Friday, December 23, 2016

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on December 27th, 2016

A new video for a song called "We Are Not Afraid" that raises fund for victims of religious and political violence around the world has attracted the participation of the likes of Yoko Ono, Keith Richards, Robert Plant, Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro, Sting and Patti Smith, among others. Ono became the first to agree to participate after her photographer friend Bob Gruen, who snapped many iconic photos of her and John Lennon before Lennon's 1980 death, brought the project to Yoko's attention. "(Yoko) immediately offered to put together the long form 'We Are Not Afraid' video when told of our plan. And for that we are deeply grateful," said creator-organizer Steve Weitzman in a statement. Weitzman says the eight-minute video was expanded from its original planned four-minute length because so many celebrities, which also include Iggy Pop, Peter Gabriel, Jackson Browne, Chuck D, Joe Walsh, Bonnie Raitt, Debbie Harry, Dion and Elvis Costello, signed on. The video, which premiered in November, shows the stars holding signs with the song title and the music was written by Nigerian singer-songwriter Majek Fashek. It is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon and other major outlets, with proceeds going to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Human Rights Watch (HRW). Yoko Ono"It's a positive statement in a negative world," said Bob Gruen in a statement. "I hope it becomes something that inspires people around the world to do their own versions. You shouldn't go through life being afraid." Yoko Ono adds, "We're all together now!" More info can be found at the website. - Billboard, 12/23/16...... The Beach Boys revealed on Dec. 22 that they have been asked to perform at President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration in January, but a spokesman for the band says they have not yet made a decision whether to appear. The iconic California pop band has performed at past presidential events for Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and First Lady Nancy Reagan once came to the defense of the band in the 1980s after then-Secretary of the Interior James Watts in April, 1983, opposed the Beach Boys and the Grass Roots from performing on the Washington Mall on the Fourth of July because they attracted an "undesirable element." The Beach Boys did play in Washington on July 4, 1984 after Mrs. Reagan personally invited them, and she became a close friend of the band. Meanwhile, Gene Simmons has reportedly "politely declined" an invitation for KISS to play at Trump's inauguration, according to In a clip posted on the site, a TMZ reporter asks, "Gene, you're the rock'n'roll Donald Trump, will you play at the inauguration?" when Shannon Tweed, his wife, and their daughter Sophie, 'screamed out "No!" quickly and repeatedly.' Tweed then grabs Simmons' cheeks, and made him mouth "No." He then said "he's our president" and "people need to get over it."' The President-elect is understood to be having great difficulty booking acts to perform at his inauguration, and the line-up for his pre-inauguration "All-American Ball" is less than stellar, with Nashville singer/songwriter Beau Davidson, '80s cover band The Reagan Years, and The Mixx, who are billed as "the Mid-Atlantic's hottest Party Band!" In related news, actor Alec Baldwin, who lately often portrays Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, has offered to sing AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" at the inauguration. "I wanna perform at Trump's inauguration. I wanna sing HIGHWAY TO HELL," Baldwin tweeted on Dec. 23, also adding: "Inauguration Day means the beginning of the countdown to when he will be gone. And he will be gone." - Billboard/New Musical Express, 12/22/16...... Steven TylerOn Dec. 3, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler received the United Nations Humanitarian Award for his work with the non-profit organization Janie's Fund, which helps young women who are victims of abuse, and Tyler says he was "just flabbergasted" with the honor. "It's been a great two years, doing the country record, launching Janie's Fund and when I got offered this place for the U.N. Humanitarian," Tyler later said. "I usually don't wake up in the morning and think 'I'm Steven Tyler in Aerosmith.' I don't think of it like that, but it really was a beautiful end of this year. I was just flabbergasted." Tyler, who offered 100 percent of the proceeds from an auction of his prized Hennessey Venom GT sports car to Janie's Fund, accepted the award with an impassioned speech addressing global warming and climate change, and performed two Aerosmith songs, "Livin' on the Edge" and "Dream On," backed by a classical quartet. While some reports have suggested that Aerosmith may retire, Tyler has a different take. "The European tour is booked, locked and cocked and that's ready for next summer. And then we're coming back and we're doing the rest of the world," he says. He added that Aerosmith "has no right being as healthy as we are after what we've been through" and that we're "looking pretty damn good for what's going on." "Being away from each other is sometimes the healthiest thing we can do," Tyler said of his recent furlough from the band. "You know? I dare to say that being away from each other may have saved a few marriages on this planet," he says. - Billboard, 12/22/16...... Twitter accounts belonging to Bob Dylan and Sony Music were hacked on Dec. 26, with false reports of the death of Britney Spears. The first message came from the Sony Music Global Twitter account, which read "RIP @britneyspears #RIPBritney". It was quickly followed by a second, "britney spears is dead by accident! we will tell you more soon #RIPbritney". A similar tweet was soon posted from Bob Dylan's official Twitter account. The hacks reportedly came from OurMine, a hacker group advertising their security expertise who were also responsible for recent hacks of the Marvel and Netflix accounts. - NME, 12/27/16...... Actress/author Carrie Fisher, famous for her role in the 1977 Star Wars film and who recently appeared in a new installment of the sci-fi series, is in "stable condition" according to her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, after suffering a medical emergency on a flight between London and Los Angeles on Dec. 23. Fisher, 60, suffered a cardiac arrest on a flight between London and Los Angeles on Dec. 23, and was later admitted to a Los Angeles hospital in "critical condition." Reynolds tweeted on Dec. 25 that the family would share any updates on Fisher and thanked the public for its "prayers & good wishes." Fisher is also known for such books as Postcards from the Edge and Wishful Drinking. - AP, 12/26/16...... Rick ParfittGuitarist/singer Rick Parfitt of the veteran British rock band Status Quo died on Christmas Eve following complications from a shoulder injury he sustained in a fall. He was 68. "He died in hospital in Marbella, Spain as a result of a severe infection, having been admitted to hospital on Thursday evening following complications to a shoulder injury incurred by a previous fall," Parfitt's manager Simon Porter said in a statement. Parfitt was a member of Status Quo for nearly 50 years, spanning from 1967 until October of this year, when the guitarist announced his retirement from performing live after suffering a heart attack earlier in 2016. Formed as the Scorpions and then the Spectres by guitarist Francis Rossi and bassist Alan Lancaster in 1962, the band changed their name to the Status Quo in 1967 with the addition of Parfitt. The band released their debut LP Picturesque Matchstickable Messages From the Status Quo in 1968 which featured the psychedelic anthem and Top 10 Hot 100 single "Pictures of Matchstick Men." Parfitt recorded over 30 albums with Status Quo during his tenure in the band, including co-writing some of their biggest hits like "Whatever You Want," "Again and Again," "Rain" and "Living on an Island." The band also served as the opening band at the monumental Live Aid concert in 1985, performing three songs at London's Wembley Stadium. "We are truly devastated to have to announce that Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has passed away," Parfitt's family said in a statement. On Dec. 24, Queen guitarist Brian May tweeted: "Shocked and so sad to hear of the passing of Rick Parfitt. Hard to find words. You truly joyfully rocked our world. RIP dear buddy." - AP, 12/24/16...... Iconic 1980s pop singer George Michael, who began his career in the 80s singing in Wham! and went on to have a successful solo career in pop music, died at his home in Oxfordshire, U.K. on Dec. 25. He was 53. Michael, who sold more than 100 million albums over a career spanning four decades, had previously struggled with various forms of substance abuse. The circumstances of his death are not well known, however his publicist did issue this statement: "It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period. The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage." The London-born singer, whose birth name was Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, began his career in the '80s with Wham! before eventually going onto find more success as a solo artist. In July 2006, Michael was accused of anonymous public sex at London's Hampstead Heath, and he officially came out as gay in 2007. After many other scrapes with the law and the tabloids, he would become more reclusive as the years went on. In the U.S., he was seen in the TV series Eli Stone and performed on American Idol in 2008. He also released a new track that year called "December Song," via his website for free. He sold more than 100 million albums throughout his career and had been recently reported to be working on a new album with Naughty Boy. Michael's friend and collaborator Elton John is among the many musicians and celebrities offering their condolences : "I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend -- the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family and his fans." - Billboard/NME, 12/25/16.

