Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dick Taylor of the Rolling Stones & the Pretty Things Talks Stones Origins

Dick Taylor was one of the founding member of the Rolling Stones and later put together another classic British band, The Pretty Things.

Dick will soon be heading to Australia with The Pretty Things for the very first time. In a pre-tour interview he told about the origins of The Stones and The Pretty Things.

Dick counts the beginning of The Stones from April, 1962 but says he and Mick Jagger go back way before that.

“It just seems surreal that it was 50 years ago. In some ways it does seem like it’s in the dim distant past but in other ways a lot of my memories are quite fresh still,” he recounts to

“I was in the very first band that Mick Jagger was ever in,” he says. “Even through we never played any gigs we rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed around my house mostly. I was involved with him and we were bringing records into school and a group of our friends would be playing the latest Chuck Berry record, or whatever. I was involved with Mick from a very early age. Then when I went to Art School I met Keith Richards. There I was at art school at the age of 16 and still rehearsing with Mick . Keith was playing guitar. He was fascinated by Scotty Moore. He was too shy to suggest he come around to rehearse with us until one day he and Mick caught up with each other. They had known each other when they were really young. At that point we decided to get him round. Then we had Mick, myself and Keith playing together for quite a while. Then we met Brian Jones and the Rolling Stones came together”.

However, Dick can’t remember who named the band. “I am really not sure,” he says. “I know we were in the Bricklayers Arms, a pub we used to rehearse in in Soho. We stood around trying to think of a name. We had been playing Rollin' Stone Blues by Muddy Waters prior to discussing the name. Then it came up. I am really not sure which of us actually suggested it. I’d love to say it was me but I really can’t remember”.

Dick also confirmed that the original name of the band was The Rollin’ Stones (without the g). “Yeah because Rollin' Stone Blues was how it was spelt on the Muddy Waters record,” he said. “I noticed in the very first gig we ever did it was billed as ‘Mick Jagger and the Rollin' Stones. I am quite sure Brian would have been miffed about that”.

Dick Taylor only had a short stint with the Stones. By December 1962 he left and was replaced by Bill Wyman. “I was playing bass and also trying to get into the Royal College of Art. In the end I went to the Central School of Art. I wanted to play guitar rather than bass. At the art school I was at was Phil May. We actually hired the Rollin Stones for an art school dance. We had to pay them 25 quid. We thought we could be making that kind of money if we started another band”.

Dolly Parton Pulls Out of Nashville Water Park Project

In January, Dolly Parton and Gaylord Entertainment, owner of Nashville's Opryland Resort and Convention Center, announced that they were partnering to build a 114-acre theme park in Music City which would start with a combination water/snow park. The groundbreaking was expected to be made in late-2012 or early-2013.

Evidently things did not go well between the two parties as Dolly Parton has pulled out of the project as of last Friday. While there is no official word on why she took the action, it came three days after Gaylord announced that they would reorganize the company as real estate investment trust with their entertainment properties going to Marriot International.

Statements were made by both parties on Friday. Parton said "Gaylord makes decisions that they feel are good for their company and their stockholders and I have to make decisions based on what is best for me and the Dollywood Company. Governor Haslam, Mayor Dean, and all the folks in government have been great to work with. I really appreciate their support through this process."

Colin Reed, Chairman and CEO of Gaylord, said "We are deeply disappointed in today’s news that Dollywood will no longer partner with us to build a family attraction. We have enormous admiration for Dolly Parton and her company, and respect their decision … We will endeavor to find another quality partner so that this important tourism project can become a reality."

Parton's Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN is considered one of the great success stories of the theme park business.

Renaissance Postpones U.S. Tour Dates Due to Annie Haslam's Back Injury

Renaissance has been forced to postpone the first nine dates of their U.S. tour after doctors advised Annie Haslam not to tour.

Haslam has been diagnosed with a serious vertebral compression fracture and is required to wear a Jewett Back Brace for two to three months. Doctors have ordered her to take two to three weeks off from any travel while the injury heals.

Annie does have the OK to begin traveling and performing again, starting with the group's October 19 show at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, CT.

"I am very upset about having to postpone these shows," commented Ms. Haslam. "We've all been so excited about bringing our classics to the fans as well as previewing material from the new studio album Grandine il Vento."

The dates that will need to be rescheduled:
  • 10/03 - Washington, DC - Howard Theatre
  • 10/04 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
  • 10/05 - Orlando, FL - The Plaza Live
  • 10/06 - Clearwater, FL - Capitol Theater
  • 10/07 - Fort Lauderdale, FL - Amaturo Theater, Broward Center for Performing Arts
  • 10/11 - Montreal, QB - Le Gesu Centre
  • 10/12 - Londonderry, NH - Tupelo Music Hall
  • 10/13 - Foxborough, MA - Showcase Live
  • 10/14 - Albany, NY - Center For The Performing Arts - The Egg

Hardcore Band D.O.A. to Take 4 to 8 Years Off

Joe Keithley, founding member of Canadian hardcore band D.O.A., is going to run for office, seeking the New Democratic Party (NDP) nomination in the British Columbia riding of Coquitlam, Burke Mountain. The band, which he has been with for 35 years, will be taking a bit of time off while Joe seeks his political fortune.

Keithley said "I've been working on trying to change Canada and this world into a better place from outside the system for the last 35 years. Now I will do my utmost to effect that change from inside the system. That's why I am running for the only progressive party, the NDP."

While the band hasn't said how long they will be gone, a press release says on an upcoming tour "these will likely be the last dates for four to eight years and who knows, maybe forever."

The band has just released their 14th studio album, We Come in Peace, which includes guest appearances by Hugh Dillon (Headstones), Jello Biafra and Ben Kowalewicz (Billy Talent).

The tour dates:
  • 10/10 - Peterborough, ON - Red Dog
  • 10/11 – Hamilton, ON - The Casbah
  • 10/12 – Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace
  • 10/13 – Ottawa, ON - Zaphod Beeblebrox
  • 10/14 – Quebec City, QC - Le Scanner
  • 10/15 – Montreal, QC - Foufounes
  • 10/16 – Kingston, ON - The Mansion
  • 10/17 – Halifax, NS - Michael's, Halifax Pop Explosion Festival
  • 10/18 – Moncton, NB - Manhattan Club
  • 10/19 – Fredericton, NB - Nicky Zee's
  • 10/20 - Sydney, NS - Elk's Lodge
Western Canadian dates will be announced shortly.

