Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on June 29th, 2014

Bobby WomackSoul legend Bobby Womack, known for hits including "Lookin' for a Love," "That's The Way I Feel About Cha," "Woman's Gotta Have It," "Harry Hippie" and "Across 110th Street," died on June 26 while battling colon cancer and diabetes. He was 70. The son of two musicians, Womack began his career as a member of the gospel group Curtis Womack and The Womack Brothers with his siblings Curtis, Harry, Cecil and Friendly Jr. After leaving the group in 1965, Womack became a session musician, playing guitar on several albums, including Aretha Franklin's landmark Lady Soul before releasing his debut album, Fly Me to the Moon, in 1968. A string of successful R&B albums would follow, including Understanding and Across 110th Street, both released in 1972, 1973's Facts of Life and 1974's Lookin for a Love Again. In 1989, Womack sang on Todd Rundgren's "For the Want of a Nail" on his album Nearly Human and in 1998, performed George Gershwin's "Summertime" with The Roots for the Red Hot Organization's Red Hot + Rhapsody benefit album. Womack enjoyed a renaissance in recent years, appearing on the band Gorillaz' track "Stylo" from their third album, Plastic Beach. This association with Damon Albarn led to him producing Womack's acclaimed 2012 album The Bravest Man In The Universe, which his first release in over a decade. Womack toured extensively with Gorillaz and appeared at Glastonbury Festival in 2013, and was in the process of recording the follow-up, tentatively titled The Best Is Yet to Come, reportedly featuring contributions by Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart and Snoop Dogg, at the time of his death. Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. Womack's health had suffered in recent years; he'd been treated for colon cancer and in 2013 told fans he had "signs of Alzheimers." The Rolling Stones, whose association with Womack dates back to 1964 when they released a cover of the Womack song "It's All Over Now," posted a message on their website in honor of Womack. "Bobby Womack was a huge influence on us. He was a true pioneer of soul and R&B, whose voice and songwriting touched millions. On stage, his presence was formidable. His talents put him up there with the greats. We will remember him, first and foremost, as a friend." - Rolling Stone/The Hollywood Reporter, 6/27/14.

Eric ClaptonIn a new interview with Uncut magazine, Eric Clapton hints at retirement, saying "the road has become unbearable." "It's become unapproachable, because it takes so long to get anywhere. It's hostile -- everywhere: getting in and out of airports, traveling on planes and in cars," the legendary 69-year-old guitarist says. Clapton also suggested he is likely to spend more time in the studio in the coming years. "There are tons of things I'd like to do, but I'm looking at retirement too," he said. "What I'll allow myself to do, within reason, is carry on recording in the studio. I don't want to go off the boil to the point where I'm embarrassing myself." When asked if he plans to stop playing guitar altogether, Clapton replied, "Maybe. It might be that I can't, if it hurts too much. I have odd ailments." Clapton also discussed the possibility of a Cream reunion with the magazine, but from his comments, the prospect of getting the band back together seems highly unlikely. "I haven't spoken to Jack [Bruce] or Ginger [Baker] for quite a time," he said. "I don't think there's been any line of dialogue between any of us -- or between me and them, that is to say -- since the American affair [the trio's Madison Square Garden shows in 2005]. "After that I was pretty convinced that we had gone as far as we could without someone getting killed," he continued. "At this time in my life, I don't want blood on my hands! I don't want to be part of some kind of tragic confrontation." Clapton's latest remarks come after an interview with Rolling Stone in 2013, when he told the magazine: "When I'm 70, I'll stop. I won't stop playing or doing one-offs, but I'll stop touring, I think." - Rolling Stone, 6/27/14.

Phil CollinsAs Genesis is apparently planning to temporarily reunite in 2016 for a new documentary for the BBC, former member Phil Collins has just donated his massive collection of The Battle of the Alamo artifacts to the historic site in San Antonio, Texas. "I've had a love affair with this place since I was about 5 years old," Collins said in an interview with the AP at the site, noting his fascination with the famous battle where 1,500 Mexican troops laid siege to 200 Texans began with the Walt Disney miniseries Davy Crockett. "It was something that I used to go and play in the garden with my soldiers." Collins will pay to have the items shipped to San Antonio, and while some of them will be on display as soon as October, a new building to house much of the collection will be constructed in the near future. Among the items in Collins' collection are a rifle and leather shot pouch owned by Davy Crockett, as well as a pair of powder horns the folk hero supposedly gave to a a Mexican officer before his death. Collins said that his favorite item was a receipt for a saddle bought by John W. Smith, a messenger who rode through Mexican lines in hopes of securing reinforcements. The musician also promised to keep collecting, adding "once I've lived with whatever I buy for a month, I'll ship it over here." In 2012, Collins even authored a book about his fascination with the Alamo, The Alamo and Beyond: A Collector's Journey. - Rollng Stone, 6/26/14.

Graham NashStephen StillsDavid CrosbyCrosby, Stills & Nash have announced they will revive their "covers project" album soon after they finish third leg of their 36-date concert tour, which concludes Oct. 4 at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. The project, begun in 2010 with producer Rick Rubin, came to an abrupt halt in the summer of 2012 after they had finished recording seven songs. The trio has since reconvened and re-recorded five of the songs. The trio loved the idea of a covers album when it was pitched to them by Sony A&R executive Jay Landers, and among the songs that made the cut were Lennon & McCartney's "Norwegian Wood," Bob Dylan's "Girl From North Country," and Tim Hardin's "Reason to Believe." "We did seven songs and none of them excited us," says Nash, 72. "Sony owns those seven songs that they have no right to release. We went back to the studio in Santa Monica and started over and we've got five we really like." The trio, along with sometime bandmate Neil Young, will release CSNY 1974, a box set of live recordings from their troubled 1974 reunion tour, on July 8 via Rhino Records. Their summer tour starts July 2 in Bethlehem, Pa., and includes stops at New Yorks Beacon Theater (July 8 and 9), the Ravinia Festival outside Chicago (July 19), New Orleans Saenger Theatre (Aug. 23) and the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Washington (Sept. 13 and 14). Meanwhile, Stephen Stills has revealed he will become the third member of the trio to release a memoir. "I'm writing one right now," the guitarist says. "And it is a bitch. It's the hardest f---ing thing in the world! I mean, there's writing and there's typing. I'm so frustrated with my computer that I'm going to get a f---ing Selectric typewriter and organize this thing like I was taught to do in school." Unlike most rock stars, Stills is determined to write the entire book himself, without the aid of a ghostwriter. "I got an 800 verbal [on my SAT]," he says. "Dammit, I'm writing it myself. Why would I use a ghostwriter? Do you want a 300 page People interview?" - Billboard, 6/25/14.

Robert PlantRobert Plant has just announced details of a new album with his band The Sensational Shape Shifters. Titled lullaby and...The Ceaseless Roar, the new LP will be released on Sept. 8. Produced by Plant, it features 11 new recordings, nine of which are songs written by Plant with the rest of the band. The first single from the album, "Rainbow," will be released later this summer. The album will be Plant's first record since 2010's Band Of Joy, which followed 2007's collaboration with Alison Krauss, Raising Sand. The all-new lineup of the band features Justin Adams, John Baggot, Juldeh Camara, Billy Fuller, Dave Smith along with Cast guitarist Liam "Skin" Tyson. Plant and his band have also announced a UK and Ireland tour for later in the year. The band will play 13 dates on the stretch including Newport, Bournemouth, London, Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Dublin and Blackpool. - New Musical Express, 6/23/14.

Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney released a video statement concerning his recent illness and hospitalization on June 24, telling fans "I feel great" in the wake of his recent illness. "Everybody's been asking how I'm feeling " I feel great, thank you very much for asking| feeling great, rocking and rolling", said the former Beatles member in the video. Ringo Starr also recently offered a health update on McCartney. Speaking to Access Hollywood, Starr confirmed that his Beatles bandmate was recovering at home having been discharged from hospital. "I spoke to him in the hospital," said Starr. "He picked up and said 'hi.' He's doing OK. He was in hospital but now he's out and getting fit and ready to rock. He's doing good. I text him and he texts me back." Earlier in June, McCartney was struck down by a virus which saw him hospitalised in Tokyo, Japan. He subsequently postponed a series of shows in Lubbock, Dallas, New Orleans, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Nashville and Louisville on his "Out There" tour, which have now been rearranged for October. - New Musical Express, 6/25/14.

