Friday, November 30, 2012

Peter Frampton and Son Julian to Record Together

Peter Frampton is preparing to record with his son Julian.

In a Facebook message Peter wrote, “Julian and I are going to write and record together again. I’m really looking forward to doing this. It’s hard to find the words to describe the feeling of making music with one of my children. He’s a great writer, singer, musician and keeps me on my toes. I can’t wait. Rock & Roll!”

Julian Frampton co-wrote Road To The Sun on Peter Frampton’s 2010 album Thank You Mr. Churchill.

Peter has recently relocated to Nashville and his next step is to move his studio to Nashville as well. “At Christmas my son Julian and I are going up to my studio which is still presently in Cincinnati. I will be moving it down to Nashville when I find the right room to set up shop here”.

Frampton’s 1976 double live album Frampton Comes Alive became the biggest selling live album of all-time and was the best-selling album of 1976 in the USA, selling over 6 million copies.

Peter recently released FCA35, a 35th anniversary 2-DVD, 3-CD edition revisiting the original album in concert after 35 years. In 2011 and 2012 Peter toured the world and performed the original set list for the Frampton Comes Alive album in its entirety.

“I have tried to find the best musical performances from as many different countries and cities as possible,” says Frampton. “My MO in choosing these tracks was to make this CD as representative as possible of the entire year of shows. Maybe there’s one you were at, whether you’re from Europe or the US. I’m still going through the 116 versions of Do You Feel… as I write this! I might never want to play it again, so you better pick this CD up just in case!”

Led Zeppelin to Appear On The Late Show With David Letterman

The surviving members of Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, will make a rare joint appearance next Monday night for an interview on CBS' The Late Show With David Letterman.

While the combination of Letterman and Zeppelin may seem a bit odd, the fact is that they have all been honored at the 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington. The presentation will be shown on CBS before New Years.

Zeppelin are current in the top ten in many countries around the world with their live set Celebration Day.

Metallica Takes Ownership Of Their Masters; Starts Label

Metallica took back ownership of all of their recordings and videos from Warner Brothers on Friday, leading the way to the formation of their own label.

The rarely accomplished feat puts Metallica in control of both their legacy and all future recordings. They have started their own label, Blackened Records, which will handle all marketing and promotion duties and will enter into a deal with Rhino Entertainment, who will manufacture and distribute its releases in North America. Blackened Recordings will license their releases to the Universal Music Group internationally.

"We would like to thank everyone at the Warner Music Group for 28 years of a fantastic relationship, particularly since 1994 where we truly felt we had partners in every aspect of our business in North America," said the band's James Hetfield.

"It's always been about control for us as a band," said Metallica's Lars Ulrich. "Forming Blackened Recordings is the ultimate in independence, giving us 100% control and putting us in the driver's seat of our own creative destiny."

Look for the first release from the new label, Quebec Magnetic, on December 10.

Metallica holds the distinction of having the biggest selling album of the SoundScan era (1991 to present) with the self-titled album, also known as the Black Album.

Joe Jackson Being Treated For Stroke

Joe Jackson, the 84-year-old patriarch of the Jackson family, is being treated for a stroke at a Las Vegas hospital.  It has been reported that Joe has been grappling with health issues for some time.

"He's in 'serious' condition," a source revealed to Fox News. "Joe has been struggling with his health a lot over the past three or four months."

The severity of Joe's stroke is unknown. Since he sought care quickly, his loved ones are hoping that his prognosis for a quick recovery will be positive.

:The good thing is that he was taken immediately to the hospital as he was with a couple of people at the time," the insider said.

The Jackson family is currently embroiled in a bitter feud.  Matriarch Katherine, who is mother to Janet, Jermaine and Randy, is said to be furious with her brood as the fallout over tragic Michael's estate continues.

Her children Janet, Rebbie and Randy are apparently banned from entering her house, which is rented through the Michael Jackson estate and is also home to his three children after the siblings demanded the executors resign because they claim his 2002 will is a fake.

Annie Lennox Does Short Film For the U.K.'s Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy

Annie Lennox, Scottish singer-songwriter, political activist, philanthropist and one of the most successful female artists in UK music history with global record sales exceeding 80 million, features in a new short documentary film released today about music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins.

The 5 minute film, which gives an insight into Nordoff Robbins' specialist music therapy work, has been released to tie-in with the charity's Christmas Appeal, to help them raise enough money to fund 10,000 music therapy sessions for some of the UK's most vulnerable and isolated children and adults.

Annie Lennox, who has supported Nordoff Robbins for some time, including being honoured with a Silver Clef Award from the charity in 2011, says in the film:

"Music touches you instantly. When I'm performing, every nuance, every phrase and every word has a resonance and means something. I can feel what's going on. And that's partly what it is to be a fully rounded human being, that you have access to music.

"Everyone should have access to music therapy. Everyone should know it exists. Everyone should understand that music is good for the soul."

Talking about why she decided to support Nordoff Robbins, Annie Lennox said:

"I think Nordoff Robbins is the most amazing charity and their work makes such a huge difference. Please take two minutes of your time to look at the inspirational film and to see some of the life changing work that they do.

"Through music, Nordoff Robbins gives those it supports an opportunity to reach their full potential, to communicate with those around them and to participate in a way which may not otherwise be possible. Nordoff Robbins literally transforms lives with music.

"This Christmas, Nordoff Robbins is raising money so that it can provide more music therapy sessions for those who unlike you and I, struggle every day to make themselves heard and to communicate their hopes, feelings and fears. For most of us, Christmas is a special time, but for many of the people who Nordoff Robbins works with, Christmas is a confusing and scary time.

"Please donate as much as you possibly can to help Nordoff Robbins provide more life changing music therapy sessions for those who need it the most over this festive season."

Nordoff Robbins is a specialist music charity, dedicated to transforming the lives of vulnerable children and adults.

This Christmas the UK wide appeal also includes a Nordoff Robbins prize Giveaway where five lucky winners will be randomly selected to win a luxury radio donated by Ruark Audio and signed by celebrity supporters including Gary Barlow, Emeli Sandé, Michael Bublé, Tom Jones, and Conor Maynard. To enter participants just need to visit

The film was produced by HLA and directed by Justin Stokes. Executive Producers: James Bradley and Mike Wells. Producer: Daniel Carter.

