Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Two Veteran Artists to Hit Dance Floor With the Stars

Two veteran artists are getting ready to hit the dance floor on the new season of ABC's Dancing With the Stars.

Gladys Knight has been paired up with dancer Tristan MacManus. Knight, who is 67, has conquered the worlds of music and acting and now looks to add dancing to her resume. She is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with her group the Pips (William Guest, Merald "Bubba" Knight, Edward Patten) who had eight top ten hits including the chart topper Midnight Train to Georgia. Knight, without her group, also hit number 1 as part of the ensemble on That's What Friends Are For.

The other veteran is soap actor/singer Jack Wagner who is paired with Anna Trebunskaya. Wagner scored a major hit in 1984 with All I Need (#2 Pop/#1 Adult Contemporary) and two additional AC hits in the following years (Too Young (1985/#52 Pop/#15 Adult Contemporary) and Love Can Take Us Away (1986/#15 Adult Contemporary)).

Also from the world of music is Gavin DeGraw whose hits include I Don't Want to Be, In Love With the Girl and Not Over You and opera singer Katherine Jenkins. The others cast for this season are Green Bay Packer Donald Driver, former Family Matters star Jaleel White, Extra host Maria Menouos, former tennis legend Martina Navratilova, actress Melissa Gilbert, Disney star Roshon Fegan, View host Sherri Shepherd and actor William Levy.

Whitney Houston First Woman to Ever Have Three Top 10 Albums in Same Week

Whitney Houston's popularity seems to be even stronger in death than when she was alive.

This week, for the first time ever, a woman has three top ten albums and the woman is Houston. Even more amazingly, those three albums range from 12 to 26 years old.

Overall, Houston is now up to nine titles in the Billboard top 200:
  • 002. Whitney: The Greatest Hits (174,000)
  • 006. The Bodyguard (47,000)
  • 009. Whitney Houston (30,000)
  • 016. I Look to You (19,000)
  • 030. My Love is Your Love (15,000)
  • 039. I'm Your Baby Tonight (13,000)
  • 073. I'm Your Baby Tonight/My Love is Your Love/Just Whitney (7,000)
  • 105. The Preacher's Wife (5,000)
  • 126. Just Whitney (4,000)
  • 133. Whitney (4,000)
So, what happened that so many of her albums jumped back on the charts almost three weeks after her passing? Sony was finally able to ramp up production of the physical CDs and got them distributed to the retailers. Up until now, the album sales were almost exclusively from digital downloads. 

In addition to the first time a woman has ever accomplished this feat, but it's the first time that it has happened 43 years, since July 6, 1968 when Simon & Garfunkel had Bookends (1), The Graduate (2) and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (10). According to Billboard, only three other acts ever accomplished the record before 1968, the Beatles, Peter, Paul and Mary and Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass

Billboard also notes that Michael Jackson also would have had three in the top ten had catalog albums been allowed on the Top 200 at the time of his death.

In other chart news, Adele's 21 racks up its 21st week at number 1, the longest since Prince & the Revolution's Purple Rain held the top spot for 24 weeks in 1984 and 1985. It is also 21's ninth consecutive week at number 1, the longest since the Titanic soundtrack had 14-straight in 1998.

Andrew Lloyd Webber Wants Bono as Judge on TV Talent Show

Andrew Lloyd Webber wants to bring Bono to the world of TV talent show judging.

Webber is searching for a lead for his hit musical Jesus Christ Superstar in a new TV talent series. He wants to go all out to make the programme a ratings winner, and apparently thinks U2 rocker Bono would be perfect on the judging panel.

"It's definitely a long shot, there's no doubt about that," a source told British newspaper The Sun. "But Andrew is keen to get Bono on board and if anyone could pull off something like this, then it is him."

The composer is so set on working with Bono he has even changed the format of the upcoming series.

Rather than being normal length, the show will only last for two weeks. Andrew apparently hopes this will appeal to the Irish rocker, whose busy schedule means he has time constraints.

Last month, it was reported Andrew's 'number one target' for the TV show was former Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger.

It's now been confirmed she won't be returning for judging duties on the US version of The X Factor, meaning she has more time on her hands.

"Andrew is obsessed with Nicole - he thinks the world of her," a source said at the time.

"As soon as he got the nod his new show was going to happen, Nicole was his number one target. He's got a great working relationship with her and Nicole hugely respects his work."

One judge has already been confirmed. Steve Balsamo has previously starred in the show's West End production and will sit on the show's panel.

Childhood Homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney Get Heritage Protection

Lennon's House (left),
McCartneys (right)
The childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney have been given heritage status, protecting them against major changes by current owners.

John was raised by his Aunt Mimi at 251 Menlove Avenue in Woolton while Paul grew up at 20 Forthlin Road in Allerton.

Many of songs composed by Lennon and McCartney in the early days of The Beatles were written in the houses.

Paul was 13 when the family moved into the house in Allerton. He moved out when he was 22. John lived in the Woolton house from age 5 to 22.

Please Please Me, the first number one hit for The Beatles was written in John’s house.

The houses have a Grade II ranking meaning they are ‘nationally important and of special interest’.

Davy Jones (1945-2012)

Davy Jones, the biggest heart-throb of the Monkees, passed away on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack at his ranch in Indiantown, FL.

Jones had last performed on February 19 and was said to be in good health. A farmhand called paramedics on Wednesday morning after Davy complained of not feeling well and shortness of breath. He was rushed to a hospital in Stuart, FL where he was pronounced dead.

Jones was a multi-talented performer. At the age of 11, he started his acting career on the soap opera Coronation Street followed by the British crime series Z-Cars. His mother passed away when he was 14 and he decided to leave acting to become a jockey.

A couple of years later, Jones was approached to take on the role of the Artful Dodger in the London West End production of Oliver!, taking over for the part's originator, Martin Horsey. He later transferred to Broadway where he was nominated for a Tony Award. On February 9, 1964, he performed on the Ed Sullivan Show with the cast, the same night that the Beatles made their first appearance. The experience changed his life.