Bob DylanA draft of Bob Dylan's lyrics for his groundbreaking 1965 song "Like a Rolling Stone" sold for $2.045 million at auction on June 24. The lyrics were sold to an unidentified bidder at auction house Sotheby's, who called the sale a "world record for a popular music manuscript." Written in pencil on four sheets of hotel stationary, Sotheby's described the item as "the only known surviving draft of the final lyrics for this transformative rock anthem." Still, the sheets do feature some lyrics that didn't make the final cut, including the phrase, "dry vermouth/You'll tell the truth" and an abandoned line about Al Capone. The lyrics also show Dylan's various attempts to build a rhyme off of the "How does it feel" line with phrases like, "it feels real," "does it feel real," "get down and kneel," "raw deal" and "shut up and deal." The draft -- written at the Roger Smith Hotel in Washington D.C. -- also boasts some of Dylan's stray thoughts and doodles. The item was already expected to fetch between $1 million and $2 million at Sotheby's rock and pop sale, dubbed, "History of Rock and Roll From Presley to Punk." While the seller was not identified, the auction house called him a "longtime fan from California" who bought the manuscript directly from Dylan. - Rolling Stone, 6/24/14.

Howard BakerFormer U.S. senator Howard Baker, a one-time towering political figure in Washington who also served several presidents and famously asked during the Watergate scandal "what did Richard Nixon know and when did he know it," died on June 26. He was 88. A Tennessee Republican, Mr. Baker made his political mark over four decades, serving as majority leader and also ran for president in 1980. Mr. Baker was first elected to the Senate in 1966 and led the chamber from 1981-85. He was Reagan's chief of staff from 1987-88, and was ambassador to Japan under Pres. George W. Bush. Mr. Baker also played a key role in the Watergate investigation that led to the downfall of Pres. Richard Nixon. As the vice chairman and ranking Republican of the investigation into Nixon's connection to the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, Mr. Baker famously asked "what did the President know and when did he know it." Pres. Barack Obama said in a statement that Mr. Baker's unofficial role as the "Great Conciliator" had "won him admirers across party lines, over multiple generations, and beyond the state he called home." Former president George H.W. Bush said Mr. Baker was "adept at listening to the other guy state their position as he was at articulating his own." Eli WallachIn related news, veteran actor Eli Wallach passed away on June 24 at age 98 due to causes unknown. Mr. Wallach is best known to a generation of moviegoers from two iconic roles: Calvera, the leader of the frontier thugs who terrorize a Mexican village in The Magnificent Seven (1960); and Tuco, the "ugly" of Sergio Leone's epic "spaghetti Western" The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). A Brooklynite and son of Polish immigrants who graduated from the University of Texas and later studied at the Actors Studio beside a host of heavy-hitter theater actors and movie stars including Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and Paul Newman, Mr. Wallach made over 90 films and was one of the last living links to the single most fertile period of American acting. After serving as a medic in World War II, the 5-foot-7 Mr. Wallach returned to New York and landed his first Broadway part in 1945. Within the next few years, he rose to become a fixture on the New York stage and began doing live TV. His other notable film credits include Baby Doll (1956), The Misfits, opposite Monroe and Clark Gable (1961), Lord Jim (1965), How to Steal a Million (1966), Cinderella Liberty (1973), Winter Kills (1979), The Executioner's Song (1982), The Godfather: Part III (1990) and The Ghost Writer (2010). In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Wallach is survived by his other children Peter and Roberta and film critic A.O. Scott, whose grandfather was Wallach's brother. - CNN/Rolling Stone, 6/26/14.

A proposed TV drama series based around the career of the Beatles has been tripped up after Sony/ATV chairman/CEO Michael Hirst said in an interview that NBC has not secured the rights to the iconic band's music from Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which owns publishing rights to all but six of John Lennon and Paul McCartney's Beatles compositions. "About six months ago, we were working with Sony Pictures TV on a show centered around the journey of the Beatles, and at one point we were talking about working with Baz Luhrmann," says Bandier. John Lennon"We hadn't taken the next step, which is to reach out to the Beatles. The proposal is still on the table." Earlier in June, it was reported that Michael Hirst, who has previously acted as executive producer on The Tudors, will produce a series on The Fab Four for NBC, but Bandier says "NBC couldn't produce a show without the songs, and we can't produce a show without approaching the Beatles for their likeness rights." Meanwhile a competing project called The Fifth Beatle, about Beatles manager Brian Epstein, has been in development for years and has been granted access to the Lennon/ McCartney archives. In related news, a company named Epic Rights has just secured a worldwide licensing, global branding and rights management agreement with John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono to develop a worldwide initiative encompassing the career of her late husband. Julian LennonEpic Rights will develop two new programs for the John Lennon legacy: the John Lennon Classic brand for products featuring the artist's name, likeness and signature; and the Bag One Arts brand based on drawings by John Lennon from rare archival sketches. These drawings encompass the years 1964 through 1980 and celebrate human love and communication, including his iconic and instantly recognizable self-portrait. Meanwhile John Lennon's eldest son Julian Lennon is set to release his first-ever box set with Everything Changes (Music from Another Room) on Sept. 10. The four-disc set includes three editions of his recent studio release, Everything Changes, including studio, acoustic and instrumental versions as well as the documentary, Through the Picture Window. It will also include a 36-page booklet and a two-picture vinyl disc set, as well as a limited edition run of 1000, which will be numbered and include a signed certificate from Lennon. - Billboard/Beatlesradio.com/The Hollywood Reporter, 6/21/14.

Elton JohnElton John paid tribute to Casey Kasem on the final night of the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn., on June 15 by dedicating his performance of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" to the late radio legend, who passed away earlier in the day. "I'm a British guy who came to America in 1970 and just loved every second of it. And there was one guy on the radio I used to listen to all the time who passed away today," Elton told a near-capacity crowd before launching into his soulful classic from his 1974 LP Caribou. "So I want to dedicate this song to Casey Kasem. Travel safely, my angel." John's many hit singles were a fixture on Kasem's weekly Top 40 countdown show; in fact, Kasem and John both saw their careers rise together as Kasem's America's Top 40 show debuted in July 1970, two months before Elton released his first major single "Your Song." Kasem was laid to rest in a private memorial in Los Angeles on June 21, with around 100 of his family and close friends in attendance. Radio broadcasts were played during the ceremony, which also featured speeches from his children. Pop music arranger David Campbell brought the mourners to tears with an emotional performance of Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns" on violin. Kasem died of complications from dementia at age 82 on June 15. - Rolling Stone/WENN.com 6/22/14.

StingIn a new interview with the UK's Daily Mail newspaper, former Police frontman Sting opened up about the inspiration of his latest solo album, The Last Ship, and the last conversation he had with his dying father -- while also reflecting on his own mortality and how that manifests in his art. "I have lived more of my life than is to come: That is an interesting place for an artist -- more interesting than writing about your first girlfriend," he says. "It is kind of serious... In our sixties, how do we face this imponderable idea that we are not going to exist anymore? We make art. We tell stories. We have to face it, to tell it. I am certainly not ready for death. Do I fear it? Well, I fear sudden death. I want to die consciously. I want to see the process. I suppose I already do." Sting also revealed that he smokes marijuana occasionally as a creative catalyst. "If I'm feeling stuck on a lyric or an idea isn't quite gelling, sometimes a puff of weed will free it up," but notes that he "rarely smoke(s) it socially." Sting says he's also adamant the his six kids -- Eliot, Joe, Mickey, Jake, Fuchsia, and Giacomo -- won't inherit his estate, which is worth an estimated $288 million. "I told them there won't be much money left because we are spending it! We have a lot of commitments. What comes in we spend, and there isn't much left," he said, adding that trust funds would be like "albatrosses round their necks." "They have to work. All my kids know that and they rarely ask me for anything, which I really respect and appreciate," he said. - Rolling Stone/WENN.com, 6/23/14.

Bob Dylan's upcoming our of Australia will include a special date at the Sydney Opera House on Sept. 7. Tickets for the Dylan's tour Down Under went on sale in mid-June for gigs in Perth (8/13, 14), Melbourne (8/18, 19, 20), Brisbane (8/25), Canberra (8/29), Adelaide (8/31) and Sydney (10/3, 4, 5). According to promoter Chugg Entertainment, demand for tickets was "so overwhelming" additional dates have been added for Sydney and Melbourne. Dylan's Australia & New Zealand trek also includes stops in tour opener Hamilton on Aug. 9 and 10 and the tour closer, Christchurch on Sept. 10. These upcoming shows will the first in more than two decades since the legendary artist played theaters Down Under. - Billboard, 6/23/14.

