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Graham Nash, Rock Hall CEO Sing Praises of New Paul Simon Exhibit

Thursday, October 30th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and MuseumAs recently reported, a new exhibition focusing on the extraordinary career of Paul Simon opens to the public today at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.  The exhibit, dubbed “Paul Simon: Words & Music,” features an assortment of artifacts contributed by the singer/songwriter, including handwritten lyrics and letters, instruments, clothing items, Grammy Awards and more.

Graham Nash, who was at the Rock Hall this past weekend for an Everly Brothers tribute concert, was treated to a preview of the Simon exhibit while he was there and shared some of his impressions about the display.

“One of the things that was so nice about the exhibit is seeing his very first guitar…and seeing his progression as a songwriter, which is shown in lyrics that you’ll see,” explained Nash.  “And I think it’s gonna be very inspiring.  I think musicians [are going to] go, ‘Hey, wait a second.  I have a yellow pad.  I have a pen.  I can do this.’  And it’s that point of inspiration that I think is the most important part of the Paul Simon exhibit.  I think people are gonna love it.”

Meanwhile, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Greg Harris spoke recently with ABC News Radio about how the exhibit came together and some of the fascinating aspects of the attraction.

“The genesis came when Paul visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” revealed Harris.  “[H]e came to look at other people’s things — The Everly Brothers and the artists that inspired him — and as he was touring, he mentioned that he had quite a few things in his archive and…the idea was sort of planted between all of us that it’d be terrific to create an exhibit.”

Harris explained that one of the goals of the display is to chart Simon’s progression as a songwriter and artist.  He noted that you can look at how Paul went from singing with Art Garfunkel as the teen pop-rock duo Tom & Jerry to creating a catalog of songs during the 1960s that’s “so much a part of our popular lexicon,” and eventually made the Graceland album, which arguably marked “the U.S. awakening to world music in a big way.”

Tying the exhibition together is commentary from Simon himself, which comes from a series of interviews Paul filmed exclusively for the museum.

“It’s the first time a first-person narrative is used in our exhibitions,” revealed Harris.  “He walks through his life, his career, his creative process, and there are times when, in the interviews, where he’s holding a guitar and he walks you through the other influences that led to a certain song being composed.”

Among the many fascinating topics Simon discusses in the interviews is how he developed the idea for the title track from Graceland.  Paul explained that he actually journeyed to Elvis Presley‘s Memphis mansion while he was working on the tune, which he says is one of the songs he’s most proud to have composed.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opens daily at 10 a.m. CT.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Double Your Dollars

Genesis’ “Sum of the Parts” Documentary to Be Released on DVD and Blu-ray in January

Thursday, October 30th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Eagle VisionGenesis fans excited to get their hands on the home video version of the group’s recent career-spanning documentary, Sum of the Parts, will have to be a little patient.  DVD and Blu-ray editions of the film, which initially were supposed to be released in November, now are scheduled to hit stores on January 13, 2015.

Sum of the Parts, which premiered October 10 on Showtime, follows the band’s journey from its formation in 1967 through its numerous lineup changes to the group’s most recent tour in 2007 and beyond.  The documentary also delves into the successful solo careers that several Genesis members enjoyed.  In addition, the movie reunites the group’s classic mid-1970s lineup of singer Peter Gabriel, singer/drummer Phil Collins, keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and lead guitarist Steve Hackett, who are featured being interviewed together.

The documentary contains a bevy of rare and previously unreleased performance footage and behind-the-scenes clips.

“We’re the only band, I think, that have managed the solo thing and the band thing for quite a few years side-by-side, and made it a plus rather than a problem,” notes Rutherford.

Gabriel adds, “I think when we got it right we had something that none of us could do on our own.  And there were different musical histories merging together in a powerful way.”

Sum of the Parts runs about 30 minutes longer that the version of the documentary that aired on BBC television in early October under the title Genesis: Together and Apart.  The band also recently released a three-CD compilation named R-Kive as a companion piece to the film.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Elton John Says Pope Is His “Hero,” Wants Him to Be Made a Saint Now

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Joseph Guay/Capitol RecordsTuesday night at his annual New York City charity event for his AIDS Foundation, Elton John took the stage for a solo performance, but also spoke about the man he says is his “hero” – Pope Francis.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, while speaking about the acceptance of gay marriage in the U.S., John praised the Pope for demonstrating tolerance and compassion when asked about the subject.  The Pope’s response was, “Who am I to judge?”

Elton told the crowd, “What are we waiting for?  Make him a saint now.  He did more with those five words than the last five popes.  He is my hero.”

At the event, which raised $3.7 million for his charity, John performed songs like “Tiny Dancer,” “Your Song,” “Rocket Man,” “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” and “Philadelphia Freedom.”  He also addressed the continuing battle against AIDS, saying, “Things are getting better.  More people are getting treatment.  The world is becoming a more tolerant, compassionate place.”

