Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on Dec. 28th, 2015

After the Beatles made their back catalog available for streaming on all platforms on Dec. 24 as "a holiday gift to their fans," the Spotify service says their songs were added to 673,000 of their listeners' playlists in the first two days. And it appears it isn't only more mature music fans who are listening to the Fab Four -- Spotify reports that 65% of those listeners are under the age of 34. The top 10 Beatles tracks among U.S. listeners -- which include "Come Together," "Hey Jude," "Here Comes the Sun," "Let It Be," "Twist and Shout," "Blackbird," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "In My Life," "She Loves You," and "Help!" -- focus mainly on the hits, however "Blackbird" and "In My Life" were never exactly radio hits in America. Globally, "Love Me Do," "Yesterday" and "All You Need Is Love" appear in the top 10 Beatles streamers, with "Come Together" also topping the list. - Billboard, 12/26/15...... Richard LloydGuitarist Richard Lloyd, a founding member of the critically acclaimed '70s NYC band Television, has revealed he's leaving the Big Apple after residing there for 50 years and relocating to Tennessee. Speaking to The Village Voice, Lloyd said he plans to live on "a 54-acre farm that is no longer used as a farm." A nearby barn will serve as a music studio for the 64-year-old musician, who says he's "very emotional, of course, but... happy about it." "I love New York and I'm already homesick for it; it's always been so satisfying to live here," Lloyd noted. "So many of my friends who were so much a part of New York moved away, though. Now I'll be one of them," he added. Lloyd, who moved to New York's Greenwhich Village with his family in the 1950s, joined Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell to form Television in 1973. Although the band went on to great critical acclaim with its seminal 1977 album Marquee Moon, commercial success eluded it. Television, alongside contemporaries like Talking Heads, Blondie, The Ramones and the New York Dolls, were affiliated with the late '70s New York punk scene that emerged from the downtown club CBGB. Verlaine, who was named the 90th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone in 2011, cited his need for addtional space to house decade's worth of equipment, along with the high cost of living in New York City, as reasons for the move. - Billboard, 12/24/15...... The Columbia House Record Club, known to many Baby Boomers and Gen Xers as a convenient way to amass a record collection but which fell out of favor with buyers after CDs became popular, will reportedly be revived soon with a focus on vinyl records. John Lippman the CEO of Filmed Entertainment Inc., bought the remains of the legendary mail-order brand for about $1.5 million in a chapter 11 bankruptcy sale in August (creditors of its $62 million in liabilites include Universal, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony, Anchor Bay and others) after no other suitors offered to buy it. "For a category that is meaningful and growing rapidly, you don't see a whole lot of choice," Lippman said of his plans to market vinyl records. He said the service may resemble a book-of-the-month club but with more choices, where subscribers will have "some ability to choose the records, genres of music and possibly other types of media they receive." As for pricing, Lippman hinted that he's considering a dialed-down (you're not getting 10 vinyl records for a dollar) version of Columbia House's old promotion schemes. According to the RIAA, vinyl sales were up over 50 percent in the first half of 2015. However that increased demand has put pressure on the limited number of record pressing plants, and in some cases it takes up to four months for record labels to get their vinyl orders back. - Billboard, 12/23/15...... William Guest, a former member of Gladys Knight and the Pips, died of congestive heart failure in Detroit on Dec. 24. He was 74. Guest performed with the Grammy-winning group from 1953 to 1989, singing background vocals on such hits as "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and "Midnight Train to Georgia." After the group disbanded, Guest and another member, the late Edward Patten, formed a production company. He later served as CEO of Crew Records, and released his autobiography Midnight Train From Georgia: A Pips Journey in 2013 with his sister-in-law, Dhyana Ziegler. - AP, 12/25/15...... Meadowlark LemonFamed basketball jester George "Meadowlark" Lemon, who entertained millions of fans around the world with his antics as a longtime member of the Harlem Globetrotters, passed away in his sleep on Dec. 27 in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 83. Known as the "Clown Prince of Basketball," Mr. Lemon played 24 seasons and, by his own estimate, more than 16,000 games with the Globetrotters, the touring exhibition basketball team known for its slick ball-handling, practical jokes, red-white-and-blue uniforms and endless winning streaks against overmatched opponents. He also was one of a handful of Globetrotters whose fame transcended sports, especially among children during the team's heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. Mr. Lemon was immortalized in a Harlem Globetrotters cartoon series and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, episodes of Scooby Doo, and many national TV commercials. Born in Wilmington, N.C., Mr. Lemon joined the Globetrotters in 1954 after serving two years in the Army. Over the next quarter-century, he and the team played almost everywhere, from high school gyms to Madison Square Garden to an exhibition in Moscow during the Cold War. After a salary dispute, Mr. Lemon left the Globetrotters in 1979 to form his own comedic basketball teams, which performed under the names Meadowlark Lemon's Bucketeers, the Shooting Stars, and Meadowlark Lemon's Harlem All Stars. He returned to the Harlem Globetrotters for a 50-game "comeback" tour in 1993. Mr. Lemon, who was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003, spent the last several years of his life serving as an ordained minister and motivational speaker. - CNN, 12/28/15...... Steven Wright, the frontman of the '60s Australian band The Easybeats, died of undisclosed causes in a New South Wales hospital on Dec. 26. He was 68. Wright formed The Easybeats in 1964, and the group became one of Australia's most beloved and popular acts soon after. The band's best known song, "Friday On My Mind," hit No. 1 in Australia in 1966 and also charted in other countries. It was also covered by David Bowie on his 1973 album, Pin-Ups. After touring with bands including the Rolling Stones in the late '60s, The Easybeats broke up, and Wright formed Vanda and Young, who charted a hit called "Evie" in 1974. Wright, who struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for decades and later suffered from liver and kidney problems, gave his last performance at the Legends of Rock Festival in 2009. - Billboard, 12/27/15.

After rumors began circulating on Dec. 18 that the Beatles would make their entire back catalog available for streaming starting Christmas Eve, on Dec. 23 the band confirmed that their fans' long wait was indeed over and that their catalog -- all 13 UK albums and 4 compilations -- will be available across all platforms on Dec. 24. The Fab Four, one of the most persistent holdouts in the digital age of music listening, had made their music available to Apple iTunes exclusively in 2010, but there's no such exclusivity in their new streaming plan: Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Deezer, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Slacker, Microsoft's Groove, and Rhapsody (including its Napster service in the UK) will all have access to the band's library of classic songs. It took the band, which as an entity has been notoriously slow in adopting and adapting to new technology, six years to arrive on the iTunes, selling two million songs during its first week. The Beatles took 25 years, since its 1970 breakup, to issue the comprehensive Anthology documentary, and it didn't get involved with video games until The Beatles: Rock Band was released in 2009. Their music was released on CD in 1987, but the band didn't remaster their work until 22 years later. The Beatles join the streaming revolution just as music consumption on such platforms has begun to officially overtake downloads in revenue generation for major labels. They've sold 178 million albums in the U.S., according to the RIAA. - Billboard, 12/23/15...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney was a "special elf" brought onstage by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band during a yuletide performance on NBC's Saturday Night Live on Dec. 19. As the Boss played the Christmas classic "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" over the closing credits of the show, Macca joined the band on stage adding to the merriment with some jingle bells. "Tina, have you been good?" Springsteen asked Tina Fey, who shared hosting duties with Amy Poehler. "Amy? Paul?" It was the first time McCartney and Springsteen had shared the same stage since appearing together at a 2012 concert in London that went past curfew, resulting in the pulling of the plug. In a similar moment, NBC cut the performance of "Santa Claus" before the song concluded. Springsteen also performed "The Ties That Bind," from his album The River, on SNL. He will hit the road for his The River tour in January.
