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Paul McCartney says some initial reviews of “Sgt. Pepper’s” were “terrible”

Universal Music Group

The 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is upon us, but according to Paul McCartney, initial reactions to the now-classic album were somewhat mixed.

Speaking to Mojo magazine, the ex-Beatle recalls being told, “You’re gonna lose all your fans with this one.’”  He says their response was, “Well, we’ll lose some but we’ll gain some. We’ve gotta advance.”

McCartney also mentions a “terrible” review the album received in the New York Times, in which the writer said “the over-all effect is busy, hip and cluttered,” adding that Sgt. Pepper’s was “spoiled” like “an over-attended child.”

But Paul points out that when that same writer heard what others were saying about the album, he revised his opinion in another piece for the Village Voice.  That time, he said it was “better than 80 percent of the music around today,” but opined that Sgt. Pepper’s wouldn’t be considered as good historically as Rubber Soul and Revolver.

Paul also spoke about the 50th anniversary version of Sgt. Pepper’s that’s being released next month, saying he really appreciates the new stereo mix.

He explains, “The original stereo mix is a bit of a period piece. You’ve got the drums in one corner. You’ve got the vocals in another corner. We would be at listening parties, have some mates around and I’d go, ‘Listen to the drums on this, man!’…and you couldn’t hear ’em. ‘Oh! They’re over there in the other corner of the room.’”

Describing the new mix, he says, ”It sounds more like us playing in the room and more like we intended it.”

The remastered 50th Anniversary version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band arrives arrive May 26.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Elton John Update: Tweets he’s “resting well and looking forward to getting back on tour”

Alexandre Loureiro/Getty ImagesGood news this morning about Elton John, who had to cancel weeks of performances while he recovers from a severe bacterial infection. 

Elton’s apparently feeling well enough to send a tweet to his fans Tuesday morning.  “Woke up to an avalanche of well wishes,” he wrote.  “Thanks to everyone for reaching out. I’m resting well and looking forward to getting back on tour.”

He posted the same message on his Instagram, but added, “I’m resting well and getting stronger every day. I’m looking forward to getting back on tour in June.”

According to Elton’s rep, the rock legend contracted a “a harmful and unusual bacterial infection” during a tour of South America, and during his return flight home, he became “violently ill.”  When he arrived in the U.K., he was admitted him to the hospital, where he “underwent immediate treatment to remove the infection.”

Elton spent two nights in intensive care, and then had an extended stay in the hospital. He was finally released this past Saturday and is now “comfortably resting at home,” according to his rep.

According to an earlier statement, the infection that Elton contracted is “rare and potentially deadly,” but it was quickly identified and treated, and he’s expected to make a full recovery. 

Elton said in the earlier statement, “I am so fortunate to have the most incredible and loyal fans and apologize for disappointing them.  I am extremely grateful to the medical team for their excellence in looking after me so well.”

The tour cancellations encompass Elton’s entire performance schedule for April and May in Las Vegas, as well as a May 6 performance in Bakersfield, California.  Ticket holders can get refunds for the cancelled performances.  His next live show will take place in Twickenham, England on June 3.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Madonna biopic in the works

Michael Putland/Getty ImagesA Madonna biopic, Blond Ambition, is in the early stages  at Universal.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has picked up a script from first time screen writer Elyse Hollander about Madonna’s early rise to fame in New York in the ’80s.  The magazine says the movie will deal with Madonna as she works on her debut alubm, “struggling in a business that treats women badly, while also dealing with a burgeoning love life and the first hints of fame.”

The movie will be co-produced by director/producer Brett Ratner‘s RatPac Entertainment.  Ratner is a music video veteran and directed Madonna’s “Beautiful Stranger” video.

No further details about the movie have been announced.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


After shocking “DWTS” elimination, attempted break-in at Maks and Peta’s house

ABC/Paul Hebert(LOS ANGELES) — While talking to Good Morning America following Monday night’s shocking elimination, Glee veteran Heather Morris revealed there was an attempted break-in at the home of her pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy and his fellow pro and fiancée, Peta Murgatroyd.