To donate and find out more about Nordoff Robbins visit:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

San Diego Names Saturday "Peaceful Easy Feeling Day" in Honor of Jack Tempchin

San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders has announced that this Saturday, December 1, has been declared Peaceful Easy Feeling Day in the city to honor songwriter Jack Tempchin.

Tempchin's catalog of compositions includes the Eagles' Peaceful Easy Feeling and Already Gone, Glen Frey's You Belong to the City and Smuggler's Blues, Johnny Rivers' Slow Dancing (Swayin' to the Music), along with songs for George Jones, Emmylou Harris, Tom Rush, Sammy Kershaw, Tanya Tucker, Glen Campbell and Patty Loveless.

The degree from Sanders read:
WHEREAS, Jack Tempchin is a six-decade-long resident of San Diego, multi-platinum songwriter, and graduate of San Diego State University;
WHEREAS, Jack Tempchin currently resides in the San Diego County community of Encinitas; and WHEREAS, Jack Tempchin began his musical adventure by booking famous acts at SDSU's Backdoor venue; and WHEREAS, Jack Tempchin's hit songs were written in San Diego and have been recorded and performed around the world by the super-group known as the Eagles; and WHEREAS, two of Jack Tempchin's biggest hits landed on the "Best Selling Album of the 20th Century*"; and (*RIAA)

WHEREAS, Jack Tempchin's most famous song heard around the world is "Peaceful Easy Feeling" and was officially released as a single by the Eagles in 1972; and WHEREAS, Jack Tempchin has also had songs recorded and performed by many other world-famous artists; and WHEREAS, Jack Tempchin has been a quiet and positive force for the community as he plays almost every charity event presented to him, including Make-A-Wish San Diego, Feeding the Soul Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, Museum of Making Music, North County Humane Society, and many others.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, THAT I, JERRY SANDERS, the 34th Mayor of the City of San Diego, do hereby proclaim December 1, 2012, to be "Peaceful Easy Feeling Day" in recognition of its 40th Anniversary and for Jack Tempchin's major contributions to music and to the world.
Tempchin will release a new live CD, Live at Tales From the Tavern, on December 4.

Preview: From Me to You - Susanna Hoffs

Artist: Susanna Hoffs
Title: From Me to You
Release Date: December 4
Label: Baroque Folk
Format(s): DD

Susanna Hoffs follows up her brilliant album, Someday, with a new three-song digital EP highlighting some of her favorite sixties classics.

Hoffs said "It was a pure pleasure to record songs that I adore and have dreamed of singing for years. It’s exciting to be able to share some of my more obscure favorites. I think of this EP as kind of like a mix-tape that I’d give to a friend, except I decided to actually record the songs myself."

Included on the album are her interpretations on the Jaynetts' Sally Go Round the Roses, the Beatles All I've Got to Do and the Zombies This Will Be Our Year.

Hoffs has a special affection got the music of the 60's with her Someday album built around the bright sounds of the decade. She also recorded the album Under the Covers, Volume 1 with Matthew Sweet which highlighted numerous hits from the 60's.

The timing of the release is also special for Hoffs. "For me, the end of the year is a time to reflect on all the things that I am grateful for. This year, I’m especially thankful for the opportunity to make music for the pure joy of it, and to be able to connect with all the people who have given me so much support over the years. For that, I am truly grateful."

Track List:
  • Sally Go Round the Roses
  • All I've Got to Do
  • This Will Be Our Year

Chart Watch America: Zeppelin in at 9; AC/DC Scores With Four Digital Songs But Has Worst Debut in 34 Years

Rod Stewart holds strong at number 6 in his fourth week on the charts with Merry Christmas, Baby. He retakes the top selling album by a veteran artist after Soundgarden's King Animal plummets 5 to 52.


Led Zeppelin debut at 9 with their live album, Celebration Day. Of their 13 studio and live releases, 12 have now made the top ten.  The album also opens at number 3 on the Rock Albums.


AC/DC premier at 66 (17 on Rock Albums) with Live at River Plate. That is the lowest they have been with a studio or live album since 1978's If You Want Blood You've Got It which peaked at 113.


Three compilations round out the new releases by veteran artists with Playlist: The Very Best of Meat Loaf at 116, Playlist: The Very Best of Johnny Cash at 140 and Icon: Patsy Cline at 197.


The week is also notable for the 18 albums by veteran artists reentering the charts from Christmas classics to AC/DC's Back in Black at 67 on the strength of digital downloads as the AC/DC catalog first hits iTunes.


AC/DC also score big with individual tracks on the Digital Songs chart with four catalog titles making the top 50.


Finally, George Strait is back as his new single Give It All What We Got debuts at 94 on the Hot 100 and 25 on the Country Singles.


Veteran Artist Index for
December 8, 2012:
+650 (+25.8%)
High: 3863
(w/o 6/30/12)
Low: 1724
(w/o 10/20/12)

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.


The top selling album/track by a veteran artist is marked in red. New entries by veteran artists are marked with an N and shown in blue. Reentries are marked with an R and are shown in green.