Review: A Hot Night With the Blues Broads

You don't get much more authentic than this. Four veteran blues, R&B and gospel artists getting up on stage and doing what they do best, singing like every note is the very essence of life.

The Blues Broads are four great ladies of roots music that blend together like they have been performing as a group their whole careers. Tracy Nelson has been performing since the 60's, starting out in folk-blues, forming the classic band Mother Earth and now recording across a variety of genres. Dorothy Morrison has been singing gospel and R&B since the age of 13 and is best known as the lead vocalist for the Edwin Hawkins Singers on the classic Oh Happy Day. Annie Sampson was a member of the 70's California rock band Stoneground and has worked with such artists as Taj Mahal, Elvin Bishop and Eddie Money. Angela Strehli is a veteran of the Texas blues and rock scene and is not only a great singer but also an expert on the history of the blues. Finally, honorary member Deanna Bogart plays with the band and joins the group for two songs.

The amazing thing about the quartet is that, while each have different backgrounds both geographically and in genre, they come together and blend like a well oiled machine and there is no sense of ego on the stage as each is given their chance out front with the balance of the group taking over the backup work.

Picking out highlights from the set is next to impossible. Morrison knocks it out of the park on probably the three best known songs, Ike & Tina's River Deep, Mountain High, the Spinner's Mighty Love and her own Oh Happy Day. Nelson shows off her powerful blues voice on Walk Away while Annie Sampson throws it down on Bring Me Your Love and Dylan's It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (the only song to appear only on the DVD). Angela Strehli blasts probably my favorite on the release, her own Two Bit Texas Town, about learning the blues from the late night radio.

The CD and DVD contain the same songs, save for the previously mentioned DVD only track, but in a slightly altered running order. Video quality is good on what appears to be a two or possibly three camera shoot.

For those who love roots music in the form of the blues, R&B and gospel, these four ladies are the real thing and this album is not to be missed.

Art Garfunkel is a No Show at Swedish Concerts

Art Garfunkel left a lot of fans disappointed in Gothenborg, Sweden on Friday and Malmo on Saturday when he failed to show up for scheduled concerts.
The singer has reportedly been seen back in the U.S. although there was no word to anyone, including promoters, as to why he left the country without telling them.

Promoter Julius Malmström told the publication Sydsvenskan that they lost track of him in Gothenborg and that he had returned to the U.S. with his staff. Malmström also said that Garfunkel had some concerns over his voice. "He seemed fit but not completely happy with his voice. It is possible that he was off colour, but if you are sick then you need to go to the doctor and get a certificate for your employer.

"This is bad form. Not least for himself. He is an icon in the business and it is regrettable if his career will end like this."

Garfunkel was touring the country in Night of the Proms with Anastacia, Måns Zelmerlöf and John Miles.

Motown Writer and Producer Frank Wilson Dies at 71

One of Motown's bright lights behind the scenes in the 1960's, writer and producer Frank Wilson, passed away on Thursday from prostate cancer. He was 71.

As a writer and producer, Wilson worked with most of the Motown elite before branching off to other labels during the 70's. His writing credits include You Made Me So Very Happy (Brenda Holloway and Blood Sweat and Tears), Love Child, Up the Ladder to the Roof, Keep On Truckin', Still Water (Love) and Boogie Down.

When Motown expanded to Los Angeles in 1965, Wilson became one of the first people to come on board. The west coast's first single, Stevie by Patrice Holloway, was a Wilson composition and he went on to work on Stevie Wonder's Castles in the Sand and the Ikettes I'm So Thankful.

Wilson also tried his hand as a singer, releasing one single on the Soul label of his song Do I Love You (Indeed I Do). It didn't go on to become a hit but made a lasting impression in the U.K. where it has become a classic of Northern Soul. At this point, only two copies are known to still exist.

Over the next ten years, Wilson wrote and/or produced music for Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, the Supremes, the Four Tops, the Temptations, the Isley Brothers and many others.

Wilson left Motown in 1976 and worked with the likes of Freda Payne, Lenny Williams and Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. before becoming a born again Christian and entering the ministry. He also became an author including the books The Master Degree-Majoring in Your Marriage and Unmasking the Lone Ranger. In 2006, he returned to producing, working with John Legend on Each Day Gets Better.

Up Next For Tony Bennett...An Album of Jazz With Lady Gaga

Last year, Tony Bennett recorded the song The Lady is a Tramp with Lady Gaga for his album Duets II. The two hit if off famously both musically and personally and that friendship is about to spawn a brand new project.

Bennett told Rolling Stone that he and Lady Gaga would be recording a full album of jazz music and it was all Gaga's idea:
Of all things, she called me from New Zealand and said, 'I want to do a jazz album with you and I said, 'You got it!' So that's one of the things we're gonna do.

We're gonna do a jazz album with Marion Evans, a big swing band, and I'm looking forward to it because a lot of people don't know it, but she's a phenomenal jazz singer. I can't mention the composer because I don't want anybody to do it before we do it, but there's a great composer that's very underrated, very famous, but not as famous as Gershwin or Porter. But he did as many hit songs as anybody, and so we're gonna do a big swinging album.
He went on to say that he would like to record as soon as possible but that might not happen for a bit as Bennett is about to release his album Viva Duets and Gaga is still out on her Born This Way tour.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

George Michael Cancels Australian Tour Citing Mental Recovery From Illness

The forthcoming Australian tour for George Michael has been cancelled.

In a statement today George announced:
I have today announced the cancellation of the shows in Australia which breaks my heart. By way of explanation all I can say at this time is that since last year’s illness I have tried in vain to work my way through the trauma that the doctors who saved my life warned me I would experience. They recommended complete rest and the type of post traumatic counselling which is available in cases like mine but I’m afraid I believed (wrongly) that making music and getting out there to perform for the audiences that bring me such joy would be therapy enough in itself. Unfortunately I seriously underestimated how difficult this year would be and although I was right to believe that the shows would bring me great happiness and that my voice would recover completely (I truly think that some of my recent performances have been my best ever) I was wrong to think I could work my way through the major anxiety that has plagued me since I left Austria last December.

All that’s left for me to do is apologize to my wonderful Australian fan base and to promise faithfully that as soon as I complete these shows here in the UK I will receive the treatment which is so long overdue.
Michael almost died late last year when he contracted a severe case of pneumonia that cause some of his organs to start failing. Doctors in Vienna were able to bring him back but George has had a long road back to the stage.

