Posted by Administrator on November 20th, 2014
Motown artist Jimmy Ruffin, known for such hits as "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" and "Hold on to My Love," died on Nov. 17 in a Las Vegas hospital of undisclosed reasons. He was 78. Born on May 7, 1936, Collinsville, Miss., Ruffin was signed to Berry Gordy's Motown Records, doing back-up work for the label, and had a string of hits in the 1960s, including "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted," which became a Top 10 pop hit in September 1966. He had continued success with songs such as "I've Passed This Way Before" and "Gonna Give Her All the Love I've Got," but had a big comeback in the spring of 1980 with his second Top 10 hit, "Hold on to My Love," which was produced by late Bee Gees member Robin Gibb. Ruffin was also the older brother of The Temptations lead singer David Ruffin, who died in 1991 at age 50, and worked with him in the 1970s on the album I Am My Brother's Keeper. Ruffin, who lived in England for many years, was described as "a rare type of man who left his mark on the music industry" in a statement by his daughter, Philicia Ruffin. "My family in its entirety is extremely upset over his death. He will truly be missed. We will treasure the many fond and wonderful memories we all have of him," she added. - AP, 11/19/14.
Pink Floyd have scored their first UK No. 1 album since 1995 with their latest effort, The Endless River. The LP sold over 139,000 copies in its first week of release according to the country's Official Chart Company and was Britain's third fastest album of the year, behind albums by Coldplay and Ed Sheeran. "[Pink Floyd] are both thrilled and surprised at the level of international interest in this their final album. They want to thank the fans for their support and hope that in some small way, The Endless River has reminded them of the old fashioned joy of listening to an album in its entirety," a spokesperson for the band said. Meanwhile, Queen's new album Queen Forever, featuring never before released material and a collaboration between Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson, has bowed at number five in the UK. - New Musical Express, 11/17/14...... A colorful wall dedicated to the memory of John Lennon in the Czechoslovakian capital of Prague was painted over apparently by a group of art students on Nov. 17. The wall, which was painted with Lennon's images and related graffiti related to his assassination in 1980, became a symbol of freedom under the old Czech communist regime with young people meeting there to light candles and lay flowers. The students who claimed responsibility for painting the wall white left the message "Wall is over!," an apparent play on word of the Lennon hit "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," and a huge billboard sponsered by John and his wife Yoko Ono simply saying "War Is Over" that was once on display in New York's TImes Square. The student group, known as Prague Service, said in a statement that it was done to mark Monday's 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution that ended communist rule in Czechoslovakia and "to provide free space for new messages of the current generation." However new messages, including "The wall is never over" immediately began to appear on the wall, which was previously painted over several times by communist authorites to stop unwelcome adoration of a Western musician and activities considered dangerous to the totalitarian regime. - AP, 11/18/14...... In more Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney and Elton John will be among the performers featured in an upcoming Thanksgiving TV special on cable's VH1 showcasing taped live performances at the famous Bonnaroo festival in Manchester, Tenn. A Very Bonnaroo Thanksgiving, which also features such acts as Arcade Fire, Metallica, Pearl Jam and Jack White, among others, airs on Nov. 27 beginning at 9:00 p.m. EST. Pre-sales for the 2015 Bonnaroo fest are set to begin the next day, Nov. 28, at noon EST. - Billboard, 11/18/14...... Publisher Blue Rider, an imprint of Penguin Random House, announced on Nov. 19 that it has inked a deal with founding Beach Boys member Mike Love for a memoir to be published in 2016. Titled Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy, Blue Rider says that Love, 73, will open up about the band and his "complex" relationship with Brian Wilson, his cousin and mastermind of the legendary American pop group during their peak years in the 1960s. Love and Wilson have fought over songwriting credits and creative control of the group. Good Vibrations will be published, appropriately, during the summer. - AP, 11/19/14...... The family ofBob Marley and a Seattle-based private equity firm