Chart Date December 8, 2012


Top 200 Albums

TW LW Title Artist
1 N Unapologetic Rihanna
2 2 Red Taylor Swift
3 1 Take Me Home One Direction
4 N The World From the Side of the Moon Phil Phillips
5 N Rebel Soul Kid Rock
6 6 Merry Christmas, Baby Rod Stewart
9 N Celebration Day Led Zeppelin
32 25 Music From Another Dimension Aerosmith
52 5 King Animal Soundgarden
58 14 I Will Always Love You: The Best of Whitney Houston Whitney Houston
64 19 Grrr! Rolling Stones
66 N Live at River Plate AC/DC
67 R Back in Black AC/DC
68 179 A Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack Vince Guaraldi Trio
80 64 It's Christmas Time Elvis Presley
86 93 Christmas Symphony Mannheim Steamroller With Members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
91 R Tuskegee Lionel Richie
94 71 Viva Duets Tony Bennett
98 49 Under the Mistletoe Various Artists (Starbucks Exclusive)
101 R Icon George Strait
106 R Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
110 200 The Legend of Johnny Cash Johnny Cash
116 N Playlist: The Very Best of Meat Loaf Meat Loaf
121 R Greatest Hits: We Will Rock You Queen
131 135 Monster KISS
133 128 The Classic Christmas Album Kenny G
134 R Tough Love: The Best of the Ballads Aerosmith
138 R Icon: Lynyrd Skynyrd Lynyrd Skynyrd
140 N Playlist: The Very Best of Johnny Cash Johnny Cash
142 R Bad: 25 Michael Jackson
147 R Christmas Portrait Carpenters
156 R The Very Best of Neil Diamond Neil Diamond
158 106 One Wish: The Holiday Album Whitney Houston
159 152 The Classic Christmas Album Elvis Presley
162 R Number Ones Michael Jackson
163 R Greatest Hits Queen
176 65 Psychedelic Pill Neil Young & Crazy Horse
178 137 Once Upon a Christmas Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
179 R The Ultimate Bee Gees Bee Gees
183 R Christmas Extraordinaire Mannheim Steamroller
185 R Thriller Michael Jackson
192 R Christmas Celebration Mannheim Steamroller
194 R White Christmas Bing Crosby
197 N Icon: Patsy Cline Patsy Cline
200 R The Christmas Collection Frank Sinatra
Dropped Out:
X 81 This Christmas John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John
X 127 Holiday Collection Kenny G
X 132 Christmas Songs by Sinatra Frank Sinatra
X 154 Tempest Bob Dylan
X 157 Release Me Barbra Streisand
X 158 Personal Christmas Collection Andy Williams
X 161 The Beatles In Stereo Beatles
X 166 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Bing Crosby
X 174 Miracles: The Holiday Album Kenny G
X 183 A Christmas Album Barbra Streisand
X 186 Christmas With the Chipmunks Chipmunks
X 187 Elvis: Prince From Another Planet Elvis Presley
X 198 Greatest Hits Journey

The balance of the American charts are after the cut.

Set List: Rolling Stones, Night 2, O2, London

The Rolling Stones paced themselves a bit better on the second night of their London stay at the 02, fitting in both Lady Jane and Satisfaction along with a few other set list changes from night one.

The special guests at tonight’s show were Eric Clapton and Florence Welch. Florence was recruited for the big, bluesy female vocal in Gimme Shelter. Mary J Blige sang it at the first show on Sunday. Eric performed on the blues standard Champagne and Reefer.

Lady Jane, scratched from the setlist on Sunday was played at the second show tonight. That was the first time The Stones had played the song live since 1967.

Bill Wyman made a return appearance to perform It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll and Honky Tonk Women with his old band.

The Rolling Stones setlist from the O2 London, November 29, 2012 (New songs from first show marked with an asterisk):

Main Set
  • Get Off My Cloud (single, 1965)
  • I Wanna Be Your Man (single, 1963)
  • The Last Time (single, 1964) *
  • Paint It Black (single, 1966)
  • Gimme Shelter (with Florence Welch) (from Let It Bleed, 1969)
  • Lady Jane (from Aftermath, 1967) *
  • Champagne and Reefer (with Eric Clapton) *
  • Live With Me (from Gimme Shelter, 1969) *
  • Miss You (from Some Girls, 1978)
  • One More Shot (from GRRR, 2012)
  • Doom and Gloom (from GRRR, 2012)
  • It's Only Rock ‘n Roll (with Bill Wyman) (from It's Only Rock ‘n Roll, 1974)
  • Honky Tonk Women (with Bill Wyman) (single, 1969)
  • Band Intros
  • Before They Make You Run (Keith Richards vocals) (from Some Girls, 1978)
  • Happy (Keith Richards vocals) (from Exile On Main Street, 1972)
  • Midnight Rambler (with Mick Taylor) (from Let It Bleed, 1969)
  • Start Me Up (from Tattoo You, 1981)
  • Tumbling Dice (from Exile On Main Street, 1972)
  • Brown Sugar (from Sticky Fingers, 1971)
  • Sympathy For The Devil (from Beggars Banquet, 1968)
First Encore
  • You Can’t Always Get What You Want (from Let It Bleed, 1969)
Second Encore
  • Jumping Jack Flash (single, 1968)
  • (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (single, 1965)

Forbes Announces Highest Paid Musicians of 2012

Roger Waters
Forbes magazine has announced the 25 highest paid musicians for the year 2012 and number 1 comes as quite a surprise, not because of his musical prowess but because he got there with very little recording or touring.

Dr. Dre tops the 2012 list making $110 million during the year mainly from his dealings in the Beats By Dre headphones. Specifically, he sold his share of the company for $100 million, bringing in the rest of his money from catalog sales and his performance with Snoop Dogg at Coachella.

Last year's chart topper, U2, drop to fourth with $78 million with only a short section of their 360 Degree Tour having been in 2012. At second is Roger Waters on the strength of his The Wall tour and Elton John is third due to his touring, Las Vegas stint and the success of the movie Gnomeo and Juliet.

England's Take That is at number 5 with $69 million, $61 of which was from an eight-night stand at London's Wembley Stadium, proving just how important live dates are to musicians in this day and age.