“They had some sort of run-in with some man near their house trying to break in, but the police were there,” Morris told GMA‘s Lara Spencer. “They took care of it. So they’re safe and Peta’s okay.” 

“Yeah, that little baby!” Spencer said of the dancers’ child. “That’s terrifying.” 

The incident put the elimination in perspective — although Heather and Maks received a perfect score, they were voted off. “I was just happy to be there,” Morris said. “When it happened, I was just like, ‘It it what it is.'” 

She added, “I just had a great time.” 

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Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Former ‘The Bachelor’ star Chris Soules charged in fatal vehicular accident

Courtesy Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office(BUCHANAN COUNTY, Iowa) — Former The Bachelor star Chris Soules has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in a death.

According to the Buchanan County, Iowa Sheriff’s Department, on Monday night they “received a 911 report of a motor vehicle accident in the 1000 blk of Slater Avenue north of Aurora.  At this time, one fatality has been confirmed.”

Although the statement didn’t specifically name Soules, an arrest report provided to ABC News shows he’s been charged with an accident at the same location and time, just before 8:30 p.m. “Christopher Douglas Soules was involved in the motor vehicle collision which resulted in a fatality,” the report states. “Christopher Soules left the scene of the motor vehicle collision. Soules did not return to and remain at the scene of the accident.”

The arrest report also states Soules “possessed alcoholic beverages/containers,” but does not address whether they were open, nor whether Soules may have been intoxicated.

ABC TV affiliate KCRG in Cedar Rapids reports the Iowa State Patrol says a pickup truck rear-ended a tractor, with both then careening into opposite roadside ditches.  TMZ reports Soules was driving the pickup, and the tractor driver died at hospital.

The 36-year-old farmer from Arlington, Iowa starred in the 19th season of ABC’s The Bachelor in 2015, after placing third on The Bachelorette the previous year.  He also competed in season 20 of Dancing with the Stars.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Bill O’Reilly, “sad” over show’s abrupt end, returns to podcast

Getty Images/Patricia Schlein,Star Max(NEW YORK) —  Bill O’Reilly is “sad” that he is no longer hosting his O’Reilly Factor program on Fox News, but says, in the wake of the sexual harassment claims that drove him from his spot in front of the camera, that he is “confident the truth will come out.”

The conservative commentator made his first spoken comments since being fired last week on his No Spin News podcast Monday. O’Reilly admitted he was “surprised” how the situation transpired while he was on vacation in Italy last week, but did not delve into many details.

O’Reilly has denied all allegations.

“I can’t say a lot because there’s much stuff going on right now,” said O’Reilly at the top of the podcast. “But I can tell you I’m very confident the truth will come out and when it does, I don’t know if you’re going to be surprised, but I think you’re going to be shaken as I am.”

“There’s a lot of stuff involved here,” he continued.

Fox News’ decision to dismiss O’Reilly came in the aftermath of an April 1 New York Times report which described settlements he reached with five women who accused him of harassment. O’Reilly has denied the misconduct claims levied against him.

On Monday’s podcast, O’Reilly pledged to maintain his four-day-per-week podcasting schedule, broadcasting in the format he has used for years in addition to his television work.

Continuing in the podcasting sphere may prove lucrative for O’Reilly. A 2016 study by the Pew Research Center revealed that some 21 percent of Americans who were 12 or older listened to a podcast during the previous month. That was up from 12 percent in 2013.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Trapper’s rescue of alligator ends with a kiss

WPLG/ABC News(TAMARAC, Fla.) — A trapper in Florida sealed his rescue of an injured alligator with a kiss.

The 8-foot alligator was visibly injured and bleeding Sunday while resting on the median strip along a road in Tamarac, Florida, according to authorities.

“It appeared that maybe it was hit by a car, because it had some road rash from the nose up to its spine,” Broward Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Will Medina told ABC Miami affiliate WPLG-TV.

Enter a trapper whose job was to contain the reptile, an ordeal captured on cellphone video that lasted nine minutes.

Wrapping the gator’s mouth with duct tape, the trapper puckered up and delivered the reptile a kiss on its snout.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

New US Secret Service director to be named

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — ABC News has confirmed that the Trump administration has settled on a new appointment for U.S. Secret Service director.