have teamed up to market a "premium brand of cannabis rooted in the life and legacy" of the late reggae legend, it was announced on Nov. 18. A New York City-based company will offer "Marley Natural" as "loose packed" buds, oils or concentrate, and it will packaged by Heckler Associates, the agency that branded New Balance and Starbucks Coffee. While Marley's family has recently licensed a variety of lifestyle products in reference to the musician's affinity for marijuana, this marks their first move into the selling of the actual herb. "Herb is for the healing of the nation; herb is for the meditation; herb is for the higher vibrations," Marley's son Rohan Marley said. - The Hollywood Reporter, 11/18/14...... Patti Smith is calling critics of her upcoming performance at the 2014 Vatican Christmas Concert at Rome's Auditorium Conciliazione on Dec. 13 "fools." Smith received a personal invitation from Pope Francis to perform at the event, a decision that has been slammed as "blasphemous" by the Catholic organisation Portosalvo after the punk poetess's 1975 song "Gloria" notoriously featured the lines: "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine." "I'm not playing to the Pope," Smith said in an interview with the UK's The Guardian paper. "He may not even be there! But I expect there'll be a bunch of cardinals... It's a Christmas concert for the people, and it's being televised. I like Pope Francis and I'm happy to sing for him. Anyone who would confine me to a line from 20 years ago is a fool!" Smith and Pope Francis previously met in April 2013 at St Peter's Square, where the two shook hands. The Vatican Christmas Concert will also feature a performance from "singing nun" Sister Christina Scuccia, who recently won Italy's version of The Voice and covered another singer with a background which is controversial to Catholics, Madonna. - New Musical Express, 11/19/14...... Bruce Springsteen has just launched an online store -- Live Bruce Springsteen -- where fans of the Boss can relive the magic of a certain show or those who got shut out of tickets. The site features recordings from more than 30 recent gigs, including a 2014 gig in New Zealand during which he performed Born to Run in its entirety, and the March 9, 2012, performance with the E Street Band at New York City's Apollo Theatre. Thirty shows from the recent High Hopes tour will also be covered. Springsteen was reportedly inspired to release his own shows after viewing fan-shot videos on YouTube, saying "We can do better than this! We own the masters." For the privilege of reliving the old concerts, fans can expect to plunk down $19.95 for 24-bit HD downloads; $9.95 for MP3s; $12.95 for lossless CD-quality FLAC and ALAC; and $23 for CDs, which will be available Dec. 1. - Billboard, 11/18/14...... '70s artists Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel and Joan Baez were among the honorees at the ASCAP Centennial Awards Gala in New York City on Nov. 17. Among those paying tribute to Wonder was Motown founder Berry Gordy, who instead of saying positive things about the icon -- because he said he has done it repeatedly at other events -- told the crowd about some of Wonder's flaws, joking that the R&B legend was a "lousy driver" and that his "golf game sucks." He also said Wonder was consistently late, explaining that his seminal 1976 album, Songs in the Key of Life, came two years behind schedule. Sting stunned the audience with a performance of Billy Joel's "Big Man on Mulberry Street" -- ending with a high note that even left Joel impressed, before Joel performed "New York State of Mind." Also honored during the evening were Garth Brooks and Stephen Sondheim - AP, 11/18/14...... Speaking of Stevie Wonder, '70s teen idol Donny Osmond covers Wonder's "My Cherie Amour," with Wonder accompanying him on harmonica, on his upcoming album The Soundtrack of My Life. Osmond will release the LP, on Jan. 13, 2015, to celebrate 50 years in show business. The album finds Osmond paying homage to Wonder and other artists who have influenced him, and will be his 60th LP. "'My Cherie Amour' was the first record I ever purchased," Osmond told Billboard, "When I started working on the song, I thought, 'It would be so cool if Stevie would be willing to play harmonica on my version.' He agreed to do it. It truly is an honor to have him on my 60th album." - Billboard, 11/17/14...... In a recent post on his official website, Neil Young is urging his fans to boycott the Starbucks retail coffee chain, which recently joined up with the Monsanto corporation in a lawsuit against the state of Vermont over the issue of labeling genetically-modified food ingredients. "Starbucks is supporting a lawsuit that's aiming to block a landmark law that requires