Dropping out of the list are the Black Eyed Peas (#7), the Eagles (#8), Dave Matthews (#10), Usher (#12), Brad Paisley (#15), Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (#16), AC/DC, Tim McGraw, Muse (all tied at #18), Rascal Flatts (#23)

The list (with last year's position and veteran artists highlighted):
  • 01. (--) Dr. Dre - $110 million
  • 02. (--) Roger Waters - $88 million
  • 03. (03) Elton John - $80 million
  • 04. (01) U2 - $78 million
  • 05. (--) Take That - $69 million
  • 06. (02) Bon Jovi - $60 million
  • 07. (--) Britney Spears - $58 million
  • 08. (06) Paul McCartney - $57 million (tie)
  • 08. (13) Taylor Swift - $57 million (tie)
  • 10. (09) Justin Bieber - $55 million (tie)
  • 10. (11) Toby Keith - $55 million (tie)
  • 12. (25) Rihanna - $53 million
  • 13. (04) Lady GaGa - $52 million
  • 14. (--) Foo Fighters - $47 million
  • 15. (18) Diddy - $45 million (tie)
  • 15. (14) Katy Perry - $45 million (tie)
  • 17. (24) Kenny Chesney - $44 million
  • 18. (18) Beyoncé - $40 million
  • 19. (--) Red Hot Chili Peppers - $39 million
  • 20. (17) Jay-Z - $38 million
  • 21. (--) Coldplay - $37 million
  • 22. (--) Adele - $35 million (tie)
  • 22. (--) Kanye West - $35 million (tie)
  • 24. (05) Michael Bublé - $34 million
  • 25. (--) Sade - $33 million

Bon Jovi and Stone Roses to Headline Britain's Isle of Wight Festival

The big British music festivals are already starting to announce their lineups for 2013. Yesterday, the Isle of Wight Festival announced that the Stone Roses would be the headliners on Friday night and, today, it was announced that Sunday belonged to Bon Jovi.

Closing the Main Stage with a UK festival exclusive on Sunday, June 16, the rock superstars will top off another ultimate weekend of world-class music. Tickets for what will be an unbelievable experience go on sale on Wednesday, November 28 from

For almost three decades, Bon Jovi have earned their reputation on the road as the essential live rock band - having performing for more than 35 million fans at more than 2,700 concerts is over 50 countries. Along the way, the New Jersey-based band - lead singer Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan and drummer Tico Torres - have sold 130 million albums and have released a raft of awe-inspiring hit singles.

Now they bring their anthemic live show to the Isle of Wight Festival, so make sure you don't miss out on this unforgettable and historic performance. Now Bon Jovi join Friday's Main Stage headliners The Stone Roses, as the Isle of Wight Festival 2013 shapes up to be another astounding year.

Jon Bon Jovi, says: "The Isle of Wight Festival is legendary and we're excited to join in the long tradition of Rock 'n' Roll history. We are honoured to be the headliners on the Main Stage Sunday night. This will mark our first visit to the island and I expect it will prove to be a highlight of our tour and of 2013."

The Isle of Wight Festival takes place June 13 to 16 at Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight.

Watch: Two R.E.M. Videos Directed by Actor James Franco

James Franco has been all over the place lately. An Academy Award nomination for 127 Hours, a critically savaged stint hosting the Oscars, producing and acting in a teen soap opera (Hollywood Heights) and, now, as video director for two R.E.M. videos.

The vintage of these videos is not fully known. It's assumed he did them with the group before their breakup last year, but they could be newer. The first, Blue starring Lindsey Lohan, was released a few weeks ago. Now comes the Franco directed and starred in That Someone is You. Both are from the album Collapse Into Now.

Bryan Ferry Says the Music Business Has Gotten Very Complicated

Bryan Ferry has said that everything used to be so much more simple.

The 67-year-old singer-and-songwriter shot to fame in the 1970s with his band Roxy Music.

Bryan released his latest solo album, The Jazz Age, this week.

The rocker reflects on how his profession has transformed since his early days in the industry.  "I work harder now than I ever did," Bryan told British newspaper The Telegraph. "It used to be simple, make an album, go on tour, and I used to complain that it was monotonous. Now it's all sorts, websites, downloads, archives. It's nice to be working on stuff that fundamentally you enjoy doing."

Bryan looked to his favourite genre of music for songwriting inspiration on The Jazz Age. He is intrigued by how jazz remains relevant over a century after its inception.

"Really, it came out of the desire to make an instrumental album of my songs," he said. "I was fascinated to see how they would stand up without singing, because that almost gets too much focus. I wanted to showcase the melodies.

"It's really where I started as a music lover, and as I get older I keep getting drawn back. When I started making records, I wanted to do something of our time, modern music. But as an interpreter of other people's material, I've found that if a song is worth anything you can take it into completely different areas. A good song is very adaptable. So I suppose it was an experiment, to find out if my songs could stand that test."

Best of 2012: Q Magazine Albums, Paste Live Acts

Today's trip into the world of "Best of" lists for the year 2012 stops at Q Magazine and, once again, at Paste for their best live acts.

Q Magazine is one of those rare publications where they don't see the need to rank their choices for the top album of the year. They, rather, pick the fifty best and just throw them out there in alphabetical order. In many ways, it's a better system.

Veteran artists pulled seven of the fifty selections including what has been the three most consistent albums so far this year, Love This Giant by David Byrne and St. Vincent, Old Ideas by Leonard Cohen and Tempest by Bob Dylan.  It's the first appearance, so far this year, for Bruce Springsteen and Elton John in his fine collaboration with Pnau.

Q Magazine's Top 50 Albums of 2012 (veterans who made the cut)
  • Love This Giant - David Byrne and St. Vincent
  • Old Ideas - Leonard Cohen
  • Tempest - Bob Dylan
  • Good Morning to the Night - Elton John vs. Pnau
  • Wrecking Ball - Bruce Springsteen
  • Sonik Kicks - Paul Weller
  • The Bravest Man in the Universe - Bobby Womack
To see all fifty of Q's selections, go to their site.

Over at Paste magazine, their daily list reveal focused on the top live acts of 2012, giving their top spot to Jack White.

Paste Magazine's 25 Best Live Acts of 2012
  • 01. Jack White
  • 02. Alabama Shakes
  • 03. Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band
  • 04. Gary Clark, Jr. 
  • 05. Vintage Trouble
  • 06. Titus Andronicus
  • 07. Florence and the Machine
  • 08. The Men
  • 09. The Who
  • 10. Flaming Lips
  • 12. Jesus and Mary Chain
  • 17. Neil Young and Crazy Horse
  • 20. David Byrne and St. Vincent
  • 24. Prince
The full 25 are at Paste.