Jones signed with Screen Gems where he appeared as a guest star on a couple of TV series and recorded an album for their subsidiary Colpix. This led to his being cast in late-1965 as one of the Monkees, a "manufactured" group that would star in a television show about the fictitious group's life, ala the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night. Don Kirshner took on production of their initial music and only let the four leads (Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Jones) sing but not play instruments. An early decision to make Jones the lead singer (later revoked) created an early tension in the group that would rear its head many times in the subsequent years.

The group's first single, Last Train to Clarksville (with Dolenz on lead) was released in the month before the TV show's premier and became a major hit, hitting number 1. The show debuted on September 12, 1966 and, before the end of the year, the group scored a second major hit with I'm a Believer (Pop #1/Britain #1) and the chart topping album The Monkees.

By late-1966, relations between the group and Kirshner had broken down, with the boys demanding more input in the recording process and being able to play their own instruments. In January, 1967, the dispute went nuclear when Colgems released their second album, More of the Monkees, without their knowing it or having any input. By February of 1967, Kirshner was gone and the Monkees began making their own musical decisions.

The next three albums (Headquarters, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. and The Birds, the Bees and the Monkees) were more experimental with a variety of musical styles. They also started the slow downfall of the group's recording career. The first two went to number 1 but the third only made it to 3 and would be the group's last top ten album. The hits also started to drop off with Headquarters not producing any hits and the other two providing one each (Pleasant Valley Sunday and Daydream Believer).

By the time the show finished its second and final season, the group was pretty much recording their contributions to the albums separately. Each had their own idea of a direction with Jones being most interested in large production numbers as he was used to on Broadway. Peter Tork bought out his contract in 1969 and the three remaining members went out as a trio, making a number of TV appearances.

In March of 1970, Michael Nesmith left the group and Dolenz and Jones went on to continue to record under the Monkees name as a duo. When their contracts ran out in 1971, they even lost the use of the Monkees name.

Jones went on as a solo artist and, for a time, in a group with Dolenz and Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. He also continued acting, doing guest stints on a number of shows. There were also various reunions of the group that were notorious for the in-fighting between the members, capped by their successful 2011 tour that was cut short at the end.

He is survived by his third wife, Jessica Pacheco and four daughters from his two earlier marriages.

Michael Jackson & Queen Fall to Adele on Britain's All-Time Biggest Seller List...Dark Side of the Moon is Next

Who would believe the age of the recorded album is dead? Nobody if you are watching the meteoric rise of Adele's album 21 on Britain's list of the all-time biggest selling albums.

The Official Chart Company, who tracks everything recorded in Britain, has announced that Adele has moved past Michael Jackson and Queen on the chart to number 8 (never fear Queen and Jackson fans, they have albums still ahead of 21).

Also note that Adele and Oasis are the only non-veteran artists (i.e. recording less than 25 years) that have made this elite group.

Next up for the amazing album is Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon which is only 96,000 in sales away.

Britain's all-time top ten (at least as of today):

  1. Greatest Hits - Queen (5,863,000)
  2. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Beatles (5,044,000)
  3. Gold: Greatest HitsABBA (4,989,000)
  4. What's the Story Morning Glory - Oasis (4,517,000)
  5. Thriller - Michael Jackson (4,248,000)
  6. Brothers in Arms - Dire Straits (4,152,000)
  7. Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd (4,114,000)
  8. 21 – Adele (4,020,000)
  9. Bad - Michael Jackson (3,959,000)
  10. Greatest Hits II - Queen (3,887,000)

Tours: Chicago & the Doobie Brothers to Spend the Summer Together

Two 70's legends who continue to make new music today, Chicago and the Doobie Brothers, will be touring together throughout most of the summer in the U.S.

The two group's have toured together in the past, all the way back to the mid-70's when Chicago was at the peak of their popularity and the Doobies were just hitting with Listen to the Music and Long Train Running.

Unlike those early shows, each band will perform individual sets, playing their biggest hits, and then both Chicago and the Doobie Brothers will join together for a grand finale encore, playing each other's songs at the end of each of these summer shows.
  • July 11 - Tucson, AZ - Anselmo Valencia Amphitheatre
  • July 13 - Lake Tahoe, CA - Harvey's Lake Tahoe
  • July 14 - Concord, CA - Sleep Train Pavilion at Concord
  • July 15 - Los Angeles, CA - Gibson Amphitheatre
  • July 17 - Denver, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre
  • July 20 - Kansas City, MO - Starlight Theatre
  • July 21 - Dallas, TX - Gexa Energy Pavilion
  • July 22 - Houston, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
  • July 24 - Atlanta, GA - Chastain Park Amphitheatre
  • July 26 - Raleigh, NC - Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek
  • July 29 - Cincinnati, OH - Riverbend Music Center
  • August 1 - Detroit, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre
  • August 2 - Pittsburgh, PA - First Niagara Pavilion
  • August 4 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Resort Spa & Casino
  • August 16 - Boston, MA - Comcast Center
  • August 18 - Wantagh, NY - Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
  • August 19 - Holmdel, NJ - P.N.C. Bank Arts Center
  • August 21 - Saratoga Springs, NY - Saratoga Performing Arts Center
  • August 23 - Virginia Beach, VA - Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
  • August 24 - Scranton, PA - Toyota Pavilion

Ron Wood Says Missing Woodstock is One Of His Biggest Regrets

Rolling Stone guitarist and Absolute Radio DJ Ronnie Wood has revealed one of the biggest regrets of his musical careers, not playing at Woodstock. He was with the Jeff Beck Group who split up just two weeks before the legendary festival took place, and they'd been scheduled to play there.

Proving his credentials as one of the best guitar players in the world, Ronnie also revealed that when he first joined The Rolling Stones he had to 'learn 140 songs in a couple of weeks' and said he knew more about the band's music than they did!