genetically-modified ingredients be labeled," writes Young. "Amazingly, [Starbucks] claims that the law is an assault on corporations' right to free speech. Monsanto might not care what we think -- but as a public-facing company, Starbucks does. If we can generate enough attention, we can push Starbucks to withdraw its support for the lawsuit, and then pressure other companies to do the same." The Canadian-born folk-rocker adds that he's a longtime Starbucks latte drinker, and that he has been impressed with the company's progressive stances "on LGBT and labor issues in the past," however he says that Vermont is the very first state in the U.S. to require labeling... Dozens of other states have said that they will follow this path -- in order to encourage this, we need to ensure that Vermont's law stands strong." - Billboard, 11/17/14...... Kiss has been confirmed as the third headline act for the UK's Download Festival 2015. The shock-rockers will co-headline the third and final night of the event with Motley Crue on Sunday, June 14. It will be Kiss's first appearance at the fest since 2008. "To all our fans -- our intention is to get on that stage, blow the heavens to smithereens and take no prisoners," Kiss principal Gene Simmons said in a statement. Also confirmed to play the 2015 Download are Judas Priest, Faith No More, Slash and Marilyn Manson - NME, 11/19/14...... The Who have announced they will play London's Hyde Park in June 2015 as part of net year's British Summer Time festival. Their headlining set will be the final performance of the band's "The Who Hits 50" UK tour, and opening acts will include Paul Weller, Kaiser Chef and Johnny Marr. "It's a good gig. You draw from all over the country but a London crowd is always a good crowd. It's a Royal Park so thank you your majesty, you can't play it without her permission," Who guitarist Pete Townshend said in a statement. The Who will kick off their 9-city UK 50th anniversary tour on Nov. 30 in Glasgow. Meanwhile, Fleetwood Mac has added an extra night in Manchester on July 1 to their 2015 UK and Irish tour. The band had previously announced a Manchester date on June 12 as part of their 2015 UK tour, which gets underway with a two-night stand at the London O2 Arena beginning on May 27. - NME, 11/17/14...... Legendary producer/songwriter Giorgio Moroder, who helped invent disco in the 1970s with Donna Summer before conjuring the '80s synth sound of film soundtracks, will release his first solo album in more than 30 years in spring 2015. The long-awaited album from the 74-year-old producer will feature collaborations with the likes of Britney Spears, Sia, Charli XCX, Kylie Minogue, Mikky Ekko, Foxes, Matthew Koma and others. He has signed a worldwide deal with Sony Music International for the release of the set, which will be released on RCA Records in the US. To celebrate the announcement of his new album, Moroder released the first music video from the set, appropriately titled "74 Is the New 24." In addition to recently remixing Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett's "I Can't Give You Anything but Love" and Coldplay's "Midnight," Moroder has also been DJ'ing at music festivals around the globe. - Billboard, 11/17/14...... TV producer Glen Larson, the writer and producer behind well-loved TV series such as the original Battlestar Galactica, Knight Rider, Magnum, P.I. and Quincy, M.E., died at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles on Nov. 14 of complications from esophageal cancer. He was 77. Larson, also an accomplished singer and composer, was a powerhouse in the television landscape in the 1970s and 1980s, when he churned out hits that became staples in millions of living rooms every night. He also co-composed the theme songs for some of his hits, including the frequently sampled tune from Knight Rider and the orchestral music behind Battlestar Galactica, his son said. "He was sort of an icon," James Larson said. "There are a lot of interesting things like that." Larson's first writing credit came in 1966 on an episode of The Fugitive, and by 1968 he had worked his way up to an associate producer on the series It Takes a Thief and quickly rose through the ranks to produce some of the biggest TV shows of the time. At one point, he had five shows airing at once, his son said. A list of nearly four dozen TV credits also includes The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, B.J. and the Bear, The Fall Guy and the TV movie The Six Million Dollar Man. He is survived by his wife, Jeannie Pledger, a brother, and nine children from two different marriages. - AP, 11/15/14.