Mickey "Guitar" Baker of Mickey and Sylvia Passes Away

Mickey "Guitar" Baker, half of the duo Mickey and Sylvia and one of the greats in combining R&B and rock-and-roll, passed away on Tuesday in Toulouse, France. He was 87.

Baker led a life of crime as a teenager, spending time in reform school, and it wasn't until he was twenty that he discovered the guitar. He took to the instrument naturally and thrived at both R&B and jazz styles leading to session work at some of the major R&B labels by the time he was 24.

In 1952, Baker started releasing his own records on Savoy, none of which charted. The next year, he became part of the Atlantic Records house band backing the likes of Ruth Brown, Ray Charles and the Drifters.

Along with his session work, Baker continued trying to find solo success on Groove, Rainbow and Coral Records, as part of Alan Freed's band. That band became a major part of Freed's rock and roll shows that played major cities and led Baker to leading a number of groups for various live package shows.

In 1955, Baker was paired with singer Sylvia Robinson by Rainbow Records which released a number of singles billing the duo as Mickey and Sylvia. When Rainbow went under, they were picked up by Groove Records which released the classic Love is Strange. By early 1957, that record rocketed to the top of the R&B charts and peaked at 11 on the pop tally. They followed up with There Oughta Be a Law (1957/#8 R&B/#47 Pop).

After two hits, the duo had trouble finding additional success and they broke up in 1959. They continued to occasionally record together and even scored a final R&B hit with Baby You're So Fine (1961/#27 R&B/#52 Pop). Robinson went on to record solo as Sylvia (Pillow Talk) and later started Sugarhill Records.

A year later, Baker moved to France as part of the expatriate movement popular with jazz and blues musicians. He began to flourish in his new country, playing at various festivals and finding session work in both France and England. He never returned to the U.S. as a permanent resident.

Baker was also the author of the book Mickey Baker's Complete Course in Jazz Guitar.

A sampling of the recordings on which Baker played guitar:
  • Money Honey - Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters
  • (Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean - Ruth Brown
  • Shake, Rattle and Roll - Joe Turner
  • Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On - Big Maybelle
  • Caledonia - Louis Jordan
  • Mess Around - Ray Charles
  • It Should Have Been Me - Ray Charles
  • One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer - Amos Milburn

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Library of Congress Gifts the World With Rare Interviews From the Joe Smith Colleciton

Joe Smith has been a sportscaster, disc jockey, record promoter and president of Warner Brothers, Electra/Asylum and Capitol/EMI but his most long lasting legacy may very well be the 238 hours of audio interviews with some of music's greatest that he donated to the Library of Congress.
During the 80's, Smith recorded interviews with over 200 artists that were used as the basis of his book Off The Record: An Oral History of Popular Music. Those interviews included artists from rock (Paul McCartney, Elton John, David Bowie), jazz (Artie Shaw, Woody Herman), R&B (Ray Charles, Tina Turner, Little Richard), folk (James Taylor), country and executives (Dick Clark, Ahmet Ertegun).

A handful of those interviews are now up on the internet at the Library of Congress' Recorded Sound Reference Center. Included are such greats as Bo Diddley, Ruth Brown, Ellie Greenwich, George Harrison, Mick Jagger, B.B. King, Linda Ronstadt and many more. Here you can hear about Steven Tyler talking about his drug addictions, David Bowie discussing how Mick Jagger is a conservative, Peter Frampton acknowledging his short term popularity and Dave Brubeck remembering working in a segregated society.

The Recorded Sound Reference Center is also the home of the National Jukebox with over 10,000 vintage recordings from the first half of the 20th century.

So far, 25 of the interviews have been made available via the website. Hopefully, many more will be added in the future.

Led Zeppelin Sells Almost 100,000 Copies of Celebration Day For Top Ten Debut

Of all the artists in the last fifty years, there are very few that can almost guarantee a top ten album debut even 30-plus years after their demise.

Led Zeppelin is one of them and it looks like they will keep that record going when the new Album chart is published by Billboard this Thursday. Their new live album, Celebration Day, from the 2007 02 London reunion, sold a projected 98,000 copies last week according to industry site Hits Daily Double, good enough to bring it in at 9 or 10.

Zeppelin's first album peaked at number 10 back in 1969, with six out of their next seven albums going to number 1. Their biggest selling album, Led Zeppelin IV, peaked at number 2 while their final album, Coda, stopped at 6.

Among live albums, The Song Remains the Same went to number 2 and How the West Was Won to the top. Only BBC Sessions failed to make the top ten among all of their albums of original material, studio or live, peaking at number 12.

Overall, though, the band will not have the top selling album by a veteran artist for the week. That title will go to Rod Stewart for the fourth week in a row with Merry Christmas, Baby. That album moved about 115,000 copies, up 37% from the previous week, to put it at 5 or 6.

AC/DC's new one, Live at River Plate, only sold around 18,000 and is on the cusp of the top 50.

Preview: Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions and Demos 1971-1972 - Townes Van Zandt

Artist: Townes Van Zandt
Title: Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions and Demos 1971-1972
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Label: Omnivore
Format(s): 2-CD, DD

Omnivore Recordings will release Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions and Demos 1971-1972 by Townes Van Zandt, a 2-CD compilation, on February 5.

The recordings that comprise the set have been hidden away in the vault since their initial recording and are now presented with the cooperation of the estate. Due to acquisitions by various labels of the initial Poppy Records recordings, these session recordings have sat on the shelf with no one knowing quite where to find them until now.

Musicologist Colin Escott, who wrote the liner notes, said "The art of Townes Van Zandt reveals a little at a time. Every hearing brings forth something you can’t believe you missed all the other times, or something that rings even truer today than way back when."

Omnivore is pleased to finally be able to present, after many years in the works, a two-CD set of previously unavailable music from the Texas singer-songwriter’s classic albums High, Low & In Between and The Late Great Townes Van Zandt. One disc features outtakes and alternate takes/mixes of tracks from the sessions for those LPs; the other highlights solo demos. The set offers a window into the work that went into those two brilliant recordings, from a time when Van Zandt was at the height of his songwriting powers.