Jimmy C. NewmanGrand Ole Opry legend Jimmy C. Newman, known for such Cajun-influenced country hits as "Alligator Man," died on June 21 in a Nashville hospital following a brief illness. He was 86. Starting his career as a mainstream country performer, Mr. Newman moved to a Cajun direction in the 1970s, becoming one of the most respected artists in the genre. Born Aug. 29, 1927 in Mamou, La., Mr. Newman grew up listening to the Cajun music of his area, but was also enamored with cowboy music and what was known as "Hillbilly Music." He started playing music during his teenage years, cutting some sides for the Future label in the 1940s. With the support of legendary songwriter Fred Rose, Mr. Newman signed a contract with Dot Records in 1953, and the following year his No. 4 country song "Cry, Cry, Darling" established him as a hit-maker and became the first of 33 country chart singles over the next 17 years. He became a member of the Louisiana Hayride on KWKH, staying there until the Grand Ole Opry beckoned with an invitation of membership in 1956. With the WSM and Nashville promotional machine firmly behind him as an Opry member, Mr. Newman notched his biggest hit in 1957 with "A Fallen Star," which peaked at No. 2 on the country chart and crossed over to No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart. Mr. Newman continued to play to his devoted fans -- both on the road and at the Grand Ole Opry -- for the rest of his life, celebrating his golden anniversary as an Opry member in 2006. His final album, Jimmy C. Newman Sings Swamp Country, was released in 2012. - Billboard, 6/22/14.

Michael JacksonA holographic image of Michael Jackson performing onstage during the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 18, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nev., has triggered a new lawsuit. In the days leading up to the spectacle, Hologram USA, owned by firebrand entrepreneur Alki David, attempted to stop it by claiming it infringed patented hologram technology that he had exclusively licensed. The Billboard Awards performance was allowed to happen, but the dispute is hardly over after Pulse Evolution, whose animators and technicians spent many months preparing the show, filed a $10 million lawsuit on June 19. In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Pulse attacked Alki David as a "charlatan who had no involvement whatsoever in the development of the Michael Jackson animation." The move follows David's own lawsuit, which originally named Prometheus Global Media, parent of Billboard Music Awards producer Dick Clark Productions, among the defendants. In other Jackson-related news, a 3D musical movie starring the late King of Pop called Captain EO has temporarily closed at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., and might be gone for good. Disney has said that EO is "expected to return at a later date," though some Disney fan blogs -- including DlandLive and Mice Chat -- are speculating this could be the end of EO. The Tokyo Disneyland equivalent of the show recently announced the permanent closure of their Captain EO Tribute, which will close on June 30. - The Hollywood Reporter/Billboard, 6/20/14.

Glen CampbellThe condition of Glen Campbell has reportedly deteriorated to the point where the country/pop icon needs full-time professional care, according to his wife Kim. Kim Campbell has decided to place her husband in a long-term care facility and on June 20 responded publicly for the first time to criticism from Campbell's eldest daughter Debby. In an email to The Associated Press, Kim Campbell wrote that doctors persuaded her earlier this spring to discontinue care at the family's home, which drew criticism from Debby. "It is crushingly sad to see him afflicted with Alzheimer's but indulging those feelings does not help him," Campbell wrote, adding, "I am his wife and no one wants him home more than me but I must do what is in his best interest." Debby Campbell told Country Weekly magazine in mid-June that she objected to the move and that she and Campbell's eldest children heard about it through news media reports. She also said she did not believe family members in Nashville, where the Country Music Hall of Fame member now lives, were spending enough time with him. Campbell, 78, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2011. He issued two albums and went on a world tour following the diagnosis. At the time, Kim Campbell said the tour was a way to help her husband combat the brain-ravaging disease and spend time with his family members, including Debby, who made up his band and traveled with him. Glen Campbell has eight children, including three with Kim Campbell, his wife of 32 years. She says she spends time with her husband every day and that two of his children who live in Nashville visit weekly. Beyond that, she says she organizes activities for the Grammy Award-winning singer of such hits as "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Wichita Lineman. "He has longtime friends here in Nashville who come to play music for him and give him hugs," Kim Campbell said. "He has activities and therapies to stimulate him and help him experience daily moments of success. His life is filled with love and laughter and he is being cared for round the clock by people who specialize in Alzheimer's care and happen to adore him." - AP, 6/20/14.

Merry ClaytonMerry Clayton, the "Gimme Shelter" backup singer whose story was featured in the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, was badly injured in a major car accident in Los Angeles on June 16. "Merry sustained severe injuries to her lower body, including major trauma to her lower extremities. We are truly grateful that our dear Merry is still with us," reads a statement posted on her official website. The statement continues: "She has a long road of recovery ahead and we thank you all for your prayers as we link arms together with faith and the Lord's strength for her rapid healing. For all that know her personally, and those that have been blessed by her God-given talents, please know that her spirit is very strong and her faith unwavering. Her voice is not silenced and His praises continue to be on her lips." Clayton's powerhouse vocals have made an impact on a wide variety of musicians, from Ray Charles (whom she supported as a teenaged Raelette) to Carole King, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young. The most famous use of her voice came on her contribution to the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter," where she sings the line, "Rape! Murder! It's just a shot away." The success of the Academy Award-winning 20 Feet From Stardom brought renewed attention to Clayton's talents, and a compilation of her 1970s solo work called The Best Of Merry Clayton came out in June 2013. - Rolling Stone, 6/22/14.

Brian JohnsonAC/DC frontman Brian Johnson posted a message on his website on June 19 thanking his fans for supporting his new TV series, Cars That Rock (which airs on the Quest channel in the UK.) The post also casually drops that it "looks very likely" that AC/DC will be touring sometime this year. This follows an appearance on a Palm Beach, Florida radio station back in February, in which Johnson said the band was hoping to play a series of 40 shows to commemorate its 40th anniversary. Johnson's offhand announcement didn't mention whether rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young would be joining the tour. Back in April, Young announced that he was in "ill health" and taking a break from AC/DC. While Young doesn't have the iconic stature of Johnson or his brother Angus Young, his unflashy, rock-solid rhythm playing is an essential element of the group's sound -- and along with Angus, he's one of the only two members of the band who's been a member through all four decades. - Entertainment Weekly, 6/19/14.

Eric Clapton has issued an apology to fans after walking off stage early during a gig in Glasgow in June 22. Clapton was performing at the Hydro in Glasgow but left during a performance of his song 'Cocaine' due to what has been described as a "technical issue." Fans were left confused by the sudden end to the gig and a statement on Clapton's official website explained his reason for departing the stage before the end of the song. "Unfortunately last night we experienced a steadily worsening technical problem with the PA system that the band battled with throughout the show. But by the last song of the set it became unbearable on stage and Eric was unable to complete that number." The statement continues: "The usual touring set length runs at 1hr 35 mins so in fact the full set was performed apart from the entirety of 'Cocaine' which had to be curtailed. Eric is nevertheless sorry for the break in the concert." Clapton's next scheduled live performance is on June 23 at the SAP Arena in Mannhiem, Germany. - New Musical Express, 6/23/14.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on June 20th, 2014

Gerry GoffinLyricist Gerry Goffin, who cowrote such famous pop hits as "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," "The Loco-Motion" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" with his ex-wife Carole King, died in his home in Los Angeles on June 18 of natural causes. He was 75. Born in Brooklyn in 1939, Goffin married King in 1959 as the pair were attending Queens College. Over the course of his career, he cowrote seven songs that reached Number One on the charts and over 50 Top 40 hits, including the Monkees' "Pleasant Valley Sunday," the Everly Brothers' "Crying in the Rain," Bobby Vee's "Take Good Care of My Baby" and James Taylor's "You've Got a Friend." Writing in Brill Building cubicles, the King-Goffin team composed over 100 hits in countless styles, including "Wasn't Born to Follow" (the Byrds), "Chains" (The Cookies, also covered by the Beatles), "Don't Bring Me Down" (the Animals) and "I'm Into Something Good" (Herman's Hermits). Carole KingIn 1962, they wrote, arranged, conducted, and produced the song "The Loco-Motion" for their 17-year-old baby-sitter, Little Eva, and it went to No. 1 that summer, and a remake by Grand Funk Railroad hit the top of the charts again in 1974. In 1990, Goffin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with King. After his separation from King, Goffin went on to cowrite several Top 10 hits, including Gladys Knight and the Pips' "I've Got to Use My Imagination," Diana Ross' No. 1 hit "Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" and Whitney Houston's "Saving All My Love for You." Goffin released his final album, Back Room Blood, in 1996. Goffin and King, who are the parents of two children including singer-songwriter Louise Goffin, divorced in 1968. Their story served as the basis for the musical "Beautiful: The Carole King Story," which garnered seven Tony nominations this year and won two, including Best Actress for Jessie Mueller's portrayal of King. "Gerry Goffin was my first love," Carole King said in a statement. "He had a profound impact on my life and the rest of the world. Gerry was a good man and a dynamic force, whose words and creative influence will resonate for generations to come. His legacy to me is our two daughters, four grandchildren, and our songs that have touched millions and millions of people, as well as a lifelong friendship. He will be missed by his wonderful wife Michele, his devoted manager, Christine Russell, his five children, and six grandchildren." - Rolling Stone, 6/19/14.

