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Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel & More to Be Honored Tonight in NYC with ASCAP Centennial Awards

Monday, November 17th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Eddie Wolfl; Myrna SuarezTonight in New York City, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers will present what its calling a “once-in-a-century” award tonight to Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Joan Baez, Garth Brooks and composer Stephen Sondheim.

At a ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria hotel, those artists luminaries  all will receive the ASCAP Centennial Award, which is given “in recognition of their incomparable accomplishments in their respective music genres and beyond.”  On hand to help pay tribute to them will be Sting, Steely Dan‘s Donald Fagen, Motown founder Berry Gordy, Bill Withers, Valerie Simpson of Ashford & Simpson fame, Gloria Estefan, Tony Bennett and country star Trisha Yearwood, among others.

This will be the first of two major honors Joel is receiving this week: On Wednesday, he’ll be in Washington, D.C., to accept the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Loyal Listeners Club

The Who Schedules Final UK Show of 50th Anniversary Tour in London’s Hyde Park Next June

Monday, November 17th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The WhoThe Who will play the final U.K. concert of its 50th anniversary tour on June 26, 2015, in London’s Hyde Park.  The show, which will be part of the 2015 edition of the British Summer Time Hyde Park concert series, also will feature performances by ex-Jam frontman Paul Weller, Kaiser Chiefs, former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, and some as-yet-to-be announced acts.

If you’re a member of The Who Fan Club, you can purchase pre-sale tickets to the event now, while tickets will go on sale to the general public this Thursday, November 20, at 9 a.m. local time via Ticketmaster.co.uk.  The show will mark the fourth time that The Who will perform in Hyde Park; the band headlined two previous shows in the famous space, and also played there as part of the 2005 Live 8 charity concert.

A video of Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend talking about the upcoming show and The Who’s previous Hyde Park performances is posted now on YouTube.  “It’s always a good gig,” says Daltrey.  “Nice grass, beautiful trees.”

The Who kicks off an initial 10-date U.K. leg of its The Who Hits 50! tour on November 30 in Glasgow, Scotland.  The band then will mount the first of two North American legs beginning on April 15, 2015, in Tampa, Florida.  The Hyde Park concert will follow a pair of postponed dates that were to have been part of the original U.K. trek — a June 21 show in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and a June 23 gig in Dublin, Ireland.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Lionel Richie Says His Future Museum Will Include Everything Except “God-Awful” “Hello” Bust

Monday, November 17th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Mark Davis/NBCLionel Richie‘s career has spanned decades, so when he finally decides to open a museum documenting his life in music, he’ll have plenty of things to put in it.  One thing missing, though, will be a key — yet much-hated — prop from his most famous video.

Speaking to Billboard, Richie says he still owns the green sweater he wore on the cover of his first solo album, the sweater he wore in the video for “Hello,” the outfits he donned in the video for “Dancing on the Ceiling” and the clothes he wore at the 1984 Olympics.  “Ultimately, it’ll be in a Lionel Richie museum somewhere.  I held on to as much of it as I could,” he says.

But referring to the infamous sculpture of himself from the “Hello” video, he adds, “The only thing we didn’t think about was the ‘Hello’ bust — it was so god-awful, I wanted to get as far away from that thing as I could.” 

Despite Lionel’s hatred of the sculpture — which was created in the video by a woman who was supposed to be blind — the bust has become quite the icon over the past 30 years.  It even has its own Twitter feed and Facebook page.

Richie’s future museum also will include a few, but not many, outfits from his days with The Commodores, however.  “When you’re leaving a band, you don’t have the presence of mind to say, ‘Can I have my uniform?’ You just try to get out of the room.  It’s like divorce,” he explains.  “You walk into your wife’s house and say, ‘Can I have that lamp?  Oh, I didn’t think so.  OK.’”