- Billboard, 12/20/15...... Ray DaviesDave DaviesBrothers Ray and Dave Davies of the Kinks performed live together for the first time since 1996 on Dec. 18 when Ray brought Dave onstage during a gig at the Islington Assembly Hall in North London. The pair performed the Kinks classic "You Really Got Me," with Dave later tweeting that he "had a blast with Ray." The siblings had not performed together since the Kinks split acrimoniously in 1996, and while rumours about a 50th-anniversary collaborative tour were rampant in 2014, the shows never materialized. Three months ago, Dave was also quoted as saying there was an "outside shot" of a Kinks reunion, with the Kinks-based musical "Sunny Afternoon" thought to have helped to ease tensions between the feuding brothers over the past couple of years. Ray has also commented on the future of the band, citing the "war between Dave and [original Kinks drummer] Mick Avory." I don't work for the United Nations, I'm just a musician," Ray said. "I had a drink with Mick last week, and I asked, What happened to you guys?' They shared a house in the 1960s. I think some things went on there that created a rivalry." He has also said that "I like playing the hits, I just did a solo tour, but when the Kinks get back together, I need to be inspired to write new material." Ray and Dave have not confirmed whether they plan on any further collaborative appearances following the Dec. 18 performance. - New Musical Express, 12/19/15...... The owner of a Danish replica of Elvis Presley's Graceland Mansion home in Memphis, Tenn., has announced he is changing the name of his property from Graceland Randers after Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. demanded a name change and 1.5 million kroner ($220,000) in compensation. Henrik Knudsen opened his Elvis museum in 2011 in Randers, Denmark, which is situated 210 kilometers (130 miles) northwest of the capital, Copenhagen. It includes Knudsen's private collection of Elvis artifacts, an American diner-style restaurant and a souvenir shop. Knudsen said on Dec. 22 that he is changing the name of his museum, which is twice the size of the original Graceland, to Memphis Museum beginning Jan. 1, so that he can "focus on our business." Knudsen said more than 130,000 Elvis fans have visited the museum since it opened. - AP, 12/22/15...... A hologram tour showcasing late R&B legend Jackie Wilson will travel the US in 2017, Hologram USA announced on Dec. 22. "Everything you expect from an exciting rock star' stage show was invented by Jackie Wilson: the leaps, spins and back-flips, not to mention his amazing four-octave range," Hologram USA CEO Alki David said in a statement. Wilson, nicknamed "Mr. Excitement," influenced a host of future stars including Michael Jackson, who dedicated his 1984 Grammy for Album of the Year to the dynamic entertainer. Between 1958 and 1970, Wilson charted 16 top 10 R&B hits and six top 10 pop hits. He topped the R&B singles chart six times, starting with 1958's "Lonely Teardrops" (No. 7 on pop). Wilson, inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, slipped into a coma after collapsing onstage in 1975. He died in 1984. Hologram USA and its partner, FilmOn TV, are also creating hologram shows in association with the estates of Whitney Houston, Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, Billie Holiday and Dean Martin. - Billboard, 12/22/15...... Steven TylerAerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has released a new video, "Hope Is Everything," to benefit his new charity Janie's Fund, which raises awareness for young female victims of neglect and abuse. Named after the Aerosmith hit "Janie's Got A Gun," which reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 almost 26 years ago, Janie's Fund will use 100 hundred percent of all donations to support proven programs at Youth Villages, a national nonprofit dedicated to providing effective solutions for over 23,000 children and families each year with emotional and behavioral changes. "An entire community was built around this song's message," Tyler wrote on the Janie's Fund website. "Over the years, I've been overwhelmed by the thousands of fans who have sent me letters, telling me their stories and how Janie's Got A Gun' affected and inspired them." With a $5 donation to Janie's Fund, participants may be entered to win The Ultimate VIP Rock Experience, which includes walking the red carpet and hanging with Tyler backstage at his first solo album release party. - Billboard, 12/22/15...... Chicago's Robert Lamm has issued a statement saying his former bandmate, Peter Cetera, will not be playing with the group when they are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April after he told that Cetera would sing though not necessarily play bass with Chicago during the ceremony. "I've mistakenly said Cetera would be playing," Lamm says. "He has emphatically declined. My email exchanges with Cetera were misinterpreted by me, and I've apologized to him, and likewise apologize to the music press community and fans." Cetera, who left Chicago in 1985 to pursue a solo career, sang lead on Chicago favorites such as "25 or 6 to 4," "Feelin' Stronger Every Day" and "Just You 'n' Me" and shared vocals on "Saturday in the Park" and the two-part "Dialogue." He also wrote hits such as "Wishing You Were Here," "If You Leave Me Now" and "Baby, What a Big Surprise." It is unclear whether Cetera plans on attending the ceremony, and original Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine, who left the group in 1994, also hasn't confirmed whether he'll be joining the band at the ceremony. - Billboard, 12/22/15...... Aretha Franklin made a surprise appearance at the House of Swing concert at the Lincoln Center's Rose Theater on Dec. 17. Franklin, walking onstage to a standing ovation, said to the bandleader, "Wynton (Marsalis), I think maybe I'll change the program just a little bit." Accompanying herself on piano, she then sang the Christmas carol "O Tannenbaum" in English and German. She followed with a soulful, gospel-infused version of "My Cup Runneth Over," an outtake from her 1972 album Young, Gifted and Black, which she recently added to her concert repertoire. The 73-year-old Franklin, joking that "this happens to be my 50th year in the business and I'm feeling it," dedicated her performance to Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, who signed her to his label in 1967 and died in 2006. - AP, 12/19/15...... Kenny RogersIn an interview with the US edition of Britain's The Guardian paper, Kenny Rogers revealed he is a big fan of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump. "I really like him," Rogers said of the controversial Trump, who has riled Mexicans, Muslims, and many women with his statements. "I think his problem is that he says what everyone wants to hear, but he doesn't say it well. I love what he says, I have to admit. He can be president and not owe anybody anything; he's one of the few people has the money to do it, and has the guts to do it," Rogers said. In September, the 77-year-old "The Gambler" singer announced he would retire from live performing at the conclusion of his 2016 world tour. - Billboard, 12/22/15...... Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi is featured in a new charity Christmas song titled "Christmas Way by 19 and 7" from professional footballers James Milner and Stiliyan Petrov. Milner, Petrov and Iommi all hail from Birmingham, and Petrov was forced to retire from the Aston Villa team in 2013 in order to fight leukemia. Like Petrov, Iommi has also had to tackle leukemia. The title, "Christmas Way by 19 and 7," is a reference to the two players' shirt numbers. It was officially released on Dec. 18. - New Musical Express, 12/19/15...... Drummer Jason Bonham, the son of late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham and who sat in on drums for his dad at Led Zeppelin's one-off reunion concert in late 2007, has said in a new interview that he believes Led Zep will perform together again someday on stage. "In my heart of hearts, I do believe we will play together again," Bonham said. "It remains to be seen if it will be in public or privately, but I do think we will play again." It appears any LZ reunion won't be happening anytime soon though, as guitarist Jimmy Page has announed that he'll be heading out on a solo tour in 2016, and singer Robert Plant has scoffed at future reunion plans, saying a LZ tour would be "an absolute menagerie of vested interests and the very