Lil Wayne Beats Elvis Presley on Hot 100.....In His Dreams

by Paul Cashmere

Hype is a wonderful thing. "Lil Wayne Smashes Elvis Presley’s Record for Most Billboard Hot 100 Hits", the Republic Records press release headline reads. What a load of crap.

Lil Wayne’s label is claiming that the rapper has now beaten the King by 109 to 108 singles on the Billboard chart but really the statement is as silly as it sounds.

For starters, Wayne’s 109 titles include songs by other artists that he just featured on. The one that puts him to the top is Celebration, a single by The Game featuring Lil Wayne. Elvis didn’t phone in vocals to other acts like Wayne does.

You also have to consider the different eras. Lil Wayne releases in the digital era so technically every song is a single. Elvis Presley released in the physical era so his singles were only the ones physically manufactured, shipped and then sold in stores.

Also consider the ease of delivery to the consumer for Elvis vs Lil Wayne fans. Elvis fans had to actually go to a store and buy the record after it was decided what would be released and then shipped. Lil Wayne fans can access any song, anywhere, anytime digitally.

Had Elvis or The Beatles or The Rolling Stones (and pretty much any act before iTunes came along) had access to the same technology back in the day do you really think Lil Wayne would be the most successful singles act of all-time? No-way. Lets get real here; the Lil Wayne comparisons should only be made with acts from his same era.

Congrats to Republic Records. You have officially delivered to dumbest press release of the year.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Winners at the 23rd International Bluegrass Music Awards

The 23rd annual International Bluegrass Music Awards were held on Thursday night at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville with the Gibson Brothers taking home the big prize of Entertainer of the Year.

Veteran singer Russell Moore received the Male Vocalist of the Year while Dale Ann Bradley was Female Vocalist. Blue Highway earned Vocal Group and the Boxcars were Instrumental Group.

Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice were double winners for both Song of the Year (A Far Cry From Lester & Earl) and Album of the Year (Heart of a Song).

Del McCoury and Laurie Lewis hosted the evening and opened with J.D. Crowe, Bobby Hicks, Jerry McCoury and Bobby Osbourne backing them as the Masters of Bluegrass. Other performers on the night included Daily and Vincent (When the Roll is Called Up Yonder), Frank Solivan and the Dirty Kitchen (The Letter) and Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver (Dixie Home).

A tribute the Earl Scruggs, as led by last year's Entertainer of the Year Steve Martin, closed the night. Performing were Tom Adams, Eddie Adcock, Jessie Baker, Terry Baucom, Sam Bush, Kristin Scott Benson, Alison Brown, Jason Burleson, Greg Cahill, Jason Carter, J.D.Crowe, Jason Davis, Joe Dean, Steve Dilling, Glenn Gibson, Eric Gibson, Mark Johnson, Doyle Lawson, Laurie Lewis, Del McCoury, Rob McCoury, Lynn Morris, Joe Mullins, Mike Munford, Chris Pandolfi, Graham Sharp, Sammy Shelor, Sleepy Man Banjo Boys (Jonny, Robbie & Tommy Mizzone), Ron Stewart, Mike Sumner, Tony Trischka, Scott Vestal, Pete Wernick, and Roland White.

The winners (veteran artists in bold):
  • Entertainer of the Year - Gibson Brothers
  • Vocal Group of the Year - Blue Highway
  • Instrumental Group of the Year - Boxcars
  • Emerging Artists of the Year - Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers
  • Male Vocalist of the Year - Russell Moore
  • Female Vocalist of the Year - Dale Ann Bradley
  • Song of the Year - A Far Cry From Lester & Earl - Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice
  • Album of the Year - Heart Of A Song - Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice
  • Gospel Recorded Event of the Year - Singing As We Rise by the Gibson Brothers w/Ricky Skaggs
  • Instrumental Performance of the Year - Angeline The Baker - Lonesome River Band
  • Recorded Event of the Year - Life Goes On: Musicians Against Childhood Cancer - Carl Jackson, Ronnie Bowman, Larry Cordle, Jerry Salley, Rickey Wasson, Randy Kohrs, D.A. Adkins, Garnet Bowman, Lynn Butler, Ashley Kohrs, Gary Payne, Dale Pyatt, Clay Hess, Alan Bibey, Jay Weaver, Ron Stewart & Jim VanCleve
  • Banjo Player of the Year - Sammy Shelor
  • Bass Player of the Year - Marshall Wilborn
  • Fiddle Player of the Year - Stuart Duncan
  • Dobro Player of the Year - Rob Ickes
  • Guitar Player of the Year - Doc Watson
  • Mandolinist of the Year - Adam Steffey
  • Broadcaster of the Year - Kyle Cantrell
  • Bluegrass Event of the Year - ROMP, produced by the International Bluegrass Music Museum; Owensboro, KY
  • Print Media Person of the Year - Marty Godbey, author of Crowe on the Banjo: The Music Life of J.D. Crowe (Univ. of Illinois Press)
  • Best Graphic Design - Bedrock Manufacturing (designer) for Nobody Knows You - Steep Canyon Rangers (Rounder Records)
  • Best Liner Notes - Marian Leighton Levy (liner notes), for Tony Rice: The Bill Monroe Collection - Tony Rice (Rounder Records)
  • Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year - Jon Weisberger
  • Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductees - Doyle Lawson, Ralph Rinzler
  • Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients - Byron Berline, Joe & Lil Cornett, Orin Friesen, Pee Wee Lambert, Kitsy Kuykendall
Also given this week for the first time were the IBMA's Momentum Awards, saluting up-and-coming talent:
  • Band of the Year - Monroeville
  • Vocalist of the Year - Emily Bankester (performs with The Bankesters)
  • Instrumentalists of the Year
    • Bassist Samson Grisman (son of legendary mandolinist David “Dawg” Grisman, performs with The Deadly Gentlemen)
    • Fiddler Alex Hargreaves (performs with Sarah Jarosz)
    • Fiddler Christian Ward (performs with Sierra Hull)
  • Event/Venue of the Year - Appalachian Uprising, produced by Steve Cielic (new festival in Scottown, Ohio)
  • Industry Achievement - Crash Avenue publicist Emilee Warner
  • Mentor of the Year - Five-time IBMA Bass Player of the Year and producer Mike Bub

Preview: Weapon of Choice - Cult

Artist: Cult
Title: Weapon of Choice
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Label: Essential Music
Format(s): iTunes Download Only

In an ingenious move often reserved for film, The Cult have announced they will be releasing a 'prequel' to accompany their latest critically acclaimed album, Choice of Weapon.