He also reminisced about the days of partying all night at a club called The Flamingo in London with 'everybody popping the pills to keep them up, you know, the black bombers and the purple hearts, and everybody was like 'Hey, big eyes.''

Gary Moore Died From Heart Attack After Consuming Five-Times Legal Limit of Alcohol

It was just over a year ago that Gary Moore passed away at the age of 58. Moore was a former guitarist for Skid Row (70's, British band) and Thin Lizzy along with having many successful solo projects.

Up until now, the cause of death was never officially announced but we now have more information. According to reports, Moore died from a heart attack after consuming massive amounts of alcohol. Known to be fond of liquor for much of his career, the amount found in his body is still staggering. He had 380 mg of alcohol per deciliter of blood which is almost five times the legal limit in Britain (80 mg). According to Britain's Telegraph, in most European countries, where the limits are lower, he would have been closer to eight-times the legal limit.

Converted to American standards, his blood alcohol level was .380% where many states have a legal limit from .05 to .08.

Earlier this month, on the anniversary of Moore's passing (February 6), a tribute was posted on his official website:
On this, the first anniversary of Gary's passing. His family would like to thank everyone for the many kind and heartfelt wishes received over the past 12 months.

It has been very comforting to know that Gary touched so many through his music and immense talent. Not a day goes by when they don't miss him and to know that he was loved by so many is a great comfort.

His family fully appreciate, that Gary was not only father, brother, son, but someone much more, to a greater number of people, around the world. And they look forward to sharing his legacy and future musical projects, with generations of people, for years to come.

They hope that Gary's fans can perhaps take a minute out of today to reflect on his music, and listen to his songs that he made for all his fans, who he loved dearly.

Todd Rundgren to Play First American Symphony Dates

Todd Rundgren will play two nights with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra on June 1 and 2 at the Colorado Performing Arts Center in Rockford, IL.

They will be his first show in the U.S. ever with a symphony orchestra, although he did do two concerts last year with the Dutch Metropole Orchestra in the Netherlands.

To get a taste of Todd + orchestra, here is an audience-shot video of his performance of Hello, It's Me from the Netherlands show:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Preview: Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music - Ray Stevens (9 CDs)

Artist: Ray Stevens
Title: The Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music
Release Date: Out Now
Label: Clyde Records
Format(s): 9-CDs

Some people think big. REALLY big. In 2009, Vince Gill put out a four-CD set of original recordings, each taking on a different genre. That set is dwarfed by the latest from Ray Stevens, a nine-CD set covering the history of comedy music.

While calling it an "encyclopedia" might make one think that it is just a compilation of older records, but Stevens made the decision to go in a different direction. He has re-recorded each of the songs, 96 in all (including a number of his own), that were "produced using the latest technology—they sound better than the originals!"

Along with the 96 comedy classics, which take up the first eight discs, there is a ninth that contains twelve new Ray Stevens songs and a full color book with " interesting trivia and vital information about the songs, writers, producers, and artists who made this Golden Era of Recorded Comedy Music part of our great American experience."

Interestingly, Stevens has taken this the full distance to fulfill the name of encyclopedia, presenting the songs in alphabetical, rather than chronological order.

Here is Stevens talking about the new set:

Track List:

Disc 1
  • Abba Dabba Honeymoon
  • Ahab The Arab
  • Alley Oop
  • All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth
  • Along Came Jones
  • A Boy Named Sue
  • The Ballad Of The Blue Cyclone Part 1
  • The Ballad Of The Blue Cyclone Part 2
  • The Bricklayer’s Song
  • Bridget The Midget (The Queen Of The Blues)
  • Chantilly Lace In
  • Charlie Brown
Disc 2
  • Chug A Lug
  • Cigareets And Whuskey And Wild Wild Women
  • Cocktails For Two
  • Convoy
  • Dang Me
  • Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour (On The Bedpost Overnight)
  • The Dooright Family
  • The Downtown Poker Club
  • Drop Kick Me Jesus
  • Dry Bones
  • Freddie Feelgood
  • Get A Job
Disc 3
  • Gitarzan
  • I’m Kissin’ You Goodbye (Get Your Tongue Outta My Mouth)
  • Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
  • Harry The Hairy Ape
  • Haunted House
  • The Haircut Song
  • Henry The Eighth
  • Hello Muddah Hello Fadduh
  • Huggin' And Chaulkin'
  • How Much Is That Hound Dog (Doggie) In The Winder (Window)
  • If 10% Is Good Enough For Jesus
  • I’m My Own Grandpa
Disc 4
  • In The Mood
  • I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
  • I Still Write Your Name In The Snow
  • Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
  • It’s Me Again Margaret
  • I Wanna Talk About Me
  • I Went To Your Wedding
  • Jeremiah Peabody’s Poly-Unsaturated, Quick Dissolving, Fast Acting, Pleasant Tasting, Green And Purple Pills
  • Kansas City Star
  • The King Is Gone And So Are You
  • King Tut
  • Little Brown Jug
Disc 5
  • Little Egypt
  • Love Potion #9
  • Mairzy Doats
  • Makin’ The Best Of A Bad Situation
  • Maybellene
  • May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose
  • Mississippi Squirrel Revival
  • Monster Mash
  • Moonlight Special
  • Mother-In-Law
  • Mr. Custer
  • My Old Flame
Disc 6
  • No Help Wanted
  • Ode to The Little Brown Shack Out Back
  • Open The Door Richard
  • Osama Yo Mama
  • The Pirate Song
  • Poison Ivy
  • The Preacher And The Bear
  • The Purple People Eater
  • Rub It In
  • Running Bear
  • Santa Claus Is Watching You
  • Searchin’
Disc 7
  • Short People
  • Shriner’s Convention
  • Sittin’ Up With The Dead
  • Smoke Smoke Smoke That Cigarette
  • Spiders And Snakes
  • Splish Splash
  • The Streak
  • Temptation (Tim-Tay-Shun)
  • That’s What I Like About The South
  • There Is Something On Your Mind
  • The Thing
  • Three Legged Man
Disc 8
  • Three Little Fishes
  • They’re Coming To Take Me Away Ha Ha
  • The Too Fat Polka
  • Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport
  • Too Old To Cut The Mustard
  • Transfusion
  • Western Movies
  • White Lightin’
  • William Tell Overture
  • The Witch Doctor
  • Would Jesus Wear A Rolex
  • Yakety-Yak (Don’t Talk Back)
Disk 9 (Bonus Disc)
  • The Camping Trip
  • Com To The U.S.A.
  • Cooter Brown
  • The Cure
  • Furthermore
  • Happy Hour
  • The Higher Education Of Old Blue
  • Hugo The Human Cannonball
  • Hurricane
  • Obama Budget Plan
  • The Skies Just Ain’t Friendly Anymore
  • Sucking Sound