Robert LammChicago singer/keyboardist Robert Lamm says that sticking "Now" at the front of the venerable brass-fueled group's next album Now: Chicago XXXVI is no insignificant detail. "I think that there are many people who, whether they like Chicago or don't like Chicago, assume that what Chicago does is all what you hear on classic rock radio, or that Chicago is some dinosaur-like presence on the tour circuit. And we just wanted to kind of change that perception if we could by suggesting 'Now,'" Lamm told Billboard. Lamm says the band recorded the new LP in a mobile recording unit while touring in 2013, often in hotels and backstage dressing rooms. "Because nobody lives in the same town anymore, we decided to try to record on the road," Lamm says. Lamm co-wrote seven of Now's" tracks -- including "Something's Coming, I Know" with Gerry Beckley of America -- while Chicago singer-bassist Jason Scheff collaborated on four. Lamm adds that he's confident Now's sophisticated musicianship will appeal to longtime Chicago fans, despite its cutting edge method of recording. Chicago beings a European tour on June 26 in Paris, then returns to North America for a run of dates with REO Speedwagon that begins July 31 in Concord, Calif., with the two groups planning to join each other on stage for about a half-dozen songs each night. Now: Chicago XXXVI is due out July 8 via Frontiers Records. - Billboard, 6/17/14.

Peter FramptonPeter Frampton's new mini-album, Hummingbird In A Box, will be released in the UK and US on June 24 via RED Distribution/Sony Music. Frampton says the new music was inspired by the Cincinnati Ballet, featuring seven original guitar pieces in Frampton's virtuosic stylings. The music debuted in April 2013 at Cincinnati's Aronoff Center for the Arts. Two of the Cincinnati Ballet's spring production's segments were choreographed to existing Frampton music -- with Frampton and his band performing live -- while a third section featured the new composition by Frampton and Gordon Kennedy, who also co-produced the recording. "Writing for dance was a wonderfully freeing experience. There were no boundaries," Frampton says. "We were able to push the composing envelope." Following a massive year of touring, including 2013's inaugural Frampton's Guitar Circus, Frampton returns to the road this summer with a tour of select solo dates, a co-headlining run with the Doobie Brothers and the return of Frampton's Guitar Circus. Frampton was recently inducted in the Musicians Hall of Fame, performed on-stage at the Grammy's with Ringo Starr and also played an integral part in the 50th anniversary celebration of the Beatles' arrival in the United States. Frampton also produced Humble Pie's Rockin' The Fillmore deluxe reissue with original member Jerry Shirley. - Noble PR, 5/15/14.

Paul SimonA Connecticut prosecutor announced on June 17 that his office is dropping a disorderly conduct case against Paul Simon and his wife, Edie Brickell. Simon, 72, and Brickell, 48, had been scheduled to be in court on that day, but they did not appear. Police say the couple fought during an April 26 argument inside a cottage on their property in New Canaan. Prosecutors told a judge they were declining to pursue the case, meaning the charges will be dropped and eventually erased after 13 months. Brickell told police Simon shoved her and she slapped him. The report says Simon suffered a superficial cut to his ear and Brickell, who smelled of alcohol, had a bruise on her wrist. Simon and Brickell were married in 1992 and have three children. In other litigation news, the producers of the beleaguered Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider are facing yet another lawsuit resulting from the deadly train incident which occurred during its filming on Feb. 20. Makeup artist Antonyia Verna has filed suit against the Midnight Rider production team, Gregg Allman, and the freight company, following similar lawsuits filed against them by the family of camera assistant Sarah Jones, who was killed in the accident, and other crewmembers. Verna claims that, following the incident, she sustained "serious physical injuries, medical and other necessary expenses, post-traumatic stress, mental anguish, lost income, and mental and physical pain and suffering." While Gregg Allman is listed as plaintiff in all of these lawsuits because he's an executive producer, he argues that he shouldn't be held accountable because he is not involved in the actual shooting of the film. Allman has asked producers to cease production on the film, which is based on his memoir My Cross to Bear, out of respect to Jones. While Allman at one point filed a lawsuit to stop the production, he later dropped the suit. - AP/Rolling Stone, 6/17/14.

A spokesman for Paul McCartney has announced the Beatles legend will resume his Out There tour in July after illness forced him to cancel a spate of shows. Although it was recently announced a series of shows in Lubbock, Dallas, New Orleans, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Nashville and Louisville were to be performed in mid-October, the spokesperson insists that Paul, who contracted a virus which saw him hospitalized in Tokyo, Japan, in May, is now "fine" and that "the tour resumes in July." McCartney is scheduled to play Albany, N.Y. on July 5. The BeatlesIn other Beatles-related news, the quartet's revered catalog of nine U.K. albums, the American-compiled Magical Mystery Tour, and the Mono Masters collection of non-album tracks will be released in a The Beatles in Mono vinyl box set on Sept. 9 in the U.S. (and Sept. 8 everywhere else) in mono on 180-gram vinyl LPs with faithfully replicated artwork. The Beatles' mono albums have been newly mastered for vinyl from quarter-inch master tapes at Abbey Road Studios by Grammy-winning engineer Sean Magee and Grammy-winning mastering supervisor Steve Berkowitz. While The Beatles In Mono CD boxed set released in 2009 was created from digital re-masters, for this new vinyl project, Magee and Berkowitz cut the records without using any digital technology. Instead, they employed the same procedures used in the 1960s, guided by the original albums and by detailed transfer notes made by the original cutting engineers. Newly mastered from the analog master tapes, each album will be available both individually and within a lavish, limited 14-LP boxed edition, The Beatles in Mono, which also includes a 108-page hardbound book. Up until 1968, each Beatles album was given a unique mono and stereo mix, but the group always regarded the mono as the primary one. The new Beatles mono albums will be presented exactly as they were back then, both sonically and in their packaging. The collection will also be released on compact disc. Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, it has been revealed that NBC is in the early stages of development of an eight-episode event television series about the Beatles that would tell the story of the greatest band of all time. According to Deadline.com, the series will be written by The Tudors creator/executive producer Michael Hirst who will executive produce with The Tudors executive producers Ben Silverman and Teri Weinberg. The Beatles limited series is part of NBC's push in event programming area that includes live productions like The Sound of Music, miniseries like Rosemary's Baby and limited series like the 12-part The Bible. - New Musical Express/The Hollywood Reporter/Deadline.com, 6/13/14.

Steve HackettPhil CollinsMike RutherfordTony BanksPeter GabrielThe BBC announced on June 16 that they intend on reuniting the original members of Genesis for the first time since 1975 for a new documentary. A feature-length documentary under the working title Genesis: Together And Apart for BBC Two will reportedly reunite all original members of the band -- Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins and Steve Hackett -- for the first time since 1975. The new Genesis production is part of an ambitious music strategy planned by the BBC, including new shows, partnerships and other initiatives, such as a music awards show. The U.K. public broadcaster is also working on a series with the working title The Soundtrack of the Twentieth Century for 2016. It will explore popular music's rise and transformations across the 20th century. "From Caruso to Taylor Swift via Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Eminem and many more, this is the story of 100 years of music as only the BBC can," the broadcaster said. Meanwhile in other prog-rock news, the final concert of Queen's first headlining tour will be released as the live album Queen: Live at the Rainbow '74 on Sept. 9. The group recorded the 17-song set on Mar. 31, 1974 at a sold-out gig at the 3,000-capacity London venue the Rainbow, where they were playing songs from their first two albums and supporting Mott the Hoople. The new live album also contains a second disc with a concert supporting 1974's Sheer Heart Attack that the group recorded and filmed at the same venue in November of that year. - The Hollywood Reporter/Rolling Stone, 6/16/14.

