Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on November 10th, 2014

Roger DaltreyPete TownshendThe Who launched a new 3D immersive app on Nov. 10, developed in collaboration with their management company Trinifold, U.K. tech company Immersive, and Universal Music. "The Who Immersive App" is centered on a 3D virtual world that features key events and landmarks from the Who's 50-year history, including some of the iconic visuals conjured by Pete Townshend's songs, such as a pinball and a magic bus. The app's 16-strong staff includes Jamie Daltrey (son of Who frontman Roger Daltrey), who has been closely involved in the app's development, gathering rare band artifacts from his father and from Trinifold. The app links both to download and streaming services, and subsequent updates will celebrate not just the band's past but its future, offering a "relationship" with The Who via virtual access to the group's upcoming tour. British dates begin Nov. 30, with two sets of North American runs starting in April and September 2015. The app (which coincides with Universal's just-released The Who Hits 50! compilation) is now available free, with a premium version for Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headsets planned for the new year. The Who Hits 50! recently debuted at No. 93 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart. - Billboard, 11/10/14.

Authorities in New Zealand announced on Nov. 10 that they were dropping the most serious charge of attempting to procure a murder against AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd. Rudd was arrested on Nov. 5 on that charge, as well as threatening to kill and possession of methamphetamines and cannabis, but now Rudd's legal counsel Paul Mabey says that following consultation with the Tauranga crown solicitor and senior police on Nov. 7, he is no longer facing a charge of hiring a hitman to carry out two killings. Rudd still faces charges of threatening to kill and the more minor drug possession charges. "Mr. Rudd has suffered unnecessary and extremely damaging publicity as a result of widespread and sensational reporting of a very serious allegation, which on any basis was never justified," Mabey said in a press release. He added that Rudd is considering any possible remedies he may have. Rudd remains out on bail until his next court appearance on Nov. 27. On Nov. 7, AC/DC released a statement saying that "Phil's absence will not affect the release of our new album Rock or Bust and upcoming tour next year." Rock or Bust is due to drop Dec. 2 in the U.S. Although sources close to the band say a replacement drummer could easily be found for their upcoming tour, finding a replacement for Rudd for future recordings, as well as a replacement for guitarist Malcolm Young who is suffering from dementia, could be more problematic. - Billboard, 11/6/14...... Stevie WonderStevie Wonder will be among a group of recipents receiving the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom from Pres. Barack Obama during a ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 24. The medal is the highest honor granted to civilians in the U.S. and honors contributions to U.S. security, world peace and cultural achievement. Other recipients include composer Stephen Sondheim, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, actress Marlo Thomas, and author Isabel Allende. Wonder kicked off a U.S. "Songs in the Key of Life" performance tour on Nov. 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, featuring music from his groundbreaking 1976 double LP. "I challenge America, I challenge the world, to let hatred go, to let racism go," Wonder told the sold-out audience. "That is the only way we will win as a nation and the world." Wonder's tour, which includes Grammy-winning singer India.arie, wraps in December in the Los Angeles area. Wonder has also revealed that he has two new projects on the way -- a set of orchestral remakes of his songs with producer David Foster titled When the World Began, and Through the Eyes of Wonder, a more conventional studio album that will be his first since A Time to Love in 2005. - AP/Billboard, 11/10/14...... In other Soul music news, the former chauffeur of James Brown recently told the UK paper The Guardian that the iconic "Godfather of Soul"'s body has never been buried. The driver, William Murrell says that the body of Brown, who died in 2006, is still being kept at Brown's daughter's house in a mummified state so it would never decompose, and at a cost of $140,000. Why? "When you got almost 20 kids and six wives it's hard to get you in the ground," Murrell said. Brown, who married only three times and actually fathered nine legitimate children, died of congestive heart failure and pneumonia. In 2010, his reported love child LaRhonda Pettit claimed that his body had been stolen from a crypt in order to prevent an autopsy being carried out. However, both a funeral director and another of Brown's children, Deanna Brown Thomas, subsequently