Toto Jumps on the Digital Royalty Lawsuit Bandwagon

Toto is the latest artist to take on their current or former record company, in this case Sony, by disputing the amount they are being paid in royalties for digital product.

As with Kenny Rogers, Peter Frampton and a number of others, the group wants digital downloads of their music to be paid as licenses versus a simple sale as with records and CDs. The precedent was set last year when Eminem won a lawsuit that established that downloads were a license and not a sale for ownership. The difference in royalties can be significant, in some cases 50% instead of 12%.

Toto's suit seeks $605,000 plus interest and legal fees along with a full accounting of their sales.

Toto's hits include Africa (1983/#1 Pop/#3 Adult Contemporary), Rosanna (1982/#2 Pop/#17 Adult Contemporary/#8 Mainstream Rock) and Hold the Line (1979/#5 Pop)

Stars to Celebrate Johnny Cash's 80th With We Walk the Line Concert

Kris Kristofferson, John Hiatt, Lucinda Williams, Kenny Chesney, Chris Cornell and many more will salute Johnny Cash on April 20 in Austin Texas with We Walk the Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash.

In the year that would mark his 80th birthday, the concert, which will take place at Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theatre, will not only pay tribute to Cash and his music, but also to his roots and his heritage. Performances will include GRAMMY-winning and GRAMMY- nominated musicians Carolina Chocolate Drops, Kenny Chesney, Chris Cornell, Ronnie Dunn, Jamey Johnson, Kris Kristofferson, Ray LaMontagne, Amy Lee and Lucinda Williams, as well as performances by Brandi Carlile, Andy Grammer, John Hiatt, Shooter Jennings and Rhett Miller with more performers to be announced shortly. Tickets go on-sale to the general public on Wednesday, February 29, 2012.

“Our family is honored to know that this amazing line-up of artists will gather together on one stage to pay tribute to the music and history of my father,” said John Carter Cash. “There is no doubt in my mind that, although he is no longer with us in body, his spirit will shine true on this night thanks to these inspired artists.”

“Having been a fan of Johnny Cash and his music for as long as I can remember I could not be more excited to produce an event that honors such a musical legend,” noted Keith Wortman. “His iconic voice, style and authenticity has inspired musicians for generations and we are proud to be able to celebrate his artistic legacy with some of today’s greatest entertainers while also benefitting such an amazing children’s cause ‘Charley’s Fund’.”

An all-star band led by GRAMMY Award-winning Don Was – which includes Buddy Miller, Kenny Aronoff, Ian McLagen, and Greg Leisz– will back these once-in-a-lifetime performances. The concert event will be produced by Keith Wortman. Was, who worked with Cash on an album for The Highwaymen, will serve as musical director. Tisha Fein and Chantel Sausedo will serve as talent producers. A percentage of the net proceeds will be donated to Charley’s Fund, to help in the fight to find a cure for the fatal children’s disease Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

We Walk The Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash will be produced and distributed in conjunction with Legacy Recordings, the division of Sony Music Entertainment that serves as the home of Johnny Cash’s music catalog. Additionally the John R. Cash Revocable Trust has endorsed this endeavor and will be involved in capturing the authenticity and essence of Johnny Cash’s legend.

Cash’s 80th Birthday celebration kicks off on February 26, 2012, the day which would have been his 80th birthday, with the ground-breaking of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home Project in Dyess, Arkansas. The house that Cash grew up in will become a permanent tribute to him and his family’s early life, as well as reflecting a historical slice of American life during the 1930s’ Great Depression. In addition, Legacy Recordings is set to celebrate this landmark year with a full slate of projects to be released throughout the next 12 months. First up is Bootleg Vol. IV: The Soul of Truth, a 2-CD, 51-track collection which comprises gospel and spiritual recordings made by Cash in the 1970s and ‘80s, to be released on April 3, 2012.

Tickets will go on-sale to the general public on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 10 a.m. CST and are available at, at Waterloo Records or charge by phone 877-4-FLYTIX.

Madonna and Joe Francis Go at It Over One Little "S"

Most people wouldn't even have noticed the difference, but Madonna's second single from her album MDNA went through a small name change before release. Originally called Girls Gone Wild, it's now Girl Gone Wild.

So, what would make such a small change so important? Well, it depends on who you talk to. Joe Francis, the infamous maker of the Girls Gone Wild series of DVDs featuring college women in rather compromising poses, says it's because he threatened to sue the singer. He claims he sent Madonna a cease and desist letter before the Super Bowl threatening to sue her if she performed the song during her half-time show.

Francis claimed victory in a press release today:
In response to the cease and desist letter issued by Girls Gone Wild attorney David Houston earlier this month, Joe Francis has scored a victory against the likes of Madonna without ever having to set foot in a courtroom. Apparently, Madonna and her record label, Interscope, have seen it Joe's way because it appears that they have agreed to change the song title and lyrics from "Girls Gone Wild" to "GIRL Gone Wild."