essence of everything that's shitty about big-time stadium rock" and that he doesn't want to be "part of a jukebox." - Billboard, 12/19/15...... The legendary New York punk club CBGB, a breeding ground for the city's '70s punk and new wave scene, will be reopening as a restaurant at a New York area airport. The venue, which originally opened in 1973 by Hilly Kristal and closed on Oct. 17, 2006, with Patti Smith's band playing the venue final concert, will be rechristened the CBGB LAB (Lounge and Bar) at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport. It will be managed by chef Harold Moore and serve "American fare in a fun environment recalling the legendary music venue." In 2013, a movie tracing the history of CBGB was released, and in recent years New York has hosted a CBGB Festival, which Jane's Addiction headlined in 2014. - New Musical Express, 12/22/15...... Academy Award-winning composer Burt Bacharach has signed on to score Po, a feature film about a widowed father raising his 10-year old son with autism. Bacharach, whose daughter Nikki is afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome, says he met Po's director John Asher by chance on a flight in 2014 and agreed to let Asher use his classic, "Close to You," made famous by the Carpenters. Upon seeing the film, he agreed to compose the music. "I was so touched by the film that scoring it was a labor of love," Bacharach said in a statement. A release date for Po has yet to be announced. - Billboard, 12/18/15...... James TaylorJames Taylor says he is "gonna miss" Pres. Barack Obama when the president leaves office in Jan. 2017. "It makes a surprising amount of difference to me who the country has chosen to represent it, and in the case of Barack Obama, it just makes me feel good about being an American," Taylor recently told Billboard. "In my opinion, he is a wonderful president and a great leader. I'm gonna miss him." Taylor, who wrapped the first leg of a U.S. tour in August, was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by Pres. Obama on Nov. 24. He will be seen performing on TV during CBS' broadcast of the Kennedy Center Honors on Dec. 29, as well as PBS' In Performance at the White House on Jan. 8. Taylor, who this year scored his first No. 1 album on the Billboard Hot 200 with Before This World, has 2016 performances lined up including shows at Carnegie Hall in New York and concerts at Wrigley Field in Chicago and Fenway Park in Boston. - Billboard, 12/18/15...... Veteran pop and country music producer/entrepreneur Thomas Lesslie "Snuff" Garrett, who made his mark on the charts in the 1960s and '70s with such music as the No. 1 singles "This Diamond Ring" by Gary Lewis & The Playboys, "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" by Cher, and "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" by Vicki Lawrence, died on Dec. 17 at his ranch in Arizona. He was 76. Garrett, a onetime disc jockey from Dallas, Tex., joined Liberty Records as a staff producer in 1959, first producing Johnny Burnette's "Settin the Woods on Fire." Among other artists he worked with at Liberty and later Kapp and MCA Records were Bobby Vee, Johnny Burnette, Buddy Knox, Walter Brennan, Sonny & Cher, Dean Martin, Sonny Curtis, Tanya Tucker and others. He was also responsible for hiring Phil Spector to do work for Liberty Records and employing Leon Russell as his assistant. Garrett also released a series of instrumental albums that featured the guitar work of Tommy Tedesco of the legendary studio musican band The Wrecking Crew. In 1976, Garrett bought the rights to 800 old Republic and RKO Films titles and quickly built a multi-million dollar annual business in the early days of home video....... Luigi Creatore, a songwriter and record producer who teamed with his cousin Hugo Peretti to create hits for artists such as Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Perry Como and others, died on Sunday in Boca Raton, Fla., from complications of pneumonia. He was 93. The son of a renowned Italian immigrant bandmaster, Mr. Creatore began his career by writing advertising jingles and graduated to books, plays and, most notably, songs. His regular partner -- they both wrote music as well as lyrics -- was Mr. Peretti, who died in 1986; they were occasionally joined by George David Weiss, who died in 2010. Known professionally as Hugo & Luigi, the duo had their greatest success in the 1960s at RCA Victor Records, where they were among the first producers to have their names prominently displayed on album jackets, complete with their own logo. Their most noteworthy work at RCA, however, was not with a middle-of-the-road pop artist but with one of the great rhythm-and-blues singers of the era, Sam Cooke, who had success with Creatore-Peretti productions like "Chain Gang," "Twistin' the Night Away" and "Wonderful World." As composers, they wrote two songs that were hits for Elvis Presley in 1961: "Wild in the Country," from the movie of the same name, and "Can't Help Falling in Love," from the movie Blue Hawaii, which they wrote with Weiss. After leaving RCA Victor in 1964, Mr. Creatore and Mr. Peretti worked with, among other artists, Van McCoy, whose "The Hustle" was a No. 1 single in 1975 and one of the first disco hits.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on Dec. 18th, 2015

David Bowie has made a second song from his forthcoming album Blackstar available for streaming. "Lazarus," described as a broody downtempo song that veers into alt-jazz territory, is six minutes long and peppered with saxophone and dirty guitars. "Look up here, man, I'm in danger I've got nothing left to lose, I'm so high it, makes my brain whirl. Dropped my cell phone down below. Ain't that just like me?" Bowie sings. "Lazarus" shares its title with Bowie's off-Broadway musical, which runs until Jan. 20 at the New York Theatre Workshop and is reportedly the only track from Blackstar to be featured in the production. The official video for "Lazarus" will drop Jan. 7, the day before Bowie's birthday and the release of Blackstar. - Billboard, 12/18/15...... Robert LammRick NielsenRichie BlackmoreSteve MillerThe Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced on Dec. 17 that classic rockers Chicago, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, Steve Miller and Hip-Hop pioneers N.W.A. will be inducted into its class of 2016 during a ceremony on Apr. 18 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation President and CEO Joel Peresman said the first four classic rock acts will begin to fill in some of the perceived "holes" in the Hall's ranks, which some critics have charged with being too elitist and dismissive of some of rock's massively popular acts. "This year, there was more free-form discussion where people could truly be advocates and ask more and better questions," Peresman said. "[The committee] could dig a little deeper into the importance and the impact of these bands and discuss them in greater depth and make more of a case that maybe helped get them on the ballot," he added. Despite being eligible before, it was the first time Cheap Trick, Miller and Chicago (which won the public fan vote, tallying nearly 37.7 million nods) had been nominated for induction, while Deep Purple and N.W.A have appeared on the ballot before. The original quartet and septet lineups, respectively, of Cheap Trick and Chicago are being inducted, while the Deep Purple roster will encompass the group's first three lineups, including three teams of singers and bass players. Should former Chicago member Peter Cetera perform with the band at the ceremony, it would be the first time since 1985 he has done so. Other intriguing reunion possibilites include estranged Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos and Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, who left the band in 1993. Blackmore has said in the past that he "could care less" about being inducted into the rock hall, and that he likely would not attend the ceremony if Deep Purple were inducted. Acts nominated this year but not making the cut include The Cars, Chaka Khan, Chic, Janet Jackson, The J.B.'s, Los Lobos, Nine Inch Nails, The Smiths, The Spinners and Yes. It will be the second time the RRHOF ceremony has been held at the Barclay Arena, and HBO will again film the ceremony for broadcast later in the spring, most likely in May. - Billboard, 12/17/15...... AC/DC announced on Dec. 14 that the 2016 leg of their current Rock or Bust tour will kick off Feb. 2 in Tacoma, Wash. The 20-city U.S. leg