Lionel will receive the Billboard Legend of Live award at the publication’s annual Touring Awards this Thursday in New York City.  “The essence of who you are is onstage,” he tells Billboard.  “The performance is the cherry on the cake for all the work you did in the studio.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Song of The Day

New Version of Band Aid Charity Single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Debuts

Monday, November 17th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

VirginThe new edition of the Band Aid charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” premiered Sunday on British TV, during an episode of the singing competition The X Factor.

A nearly five-minute-long video available online shows the participants — which include U2‘s Bono, Queen drummer Roger Taylor, Sinead O’Connor, Seal, Band Aid founders Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, and many other stars — recording the single in a West London studio on Saturday.  The song is credited to Band Aid 30 and marks the 30th anniversary of the original single.

Other artists who contributed to the recording include Coldplay‘s Chris Martin, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, One Direction and Angelique KidjoRobert Plant also reportedly took part, although he isn’t seen in the video.

The lyrics to the song, which was originally recorded in 1984 to raise money for famine relief efforts in Ethiopia, have been revised to include references to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.  The new single will support the fight against the deadly illness.

The new version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” — which was again spearheaded by Geldof and Ure — is available for purchase digitally now.  You can find out more details about the song and campaign at BandAid30.com.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Home Instead Senior Care

Simon LeBon Says He Was “Flattered and Honored” to Be Chosen to Sing on “The Hunger Games — Mockingjay: Part 1″ Soundtrack

Monday, November 17th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Image Courtesy of Press Here PublicityMonday sees the release of the soundtrack to the new movie The Hunger Games — Mockingjay: Part 1.  The album features an eclectic mix of artists, including such ’80s icons as Duran Duran‘s Simon LeBon and model/actress Grace Jones, as well as newer stars like Kanye West, Ariana Grande and Miguel.  In an unusual move, all the artists who appear on the disc were chosen by one person: 18-year-old pop sensation Lorde.

LeBon says he felt “extremely flattered and honored” to be picked by the “Royals” singer to take part in the project. 

“I’m really over the moon about it,” he tells ABC News Radio.  On the soundtrack, the Duran Duran frontman is featured on a song called “Kingdom” with 20-year-old British singer Charli XCX, who scored a recent top 10 hit with the song “Boom Clap.”  He says he was familiar with Charli because his bandmate Nick Rhodes had photographed her for a magazine.  “He hasn’t stopped talking about her ever since,” laughs Simon.  “He says she’s brilliant, fantastic, so I had checked out her music.”

Simon admits that before the Hunger Games project, he “wouldn’t say I was a fan” of Lorde’s.  “I was aware of her and I thought, ‘I’ve got a lot of respect for her,’” he explains.  Now, of course, he is a fan, and he appreciates the opportunity that being part of the soundtrack offers a band like Duran Duran.  “You get a whole bunch of people who really maybe don’t even know who Duran Duran are, to listen to you singing and maybe some of ‘em will get turned on to our music,” he explains.  

Of course, Duran Duran has appeared on soundtracks before, most famously recording the #1 James Bond theme “A View to a Kill.”

The movie itself, which opens Friday, has a broad appeal too, chiefly due to its star, Jennifer Lawrence.  LeBon says the Oscar-winning actress is the main reason he was even aware of the Hunger Games movies in the first place.  “I’m a massive fan of Jennifer Lawrence.  I think she’s fantastic,” he raves.  “So I’m kind of a fan of everything she does.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nugget of Knowldege

New Archival Live Video and Album Packages Feature Footage from Jack Bruce’s 50th Birthday Concerts

Monday, November 17th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

MVD Entertainment GroupThe music world lost one of its greatest singers and bassists when Cream‘s Jack Bruce died last month at the age of 71.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s talents are on full display in a new concert video and album package featuring highlights from a pair of 1993 performances celebrating Bruce’s 50th birthday that will be released on December 2.