Ozzy OsbourneOzzy Osbourne is set to guest star on cable TV's Nickelodeon channel's popular preschool series Bubble Guppies as Sid Fishy, a "rock and roll fish who loves being rotten." Unlike the more wholesome residents of underwater city Bubbletucky, Sid Fishy sports a red mohawk, eyebrow and fin rings, gold tooth and slime spray to wreak havoc on unsuspecting guppies. The Prince of Darkness told Rolling Stone taht he was drawn to the character because "I've always smelled a bit fishy." Osbourne added he was attracted to the role because of his 2-year-old granddaughter Pearl. "The whole reason I did the show was for Pearl," said the man who was once arrested for urinating on an Alamo memorial while wearing his wife's dress. "She has Nick Jr. on 24/7. I can't wait to see her reaction when she hears my voice come from Sid Fishy's mouth." Meanwhile, Ozzy has revealed that there is a possibility for a new Black Sabbath album during a press conference at this year's Sweden Rock Festival in Slvesborg on June 6. "We haven't really discussed it. It is possible there's gonna be another album," said Osbourne. "But we haven't really sat down and decided what we're gonna do yet. We just wanna finish this tour and then we'll see." Black Sabbath are currently touring in support of their latest album, 13. The LP went on to debut at Number One on the Official UK Album Chart to become their first chart-topper in nearly 43 years. - Rolling Stone, 6/17/14.

Mick JaggerMick Jagger has become a grandfather for the fifth time after his designer daughter Jade gave birth to a baby boy on June 12. It's Jade's first child with husband Adrian Fillary, her third overall, and the Rolling Stones frontman's fifth grandkid. The birth comes just weeks after 42-year-old Jagger's 21-year-old daughter gave birth to her first child at the end of April, making Mick a first-time great-grandfather. Jade, who is one of Mick Jagger's seven kids, also has a 17-year-old, called Amba. She and Fillary wed in 2012. Meanwhile, Jagger has been blasted by the sister of his late girlfriend L'Wren Scott after he was photographed with a mystery woman earlier in June and just eleven weeks after the suicide death of Scott. Jagger was photographed with an unknown brunette on a hotel balcony in Zurich, Switzerland while the band were in town for a concert on June 1. In one picture, the unidentified woman appears to lean forward and kiss a seated Jagger on the head. Jan Shane, sister of the tragic fashion designer who took her own life in March, told the UK's Sunday Mirror paper that "These pictures make me wonder what Mick is really thinking and feeling. His daughter says that he is still heartbroken and devastated about losing my sister, and then you see these these photos -- he will never change." - WENN.com, 6/13/14.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on June 13th, 2014

Casey KasemRadio and television personality Casey Kasem died on June 15 in a California after battling Lewy Body disease, a form of dementia. He was 82. Born Kemal Amin Kasem in Detroit, Mich. on Apr. 27, 1932, the wholesome-voiced Mr. Kasem began his career in nearby Flint before becoming an announcer on Armed Forces Radio Korea Network in 1952. Upon his return, he went on to work at radio stations in California, Ohio and New York before launching "American Top 40" in July 1970, hosting that show until 1988, and then a revived version from 1998 until 2004, when Ryan Seacrest took over. From 1988 until 1998, Mr. Kasem hosted a show called "Casey's Top 40," ending the program with "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars." "I just didn't want to say goodbye. Every station I was at, I never said goodbye," he later explained to the New York Times of his famous sign-off. "I don't know why." In addition to his career as a disc jockey, Mr. Kasem also had a colorful TV career, which included doing the voice for Shaggy on Scooby-Doo as well as voice-overs for many commercials. A devout vegan, Mr. Kasem supported animal rights and environmental causes, as well as political organizations that spoke to him. Originally of Lebanese origin, he felt it was important to improve Arab-Jewish relations. In recent years, his health declined and in 2013, his daughter Kerri said he was suffering from dementia. Around that time, his three oldest children and brother launched a claim that his wife Jean was not letting them see their father. A court denied a petition his daughter Julie launched to take care of her father in October 2013, but in May 2014 Kerri was granted conservatorship amid a battle with Kasem's second wife, her stepmother, Jean. - ABC News, 6/15/14.

Kenny_GambleDonovanRay DaviesThe Songwriters Hall of Fame honored Kinks frontman Ray Davies, '60s pop legend Donovan, and '70s Philly soul greats Gamble & Huff during its 45th annual induction ceremony in New York on June 12. Davies was unable to attend due to the recent death of his sister Joyce, but he delivered a gracious speech via video, noting the "ups and downs" of his career -- "as anyone who's seen a Kinks concert can attest" -- and thanked "my friend Jon Bon Jovi," who'd just given a warm and very funny induction speech. Bon Jovi also performed a medley of Kinks hits, including "Celluloid Heroes," "You Really Got Me," "Low Budget" and "All Day and All of the Night," and noted that Davies' compositions are songs "which people can relate to, whether they're a factory worker in Birmingham or a teenager in New Jersey." Rising singer Miguel paid tribute to Philadelphia International founders Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, whose more than 3,500 songs over 50 years include the Supremes' "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me," Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' "If You Don't Know Me By Now," The O'Jays' "For the Love of Money" and the song Miguel performed, Billy Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones." Donovan performed "Catch the Wind" as a duet with Rosanne Cash (who sang stunningly) before being joined by the house band for his first hit, the psychedelic classic "Sunshine Superman." Also honored during the ceremony were former 10cc member Graham Gouldman, who also penned several hits for such '60s groups as the Hollies and Herman's Hermits, and "Suspicious Minds" songwriter Jim Weatherley. Speaking of the Kinks, Ray Davies has told London's Sunday Times that he has recently met with his brother Dave Davies about a potential Kinks reunion. "I met Dave only last week to talk about getting together again. We've also spoken a few times on the phone and emailed," Ray said. Dave Davies confirmed the face-to-face contact on Facebook on June 8, posting, "Ray & Dave Davies have started meeting about a potential The Kinks reunion, but we're not quite there yet." The Kinks last performed together in 1996. - Billboard/Rollling Stone, 6/13/14.

Brian WilsonBeach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson is pushing back at detractors who have been putting out bad vibes about his current recording project. According to a recent Rolling Stone article that Wilson re-published on his official website, his new LP will feature contributions from such artists as Lana Del Rey, Frank Ocean, Kacey Musgraves, and actress/singer Zooey Deschanel. "This project blows my mind," Wilson is quoted as saying. "I had no idea we could pull this off!" But not all of Wilson's fans are impressed by the idea, and the revered producer/songwriter has responded on his Facebook page: "To my fans: it kind of bums me out to see some of the negativity here about the album I've been working so hard on. In my life in music, I've been told too many times not to f--- with the formula, but as an artist it's my job to do that -- and I think I've earned that right. I'm really proud of these new songs and to hear these great artists sing on them just blows me away. I love what we've done. I would think that after making music for more than fifty years, my fans would understand that I'll always do what's in my heart -- and I think that's why you are my fans. So let's just wait until the album comes out because I think you just might dig it as much as I do." It is unclear whether all or some of those recordings will see the light of day, and Wilson has yet to announce a release date. - Billboard, 6/11/14.

Tom PettyTom Petty and the Heartbreakers' upcoming new Reprise Records album, Hypnotic Eye, is now available for pre-order at itTunes and www.TomPetty.com. All those who pre-order the album in any format from either of these outlets or are a member of the band's Highway Companions Club, will receive downloads of five tracks from the album in advance of the July 29 release date. Three of those tracks will be delivered immediately beginning today with one more to follow on both June 24 and July 15. The initial advance tracks include "American Dream Plan B," which is currently streaming on Soundcloud and at RollingStone.com, and "U Get Me High," which was sent to radio stations on June 10. It's the band's first album since 2010's Mojo, which was their first in eight years. Petty and the Heartbreakers' 2014 tour behind the new LP gets underway on Aug. 3 at Viejas Arena in San Diego, and includes stops at the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in San Francisco (8/9) as well as dates at Boston's Fenway Park (8/20), New York's Madison Square Garden (10/10), Anaheim's Honda Center (10/7) and L.A.'s The Forum (10/10). Every ticket on the tour includes a free download of Hypnotic Eye, which has been described as "maximum rock & roll" and "a decisive return to the concise '60s-rock classicism of his first great New Wave era albums." - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/10/14.

Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney announced on June 9 that he is rescheduling several U.S. tour dates on his "Out There" tour as he continues to recover from a virus he received treatment for in May. The Beatles' legend says stops scheduled for mid-June will be postponed to October. "I'm sorry, but it's going to be a few more weeks before we get rocking in America again," McCartney said in a statement. "I'm feeling great, but taking my docs' advice to take it easy for just a few more days. Look forward to seeing you all soon." McCartney was supposed to kick off the U.S. leg of his tour on June 7, but instead his first show will be July 5 in Albany, N.Y. Sir Paul, who will celebrate his 72nd birthday on June 18, says he's taking his doctor's advice and will take more time to rest. In late May, he cancelled his "Out There Japan Tour 2014" because of his illness and hospitalization in Tokyo. At the time, his rep said, "He will make a complete recovery and has been ordered to take a few days rest." U.S. tickets for the seven original June dates will be honored at the new dates. The 19-date tour, which will also hit such major markets as Pittsburgh, Chicago, Kansas City, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, New Orleans, Dallas, Atlanta, Nashville, and Jacksonville, wraps up Oct. 28 in Louisville. Paul's postponed tour dates has also left promoters scrambling to adjust their schedules. Meanwhile in other McCartney news, a new Macca biography by Q magazine contributing editor Tom Doyle titled Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s claims McCartney once threatened to kick his wife Linda McCartney out of his '70s band Wings and that he was "depressed, heavy-drinking" and "self-sedated with marijuana" following the Beatles' breakup in 1970. - Billboard, 6/9/10.

Butch TrucksThe Allman Brothers Band has announced the upcoming reissue of its classic 1971 live album At Fillmore East will be expanded into a six-disc box set, The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings, and 15 previously unreleased performances. The ABB originally compiled the album from four sets recorded over a weekend in March 1971, and the new box set also includes a complete performance recorded at the venue that June. For that performance, promoter Bill Graham handpicked them to headline the Fillmore East's final night. Featuring liner notes by "Allmanologist" John Lynskey, The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings will drop July 29. The release comes months before the Allman Brothers play what could be their final concerts at New York City's Beacon Theatre in October. Meanwhile, a documentary of a 1972 Grateful Dead concert at Bremen, Germany's Beat Club will get theatrical screenings across the U.S. on July 17 as part of the annual "Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies." The screening will feature a complete live studio performance with remastered audio. In addition to performances of a shorter version of the Dead's European tour song selection, the film will include all the in-studio banter that took place the day it was filmed. In related news, another icon of '60s psychedelia, the Jefferson Airplane, are preparing for an expansive merchandising campaign based on the band's "free your head" image, just in time for their 50th anniversary. The deal is expected to launch in 2015 based on two platforms: more affordable products, including "buttons, incense, stickers, decals and metal jewelry" and higher-end items such as "handbags, scarves, T-shirts, tops, sleepwear and other accessories, home dcor, stationery/paper goods, collectibles, gifts and novelty and publishing." Jefferson Airplane's manager, Bill Thompson, who owns the band's rights along with lead singer Grace Slick, also claims to be "in conversations" with Sony Music about potential re-releases of the band's LPs. - Rollling Stone, 6/11/14.

Neil YoungNeil Young became the victim of a Twitter porn hack over the second weekend in June, with his social networking account taken over by pornographic tweets and NSFW images. John Hamm, the CEO of Young's PonoMusic company, says that Young's account is now back in the control of the singer's management and has been restored with all pornographic tweets deleted. On June 7 a message from the account read: "Please disregard my last few tweets. This account was hacked, but it has now been resolved and taken care of." In May, Young released a surprise covers album, A Letter Home, on Jack White's Third Man Records featuring covers of tracks by such artists as Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, The Everly Brothers and more. Young recorded the album in a refurbished 1947 Voice-o-Graph vinyl recording booth at the Third Man shop in Nashville, Tenn. Young is scheduled to play two U.K. dates in July: London's Hyde Park on July 12 and the Liverpool Echo Arena on July 13 with his band Crazy Horse. - New Musical Express, 6/9/14.

Legendary actress Ruby Dee, an Oscar-nominated thespian whose career in film and on stage spanned four decades, died on June 11 at her home in New Rochelle, N.Y. She was 91. In the course of her accomplished career, Ms. Dee collected acclaim and awards including an Emmy and a Grammy. Ms. Dee also won an Obie Award in 1971 for her portrayal of Lena in Athol Fugard's Boseman and Lena (1970) and a Drama Desk Award for Wedding Band (1974). She had an impressive stage career, including a highly praised performance in "Purlie Victorious" (1963). Also on stage, Ms. Dee was notable as the proud working-mother Ruth in "A Raisin in the Sun" (1961). In 1988, she starred with Denzel Washington and Paul Winfield in "Checkmates" on Broadway and was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame. Along with her late husband, Ossie Davis, Ms. Dee was honored with the Screen Actors Guild's Life Achievement Award in 2001. In related news, Detroit music producer Don Davis who went on to helm one of America's biggest black-owned banks, died on June 12 at age 75. He leaves behind a litany of hits -- including work with his cousin Johnnie Taylor on the No. 1 '70s smash "Disco Lady" and Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. on their hit "You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)." In 1981, he took over the struggling First Independence Bank, eventually rebuilding it to more than $200 million in assets and the 12th-biggest African-American owned bank in the U.S. - The Hollywood Reporter, 6/12/14.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on June 8th, 2014

Jimmy PageThe newly released Led Zeppelin reissue series, which hit stores on June 3, is poised to re-enter the Billboard Hot 200 album chart when the latest one is announced on June 11. 1968's Led Zeppelin, 1969's Led Zeppelin II and 1970's Led Zeppelin III could each sell around 25,000 in the week ending June 8 according to industry forecasters, and should re-enter the chart within the Top 15, with a chance at hitting the Top 10. If the three LPs hit the Top 15 concurrently, they'll be the first act to do so since Whitney Houston scored four shortly after her death in March 2012. In the UK, the reissues are on course to make the Top 10 on the isles' Official Album Chart. Led Zeppelin debuted at No. 1 there, while II and III bowed at No. 7 and No. 6, respectively. Meanwhile in other Led Zep news, Robert Plant has responded to Jimmy Page's comments that he was "fed up" with the singer holding back a LZ reunion, telling reporters at a press conference he thought the guitarist needed to "have a good rest." "I think he needs to go to sleep and have a good rest, and think again. We have a great history together and like all brothers, we have these moments where we don't speak on the same page but that's life," Plant told The National. In an interview with The New York Times, Page accused Plant of "playing games" with potential LZ reunions. "I'm fed up with it, to be honest with you. I don't sing, so I can't do much about it. It just looks so unlikely, doesn't it?," said Page, who has been in favor of a reunion tour. Plant is currently on tour with his band The Inspirational Space Shifters recently announced that he's just finished recording his first solo LP since 2010's Band of Joy. - Billboard/New Musical Express/Rolling Stone, 6/6/14.

Gene SimmonsKiss is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its eponymous debut album with a new retrospective called Kiss 40. The 40-track collection debuted at No. 30 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart for the week ending June 1, selling 7,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Kiss 40 is the 35th charted album for the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honorees on the Billboard chart, marking the third-highest total among American bands, trailing only the Grateful Dead with 60 and the Beach Boys with 48. Kiss 40 includes one track from each of the act's "major album" releases, in addition to live cuts and one previously unreleased demo recording. Of Kiss' 34 previously charted albums, all but four are represented on Kiss 40, and with good reason: the four absent titles are all hits compilations or box sets. Exactly forty years ago, Kiss was in the middle of its maiden chart run with its self-titled debut album, which was released to retail on Feb. 18, 1974. Kiss's 2014 North American tour with Def Leppard begins June 23 in West Valley City, Utah, and wraps Aug. 31 in Houston. In other Kiss-related news, bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons has signed on to co-produce a new series for the Lifetime cable channel titled Ugly Models. The show is about a U.K. modeling agency that works with "character models with unique and unusual looks," as it makes its way into the U.S. market. The show will document how the business adapts to a different market. Simmons is also partnering with his bandmate Paul Stanley for a new AMC reality series about the arena football team they own, the L.A. Kiss. The show, which is titled 4th and Loud and is set to premiere in the summer, will focus on the players, coaches and, of course, its rock-star owners, as well as Kiss manager Doc McGhee. - Billboard/Rolling Stone, 6/6/14.