denied her allegations. A James Brown biopic titled Get On Up and co-produced by Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger recently premiered on the premium cable channel HBO and is set to be released in the UK on Nov. 21. - New Musical Express, 11/6/14...... Speaking of the Rolling Stones, insurance underwriters involved in a legal battle with the band over a $12.7 million claim have won permission to seek evidence in Utah about the mental health of Mick Jagger's girlfriend L'Wren Scott before she took her life in March. In October, a federal judge in Utah allowed the 12 underwriters to gather testimony and documents from Randall Bambrough of Ogden, the brother of Scott. Jagger was "diagnosed as suffering from acute traumatic stress disorder" after Scott's death and was advised by doctors not to perform for at least 30 days, according to documents filed in the court case in Utah. Before the tour, the group took out a $23.9 million policy to be paid in the event shows were canceled due to the death of family members or others, including Scott. Scott was a fashion designer and Utah native whose suicide prompted the rock group to postpone a concert tour of Australia and New Zealand and then file a $12.7 claim for losses due to its postponement. An autopsy completed on the body of 49-year-old Scott found she died of hanging in her New York City apartment. Meanwhile, the Stones have announced that their concert in Sydney, Australia will go ahead as planned on Nov. 12, following the cancellation of a gig in Victoria over the previous weekend. It was reported that Mick Jagger was suffering from a sore throat that would prevent the band from playing at Hanging Rock in Victoria on Nov. 8. "[The] remaining shows are proceeding as scheduled, we've had no update outside of this," the promoter of the shows said in a statement. - AP/NME, 11/10/14...... Nick MasonAs Pink Floyd's latest album The Endless River hits stores on Nov. 10, drummer Nick Mason has hinted the band's archives could release more unreleased material in the future. "There's always a sort of discussion going on about what we could do," Mason recently told Billboard. "And it tends to be one of those things that I think is probably more driven by the record company than us... But we're always open to their ideas." Mason added that the 1977 album Animals "technically is perhaps one of our less well-recorded records" and that he would like to see that album have a sonic overhaul. "I think we'd just probably clean up some of the tapes and just sort of review it and see whether it can be enhanced. And if one was doing that, one might have a look at whether there's anything else to be done on it. But no one's got that down on their work schedule at the moment," Mason said. He also revealed that he has "spent a lot of time over the last few years putting together an archive of [Pink Floyd] video and film footage, and I think it'd be an interesting thing to [release] at some time." Mason says he and David Gilmour are planning to release some videos to support The Endless River, including material from the 1993-94 recording sessions for The Division Bell, where most of the new album's material started. - Billboard, 11/10/14...... An accident involving a vehicle and a pedestrian at the intersection in London made famous on the Beatles's 1969 album Abbey Road has renewed concerns by local authorities that a crossing guard at the location is necessary. According to the London Examiner, on Nov. 7 a woman darted into traffic and was struck by a Volkswagen, the force of which sent her airborne. She was taken to a local hospital, and the severity of her injuries was unknown, although she was expected to recover. The Westminster Council reportedly had already been looking into the possibility of hiring a crossing guard for the intersection, given the high number of tourists that visit the site and the number of pedestrians who frequently come close to getting hit by cars there. - The Hollywood Reporter, 11/10/14...... Fleetwood Mac announced on Nov. 10 that they will launch a tour of the U.K. and Ireland in 2015. The recently-reunited band will kick things off with back-to-back shows at London's 02 Arena on May 27 and 28, before travelling to Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin and Leeds during June. The shows will feature Christine McVie, who recently rejoined the group and performed with the band for the first time since 1997. - NME, 11/10/14...... Emmylou HarrisCountry/pop songstress Emmylou Harris will be honored at an upcoming concert at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 10. "The Life & Songs of Emmylou Harris: An All-Star Concert Celebration" will feature the 13-time Grammy winner herself, along with such artists and friends as Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Mavis Staples, Martina McBride, John Hiatt and Lucinda Williams, among others. - AP, 11/7/14...... A spokesman for former Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant is denying the singer has reportedly turned down a $500 million offer from billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson to reform the legendary group for a series of 35 live dates to take place in only three cities. "Jimmy [Page], John [Paul Jones] and Jason [Bonham] signed up immediately," a source close to Branson is quoted as saying in a British paper. "It was a no-brainer for them but Robert asked for 48 hours to think about it. When he said no and ripped up the paperwork he had been given, there was an enormous sense of shock... His mind is made up and that's that." Branson is a lifelong fan of the group and was allegedly very interested in funding the tour, offering to fly the band between venues, but Plant's rep says the claim that the Led Zep frontman turned down such an offer is "rubbish." The band last reunited in 2007 for the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at the O2 Arena in London. The band recently reissued versions of both "IV" and Houses Of The Holy remastered by Jimmy Page. - New Musical Express, 11/10/14...... School officials in Waukesha, Wisc., the hometown of Les Paul, have renamed the city's Waukesha Junior High "Les Paul Junior High" after the legendary guitar player and inventor. Paul, who died in 2009 at the age of 94, discovered his penchant for science and electronics at Waukesha Junior High, asking his teachers never-ending questions like how electricity got to light switches or why windows vibrated. Now school officials hope Paul's inspiration and innovative spirit rub off on current students. "You can kind of see that 'ah ha' moment for them of, 'It could be me, I could be that next person.' So I think that is pretty powerful," Bennett said ahead of a dedication ceremony on Nov. 8. Les Paul built his first crystal radio at age 9, around the time he first picked up a guitar. He went on to develop tape echo, multitrack recording and overdubs. He was even working on improving hearing aid technology when he died. - AP, 11/8/14...... David Bowie has released his second new song in two months to celebrate 50 years since his first recording. "'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore" gets its title from a 17th century English play of the same name, according to Bowie's Facebook page. He also says it was inspired by the destruction of World War I. "If Vorticists [abstract artists inspired by the war] wrote Rock Music it might have sounded like this," Bowie posted. It will be released in the U.S. on 10" vinyl and as a digital download as the backside of "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)," which Bowie began streaming in October. "Sue" comes from the new career-spanning Bowie compilation Nothing Has Changed, due out the same day as the single. - Billboard, 11/10/14...... Brian MayQueen's Brian May reportedly recently spent $10,000 on an extra first-class airplane seat for his cherished guitar, known as The Red Special. According to the UK's Daily Mirror, May chose to travel with his guitar next to him on a British Airways flight to Los Angeles as he was reluctant to place it in a hold with the luggage of other passengers in case it became damaged. The Red Special was built by May at his father's workshop 40 years ago and has been a constant feature of Queen's music ever since. "There is no way he would have allowed it to be treated like any other piece of luggage," a source close to May said. "A member of staff and the guitar were bumped up to first class where he had to purchase a seat for it as it couldn't go in the overhead locker." In September, Queen announced a series of UK shows to take place in 2015 with singer Adam Lambert and Queen released their new album, Queen Forever, on Nov. 10. The album features three previously unreleased tracks with Freddie Mercury on vocals, including a collaboration with Michael Jackson. - NME, 11/7/14...... A 13th show on Jan. 9 has just been added to Billy Joel's upcoming residency at New York's Madison Square Garden, which breaks the Piano Man's own record of 12 shows in a series at the venue from 2006. The show extends Joel's residency into 2015, with tickets to go on sale on Friday, Nov. 14. Each show to date has sold out quickly, with the 10 shows that have been reported so far grossing more than $20 million and moving 186,373 tickets, according to Billboard Boxscore. The Jan. 9 show will be Joel's 59th overall performance at the Garden; the current record for shows at the famed arena is held by Elton John at 64 performances. To celebrate the franchise, MSG Network will debut Billy Joel Home at The Garden, a half-hour special capturing the first year of Joel's groundbreaking franchise run at MSG with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews from his performances on Nov. 10, immediately following the Knicks home game against the Atlanta Hawks. - Billboard, 11/7/14...... Bruce Springsteen auctioned off one of his guitars, an hour lesson on how to play it, a lasagna dinner at his house and a