An a cappella version of Paul McCartney's yuletide ditty "Wonderful Christmastime" featuring the former Beatle himself was aired on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Dec. 20. With host Jimmy Fallon's house band The Roots providing backup vocals, lyrics from "Wonderful Christmastime" were delivered by Fallon, then animated versions of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and singer Tori Kelly before Macca appeared to finish the song, which was first released in 1979. McConaughey, Witherspoon, Johansson, MacFarlane and Kelly are all starring in the new animated film Sing. - New Musical Express, 12/21/16...... In other Beatles-related news, Yoko Ono will appear in the cast of director Wes Anderson's next film, an animated movie called Isle of Dogs about a group of dogs living on an island. Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johannson, Bryan Cranston and Edward Norton will also be providing vocal tracks for the film. Meanwhile, classic videos by Yoko's deceased husband John Lennon have been added to YouTube, just in time for Christmas. Solo songs by John including "Imagine," "Jealous Guy" and "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" are among the over 20 clips now streaming on the popular online video service for free. "Happy Holidays! love, yoko," wrote Ono as she shared the news on Twitter on Dec. 18. - Billboard/NME, 12/22/16...... In still more Beatles news, a French fan of the Fab Four has announced he will sell 15,000 items of Beatles memorabilia in hopes that it will pay for his retirement. Jacques Volcouve will put his collection of records, signed books, posters, autographs and figurines up for auction at the prestigious Drouot auction house in Paris on March 18, 2017. "The Beatlemania bug bit me and I was never cured of it," Volcouve told the paper The Observer. Volcouve says he has met Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr in person and claims to have met Yoko Ono. "I hope the sale will give me enough money to live on decently until I die, and my collection will have a new life with someone else," he said. - NME, 12/19/16......Stevie WonderA one-block stretch of Detroit's Milwaukee Street was renamed Stevie Wonder Avenue on Dec. 21 in honor of the Motown legend. Attending the unveiling of the street sign in Detroit's New Center area, Wonder sang a bit of "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" before telling fans "I want all of us to walk down the street that leads us to a place of humanity, equality, of fairness and respect for each other." Referring to the recent presidential election in which President-elect Donald Trump suprisingly carried the blue-collar state of Michigan, Wonder said, "Don't let the color of the state define who you are. Don't let negativity say this is what you are. Don't let hatred and ignorance determine who you are... Be a part of fulfilling the promis ... to really make this city, this station, this nation a truly united people of the United States, of the world." After the ceremony, told reporters that he promises to stage one of his House Full of Toys holiday benefit concerts, which he's done during the past 21 years in Los Angeles, in Detroit for Christmas 2017. Meanwhile, Wonder and singer Ariana Grande appear in a new video for a song called "Faith" for the upcoming animated musical-comedy Sing, which was released on Dec. 21. - Billboard, 12/21/16...... A Minneapolis judge has ordered Prince divorce file opened in Jan. 2017 over the objections of Prince's ex-wife, Manuela Testolini. The Dec. 21 order says the records from the couple's 2006 divorce will be made public Jan. 13, as requested by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Testolini was the second wife of Prince, who died on Apr. 21 from an accidental overdose of fentanyl. - AP, 12/21/16...... James Taylor announced on Twitter on Dec. 21 that he will be canceling his February 2017 concert in Manila, Philippines, saying reports of summary executions of suspected drug offenders in the country without judicial proceedings are "deeply concerning and unacceptable." Taylor said he had been looking forward to performing in Manila and that it saddened him to cancel the concert. He then apologized to his Filipino fans and said all tickets sold for the Feb. 25 performance at Manila's Mall of Asia Arena would be fully refunded. Philippino president Rodrigo Duterte has overseen a crackdown on illegal drugs since he was elected in June 2016, which has left more than 6,000 people dead to the dismay of Western governments and human rights watchdogs. "Recent reports from the Philippines of summary executions of suspected offenders without trial or judicial process are deeply concerning and unacceptable to anyone who loves the rule of law," noted Taylor, who says his scheduled concerts in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand would not be affected. - AP, 12/21/16...... The site of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival in Bethel, N.Y., where some 400,000 music fans famously gathered on rolling farmland for three days of rock music in Aug. 1969 is among 26 properties that have been nominated to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the nominations on Dec. 20, and landing a place on the registers can help property owners and organizations secure preservation grants and historic rehabilitation tax credits from the state and federal governments. - AP, 12/21/16...... Alan WhiteThe Class of 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees were announced on Dec. 20, with first-time nominees Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, Joan Baez, Pearl Jam and Tupac Shakur joining three-time nominee Yes for induction into the Cleveland-based hall and museum next year. "It's totally exciting," says Yes drummer Alan White. "It's a great pleasure to be recognized for something you've been doing all your life and get recognition in the industry for the amount of work you've put in and to have done something that changed the course of history, I guess, over time," he added. Journey, who along with Yes and ELO have often been cited as Rock Hall snubs in previous years, topped the fan ballot conducted by the Rock Hall, with 250,758 votes. ELO, Pearl Jam and Yes were also in the top five and each received a vote added to the tally cast from more than 900 Rock Hall voters. Acts are eligible for the Rock Hall 25 years after the release of their first recording. Nile Rodgers, the frontman of 11-time nominee Chic, will also receive an Award for Musical Excellence at the 32nd annual RRHOF induction ceremony, which is set for Apr. 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Others on the ballot this year who were passed over included J. Geils Band, Steppenwolf, The Cars, MC5, The Zombies, Chaka Khan, Joe Tex, Janet Jackson, Jane's Addiction and Bad Brains. - Billboard, 12/20/16...... In more award news, Sly Stone, The Velvet Underground and Nina Simone are among the musical acts set to be honored at the 2017 Grammy Awards with a Special Merit Award. Gospel singer Shirley Caesar, jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal, country singer Charley Pride and the "Father of Country Music" Jimmie Rodgers will also be honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Grammy Special Merit Awards, which takes place during the pre-Grammy festivities in Feb. 2017. - New Musical Express, 12/20/16...... Independent music services company Kobalt has struck a deal to administer and provide publishing services for a vast majority of Elvis Presley's catalogue of more than 1,000 songs through a new administrative agreement with Authentic Brands Group (ABG) and Elvis Presley Enterprises, LLC. The arrangement takes effect on Jan. 1, 2017 and includes some of the "most desired tracks for film and TV trailers, soundtracks, and commercials," Kobalt said in a statement. Presley's music continues to establish new records and find new fans almost 40 years after his death, and 2017 should be another banner year for the King, as it is the 40th anniversary of the legendary singer's Aug. 16, 1977 death. - Billboard, 12/19/16...... Sole surviving Bee Gees member Barry Gibb has scrapped his 2017 "In The Now World" Tour of Australasia and canceled his appearance at the annual Byron Bay Bluesfest citing a "change in international