Former Marine general and Acting Deputy Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Randolph “Tex” Alles is the pick for the position, law enforcement and government sources tell ABC News.

Selecting an outsider would be a big shift for the insular agency, which has long promoted its leaders through the ranks.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Arkansas carries out first double execution in U.S. since 2000

iStock/supparsorn(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) — Arkansas has executed Marcel Williams, 52, just after 10:30 PM local time on Monday. His was the second execution of the night, making this the first double execution in the country since 2000.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker had halted Williams’ execution while his attorneys argued whether the night’s first execution had gone properly. Williams was sentenced to death for the 1994 rape and murder of 22-year-old Stacy Rae Errickson after kidnapping her at gunpoint from a gas station in Jacksonville, Arkansas.

The first executed inmate, Jack Jones, was declared dead at 7:20pm local time on Monday, at the state’s Cummins Unit. He was sentenced to death for the 1995 rape and murder of 34-year-old bookkeeper Mary Phillips in Bald Knob, Arkansas.

Arkansas had scheduled eight executions over an 11-day period before the end of April, when its supply of a lethal injection drug expires. One inmate was put to death last week, though the first three executions were canceled because of court rulings.

 Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Dale Earnhardt Jr. to retire after 2017 season

Jared C. Tilton/iStock/Thinkstock(CONCORD, N.C.) — The 2017 racing season will be Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s last behind the wheel.

A press release from Hendrick Motorsports said Earnhardt first met with team owner Rick Hendrick on March 29 about his decision to retire.

Earnhardt, who has been racing since 1999, has been voted NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver for 14 consecutive years and has won 26 Cup races, including two Daytona 500 victories.

His final race will be on November 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Rockets’ Harden will play in Game 5 despite sore ankle

J Pat Carter/iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) – Houston Rockets guard James Harden says he’ll be able to play in Tuesday night’s Game 5 against the Oklahoma City Thunder despite a sore ankle.

“Got some treatment, and I’ll be ready to go tomorrow,” Harden told reporters on Monday.

Harden rolled his ankle during the Rockets’ Game 3 loss in Oklahoma City. Harden scored just 16 points in Game 4 on Sunday, the fewest he’s scored this postseason.

“It’s the playoffs, everybody is banged up, so you just got to find a way to fight through it and find a way to help your teammates win games,” Harden said. “For me, it’s not necessarily scoring. I don’t have to score a certain amount of points as long as I’m making the right plays and guys are getting shots, everybody is in a good rhythm — that’s all that matters.”

Harden missed just one game during the regular season.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jabril Peppers tests positive for dilute sample at combine

Joe Robbins/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – Michigan defensive end Jabril Peppers tested positive for a dilute sample at the NFL scouting combine, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter says the NFL has notified teams of the positive test, which may have been a result of overhydrating, as Peppers was ill right before the combine.

Peppers is the second prospect to test positive for a dilute sample, joining Alabama’s Reuben Foster.

Many experts expect Peppers to be selected within the top 20 picks at the NFL Draft, which is scheduled for April 27 in Philadelphia.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Spain arrests 9 suspected members of jihadi group in probe of Brussels attacks

zabelin/iStock/Thinkstock(BARCELONA) — Nine suspected members of a jihadi group were arrested in raids today in Spain, most of whom are alleged to have a direct connection to people suspected of carrying out attacks in Brussels in 2016 that killed 32 people and wounded 300 others, according to police.

All nine are Moroccan citizens living in Spain, police said. Guns and drugs were found during the arrest.

A Spanish interior ministry official said the arrest of the nine in the Catalonia region was focused on Oussama Atar, the suspected mastermind of the attacks on Brussels’ airport and subways last year.

In a separate operation, two other people were taken into custody in what authorities described as an anti-terror raid in Segovia, north of Madrid, a Spanish interior ministry official said. One of the two was a Spanish citizen, the other Moroccan, the official said. Authorities provided no confirmation that the two arrested have any connection to the Brussels attacks.