Elton continued, “We still have so much to do…often the people who need the most compassion are those who receive the least.  That’s why I created this foundation.  We are willing to take on the unpopular issues, and we are willing to put serious amounts of money towards bold approaches that bring us closer to a world without AIDS.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Hometown Headlines w/ Brad Barrett

Dionne Warwick Says She’s Sure that Angela Bassett-Directed Whitney Houston Biopic Will Have “Style and Class”

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Kevin Mazur/WireImageWhitney Houston‘s mother, Cissy Houston, has voiced her objections to an upcoming Lifetime biopic about the late singer.  But Whitney’s cousin, Dionne Warwick, says she’s taking a “wait-and-see” attitude towards the project.

The biopic, which is being directed by Oscar-nominated actress Angela Bassett and stars America’s Top Model runner-up Yaya DaCosta as Whitney, is expected to air sometime in 2015.  Asked her thoughts on the project, Warwick tells ABC News Radio, “I don’t know anything about it, and I’ve kinda chosen to keep on the outside of it, and see it when it happens…and then I’ll have an opinion.”

However, the legendary singer says she’s confident that Bassett will treat Whitney and her story with the respect it deserves.

“I’m certain that Angela wouldn’t do anything to hurt Whitney or the family,” she tells ABC News Radio.  “I have a great deal of respect for her and her art, and I’m certain that whatever she chose to depict is gonna be done with style and class.  And so, like I said, I’ll wait to see it and then I can speak from a position of strength.” 

Right now, Dionne is more focused on her new album, Feels So Good, which arrived in stores this week.  It features her duetting with artists ranging from Cyndi Lauper, Ruben Studdard and Billy Ray Cyrus to Gladys Knight, Cee Lo Green and Jamie Foxx.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Metal Depot

Expansive Paul Simon Exhibit Opening at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Image Courtesy of Mark SeligerA new exhibition at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland devoted to the life and career of Paul Simon will open its doors to the public on Thursday.  The exhibit, dubbed “Paul Simon: Words & Music,” features more than 80 artifacts, many of which come from the acclaimed singer/songwriter’s personal archive.

In addition, the attraction boasts commentary from Simon, discussing various aspects of his life, songs and creative process, which was culled from a lengthy filmed interview he granted with the Rock Hall exclusively for the exhibit.

Among the pieces of memorabilia that will be on display are Simon’s first guitar, handwritten lyrics from throughout his career, summer-camp letters written between Paul and his old musical partner Art Garfunkel when they were teenagers, various clothing items, rare photographs and more.  The exhibition also will feature a variety of video performances documenting different periods in Simon’s musical journey.

The “Paul Simon: Words & Music” coincides with the 50th anniversary of the release of Simon and Garfunkel‘s first album, Wednesday Morning, 3 AM.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Loyal Listeners Club

Neil Diamond’s New Album, “Melody Road,” Debuts at #3 on “Billboard” 200

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Capitol RecordsNeil Diamond says “hello again” to the top 10 of the Billboard 200 thanks to Melody Road, which debuts at #3 after selling 78,000 copies.  This marks the pop legend’s 18th album to appear in the top 10.

Melody Road outperformed Diamond’s previous album of original tunes, 2010′s Dreams, which landed at #8 on the Billboard tally after moving 35,000 copies during its first week.  Melody Road‘s debut is Neil’s highest chart appearance since his 2008 record, Home Before Dark, which topped the Billboard 200.

Also debuting in the top 10 this week is Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox‘s new solo album, Nostalgia, which claimed the #10 slot with sales of 32,000.  The album, a collection of standards, also topped Billboard‘s Jazz Albums and Traditional Jazz Albums charts, marking the first time Lennox has achieved these milestones.

Elsewhere on the Billboard 200, Diamond’s “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” duet partner Barbra Streisand is spending her sixth consecutive week in the top 10, as her collaborative album Partners drops from fifth place to #8 after selling 40,000 copies.


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Steven Tyler Added to Lineup of “CMA Country Christmas” Special

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Image Courtesy of Steve ErleAerosmith frontman Steven Tyler will bring a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll to the 2014 CMA Country Christmas special, which airs Monday, December 1, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Tyler and veteran country stars Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson have been added to the lineup for this year’s event.  They join the bill that already features pop singer Idina Menzel and such big-name country acts as Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Nettles, Sara Evans, Little Big Town and Hunter Hayes.

The CMA Country Christmas special will be taped on Friday, November 7, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.  Tickets to attend the show are still available through Ticketmaster.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Song of The Day

R.E.M. Releasing 1980s Singles Collection, “7IN — 83-88″

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Universal Music EnterprisesFrom 1983 to 1988, R.E.M. recorded 11 singles with I.R.S. Records.  Now, the band is releasing all of them in a new boxed collection of vinyl seven-inch singles titled 7IN — 83-88, which will hit stores on December 9.