will also include stops in such major markets as Las Vegas (2/5), Denver (2/8), Chicago (2/17), St. Louis (2/20), Dallas (2/23), Houston (2/26), Kansas City (2/29), Atlanta (3/8), Washington, D.C. (3/17), Detroit (3/20), Cleveland, Oh. (3/26), and Philadelphia (4/1) before wrapping on Apr. 4 at New York's Madison Square Garden. The Aussie rockers also announced two U.K. dates in 2016 -- in London on June 4 and Manchester on June 9 -- with the London gig representing the first major concert at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park since it was used to host the 2012 Olympic Games. The band has spent much of 2015 touring, with shows throughout the U.S., Europe, and Australia. - Billboard, 12/14/15...... Jimmy BuffettJimmy Buffett announced on Dec. 17 that a musical based on many of his classic beach-bum hits -- including ''Margaritaville," "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes," "Cheeseburger in Paradise" and "A Pirate Looks at Forty" -- is currently in the works with a world premiere eyed for sometime in 2017. The show will have Buffett's blend of rock and country tunes and an original story by writers Greg Garcia and Mike O'Malley, with direction by Christopher Ashley. "The idea of turning 'Margaritaville' into a musical has been percolating for quite a while, but finding the right people to tell the right kind of story to go with the right songs from my catalogue took some time," Buffett said in a statement. "Now we have found our crew and I am happy to sail with them to Margaritaville. It's going to be a fun voyage," he added. - AP, 12/17/15...... Paul McCartney is among the 16 musicians appearing in a new video for a charity single, "Love Song to Earth," that is being relesed to raise awareness of climate change and benefit the Friends Of The Earth organization and the UN Foundation, as well as influence the United Nations Climate Change conference, which took place in Paris earlier in December. "Love Song to Earth" is described as "a song with the power to fight climate change and maybe change the world," and also features such acts as Jon Bon Jove, Sheryl Crow, Fergie, Sean Paul, Natasha Bedingfield and Leona Lewis. - New Musical Express, 12/18/15...... The producers of Grease: Live, the upcoming TV musical based on the hit 1978 film Grease, have announced their small-screen live event will be staged in front of a studio audience. Director Thomas Kail and set designer David Korins said in Dec. 16 that an audience "in the multiple hundreds" will populate Rydell High and other locations featured in the 1950s-set musical, which airs on Jan. 31 on Fox and will be broadcast live from the Warner Bros. backlot. The show will be a combined version of the original stage musical, first produced in Chicago in 1971, and the perennially popular 1978 film that starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The producers hope the studio audience -- who will be seen on camera though not in costume, handling props or delivering lines -- will give the Fox event a fresh, and potentially more risky, angle to distinguish it from NBC's live broadcasts of The Sound of Music, Peter Pan and The Wiz. The cast for Grease: Live includes Julianne Hough as Sandy, Aaron Tveit as Danny, Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo, Carlos Pena Vega as Kenickie, Carly Rae Jepsen as Frenchy and Keke Palmer as Marty. - Billboard, 12/17/15...... Michael JacksonMichael Jackson's classic 1982 album Thriller has become the first album ever to be certified 30 times multi-platinum for U.S. sales, marking more than 30 million sales in America, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced on Dec. 15. "RIAA has awarded Gold & Platinum records on behalf of the music business for nearly 60 years, but this is the first time an artist has crossed the 30X multi-Platinum plateau," RIAA chairman and CEO Cary Sherman said in a statement. "We are honored to celebrate the unique status of Thriller in Gold & Platinum history. What an exceptional achievement and testament to Thriller's enduring spot in our hearts and musical history." The latest Jackson milestone continues the King of Pop's reign as the most selling artist of all time with over 100 million sales for Thriller worldwide and 1 billion total sales to his credit. Thriller was released Nov. 30, 1982, and spent nearly 2 1/2 years on the Billboard album chart with 37 weeks at No. 1, holding the modern day record. It was also the first album in history to spend its first 80 weeks in the album chart's top 10, which has only been replicated once since. Worldwide, Thriller topped charts in nearly every market, and won a record-setting 8 Grammys with nominations in 12 categories -- another first. - Billboard, 12/16/15...... In other Michael Jackson news, an unproduced screenplay centered on Jackson's pet chimp "Bubbles" has topped the 2015 Black List, a collection of Hollywood's best unproduced screenplays. Written by Isaac Adamson, Bubbles is narrated by the chimp himself, who details his life within The King of Pop's inner circle through the scandals that later rocked Jackson's life and eventually led to Bubbles' release. The script topped the list of 81 screenplays with 44 votes. Three of the last seven Academy Awards for best picture went to scripts featured on previous Black Lists, as well as eight of the last 16 screenwriting Oscars. Top 2015 Oscar contenders The Revanant and Spotlight were previously featured on the list in some form. - Billboard, 12/15/15...... Amazon Studios has announced it will develop a limited bio series about the Grateful Dead that will be based on the 2003 book Home Before Daylight: My Life On the Road With the Grateful Dead by band roadie Steve Parish. GD founding member Bob Weir will executive produce the project along with Parish, and Weir will oversee all aspects of music for the series. The project has yet to find a writer, but meetings will be taking place over the next several weeks in search of one. - The Hollywood Reporter, 12/15/15...... Brian MayTo help celebrate its 40th anniversary, Queen's iconic 1975 song "Bohemian Rhapsody" has been reinterpreted by the English National Ballet, Royal Academy of Music and Trinity Boys Choir. Footage of two ballet dancers, the choir and a string quartet from RAM can be seen in a new video cut with the original video for the song, and clips of the band's performance of the song on Christmas Eve, 1975. "We all realised it was something wonderful and we should give it our heart and soul," Queen's Brian May recently told the BBC in an interview about the song. - New Musical Express, 12/16/15...... A gravesite marker for late blues icon B.B. King was dedicated on Dec. 11 at his grave in Indianola, Miss. King, who died at age 89 on May 14 in Las Vegas due to type 2 diabetes, was returned to his beloved Mississippi for burial on May 30. More than 100 relatives, friends, fans and former employees gathered at the gravesite to dedicate the black granite slab that eventually will become the centerpiece of a memorial garden outside the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center. The garden will be part of a $4.5 million expansion of the King museum that tells his life story. - AP, 12/13/15...... Former Roxy Music member and veteran music producer Brian Eno reportedly pledged to pay £250 for the "trademark black Leninist hat" of Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn at the annual Stop The War fundraiser in London on Dec. 11. Eno has previously voiced his support for Corbyn, and in August he spoke in support of him at a Labour leadership rally. Speaking at the time, Eno said: "I don't think electability really is the most important thing. What's important is that someone changes the conversation and moves us off this small-minded agenda." - New Musical Express, 12/14/15...... Adam Roth, a New York City guitarist and composer who was a staple of the then New York underground scene in the Lower East Side since the late 1970s, died on Dec. 16 following a battle with stage four bile duct cancer. He was 57. Roth, who was also known for his work as a TV composer and frequently collaborated with his friend Denis Leary, played in a number of bands that frequented iconic venues of the scene such as CBGB and Max's Kansas City. Roth later wrote the music for Leary's hit drama series Rescue Me and his comedy show Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll more recently, for which he also served as John Corbett's guitar "voice" and the show's tech adviser. - Billboard, 12/17/15.