commitments." Gibb had been scheduled to play eight arena, winery and festival shows, starting April 8 at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre and wrapping April 29 at Qudos Bank Arena (formerly Allphone Arena). Those dates won't be rescheduled and refunds will be made available for all ticket holders for Gibb's headline shows, according to a statement by Live Nation, the tour's producer. Gibb's shows were meant to be a sort of homecoming for the artist, whose British-born family got an early break in music after relocating to Redcliffe, north of Brisbane, in the late '50s. It was at the family home in Redcliffe where Gibb and his younger brothers Maurice and Robin Gibb signed their first record contract, and where the Bee Gees name was created. Gibb last performed Down Under for his 2013 Mythology Tour. - Billboard, 12/19/16...... Olivia Newton-JohnIn other Oz news, John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John's current Christmas single "Friends For Christmas" has risen to No. 1 in Australia, since first appearing on the chart five weeks ago. Farnham and Newton-John's last collaborative album, the live LP Two Strong Hearts, also reached the top spot on Australia's national albums chart for three weeks, giving the popular duet pair their second consecutive No. 1 in as many years. - Billboard, 12/18/16...... A UK air date for the David Bowie documentary The Last Five Years will apparently be on BBC Two on Jan. 7 at 9 pm GMT, three days short of the first anniversary of his death. The date was reported on Dec. 21 by the unofficial but renowned Bowie fan site David Bowie News, with the BBC set to confirm those details in the coming days. David Bowie: The Last Five Years will feature rare and unseen archive footage of the late artist, as well as unheard audio interviews and vocal takes -- including a previously never-before-heard a capella take of "Lazarus." Another Bowie programme, Bowie at the BBC, will air on BBC Four on Jan. 13 at 10 pm GMT. Meanwhile, a Bowie fan has found yet another new "secret" hidden on the artwork for the vinyl LP version of Bowie's final album, Blackstar. "What you have to do is bring the booklet to within about 10cm of a wall in a blackened room and shine a torch on the images that appear in the booklet (such as the stars, the man and woman, the 'Lazarus' title etc, etc,) and what you get is a range of fantastic coloured and 3D images," Bowie fan Chris Gray says. "The lyrics also appear 3D with red shadow colouring." - NME, 12/21/16...... Appearing on the BBC Four's "Desert Island Discs" programme on Dec. 18, Bruce Springsteen said his depression "still jumps up and bites me" sometimes. "It is something that has been a part of my life. It is usually OK, but like Churchill's 'black dog', it still jumps up and bites you in the arse sometimes," the New Jersey rocker noted. Springsteen added that his wife, Patti Scialfa, also helps him battle the condition, as does the right dose of medication. He says that Scialfa sometimes had to see a "freight train bearing down, loaded with nitroglycerin and running quickly out of track." Meanwhile, Springsteen has contributed vocals to guitarist Matt O'Ree's new album Brotherhood. O'Ree is known for his scorching blues guitar, with nods to such classic rock acts as Led Zeppelin, Cream and Black Sabbath. The album is available through O'Ree's website, - NME/Billboard, 12/18/16...... '60s pop hitmakers The Turtles have lost their suit against Sirius XM radio after New York's highest court ruled on Dec. 20 that the owners of old music recordings can't make radio stations pay for their use. A company controlled by former Turtles Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan (a.k.a. Flo & Eddie) had sued Sirius, arguing its rights were violated when the satellite radio service plays its old songs including the No. 1 hit "Happy Together" without permission or compensation. Sirius countered it can play the songs without permission because they were made before 1972, when new federal copyright rules took effect. New York's Court of Appeals ruled that state common law doesn't recognize a "right of public performance" that would require radio stations to have permission to play records made before 1972. - AP, 12/20/16...... Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and New Order are set to be among the headliner the Tibet House 30th anniversary benefit show, which is set for Mar. 16 at New York City's Carnegie Hall. 2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the non-profit educational institution and cultural embassy Tibet House US. - NME, 12/16/16...... Zsa Zsa GaborLegendary Hollywood actress and socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor passed away on Dec. 18 at her home in Los Angeles. She was 99, just two months shy of her 100th birthday. While the stunning Hungarian-American's rise to fame was slow in her earliest years, by the 1950s and 60s, she had starred in dozens of films and television series and solidified her footing as a Hollywood actress, although she was mostly featured in supporting roles. After being crowned Miss Hungary in 1936, Ms. Gabor immigrated to the U.S. in 1941, and broke through in 1952 with roles in We're Not Married! and Molin Rouge, but over the years, she gained more notoriety for her many romances and was married a total of nine times, including a five year marriage to Conrad Hilton with whom she had her first and only child, Francesca Hilton. "I am a marvelous housekeeper: Every time I leave a man I keep his house," she once quipped. Along the way, she had affairs with several iconic men, including Frank Sinatra and John F. Kennedy. Her intriguing personal life was an early example of celebrities driving their stardom by simply being their larger-than-life selves. Ms. Gabor also experienced her own share of debilitating health concerns, beginning in 2002 when she was hospitalized in a coma after suffering a car crash in Los Angeles. Though she survived, she was left reliant on a wheel chair. Three years later, she had a stroke. Then in July 2010, she broke a hip and had it replaced, though complications from a blood transfusion brought her back to the hospital. In 2011, she devastatingly had to have her left leg amputated after a blood clot transformed into an infection. She is survived by her most recent husband, Frederick Prinz von Anhalt, with whom she shared her longest marriage to date. - E! Online, 12/18/16.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on December 17th, 2016

The biannual Rainforest Fund concert sponsored by Sting and his wife Trudie Styler was held at New York's Carnegie Hall on Dec. 13, with special guests Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Ronnie Spector and Darlene Love. Springsteen kick-started his set by emerging from the back of the hall and proclaiming "Ho, Ho, Ho! This is your Jersey Santa Claus! I just got in! I didn't think I was going to make it, the North wind is coming down and the temperature is dropping, and all I want for Christmas is... one of those." That would be co-host Sting, who Bruce proceeded to hug. He then strapped on a guitar, and launched into a rocking version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," leading the venue in a sing-along that capped off a stellar night of music that included Sting performing the Wham! new-wave holiday classic "Last Christmas" with the female backup singers. Taylor's set included the seasonal standard "River" by Joni Mitchell, "Winter Wonderland" and "Baby, It's Cold Outside." - Billboard, 12/15/16...... Bruce SpringsteenIn other Bruce Springsteen news, The Boss' 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible is up for grabs on eBay. The car -- famed for being the inspiration for as well as the very place where he wrote his signature songs "Born to Run," "Thunder Road" and "Backstreets" -- is up for auction courtesy of, which was founded by fan and Springsteen historian Michael Crane. The current bid for the automobile is set at $350,000 -- which is $348,000 more than the Freehold, N.J. native originally paid. "In '70s New Jersey, the car was still a powerful image," Springsteen wrote of the vehicle. "That summer I bought my first set of wheels for $2,000. It was a '57 Chevy with dual, four-barrel carbs, a Hurst on the floor and orange flames spread across the hood." From Oct. 2008 to Jan. 2010, the Chevy was featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex in New York City. It was then moved to the main Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Oh., where it became part of the largest Bruce Springsteen exhibit ever. The electrical and mechanical systems have been overhauled and body and frame are untouched. is also tossing in the original vehicle registration, temporary insurance card and Allstate insurance card issued in Springsteen's name and address. - Billboard, 12/13/16...... Diana Ross will be among the headliners of the 23rd annual 2017 Essence Festival, which is set for the Superdome in New Orleans on June 30-July 2, 2017. Also performing will be John Legend, Chaka Khan, Teyana Taylor and current Grammy nominees Lalah Hathaway, Solange and Ro James. Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks. - Billboard, 12/15/16...... AC/DC will release what is being billed as the "first official photo book of the band" from their recent "Rock or Bust" world tour in the summer of 2017. The book will feature photos from Ralph Larmann, who shot the group throughout their 17-month trek, and include facts, figures and tour memorabilia. It will be available in several different editions, including a "Leather And Metal" collectors version with a slipcase boasting a glowing AC/DC logo. - New Musical Express, 12/13/16...... The Doors have announced they will release a limited edition (18,000 copies) London Fog 1966 album featuring seven songs recorded during the group's residency at L.A.'s Sunset Strip club, before they moved shop to the Whiskey a Go Go. The songs include blues covers and early versions of "Strange Days" and "You Make Me Real." But it was at the London Fog venue where the group cut its teeth, and guitarist Robby Krieger says "this is the earliest stuff I've ever heard of the Doors... it's pretty cool." The Doors will be celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2017, and the band is gearing up to commemorate the golden anniversary of the group's classic first album, though the plans are still being finalized. "We've got some ideas; I can't give them way yet, but there will definitely be some cool stuff happening with the Doors," says Krieger, who's also planning to release a new solo album in the new year. - Billboard, 12/14/16...... Tina TurnerTina Turner will be the subject of a new musical bio being developed for the London stage to be directed by Phyllida Lloyd, who had earlier success with the ABBA jukebox musical "Mamma Mia!," a global blockbuster. Turner joined the creative and producing teams in London on Dec. 16 for a workshop presentation of the piece, for which no timeline has been announced. Adrienne Warren, a Tony nominee this year for "Shuffle Along," is playing Turner in the workshop. Turner, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and eight-time Grammy winner, was previously portrayed on the screen in the 1993 biopic What's Love Got to Do With It, starring Angela Bassett, which traced her difficult emergence from an abusive marriage to Ike Turner to her amazing comeback as a solo artist in the 1980s. - The Hollywood Reporter, 12/16/16...... Elton John announced on Dec. 12 that he's launching a competition to give young contemporary filmmakers a chance to create music videos for his 1970s hits that were released before music videos were popular. John and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin say they're launching the competition with YouTube in celebration of their 50th anniversary of collaboration together, and hope to give aspiring video creators the opportunity to make music videos for such John/Taupin standards as "Rocket Man," "Tiny Dancer" and "Bennie and the Jets." Entries for "Elton John: The Cut" open Jan. 9, 2017. The competition closes on Jan. 23 and creators must be at least 16. John, Taupin, a panel of YouTube creators and industry players will pick three winners, and music videos will premiere next summer. Winners will also receive $10,000 from YouTube. - Billboard, 12/13/16...... David Bowie has beaten the likes of Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen in a new poll to name the UK's favorite male musician. Conducted by CamRate, the poll asked 2,000 Brits to name their favourite male and female musicians as well as asking them to rank their favourite actors. Adele was named as the UK's top female musician in the same poll. In other David Bowie news, a special screening of the late rock icon's final Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars concert at London's Hammersmith Odeon will be staged at Hammersmith's Eventim Apollo for the first time since the concert took place over 40 years ago on July 3, 1973. The gig was Bowie's final Ziggy & the Spiders show. Further screenings of the film will take place across the UK from March 2, 2017. In January, a series of concerts marking Bowie's 70th birthday will be held in London, New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and Tokyo.- New Musical Express, 12/16/16..... Tom Petty has announced he and his Heartbreakers will play at London's Hyde Park next summer as part of British Summer Time, the band's only European tour date of 2017. The concert will take place on July 9 with Stevie Nicks and the Lumineers also on the bill. Petty and the Heartbreakers are celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2017, and the London gig will mark only the second time the band has visited the UK in 18 years. Petty announced a huge batch of 40th anniversary shows across the US on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in November. Petty posted a video saying he and the band were "pretty excited" about the London show, and "it will be a special gig for us." - NME, 12/13/16...... Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney revealed on Dec. 15 that his 1989 album Flowers in the Dirt will be reissued in the US on Mar. 24, 2017. The release will be the first under his new deal with Capitol Records, which was announced in August, and Capitol says the reissue was personally supervised by McCartney. It will include a wealth of previously unheard demos and be available in a 2-CD special edition, on vinyl over 2 LPs and a deluxe edition with 3 CDs and a DVD plus books. Digital downloads will be made available of all tracks. The deluxe edition will include the 13-track album remastered at Abbey Road Studios and two added discs with 18 bonus tracks of previously unreleased demos, both the original and 1988 demo versions done by McCartney and his co-writer of several songs on the album, Elvis Costello. "I hadn't listened to [the demos] in ages but when I did I knew we had to put them out," McCartney said in a statement. "We made a little tape of them and sent them to Elvis, who loved them too. We said we should put out an EP or something and now the moment's finally arrived," he added. - Billboard, 12/15/16...... Dolly Parton raised an estimated $9 million for victims of the recent wildfires in her East Tennessee homeland of Sevier County during a TV telethon dubbed "Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund" on Dec. 13. "I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the people who have donated from all over the country and to my friends who donated their time, their talent, and money for My People," said Parton. "The response has been so overwhelming that we haven't been able to count all of the donations yet; right now, in total, we have raised about 9 million dollars for the folks who lost everything in Sevier County." The wildfires, which are determined to have been set by two juveniles who are now in custody, spread under extremely dry conditions and took the lives of 14 people and displaced over 1,300 families since they began in late November. - Billboard, 12/15/16..... Barbra Streisand wrapped her "The Music The Mem'ries The Magic!" tour on Dec. 5, and with $10.7 million in ticket sales earned at concerts in four U.S. markets during November and December, it gives the diva the No. 1 slot on Billboard's latest Hot Tours recap. The sold out shows at arenas in Houston, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami were the only fall dates on the tour that hit nine North American cities during the summer in August. Rod Stewart came in second on the list, with $5,537,784 