Smith herself.

Mills also said that a tour isn't being planned to support the album. "It just doesn't feel right.  We've always gone with our gut instinct on everything, and right now it just didn't feel like touring was the thing we needed to do."

Whether that will leave time to put together another new album is unknown; however, the band will need to find a way to get it to the public as Collapse Into Now is the last album on their contract with Warner Brothers with whom they've been recording since 1988's Green.

Diana Ross Touring Eastern U.S. in March

Live From Las VegasMotown icon Diana Ross has just gone out on the third leg of her Greatest Hits Tour, this time covering much of the east coast of the U.S..

Last Friday, Ross kicked off the promotion for the tour with an appearance on Oprah Winfrey with her children, Rhonda Ross Kendrick, Tracee Ellis Ross, Chudney Ross, Ross Arne Naess, Evan Ross and her first grandson Raif Henok Emmanuel Kendrick.

The tour started later that night at the Golden Moon Hotel & Casino in Choctaw, MS followed by a Saturday night show in Boosier City, LA.  The itinerary for the rest of the tour:

  • 02/27 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Live at Moody Theatre
  • 03/01 - Houston, TX - Verizon Wireless Theater
  • 03/02 - Dallas, TX - Majestic Theatre
  • 03/04 - Jacksonville, FL - Moran Theatre (Times Union Center PAC)
  • 03/05 - Greenville, SC - Peace Center Concert Hall
  • 03/07 - Charleston, SC - Charleston's Historic Dock Street Theatre
  • 03/09 - Charlotte, NC - McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square
  • 03/11 - Durham, NC - DPAC
  • 03/12 - Washington, DC - Washington Convention Center
  • 03/13 - Poughkeepsie, NY - Bardavon, 1869 Opera House
  • 03/15 - Englewood, NJ - Bergen Performing Arts Center
  • 03/16 - Hartford, CT - Bushnell Auditorium
  • 03/18 - Stamford, CT - Palace Theatre
  • 03/19 - Atlantic City, NJ - Caesars Atlantic City - Circus Maximus
  • 03/20 - Staten Island, NY - St. George Theatre

Jeff Beck Has Eleven Tracks Ready For Rod Stewart's Voice

The Best of Jeff BeckThe long rumored reunion of Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart may be getting closer.

The veteran guitarist started recording for the planned album after realising his studio jams reminded him of Rod, who was the singer in his Jeff Beck Group in the 60s.

He explained to Gigwise: "Last week I was in San Francisco to just do some recording with my drummer. Then there was one point when it went from Jeff Beck over to Rod Stewart, in terms of the direction.

"Immediately I started doing bluesy riffs and a record that was suitable for Rod. Rather than mess about for a week, we decided to get straight to it - and we cut eleven songs and backing tracks ready for Rod."

Jeff was to meet with the Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? singer on Friday (February 25) to discuss adding vocals to the instrumental tracks.

He said: "I hope things go well, it's the crunch day. We just need to tailor the songs to his voice and then the record is done.''

The 66-year-old rockers previously reunited in 1985 on a cover of People Get Ready by Curtis Mayfield, and announced plans to work together again earlier this month.

Rod's manager, Arnold Stiefel, said at the time: "They have some really clever things planned - it's mind-f***ing stuff."

Almanac: February 27, 2011

Best ofBirthdays:
  • Eddie Gray (Tommy James & the Shondells) (63)
  • Robert Balderrama (? & the Mysterians) (61)
  • Steve Harley (Cockney Rebel) (60)
  • Neil Schon (Journey, Santana) (57)
  • Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) (54)
  • Johnny Van Zant (Lynyrd Skynyrd) (54)
  • Paul Humphreys (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) (51)