With alternate takes and mixes of songs like “To Live Is To Fly” (presented in both alternate take and demo form) and the classic "Pancho & Lefty" (a mix made alongside the known version, but without the strings and horns of the commercial version), Sunshine Boy is an essential release for all true Townes Van Zandt fans. The quiet and largely solo demo disc provides an intimate portrait of Van Zandt demo-ing songs, some of which would become his best-known compositions.

As Escott explains, “alternate versions add an entirely new dimension, like seeing someone you thought you knew so well in a new light. The new songs are simply good to have when it seemed the barrel was empty. And so here are more than two hours of Townes Van Zandt — music unheard since the engineer peeled off a little splicing tape to seal the box 40 years ago.”

Escott’s comprehensive liner notes, unseen photographs from the era and some entirely unheard songs, make this collection a must-have for fans of one of the best songwriters of his time.

Track List:

Disc One: Studio Sessions
  • T for Texas
  • Who Do you Love
  • Sunshine Boy
  • Where I Lead Me
  • Blue Ridge Mountains
  • No Deal
  • Pancho & Lefty (Alternate 1972 mix without strings and horns)
  • To Live is to Fly
  • You Are Not Needed Now
  • Don’t Take it Too Bad
  • Sad Cinderella
  • Mr. Mudd & Mr. Gold
  • White Freight Liner Blues
  • Two Hands
  • Lungs
  • Dead Flowers
Disc Two: Demos
  • Heavenly Houseboat Blues
  • Diamond Heel Blues
  • To Live is to Fly
  • Tower Song
  • You Are Not Needed Now
  • Mr. Mudd & Mr. Gold
  • Highway Kind
  • Greensboro Woman
  • When He Offers His Hand
  • Dead Flowers
  • Old Paint
  • Standin’

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Earl "Speedo" Carroll of the Cadillacs Passes Away at 75

Cadillacs (Carroll second from right)
One of doo wop's greats, Earl "Speedo" Carroll of the Cadillacs passed away on Sunday from complications of diabetes and a recent stroke. He was 75.

Carroll was one of the original members of the Carnations when they formed in 1953 along with Bobby Phillips, Lavern Drake and Gus Willingham. As the group gained popularity, they got the opportunity to record, adding James "Poppa" Clark and changing their name to the Cadillacs.  Their first record, Gloria/Wonder Why (1954), was issued by Josie Records, going on to become a doo wop classic even though it never charted nationally.

A year later, Willingham and Clark left the group and were replaced by Earl Wade and Charles Brooks. Late in 1955, they recorded what would become their biggest hit, Speedoo, which went to number 3 on the R&B and 17 on the Pop charts. The group also added tight choreography courtesy of Vaudeville stars Cholly Atkins and Honi Coles, making them stand out from the vast number of other vocal groups.

The Cadillacs split into two separate groups in 1957, one called the Four Cadillacs and the other, which included Carroll, using the original name. They scored two more R&B hits in the 50's, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1957/#11 R&B) and Peek-a-Boo (1959/#20 R&B/#28 Pop).

The split groups soon reformed but Carroll's lead singer duties had been given to others, so he left to form Speedo and the Pearls. Less than twelve months later, he rejoined the group which went on to have one final hit, What You Bet (1961/#30 R&B). Earl stayed until 1963 when he left to become a member of the Coasters.

In 1979, Carroll left the Coasters to rejoin the Cadillacs with whom he stayed for the rest of his career. The group performed mainly on the oldies circuit during the weekends as Carroll was also worked as the janitor at Public School 87 in Manhattan from 1982 to 2005. His work at the school was the subject of the children's book That's Our Custodian by Ann Morris.

Over the last decade, Carroll and the Cadillacs have appeared regularly on the PBS fundraising concerts focusing on doo wop and R&B.

Watch: Producer Eddie Kramer Talks Upcoming Hendrix Tracks

Eddie Kramer spent much of his life working with and on recordings by Jimi Hendrix, having engineered the album Electric Ladyland and working on all the recent reissues.

Here he talks about the upcoming album of new, previously unreleased material by Hendrix, People, Hell and Angels.

Best of 2012: NME Albums, Paste Tracks

Britain's NME (formerly the New Musical Express) announced their list of the 50 best albums of 2012 in their latest issue.

As with the Paste Magazine list, revealed yesterday, only a couple of albums by veteran artists made the list. For NME, the top vet LP belongs to David Byrne and St. Vincent's Love This Giant, coming in at 12. Paul Weller and Bobby Womack also made their list.

NME's Top 50 Albums of 2012
  • 01. Lonerism - Tame Impala
  • 02. Visions - Grimes
  • 03. Channel Orange - Frank Ocean
  • 04. (iii) - Crystal Castles
  • 05. An Awesome Wave - Alt-J
  • 06. Given to the Wind - The Maccabees
  • 07. Beard Wives Denim - Pond
  • 08. In the Belly of the Brazen Bull - The Cribs
  • 09. Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg
  • 10. Blunderbuss - Jack White
  • 12. Love This Giant - David Byrne and St. Vincent
  • 42. Sonik Kicks - Paul Weller
  • 46. The Bravest Man in the World - Bobby Womack
For the complete list, see the latest issue of NME.

Paste Magazine continued to unveil their many best of lists for the year with the best tracks of 2012.

Leading their list was the Japandroids' The House That Heaven Built from their number 8 album of the year, Celebration Rock. The only track by a veteran artist to make the list was Darkness by Leonard Cohen (#14). 

Paste Magazine's Top 50 Tracks of 2012
  • 01. The House That Heaven Built - Japandaroids
  • 02. When I Write My Master's Thesis - John K. Samson
  • 03. Emmylou - First Aid Kit
  • 04. Pyramids - Frank Ocean
  • 05. Still Life With Hot Deuce on Silver Platter - Titus Andronicus
  • 06. Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men
  • 07. Adorn - Miguel
  • 08. Ho Hey - Lumineers
  • 09. Hold On - Alabama Shakes
  • 10. Hollywood Forever Cemetery Songs - Father John Misty
  • 14. Darkness - Leonard Cohen
For the entire Paste list, go to their site

Stones Cut Lady Jane, Satisfaction To Make Curfew

It isn't just Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney that have to deal with London's curfews. The Rolling Stones needed to cut two songs from their first 50th anniversary show at the 02 to comply.