in ticket sales earned at four UK shows from Nov. 29 through Dec. 8. - Billboard, 12/14/16...... KISS rocked the finale of NBC's The Voice on Dec. 13, performing a rocking medley of songs including "Detroit Rock City" and "Rock and Roll All Nite" with newly-crowned Voice winner Sundance Head. American Idol Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert performed "Beth" and "Detroit Rock City" with the band, while Season 13 winner Caleb Johnson teamed with KISS for "Love Gun" and "Shout It Out Loud." Johnson also opened for KISS on tour this summer. - Billboard, 12/14/16...... Alice Cooper has announced he'll kick off a string of UK arena concerts at Leeds on Nov. 11, 2017. Returning to the UK for his first headline tour in five years, Cooper will also play Glasgow (11/12), Birmingham (11/14), and Manchester (11/15) before wrapping at London's SSE Arena, Wembley on Nov. 16. Opening acts include The Mission and The Tubes. - New Musical Express, 12/13/16...... Linda RonstadtA Linda Ronstadt tribute featuring her longtime friends and collaborators Don Henley, Jackson Browne, Aaron Neville and J.D. Souther was held on Dec. 11 at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Henley was a suprise guest for the night, and he closed the main set down with "Desperado," introducing it as "the first song I ever wrote with an extraordinary guy named Glenn Frey." Henley recalled the song "didn't get much love or attention when it was released on [the Eagles'] second album back in April of 1973. In fact, the executives at the record label freaked out: 'Oh God, they've made a fucking cowboy record.' And then Linda Ronstadt recorded the song and put it on her album Don't Cry Now that came out in September of 1973 and everything was different." "[Linda] not only knew what was a great song, she knew why it was a great song," said J.D. Souther while introducing his song "Faithless Love," which Ronstadt first recorded and made famous. He added she was "instrumental [in] incentivizing the careers of Lowell George and Warren Zevon and myself." Jackson Browne lauded Ronstadt's "incredible, uncanny ability to find songs and breathe new life into them." As proof, he sang Lowell George's "Willin'," which Ronstadt recorded in 1974, describing it as "one of the greatest songs anybody ever wrote." Proceeds from the event benefited the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. - Billboard, 12/12/16...... A 90th birthday celebration for crooner Tony Bennett that was held on Sept. 15 at New York City's Radio City Music Hall and featuring Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga will air on Dec. 20 at 9:00 p.m. EST on NBC. Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come also features video testimonials to the "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" singer from the likes of Clint Eastwood, Bonnie Raitt, Celine Dion, Keith Richards, Bette Midler, James Taylor, Carole King, Garth Brooks and Willie Nelson, among others. - Billboard, 12/13/16...... After 4,642 shows at Broadway's August Wilson Theatre, the Four Seasons musical "Jersey Boys" will hold its final performance on Jan. 15, 2017. "I'm not sad," Four Seasons leader Frankie Valli says. "I never dreamed it would last 11 years. The beauty about this whole situation is it's not over. It is now beginning to happen in other parts of the world." The Tony Award-winning musical based on the quartet's career and harmonies opened in 2005 and ranks as the 12th-longest running show in Broadway history. - AP, 12/13/16...... Neil Young's high-resolution listening device and a digital music store Pono has struggled to make a profit since its Jan. 2015 launch, and was taken offline in July after its provider, Omnifone, went into administration and was purchased by an unidentified buyer. But Young isn't ready to give up on Pono, and announced on a recent podcast that "we're setting up right now partnerships for a Pono hi-res streaming service, and when we get our streaming service up we're gonna re-emerge as a streaming service and a hi-res download offer." "We're pushing towards getting our presence in phones and being able to be part of large partnerships that will enable us to be able to share the sound of hi-res and have people experience the sound of hi-res in music, like they have in television," Young added. "That's what we do, that's our service: we provide the best that's available, full-resolution music, great-sounding music." - Billboard, 12/13/16...... Jimi HendrixA newly discovered rare plant found in Baja California, Mexico, has been named after guitar god Jimi Hendrix. Researchers have christened the plant Dudleya hendrixii, or "Hendrix's liveforever." Liveforevers are a kind of succulent with enormous life spans, and a former graduate student of San Diego State University reportedly discovered the plant while listening to Hendrix's song "Voodoo Child." While the plant is a liveforever with flowers that die in the summer and re-sprout in the fall, this plant is in peril, with its two-acre habitat threatened by farming, off-road vehicles and development. - AP, 12/15/16...... Mackenzie Phillips of One Day at a Time fame will be returning to a reboot of the '70s sitcom by streaming giant Netflix. But this time Phillips, who played rebellious eldest daughter Julie in the CBS original, will not be reprising her role. Instead, she will guest-star as Pam, a psychologist and leader of a female veterans' therapy group that Penelope (Justina Machado) reluctantly attends in a later episode. Phillips' casting marks a key reunion with Norman Lear, who also produced the original series and was forced to fire Phillips during the show's original run over Phillips' chronic substance abuse. - The Hollywood Reporter, 12/14/16...... Willie Joe Ligon of the gospel quartet Mighty Clouds of Joy passed away on Dec. 11 in Los Angeles. He was 74. The Mighty Clouds of Joy became one of the nation's top gospel quartets in the 1960s, winning three Grammy Awards, and in 1975 they innovated with "Mighty High," a disco-influenced song that crossed over onto the pop charts. While the church community looked askance at this bold new sound, youngsters were tearing up the club floors to the sound of "Mighty High." - 12/12/16...... Veteran record executive Bob Krasnow, former chairman of Elektra Records, founder of Blue Thumb Records, veteran executive and co-founder of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died on Dec. 11. He was born in 1935, though his exact age couldn't be confirmed. Mr. Krasnow is often hailed for bringing Elektra Records back to prominence after taking over as chairman in 1983, signing such acts as Metallica, Anita Baker, Motley Crue, 10,000 Maniacs, The Cure, The Pixies, The Sugarcubes and others. Mr. Krasnow served as president of Blue Thumb Records until 1974, when he became vice president/talent acquisition for Warner Bros. Records, a role he held until 1983 when he was elevated to chairman and CEO of Elektra/Asylum/Nonesuch Records (later known as Elektra Entertainment). - 12/13/16...... Actor Bernard Fox, best known for playing Dr. Bombay on the '60s sitcom Bewitched, died of heart failure at a Van Nuys, Calif., hospital on Dec. 13. He was 89. The Welsh-born actor had 30 film credits from 1956 to 2004, including two films around the sinking of RMS Titanic. Mr. Fox was in both the 1997 film Titanic as Colonel Archibald Gracie IV, and the earlier 1958 version A Night to Remember in an uncredited role as Frederick Fleet. His other dozens of TV credits include recurring/guest roles roles in Hogan's Heroes, Columbo, The Andy Griffith Show, Knight Rider, The Phantom Major, F Troop, M*A*S*H, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Perry Mason. -, 12/14/16...... Canadian actor Alan Thicke, best known for his role on the sitcom Growing Pains, died on Dec. 13 after suffering a heart attack while playing hockey with his son. He was 69. On Growing Pains, Thicke played Jason Seaver, a psychiatrist who works from home. Beginning in Sept. 1983, Thicke hosted a late night talk show called Thicke of the Night, produced by famed network programmer Fred Silverman. However, it proved to be no match for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and lasted just nine months. He most recently appeared on Netflix's Fuller House. - The Hollywood Reporter, 12/13/16.