The Rolling Stones have settled their legal battle over the death of Mick Jagger's late girlfriend L'Wen Scott that recently brought insurance underwriters to Utah looking for evidence about the mental health of Scott before she took her life in March in New York City. A spokeswoman for the band, Fran Curtis, declined to elaborate on the details of the settlement, but she said the $12.7 million claim had been resolved before details were reported earlier in November, and added that it was "upsetting that private information was made public in court." A federal judge allowed underwriters to gather information about fashion designer and Utah native Scott from her brother in October, but he told a local Utah paper that the brother wasn't contacted. The band cancelled a number of shows in Australia and New Zealand after Scott's death, and they have now returned to the region to play the postponed gigs. Scott's family recently criticized Jagger in a recent interview with the UK's The Daily Mail paper: "The guy is just unbelievable," says Scott's brother in law Rob Shane, who says his wife Jan is still trying to put it all behind her and now Jagger is in a legal battle with insurers. "(Jagger) doesn't need the money... I read that he's claiming $12.7 million due to the cancellation of the tour and I can't understand that. L'Wren left her entire estate to him and that was valued around the same amount." - AP/WENN.com, 11/14/14.
The Doobie Brothers have earned their highest charting album on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart since 1980 with their new LP Southbound. The release, which sees the classic rock band covering its hits with the help of some of country music's biggest current stars, sold 16,000 copies for the week ending Nov. 9. It's the Doobies' highest chardting album since 1980's One Step Closer. Meanwhile, Bette Midler has scored her fifth consecutive Billboard Top 10 album with It's the Girls, which debuted at No. 3 for the week. It is the diva's highest debut ever, her second-highest charting album, and her sixth Top 10 LP overall. Midler is now only behind Barbra Streisand in charting Top 10 albums from the 1970s through the 2010's). Also heading for the Billbaord Top 10 is Pink Floyd, which is on course to chart its 10th Top 10 album with Pink Floyd's latest album The Endless River, which may sell around 150,000. - Billboard, 11/14/14...... In his just-published memoir The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light, Carlos Santana reveals that he "doesn't want to be attached to this figure thing called Santana." "I like Carlos," the Grammy-winning musician writes. "Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the performer and the person. I want to be like Harry Belafonte or Wayne Shorter or [John] Coltrane and be a person who is nice to be around." Besides detailed memories of his upbringing and musical achievements, the 544-page book also dives unapologetically deep into the 67-year-old guitar legend's philosophies and spirituality. I take special joy in dismantling cynical people," he adds. "Cynical people are like cement -- nothing grows in there. We have the capacity to make the correct choices every day, so every day can be the best day of your life, no matter what." - Billboard, 11/14/14...... Also coming out with a new biography is Fleetwood Mac founding drummer Mick Fleetwood, who reveals that he once urinated on the White House lawn just feet away from a newly elected Pres. Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton back in 1993. "I was dying to pee and I didn't have time to go back to the house before we appeared. I was saying to my manager, 'What the f--- am I going to do?'," he recounts in Play On: Now, Then, And Fleetwood Mac. "I was dressed like Mr Rumours, in knickerbockers, with my wooden balls hanging out. The security guys must have heard because suddenly this fella with an earpiece said something like 'permission granted to urinate on the lawn'. One of our musicians took a picture of me doing it. I don't think Bill and Hillary knew about it, but they'd forgive me." Meanwhile, Fleetwood Mac has just added two extra dates to their 2015 UK and Irish tour, which gets underway on May 27 with a two-night stand at London's O2 Arena. Now the band will play two extra shows in London in June, on the 22nd and 24th. The band will also hit Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin and Leeds during the trek. - New Musical Express, 11/13/14...... AC/DC lead guitarist Angus Young is promising "there'll be a good drummer there" when the group hits the road in 2015 in support of its new album, Rock Or Bust, but he won't say whether that will be current drummer Phil Rudd, who made headlines after he was charged with threatening murder and drug possession in New Zealand. "That's sad when you see him in that space, it's sad to look at," Young says. "But we've committed to