According to Billboard, the first track from her new album MDNA, "Give Me All Your Luvin," which she performed at the Super Bowl, plummeted 29 spots on the Hot 100 singles chart. There's been speculation of a strong push to shoot the video and release the newly titled track, "Girl Gone Wild" much earlier than expected. "Clearly her label was trying to avoid legal action surrounding the song," says Francis. "BUT, this is still infringement as far as the law is concerned and we have been in touch with Madonna's representatives in an effort to resolve this issue."
If you listen to the Madonna side of the story, the change has nothing to do with Francis. Her manager, Guy Oseary, has stated that the singer made the change in the title to match up with the way she sings the lyrics in the song. He also told TMZ that Madonna had never heard of Francis nor received any cease-and-desist letter and questioned why a number of other artists have been able to use the Girls Gone Wild title without repercussions.

Louisiana Red Passes Away at 79

Louisiana Red, who recorded over fifty albums over his fifty year career and played with John Lee Hooker, Albert King, Eric Burdon and Roosevelt Sykes, passed away on Saturday at a hospital in his adopted country of Germany at the age of 79. He had recently slipped into a coma due to a thyroid imbalance.

Born Iverson Minter on March 23rd 1932 he lost his mother to pneumonia shortly after his birth and his father was lynched by Klansmen when he was only 5.

He recorded for Chess in 1949 and was then drafted into the army.

After his session in the military he played with John Lee Hooker for two years in Detroit and was then signed to Checker, billed as Tommy Tucker.

His first album, Lowdown Back Porch Blues, was recorded in New York and released in 1963 along with its follow up Seventh Son the same year.

He was busy recording and touring throughout the '60's and '70's recording for Chess, Checker, Atlas, Glover, Roulette, L&R and Tomato and won a WC Handy award in 1983 as Best Traditional Blues Male Artist

His most recent records on Ruf were well received and his last Memphis Mojo saw him touring all over Europe and the UK from his base in Hanover, Germany where he had lived since 1981.

His close friend Michael Messer (Michael Messer Music) said "I am very sorry to be bringer of such sad news that my dear friend, Louisiana Red, died this morning. He had a stroke on Monday and had been in a coma ever since"

The following was posted on his official site:
RIP Iverson Minter AKA Louisiana Red
March 23rd, 1932 to February 25, 2012.

It is with a heavy heart that we report the passing of one of the greatest and most beloved traditional blues artists. Louisiana Red died on February 25th in a hospital in Germany. He was 79. Louisiana Red was a powerful downhome blues artist who could channel his teachers (among them Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Robert Nighthawk, Lightnin' Hopkins and John Lee Hooker) into his own heartfelt musical conversation, delivered with such moving passion and honesty that it would leave his audiences indelibly touched. He was fine singer with a distinctive voice, and an amazing guitarist who could play all of the traditional blues styles and excelled as one of the world's greatest slide guitarists. He could create moods and textures, both musically and spiritually, and had the ability of falling so deep into his own songs that he would go to tears, making his audience cry with him. That was the gift of this great artist.

It is sad to say goodbye to the loving persona of this great bluesman who's music warmed our hearts. Louisiana Red's vulnerability became his strength and he filled his heart with an unstoppable passion for music and acceptance. His legacy is great and his friendships are many. He can now rest in peace after a lifetime of giving us everything he had through his amazing blues. God bless you Red.

Bob Corritore

Monday, February 27, 2012

Interview: Gary Numan

Becky Talbot from recently had the chance to talk with Gary Numan.

Gary Numan hardly needs an introduction as the pioneer and godfather of electronica. Creative and experimental, Numan is and was the epitome of cool. Foo Fighters and Nine Inch Nails, to name but a few, have hailed Gary as one of their overriding influences.

In this very candid backstage interview, Gary talks about his life both inside and outside the music industry. Gary Numan discusses life on tour and missing his family but also how the music industry has treated him - he is not stuck in the 80’s, so why are we? He also reflects on winning his recent Legend Award at the Artrocker’s and how he still loves being in the business after all this time.

In the middle of recording his new album Splinter, Gary will be on the Machine Music tour starting in May going all the way through to June. If you’re an avid fan or film maker, you can get involved in the up- coming tour. Fans are being encouraged to make visuals that will be projected during a selection of tracks.

The full interview is below.

Foreigner's Mick Jones Has Heart Surgery

Mick Jones, founder and guitarist for Foreigner, undergone what has been called "urgent" heart surgery.

The New York Post reports that the operation, which was done on Thursday, was performed at Mount Sinai Heart Institute in Miami Beach and was made urgent by the fact that Jones had needed the surgery for some time. While there have been no comments on what made the condition urgent, it is known that the guitarist has had to sit out a few recent Foreigner shows due to a "mystery illness."

Jones was in intensive care for a bit of time after the operation but was moved to a regular room by Thursday night. He has been seen up and around since then and is said to be recovering well.

Listen: Girl Gone Wild, the New Single From Madonna

The second single from Madonna's upcoming album MDNA will be available starting tomorrow. We'll be watching to see if it does better than the first single, Give Me All Your Luvin', which made the top ten for a week on the strength of her Super Bowl performance.

Set List: Clapton, Vaughan, Costello, Richards & More Salute Hubert Sumlin at the Apollo

On Friday night, an incredible group of musicians and artists came together to salute the late Hubert Sumlin at Harlem's Apollo Theater. The night was filled with performances by such luminaries as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Vaughan, Elvis Costello, Keith Richards, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Warren Haynes, Buddy Guy, Billy Gibbons, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi and Robert Randolph, but it also included a truly amazing house band for the night with Billy Flynn, Eddie Taylor Jr. and Danny Kortchmer on guitar, Willie Weeks and Larry "the Mole" Taylor on bass, Barrelhouse Chuck Goering and Ivan Neville on keyboards, Kim Wilson on harp and Jimmy Lee Keltner and Steve Jordan on drums.

The evening helped raise funds for the Jazz Foundation of America.