ride in the side car of his motorcycle, for a whopping $300,000 on Nov. 5 on behalf of Stand Up For Heroes, a mashup of comedy and music involving the New York Comedy Festival and the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which helps military service members and their families after they return home. The foundation is named for the ABC news anchor injured while working in Iraq in 2006. Also on Nov. 5, the Boss played a five-song solo acoustic set that included "Growin' Up," ''Dancing in the Dark" and "Born in the U.S.A" to a crowd of fans, military leaders, service men and women and corporate executives at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. The night raised more than $1 million, with Springsteen's packages making up more than half of the contributions. - AP, 11/6/14...... Ozzy Osbourne was honored with a Global Icon award at the MTV EMA awards show at Glasgow's SSE Hydro on Nov. 10. "For four decades, the Prince of Darkness has rocked anyone who's dared to listen. He scares the hell out of most people -- and all bats. But to me he's a gentleman, a killer performer, a collaborator and a rock 'n' roll legend," said presenter Slash of Guns 'n' Roses fame. Arriving onstage, the Black Sabbath frontman seemed slightly taken aback by the crowd's enthusastic welcome, the biggest of the night, saying simply, "I don't know about this icon shit but it's good to be here tonight. I just wanna thank MTV and all you people here tonight. God bless you all." - NME, 11/10/14...... Eric Clapton was amongst the mourners at the funeral of his former Cream bandmate, bassist Jack Bruce, on Nov. 5 at Golders Green Crematorium in London. Cream drummer Ginger Baker was also in attendance, as were Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera, Procol Harum frontman Gary Brooker and Nitin Sawhney. The songs "Morning Has Broken," "Strawberry Fields Forever" and Bruce's "Theme For An Imaginary Western" were played at the service as was a musical tribute written by Clapton. Bruce passed away of liver failure on Oct. 25 at age 71. - AP, 11/6/14...... Dick SchaalCharacter actor Dick Schaal, who appeared on numerous TV shows including The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show, died on Nov. 4 at the Motion Picture and Television Fund home in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 86. Mr. Schaal was a familiar face on sitcoms of the 1960s and 70s including The Mary Tyler Moore Show spinoffs Rhoda and Phyllis. He also guest starred on The Dick Van Dyke Show, That Girl, I Dream of Jeannie and Love, American Style as well as dramas such as The Rockford Files. Working into the 1980s, he had recurring roles on Trapper John and Just Our Luck. A veteran of Chicago's Second City comedy troupe, Mr. Schaal was known at Second City for his command of physical comedy, mime and improvisation. In New York City, he worked in improvisational theater and met Valerie Harper, who became his second wife. He also appeared in several films including The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, Slaughterhouse-Five and Steelyard Blues. -, 11/5/14...... Rick Rosas, a longtime bassist in Neil Young's touring band Crazy Horse, has passed away at age 65, according to several sources. Crazy Horse drummer Ralph Molina first posted the news on his Facebook page, followed by Young's unofficial fan page Thrasher's Wheat. Rosas' cause of death is not yet known. Rosas was part of Young's short-lived backing group the Bluenotes, and he continued working with Young on several latter day classics: Freedom, Living With War and Chrome Dreams II. He also played bass on the farewell tour of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Buffalo Springfield's reunion tour. - Billboard, 11/7/14.

Phil RuddAC/DC drummer Phil Rudd was arrested on Nov. 5 in New Zealand and charged with attempting to have two men killed. Rudd, 60, was taken into custody after police raided his waterfront home in Matua, NZ. Rudd, who was also charged with possession of meth and cannabis, was arraigned and released on bail after a brief court appearance. It is unclear exactly who he was trying to have killed as the judge suppressed identifying information until trial, and warned Rudd not to communicate with the alleged hitman. Rudd entered no plea to the charges, and was ordered to appear again on Nov. 27. The Australian-born drummer was part of the original AC/DC lineup, but moved to New Zealand when the band kicked him out in 1983. Although he ended up rejoining the group in 1994 and participated in the recording of AC/DC's upcoming album Rock Or Bust, he was conspicuously absent from a recent video shoot and wasn't pictured in a recent promotional photo released by the band. In a statement on Nov. 6, the band said Rudd's absence wouldn't affect the album's release, which is set for Dec. 2, or a tour scheduled for 2015. "We've only become aware of Phil's arrest as the news was breaking," the statement said. "We have no further comment." - CNN/, 11/6/14.