going on, going forward. That's our main thing. And also, the guy's got to be in condition to do this run. We don't want to be in this position of canceling things, 'cause if you put together a lot of stuff you don't want somebody saying, 'Oh, yeah, maybe I'll be there, maybe I won't." Cliff Williams, AC/DC's bassist, added that "It's for (Rudd) to sort himself out. We can't do it for him. We can only do so much accommodation. It's in his hands." Rock or Bust is due the first week in December, and the band is still deciding dates and routing for their tour. Meanwhile, the band's 1976 single "Dirty Deeds Done Cheap" has benefited from a sales boost following the news of Rudd's arrest. The song sold just under 2,000 downloads in the week ending Nov. 9 -- up 21 percent from the previous week. It marked the hard-rocking tune's biggest sales week since April 2014. - Billboard, 11/14/14...... Rare instrumental studio recordings by Jimi Hendrix are set to be released on vinyl in the US as part of Record Store Day's Black Friday event (Nov. 28). The new Hendrix "official bootleg," titled Hear My Music, will contain two LPs' worth of the guitar god's "creative explorations." According to Rolling Stone, Hendrix recorded the music in the first half of 1969, both as solo demos and as free-form group jams with the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Among the 11 tracks are two versions of "Valleys Of Neptune" -- one featuring a Hendrix solo on electric guitar and the other a piano version. Unedited versions of the tracks "Drone Blue" and "Jimi," both of which appeared on the now out-of-print 1980 album Nine To The Universe, also appear. - NME, 11/13/14...... Ozzy Osbourne's wife Sharon Osbourne revealed on the Nov. 11 episode of CBS's The Talk morning show that the Osbourne family's iconic reality show will be returning to television soon. Sharon says The Osbournes will return to the air for a "mini-season" of "six to eight episodes at most." "It's not as much coming back as a proper series, (but) as an update," she added, noting that Ozzy said that he "wishes we could've done The Osbournes now where I'm clean and sober." The original series, a runaway hit, ran on MTV from 2002 to 2005, and there is no word yet exactly when it will return or what channel it will air on. In other Ozzy news, scientists have named a new species of bat frog which sounds like a bat after the Black Sabbath frontman. The new breed of frog was discovered in the Amazon in 2009, bearing an unusual bat-like call. "As soon as I heard its call, I knew it was a new species. I had never heard anything like it," scientist Pedro Peloso told National Geographic. "We kept talking about the 'bat frog,' which led to us talking about being fans of Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath." The frog was named "Dendropsophus ozzyi," referring to the infamous incident that saw Ozzy bite the head off a bat in 1982. - Billboard/NME, 11/12/14...... The Doors drummer John Densmore says he's planning on writing a new book that recalls his "meetings with remarkable musicians." "I'm playing around with Meetings With Remarkable Musicians, Densmore said during an interview at the recent Classic Rock Honours Awards in Los Angeles. "Each chapter is someone I met -- George Harrison, Ravi Shankar, Patti Smith. I'm playing around with that and writing is getting me off," Densmore says, adding that he has just began work on the book and hopes to have it out "within a year or two." Densmore peviously authored the books Riders on the Storm: My Life With Jim Morrison And The Doors and The Doors Unhinged: Jim Morrison's Legacy Goes On Trial. - Billboard, 11/11/14...... In related news, legendary British rock producer Glyn Johns has just published Sound Man, a memoir that reveals the behind-the scenes dirt from throughout his career. Among the revelations are that Bob Dylan once wanted to make a record with the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. "We would pool the best material from Mick & Keith, Paul & John, Bob, and George and then select the best rhythm selection from the two bands to suit whichever song we were cutting," Johns writes. But sadly, both Jagger and McCartney flatly declined. Johns also writes that he was glad when the Eagles fired him after 1973's Desperado album because the were seeking a harder-rock sound for the follow-up, On the Border. "There is no way I could have stayed involved with what followed," writes Johns. "Fairly heavy substance abuse with hundreds of hours in the studio with the band being at each other's throats, disappearing up their own arses." - Rolling Stone, 11/20/14...... Bruce Springsteen, along with Dave Grohl and Zac Brown, delivered a controversial performace of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son" at