Mick Jagger became a dad again for the eighth time on Dec. 8 when the 73-year-old Rolling Stones frontman's 30-year-old American ballet dancer girlfriend Melanie Hamrick gave birth to a baby boy, whose name has not been revealed. "Melanie Hamrick & Mick Jagger's son was born today in New York and they are both delighted," a rep for Jagger said. "Mick was at the hospital for the arrival. Mother and baby are doing well and we request that the media respect their privacy at this time." The couple began dating in 2014, and Hamrick's pregancy was announced in July. Jagger has seven other children -- four daughters and three sons -- aged 18 to 47 from previous relationships. Jagger, who also has five grandchildren, became a great-grandfather in 2014 when granddaughter Assisi Jackson gave birth to a baby girl. - E! Online, 12/8/16...... In other Rolling Stones news, the band has scored its record-extending 37th top 10 album on the Billboard Hot 200 LP chart with its latest effort, Blue & Lonesome. The album sold 123,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Dec. 8, according to Nielsen Music, with 120,000 of those in traditional album sales. The album's robust debut is notable both for being a covers set and for coming a decade after the Stones' last studio album, A Bigger Bang. The album has also bowed at No. 1 in Australia, opening at the top of the ARIA Albums Chart down under. - Billboard, 12/11/16...... Gary BrookerProcul Harum leader Gary Brooker will be among the headliners at the upcoming Winter Solstice holiday concert series with the Paul Winter Consort that will pay tribute to late Beatles producer Sir George Martin. The Paul Winter Consort's 37th Annual Winter Solstice will take place on Dec. 15, 16 and 17 at Manhattan's Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. Brooker and Winter have known each other since Procol Harum and the Consort played a bill together at Fillmore East in 1971. "I was a big fan of Procol Harum in the '60s," Winter said in a statement. "It was the only rock band I liked besides the Beatles. I've long loved Gary's bluesy voice since first hearing him sing 'Whiter Shade of Pale.'" Sir George Martin produced albums both by Brooker and Winter -- Brooker's first solo album No More Fear of Flying and the Consort's 1972 album Icarus which Sir George later called "the finest record I ever made." Brooker has also announced plans for a 50th anniversary tour in 2017 for Procul Harum, which released its self-titled debut in 1967 containing the classic "Whiter Shade of Pale." The song was a No. 1 hit in the U.K. and hit No. 5 on the Billboard singles chart in the U.S. "We thought we'll make a special effort to do something special," Brooker says of the 50th anniversary tour. "We're all still alive and kicking. And after all that time there's a lot of loyal people as well and there's a lot of younger people that we'd like to reach that like what we've done. They'll certainly like what we're going to do." - Billboard, 12/10/16...... The 2016 Nobel Prize ceremony took place in Stockholm, Sweden on Dec. 10, and while Bob Dylan was unable to attend the event to accept his Nobel Prize in literature win in person, he did write a speech that was read at the event by United States Ambassador to Sweden Azita Raji in Dylan's absence. Dylan was awarded the prize in October "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." Also on hand to pay tribute to Dylan was rock poetess Patti Smith, who needed two attempts to get through Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall." Smith forgot the lyrics in the second verse and had to pause to regain her composure. "I apologize. I'm sorry, I'm so nervous," she said, asking the orchestra to start over. The audience in Stockholm's Concert Hall, many dressed in formal attire, clapped to support Smith as she tried anew. She then finished the song, after briefly blanking out again in the third verse, with an emotional performance that left some in the crowd misty-eyed. - Billboard/AP,. 12/10/16...... Tom PettyForty years after Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their eponymous debut album in November 1976 and embarking on their first tour a month later, the band announced on Dec. 9 that it will celebrate the milestone in the spring of 2017 with a 35-date North American tour set to get underway on Apr. 20 at Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy Center. Petty and the band will visit several major American and Canadian cities, playing two-night stands at the Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Morrison, Col. on May 29 and May 30, and two nights at Milwaukee's Summerfest on July 5 and 6, before wrapping with two shows at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, N.Y. on July 26 and 27. Additional dates are expected to be announced later. Eagles member Joe Walsh will open for the band on many dates, and country star Chris Stapleton will be the opener at the Summerfest dates. - Billboard, 12/9/16...... Several former band members of David Bowie's have announced they'll perform in a Bowie memorial show on the ne-year anniversary of his death with a show at New York's Terminal 5 on Jan. 10. Mike Garson, Earl Slick, Adrian Belew, Mark Plati and Gail Ann Dorsey are among the musicians on tap for the event, titled "A Very Special David Bowie Concert With Bowie People Playing Bowie Music Bowie Style." The musicians have also announced additional Bowie tribute shows for London (Jan. 8, O2 Academy Brixton), Los Angeles (Jan. 25, The Wiltern), Sydney, Australia (Jan. 29, Sydney Opera House) and Tokyo (Feb. 2, Tokyo Dome City Hall). "To honour David Bowie's 70th birthday, Bowie band members, friends, and a massive ensemble of top recording & touring musicians from around the world are getting together for a one-time only series of global goodwill concerts, in aid of local charities, called Celebrating David Bowie," a statement reads. "The concerts, announced sporadically, all take place in cities that have a strong connection with David Bowie and his work. All feature a core two dozen musicians traveling plus many local, regional, and national musicians to create a sound like no other," it continued. - Billboard, 12/7/16...... As what has been described as the "tax trial of the century" -- a billion-dollar tax battle over the estate of Michael Jackson -- is set to begin in Feb. 2017, the co-executor of Jackson's estate, John Braca, and his former business manager, Michael Kane, have both been ordered to testify by U.S. Tax Court Judge Mark Holmes. The case is of special interest throughout the entertainment industry because it will be valuating Jackson's posthumous right to his likeness. The IRS has insisted it's worth more than $434 million due to a Cirque du Soleil tribute show, and post-death albums, video games and other lucrative memorials, while the estate's own valuation is just $2,105, arguing that what's important is the value when he died, when Jackson's commercial prospects were suffering from charges of child molestation and drug abuse, before executors worked their magic, and the King of Pop experienced a resurgence in popularity. - The Hollywood Reporter, 12/8/16...... A new short film interpreting Queen's classic 1975 hit "Bohemian Rhapsody" produced by Corridor Digital has surfaced online. Titled "Literal Bohemian Rhapsody," the clip chronicles the hit scene by scene with lyrics from the song. It sees a man confessing to his mother that he "just killed a man" before he has a showdown with a group of cops. Yes, his guns are called "thunderbolt" and "lightning" and the cops are named "Galileo" and "Figaro" and, sadly, the officers will not let him go. - NME, 12/9/16...... Original Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock is asking fans for help in locating three guitars that were recently stolen from his London home. Recently completing a solo tour of the UK, Matlock took to Facebook to seek help in finding three stolen guitars, which include a 1961 Ivory Fender Precision Bass, a Modern Mexican Black Precision Bass and a Blonde Guild D37 Acoustic. "Please keep an eye out for them," Matlock writes. "A substantial reward will be paid for information leading to their recovery." Matlock played bass in the legendary punk band from 1975 to 1977, when he left and was replaced by Sid Vicious. He was part of the group's first reunion in 1996 and the brief reunions that followed in 2002/2003 and 2007/2008. - NME, 12/12/16...... Yoko OnoYoko Ono marked the anniversary of death of her husband John Lennon on Dec. 8 by posting a powerful plea for gun control on her website. "Dear Friends," she wrote. "Every day, 91 Americans are killed with guns. We are turning this beautiful country into a War Zone. Together, let's bring back America, the green land of Peace. The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience. After 36 years, our son Sean and I still miss him." Yoko also posted a photo of John's blood-stained glasses to drive the point home. The couple's son, Sean Lennon, also posted a tribute in memory of his dad, as did the surviving Beatles and other figures from the music and arts world. - New Musical Express, 12/8/16...... In other Beatles-related news, a Twitter user named Chris Barker has refashioned the Fab Four's iconic Sgt. Pepper's album cover to honor the many music icons that have passed in 2016. Among the faces on "christhebarker"'s cover are: David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Sir George Martin, Leon Russell, Keith Emerson, Maurice White, Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer, Robert Vaughn and Gene Wilder. - Billboard, 12/9/16...... Actor Kirk Douglas celebrated his 100th birthday milestone at an intimate gathering of friends and family held at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Dec. 9. Flanked by Anne Douglas, his