The digital-only release Weapon of Choice reveals the songs at a stage of development that will be of interest to The Cult's fans and followers. Weapon of Choice is a document of a work in progress and offers a unique opportunity to hear The Cult's process.

The material has not been previously released, and will be available exclusively on iTunes for two months only beginning October 16, 2012.

"These songs were turned over and over, forged in long rehearsals and writing sessions, and emanated from challenges both personal and professional," said lead vocalist Ian Astbury.

The dynamic ten tracks that comprise Weapon of Choice were recorded when The Cult returned to the studio in 2011 with producer Chris Goss. The songs were conceived in New York, Los Angeles, the California desert and the band's Witch Mountain studio.

"We put our guts into this; Goss was able to create an environment where the songs were born through playing and turning over lyrics, through hard work and intense sessions," continues Astbury.

"These songs have an integrity and rawness of their own. In many ways it's a different album to the one we released and reveals the foundations of Choice of Weapon. We were able to close the doors and begin to explore spaces we had not been in for a while."

Now The Cult has revisited the Chris Goss material to unveil the creative process and foundation behind Choice of Weapon. Followers of The Cult can keep up with interactive countdowns leading up to the release and take down of Weapon of Choice on the band's website and social media properties.

Track List:
  • Aurora
  • Blackie
  • The Bones
  • Decado
  • Elemental
  • Gibraltar
  • Twisted and Bleeding
  • Militant
  • Supreme
  • Lucifer

Former Tower of Power Guitarist Bruce Conte Battling Leukemia

Bruce Conte, the guitarist for Tower of Power during their biggest years from 1972 to 1979, has recently found out that he has leukemia.  Conte has had various health issues over the years, including diabetes, and is now in a fight for his life without the aid of medical insurance.

Conte wrote the following for the Tower of Power website:
Dear Friends,
Around the beginning of July I took some routine blood tests to check my diabetes and doctors discovered that I had abnormal white blood cell counts. I was hospitalized for 3 days in LA and had to undergo 2 bone marrow biopsies, an ultrasound of my liver and spleen and lots of blood tests. It was determined that I had leukemia. They put me on a medicine called Imatinib 400mg. I have been on it for about 6 weeks and can tolerate the side effects. It has sent my blood levels back to normal for the this period of time. The meds are very expensive but the good news is that I can stay alive as long as I continue taking them. I don't have health insurance because of being diabetic. I am starting to get some help from some of my friends to get me through these hard times. I appreciate any help given.

Thanks so much,

Bruce Conte
Bruce could use any help that is available. If you are interested in giving him a hand, please go to the Friends of Bruce Conte Paypal site.

Whitney Houston to Be Honored on TV Special We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute

We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute to Whitney Houston has been scheduled for November 16 at 10 PM on CBS. The hour special will be taken from a show that will be taping on October 11 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live which will include performances by Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Usher and more artists to be announced.

The program will also have never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews, along with artists sharing their memories of Houston and highlights of Houston's career, including great Grammy and other iconic performances.

We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute To Whitney Houston is produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures, LLC. Ken Ehrlich is the executive producer. Louis J. Horvitz is director.

Chart Watch America: Bob Dylan Holds Top Selling Album by a Veteran Artists; Dwight Yoakam Scores Career Best

Bob Dylan has the biggest selling album by a veteran artist for the second week with Tempest. It moves from 3 to 8.

A total of seven albums by veteran artists debut this week led by Dwight Yoakam's 3 Pears at number 18. That is the highest he has ever been on the Albums chart, bettering 1993's This Time which peaked at 25.

Aimee Mann just misses scoring a career best as Charmer debuts at 33. Her 2002 album @#%&*! Smilers started at 32.

At 46 is the multi-disc version of Bad: 25th Anniversary Edition by Michael Jackson. The single disc version did better, coming in at 23, but it considered a reentry.

Paul Simon premiers at 95 with Live in New York.  It's his third charting solo live album after 1974's Live Rhymin', which peaked at 33, and 1991's Concert in Central Park which went to 74.

In the lower part of the chart are the debuts of Spring 1990: So Glad You Made It by the Grateful Dead (#157), Aftermath of the Lowdown by Richie Sambora (#182) and The Devil You Know by Rickie Lee Jones (#190).

Veteran Artist Index for
October 6, 2012:
+474 (+22.7%)
High: 3863
(w/o 6/30/12)
Low: 2092
(w/o 9/29/12)

The Veteran Artist Index tracks the impact of albums by veteran artists on the Billboard Top 200. Any album that is by or, in the case of soundtracks and various artists albums, has a majority of track by artists who have been recording for 25 years or more is included in the index. Points are awarded on a reverse basis with a number 1 album receiving 200 points and a number 200 album receiving 1 point.

Chart Date October 6, 2012


Top 200 Albums
TW LW Title Artist
1 N The Truth About Love P!nk
2 N Kanye West Presents GOOD Music: Cruel Summer Various Artists
3 N Battle Born Killers
4 1 Away From the World Dave Matthews Band
5 2 Tornado Little Big Town
8 3 Tempest Bob Dylan
18 N 3 Pears Dwight Yoakam
23 R Bad: 25th Anniversary Edition Michael Jackson
33 N Charmer Aimee Mann
37 6 La Futura ZZ Top
46 N Bad: 25th Anniversary Edition Michael Jackson
48 151 The Legend of Johnny Cash
65 23 Love This Giant David Byrne & St. Vincent
71 138 Greatest Hits Journey
94 140 MDNA Madonna
95 N Live in New York City Paul Simon
100 74 Legend: The Best of Bob Marley & the Wailers Bob Marley & the Wailers
116 81 Last of a Dyin' Breed Lynyrd Skynyrd
117 99 Clockwork Angels Rush
126 146 Licensed to Ill Beastie Boys
127 102 Chronicle: 20 Greatest Hits Creedence Clearwater Revival Featuring John Fogerty
129 R Rumours Fleetwood Mac
132 105 Kisses on the Bottom Paul McCartney
143 120 Wrecking Ball Bruce Springsteen
148 115 Tuskegee Lionel Richie
152 R Greatest Hits Simon & Garfunkel
155 128 Exiliados es la Bahia: Lo Mejor de Mana Manà
157 N Spring 1990: So Glad You Made It Grateful Dead
173 158 Slipstream Bonnie Raitt
182 N Aftermath of the Lowdown Richie Sambora
187 R Americana Neil Young & Crazy Horse
190 N The Devil You Know Rickie Lee Jones
194 200 Mothership Led Zeppelin
197 44 Elysium Pet Shop Boys
Dropped Out:
X 114 Life and Favor John P. Kee and New Life
X 123 Silver Age Bob Mould
X 137 Sparkle Soundtrack
X 179 Ultimate Hits: Rock & Roll Never Forgets Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
X 183 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Lynyrd Skynyrd
X 187 Whitney: The Greatest Hits Whitney Houston
X 190 Greatest Hits Guns N' Roses
X 192 Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd
X 197 Screaming For Vengeance Judas Priest

The balance of the American charts are after the cut.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Reba McEntire Ends Run of 13 Straight Years as Host of ACM Awards

Reba McEntire is stepping away as the host of the annual Academy of Country Music Awards, a position she has held every year since 1999.