The arrest in Segovia was linked to an arrest Saturday of an Egyptian citizen, Hatem Mokhtar Abdallah Said, the interior ministry official said.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks in Brussels in March 2016.

Last month, Brussels observed a moment of silence to remember the victims on the one-year anniversary of the bombings, which were the deadliest such attacks in Belgium’s history.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ivanka Trump gets hissed at in Germany while touting father’s advocacy for women

ABC News(BERLIN) — First daughter Ivanka Trump was interrupted by hissing during a panel discussion at the W-20 conference in Germany Tuesday when she said she was proud of her father’s advocacy of women, specifically referencing his presidential campaign proposal for paid family leave.

The moderator, after the audience reaction, then suggested that many people are suspicious of President Trump’s stated support for women’s empowerment.

“I’ve certainly heard the criticism from the media and that’s been perpetuated,” Ivanka said, prompting further heckling from some in the crowd at the panel on women’s entrepreneurship.

She went on to vouch for her father’s record in empowering women – pointing to his business and her own upbringing – as evidence of his belief in gender equality.

“As a daughter, I can speak on a very personal level knowing that he encouraged me and enabled me to thrive,” she said, noting that her father did not distinguish between how she and her brothers were treated at home.

Ivanka Trump is participating in the panel along with other high-profile women, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who personally invited her to Germany for the summit, and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde.

Trump was also asked by the moderator whether she is representing her father, the U.S. people or her business.

“Certainly not the latter,” she said, going on to say the role as first daughter is still very new to her but that she’s looking for the best ways to empower women in the workplace.

She said she’ll bring the knowledge she gains at the summit back to her father.

She specifically pointed to equal pay and paid family leave as useful policies to help level the playing field for women, and noted that the United States is the only developed country without a paid family leave policy.

She is also touted the cause of STEM education — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — for young women and girls.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Yemen aid summit looking to pull nation from famine threatening millions with starvation

ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pledging conference to raise funds for war-torn Yemen is taking place in Geneva on Tuesday to help combat what the United Nations has called “largest humanitarian crisis in the world.”

Ongoing violence has created a food crisis in Yemen, leaving nearly 7 million people, including, 2.2 million children, malnourished, the UN’s United Nations Children’s Fund said in a statement on Monday.

Hosted by the U.N. and the governments of Switzerland and Sweden governments, the funding event aims to make up for a $2.1 billion funding shortfall in the U.N,’s fight to deliver crucial aid and lifesaving assistance to Yemen, a country that has been dogged by intense war conflict for more than two years.

Yemen has been hit by at least 325 verified attacks, which have hit health facilities, schools, markets, roads, and other infrastructure, according to research released by the World Health Organization on Monday.

The conflict has disrupted essential aid and resources to the county, causing the flow of key medicines to declined 70 percent since March 2015, when the fighting first began, according to WHO.

“Without further action from parties to the conflict and the international community, Yemen is at a serious risk of plunging into famine – with even more children’s lives hanging in the balance,” UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Geert Cappelaere said in a statement Tuesday. “We are in a race against time,” he added.

UNICEF said the rampant violence has made large parts of Yemen inaccessible to humanitarian workers, leaving many of the county’s 25.6 million occupants vulnerable to famine.


In a joint statement with the World Food Program humanitarian agency on Tuesday, UNICEF said its efforts were less than 20 percent funded and called for “an immediate political solution to end the war in Yemen.”

“If we act now, many lives could be saved in Yemen,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and East Europe. “We call on the international community to urgently provide us with sufficient funding and to help us avert famine across Yemen.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Win Wine Fest tickets

Today’s 101 #1 Song of the day was written, recorded and released by members of the group Arrows in 1975…the writer said it was a knee-jerk reaction to the Rolling Stones’ “It’s Only Rock and Roll (but I like it)” but it wouldn’t become a hit until 7 years later when another artist picked it up! read more…

Win Wine Fest Tickets

La Vina Spring Wine Festival this Saturday and Sunday!

The 101 Number One Song of the day made a spectacular debut on Hot 100 at Number Six – the highest entry of all time and rarely was there a song which more fittingly spoke to the recording group’s many fans because news of their break-up made headlines right before their song reached the top. read more…

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