Bruce Springsteen announced on his E Street Radio broadcast on Dec. 9 that he plans to release a solo album that's "more of a solo project" in the upcoming year. "The project I've been working on is more of a solo project," said Springsteen, who recently released a The River deluxe reissue and performed on Saturday Night Live. "It wasn't a project I was going to probably take the band out on. So I said, 'Gee, that's going to push the band playing again until a ways in the future.' It'll be nice to get some playing in so you don't wind up being two or three years between E Street tours. This will give us a chance to get out there and stretch our muscles a little bit." The New Jersey rocker added that he had no plans to tour after putting out the new The River release, but he "missed playing with the guys" and "playing, period." He'll be playing The River in its entirety in his upcoming tour, and noted he'll still find some way to work some other material into the set, probably in the form of encores. "We plan on picking out some of the best of our outtakes for the end of the show, and there will obviously be some fan favorites," he said. "I don't know myself how it will play out. It should be interesting and a lot of fun for the fans." - Billboard, 12/9/15...... Bonnie RaittIn 1979, a group of rock musicians including Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and Graham Nash co-founded Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) to advocate for a "No Nukes" future. Now some 36 years later, Raitt says she and her anti-nuclear power activist friends are ready to push back on the pro-nuclear power arguments heard during the recent climate talks in Paris. "There's no solution for nuclear waste," says Raitt. "There have been incredible cost overruns and delays in nuclear plant construction. And nuclear power plants continue to pose the security threat of terrorism," she adds. After a Harvard University professor and editorial writers for the The New York TImes and Guardian newspapers called for a reconsideration of nuclear power as a carbon-free energy source to combat climate change, Raitt acknowledged that "there are a lot of smart people on the side of pro nukes... But I find a lot more people making the anti-nuke argument." Raitt will kick off a tour behind her upcoming new album, Dig in Deep, a week before the LP's Feb. 26 release in Northridge, Calif., and some of the proceeds -- as well as on tours by Browne, Nash, and David Crosby -- benefit the Guacamole Fund, which supports the ongoing anti-nuclear-power efforts of MUSE and other organizations. - Billboard, 12/11/15...... A 1964 Porsche SC Cabriolet once owned by Janis Joplin sold for $1.76 million at a Sotheby's auciton in New York on Dec. 11, far surpassing the $500,000 it was estimated to bring. With seven bidders competing, the staggering sale price set a record for the highest price ever paid for a Porsche 356 at public auction. Joplin bought the German-made auto at a used car lot in 1968, and enlisted one of her bandmates, Dave Richards of Big Brother and the Holding Company, to customize the vehicle with a "History of the Universe" mural. When completed, psychedelic imagery covered the body from headlights to tailights, The Porsche had been inherited by Joplin's siblings, Michael and Laura, and for the past two decades had been on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Oh. - New York Daily News, 12/11/15...... Jimmy PageJimmy Page, who recently confirmed he'll be starting work on a new solo LP in 2016, has told Guitar World magazine that he also plans on touring in the new year with a live band that are "totally different" to Led Zeppelin. The guitarist said earlier in the year that he was getting "match fit" to perform again and that he was "warming up on the touchlines." Page said that on his next tour he "would play material that spanned everything from my recording career right back to my very, very early days with The Yardbirds (and) there would certainly be some new material in there as well." - NME, 12/10/15...... In other Zeppelin-related news, former frontman Robert Plant has just recorded a cover of Elbow's "The Blanket Of Night" for a new compilation album that will benefit the refugee crisis in Europe. Plant has teamed up with the British Red Cross for his contribution, which was produced by Kings of Leon producer Ethan Johns. "We have a worldwide international catastrophe -- talking about it is one thing, doing something about it is another," Plant says. "The position we are in, it's paramount we all do our best one way or another to help." The album, titled The Long Road, is due Mar. 4, 2016. - NME, 12/9/15...... Meanwhile, late Led Zepp drummer John Bonham's son Jason Bonham has revealed he sat in with Phil Collins for a week of secret rehearsals in 2014 when Collins was determining if he was capable of playing shows after dealing with back and neck issues. Although Collins eventually decided against returning to performing then -- instead opting to have his surgery in 2015 so he can hit the road in 2016, Jason Bonham says he's still buzzed about the experience and that Collins is "one of my real heroes." "Other than my dad I would say Phil is probably my No. 2 guy to go to," Bonham says. "I've been a huge fan since Abacab, and then of course his solo stuff." Bonham, who is currently on the road with his Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience show, added that he "hasn't heard anything" about being recruited by Collins again when the latter tours in 2016. - Billboard, 12/9/15...... Jose FelicianoSinger/guitarist José Feliciano was on hand to christen a new exibition dedicated to the Puerto Rican-born musician in San Juan on Dec. 8. "Jose Feliciano: Our Musical Ambassador" documents the career of the pioneering crossover singer and guitarist, famous for such hits as his cover of the Doors' "Light My Fire" and the Christmas song, "Feliz Navidad." Photos of Feliciano's childhood in Puerto Rico and later New York City are included in the exhibition, which displays albums, awards and ephemera from early in his career, when his versions of "Light My Fire" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" were on the charts. The exhibition will continue at the National Popular Culture Foundation in San Juan through 2016. - Billboard, 12/8/15...... The Beatles' 1968 spiritual retreat in northern India, which had become overgrown with foilage in recent years, has just been turned into a tourist attraction after being renovated and reopened to the public. The band famously visited the sanctuary set in a forest near Rishikesh, India during March and April of 1968, seeking enlightenment through transcendental meditation and were said to have written some 48 songs during their stay, many of which appeared on their "White Album". However, the visit was ultimately cut short, after guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was accused of making sexual advances to actress Mia Farrow, who was also a guest. An Indian forestry official told the BBC that his workers have now "cleaned up the place and lined the pathways with flowers... We are making some gardens and putting some benches for visitors." Future plans, according to the official, include setting up a cafeteria and a souvenir shop while "retaining the place's rustic look." The retreat, which has long been a place of pilgramage for Beatles fans, was formally reopened on Dec. 8, and admission is around £7. - New Musical Express, 12/9/15...... The Kinks guitarist and co-founder Dave Davies will play his only UK show of 2015 at the London Islington Assembly Hall on Dec. 18. Davies, who helped shape the sound of the Kinks with his singing and lead guitar on such classics as "Come On Now" and "I'm Not Like Everybody Else," will perform both solo songs and Kinks classics that showcase his unique writing style and revolutionary guitar sound he created on such classics as "You Really Got Me." Tickets are available at - Noble PR, 12/10/15...... Burt ReynoldsDuring an appearance on the UK television show Loose Women, actor