Overall, McEntire has hosted 14 times including once in 1986. The past two years she has co-hosted with Blake Shelton who will continue in the position for the 2013 awards.

Bob Romeo, CEO of the Academy, said "Reba has hosted the ACM Awards a record 14 times since 1986, and we fully understand and support her decision to focus her energies on her new television project. We've known about this for a while and have something very special planned with Blake returning -- he's got something big up his sleeve -- that we'll be announcing soon."

Reba herself told Country Weekly "[I've] passed the torch to Blake. I'm a huge Blake Shelton fan."

McEntire's new comedy, Malibu Country, debuts on November 2 at 8:30 PM on ABC.

Pop Music Hall of Fame Being Established in Small Pennsylvania Town

Cleveland has the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. St. Louis is building the Blues Hall of Fame. Nashville is the home to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Now another town is taking on an another faction of music and that place is little Canonsburg, PA.

The suburb of Pittsburgh is working on establishing America's Pop Music Hall of Fame in response to the lack of places of honor for artists such as their town's favorite son, the late singer Perry Como. They initially thought about putting up a museum in his honor but people questioned whether he was worthy, pointing out that he wasn't inducted into any music hall. The problem was, there is no place for artists like Como, Dean Martin, the Carpenters, Nat King Cole or even Frank Sinatra.

A group of local music lovers started a committee and plans for a Pop Music Hall of Fame started to move forward. That group put together the following mission:
To develop and grow a National Museum to be named America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame in Canonsburg that will house a historical area to showcase the roots of the local artists, a permanent artist exhibit, a theater, office space, and rotating section of newly inducted artists.
The group then brought in a group of industry experts to choose 25 nominees for the first class and a list of songs to be named "Iconic Pop Songs." That list of nominees grew to the point where 40 have been named with ten eventually being inducted. Those nominees have now been put to a public vote at the group's website (see the list below).

The real question is, what is Pop music and how do you limit the list of artists that fall into the category. The list of Iconic Pop Songs include such rock classics as Born to Be Wild by Steppenwolf and House of the Rising Son by the Animals. Are these really pop music? The list of artists nominated include the Beatles, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and the Beach Boys, all fine artists but also already honored at the Rock Hall.

Problem number two is that they are letting the public make the decisions. Unfortunately, the general public as a very shallow and sometimes short memory. As of September 24, the artists that would be inducted if the voting ended would be Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Johnny Cash, the Bee Gees, Roy Orbison, Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond and Elton John. Eight of those ten are already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and they are blocking out both of Canonsburg's home town heroes, Perry Como and Bobby Vinton, along with a number of others who are much more deserving of the title "pop" such as Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, the Carpenters, Andy Williams and Connie Francis.

The concept of a Hall of Fame for the overlooked (and very popular) icons of pop music is a superb idea but the execution leaves quite a bit to be desired. Let's hope that they can bring this ship back upright and put together a worthy shrine to the great adult contemporary artists of the last 60 years.

The nominees for the Pop Music Hall of Fame:
  • Paul Anka
  • Beach Boys
  • Beatles
  • Bee Gees
  • Tony Bennett
  • Chuck Berry
  • Pat Boone
  • Carpenters
  • Johnny Cash
  • Ray Charles
  • Chubby Checker
  • Dave Clark Five
  • Nat King Cole
  • Perry Como
  • Bobby Darin
  • Neil Diamond
  • Bob Dylan
  • Everly Brothers
  • Four Seasons
  • Connie Francis
  • Elton John
  • Dean Martin
  • Johnny Mathis
  • Monkees
  • Ricky Nelson
  • Roy Orbison
  • Patti Page
  • Les Paul & Mary Ford
  • Platters
  • Elvis Presley
  • Simon & Garfunkel
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Smokey & the Miracles
  • Supremes
  • Three Dog Night
  • Bobby Vinton
  • Dionne Warwick
  • Andy Williams
  • Hank Williams
  • Stevie Wonder

Steven Van Zandt to Receive the Big Man of the Year Award From Little Kids Rock

Steven Van Zandt has been selected to receive the Big Man of the Year award from the Little Kid's Rock organization. The award is named after the late Clarence Clemons of the E-Street Band and is presented by the non-profit organization that transform's children's lives by restoring and revitalizing music education in public schools.

The award will be given at the 10th Anniversary Right to Rock Celebration sponsored by the House of Marley and 1Love on October 18 at the Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom in New York. Van Zandt's wife Maureen and E-Street Band drummer Max Weinberg are co-chairs of the event.

The show will include Van Zandt performing with such musical luminaries as Elvis Costello, Dion DiMucci, Tom Morello, Darlene Love, Southside Johnny, Kris Allen, Rubén Blades, Gary U.S. Bonds, Michael Des Barres, Michael Johns, Jesse Malin, Jake Clemons, NYC Hit Squad and more surprise guests expected to attend.

"Putting instruments in [children's] hands is empowering," Van Zandt said after personally delivering guitars to Little Kids Rock students in the Bronx last year. "We're the only country in the world that thinks that art is a luxury. It's not a luxury; it's a necessity of life."

"It is a privilege to honor Steven Van Zandt," said David Wish, Little Kids Rock's Founder and Executive Director. "To do so with the company of the E Street Band friends and family is just thrilling." Wish added, "Steven Van Zandt is a great artist, philanthropist and humanitarian who has provided tremendous support for Little Kids Rock students and for many people around the world. No wonder so many other artists are coming out and paying tribute to him."