Rockpalast: The 50th Birthday Concerts captures Bruce and some famous musical friends, including Cream drummer Ginger Baker and ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore, performing at the E-Werk in Cologne, Germany, on November 2 and 3 of 1993.  Among the songs played at the shows were memorable Cream tunes like “White Room,” “Sunshine of Your Love” and “Politician,” covers of the blues classics “Born Under a Bad Sign” and “Spoonful,” and plenty of material from Jack’s solo career, including “Theme from an Imaginary Western.”

Other guest musicians appearing at the concerts included keyboardists Bernie Worrell and Gary Husband, guitarist Clem Clempson, sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith and drummer Simon Phillips.  In addition, Bruce’s sons Malcolm and Jonas were on hand to perform with their dad.  The shows originally were filmed for an episode of the German TV show Rockpalast.

A video of Bruce playing “Sunshine of Your Love” with his sons, as well as Baker and Worrell, can be viewed now at RollingStone.com, while another clip from the DVDs has been posted at the MVD Entertainment Group’s YouTube channel.

Rockpalast: The 50th Birthday Concerts are available in a number of configurations, including a special edition three-DVD/one-CD set, a one-CD/two-DVD Digipack, a double-DVD collection and multiple digital formats.  The special edition features a bonus DVD offering interviews and a documentary.  The CD contains previously unreleased “lost tracks” from the concerts.

Here is the track list of the performance DVDs featured in all versions of Rockpalast: The 50th Birthday Concerts:

Disc 1
“Improvisation on Minuet No. 1″
“Can You Follow”
“Running Thro’ Our Hands”
“The Tube”
“Over the Cliff”
“First Time I Met the Blues”
“Smiles and Grins”
“Bird Alone”
“Neighbor, Neighbor”
“Born Under a Bad Sign”
“Boston Ball Game 1967″
“Ships in the Night”
“Never Tell Your Mother She’s Out of Tune”
“Theme from an Imaginary Western”
“Golden Days”

Disc 2
“As You Said”
“Rope Ladder to the Moon”
“Life on Earth”
Simon Phillips Drum Solo
“Sitting on the Top of the World”
“White Room”
“Sunshine of Your Love”
“Blues You Can’t Lose”
“Life on Earth”
“Sitting on the Top of the World”
“White Room”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Metal Depot

Clive Davis Recalls “Incredibly Proud” Moment on Whitney Houston’s First Live Album

Sunday, November 16th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

PRNewsFoto/Legacy Recordings

Last Tuesday saw the release of Whitney Houston‘s first live album, Whitney Houston Live: Her Greatest Performances, which features iconic live recordings from throughout her career.

In an interview with Billboard, the late singer’s mentor, legendary record executive Clive Davis, recalls one of those moments — Houston’s performance of “One Moment in Time,” at the Grammy Awards back in February 1989.

Davis tells the publication that he felt “incredibly proud” when Houston stole the show.  “She was lifting the audience out of their seats in an environment [where] people don’t have to do a roaring, standing ovation.  But they did,” he says.

Davis also reflected on Houston’s national TV debut performance of “Home,” on The Merv Griffin Show back in June 1983.

“It was two weeks after I signed her,” recalls Davis.  “It was as an opportunity to signal her special talent.  But Cissy [Houston, Whitney’s mother] was unhappy with the way the band leader was conducting.  If you watch [the DVD] closely you will see Cissy come in and start leading the band behind the curtain, picking up the tempo so that it would be a stronger backing musical track for her.”

The posthumous release includes 16 live songs on CD and 18 performances on DVD, featuring performances from events and TV appearances across the singer’s career.  Among the songs fans can expect to hear are her stellar rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” from Super Bowl XXV in 1991 as well as her 2009 performance of “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Pet of the Week

Original Alice Cooper Drummer Neal Smith Releases New Concept Album

Sunday, November 16th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Kachina RecordsNeal Smith, founding drummer of the Alice Cooper band, has released a new heavy metal concept album titled KillSmith and the GreenFire Empire.  The record, the third in the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s KillSmith series, tells the story of a boy from the jungles of South America who grows up to be a ruthless and powerful drug lord.