Set 1
  • Key to the Highway - Eric Clapton, James Cotton
  • Roll Where You Want - Big Head Todd
  • Six Strings Down - Jimmy Vaughan
  • Lucky Lou - Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jody Williams
  • Evil - Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jody Williams, Jimmy Vivino, David Johanson
  • Born in Chicago/Sweet Home Chicago - Ronnie Baker Brooks, Lonnie Brooks
  • Sittin' on Top of the World - Eddy Shaw, Henry Gray
  • Hidden Charms - Elvis Costello
  • You'll Be Mine - Warren Haynes
  • I Asked for Water - Warren Haynes, Billy Gibbons
  • Mister Highway Man - Warren Haynes, Billy Gibbons
Set 2
  • Who's Been Talking - Kim Wilson
  • Howlin' For My Baby - 'Keb 'Mo
  • Commit a Crime - Doyle Bramhill
  • Meet Me at the Bottom - Derek Trucks, Jimmy Vaughan
  • How Many More Years - Susan Tedeschi
  • Three Hundred Pounds of Joy - Susan Tedeschi
  • Who Do You Love - Robert Randolph
  • Goin' Down Slow - Buddy Guy
  • Hoochie Koochie Man - Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph
  • Beggin' You Please - Shemekia Copeland, Buddy Guy
  • Catfish Blues - Guy Clark, Jr.
  • Shake For Me - Eric Clapton
  • Little Baby - Eric Clapton
  • 44 Blues - Eric Clapton
  • Goin' Down Slow - Eric Clapton, Keith Richards
  • Little Red Rooster - Keith Richards, James Cotton
  • Spoonful - Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, James Cotton
  • Wang Dang Doodle - Everybody
  • Smokestack Lighting - Everybody

Cherie Currie and Lita Ford Reunite...Can a Runaways Reunion Be Coming?

Bad blood may finally be behind former Runaways members Cherie Currie and Lita Ford, at least according to a post made last week by Currie on her official Facebook page.

Former bandmate, Joan Jett, did the matchmaking, leading to the meeting between guitarist Ford and singer Currie that apparently went extremely well, so well that there was talk of "doing together again what we had done so well as kids."

Here's the full text of her post:
"Dreams do come true."

I've had this reoccurring dream. It started about 25 years ago and in this dream I was sitting with a woman I had spent my teenaged years with, been through a lot with. We would talk, just 'be' and the dreams were so full of happiness, anticipation and this need to tell her what she meant to me.., how proud I was of her and what we had done together. That I loved her.

I had that very dream again three weeks ago only to awaken to the realization that again, it was only a dream.

Three days ago I spoke to someone that knew this woman as I did back then and who had recently spent time with her after so many years.. I told this mutual friend how I wished I could have that opportunity and how much it would mean to me. She offered to reach out on my behalf and pass along what I had waited so long to say.

The following day what felt like a miracle happened. I received an amazing email from this long lost friend I have dreamed of all these years and she was as happy to hear that I wanted to see her as I was that she would want to see me.

Tonight, that dream came true. It was joyful, sometimes tearful, yet so exhilarating and full of love. Just the two of us, feeling like teenagers again but with the maturity that 30+ years can bring, what life, being mothers will bring.

We talked about our kids, our lives and our dream of doing together again what we had done so well as kids.

She is everything and more than I could have imagined and I get to see her (my friend) again tomorrow night, introduce her to my son, Jake and cheer her on.

I no longer have to dream. I am now living that dream.

I want to thank the mutual friend that brought us together, Joan Jett.

And the long lost sister I have waited 30+ years for? Lita Ford.

Yeah.. dreams DO come true.

(Don't let anyone tell you it can't happen.)

The fourth of the original members, drummer Sandy West, died from lung cancer in 2006. A total of five different bassists played with the group in its four years of existence.

Robin Gibb Back in Hospital For Further Treatment

Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees has once again checked into a hospital for further treatment of liver and colon problems which have been reported to be cancer.

The 62-year old star had only announced earlier this month that he was having “a spectacular recovery’ from the disease.

Just two weeks ago he joined The Soldiers on stage in London to perform his Bee Gees hits I’ve Got To Get A Message To You and How Deep Is Your Love. It was his first public appearance since the cancer was diagnosed.

Gibb has also been in the studio with his son RJ and recorded his first classic record The Titanic Requiem to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The album will be released next month. Robin is due to perform the piece with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London in April.

While some are characterizing this as a setback, his agent said in a statement that "Robin is at the London Clinic as part of his treatment and rehabilitation."

The Sex Pistols Sign With Universal U.K. for a Deluxe Never Mind the Bollocks

The seminal punk rock band the Sex Pistols have inked a deal with Universal U.K. for the release of an expanded edition of their album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols.

Bollocks, released in 1977, was the only studio album released by the group, going on to be considered one of the most influential in rock history. It immediately met with controversy over the use of the word bollocks in the title, even seeing a record store manager in the U.K. prosecuted under the Indecent Displays Control Act for putting the album in the front window. Additional and even stronger reaction occurred over the lyrics to the songs God Save the Queen and Anarchy in the U.K. which were considered assaults on the monarchy and Britain in general.

The expanded version of the album, which will be out later this year, in celebration the albums 35th anniversary. Karen Simmonds of Universal said "To be given the opportunity to re-evaluate the Sex Pistols catalogue is every music lover's dream. We're looking forward to working with the band and celebrating their impact on worldwide culture."

Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band, Paul Williams Added to SXSW Schedule

SXSW in Austin, TX (March 13-18) is a constantly changing festival of hundreds of artists at dozens of venues from the very newest to some great veterans.

Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band are the newest additions to the show schedule, playing just a week before their world tour begins.

Bruce had already been announced as the keynote speaker for the SXSW Music Conference this year.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform “a special show in an intimate venue” for SXSW attendees on March 15.

In an unusual move for SXSW ticket holders, tickets will be available by ballot for attendees and can only be applied for at the connection centres at the Austin Convention Center from March 12 to 15.

