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Judge Rules Against Led Zeppelin in Attempt to Dismiss “Stairway to Heaven” Copyright Lawsuit

Friday, October 17th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Bob Gruen/Atlantic RecordsA U.S. district court judge has ruled against Led Zeppelin‘s surviving members in their attempt to have a copyright-infringement lawsuit involving the band’s “Stairway to Heaven” either moved to a California court or dismissed completely.  The suit, which claims that the opening of “Stairway” was cribbed from an obscure 1968 instrumental titled “Taurus” by the group Spirit, was filed in this past May in Pennsylvania and the case currently is slated to be tried there.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a memorandum issued by Led Zeppelin’s attorneys asking for the dismissal or change of venue stated, “The individual defendants are British citizens residing in England, own no property in Pennsylvania and have no contacts with Pennsylvania, let alone ties sufficient to render them essentially at home here.”

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, the family of late Spirit guitarist Randy California, countered by amending their lawsuit to add the claim that through “the exploitation of ‘Stairway to Heaven,’” the band’s members “make millions of dollars from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania” via “CD sales, digital downloading, radio and television play, advertising, marketing, concert performances” and other avenues of income.

Justice Juan Sánchez denied the Led Zeppelin members’ request for a dismissal or a transfer of venue, although he did so without prejudice, which means that the rockers can attempt again to have the suit dismissed or the site moved.

“Stairway to Heaven,” of course, is one of Led Zeppelin’s most popular songs.  Incidentally, the album it first appeared on, 1971′s Led Zeppelin IV, is scheduled to be reissued on October 28.  Deluxe versions of the record will include a previously unreleased version of the tune.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nugget of Knowldege

Manhattan Transfer Singer Tim Hauser Dead at 72

Friday, October 17th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Image Courtesy of JAG EntertainmentTim Hauser, a founding member of the pop-jazz vocal group The Manhattan Transfer, died Thursday at the age of 72.  The band’s manager JoAnn Geffen tells the Asbury Park Press that Hauser passed away after suffering a heart attack.

The quartet’s surviving members, Cheryl Bentyne, Alan Paul and Janis Siegel, posted a joint statement on their official Facebook page that reads, “Tim was the visionary behind The Manhattan Transfer.  We spent more than 40 years together singing and making music, traveling the world, and sharing so many special moments throughout our lives… It’s incomprehensible to think of this world without him.”

Hauser founded The Manhattan Transfer in 1972, and the group went on to score a handful of top 40 singles.  Its biggest pop hit was the 1981 tune “The Boy from New York City,” which peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.  In addition, the band has won eight Grammy Awards over the years, and in 1981 it became the first act to take home Grammys in pop and jazz categories in the same year.

Recording Academy president Neil Portnow issued his own statement about Hauser, describing him as “a remarkable talent and pioneering figure in jazz vocal music.”  Portnow added that “Hauser was also a gifted producer and vocal arranger. Throughout his career, his love for music and performing always prevailed, as evidenced by the group’s live shows and international popularity.”

Hauser is survived by his wife, Barb, as well as a son, Basie, and a daughter, Lily.

The Manhattan Transfer has announced that it will continue to tour despite Tim’s passing.  The group’s next show is scheduled for this Thursday, October 23, in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Dates Announced for 2015 Bonnaroo Festival

Friday, October 17th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Image Courtesy of Bonnaroo Music and Arts FestivalThe Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival has announced its dates for 2015.  The 14th edition of the fest will be held June 11-14 in Manchester, Tennessee.

Bonnaroo first began in 2002.  The festival initially was mainly focused on jam bands before eventually expanding into other genres.  The lineup for the 2014 festival, which was announced in February, included such veteran artists as Elton John, Lionel Richie, The DoorsRobby Krieger, The Grateful Dead‘s Mickey Hart, Chaka Khan, Bobby Womack, Los LobosDavid Hidalgo and Taj Mahal, among many others.

Visit for all the latest news on the event.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Third Season of Steven Van Zandt’s Netflix Series “Lilyhammer” to Premiere on Nov. 21

Friday, October 17th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Image Courtesy of NetflixThe third season of Lilyhammer, the Netflix series starring E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt, will premiere on November 21 at 3:01 a.m. ET/12:01 a.m. PT.  All eight new hourlong episodes of the series will be accessible from the on-demand service at that time.

Lilyhammer follows the exploits of a fictional New York mob boss named Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano — portrayed by Van Zandt — who has relocated to the Norwegian city of Lillehammer after joining the federal witness-protection program.

This season will see Tagliano, who lives in Norway under the alias Johnny Henriksen, having to help out his henchman Roar when he runs into legal trouble after traveling to Brazil to meet an Internet bride.  Van Zandt’s character also will have to deal with an old “family friend” from the U.S. who shows up in Lillehammer gets involved in some illegal activities.