PearlOn This Day in:
  • 1956 - Little Richard's Slippin' & Slidin'/Long Tall Sally was released.
  • 1960 - The Miracles made their first TV appearance on American Bandstand.
  • 1961 - Chubby Checker hit number 1 in the U.S. with Pony Time.
  • 1964 - Cilla Black was at the top of the British Charts with Anyone Who Had a Heart.
  • 1967 - Pink Floyd recorded their first single, Arnold Layne.
  • 1970 - The Jefferson Airplane is fined $1,000 for using profanity during their show in Oklahoma City.
  • 1971 - Janis Joplin topped the U.S. Album chart for the first time, five months after her death, with Pearl.
  • 1972 - T.Rex played Carnegie Hall in New York.
  • 1976 - Mick Jagger was hospitalized with a respiratory infection.
  • 1977 - Rolling Stone Keith Richards is arrested at the Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto for possession of heroin and cocaine.
  • 1977 - Led Zeppelin is forced to cancel the first date of their world tour after Robert Plant develops tonsillitis
  • 1980 - The Doobie Brothers win Record of the Year at the Grammys for What a Fool Believes.  Kenny Rogers & Michael McDonald also win Song of the Year for writing the tune.  Album of the Year goes to 52nd Street by Billy Joel and Rickie Lee Jones is named Best New Artist.
  • 1984 - A Pepsi commercial with the Jacksons debuts on MTV.
  • 1991 - James Brown is released from prison after serving two-years of a six-year sentence for resisting arrest after a car chase.
  • 2001 - Carlos Santana returns to his boyhood home town of Autlan De Navarro, Mexico where he is presented with a plaque, he is given the key to the town and a street is named after him.
  • 2003 - Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington has emergency heart surgery.
  • 2005 - Ray Charles had his last number 1 album in the U.S. with Genius Loves Company.
  • 2007 - Bobby Brown received 30 days in jail for $19,000 in unpaid child support.

Chart Watch America: Chart of March 5, 2011

Bon Jovi Greatest HitsOur weekly recap of veteran artists on the current American music charts. Chart highlights

  • You have to go all the way down to number 49 this week to find the first album by a veteran artist, Bon Jovi's Greatest Hits.
  • The highest debut by a veteran artist for the week goes to Albert King With Stevie Ray Vaughan with In Session.  Debuting at 52, it's the highest charting album of King's career on the main album chart.  His previous high was 1969's Years Gone By which reached 133.  For Vaughan, it the highest he has been since 1997's Live at Carnegie Hall reached number 40.
  • At number 80 is the premier of Let's Fall in Love by Ella Fitzgerald, a new exclusive at Starbucks. 
  • Stryper debuts at 175 with their album of hard rock covers, The Covering.  That is well off from the number 73 peak of their 2009 album Murder By Pride.  The album also premiers at 11 on the Hard Rock Albums.
  • Two albums debut in the Country Album Top 40.  Hits by George Jones is at 39 and The Best of Kenny Rogers is at 40. 
  • New on the Folk Album chart is Demons by the Cowboy Junkies.  It debuts at number 10.
TW = This Week, LW = Last Week, N = New, R = Returning to Chart.  The highest charting entry by a veteran artist is shown in red.  There can be ties in chart positions.


Top 200 Albums
TW LW Title Artist
1 N Never Say Never: The Remixes Justin Bieber
2 2 Sigh No More Mumford & Sons
3 1 Now 37 Various Artists
4 17 Need You Now Lady Antebellum
5 6 Doo-Wops & Hooligans Bruno Mars
49 45 Greatest Hits Bon Jovi
52 N In Session Albert King With Stevie Ray Vaughan
73 44 Low Country Blues Gregg Allman
79 37 Love Beatles
80 N Let's Fall in Love Elle Fitzgerald
86 70 Number Ones Michael Jackson
91 66 Greatest Hits Guns N' Roses
93 75 Legend: The Best of Bob Marley & the Wailers
103 80 Just Charlie Charlie Wilson
124 90 Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes Social Distortion
130 108 Michael Michael Jackson
136 139 Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits Creedence Clearwater Revival
145 104 Second Chance El DeBarge
153 145 Greatest Hits Journey
154 105 The Best of The Great American Songbook Rod Stewart
158 101 Live Forever: The Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA 9/23/80 Bob Marley & the Wailers
164 117 Rocket Man: Number Ones Elton John
175 N The Covering Stryper
179 172 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collections: The Best of Eric Clapton
186 180 All the Women I Am Reba McEntire
187 155 The Union Elton John & Leon Russell
196 191 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collections: The Best of Lynyrd Skynyrd