Successful applicants will be notified at 10 AM on March 15 via email.

Bruce Springsteen will release his 17th studio album, Wrecking Ball, through Sony Music on March 6, 2012.

Another last minute addition is songwriter Paul Williams as a speaker.

Williams’ songs include We’ve Only Just Begun and Rainy Days and Mondays for The Carpenters, Evergreen for Barbara Streisand and Rainbow Connection for The Muppets.

Now 71-years old, Williams has written song for music’s greatest hits. His other songs include Just An Old Fashioned Love Song for Three Dog Night and You And Me Against The World for Helen Reddy.

He is also the current President of ASCAP.

Williams will sit down with filmmaker Stephen Kessler for a conversation at the Austin Convention Center on March 14.

Buffalo Springfield Reunion Tour Appears to Be Off

With the participants, it was probably too much to expect a Buffalo Springfield tour to come off without a hitch. Even though Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay claimed to be having a great time at the few shows they did play, it seems that there is nothing planned for anytime in the future.

Furay recently talked with WBAI-FM's (New York) morning show and the conversation turned to the reunion. When asked about 2012 dates, he said:
Your guess is as good as mine. I doubt in 2012 that there will be, but I’m never gonna say never. Listen, the reunion that we did last year…came out of nowhere, it was nowhere on my radar …when I got the call from Neil I was really surprised. Then when we got together and we did the Bridge School Concert…it was so much fun, that we decided “let’s go on, let’s do a few more shows.”

I think everybody had it planned in their mind, ‘cause I was actually told…”We’re doing this 30 day tour.”, and you know, Neil is just fickle, and even though it boils down to all three of us making a decision…without the three of us, really there can’t be anything that would even resemble a Buffalo Springfield…I gotta say that we probably lost a little bit of our momentum; that isn’t to say it couldn’t be picked up again, but I certainly don’t see anything happening this year.

British DJ John Peel's Record Collection to Go Online

British DJ John Peel of the BBC was one of the most influential radio hosts in that country's history, breaking many different bands during his long tenure.

NME reports that Arts Council England and the BBC will add his tens of thousands of LPs, singles and CDs to a new digital service called The Space.

Frank Prendergast of production company Eye Film And Television said, “The idea is to digitally recreate John’s home studio and record collection, which users will be able to interact with and contribute to, while viewing Peel’s personal notes, archive performances and new filmed interviews with musicians.”

Peel’s wife Sheila Ravenscroft, said: “We’re very happy that we’ve finally found a way to make John’s amazing collection available to his fans, as he would have wanted. This project is only the beginning of something very exciting.”

The Space will run from May to October this year. For more information, click here.

Sergio Mendes and Siedah Garrett Are Beaten By the Muppets

In a category that only had two nominations, Sergio Mendes and Siedah Garret went down in defeat to Man or Muppet from the movie The Muppets. It was also the first time in many years that the Academy did not allow at least part of the nominated songs to be performed.

Mendes and Garret were nominated for the song Real In Rio from the movie Rio.

The only other music category for Original Score was won by Ludovic Bource for The Artist.

Also nominated were John Williams for both The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse, Howard Shore for Hugo and Alberto Iglesias for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Black Sabbath to Add Single U.S. Date

What sounded like a one-off reunion of the original (or mostly original) Black Sabbath at this year's Download Festival has expanded, to one additional show.

Sharon Osbourne told the VH1 Radio Network that there will also be one appearance in the U.S. "They’re gonna be doing one show in America this summer but I can’t say yet (where and when it is) because we can’t announce it, the promoters have to. But they are doing one show in August."

As far as whether drummer Bill Ward will be included, she said "We don’t know yet, we really don’t know. It’s up to Bill. The door is open for him to join us, so it’s up to him."

She also went on to say that they already have around fifteen songs ready to record for an album.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Celebrating the 80th Birthday of Johnny Cash

The great Johnny Cash would have been 80 today.

Cash was born in Kingsland, Arkansas on this day in 1932, the fourth of seven children to Ray Cash and Carrie Rivers.

At age 18, Johnny joined the US Air Force. A year later, he met Vivian Liberto at a skating rink and married her in 1954. They had four daughters including first born Rosanne who herself became a huge Country star.

Vivian filed for divorced in 1966. In 1968, Johnny proposed to June Carter, who he had been friends with since 1968. They married on March 1, 1968 and had one child together, John Carter Cash, born in 1970.

Johnny started his recording career at Sun Studios in Memphis in 1955. His first recording was Hey Porter and Cry, Cry Cry. In 1956, unknown Elvis Presley dropped by the studio while Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis were recording. Elvis jammed on a session with them. Years later it was released as the Million Dollar Quartet.

Decades later, Cash would be part of another million dollar quartet with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings. Together they were known as The Highwaymen.

Cash’s first major hit was I Walk The Line. It was a number one hit on the country chart in 1956 and Top 20 nationally.

Cash’s last recordings were produced by Rick Rubin for Rubin’s American Recordings label.

June Carter Cash died on May 15, 2003 at the age of 73. Johnny died less than four months after his wife on September 12, 2003.

The movie Walk The Line, starring Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash was released in 2005. In 2006, Rosanne Cash told Noise11’s Tim Cashmere at SXSW that the movie was inaccurate and nothing more than Hollywood’s fictitious depiction of her father.

Springsteen Plays Surprise Set For Former Trainer

Bruce Springsteen surprised a crowd at a small New Jersey club on Saturday night when he played a short set. The night was dedicated to Bruce's former trainer, Tony Strollo.

Strollo ran his own personal training business, Profession Fitness. Springsteen listed him as ‘trainer’ is his 2008 tour program.

Strollo was 40-years old and left behind a wife and two daughters.

The fundraiser for the family was headlined by Boccigalupe and the Bad Boys, a group Springsteen often joined on stage.