A key part of the evening will be the live and silent auctions (opening online in the weeks leading up to the event and concluding live at the October 16th event) featuring hard-to-find treasures like a keyboard signed by Lady Gaga, a guitar signed by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (with Jake Clemons making the piece a "first of a kind"), a tour of NFL Films and the set of Inside the NFL with Phil Simms, a custom guitar featuring Bob Marley hand painted by famed tattoo artist Mister Cartoon, an exclusive dinner with Maureen and Steven Van Zandt, a 5-night stay at one of the Hard Rock All-Inclusive Collection Resorts and much more. The funds raised by this once-in-a-lifetime musical extravaganza and unique auction will help Little Kids Rock bring the gift of music education to disadvantaged youth across the United States. The funds from this event and auction will enable Little Kids Rock to bring free lessons and instruments to over 100,000 disadvantaged public school students in 12 states.

Previous honorees are Lady Gaga and Clarence Clemons.

The Beatles Are Returning to Vinyl in Massive Box Set

The Beatles are returning to their original form as their 14 studio albums will be collected into a new vinyl box set, due November 13 (November 12 in Europe) from Apple. The individual albums will also be available for purchase.

The remastered recordings which were released on CD in 2009 and digitally 2010 are being used and pressed in 180-gram, audiophile quality vinyl. The individual albums faithfully recreate the original artwork and even come with the same extras as the original albums such as the poster in the White Album and the cutouts in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Those buying the full box set will also receive a 252-page hardbound book (limited to 50,000 copies) authored by award-winning radio producer Kevin Howlett and features a dedicated chapter for each of the albums, as well as insight into the creation of the remasters and how the vinyl albums were prepared. The 12"x12" book showcases a wealth of photographs spanning The Beatles' recording career, including many images which were not included in the 2009 CD booklets.

The titles include The Beatles' 12 original UK albums, first released between 1963 and 1970, the US-originated Magical Mystery Tour, now part of the group's core catalogue, and Past Masters, Volumes One & Two, featuring non-album A-sides and B-sides, EP tracks and rarities. With this release, The Beatles' first four albums make their North American stereo vinyl debuts. In 2013, the remastered albums will make their mono vinyl debuts.

For producer Rick Rubin, surveying The Beatles' recorded achievements is akin to witnessing a miracle. "If we look at it by today's standards, whoever the most popular bands in the world are, they will typically put out an album every four years," Rubin said in a 2009 radio series interview. "So, let's say two albums as an eight year cycle. And think of the growth or change between those two albums. The idea that The Beatles made thirteen albums in seven years and went through that arc of change... it can't be done. Truthfully, I think of it as proof of God, because it's beyond man's ability."

The titles in The Stereo Albums:

  • Please Please Me (Love Me Do and P.S. I Love You are presented in mono. North American LP debut in stereo)
  • With The Beatles (North American LP debut in stereo)
  • A Hard Day's Night (North American LP debut in stereo)
  • Beatles For Sale (North American LP debut in stereo)
  • Help! (Features George Martin's 1986 stereo remix)
  • Rubber Soul (Features George Martin's 1986 stereo remix)
  • Revolver (Original album)
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Packaging includes replica psychedelic inner sleeve, cardboard cutout sheet and additional insert)
  • Magical Mystery Tour (Packaging includes 24-page colour book)
  • The Beatles (2 LPs) (Packaging includes double-sided photo montage/lyric sheet and 4 solo colour photos)
  • Yellow Submarine (Only A Northern Song is presented in mono. Additional insert includes original American liner notes)
  • Abbey Road (Original album)
  • Let It Be (Original album)
  • Past Masters (2 LPs) (Love Me Do (original single version), She Loves You, I'll Get You and You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) are presented in mono. Packaging, notes and photographic content is based on the 2009 CD release)

Blondie Show to Be Streamed on YouTube

Blondie will be performing on YouTube Presents live on October 10th at 4pm EST in New York City. Blondie is also giving fans the chance to be a part of the live studio audience on their Facebook page ( The show will include a set of their hits along with a Q&A with the audience.

Blondie and Devo are wrapping up their Whip It To Shreds tour, a U.S. co-headlining run of dates that kicked off September 7th and hitting 13 select cities before wrapping September 26th.

Blondie's 9th studio album Panic of Girls was released in 2011 on the band's own imprint exclusively via Amazon and was celebrated by the likes of New York Times, Spin, Billboard, USA Today, People, Entertainment Weekly, GQ, Marie Claire, Elle and Harper's Bazaar. Blondie received rave reviews during their sold-out North American tour and made two very special national TV performances on the TODAY Show and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to perform single "Mother, " a nod to the legendary West 14th Street night club of the same name.

Watch: Tony Bennett and Marc Anthony Perform For Once In My Life

Tony Bennett has begun his promotion of the upcoming album Viva Duets with the release of the video of For Once in My Life with Marc Anthony.

Bennett is the king of the croon, and has a lock on the superstar duets album concept. The next one is Viva Duets, featuring Latin superstars like Christina Aguilera, Gloria Estefan, Thalía, Chayanne and Vicente Fernández, and he recently released a snippet of his song with Brazilian singer Maria Gadú.

Watch the legends go head-to-head below. The sixteen-track Latin Duets will be released on October 23 through Columbia.

Preview: I Will Always Love You: The Best of Whitney Houston

Artist: Whitney Houston
Title: I Will Always Love You: The Best of Whitney Houston
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Label: RCA
Format(s): CD, DD

The career of Whitney Houston will be summarized on the new 18-track single disc album I Will Always Love You: The Best of Whitney Houston. The album hits stores on November 13 via RCA.

While the album is not complete as the 2000 double disc collection, it does include all eleven of her Hot 100 number ones and all but one of her tracks that hit the top of the R&B charts.

Included are two previously unreleased tracks, an alternate take of the title song from her last studio album, I Look to You, featuring R. Kelly, and Never Give You Up.

HSN has also announced that they will have a special primetime tribute to Houston on November 5 at 11 PM ET that will include the selling of the new album with a bonus CD containing five duets.

For the record, the album is missing the top ten hits Love Will Save the Day (1988), One Moment in Time (1988), The Star Spangled Banner (1991), Miracle (1991), Heartbreak Hotel (1999) and It's Not Right But It's OK (1999).