The group dropped both Lady Jane and Satisfaction from their London set to stay within London’s strict sound rules.

According to a set list posted on yesterday, the 60s classic Lady Jane was meant to be played after Wild Horses and before All Down The Line but was dropped at the last minute to make up time.

Fans at the show were surprised when the show ended on Jumping Jack Flash instead of The Stones signature closer (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction; however, a busker at a nearby railway station was heard playing Satisfaction after the show to the delight of the departing fans.

Paul McCartney Releasing a Special "Complete Kisses" Version of His Latest Album

Paul McCartney has a special holiday surprise for his fans, especially those that liked his latest album of standards, Kisses on the Bottom.

Complete Kisses will combine the original album with the thirteen-track Live Kisses which was recorded at Capitol Studios and included in a recent PBS special.

Also in the album are two previously unreleased tracks and two tracks that were on the Deluxe Edition:

  • The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) - Recorded at Avatar Studios, New York in September and also included on the album Holidays Rule.
  • Baby's Request - A cover of the McCartney original from the Wings album Back to the Egg
  • My One and Only Love - A 1952 song by Guy Wood and Robert Mellin which was recorded by the likes Frank Sinatra, Doris Day and John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. 
  • My Valentine - An alternate version of the first single from the album, arranged by Johnny Mandel.
The album was made available on iTunes on Monday and will be available on the U.S. site Tuesday.
Here's a short piece on the making of The Christmas Song:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx to Marry Model Courtney Bingham

Nikki Sixx, bassist for Motley Crue and leader of b has announced that he is engaged to model Courtney Bingham.

Sixx announced the engagement on Facebook, saying "When Courtney and I were in St. Barts, I popped the question and she said yes.. We would like to thank everybody who has been tweeting and posting us online congratulations. Both of us and our families are beyond happy.

The couple have been dating since 2010. Sixx previously dated Kat Von D and was married to Brandi Brandt and actress Donna D'Errico.

Sixx is 53. Bingham is 27.

Rosa Lee Watson, Widow of Doc Watson, Dies at 81

Rosa Lee Watson, the widow of the legendary Doc Watson, passed away on Thanksgiving, November 22, at the age of 81. Her passing comes just six months after the death of her husband of 66 years.

Rosa and Doc wrote Your Long Journey, a song covered by Robert Plant and Alison Kraus on the Grammy Award winning Raising Sand. She also appeared on the classic 1963 album Doc Watson and His Family.

Rosa Lee had been in a nursing home for the past 18 months after suffering a series of strokes.

Rosa Lee and Doc Watson were the founders of Merlefest, an annual music event in North Carolina.

The Watson’s had two children, daughter Nancy Ellen Watson who lives in Deep Gap, North Carolina and Eddy Merle Watson, who died in 1985 at age 36.

Best of 2012: Paste Magazine

It's that time of year again when all of the websites and publications sit down and review the music of the last twelve months to choose the best and brightest. Throughout the next month, we'll bring you highlights from each of the released lists putting a special spotlight on how veteran artists have fared.

The first to hit the streets with their list is Paste Magazine who polled 32 staff members and music writers for their opinions of the year. They chose 345 different albums of which Paste listed the top 50.

As always, Paste keeps everything in perspective, noting that the list is not definitive but a collecting of opinions. "The purpose of lists like these is simply to serve as a tool for discovery and discussion."

Veteran artists didn't show up on the list until number 26, Bob Dylan's Tempest; however, they are well represented in the bottom half of the top fifty with entries from David Byrne, Dr. John, Leonard Cohen and Bettye LaVette.

The top ten and all other choices by veteran artists.
  • 01. Channel Orange - Frank Ocean
  • 02. Fear Fun - Father John Misty
  • 03. Local Business - Titus Andronicus
  • 04. The Idler Wheel is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do - Fiona Apple
  • 05. Tramp - Sharon Van Etten
  • 06. Boys and Girls - Alabama Shakes
  • 07. Swing Lo Magellan - Dirty Projectors
  • 08. Celebration Rock - Japandroids
  • 09. Bloom - Beach House
  • 10. The Lion's Roar - First Aid Kit
  • 26. Tempest - Bob Dylan
  • 30. Love This Giant - David Byrne and St. Vincent
  • 38. Locked Down - Dr. John
  • 39. Old Ideas - Leonard Cohen 
  • 42. Thankful N' Thoughtful - Bettye LaVette

Track-by-Track Preview: People, Hell and Angels - Jimi Hendrix

Artist: Jimi Hendrix
Title: People, Hell and Angels
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Label: Legacy
Format(s): CD, DD

Sony Legacy and Experience Hendrix, Ltd. have come together to issue twelve previously unreleased songs on People, Hell and Angels. The new album will be out on March 5.

The album showcases Hendrix' experimental work outside the then current Jimi Hendrix Experience with which he was getting bored. The twelve tracks show a variety of sounds using elements such as horns, keyboards, percussion and a second guitar.

The album is co-produced by Janie Hendrix, Eddie Kramer and John McDermott. Hendrix and Kramer first met in January 1967, forming a partnership that saw him produce every one of Jimi's albums and work on all of the reissues in the current series from Legacy.

Janie L. Hendrix, President/CEO of Experience Hendrix LLC, commented, "We're thrilled to be able to release People, Hell & Angels during the celebration of the 70th anniversary of my brother's birth. The brilliance of the album serves to underscore what we've known all along: that there has never been and never will be a musical force equal to his and that we cherish and take inspiration of what he left us both now and for many generations to come...simply eternity."

"People, Hell & Angels provides us with further insight into the genius of Jimi Hendrix," said Adam Block, President, Legacy Recordings. "Working with new rhythm sections and instrumentation, Jimi Hendrix was opening up the horizons of his music, creating new sounds filled with endless possibilities."

Track List:

Earth Blues:
Totally unlike the version first issued as part of Rainbow Bridge in 1971, this December 19, 1969 master take features just Hendrix, Billy Cox and Buddy Miles--stripped down funk at its very origin.