As the sinister tale unfolds, the main character discovers an ancient sacrificial drug known as “GreenFire.”  He soon is able to amass a fortune as the highly addictive substance begins to make its way across the globe.  The destructive effects of the drug eventually evoke the wrath of Killsmith, a special-ops military hero.

The previous two albums in Smith’s Killsmith saga, Killsmith/Sexual Saviour and Killsmith Two, were released in 2008 and 2011, respectively.

Autographed copies of KillSmith and the GreenFire Empire, as well as Smith’s solo albums, are available at the drummer’s official website, NealSmithRocks.com.  In addition, Smith is selling signed DVD and Blu-ray editions of the Super Duper Alice Cooper documentary.

Here is the track list for KillSmith and the GreenFire Empire:

“Blessings and Curses”
“Good Morning Blue Soul Land”
“Screaming Bloody Murder”
“The Killsmith Overture”
“Palacio de Esmeraldas”
“Greenfire – Born of Poison”
“I Want Money”
“I Remember Blue Soul Land”
“Death to the King”
“Noelle No Wonder”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kids Kare PC

The Night George Michael Told Brooke Shields, “I (Don’t) Want Your Sex”

Sunday, November 16th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesBack in the ’80s, George Michael was a huge sex symbol, but in her new memoir, There Was a Little Girl, Brooke Shields documents the night that the Wham! singer — who later came out as gay — rejected her in the back of a limo, just when she thought she was going to get lucky.

In an excerpt in People magazine, Shields says that she and Michael went on a few dates in the mid ’80s, and she had a big crush on him.  One night, the two were at a party, when he told her that it was time to go; the two got into their limo and headed home.  Brooke, who was a virgin at the time, writes, “As we were nearing the house, George put up the partition and turned to me.  I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to have my first time with George Michael in the back of a limo.  I gazed at George and puckered my lips.”

Unfortunately, sex wasn’t on George’s mind.  “He looked deep into my eyes and said, ‘I think we need to take a break.  I need to concentrate on my career,’” Shields recalls.  “I was devastated.”

However, she says now, “It was sort of ridiculous, but he was so sweet to me.  [As a virgin], I was also a really safe bet…In that era, nobody was coming out, and he was a sex symbol.  So, I was harmless.  We kind of laughed.  He was funny.  There’s a depth to him, too.”

She adds, “I was smitten just because he was so respectful and I didn’t feel pressured.  It all worked out.  It was very enjoyable.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Crusin In Cruces

U2′s Bono, Queen’s Roger Taylor Among Stars Recording New Band Aid Charity Single Saturday

Saturday, November 15th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

ABC/Adam Taylor; Neal PrestonU2 frontman Bono and Queen drummer Roger Taylor are among the big-name British music acts who will be checking their egos at the door Saturday at the recording of a new version of the legendary Band Aid single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”  The song, which was released 30 years ago this month to fight famine in Africa, is getting new lyrics to make it relevant to the Ebola crisis on that continent.

Other stars who will be lending their talents to the session include Sinead O’Connor, Coldplay‘s Chris Martin, Adele, One Direction, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding and Emeli Sandé.

Bono is the only confirmed participant in the Band Aid 30 recording who was featured on the original version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof and Ultravox‘s Midge Ure co-wrote the original song and also are also working on the new version. Ure tells Rolling Stone that when the song becomes available on Monday, you’ll have to either buy it as a 99-cent download, or wait three weeks and purchase a CD version.  Streaming music services will not have access to the track until after the new year.

Noting the fact that this is an effort to raise money, Ure says, “All we can do is hope that Ed Sheeran and One Direction and everyone else plead with the fans not to stream this, not to download this for free.”

He adds, “These kids know this song because they’ve heard it blasting out of radios every Christmas since they were born. What they now have to learn is why the song was done in the first place and why it’s being done this time — for slightly different but equally valid reasons.”

You also can donate to the cause by visiting BandAid30.com.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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