As Deadline reported last month, Van Zandt’s real-life “boss,” Bruce Springsteen, will make a cameo appearance on this season of Lilyhammer, playing the owner of a mortuary in an episode that was filmed in New York City.

Besides starring in Lilyhammer, Van Zandt also serves as executive producer, writer and composer on the series.  This season also will see Little Steve make his directorial debut, as he was behind the camera for the show’s finale.

Van Zandt recently won the Best Actor in a Comedy prize for his work on Lilyhammer at the Monte Carlo TV Festival, while the show landed the Best International Comedy Series award at the same event.  The series also was honored as Best TV Drama this year at Norway’s Gullruten awards ceremony.

To find out more about the series, visit

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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John Denver to Receive Posthumous Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame Next Week

Friday, October 17th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

PRNewsFoto/Legacy RecordingsFrom “Country Roads” to Hollywood Boulevard!: The late John Denver is slated to be honored with the 2,531st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday, October 24.  The ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. PT and will take place at 7065 Hollywood Boulevard near Sycamore Avenue.

Two of the beloved singer/songwriter’s children — Zak Deutschendorf and Jesse Belle Denver — will be on hand to accept the honor on behalf of their family.  Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Leron Gubler will emcee the event.  Indie-rock act Trampled by Turtles will perform an acoustic rendition of the Denver’s 1974 hit “Annie’s Song” during the festivities, while other as-yet-unannounced guests also will make appearances.

“We are proud to honor one of America’s singing icons who has been missed for many years,” says Gubler in a statement.  “Luckily for us we have his amazing music to remember him by.”

For fans who can’t make it to the unveiling in person, the ceremony will stream live via

On the same day as the Walk of Fame event, an exhibition featuring 40 previously unseen photographs taken by Denver will open at the Substrate Gallery in Hollywood.  The exhibit, titled “Sweet, Sweet Life: The Photographic Works of John Denver,” will remain on display through November 23.  Limited editions of the singer’s photos also will be sold at the gallery.

As previously reported, a four-CD, career-spanning box set called All of My Memories: The John Denver Collection is scheduled to be released on November 4.  The compilation will feature classic hits, memorable album cuts, live performances, demo recordings and rare tracks, and will include six previously unreleased songs.

Denver died in a 1997 plane crash at the age of 53.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Crusin In Cruces

Barry Manilow to Perform Live on QVC on Friday

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

PR News Foto/Verve Music GroupBarry Manilow will debut songs from his new album, My Dream Duets, this Friday on QVC.

Starting at 6 p.m. ET, Barry Manilow: Q Sessions Live will feature the singer performing songs from the new record, as well as from Live in London, a bonus CD that includes four never-released live tracks.  The CD has been compiled especially for QVC, and viewers will be able to order it, along with the regular album, a week before it arrives.

My Dream Duets features Barry singing, through the magic of technology, with stars who are no longer with us, like Whitney Houston, Judy Garland, John Denver, Dusty Springfield and Sammy Davis Jr.  The Live in London CD was recorded at London’s O2 arena in May of 2011, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.  It includes a version of Manilow’s classic “Tryin’ to Get the Feeling Again.”

On the QVC website, you also can watch an interview with Barry in which he explains why he decided to go this route with the album.  He says his record company asked him to do a duets project, so he made a list of all the artists he’d really want to sing with, and realized that all of them were no longer with us.  He figured that the project was impossible, but his record company was determined to make it happen. 

My Dream Duets arrives on October 27.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio  

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Phil Collins Featured in New Documentary About Influential Drum Machine

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Image Courtesy of Atlantic RecordsPhil Collins is one of the many well-known music artists who appear in an upcoming documentary titled 808, which explores the influential Roland TR-808 drum machine. The film, which was directed by Alexander Dunn, takes an in-depth look at how the electronic instrument has changed the music industry, from its introduction in 1980 to today.

Other stars featured in the movie include New Order, Blur frontman Damon Albarn, pop hitmatker Pharrell Williams, Roots drummer Questlove, electronica artist Fatboy Slim, 808 pioneer Afrika Bambaataa and lauded producers Rick Rubin, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

808 has really been a journey of discovery for me,” says Dunn in a statement.  “One that led myself and the team to meet over 50 musicians and artists from all around the world, hearing their personal stories about the 808 and the music they created using its iconic sounds.  Those artists and musicians are the real protagonists of the film and the 808, in the hands of our contributors, would change music forever.”

The film, as well as a companion soundtrack, will be released in 2015.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Double Your Dollars

Steve Perry Leads More Journey Sing-Alongs at San Francisco Giants Games

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesFormer Journey frontman Steve Perry continues to help fire up San Francisco Giants fans during his hometown team’s 2014 playoff run. 