The U.K.'s Classic Rock magazine is heading to America for its annual Classic Rock Awards for the first time ever this fall when it will hold the event at the Avalon nightclub in Hollywood on Nov. 4. The gala will include the annual Classic Rock Living Legend Award -- previously won by Jimmy Page, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Rush, Iggy Pop, Jeff Beck and Lemmy Kilmister -- along with a selection of other categories, many of them determined by a public vote. The characteristically star-studded show will also include live performances, celebrity presenters and, for attendees, VIP amenities. "We thought this was the 10th anniversary we should take this thing to the second home of rock 'n' roll," Classic Rock editor Sian Llewellyn told Billboard magazine. "We want to take this globally now, and the Americans love rock as much if not moreseo than the Brits." The Classic Rock Awards have been held at venues in London, including the famed Roundhouse. For the past two years the show has been televised via Britain's Sky Arts. A broadcast deal for this year's ceremony is currently being negotiated. Meanwhile in other award show news, Kris Kristofferson stunned the PEN Awards on June 2 in Boston when he gave an impromptu performance of "Me and Bobby McGee." The country outlaw legend and fellow singer/songwriter Randy Newman were honored at PEN's Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Awards by such artists as Elvis Costello, Roseanne Cash and Lyle Lovett. - Billboard/Rolling Stone, 6/6/14.

Ringo StarrRingo Starr says he's "probably two-thirds through" completing the follow-up to his last album Ringo 2012, and hopes to release it in February 2015. "Usually I make the record in January, February, March and mix it in April," Ringo recently told Billboard. "But because of all that Beatles stuff I sort of got behind because of the rehearsals and the fun and the joy. I was in L.A. until the first of April and I was trying to finish the record and just said, 'Ah, I've got too much to do.'" Starr says he has plans to work on it during July and August, when he's back in L.A. after the first leg of his latest All-Starr Band tour, which kicked off June 6 in Rama, Ont., and wraps on July 19 at L.A.'s Greek Theatre. Ringo has been working on the new set with Toto guitarist and current All-Starr Band member Steve Lukather, along with Peter Frampton, Richard Marx, Dave Stewart, Glen Ballard and Nashville songwriter Gary Nicholson. "It's all my pals, really. We just get together," Starr notes, adding that the results are "sounding incredible." It's a mixed bag, as my records always ware. We have the reggae track and we have the rock track and that's how it is. It's pop, rock, reggae." Starr is also taking the production reins on his own this time after working with Bruce Sugar on Ringo 2012 and 2010's Y Not. 2014 also marks the 25th anniversary of the first All-Starr Band tour, though Starr says he's not surprised the concept has had staying power. John Lennon"I think it's a great show to come and see," he says. "I always say it's like a jukebox, y'know? Every song's a hit. I put it together, and it's gone on." In other Fab Four news, a collection of John Lennon doodles, poems and short stories from two humorous books Lennon produced in the 1960s fetched huge prices at a Sotheby auction on June 4. A nine-page manuscript parody of Sherlock Holmes titled "The Singularge Experience of Miss Anne Duffield," was the top lot in the sale, bringing $209,000 although it had been estimated to sell for only $50,000 to $70,000. The material was created for the two critically acclaimed books of short stories and poems Lennon published during the height of Beatlemania, In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works, published in 1964 and 1965, respectively. A cartoon of a boy with six birds that appeared in A Spaniard in the Works sold for $27,500 in the auction. The drawing was used 30 years later as the cover for the Beatles' single "Free as a Bird." The cartoon had a pre-sale estimate of $12,000 to $15,000. - Billboard/AP, 6/5/14.

Don HenleyThe Eagles' Don Henley has made a fresh attack on Frank Ocean for alleged "song theft" regarding the Odd Future member's 2011 track "American Wedding," which saw him singing new lyrics over "Hotel California." Two years after the Eagles threatened to sue Ocean, Henley has accused Ocean of being "arrogant" over the matter in a new interview with the Sydney, Australia Daily Telegraph. "Mr. Ocean doesn't seem to understand US copyright law," Henley told the paper. "Anyone who knows anything should know you cannot take a master track of a recording and write another song over the top of it. You just can't do that. You can call it a tribute or whatever you want to call it, but it's against the law. That's a problem with some of the younger generation, they don't understand the concept of intellectual property and copyright," he added. In the future, Henley suggests younger artists be more like Michael Buble, who did a "totally legal cover" of the Eagles' "Heartache Tonight" in 2009. "You can record anyone's song you like -- it's called [buying] a compulsory licence," he said. "You don't just go and do it." Ocean previously insisted that he was "paying homage" to Henley on his track "American Wedding" and didn't deserve to be sued. Writing online he said: "Ain't this guy rich as f---? Why sue the new guy? I didn't make a dime off that song. I released it for free. If anything I'm paying homage," he posted. - Billboard, 6/4/14.

Gary Glitter'70s pop star Gary Glitter was charged -- again -- with eight counts of sexual offenses involving teenage girls by English authorities on June 6. The charges relate to two women who were aged between 12 and 14 at the time of the alleged offenses between 1977 and 1980. The former pop star -- whose real name is Paul Gadd -- is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on June 19. Glitter, 70, was arrested in October 2012 -- the first in a series of arrests under the "Operation Yewtree" national investigation that was launched in the wake of a child abuse scandal surrounding late BBC entertainer Jimmy Savile. The Crown Prosecution Service said no further action would be taken over five allegations made by two other people. Glitter is best known -- musically, at least -- for his "Rock And Roll (Part 2)," long popular at sporting events for its catchy, easily scannable "chorus" that consists of yelling "Hey!." For years, numerous other sports teams have used the song as part of their celebration. - AP, 6/5/14.

Steel guitar great Weldon Myrick, a legendary instrumentalist who played on records by such iconic singers as Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson, passed away on June 2 following a stroke. He was 76. Myrick's work was a vital part of classic country hits such as Jerry Jeff Walker's "Mr. Bojangles," George Strait's "Lets Fall To Pieces Together," and Alan Jackson's "Chattahoochee," as well as most of Connie Smith's 1960s RCA Victor releases. The Texas-born Myrick took up steel guitar at an early age and moved to Nashville in 1963. He started working with Grand Ole Opry star Bill Anderson, who helped secure a recording contract for Connie Smith with RCA. Smith recorded the No. 1 country hit "Once a Day," the first of many of her hits that Myrick's steel work graced. In related news, Bernard "Doc" Neeson, the frontman of hitmaking Australian rock group The Angels (also known as Angel City and The Angels from Angel City), died on June 4 after a battle with brain cancer. He was 67. At its peak, the Angels was the quintessential Aussie pub-rock band; a group blessed with an arsenal of explosive songs and -- with Neeson at the mic -- one of the most charismatic singers in the rock business. - Billboard, 6/6/14.

Gregg AllmanThe Allman Brothers Band has announced it will return to New York's Beacon Theater for six shows in October, and those shows could be their final concerts, at least in the current incarnation. Oct. 21, 22, 24 and 25 will be make up dates from this year's "March Madness" run that were postponed by Gregg Allman's bout of pneumonia. Two more concerts have been added for Oct. 27 and 28. "That's the way for this incarnation of the band to go out, one final, short Beacon run," ABB guitarist Derek Trucks recently told Billboard. "I think that's appropriate for this version of the group. I think we've done most of our best work there (at the Beacon)," he added. Trucks and fellow guitarist Warren Haynes announced earlier in 2014 they would be leaving the group after a 14-year tenure, making this the longest-running lineup in the Allmans' 45-year history. Before the Beacon run, the band has summer concert shows set for the Mountain Jam Festival in Hunter Mountain, N.Y., on June 8; the Peach Fest in Scranton, Penn., on Aug. 14-17; and the Lockn' Music Fest in Arrinton, Va., on Sept. 7. In other ABB news, Gregg Allman is now also being sued by a hairstylist on the troubled Midnight Rider biopic film who claims to have suffered a fractured arm and post-traumatic stress as a result of the freight train accident that threatens to derail the entire production. Joyce Gilliard has filed the lawsuit in Savannah against the producers of Midnight Rider, director Randall Miller, and Allman, just shortly after the family of camera assistant Sarah Jones filed a wrongful death suit against the production after a train struck Jones on Feb. 20 in Wayne County, Ga. while she prepared for a camera shot. Six other people were hurt in the incident, including Gilliard. "The pressure from the train was so strong it pulled me off what I was holding onto and it snapped my arm. I immediately grabbed my arm and wrapped it up with a piece of the prop, which was a sheet," Gilliard said in May in a conference call, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Gregg Allman has asked for production on the movie to be shut down. - Billboard/Rolling Stone, 6/2/14.