Burt Reynolds said that his fellow thespian Charlie Sheen, who recently revealed he was HIV positive, "got what he deserved." "His father [Martin Sheen] is a very, very decent man and a dear friend of mine," Reynolds remarked. "I feel bad for him but Charlie -- I don't feel bad for him. He's getting what he deserves. If you're going to misbehave like that, they're going to get you...He misbehaved badly. Very badly. But you know, when you're that age, it's tough. All those things are coming at you and it's difficult." Reynolds, who is promoting his new autobiography But Enough About Me, also shared his opinion about actress Angelina Jolie, the daughter of his Deliverance co-star and close friend Jon Voight. "[Jon is] very kind. I love him so much. He doesn't deserve the kind of treatment that his daughter Angelina Jolie is giving him. They've reconciled but she still has moments. I remember when she was ten years old and I met her and I went over to Jon and said, "you're in big trouble, she is going to be wild! I hope she doesn't hurt you." The 79-year-old Reynolds is reportedly struggling with complications from a quintuple heart bypass he underwent in Feb. 2010, and his condition has raised the concern of his doctors. -, 12/10/15..... The current owners of Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch, which Jackson purchased in 1987 for a $19.5 million price tag, are reportedly having a tough time finding a buyer willing to pay their $100 million asking price and are turning to overseas buyers to take the property off their hands. Wealthy clients in China are being urged to snap up the late "Thriller" singer's former home in Santa Barbara County in California, which has already been on the market for six months. The ranch is a 1,091-hectare estate complete with the mansion, guest cottages, farm and lake, and was abandoned by the singer after it was raided by authorities who were investigating charges of child molestation.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on Dec. 8th, 2015

Bruce Springsteen announced on Dec. 4 that he'll mount a 22-city North American tour in 2016 with his E Street Band behind his new deluxe The River reissue beginning Jan. 16 in Pittsburgh. The tour then hits Chicago on Jan. 19, followed by two shows at New York's Madison Square Garden on Jan. 24 and Jan. 27. Other stops include Toronto (2/2), Boston (2/4), Philadelphia (2/12), Atlanta (2/18), Louisville (2/21), Cleveland, Oh. (2/23), Milwaukee (3/3), St. Louis (3/6) and Phoenix (3/13), before wrapping with two nights at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena on March 15 and 17. It will be Springsteen's first ever tour behind one of his seminal deluxe reissues of recent years, which also include 1975's Born to Run and 1978's Darkness on the Edge of Town, and according to his website the tour "will include an in-sequence, complete performance of The River album in addition to other Springsteen favorites." Bruce SpringsteenEach night of the The River tour will be mixed for release on as high-quality downloads and CDs, and recordings will be available within days of each performance. Springsteen's most recent tour was his highest-grossing ever, with the Wrecking Ball/High Hopes trek of 2012-2014 taking in $422 million and selling 4 million tickets from 157 shows. Springsteen and the E Street Band will also be the musical guests on NBC's Saturday Night Live on Dec. 19. - Billboard, 12/4/15...... Meanwhile, after years of enduring low-quality bootlegs, Springsteen has been quietly releasing decades' worth of classic concerts online in 2015 -- some 39 professionally shows -- in response to the poor quality of the shows he saw popping up on YouTube. Partnering with the bootleg site, the live boots initially focused on his 2014 High Hopes tour, but eventually spanned his entire career. So far, highlights include an acoustic set from 2005 and a classic from the Born to Run tour. A new show appears about every six weeks, and downloads are $9.95 with physical CDs going for $23. "They have some incredible stuff in the archives," says founder Brad Serling, who hopes some of the Boss's rocker peers will also make their concerts available on the site. - Rolling Stone, 12/3/15...... After Rush drummer Neil Peart recently told Drumhead magazine that "it does not pain me to realize that, like all athletes, there comes a time to take yourself out of the game," Rush bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee clarified Peart's alleged retirement plans on Dec. 8, saying that Peart isn't necessarly quitting Rush entirely, just backing away from the touring side. "I think Neil is just explaining his reasons for not wanting to tour, with the toll that its taking on his body," Lee said. "We'll get together eventually and chat about things. But in my view, there is certainly nothing surprising in what he said. Neil just feels that he has to explain with all the thousands of people asking, Why no more tours? He needs to explain his side of it," he added. Peart has been treated for chronic tendonitis in recent years, while guitarist Alex Lifeson has struggled with psoriatic arthritis. Their ailments have sparked rumors that their R40 Live 40th anniversary tour would be the band's final large-scale tour. - Billboard, 12/7/15...... The BeatlesOn Dec. 5, copy #0000001 of the Beatles' 1968 double-LP The Beatles (aka The White Album) sold for $790,000 at Julien's auction, a new world record for a vinyl record at an auction. The winning bid easily surpassed early estimates for the album, which placed its value between $40k-60k. The album was owned by Ringo Starr, who with his wife Barbara Bach auctioned off a trove of their personal belongings in December. Starr had been storing the LP in a London vault for 35 years, and it was described by Julien's as being in excellent condition: "The top load sleeve is in near mint minus condition and would be near mint if not for the bumped upper right front gatefold corner, but it is overall very clean and fresh with very minor abrasions." It was the first numbered U.K. copy of the White Album ever pressed, and adding to its value is that it is the mono version of the album, which many fans claim is the preferred way to listen to the Fab Four as the band was usually present for the mono mixing of their albums but not involved in the stereo mixing process. Meanwhile, Ringo's first Ludwig drum kit set as a Beatle from 1963 was sold at the same auction a day earlier for $1.7 million to Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay. Irsay owns prominent guitars from the other three Beatles -- Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon -- and earlier in 2015, he also purchased a drumhead that will fit the set he just bought. "Finally, after 45 years, the Beatles are together again," Irsay texted to the AP. An avid collector of music memorabilia, Irsay also owns instruments used by Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia and Eric Clapton. A portion of the proceeds from Starr's auction will benefit the couples Lotus Children Foundation, which focuses on global social welfare issues. - Billboard, 12/5/15...... In other Beatles news, a new statue of the band has been unveiled in their hometown of Liverpool to mark the 50th anniversary of their final show in the city. The bronze sculpture, situated on Liverpool's Pier Head, was made by artist Andy Edwards and presented to the city by famed Merseybeat venue the Cavern Club. The Beatles played their last ever show in Liverpool at the Empire Theatre on Dec. 5, 1965. - New Musical Express, 12/5/15...... Janis JoplinEven a life as brief as Janis Joplin's (she died in 1970 at age 27) can't be fully explored in just over 100 minutes, the running time of the new Amy Berg-directed documentary Janis: Little Girl Blue. Instead, Berg aims to tell the most personal story she can by giving the narrative over to the family, friends, and bandmates who knew her best (Clive Davis, Dick Cavett, D.A. Pennebaker, Kris Kristofferson). Berg is also lucky to have access to a trove of letters, voiced here by singer and kindred spirit Chan Marshall, a.k.a. Cat Power. The portrait that emerges is one of a brash, talented girl who grew up an outcast in her small Texas town and developed her gale-force voice and gypsy-queen mien as armor against a world that would have dismissed her otherwise. While her romances, studio sessions and struggles with addiction are portrayed in a style that can best be described as Behind the Music deluxe, the true draw here is really just Janis: Sweet and wild and vividly alive, she takes a little piece of your heart when she goes. Janis: Little Girl Blue is in selected theaters in the U.S. - Entertainment Weekly, 12/11/15...... Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, 68, has learned he will be a father for the fifth (and sixth) time next summer, as his wife, 37-year-old Sally Humphries, are expecting twins. "Sally and Ronnie Wood are delighted to announce that they are expecting twins in June 2016," a spokesperson for the band said. "Needless to say, they are thrilled and overjoyed with the wonderful news." Wood and Humphries were married in 2012. Wood has a son, Jesse, with his first wife Krissy Wood, and a son and daughter, Tyrone and Leah, with his second wife Jo Wood. He also adopted Jo's son Jamie. A source close to Wood says he's actually looking forward to being a dad again, and doesn't think his age is a problem because he still feels very young and fit. - Billboard, 12/7/15...... Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood ended his nearly two-decade marriage to Lynn Frankel Fleetwood on Nov. 20, according to court records obtained on Dec. 8. The judge finalized the couple's divorce, but did not contain any details on how they will divide their assets. They were married in July 1995, and have 13-year-old twin daughters. - AP, 12/8/15...... Carole KingCarole King, filmmaker George Lucas, actresses Rita Moreno and Cicely Tyson, and conductor Seiji Ozawa were feted at the prestigious 2015 Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 6. Introduced by Sec. of State John Kerry -- who noted, "We fought to the music of the Doors, the Stones and the Dead, but we healed with the music of Carole King" -- King received the final tribute of the night as the cast of the her Broadway musical "Beautiful," as well as such music greats as James Taylor and Aretha Franklin, performed some of King's own songs in her honor. In what was clearly a surprise to King, the show closed when Franklin stepped out to the piano to bring down the house with "(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman." The event was taped and will be broadcast on CBS on Dec. 29. - Billboard, 12/7/15...... Kief Nilsson, the 30-year-old son of late celebrated '70s singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson, is reportedly recording an album of his some of his dad's more obscure songs, including "Daybreak," "Rainmaker," "Maybe," "Kojak Columbo" and "All I Think About Is You." "It's a work in progress," says Lee Blackman, the attorney for the Nilsson estate. Blackman adds that Kief is recording the album with Cal Campbell, the son of Glen Campbell, at Cal's Agoura Borealis Recording studio in Agoura Hills, Calif., and taht the record has no release date or major label attached to it. - Billboard, 12/4/15...... Jeff Lynne's ELO have added two summer dates to their upcoming UK tour behind their new album, Alone in the Universe. The band, which kicks off the run with a with a gig at Liverpool Echo Arena on Apr. 5 and will play four dates at London's O2 in April, has added dates in Manchester (6/22) and a tour closer in Birmingham (6/24), bringing the total number of cities to 10. - NME, 12/8/15...... Peter GabrielPeter Gabriel has announced plans to take part in a new animal research experiment to find out if monkeys would use video technology to communicate with each other. The former Genesis frontman will work with the Monkey World rescue centre and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the Interspecies Internet project. "The idea is to extend a big video network that already exists in labs at [MIT] so that different species including our own have a chance to communicate," Gabriel is quoted as saying in London's Sunday Times. "I am absolutely certain the monkeys will use the video cameras in Monkey World to communicate with each other. I am also interested in how they would use the internet to communicate," he added. It is not known what part Gabriel will play in the experiment, as a spokesperson for Monkey World said the plans were still at an early stage and they could not comment further. In 2001, Gabriel made headlines after he taught monkeys how to play the keyboard, and in 1982 he charted his first Billboard Top 40 hit with "Shock the Monkey," which rose to No. 29 on the hit parade. - New Musical Express, 12/8/15...... Veteran actor Robert Loggia, known for his roles in director Brian De Palma 1986 gangster epic Scarface as well as An Officer and a Gentleman, Prizzi's Honor, Independence Day, Problem Child and Big, died on Dec. 4 in Los Angeles after a five-year battle with Alzheimers Disease. He was 85. Mr. Loggia was nominated for a Supporting Actor Academy Award for Jagged Edge in 1986 for his portrayal of a blunt private detective, and appeared in TV's The Rockford Files as three different characters. He also portrayed a violent mobster named Feech La Manna on several episodes of The Sopranos. He was nominated for an Emmy in 1989 for his portrayal of FBI agent Nick Mancuso in the series Mancuso FBI and again in 2000 for his guest star role in Malcolm in the Middle. Other TV credits include T.H.E. Cat, The Untouchables, Columbo, Gunsmoke, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Big Valley, Rawhide, Little House on the Prairie and Starsky and Hutch, among numerous others. Mr. Loggia, who broke into the entertainment business performing in stage plays in New York, is survived by his widow Audrey, three children, and a stepchild. - Variety, 12/4/15...... Actor Martin E. Brooks, best known for his role as scientist Dr. Rudy Wells on the 1970s series The Six Million Dollar Man and its spinoff, The Bionic Woman, died of natural causes on Dec. 7 after a brief hospitalization in Los Angeles. He was 90. His other credits included The Philco Television Playhouse in the 1950s, Combat! in the 1960s and Knots Landing in the 1990s. He also played Dr. Arthur Bradshaw on the ABC daytime serial General Hospital. - AP, 12/7/15.

Elton JohnElton John's next album, titled Crazy Wonderful Night, is due Feb. 5 via Island Records. Described as an "up" record with "lots of 12-string guitars" that gives a nod to his mid-Seventies classics, the LP was banged out in L.A. by John and his touring band in just 17 days, with T Bone Burnett producing. "I think he felt there's enough pain and suffering in the world without contributing to it," says Elton's songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin. "I wanted to write things that were really hook-driven. It was an adventure we hadn't investigated since the loud, brash pop rock of our mid-1970s albums." T Bone Burnett says during recording John stuck to his tradition of composing music to Taupin's lyrics in the studio, without ever seeing the lyrics before or coming up with a single note of music. "It's crazy to watch," says Burnett. "It's the same improvisational courage that (Bob) Dylan used for Highway 61 Revisited." John says he took the record to Island after his former label, Capitol, refused to release the album and dropped him from the label. But he says Island is enthused about the project and "I can ask for no more." "I follow the charts and I know everything about this business... I'm not expecting to sell a million records," Elton says. Taupin adds that he and John feel compelled to put new music out, whether it sells or not. "You can be Billy Joel and stop making records, but if you have that drive and passion, you're going to do it whether it sells or not. It's there inside of you, and if you don't get it out you're going to explode." - Rolling Stone, 12/3/15.