The balance of the American charts are after the cut.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Preview: Play Me Backwards - Joan Baez - Remastered Edition with Ten Unreleased Tracks

Artist: Joan Baez
Title: Play Me Backwards
Release Date: March 14, 2011
Label: Proper Records (CD, DD), Diverse Records (Vinyl)
Format(s): CD, DD (U.K. & Europe), Vinyl (Worldwide)

Proper and Diverse Records will issue a new version of Joan Baez' 1992 album Play Me Backwards. Included will be a remastered version of the original album, ten previously unreleased demos and new liner notes by Arthur Levy.

Play Me Backwards was originally issued on Capitol Records and was produced by Wally Wilson and Kenny Greenberg.  Included are songs from the likes of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Janis Ian, John Stewart and John Hiatt along with six originals.

Proper Records will be releasing the album on CD in the U.K. and Europe while Diverse Records will be issuing it on vinyl worldwide.  There is no word at this time of a worldwide release for the CD.

Track List:

  • Original Album
    • Play Me Backwards
    • Amsterdam
    • Isaac & Abraham
    • Stones In The Road
    • Steal Across The Border
    • I'm With You
    • I'm With You (Reprise)
    • Strange Rivers
    • Through Your Hands
    • The Dream Song
    • Edge of Glory
  • Bonus Demo Tracks
    • Medicine Wheel
    • Rise From The Ruins
    • Trouble With The Truth
    • Much Better View Of The Moon
    • Seven Curses
    • In My Day
    • Dark Eyed Man
    • We Endure
    • The Last Day
    • Lonely Moon

Pogues Say American Tour is Their Final One...But Do They Really Mean It?

If I Should Fall From Grace With GodLate last year, the Pogues announced that their U.K. holiday tour would be their last, making most assume that they were done with the road. The group quickly clarified that it was their last holiday tour and that was all.

Saturday, Billboard reported that the group is coming to America for a short tour and that this would be their last. They then immediately backtracked on the statement.
"I think we are basically pretty certain this is the last tour of this type we'll be doing in the States," Pogues co-founder Peter "Spider" Stacy tells In fact, he adds, the group is putting a wrap on any formal touring, but he stops short of calling the Pogues over.

"There might be the odd sort of one-off here and there, or other things like that," he explains. "We're not saying this is absolutely, definitely the end. But as things stand at the moment, I don't really see us continuing as we have been. It seems to have run its course. You can never say a door is absolutely, definitely and finally shut, but we're drawing the line, to a certain extent, this time."
Stacey did admit that the years were starting to take their toll, leading to the group's decision along with the "economic reality" that it is getting hard to tour with an eight-piece band because costs require high ticket prices.

Plus, there's the issue of frontman Shane MacGowan.  "We can't always entirely trust Shane to deliver the goods. When we're asking ($70) or so, that's a lot of money."

You can see more on the group at Billboard.

Almanac: February 26, 2011

Fats Domino - Greatest HitsBirthdays:

  • Fats Domino (83)
  • Paul Cotton (Poco) (68)
  • Mitch Ryder (66)
  • Sandie Shaw (64)
  • Jonathan Caine (Journey) (61)
  • Michael Bolton (58)
  • Steve Grant (Tight Fit) (53)
  • Jaz Coleman (Killing Joke) (51)
  • John Jon (Bronski Beat) (50)