Springsteen performed six songs with the band, Soul Man, 867 5309, Detroit Medley, Hold On I’m Coming, 10th Avenue Freezeout and Rosalita.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will start their world tour on March 18 in Atlanta. Bruce is also scheduled as keynote speaker for the SXSW music conference in Austin, Texas on March 15.

Movement Started to Get Weird Al Yankovic For Next Year's Super Bowl Half Time Show

It all started on the day before the Super Bowl when New York Daily News columnist Julian Garcia said "I'd like to see a true American icon invited to take part in the most iconic of American events: Weird Al Yankovic."

What may or may not have been a serious comment has spawned numerous on-line petitions to make Al next year's half-time performer. One of the big ones over at has already gathered 17,671 signatures and a group on Facebook, Weird Al for Superbowl Half Time Show!, has almost 6,000 members.

Even Time has joined in on the chorus of supporters, posting their five reasons why Al should perform next year.

But what is Al's reaction to all of the interest? At first, he took it as a joke, tweeting "But...Sunday's my laundry day!" but, by this past week, he has come out and said he would be honored to do the show. He told TMZ, "I'd be surprised if that's being seriously considered by the NFL, but prove me wrong!"

Cher Getting Ready For New Tour

Remember Cher's Farewell Tour that lasted for about five years? Well, she's not done saying "farewell" quite yet as she gets ready to go on the road starting in September.

The singer has been discussing the possibility of a tour with her Twitter followers for over six months but it appears to be a reality. She tweated on Thursday night

No s--t im shaking ! The whole set/Look chamges 4 every song! I mean COMPLETING CHANGES! Tour starts in sept.! First dates Kansas
According to Billboard, she is looking at a show that will, naturally, include the hits but will also have music from Burlesque and an upcoming album which is expected to include the song The Greatest Thing with Lady Gaga.

Roy Estrada of the Mothers of Invention and Little Feat Sentenced to 25 Years

Roy Estrada has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for child molestation. He was an original member of both Little Feat and Frank Zappa’s Mothers Of Invention.

Estrada pleaded guilty for molesting a child under 14 for an extended period of time.

The court heard how Estrada abused a female family member after he had been released from prison on another child molestation charge.

Estrada will serve the 25 year sentence and will not be eligible for parole.

He formed the Mothers of Invention with Frank Zappa but left in 1969 to form Little Feat with Lowell George. He played on the first two Little Feat albums.

After Little Feat he joined Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band and then return to Zappa in 1976 for the Zoot Allures album.

In December 1994 Estrada was sentenced to six years for lewd acts with a child. The 68-year bass player will be 93 when he is released from prison this time.

Chart Watch America: Chart of March 3, 2012

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current American music charts. Chart highlights:
  • Whitney Houston dominates on both the Albums and Singles Charts in the wake of her passing. Her The Greatest Hits jumps 6 to 2, being held from the top of the Album chart only by a phenomenal sales week for Adele's 21. She also at 37 (Whitney Houston), 38 (The Bodyguard), 65 (I Look to You), 87 (Whitney), 90 (The Preacher's Wife) and 193 (My Love is Your Love). 
  • On the Singles chart, I Will Always Love You goes 7 to 3 while I Wanna Dance With Somebody is at 25, Greatest Love of All at 36 and How Will I Know at 49. I Will Also Love You also moves 3 to 2 on the Digital Downloads.
  • The Van Halen vs. Paul McCartney contest was won by Van Halen, but only by the slimmest of margins. Both sold in the area of 38,000 but Van Halen's drop from week one was much bigger than McCartney's.
  • There are no new albums by veteran artists debuting on any of our covered charts this 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.


Top 200 Albums
TW LW Title Artist
1 1 21 Adele
2 6 Whitney: The Greatest Hits Whitney Houston
3 3 Now 41 Various Artists
4 9 19 Adele
5 8 2012 Grammy Nominees Various Artists
6 2 A Different Kind of Truth Van Halen
7 5 Kisses on the Bottom Paul McCartney
27 37 Duets II Tony Bennett
37 72 Whitney Houston Whitney Houston
38 80 The Bodyguard Whitney Houston
44 33 Old Ideas Leonard Cohen
53 73 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Etta James
60 36 Sinatra: Best of the Best Frank Sinatra
65 118 I Look to You Whitney Houston
79 76 Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
87 122 Whitney Whitney Houston
90 183 The Preacher's Wife Whitney Houston
91 97 1 Beatles
96 87 The Very Best of Neil Diamond
97 105 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Temptations
99 77 Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Various Artists
103 116 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Lionel Richie
105 66 Beyond Magnetic (EP) Metallica
108 107 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Barry White
112 67 Rocket Man: Number Ones Elton John
115 117 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Lynyrd Skynyrd
119 108 Icon George Strait
122 164 Duets: An American Classic Tony Bennett
138 142 Greatest Hits Journey
139 96 Joyful Noise Soundtrack (Dolly Parton, Queen Latifah)
141 146 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Eric Clapton
142 166 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Jackson 5
143 158 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Three Dog Night
144 132 Number Ones Michael Jackson
149 137 Greatest Hits Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
150 155 Chronicle: 20 Greatest Hits Creedence Clearwater Revival
152 178 Super Hits Willie Nelson
154 182 I'm With You Red Hot Chili Peppers
155 147 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Aerosmith
157 52 Celebration Madonna
158 153 Legend: The Best of Bob Marley & the Wailers Bob Marley & the Wailers
162 191 Elvis: Best of Love Elvis Presley
166 R Here For a Good Time George Strait
175 167 Greatest Hits Guns N' Roses
176 R Immortal Michael Jackson
179 R Super Hits Janis Joplin
180 R Super Hits Johnny Cash
183 195 An Afternoon in the Garden Elvis Presley
184 R VH1 Storytellers Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson
186 R At Last! Etta James
187 R Essential Michael Jackson
188 R Very Best of Beach Boys
193 R My Love is Your Love Whitney Houston
198 R 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of George Strait
199 R 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Chuck Berry
200 R Icon Etta James

The balance of the American charts are after the cut.