The father of Raju Patel, a movie producer and deceased friend of Michael Jackson, is suing the Jackson estate after it refused to provide him with home video footage or music rights for a planned Jackson tribute film called Messages to Michael. Sharad Chandra Patel filed the suit on Dec. 3 in Los Angeles Superior Court to enforce a creditor's claim that was rejected by the Jackson estate. Patel alleges his son, who died of cancer in 2005, had a film company with Jackson called Neverland Entertainment and that a 2002 contract provides that all proceeds from their films will be split 50-50. After Jackson's 2003 child molestation scandal subsided, the singer is said to have wanted to make a film dedicated to the millions of fans who also stood by him during the controversy, and a 2005 contract signed three months before Raju died provided that Raju and Jackson would make Messages to Michael, "a tribute to Michael and his loyal fans." Ever since Jackson died in 2009, Sharad has been trying to get access to Jackson's music and personal effects in order to make the film but has been shut out by estate executors John Branca and John McClain. "Branca and McClain have disregarded the terms of the agreement, as well as Michael's wishes for his fans, because [they] are simply motivated by the biggest payday," the lawsuit reads, then refers to the Sony-produced 2010 Jackson documentary film This Is It, in which they allege the estate collected "a 90 percent share of the film profits." - Billboard, 12/3/15...... Syd BarrettPink Floyd will be coming out with a limited-edition (1,000 copies) EP of their earliest recordings, including songs composed by band cofounders Syd Barrett and Roger Waters. The late '60s songs originally appeared on two seven-inch singles and will feature four compositions by the late Barrett, "Lucy Leave," "Double O Bo," "Remember Me" and "Butterfly," along with Waters' "Walk With Me Sydney" and a Slim Harpo remake, "I'm a King Bee." The band says they also "hope to make them available in some physical form towards the end of 2016." - Rolling Stone/NME, 12/3/15...... Barbra Streisand has signed on to direct the story of one of history's most powerful women, Russian empress Catherine the Great. The planned movie is said to have one of the industry's best unproduced screenplays, by Kristina Lauren Anderson, and is being produced by Gil Netter. Catherine the Great took power after her husband was assassinated and ruled from 1762 to 1796, in the process reinvigorating the Russian empire and growing it in size and power. The film will be Streisand's first time in the director's chair for a dramatic movie since 1996's The Mirror Has Two Faces. - Billboard, 12/3/15...... Lionel Richie has confirmed he'll be collaborating with red hot pop singer Adele for an upcoming project, saying it's "almost in the works." The rumors began after a video mash-up of Richie's hit "Hello" and Adele's current smash of the same name was posted and went viral. Responding to the video, Richie took to Instagram to post a screenshot from his video next to one from Adele's, writing: "HELLO @adele is it me you're looking for... #hello." Richie then told E! News that "we are going to be doing something together" after Adele finishes promoting and touring behind her latest LP, 25. "Her mission is [to] get her record out and go on tour, so until she finishes that cycle, that won't happen just yet. She is committed to that," he said. The album, which was released in November, has broken records in the US and UK for the fastest million-selling record ever. - New Musical Express, 12/2/15...... John FogertyFormer Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty has been added to the lineup of artists participating in the upcoming John Lennon tribute concert commemorating the late Beatles member's 75th birthday. To be aired on the AMC channel on Dec. 19 at 9:00 p.m. EST, Imagine: John Lennon 75th Birthday Concert will also feature Eric Church, Sheryl Crow and Juanes, among many others, and include special video features from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Actor Kevin Bacon will host. - Billboard, 12/2/15...... In an interview with the UK publication GQ, Keith Richards dissed his Rolling Stones bandmate Mick Jagger's solo albums and said he's never listened to them. "They had something to do with ego. He really had nothing to say," said Richards, who just released his first solo effort in over 20 years, Crosseyed Heart. "What did he have, two albums? She's the Boss and Primitive Cool?" asked Richards (Jagger also released Wandering Spirit in 1993 and Goddess in the Doorway in 2001). When the interviewer told Richards he'd never listened to Jagger's solo material, Richards replied: "Nor have I. I'll leave it at that." He added that he would "never make records as a way of being famous or making a statement... I just want to make good records with good musicians, to play with the best and learn." - NME, 12/1/15......Eagles principals Don Henley and Glenn Frey have just settled a federal lawsuit they brought against a New York man they accused of peddling bootleg recordings of their concerts. Henley and Frey sent a cease-and-desist letter to Bill Shelley when they learned the Avon Theater in Connecticut was advertising an October 2014 show called Legends of Rock Live: The Eagles: 1976 Tour with concert footage from Shelley's film vault. Although Shelley's lawyer claims his client canceled the movie showing, he says Henley and Frey sued him anyway. But now both sides have apparently settled the lawsuit, with a permanent injunction barring Shelley from showing any recordings of the group and a financial compensation, the terms of which were not disclosed. - AP, 11/28/15...... Ray DaviesKinks frontman Ray Davies, who released his autobiography Americana: The Kinks, the Riff, the Road: The Story, in 2013, says he's also readying a new solo album also called Americana and that it will be a nod to his boyhood obsession with American music." I had a book out year and a half ago called Americana and there are 100 some songs with that I need to start recording," Davies recently told Billboard. "And I've been fact-checking this musical called 'Sunny Afternoon' that's become a hit in the West End, so that took a year out. The last few years have been dedicated to that. But there is music coming," he added. Davies blamed the infamous touring ban placed on the Kinks in the US for four years in the '60s for causing the band to fall off the radar then: "It was a struggle coming to America because we were embroiled in management disputes, but without touring we would have gone broke. Thankfully we restored our image and we able to tour again, although it was a long climb back, as my book Americana illustrates." As for a possible Kinks reunion (his brother Dave Davies has said he's open to one), Ray responded that it could happen "if we make it relevant to new music." "Not saying we need a new album, but it's got to relate to new music. Because it's impossible just to do the hits. I like playing the hits, I just did a solo tour, but when the Kinks get back together, I need to be inspired to write new material," he explained. - Billboard, 12/1/15...... Punk poetess Patti Smith is among the 12 women who have posed for photos that are included in the 2016 Pirelli Tires calendar. First launched in 1964, the calendar has become a highly coveted annual of who's who among powerhouse models and photographers, and the 2016 calendar also features women's tennis champion Serena Williams and a topless shot of comedian/actress Amy Schumer. In addition to the portraits, all shot in black and white by Annie Leibovitz, the calendar also features paragraphs about each woman's contributions and accomplishments. - Billboard, 11/30/15...... Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler model/actress daughter Liv Tyler confirmed she plans to wed her partner Dave Gardner in an Instagram post on Nov. 30. "Crazy about my man!!!!!" sweet sweet daddy , friend , fiance "thank you !!!!!! Grateful"," posted Tyler, who was previously married to rocker Royston Langdon, the father of her 10-year-old son, Milo. Gardner, the sports agent pal of soccer great David Beckham, reportedly proposed to Tyler in Dec. 2014, while she was pregnant with Sailor Gene, their first child together. -, 11/30/15...... Richard PryorAll six of the classic comedy albums released by comedian Richard Pryor on the Warner Bros. Records label -- from 1974's That Nigger's Crazy to 1983's Here and Now -- are now available for digital download and on streaming services including Spotify and YouTube to commemorate what would have been his 75th birthday. "I am thrilled to celebrate Richard's upcoming 75th birthday with this great news. A wonderful gift to his fans, old and new alike," said Pryor's widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor. Her late husband would have turned 75 on Dec. 1. Fans can buy a digital bundle of all the albums or a best-of compilation called The Anthology: 1968-1992 that includes stand-up from his non-Warner Bros. releases. The tenth anniversary of Pryor's death is also coming up -- the controversial comedian died of a heart attack on Dec. 10, 2005. - Billboard, 11/30/15...... Quintessential "King of Cool" and the '70s The Dean Martin Show star Dean Martin will take the stage in 2016 thanks to Hologram USA, the company that produces lifelike hologram performances. Martin's national tour will kick off, unsurprisingly, in Las Vegas. Co-produced by FilmOn TV Networks, the performances will be distributed online via "(Dean) owned Vegas like no other entertainer, and is the definition of elegance and cool," says Hologram USA CEO Alki David. "It's a distinct pleasure to work with Laura Lizer and the estate to ensure we deliver Dean Martin with the utmost authenticity." The company has also announced plans to create hologram shows of such artists as Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby and Whitney Houston, among others. - Billboard, 12/2/15.