ThrillerOn This Day in:
  • 1932 - Johnny Cash was born (died September 12, 2003)
  • 1945 - Bob "the Bear" Hite of Canned Heat was born (died April 5, 1981)
  • 1954 - A bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representative to ban the mailing or transportation of any "obscene, lewd, lascivious or filthy disc – or any other article capable of producing sound."
  • 1955 - Billboard announced that 45s were outselling 78s.
  • 1955 - The Louvin Brothers made their first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry.
  • 1955 - Lavern Baker testifies before the U.S. congress asking that the Copyright Act be amended to stop white artists from doing note-for-note copies of black records. 
  • 1965 - Jimmy Page released his first single in the U.K., She Just Satisfies, on which he played everything except drums.
  • 1966 - Nancy Sinatra was at number 1 in the U.S. with These Boots Are Made For Walking.  The Beatles were at the top of the Album chart with Rubber Soul.
  • 1966 - The Rollings Stones release 19th Nervous Breakdown.
  • 1977 - Sherman Garnes of Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers died during open-heart surgery.
  • 1977 - The Eagles hit number 1 in the U.S. with New Kid in Town.
  • 1977 - Booker T. Washington "Bukka" White passed away at the age of 70.
  • 1980 - Island Records offered U2 a contract.
  • 1983 - Thriller by Michael Jackson hit number 1 on the U.S. Album chart.  It stayed there for 37 weeks.
  • 1985 - Tina Turner wins Record of the Year for What's Love Got to Do With It at the Grammys.  The songwriters (Terry Britten & Graham Lyle) take Song of the Year while Lionel Ritchie wins Album of the Year for Can't Slow Down and Cyndi Lauper is named Best New Artist.
  • 1987 - Capitol Records finally released the first four Beatles albums in the CD format.
  • 1990 - Cornell Gunter of the Coasters is murdered in Las Vegas at the age of 53.
  • 1995 - Robert Plant & Jimmy Page kick off a year-long world tour to support their album No Quarter.
  • 1996 - Quincy Jones was named MusiCares Person of the Year.
  • 1997 - Songwriter Ben Raleigh (Tell Laura I Love Her) died in a house fire.
  • 1997 - Eric Clapton wins Record of the Year for Change the World while the songwriters (Gordon Kennedy, Wayne Kirkpatrick & Tommy Sims) win Song of the Year at the Grammys.  The Beatles have three wins for Free As a Bird and the Beatles Anthology.
  • 1998 - Tommy Lee of Motley Crue is officially charged with abusing his wife Pamela Anderson and their son Dylan.
  • 2001 - Madonna won Best International Female Artist at the BRIT Awards. U2 won Best International Group.

Chart Watch Canada: Chart Date February 24, 2011

Bon Jovi Greatest Hits - The Ultimate CollectionOur weekly recap of veteran artists on the current Canadian music charts.  Chart highlights:
  • One new album by veteran artists debuts this week in Canada.  Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan's In Session starts at number 44.
  • Bon Jovi's Greatest Hits once again drops, from 12 to 18, but remains the biggest album by a veteran artist for the fifteenth straight week.
TW = This Week, LW = Last Week, N = New, R = Returning to Chart.  The highest charting entry by a veteran artist is shown in red.  There can be ties in chart positions.

Top 100 Canadian Albums
TW LW Title Artist
1 N Never Say Never: The Remixes Justin Bieber
2 7 Sign No More Mumford & Sons
3 22 The Suburbs Arcade Fire
4 3 Grammy Nominees 2011 Various Artists
5 1 Now 17 Various Artists
18 12 Greatest Hits Bon Jovi
44 N In Session Albert King & Stevie Ray Vaughan
51 41 Low Country Blues Greg Allman
58 84 Le Noise Neil Young
60 63 Clapton Eric Clapton
75 56 The Best of The Great American Songbook Rod Stewart
76 24 The World is Yours Motorhead
77 34 Love Beatles
94 82 When the Wind Shakes The Barley Loreena McKennitt
95 90 Rocket Man: Number Ones Elton John
97 94 Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd
98 78 Legend: The Best of Bob Marley & the Wailers
100 109 Recollection k.d. lang

The balance of the Canadian charts are after the cut.