The Concert for Valor on Veteran's Day (Nov. 11) at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Many took to Twitter to complain that the song was an "anti-patriotic" and "inappropriate" song choice, and some conservative outlets such as The Weekly Standard questioned why the singers decided to perform an anti-war protest song at a concert "largely organized to honour those who volunteered to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq." Other Twitter posters, however, defended the song, calling its detractors "culturally clueless." The concert was staged to raise awareness of veterans' support groups, raise funds for veterans' charities and salute American troops. Jennifer Hudson opened the concert with a rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner," after which Pres. Barack Obama addressed the crowd in a video message. - New Musical Express, 11/12/14...... Disgraced '70s glam rocker Gary Glitter appeared in court in London on Nov. 11 to face charges relating to 10 sex offenses against three young girls. Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, appeared at Southwark Crown Court in London to deny all of the alleged offenses, reports the BBC. He is accused of four counts of indecent assault involving one complainant between Jan. 31 and May 31, 1977. The complainant was aged 12 or 13 at the time. The former pop star, 70, is also accused of "administering a drug or other thing in order to facilitate sexual intercourse" and one count of sexual intercourse with a girl under 13 between the same dates. The charges also include counts of indecent assault between October 1979 and December 1980 made by an additional complainant, who was 13-14 in during that period. Glitter, who is accused of plying alcohol to "stupefy or overpower" one of the alleged victims, is currently free on bail. - NME, 11/11/14...... Elton John spoke out against Russia's views of homosexuality during a concert in St. Petersburg on Nov. 8. John offered his views in the middle of the show on the recent decision to remove a statue of Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs after the company's current CEO, Tim Cook, came out as gay. "How dignified that St. Petersburg should erect a memorial to Steve Jobs, the remarkable founder of Apple," John is reported to have told fans. "But last week it was labeled homosexual propaganda and taken down!" Elton continued: "Steve's memory is re-written because his successor at Apple, Tim Cook, is gay! Does that also make iPads gay propaganda? Is Tchaikovsky's beautiful music sexually perverting? As a gay man, I've always felt so welcome here in Russia. Stories of Russian fans -- men and women who fell in love dancing to 'Nikita' or their kids who sing along to 'Circle of Life' -- mean the world to me. If I'm not honest about who I am, I couldn't write this music. It's not gay propaganda. It's how I express life. If we start punishing people for that, the world will lose its humanity." - NME, 11/11/14...... Gary Lane, the bassist in the '60s garage band The Standells, died on Nov. 6 after battling lung cancer. He was 75. Lane, whose real name was Gary McMillan, left The Standells in 1966 but rejoined the group in 2000. In 1965, the band signed with Capitol Records and recorded "Dirty Water," which would become their only major hit in 1966 going to number 11. The single continues to be in regular rotation on classic hits radio and is included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll." Lane is the second member of The Standells to pass in the last year, with drummer Dick Dodd passing away in November 2013. - VintageVinylNews.com, 11/10/14...... Rapper Big Bank Hank, one of hip-hop's first pioneers as one third of the Sugarhill Gang, died on Nov. 11 after an apparent battle with cancer. He was 57. The Sugarhill Gang's international hit "Rapper's Delight" became the first rap single to crack the Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 in 1979. It was also one of the first rap singles, period, and as such had an immense influence on the nascent genre. The Sugarhill Gang also released four LPs in the 1980's and a children's album, Jump on It!, in 1999. - NME, 11/11/14...... Veteran British actor Warren Clarke, who shot to fame in Stanley Kubrick's 1971 movie A Clockwork Orange, passed away in his sleep on Nov. 11 after a "short illness," according to his representatives. He was 67. Clark went on to work with Clockwork star Malcolm McDowell on two more projects, the 1973 film O Lucky Man! and the 1985 TV movie Gulag. He also appeared in Charlton Heston's epic Antony and Cleopatra in 1972, Enigma with Martin Sheen, 1984 war spoof Top Secret!, and Clint Eastwood's 1982 action movie Firefox. - WENN.com, 11/12/14.