The U.K.'s Classic Rock magazine brought their Classic Rock Honours awards to the U.S. for the first time on Nov. 4, at the Avalon Ballroom in Hollywood. The Doors were honored with an Inspiration Award, presented by Henry Rollins, while the 2014 Classic Rock Award was presented to Ozzy Osbourne's debut solo album, Blizzard of Oz, by Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliot. Ozzy's wife Sharon Osbourne was also honored with a Classic Rock VIP award. Gregg Allman took home the highest honor, the Living Legend Award, a fitting tribute just days after the Allman Brothers Band said farewell with a closing stand at New York's Beacon Theater. Taking the honor for Best Classic Rock Band, Queen's Brian May, who accepted the award with their current frontman Adam Lambert, said, "For Roger [Taylor] and myself it's like a new beginning, and it's all thanks to Adam." At the close of the Sammy Hagar-hosted event, an all-star jam brought together Aerosmith's Joe Perry and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top for the first time. Electric Light Orchestra mastermind Jeff Lynne, on hand to accept an Outstanding Contribution to Music award, revealed to reporters that he is working on new music under the ELO banner. "I'm working on a new album and that'll be involved in the new times when we play," said Lynne, who recently revived many of ELO's biggest hits at a concert at London's Hyde Park. Lynne's manager said the new ELO material could come as soon as 2015. - Billboard, 11/5/14...... Paul SimonPaul Simon has revealed he has agreed to cooperate with music journalist Robert Hilburn on a new biography. In a press release issued through book publisher Simon & Schuster, the 73-year-old Simon said that he had "thought seriously about writing my own memoir, but I'd rather devote my time to making music, which continues to hold my full attention... I'm confident Robert Hilburn will write an insightful book. I enjoyed and admired his biography of Johnny Cash and I think he'll tell my story well." Simon & Schuster did not announce a title or a release date for the book, and financial terms were not disclosed. In addition to the Johnny Cash biography, Hilburn has also previously authored Corn Flakes With John Lennon and Other Tales from a Rock 'n' Roll Life. - AP, 11/4/14...... Dionne Warwick's latest LP, Feels So Good, was released on Oct. 27 and is a duets album curated by some of her fellow famous musician friends, including Cyndi Lauper ("A Message to Michael"), Gladys Knight ("I'll Never Love This Way Again") and "youngsters" like Ne-Yo ("A House Is Not a Home") and Cee Lo Green (on the title cut, the album's sole original). Warwick said the idea came from her son Damon, who also acted as engineer and producer for the new album. - Billboard, 11/4/14...... A representative for Stevie Wonder said on Nov. 4 that the "Superstition" singer will welcome his ninth child in December. Rumours suggesting the 64-year-old's partner, Tomeeka Robyn Bracy, is pregnant with triplets surfaced in October, but the rep says she will only welcome one child, a daughter, and that the couple plans on naming her Nia. Bracy quietly gave birth to Wonder's latest baby in 2013. -, 11/5/14...... Bette MidlerBette Midler has announced she will embark on a 22-date tour of the U.S. on May 8, 2015, at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida, her first tour in more than 10 years. Midler's tour, which hits most major American cities and wraps on June 25 at New York's Madison Square Garden, will support her new album, It's The Girls!, which hit stores on Nov. 4 and is her first album since 2006. It's The Girls! sees the diva covering tracks from several girl groups, including the Supremes, the Shirelles and TLC. Midler's version of TLC's "Waterfalls" recently hit No. 5 on Billboard's Trending 140 chart. - Billboard, 11/3/14...... A radio station in Denver, Colorado, is pleading for the safe return of a bronze bust of John Denver that was pried off its base at the 1st Bank Center in the Denver suburb of Broomfield during a Halloween party sponsored by the station on Oct. 28. KBPI-FM is asking whoever took the bust, which belongs to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, to return it undamaged to its studios, no questions asked. It was donated by Denver's family when he became its first inductee in 2011. Police said they have to leads as of Oct. 30. - AP, 11/1/14...... A long-lost track recorded by Paul McCartney that the former Beatle recorded for his band Wings for the 1974 documentary One Hand Clapping has recently surfaced online. The track, titled "Love My Baby," was unveiled via to coincide with the reissue of classic Wings albums Venus And Mars and Wings At The Speed Of Sound, which dropped on Nov. 3. Previously, McCartney shared another previously unreleased track from his archives: an alternate take of "Beware My Love," which features Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham on drums. - New Musical Express, 11/5/14...... As Bruce Springsteen releases his first ever children's book, Outlaw Pete, in early November, the "Born to Run" singer has revealed a list of his 28 favorite books through the website Among the books that have had the most profound effect on Boss's life are Frank L. Baum's The Wizard of Oz, which he says is the first book he ever read, and tomes by such authors as Philip Roth and Leo Tolsty, who he says that he'd like to invite to an imaginary dinner party, along with Life author Keith Richards and Chronicles writer Bob