Musical on INXS' Michael Hutchence Being Planned by Former Manager

The final days of Michael HutchenceThe former manager of INXS' late frontman Michael Hutchence is planning a musical and documentary based on the singer’s life.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that LA-based entertainment agency APA has struck a deal with Hutchence’s personal manager at the time of his death, Martha Troupe, and an entity called "Michael’s Trust."

Plans include a stage musical based on the INXS singer’s life and a documentary about the band, despite the remaining members of INXS already putting the kybosh on an earlier documentary by denying the use of INXS’s music.

Troupe said to SMH, "We've already started talking to producers and directors about a documentary, and I think we have that figured out. A documentary is going to be made. I will make sure, no matter what, and I hope it is with everybody's blessing."

APA agent Keith Naisbitt told the SMH, "Michael was an incredibly charismatic performer, and he lived a full life. He was a rock star in every sense of the word, warts and all. In fact, he was one of the last great rock stars.

"There isn't enough credit for what an incredible performer he was. With this deal, we'll be looking at all avenues. We want to go out there and really shine a light on Michael."

Friday, February 25, 2011

John Lydon Picks Up Award for Book, Blasts British Leaders

John Lydon, a.k.a. Johnny Rotten, has never been one to mince words.

The controversial Sex Pistols frontman blasted the current coalition government in the U.K. made up between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, headed by David Cameron and Nick Clegg respectively.

After collecting the trophy for Best Book, for Mr Rotten's Scrapbook, at Wednesday's (February 23) Shockwaves NME Awards in London, he told BANG Showbiz: "I don't want your awards, what I want is respect, and the same kind of respect for 30 years that I've shown you, the British people.

'I've never lied to any of you, you know this to be true, stop lying to me, and we might start making a better world and by the way, how are them two ****s for the price of one running the country at the moment? That's what you get for not listening."

Despite saying he "couldn't care less" about awards, John said he felt he'd have been a better candidate for the annual Godlike Genius NME trophy than Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, who was its 2011 recipient.

He said: "Honestly I feel in my mind that I've won every award on that list anyway for 30 years of serious work in this industry. And a magazine like this wouldn't appreciate that and they'd rather give it to an American called a Foo Fighter. That was lovely. It's hilarious! I hope he takes it serious."

Clarence Clemmons Tells Rolling Stone About Ongoing Health Problems

Bruce Springsteen & Clarence Clemmons, Art Poster by Chris ChristoE-Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemmons recently spoke with Rolling Stone about his ongoing health problems.  He's not called the "Big Man" for nothing and that size has put a lot of stress on his bones and joints.

Over the past decade, Clemmons has had both knees replaced along with his hips.  Then came the 2009 tour with Bruce Springsteen where he spent much of the time in agony.  "The tour was wonderful musically, but I knew when it was done that I had to have more surgery."

Since then, Clarence has had both knees replaced again along with spinal fusion surgery.  He's also been in physical therapy but is now noticing that his hips are once again bothering him.  More surgery may be on the way.

Clemmons turns 70 in eleven months but he's still up for another round with Springsteen, possibly in 2012.  "As long as my mouth, hands and brain still work I'll be out there doing it. I'm going to keep going 'til I'm not there anymore. This is what's keeping me alive and feeling young and inspired."

See the full article at Rolling Stone.

Nominees Announced for the Revolver Golden Gods Awards

The Final FrontierThe nominees were announced on Thursday for the Revolve Golden Gods Awards.

This year's big prize, the Golden God Award, will be given to Alice CooperMötley Crüe will receive the Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award.

ScreamAmong veteran artists Iron Maiden leads the way with four nominations for the group's guitarists (Janick GersDave Murray and Adrian Smith), drummer (Nicko McBrain) and vocalist (Bruce Dickinson) along with Best Live Band.  Ozzy Osbourne also has four with nods for his guitarist (Gus G.), drummer (Tommy Clufetos), himself for vocalist and album for Scream.