This newly discovered gem was recorded in March 1968 and features Buddy Miles on drums and Stephen Stills on bass. Entirely different from any previous version fans have ever heard.

Hear My Train A Comin':
This superb recording was drawn from Jimi's first ever recording session with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles--the powerhouse rhythm section with whom he would later record the groundbreaking album Band Of Gypsys.

Jimi shared a deep love for the blues with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. Both musicians understood Jimi's desire to create what he described as a 'new type of blues'. Jimi's menacing lead guitar is the centerpiece of this dramatic addition to his remarkable legacy.

Bleeding Heart:
This Elmore James masterwork had long been a favorite of Jimi's. He had performed the song earlier that year with the Experience in concert at the Royal Albert Hall and had attempted to capture the song in New York studio sessions during the weeks that followed.
Recorded at the same May 1969 session as "Hear My Train A Coming," the track conveys Jimi's firm understanding of the arrangement and tempo he desired. Before they began, Jimi instructed Cox and Miles that he wanted to establish a totally different beat than the standard arrangement. He then kicked off this amazing rendition that was nothing like any other he had ever attempted.

Let Me Move You:
In March 1969, Jimi reached back to another old friend, saxophonist Lonnie Youngblood. Before he was discovered by Chas Chandler in the summer of 1966, Jimi had contributed guitar as a nondescript studio sideman for Youngblood and such infectious rhythm and blues styled singles such as "Soul Food".

This March 1969 session features Hendrix and Youngblood trading licks throughout this never before heard, high velocity rock and soul classic.

In the aftermath of the Woodstock festival, Jimi gathered his new ensemble, Gypsy Sun & Rainbows, at the Hit Factory in August 1969 with engineer Eddie Kramer. "Izabella" had been one of the new songs the guitarist introduced at the Woodstock festival and Jimi was eager to perfect a studio version. This new version is markedly different from the Band Of Gypsys 45 rpm single master issued by Reprise Records in 1970 and features Larry Lee, Jimi's old friend from the famed rhythm & blues 'chitin' circuit', on rhythm guitar.

Easy Blues:
An edited extract of this gorgeous, free flowing instrumental was briefly issued as part of the long-out-of-print 1981 album Nine To The Universe. Now nearly twice as long, the track offers fans the opportunity to enjoy the dramatic interplay between Jimi, second guitarist Larry Lee, Billy Cox and drummer Mitch Mitchell.

Crash Landing:
Perhaps known as the title song for the controversial 1975 album that featured Hendrix master recordings posthumously overdubbed by session musicians, this April 1969 original recording has never been heard before. Jimi is joined here by Billy Cox and drummer Rocky Isaac of the Cherry People to record this thinly veiled warning to his girlfriend Devon Wilson.

Inside Out:
Jimi was fascinated by the rhythm pattern that would ultimately take form as "Ezy Ryder". Joined here by Mitch Mitchell, Jimi recorded all of the bass and guitar parts for this fascinating song--including a dramatic lead guitar part amplified through a Leslie organ speaker.

Hey Gypsy Boy:
The roots of Jimi's majestic "Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)" trace themselves to this March 1969 recording. Unlike the posthumously overdubbed version briefly issued as part of Midnight Lightning in 1975, this is original recording that features Jimi joined by Buddy Miles.

Mojo Man:
Jimi would lend a hand to Albert & Arthur Allen, the vocalists known as the Ghetto Fighters, whom he had befriended in Harlem long before he achieved fame with the Experience. When the two recorded this inspired, previously unreleased master at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama they took it back to Hendrix at Electric Lady Studios. Jimi knew just what to do to elevate the recording beyond contemporary R & B to the new hybrid of rock, rhythm and blues he was celebrated for.

Villanova Junction Blues:
Long before his famous performance of this song at Woodstock, Jimi recorded this studio version with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles at the same May 1969 session which yielded "Hear My Train A Comin'" and "Bleeding Heart" also featured on this album. Never fully finished, the song stands as an example of the fertile ideas he hoped to harness and bring to fruition.

Rod Stewart Tops Adult Contemporary Chart For First Time in 19 Years

Rod Stewart is having a very special holiday season. His new album, Merry Christmas, Baby, spent its first two weeks at number 3 in the U.S. and remains in the top ten after three weeks.

The first single from the album, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!, also marks a return for the former (and future) rocker as it will top the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart when it is announced on Thursday. The track jumps from 18 to 1 as holiday music takes a firm hold of the tally.

Let It Snow! is Stewart 26th top ten AC hit and his fifth chart topper after My Heart Can't Tell You No (1988), This Old Heart of Mine (with Ronald Isley, 1989), Downtown Train (1989) and Have I Told You Lately (1993). It's his first to hit the AC summit in 19 years.

Stewart will release his first album of all original material in eleven years this coming spring with the tentatively titled Love the Life You Live.

Pink Floyd's Nick Mason to Get Honorary Degree From University of Westminster

Fifty years ago, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd enrolled at Regent Street Polytechnic in London to get a degree in architecture. Music stardom intervened and he never completed his studies.

Regent Street Polytechnic is now known as The University of Westminster, which will award Mason an Honorary Doctor of Letters in recognition of his significant contribution to the music industry over the last fifty years.

Nick Mason joined the Regent Street Polytechnic, the forerunner to the University of Westminster, in 1962 to study Architecture. While there he met fellow band members, Roger Waters and Richard Wright and as the band went on to achieve international acclaim, the demands increased and Mason was forced to drop out of his course before he could complete his final year studies.

Reliving his student days, Nick Mason said "Studying at the Regent Street Polytechnic introduced me to some of the key people and biggest collaborators in my career, many of whom I have been lucky enough to work with over the last 40 years.

"Three of Pink Floyd met there so in essence we were formed under the roof of the Polytechnic; we rehearsed in the common room in the basement and made some of our first performances there. Not only did studying architecture teach us some useful stuff, but it also gave us an opportunity to develop and put us in touch with some fantastic mentors and industry contacts that have helped us along the way."