Dylan. Books by Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Bertrand Russell, Richard Ford, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Saul Bellow also made the list. - NME, 11/4/14...... Bryan FerryIn an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music revealed that the band are officially broken up after a three-and-a-half year period of inactivity. Manzanera says he and multi-instrumentalist Andy Mackay agreed to go their separate ways after the last Roxy Music tour ended. "I don't think we're going to do any more shows," said Manzanera. "I think our job is done. When we stopped touring in 2011, Andy and I looked at each other and said, 'Our job is done here.'" Having recorded eight studio albums over a 10- year period, Roxy Music dissolved in 1983 only to reunite 13 years ago. Despite not releasing any new music as a group since their 1982 album Avalon, they continued to tour sporadically, and new box sets of their first two albums are due out in 2015. Meanwhile in other Roxy Music news, former frontman Bryan Ferry has just collaborated with Johnny Marr and Nile Rodgers for a track from his new solo album Avonmore. Titled "Driving Me Wild," the track is now streaming at Avonmore is produced by Ferry and Rhett Davies and hits stores on Nov. 17. It features contributions from such artists as Flea, Ronnie Spector and Mark Knopfler. - NME, 11/3/14...... "Let Me In Your Heart Again," a new song from Queen featuring vocals by the late Freddie Mercury, has been released for the first time as part of a campaign to raise awareness of AIDS. The William Orbit-mixed track is being released to mark the first day of a month-long global AIDS awareness campaign, which also features music from OneRepublic, Aloe Blacc, Wyclef Jean and Avicii. "The programme which runs through to World AIDS Day on December 1st, 2014, shares a message of hope and unity to empower today's youth to understand they can be the generation to end the AIDS crisis," sponsors Coca-Cola and (RED) said in a statement. - NME, 11/3/14...... has confirmed that Pink Floyd's new album The Endless River has become their most pre-ordered album of all time, taking the title from previous holders One Direction. The boy band's 2013 effort, Midnight Memories, had been the online retailer's most pre-ordered album of all time prior to Pink Floyd's latest and apparently final LP, which drops on Nov. 10. - NME, 11/3/14...... Elvis PresleyThe largest Elvis Presley exhibition ever mounted in Europe, "Elvis At The O2: The Exhibition Of His Life," will open at London's O2 Arena on Dec. 12. Boasting over 300 artifacts from the Presley family's treasured Graceland Archives, some of which have never before been exhibited outside the Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tenn., the exhibit chronicles the iconic singer's rise from his early days and also included material from his record-breaking concert tours, his military service and Hollywood film career. It also showcases his life at Graceland, including automobiles, personal items, historical documents, iconic stage costumes and guitars on display. "We are more than happy to allow these treasured memories to leave Graceland, if only for a short time, so that his fans and the curious can learn about who he was as an artist, and understand what he was really like at home, by seeing the things that he surrounded himself with," Presley's ex-wife Priscilla Presley said in a statement. - NME, 11/4/14...... Iconic jazz clarinetist Acker Bilk, best known for his 1961 instrumental smash "Stranger on the Shore," died on Nov. 2 after a short illness. He was 85. Mr. Bilk, who was born in Somerset UK and known for his goatee, bowler hat and colorful apparel, was regarded as one of most important figures in trad jazz revival, was appointed an MBE for his services to the music industry in 2001. Pamela Frances Sutton, Mr. Bilk's personal manager for 45 years, said he was "a wonder of a man." "He lived for music... he had a special tone to his clarinet playing, he was fun-loving and very much a Somerset guy. His last concert was simply brilliant. He could really charm an audience," she said. "Stranger on the Shore" was the UK's biggest selling single of 1962 and made Mr. Bilk the first UK act to top the US charts in the 1960s. His last concert was in August 2013 at the Brecon jazz festival in Wales. - NME, 11/2/14..... California lawyer Tom Sneddon, the former district attorney who sought twice to try Michael Jackson on child molestation charges, died on Nov. 1 at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital after a battle against cancer. He was 73. Sneddon investigated Jackson on child sexual abuse allegations in 1993 and again a decade later. The first case fell apart after a young boy's family accepted a multimillion dollar settlement from Jackson and declined to testify against him. The probe closed with no charges, and Jackson shot back in a thinly disguised swipe at Sneddon in a song called "D.S." on the HIStory album. The song contains the lyrics, "Dom Sheldon is a cold man." A second set of allegations against Jackson made by a young cancer survivor resulted in a televised trial in 2005 which ended with Jackson being acquitted, with his defense attorney Thomas Mesereau painting Sneddon as an overzealous prosecutor who had a "personal vendetta" against Jackson after the first case fell apart. Sneddon, who continued to insist that he believed Jakcson could be a danger to children, retired in 2006.

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