The ceremony will be held on April 20 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles.  Performing will be Alice Cooper with the reformed original Alice Cooper Band, Duff McKagan’s Loaded, Devildriver, Asking Alexandria, Volbeat and Fozzy.

The following are the nominations with veteran artists in bold:

Epiphone Best Guitarist(s)
  • John 5 (Rob Zombie) 
  • Dan Donegan (Disturbed)
  • Gus G. (Ozzy Osbourne, Firewind)
  • Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance (Avenged Sevenfold)
  • Janick Gers, Dave Murray and Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden)
  • Alexi Laiho (Children of Bodom)
Drum Workshop Best Drummer
  • Tommy Clufetos (Ozzy Osbourne)
  • Abe Cunningham (Deftones)
  • Joey Jordison (Rob Zombie)
  • Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour)
  • Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden)
  • Mike Portnoy (Ex-Dream Theater, Avenged Sevenfold)
Best Vocalist
  • Glenn Danzig (Danzig)
  • Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden)
  • Chino Moreno (Deftones)
  • Ozzy Osbourne (Ozzy Osbourne)
  • M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold)
  • Corey Taylor (Stone Sour)
Affliction Album of the Year
  • Nightmare - Avenged Sevenfold
  • Order of the Black - Black Label Society
  • Diamond Eyes - Deftones
  • Scream - Ozzy Osbourne
  • Audio Secrecy - Stone Sour
  • Beyond Hell/Above Heaven - Volbeat
Samson Zoom Best Live Band
  • Avenged Sevenfold
  • GWAR
  • Iron Maiden
  • Megadeth
  • Rammstein
  • Sevendust
Most Metal Athlete
  • Chris Cole (pro skateboarding)
  • Dan Hardy (MMA fighting)
  • Toni Lydman (NHL)
  • The Miz (WWE wrestling)
  • Jeremy Shockey (NFL football)
  • Mike Vallely (pro skateboarding)
Best New Band
  • Asking Alexandria
  • Black Veil Brides
  • The Damned Things
  • The Pretty Reckless
  • Times of Grace
  • We are the Fallen
Eagle Rock Comeback of the Year
  • Accept
  • Faith No More
  • Murderdolls
  • A Perfect Circle
  • Soundgarden
  • System of a Down

Def Leppard & Heart Announce North American Summer Tour

Rock of Ages: The Definitive CollectionTwo dynamos of rock, Def Leppard and Heart will be teaming up this summer for a U.S. tour.  It kicks off on June 15 in West Palm Beach, FL and ends on September 14 in Portland, OR.  A reported 45 shows are schedule, although only 24 have been announced so far.

Red Velvet Car"After having had the last 18 months off, Leppard are ready to get back on the road! Add Heart to the bill and it truly makes for a special evening," said singer Joe Elliott.

Heart's Ann Wilson added "Nancy and I are really excited to be bringing Heart to the stage this summer with Def Leppard. It's going to be a powerful, monster show. The real thing. The summer of 2011 will be amazing."
  • 06/15 - West Palm Beach, FL - Cruzan Amphitheatre
  • 06/17 - Tampa, FL - 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre
  • 06/19 - Orange Beach, AL - Amphitheater at the Wharf
  • 06/22 - Charlotte, NC - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
  • 06/24 - Raleigh, NC - Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion
  • 06/26 - Philadelphia, PA - Susquehanna Bank Center
  • 06/29 - Scranton, PA - Toyota Pavilion
  • 07/02 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
  • 07/03 - Hershey, PA - Hersheypark Stadium
  • 07/05 - Milwaukee, WI - Summerfest
  • 07/12 - Wantagh, NY - Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
  • 07/13 - Holmdel, NJ - PNC Bank Arts Center
  • 07/15 - Chicago, IL - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
  • 07/17 - Cadott, WI - Rockfest
  • 07/20 - Dallas, TX - Gexa Energy Pavilion
  • 07/24 - San Antonio, TX - AT&T Center
  • 08/08 - Sturgis, SD - Buffalo Chip
  • 08/10 - St. Louis, MO - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
  • 08/13 - Des Moines,IA - Iowa State Fair
  • 08/21 - Buffalo, NY - Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
  • 08/27 - Kansas City, MO - Sprint Center
  • 08/26 - St Paul,MN - Minnesota State Fair
  • 08/31 - Salt Lake City, UT - USANA Amphitheatre
  • 09/14 - Portland, OR - Sleep Country Amphitheater