Track List:
  • You Give Good Love
  • Saving All My Love For You
  • How Will I Know
  • Greatest Love Of All
  • I Wanna Dance With Somebody
  • Didn't We Almost Have It All
  • So Emotional
  • Where Do Broken Hearts Go
  • I'm Your Baby Tonight
  • All The Man That I Need
  • I Will Always Love You
  • I'm Every Woman
  • I Have Nothing
  • Exhale (Shoop Shoop)
  • I Believe In You & Me
  • My Love Is Your Love
  • I Look To You (featuring R. Kelly)
  • Never Give Up
HSN Bonus Disc
  • Hold Me (with Teddy Pendergrass)
  • If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful (with Jermaine Jackson)
  • I Know Him So Well (with Cissy Houston)
  • It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be (with Aretha Franklin)
  • Count on Me (with CeCe Winans)

Documentary on the Making of Stevie Nicks' In Your Dreams to Debut October 7

In Your Dreams: Stevie Nicks, the documentary about the making of the Fleetwood Mac singer's latest solo album, will premier on October 7 as part of the 35th Annual International Hampton's Film Festival.

The film is a collaboration between Nicks and Dave Stewart, who also co-wrote most of the songs on the album and produced.

Nicks allowed cameras into her home as she holed up in a magical old mansion high atop the hills of Los Angeles with Stewart and a wild cast of characters. The vibrant documentary tracks the year (2010) which Nicks calls "the best year of my life." The result is a rare study of a fascinating artist on par with D. A. Pennebaker's classic Dylan documentary Don't Look Back or Madonna's notorious Truth or Dare.

Stewart and Nicks, co-directors of the film, also co-wrote many of the songs on In Your Dreams. The inner life of the legendary Nicks has by her design long been kept at a distance from the public. We learn in Dreams that her world features, costume parties, joyous dinner feasts, tap dancing, fantasy creations and revealing songwriting and recording sessions all of which are captured on film. Also cameos by Edgar Allan Poe, Mick Fleetwood, Reese Witherspoon, a massive white stallion in the backyard, owls and naturally a few vampires who appear in several "home movie" style music videos.

Along with tracking the Nicks/Stewart creative partnership, In Your Dreams includes plenty of other cinematic payoffs including rare never before seen personal scrapbook stills from Nicks' childhood and family life, and a wealth of candid backstage and performance shots taken over the last 35 years.

"I think you see in this film that Stevie just tells it like it is. She is who she is, and she doesn't change," commented Stewart.

Watch: The Trailer for The Rolling Stones Documentary Crossfire Hurricane

On October 18, the documentary on the career of the Rolling Stones, Crossfire Hurricane, will premier at the London Film Festival and seen around the world in cinemas. A month later, on November 15, it will premier on HBO.

The 2-1/2 hour movie was directed by Brett Morgen and includes historical footage, including much that has been previously unreleased, along with commentary from all the current members and an interview with the late-Brian Jones.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

George Strait to Retire From Touring But Keep On Recording

George Strait held his much speculated over press conference on Wednesday at the Country Music Hall of Fame and announced that his upcoming tour, which will last into 2014, will be his last.

The Cowboy Rides Away tour will begin on January 18 in Lubbock, TX with the initial dates announced through June. Like in 2011, Martina McBride will be his tourmate.

Strait told the crowd "It's been a hard decision for me to make, but as far as touring goes, I've decided I'm not going to tour anymore after the next two years.

"Don't think I'm retiring because I'm not. I'm still going to make records as long as Mike [Dungan, head of MCA Nashville} will let me. I'm going to write, and after two years, when I've quit touring, if a special event comes up that I want to do, by all means I will do it, but as far as a structured tour goes, at the last date of 2014 goes, that will be it for touring.

"I always had it in the back of my mind when I turned 60 that it might be time to start thinking about it. I also never wanted to show up for a tour when nobody came. I believe I made the right decision. Only time will tell. In 2016, I might say 'What a dummy!' If that's the case, maybe I'll reconsider, but at this particular time, I'm pretty sure I won't."

Here's video provided by The Tennessean with highlights from the press conference.

The initial dates for the tour:
  • 01/18 - Lubbock, TX - United Spirit Arena
  • 01/19 - Oklahoma City, OK - Chesapeake Energy Arena
  • 01/25 - Salt Lake City, UT - Energy Solutions Arena
  • 01/26 - Nampa, ID - Idaho Center
  • 01/31 - Sacramento, CA - Power Balance Pavilion
  • 02/01 - Fresno, CA - Save Marcht Center
  • 02/02 - Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena
  • 02/15 - St. Paul, MI - Xcel Energy Center
  • 02/16 - Grand Forks, ND - The Alerus Center
  • 02/22 - Buffalo, NY - First Niagara Center
  • 02/23 - Hartford, CT - XL Center
  • 03/01 - Knoxville, TN - Thompson-Boling Arena
  • 03/02 - Lexington, KY - Rupp Arena
  • 03/17 - Houston, TX - Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
  • 03/22 - Greenville, SC - Bi-Lo Center
  • 03/23 - Greensboro, NC - Greensboro Coliseum Complex
  • 04/05 - Albuquerque, NM - The Pit
  • 04/06 - Las Cruces, NM - Pan American Center
  • 04/12 - Little Rock, AK - Verizon Arena
  • 04/13 - New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Arena
  • 06/01 - San Antonio, TX - Alamodome

Watch: Picture Me by Susanna Hoffs

Susanna Hoffs has issued the video for her next single, Picture Me, from the great sixties-influenced album Someday.

Andy Williams (1927 - 2012)

Andy Williams, whose laid-back crooning style seemed to cut across the generation gap, passed away on Tuesday night at his home in Branson, MO from bladder cancer. He was 84.

Unlike other singers from the genre who first broke through in the early days of rock and roll, Williams was able to transcend trends and continue to have hits into the 70's. Much of his success could be attributed to his long running NBC variety show which ran from 1962 to 1971 and kept him in the public eye.

Williams first started singing professionally in 1938 when he and his three older brothers, Bob, Don and Dick, formed the Williams Brothers. The quartet performed on a variety of mid-west radio stations before moving on to recording in support of other artists (they can be heard on Bing Crosby's Swinging on a Star) and appearing in films. From 1947 to 1951, they did nightclub work with Kay Thompson with whom they also recorded (Jubilee Time, Louisiana Purchase).

Andy began a solo career in 1953 on the X label (owned by RCA) but none were hits. The next year, he became a regular on Tonight Starring Steve Allen which gave him the exposure he needed to get signed to the Cadence label.

In 1956, he nudged onto the charts with Walk Hand in Hand (#54) before scoring his first big song, a vocal version of Canadian Sunset which reached number 7. Two releases later, he had his only Billboard number 1 record with a cover of Charlie Gracie's Butterfly and went on to have a series of top ten hits throughout the rest of the 50's with I Like Your Kind of Love (1957/#8), Are You Sincere? (1958/#3), Lonely Street (1959/#5) and The Village of St. Bernadette (1959/#7).