In addition to well-known tunes like “Radio Free Europe,” “Driver 8″ and “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” 7IN — 83-88 also includes two U.K. releases making their U.S. vinyl seven-inch debuts: “Finest Worksong”/”Time After Time” (live), and the double-pack single for “Wendell Gee” with “Crazy,” “Ages of You,” and “Burning Down.”

Here is the full track list for 7IN — 83-88:

“Radio Free Europe”/”There She Goes Again”
“So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)”/”King of the Road”
“(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville”/”Catapult” (Live)
“Can’t Get There from Here”/”Bandwagon”
“Driver 8″/”Crazy”
“Wendell G”/”Crazy” + “Ages of You”/”Burning Down” [U.K. double-pack, previously unreleased on vinyl in U.S.]
“Fall on Me”/”Rotary Ten”
“Superman”/”White Tornado”
“The One I Love”/”Maps and Legends” (Live)
“It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”/”Last Date”
“Finest Worksong”/”Time After Time” (Live) [U.K. single, previously unreleased on vinyl in U.S.]

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Paul Rodgers and Lou Gramm to Sing on Holiday-Themed Ice Skating TV Special

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Image Courtesy of Paul Rodgers, Disson SkatingThe frontmen of two of the biggest rock bands of the 1970s and ’80s, Bad Company‘s Paul Rodgers and ex-Foreigner singer Lou Gramm, will lend their talents to a TV special featuring holiday-themed routines by some of the world’s best ice skaters.  The Pandora Unforgettable Holiday Moments on Ice special will air on ABC on Sunday, November 30, at 4 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT.

Rodgers and Gramm will perform a mix of holiday tunes and classic songs by their famous bands at the event, which will take place at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Florida.  Among the Olympic, World and National champion skaters who will appear on the show are Meryl Davis, Charlie White, Evan Lysacek, Brian Boitano and Kimmie Meissner of the U.S and Ilia Kulik, Elena Leonova and Andrei Khvalko of Russia.  Award-winning American skaters Kristi Yamaguchi and Michael Weiss will host the festivities.

An encore presentation of the special will air on ABC on Sunday, December 14.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nugget of Knowldege

The Kinks’ Davie Davies Says He’s Excited” About His “Very Energetic” New Solo Album

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Red River EntertainmentKinks guitarist Dave Davies released a new solo album this week titled Rippin’ Up Time.  The 67-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer describes the record as a “very energetic” and “ripping” collection of songs.

He tells ABC News Radio that many of the songs feature guitar tracks that were recorded on the first take, “’cause I like to keep things raw and as pure as possible.”  He adds, “I’ve had a great time making it and I’m very excited about it, and I hope people enjoy it.”

Davies, who has long been fascinated with metaphysics and spiritual pursuits, says the album’s title has multiple meanings, while revealing that its concept was inspired by a dream.

“I was in this place where I was thinking about the past and…growing up and school and me and [my brother] Ray and all [my] sisters,” he recalls.  “And then I saw myself today, living in a strange town in a strange house wondering where the hell I am and where I’ve been.  And then, I sort of took glimpses into the future, and about what could be and what might be.  So, all of a sudden, all these three elements converged together to provide this kind of weird mindscape.”

Dave says he also realized that the title brings to mind the famous incident during the early 1960s where he shredded the speaker in his little amplifier with a razor blade to create the gritty guitar sound heard on The Kinks’ classic hit “You Really Got Me.”  In addition, he points out that “rippin’ up time” reflects the fact that “I’m still here — luckily, thank God.”

The album finds Davies exploring a variety of themes and topics, including the struggle between madness and sanity and between dreams and reality, whimsical recollections of his younger days and the ill effects of advertising.  There’s also a cheeky ode to a karaoke aficionado.  Different songs are stylistically reminiscent of material from various periods of The Kinks’ long history, from the hard rock of the title track and the heavy blues of “Johnny Adams” to the punky power pop of “Nosey Neighbors” and “In the Old Days” to the whimsical pop of “Front Room” and “Through My Window.”

Unlike his last studio effort, 2013′s I Will Be Me, Dave only worked with a few other musicians on Rippin’ Up Tide.  His main collaborator was David Nolte, a longtime member of his touring band, but Davies also enlisted the talents of his son Russ, with whom he previously recorded an album in 2010 under the moniker The Aschere Project.

Dave says it was great working on the new record with Russ, who appears on three tracks and lends vocals to the songs “In the Old Days” and “Through My Window.”

Davies will promote Rippin’ Up Time with a late-fall tour of the U.S., which kicks off November 11 in Milwaukee and runs through a November 28 concert in Englewood, New Jersey.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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