Watch: Bell Biv DeVoe Are Back With Performance on Jimmy Fallon

PoisonRicky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ron DeVoe left New Edition and took the R&B charts by storm in the early 90's, scoring six straight top ten hits including three that went to number one.  Now, after some time out of the spotlight, they are back, bringing their New Jack Swing to the Jimmy Fallon Show on Wednesday night.

Boy George Would Like Mark Ronson to Work on Next Culture Club Album

At Worst... The Best ofBoy George enjoyed working with super-producer Mark Ronson so much that he'd like his help on the forthcoming Culture Club album.

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Boy George beamed about his experiences with the producer during his Somebody To Love Me guest spot on the Mark Ronson & The Business’ album Record Collection.

He suggested Ronson may work on the new Culture Club album, coinciding with their 30 year reunion in 2012.

He said, "Well, we've talked about Mark maybe writing with Culture Club. I'm not sure whether it will be production as well, but certainly I'd like to do more stuff with Mark. Doing gigs with Mark and a track on his album has been a really wonderful experience for me. Mark came along at a perfect time. It's kind of exciting to put records out again."

Boy George went on to describe Ronson’s "this innate ability to pick up on things."

"He's a bit of a wizard in terms of his timing and also getting the right people to work together. And he has a respect for musical history. He's very fascinated by the whole 80's thing, but I think he references all those decades where style and music integrity were quite pivotal: the 50s, 60s, 70s. We have a lot in common."

Boy George also spoke about the ‘80s rivalry with Duran Duran, his sexuality, what Simon Cowell would have thought of him, and Lady Gaga.

The whole interview is here.

Lindsey Buckingham to Receive ASCAP Golden Note Award

Gift Of ScrewsThe American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has announced that they will be giving their 2011 Golden Note Award to Lindsey Buckingham.  The award will be presented during the 6th annual ASCAP "I Create Music" Expo which will be held from April 28 to 30 at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles.

After the presentation of the award, Buckingham will give a rare interview on his career as a songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, member of Fleetwood Mac and a solo artist.

The Golden Note Award is given to songwriters, composers and artists who "have achieved extraordinary career milestones."

"From the classic California cool of Buckingham-Nicks and Fleetwood Mac to his ambitious solo work, Lindsey's distinguished career has earned him a permanent place in the history of American music," said ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams. "We're delighted to welcome him as a special guest at this year's EXPO and honor him with ASCAP's Golden Note Award."

Chart Watch Britain: Chart of February 26, 2011

Love SongsOur weekly recap of veteran artists on the current British music charts. Chart highlights:
  • Roberta Flack's compilation, Love Songs, drops 11 to 27 but it remains the biggest selling album in the U.K. by a veteran artist for the third week.
  • Veteran artists only hold ten of the top 100 albums, one of the lowest totals in recent memory.
TW = This Week, LW = Last Week, N = New, R = Returning to Chart.  The highest charting entry by a veteran artist is shown in red.

Top 100 British Albums
TW LW Title Artist
1 1 21 Adele
2 15 Sign No More Mumford & Sons
3 3 Loud Rihanna
4 6 19 Adele
5 2 Doo-Wops & Hooligans Bruno Mars
27 11 Love Songs Roberta Flack
30 16 Love Songs UB40
48 39 Greatest Hits Bon Jovi
63 31 The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac
66 58 Number Ones Michael Jackson
69 57 Piece of the Action: The Best of Meat Loaf
73 65 Mothership Led Zeppelin
77 68 Greatest Hits Guns N' Roses
80 48 Low Country Blues Greg Allman
89 73 The Ultimate Collection Barbra Streisand

The balance of the British charts are after the cut.