In 1961, Williams moved to Columbia Records where he had less success with singles but would have twelve top ten albums. It was here that he would record some of his most famous tracks including his signature song, Moon River from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's. Based on airplay and people's memories, it was a huge hit, but it was never released as a single. Others that are part of the Williams canon that were not big Hot 100 hits but scored on the Adult Contemporary chart include Days of Wine and Roses (1963/#26), Charade (1964/#100), Almost There (1964/#67) and Dear Heart (1964/#24).

Williams did have two major Hot 100 hits after 1960. In 1963, his Can't Get Used to Losing You made it to number 2 while, in 1970, he got up to number 9 with (Where Do I Begin) Love Story.

The Andy Williams Show began as a CBS summer replacement series in 1959 and moved to full time status on NBC starting in 1962. It was a regular part of the schedule through 1967, being revived twice from 1969 to 1971 (NBC) and 1976 to 1977 (syndication).

The show was a mix of music and comedy (sketches, Cookie Bear) and regulars at times during the run included Ray Stevens, Jonathan Winters, Bobby Darin, Claudine Longet (Williams' first wife) and the young harmony group The Osmond Brothers.

Williams was also a business man, acquiring not only his own master tapes from Cadence but also those of artists like the Everly Brothers, Lenny Welch, the Chordettes and Johnny Tillotson. He formed Barnaby Records, releasing the Cadence material along with hits from Ray Stevens and the debut album from Jimmy Buffett.

Andy also holds the record for hosting the most Grammy Awards shows (7) and was an outspoken defender of John Lennon when the United States tried to deny his visa. He hosted the annual Andy Williams San Diego Open for the PGA from 1968 to 1988.

On May 1, 1992, Williams opened the Moon River Theater in Branson, MO which would be his performing home for the rest of his life.

Williams was married twice, to Claudine Longet and Debbie Meyer. He had three children with Longet.

Williams' Top 20 Singles:
  • Canadian Sunset (1956/#7)
  • Butterfly (1957/#1)
  • I Like Your Kind of Love (1957/#8)
  • Lips of Wine (1957/#17)
  • Are You Sincere? (1958/#3)
  • Promise Me, Love (1958/#17)
  • The Hawaiian Wedding Song (1958/#11)
  • Lonely Street (1959/#5)
  • The Village of St. Bernadette (1959/#7)
  • Can't Get Used to Losing You (1963/#2)
  • Hopeless (1963/#13)
  • A Fool Never Learns (1964/#13)
  • (Where Do I Begin) Love Story (1971/#9)
Additional Williams' Singles That Made the Adult Contemporary Top 10 
  • Stranger on the Shore (1962)
  • Days of Wine & Roses (1963)
  • On the Street Where You Live (1964)
  • Dear Heart (1964)
  • ...And Roses and Roses (1965)
  • In the Arms of Love (1966)
  • Music to Watch Girls By (1967)
  • More and More (1967)
  • Holly (1967)
  • Sweet Memories (1968)
  • Happy Heart (1969)
  • A Woman's Way (1969)
  • One Day of Your Live (1970)
  • Home Lovin' Man (1970)
  • Speak Softly Love (Love Theme From the Godfather) (1972)
Williams' Top 10 Albums
  • Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes (1962/#3)
  • Days of Wine and Roses and Other TV Requests (1963/#1)
  • The Wonderful World of Andy Williams (1964/#9)
  • The Academy-Award Winning "Call Me Irresponsible" and Other Hit Songs From the Movies (1964/#5)
  • The Great Songs From "My Fair Lady" and Other Broadway Hits (1964/#5)
  • Andy Williams' Dear Heart (1965/#4)
  • The Shadow of Your Smile (1966/#6)
  • Born Free (1967/#5)
  • Love, Andy (1967/#8)
  • Honey (1968/#9)
  • Happy Heart (1969/#9)
  • Love Story (1971/#3)

Stevie Wonder, Jon Bon Jovi and Earth Wind & Fire to Perform at Obama Fundraiser

A group of artists will come out on October 7 at Los Angeles' Nokia Theater to raise funds for the reelection of Barack Obama.

The 30 Days to Victory concert is being produced by Ken Ehrlich and will include performances by veteran acts Stevie Wonder, Jon Bon Jovi and Earth Wind & Fire along with modern artists Katy Perry and Jennifer Hudson.

Tickets for the event start at $44 and can be purchased at the Obama campaign's website. Top ticket price, which includes photo opportunities backstage, are $10,000. An after-show dinner carries a $25,000-per-person cost and will be held at Wolfgang Puck's WP24.

Steven Van Zandt Starts Kickstarter Campaign For a Rascals Reunion

Two years ago, the Rascals reunited for only the second time in forty years to play a benefit in New York as a favor to Steven and Maureen Van Zandt. Steven had been trying to get the band together for a reunion for a number of years and the night proved to be a great success.

Shortly after the show, a story was posted that the four original members would go out on tour together, but it never took place. Van Zandt is stepping in again to try and make additional shows happen with the Kickstarter campaign called The Rascals Once Upon a Dream Reunion Shows.

Van Zandt will direct the shows, set for December 13, 14 and 15 at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY, while lighting and projection master Marc Brickman will design "elements of the staging and light design never seen before."

Below is a video explaining the campaign, which includes special bonuses at different pledge levels, that includes the following from Van Zandt:
To do justice to the Rascals importance, I've written a show for them that is just as unique as they are. It’s called "Once Upon a Dream". It's a combination of a Rock Concert and a Broadway show that will include their own live performance by the original four Rascals - Felix, Eddie, Dino, Gene, and be complimented by filmed segments and news
footage and will be a show that they can take all over the country....The show will be an uplifting inspiration for you fans that have been waiting all these years, praying for a Rascals comeback, and those of you who are younger will get a real taste of the '60's you
missed the first time around. Me and Marc have invested our time, money, and blood these past few years for this idea and now we need you to bring it home. Not one dollar that is contributed will go into anyone's pocket, or be commissioned in any way, every dollar will go into the production making it as good as it can be, as great as the Rascals deserve....So that's it. The Rascals are coming back. We have been looking for other investors but nobody has any vision anymore. Frankly nobody believes in this dream except me, Marc, Peter and you. The production will be as big as you make it. On behalf of the Rascals Thank you.