Robert FrippSeminal prog-rockers King Crimson have announced they will reunite for three New York CIty shows in September, at the Best Buy Theatre on Sept. 18, 19 and 20. The new lineup features original Crimson mastermind Robert Fripp reuniting with bassist Tony Levin and drummer-percussionist veterans Pat Mastelotto and Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree). The trio will be joined by eclectic drummer Bill Rieflin (R.E.M., Nine Inch Nails), guitarist-vocalist Jakko Jakszyk and woodwind legend Mel Collins. The latter two musicians collaborated with Fripp on the 2011 LPA Scarcity of Miracles, and Collins played on numerous early Crimson albums (including 1974's iconic Red). Fripp says the he and the other musicians plan o rehearse in England before shifting to the U.S. in August or September 2014. "There is a plan to include the UK in the tour dates," he said, "but it depends on a number of circumstances. Right now the primary geographical focus is the United States." The new King Crimson dates come as somewhat of a surprise given that Fripp more or less announced his retirement in a 2012 profile with The Financial Times, saying, "My life as a professional musician is a joyless exercise in futility." - Rolling Stone, 6/2/14.

Jesus Christ SuperstarProducers of a planned 51-city "Jesus Christ Superstar" arena tour that was scheduled to start at New Orleans' Lakefront Arena on June 9 abruptly announced on May 30 that the tour has been cancelled due to low ticket sales. The star-studded "Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Spectacular Tour" was to have included in its cast Brandon Boyd of Incubus, John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of the Sex Pistols, JC Chasez of 'N Sync, and Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child. The trek was to be presented by JCS co-writer Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group and event producer S2BN Entertainment, which is run by veteran Rolling Stones promoter Michael Cohl. Although a notice on the tour's official website stated no explanation, Cohl told Rolling Stone magazine that "In the end it just did not make business sense to continue, and we didnt want the cast to endure playing to disappointing audiences." Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's rock opera has seen numerous stage productions since its debut in 1970. In 1971, the show's concept album topped the Billboard Hot 200 album chart. - Billboard, 5/30/14.

James BrownThe latest trailer for Universal's upcoming James Brown biopic has arrived online. The clip begins with the following voiceover from star Chadwick Boseman: "Want to get to know me? I'll tell you. Dad in the army. Mama left. No one else helped me." Brown's concise bio is accompanied by images of his childhood, including him banging on pots and pans, his time in prison and him performing onstage. The trailer features other glimpses of Brown's success, including him visiting the White House and sporting a fur coat while standing in front of a private plane. The "Godfather of Soul" also meets manager Ben Bart (Dan Aykroyd), who's shown saying Brown, "blew the roof off of that place," and he also meets the mother who abandoned him, played by Viola Davis. The clip ends with Brown and Aykroyd watching a man try to dance the mashed potato while a confused-looking Brown says, "What the hell are you doing? That ain't nobody's mashed potato." The film, directed by The Help director Tate Taylor, hits theaters August 1. Meanwhile in other Soul news, Aretha Franklin, former president George H.W. Bush, and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg were honored with honorary degrees from Harvard University during 2014 commencement ceremonies on May 29. The 72-year-old Franklin, who received an honorary doctor of the arts, accompanied herself on piano to perform the national anthem. - Billboard/AP, 5/29/14.

Kris KristoffersonSinger/songwriter/actor Kris Kristofferson will play Pres. Andrew Jackson in an 8-hour miniseries called Rising to be broadcast on the A+E network. Rising, which will premiere in 2015, will detail the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers, the oldest law enforcement group in North America. "For me, Kris was an obvious choice," said poducer and co-writer Leslie Grief of ThinkFactory Media. "There aren't too many actors that are able to embody this character and the stature, strength and liberty to play the part." Kristofferson won a Golden Globe for his role in 1976's A Star Is Born opposite Barbra Streisand. His credits other include the Blade trilogy, Billy the Kid, Fast Food Nation and Dolphin Tale, among others. Also included in the cast of Rising will be Brendan Fraser, Ray Liotta and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. - The Hollywood Repoerter, 5/30/14.

Bruce SpringsteenBruce Springsteen joined the Rolling Stones onstage during a May 29 concert in Lisbon, Portugal for a rendition of "Tumbling Dice." The two legendary acts previously performed the song together in Springsteen's home ground of New Jersey in 2012 during another Rolling Stones gig, the band's 50th anniversary celebration in Newark. Even when Springsteen isn't joining Jagger for live collaboration, his E Street Band gigs occasionally feature some Stones covers: "The Last Time," "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," and "Jumpin' Jack Flash" have popped up in Springsteen's setlists, and during a 1984/85 tour, the E Street Band covered "Street Fighting Man" on a nightly basis. The Stones tour will now visit a host of European cities, including a headline set at Roskilde Festival in Denmark on July 3. The band resumed their world tour on May 26 at Oslo's Telenor Arena, after suspending some dates in March in Australia and New Zealand following the death of Mick Jagger's girlfriend L'Wren Scott, who committed suicide in her apartment in New York. - Rolling Stone, 5/30/14.

Ann B. DavisBeloved American actress Ann B. Davis, best known as housekeeper Alice Nelson on the iconic '70s series The Brady Bunch, passed away on June 1 at University Hospital in San Antonio, Tex., after suffering a fall in her nearby home. She was 88. Born Ann Bradford Davis in 1926, in Schenectady, N.Y., and raised in Erie, Penn., Ms. Davis said she took to using her middle initial because "just plain Ann Davis goes by pretty fast." She began her entertainment career at age 6 when she and her twin sister, Harriet, earned $2 with their puppet show. She attended the University of Michigan where she first majored in premed and graduated in 1948 with a degree in theater. She joined a repertory theater in Erie, Penn., and got her big break while doing a cabaret act in Los Angeles, singing and telling jokes. Ms. Davis became a regular as a razor-tongued secretary on The Bob Cummings Show (also known as Love That Bob) in Jan. 1955, which brought her supporting actress Emmy Awards in 1958 and 1959. After that series ended in 1959, she appeared in such movies as A Man Called Peter, Lover Come Back and All Hands on Deck, playing summer stock during layoffs and touring with the USO to entertain U.S. troops in Korea and elsewhere. In 1965-66 she played a gym teacher at an exclusive girls' school in The John Forsythe Show, before her best known role in The Brady Bunch came along in 1969. "I did a couple of pilots that didn't sell, a few movies and one year of nightclub work, which I hated. Then I did the pilot of The Brady Bunch and never had to do another nightclub," she told the AP in a 1993 interview. Ms. Davis' face occupied the center square during the show's opening credits. Her love interest was Sam the Butcher, played by Allan Melvin. In her blue and white maid's uniform, Ms. Davis' character, Alice Nelson, was constantly cleaning up messes large and small, and she was a mainstay of stability for the family in the 1969-1974 sitcom. Ms. Davis became a born again Christian in 1993. "It happens to Episcopalians. Sometimes it doesn't hit you till you're 47 years old," she once said. She took a long sabbatical from the theater, largely limiting her performances to Brady Bunch specials and TV commercials, and returned to the theater in 1993, joining the touring cast of "Crazy for You," a musical featuring the songs of George and Ira Gershwin. Ms. Davis never married, saying she never found a man who was more interesting than her career. "By the time I started to get interested (in finding someone), all the good ones were taken," she told the Chicago Sun-Times. Bill Frey, a retired Episcopal bishop and a longtime friend of Ms. Davis, said she suffered a fall on May 31 at her San Antonio home. Frey said Davis had lived with him and his wife, Barbara, since 1976. Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch, said in a statement that Ms. Davis "made me a better person... How blessed I am to have had her in my life. She will be forever missed." "I'm shocked and saddened! I've lost a wonderful friend and colleague," Brady Bunch matriarch Florence Henderson said in a statement, and Eve Plumb, who played Jan Brady on the series, called Ms. Davis "an amazing lady." "She was great to work with, and I have wonderful memories of our scenes together on The Brady Bunch," Plumb said in a statement. "She was kind and generous to all of us on set." - AP, 6/2/14.