Almanac: February 25, 2011

Ralph StanleyBirthdays:
  • Ralph Stanley (84)
  • Roy Michaels (Cat Mother & the All-Night Newsboys) (69)
  • Elkie Brooks (Vinegar Joe) (63)
  • Stuart John Wood (Bay City Rollers) (54)
  • Dennis Diken (Smithereens) (54)
  • Mike Peters (Alarm) (52)

Christopher CrossOn This Day in:
  • 1949 - Hank Williams released Lovesick Blues.  It would be his first number 1 record, staying at the top of the country chart for 16 weeks.
  • 1956 - Elvis Presley had his first number 1 on any chart as I Forgot to Remember to Forget hit the top of the Country list.
  • 1957 - Buddy Holly recorded That'll Be the Day.
  • 1963 - The Beatles released their first single in the U.S., Please Please Me.
  • 1964 - The Beatles finished recording Can't Buy Me Love.
  • 1965 - The Seekers had their first U.K. number 1 with I'll Never Find Another You.
  • 1971 - Led Zeppelin's concert in Paris is broadcast live on U.K. TV.
  • 1977 - The Jam signed with Polygram Records.
  • 1981 - Christopher Cross achieved the first and only sweep of the top four categories at the Grammy as he took home Record and Song of the Year for Sailing, Album of the Year for Christopher Cross and Best New Artist.
  • 1984 - Van Halen hit number 1 on the U.S. singles chart with Jump.  It would stay there for five weeks.
  • 1985 - U2 started their first full U.S. tour.
  • 1987 - Frank Sinatra was a guest star on Magnum P.I.
  • 1992 - Natalie Cole takes three of the top four awards at the Grammys with Record and Song of the Year for Unforgettable (written by Irving Gordon) and Album of the Year.
  • 1993 - Toy Caldwell of the Marshall Tucker Band passed away.
  • 1995 - Madonna went to number 1 in the U.S. with Take a Bow.  It stayed at the top for seven weeks.
  • 1995 - Frank Sinatra sang live for the last time for an invited audience at the Frank Sinatra Desert Classic.
  • 1998 - Bob Dylan won Album of the Year at the Grammys for Time Out of Mind.
  • 1999 - Prince sued nine websites alleging that they were selling unauthorized copies of his music.
  • 2002 - Billy Joel was honored as MusiCares Person of the Year.
  • 2004 - Boy George agreed to pay a membership secretary at a nightclub $18,000 in libel damages.
  • 2005 - Whitney Houston checked into a Paris hospital with a reported case of food poisoning.
  • 2005 - Edward Patten of Gladys Knight & the Pips passed away after suffering a stroke at the age of 65.
  • 2006 - George Michael was found slumped over in his car in London's Hyde Park.  He was charged with suspicion of drug possession.
  • 2006 - John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) posts on his website that the Sex Pistols would not attend their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • 2009 - Stevie Wonder received the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize at the White House.
  • 2010 - Marie Osmond's son, Michael Blosil, committed suicide.

Etta James to Undergo Court Ordered Medical Examination

Blues to the BoneA judge in Riverside, California has ordered that Etta James be given an immediate medical evaluation after her son's attorney told the court that the care she is receiving at home could be putting her in "serious danger."

James is suffering from leukemia, dementia and kidney problems and is being treated at her home by a live-in physician who reportedly costs $20,000 per month.  Recently, James' son, Donto, hired a confidential investigator who returned a report on her care that Donto's attorney characterized as "the worst" assessment that had ever seen.  The attorney presented the findings to the court during a hearing over control of the singer's $1 million in assets.  Her son is in dispute with Artis Mills who has been James' husband for 41 years.

Part of the issue with the care is that the on-site doctor did a procedure to put a feeding tube into James' stomach at home, something that the attorney alleges should only be done in a hospital.