Last week, during a home game against the Washington Nationals, the golden-voiced singer led the crowd in a sing-along of his old band’s classic anthem “Don’t Stop Believin’” from the stands at San Francisco’s AT&T Park, and was at it again this week as the Giants try to move past the St. Louis Cardinals to get to the World Series.

On Tuesday, Perry was seen belting out the song as the Giants were on route to a 5-4 victory to take a two-games-to-one lead in the National League Championship Series.  Then, last night, Steve appeared again in the stands, this time singing along with the crowd as “Lights,” Journey’s ode to the Bay City, played over the PA system.  The Giants went on to beat the Cardinals again, 6-to-4, and now need just one more win to punch their ticket to the World Series, where they would face off against this year’s American League champs, the Kansas City Royals.

Meanwhile, the Giants’ home games during the current playoff series have featured a number of other cool musical moments.  Before Tuesday’s contest, The Grateful Dead‘s Bob Weir and Phil Lesh — joined by Giants third-base coach Tim Flannery — sang the national anthem.  Then last night, Tower of Power‘s Ray Greene belted out “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to the game, while ex-Santana singer Tony Lindsay crooned “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch.

Game 5 of the National League Championship Series takes place tonight at AT&T Park and will air at 8:07 p.m. ET on Fox Sports.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Home Instead Senior Care

New U2 Album Will Be Band’s Lowest-Charting Disc Since 1984

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Interscope RecordsIf you give something away for free, people won’t really be interested in paying for it.  That’s the lesson that U2 is learning, thanks to the not-so-great sales projections for its current album, Songs of Innocence.  Yahoo! Chart Watch reports that according to those projections, the album will be the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band’s lowest-charting disc since 1984.

U2 gave away the new album to more than 500 million iTunes customers, and according to Apple, about 81 million users listened to the record, including 26 million who downloaded the entire thing.  Songs of Innocence became commercially available in stores on Monday, but it’s on track to sell just 24,000 copies.  Compare that to the band’s previous album, 2009′s No Line on the Horizon, which sold a whopping 484,000 copies during its first week of release.

As a result, Songs of Innocence will likely enter the Billboard chart at #7.  That will make it the band’s lowest chart placing since 1984, when The Unforgettable Fire peaked at #13.  Since the Irish rockers’ breakthrough 1987 smash The Joshua Tree, every single one of their albums except for one has either debuted at #1 or reached the top spot.  The only one that didn’t, 2000′s All That You Can’t Leave Behind, debuted at #3.

During a Facebook interview session, one participant accused U2 of being “rude” by releasing the album in such a way that it automatically downloaded into people’s iTunes playlists.  Bono apologized, saying, “Oops, I’m sorry about that.  I had this beautiful idea and we got carried away with ourselves.  Artists are prone to that kind of thing.  Drop of megalomania, touch of generosity, dash of self-promotion and deep fear that these songs that we poured our life into over the last few years mightn’t be heard.”

He added, “There’s a lot of noise out there.  I guess we got a little noisy ourselves to get through it.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Hometown Headlines w/ Brad Barrett

1980 Bob Marley Concert to Be Released as DVD and CD/DVD Set

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Eagle Rock EntertainmentA 1980 concert Bob Marley played in Dortmund, Germany, during his final world tour is the subject of a new release titled Uprising Live!, which will be issued as a DVD, a DVD/two-CD set and a digital video on November 24.  The show, which took place in June of 1980, originally aired on an episode of the German television series Rockpalast.

At the time of the concert, the reggae legend was promoting what would be his last studio album, Uprising.  Among the many well-known songs he performed were “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Jamming,” “No Woman, No Cry,” “Could You Be Loved” and “Get Up, Stand Up.”  The show also includes an opening set by Marley’s female backing vocal group, The I Threes.

Uprising Live! boasts fully restored footage of the concert. The project was supervised by two of Bob’s children, son Ziggy and daughter Cedella.

Marley was only 36 when he died of cancer in May of 1981.  February 6, 2015, will mark what would have been his 70th birthday.

Here’s a full track list for Uprising Live!:

I Threes Set:
“Precious World”
“Slave Queen”
“Steppin’ Out of Babylon”
“That’s the Way Jah Planned It”
Main Show:
“Marley Chant”
“Natural Mystic”
“Positive Vibration”
“I Shot the Sheriff”
“War/No More Trouble”
“No Woman, No Cry”
“Zion Train”
“Redemption Song”
“Could You Be Loved”
“We Can Make It Work”
“Natty Dread”
“Is This Love”
“Get Up, Stand Up”
“Coming In from the Cold”
“Lively Up Yourself”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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