wife of over 62 years, his son Michael Douglas, his daughter-in-law Catherine Zeta-Jones and his grandchildren, Mr. Douglas listened to words from his loved ones as images from his many classic film credits such as Spartacus, Lust for Life, Paths of Glory and others played on a screen behind him. Michael Douglas kicked off the proceedings, saying that it's not just about age, but about the life he's lived and what he's accomplished. "One of the things that I find most incredible about dad is the third act of his life," said Michael Douglas. "After all he accomplished in his professional career and what he's given for his country, at the point in his life where he's faced adversity, losing a son, having a helicopter crash, having a stroke, and what he's accomplished in this third act in his life, I find quite extraordinary." Also in attendence were Mr. Douglas' Rabbi, along with comedian Don Rickles and movie producer Jeffrey Katzenberg. - AP, 12/10/16...... Recently deceased The Brady Bunch star Florence Henderson secretly battled serious heart issues before she died of a heart attack at age 82 on Nov. 24, according to her death certificate which has been obtained by The certificate notes she suffered from heart disease for 10 years, and 5 years ago, she was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat. It also notes she was "in the entertainment industry for 64 years." -, 12/5/16...... In related news, former Brady Bunch daughter Susan Olsen has been fired from her job as an LA talk radio personality after she got into an online confrontation with openly gay actor Leon Acord-Whiting. LA Talk Radio announced on Dec. 9 that it "will not tolerate hateful speech" and that it "has severed ties" with Olsen. Acord-Whiting criticized the co-host of "Two Chicks Talkin' Politics" after he was a guest on the show, writing on Facebook that she "spreads outrageous misinformation & it is dangerous and unprofessional." Olsen, who played Cindy Brady on the TV show, posted on her Facebook page that Acord-Whiting blocked her "before I could even get one hit in." Acord-Whiting later posted a screenshot of a Facebook message he says Olsen sent to him. In the screenshot, Olsen appears to call the actor an offensive term for gay men. "And by now, your homophobic private message to me is being shared all over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So I don't have to say another word. The world is seeing your true colors," he wrote when sharing the message. - AP, 12/11/16...... John GlennFormer astronaut and U.S. senator John Glenn, a genuine American hero who was the last survivor of the original Mercury 7 program astronauts, died on Dec. 8 at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Oh. He was 95. Sen. Glenn, who had heart valve replacement surgery in 2014, was hospitalized "more than a week ago," according to Ohio State University spokesman Hank Wilson. Sen. Glenn piloted the Mercury space capsule, dubbed Friendship 7, and circled the planet three times in just under five hours on Feb. 20, 1962. Prior to his career as an astronaut, Sen. Glenn flew 149 missions during World War II and the Korean War and received multiple medals and decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross on six occasions. He resigned from the astronaut program in 1964 and pursued a career in politics, serving as a U.S. senator as a Democrat from Ohio between 1974 and 1999. He even ran unsuccessfully for president in 1984, and in 1988 at age 77, he became the oldest person to ever travel in space, as a payload specialist aboard the space shuttle Discovery for a nine-day mission in 1998. In 2011, he received a Congressional Gold Medal alongside Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. In 2012, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama. Earler in 2016, he attended a celebration that saw the renaming of Port Columbus Airport to John Glenn Columbus International Airport. Sen. Glenn joked that the only astronaut he was envious of was his fellow Ohioan: Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. "I've been very fortunate to have a lot of great experiences in my life and I'm thankful for them," he said in 2012. - AP, 12/8/16..... CNN will debut a Chicago documentary, Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago on Jan. 1 at 8:00 p.m. EST.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on December 8th, 2016

Greg LakeGreg Lake, the singer/guitarist/bassist in the famed '70s prog rock trio Emerson, Lake & Palmer, died on Dec. 6 of cancer, according to his manager. He was 69. "Yesterday, December 7th, I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer," Lake's manager Stewart Young posted on Facebook. Born in Bournemouth, UK, on Nov. 10, 1948, Lake was presented with his first guitar at age 12 and took lessons from a local tutor called Don Strike. Lake formed a close friendship with his fellow student guitarist Robert Fripp, and the pair formed King Crimson in 1969. Their debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King, set a standard for progressive rock with such elaborate tracks as "21st Century Schizoid Man," and was famously praised by Pete Townshend of the Who. Within a year however, Lake parted ways with King Crimson, refusing to work with the band after founding member Mike Giles quit. But he was featured on the band's critically-reviled second album, In The Wake Of Poseidon. Lake was then approached by keyboardist Keith Emerson, who had supported King Crimson on a North American tour, and needed a singer for a new band he was forming. Emerson, Lake and PalmerAfter recruiting drummer Carl Palmer of Atomic Rooster, ELP made their live debut at the Guildhall, Plymouth, in 1970, then established themselves with a well received performance at the Isle of Wight Festival. ELP's eccentric style combined heavy rock riffs with a classical influence, and the trio scored hit albums with Pictures at an Exhibition, Trilogy, and Brain Salad Surgery -- many of them produced by Lake himself. Their 1971 album Tarkus featured an opening track lasting more than 20 minutes, and was inspired by a fictional half-tank, half-armadillo creature that would appear on stage at gigs. The band's ambitious light shows and on-stage theatrics became the epitome of '70s rock excess, and later in the decade several punk acts cited ELP as one of the bands they were reacting against. But the band sold more than 48 million records worldwide, and Greg Lake continued to be an influential and popular touring musician even after ELP's heyday of the early-mid '70s. His death comes during the season when ELP's yuletide song "I Believe in Father Christmas" is often heard on rock radio. News of the passing of Lake, who is quoted on his website as saying "The greatest music is made for love, not for money," comes nine months after his longtime bandmate Keith Emerson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. - 12/8/16.

Dolly Parton announced on Dec. 6 that she will be hosting a Dec. 13 telethon in Nashville to raise money for her My People Fund, which benefits victims of the recent devastating wildfires in East Tennessee. "I know there are a lot of great events being planned to help the people of East Tennessee, however, I am planning a telethon to support the 'My People Fund' where 100% of the money will help those who lost their homes in the wildfire. I am planning on doing this on Dec. 13th in Nashville, Tennessee," Parton said in a statement. Dolly's My People Fund aims to provide $1,000 each month to families in Sevier County, the area where the country icon grew up and the location of her theme park, Dollywood. For donations, visit - Billboard, 12/6/16...... Stevie Nicks has added 20 new dates in the new year to her "24 Karat Gold Tour" with opening act The Pretenders. With the tour being met with "huge ticket demands" and receiving "stellar reviews" according to her reps, the legendary Fleetwood Mac singer will kick off the winter 2017 leg on Feb. 23 in Reno, Nev., also visiting such cities as Salt Lake City, San Diego, New Orleans, Raleigh, Orlando, Jacksonville, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Newark, N.J. before wrapping in Uniondale, N.Y. on Apr. 6. The tour is in support of Nicks' latest album 24 Karat Gold, which features new versions of works primarily written and demoed between 1969 and 1987 but never officially released. "It's been thrilling to get on stage each night and sing some of my early gems from early in my career along with getting the chance to sing the material from my last two albums," Nicks said in a statement. The current 2016 tour concludes on Dec. 18 at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. - Billboard, 12/6/16...... David BowieWhile David Bowie's final album Blackstar received three 2017 Grammy nominations in the rock categories when the 59th Annual Grammy Awards nominees were announced on Dec. 6, the late rock icon's swansong set was noticeably absent from the main four categories. Although the title track from Blackstar received Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance nominations and the album was nominated in the Best Alternative Album category, many expected the critical favorite and commercial success with an intriguing backstory to also have a lock for an Album of the Year nomination. Bowie didn't fare much better when the BBC Music Awards nominations were announced on Dec. 5, with Blackstar again being snubbed for Album of the Year, however Bowie was nominated for a British Artist of the Year prize at the upcoming Dec. 12 ceremony. Blackstar gave Bowie his first No. 1 in the U.S, his 10th chart-topper in his homeland and was a hit across the globe with fans and critics. Meanwhile, other 2017 Grammy Award nominees include the Ron Howard-directed Beatles tour documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week, for a Best Music Film nomination, and Paul McCartney's deluxe Tug of War reissue getting a Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package Grammy nod. Bob Dylan was nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, for Fallen Angels, and Dylan's The Cutting Edge: 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12 was nominated in the Best Historical Album category. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 12/6/16...... The Rolling Stones are on course to score an official UK number one album for the first week in December for their latest album, Blue & Lonesome. The album, the veteran rockers' first studio release in more than a decade, is way ahead of its nearest competition with almost 66,000 combined sales at the halfway stage of the midweek chart. The all-blues 12-track album was recorded in just three days at British Grove Studios in west London and sees the band return to "their roots and the passion for blues music." Should the album cross the finish line in first place, it'lll be the band's 12th No. 1 in the U.K. The Stones' last studio effort to reach the chart summit in their native country was Voodoo Lounge back in 1994, though a re-release of their 1972 album Exile On Main St also reached Number One in 2010. - NME, 12/5/16...... The Nobel Foundation announced on Dec. 5 that while Bob Dylan won't be attending the traditional Nobel Prize banquet on Dec. 10 in Stockholm, Sweden, the singer-songwriter has written a "speech of thanks" for the occasion that will be read aloud by a yet-to-be-decided person. Earlier in the day, Patti Smith is scheduled to perform Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" as a tribute to the 75-year-old musician. A spokeswoman for the foundation says Dylan's diploma and Nobel Prize medal will be handed over at a later date that hasn't been determined yet. - AP, 12/6/16...... Brian MayTaking to Twitter on Dec. 6, Queen guitarist Brian May gave fans an update about his health after the musician was forced to cancel an 11-date solo UK tour two months ago due to what he described as a "persistent illness." "Just want to say thanks, dear twitter folks -- for all your kind wishes. I'm still taking it relatively slowly, but getting stronger. Bri -- Dr. Brian May (@DrBrianMay)," he posted. In the fall, May said that he was "now at the point where I don't feel confident to perform the scheduled shows to the standard we all expect... I've been strongly advised to rest and heal, rather than go out and risk 'falling down on the job' out there, which would be a real tragedy." Queen with guest vocalist Adam Lambert completed their 2016 tour at the end of September, and May and Kerry Ellis are due to release a collaborative album in March. - NME, 12/6/16...... A Chicago-based design firm called New World Design Ltd. has announced plans to block out the word "Trump" from President-Elect Donald Trump's Trump Tower in the Windy City with four "golden pig balloons," a protest inspired by the cover artwork of Pink Floyd's 1977 album Animals. "Comprised of four gold colored balloon pigs tethered to buoys in the Chicago River, the folly is a design effort by NWD to provide visual relief to the citizens of Chicago by interrupting the view of the ostentatious Trump Tower Chicago sign," the company said in a statement on its website. "The design scheme follows rigorous rationale in providing layers of meaning while allowing for nuanced interpretations by viewers," it added. The protest follows former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters' use of a giant inflatable pig which flew over the crowd at the recent Desert Trip festival in October in Indio, Calif. On that occasion, the pig was printed with the phrases "F--k Trump and his wall" and "Ignorant, lying, racist, sexist." - Billboard, 12/5/16...... In a post on his Facebook page on Dec. 5, Neil Young questioned whether Pres. Barack Obama will stand up to the corporate interests pushing for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), following the Army Corps of Engineers' decision to look for an alternate route for the project. After DAPL issued a press release on Dec. 4 stating they remain "fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe" and that "nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way," Young asked what the president will do if DAPL does indeed move ahead despite the Army Corps' decree. "The question now is whether President Obama will send in law enforcement or the military to halt DAPL from drilling without a permit," Young wrote. "Otherwise, today's announcement will have no enforcement. It will be seen as another US and corporate ploy to send home water protectors, and thousands of veterans, now at Standing Rock Camp, where more than 10,000 are camped." - Billboard, 12/5/16...... The EaglesJames Taylor'70s artists The Eagles, James Taylor and Mavis Staples were among those feted by Pres. Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors show Dec. 4, 2016 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Eagles members Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit were first called for Kennedy Center recognition in 2015, but postponed their attendance in hopes that Frey, who by then was in a fierce battle with colitis, rheumatoid arthritis and pneumonia, would recover. Tragically, Frey passed away in January, and his wife Cindy and children were on hand to receive his honor. Frey's longtime friend and fellow Detroit native, Bob Seger, showed up to pay homage to the band and his 47-year friendship with Frey, noting his upcoming album features a song he wrote for Frey that carries the line, "When I think about you I always smile." Also honoring the Eagles were Kings of Leon, country star Vince Gill and Latin rocker Juanes, who performed "Take It Easy," "Peaceful Easy Feeling" and "Hotel California," respectively. James Taylor was honored by former president Bill Clinton, country/rock singer Darius Rucker, Sheryl Crow and Garth Brooks, while Bonnie Raitt and Andra Day paid tribute to Mavis Staples. The event was taped and will air on the CBS network on Dec. 27. - Billboard, 12/5/16...... Kraftwerk has added two more UK shows to their upcoming 2017 tour, due to heavy ticket demand. The German electro pioneers announced a rare and lengthy run of UK shows earlier in 2016, before tickets instantly sold out within minutes -- much to the frustration of fans. Now the band has added two more shows -- at Oxford on June 6 and Brighton New on June 7 -- to the trek, which kicks off in Dublin on June 2. Kraftwerk will wrap the 17-date tour with a three-night stand at London Royal Albert Hall on June 21, 22 and 23, and are rumoured to be among the headliners at the 2017 Glastonbury festival in June. - NME, 12/5/16.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on December 2nd, 2016

As the Stevie Nicks with opening act The Pretenders fall tour hit New York City's Madison Square Garden on Dec. 1, Nicks warned the crowd that tonight's show is "not gonna be the same show that you're used to seeing," and promised "magical gothic things from my gothic trunk of secrets and mysteries." Nicks then delivered a set of little-heard rarities like "Starshine," a reject from her 1981 solo debut Bella Donna that eventually ended up on 2014's 24 Karat Gold - Songs From the Vault and "Crying in the Night," a Buckingham-Nicks-era favorite that Nicks rarely played live before this tour. The highlight was "Moonlight (A Vampire's Dream)," the dramatic power ballad whose recording reinvigorated Nicks' solo career earlier in this decade, and which she now calls "my favorite song I've ever written." Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde, who gushed about Nicks during her band's set and said it was "like being on tour with Elizabeth Taylor," was even invited on stage to sing Tom Petty's part in Nicks' breakout solo hit, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around." "I'm gonna marry her," Hynde quipped after the performance. "So don't get any ideas." Nicks encored with the Fleetwood Mac staples "Rhiannon" and "Landslide." - Billboard, 12/2/16...... On Nov. 28, Eric Clapton announced he'll play four shows in the US -- New York City's Madison Square Garden on Mar. 19 and Mar. 20 and The Forum in Los Angeles on Mar. 25 and Mar. 26 -- in 2017 that will be billed as "celebration of Clapton's 50 years in music." The dates seem to put hints of retirement to rest after the 71-year-old legendary guitarist revealed in June that nerve damage from his peripheral neuropathy has impacted on his ability to play guitar. Opening acts on the tour include Jimmie Vaughan and Guy Clark Jr., with former Joe Cocker sideman Chris Stainton among the musicians in Clapton's backing band. Tickets go on sale on Dec. 3. - New Musical Express, 11/28/16...... Neil DiamondShortly before participating in the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in NYC on Nov. 30, Neil Diamond told reporters that he'll leave "no song unsung" when he kicks off a 50 Year Anniversary World Tour in 2017. "Especially stuff from The Monkees," said Diamond, who wrote several several songs for the iconic '60s pop band including the No. 1 smash "I'm a Believer." The first leg of the tour gets underway in Fresno, Calif., on Apr. 7, then travels to cities including Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York, before wrapping in August. "We play all over the United States, North America, and then we will find other places to go," he said. Diamond promises to pull out all the stops on his tour, and that he still feels energized when performing for his fans. "They can expect me to give everything I possibly can. I will leave no stone unturned, and no song unsung," he said. - AP, 12/1/16...... KISS announced on Nov. 29 they'll be launching their KISSWORLD 2017 European arena tour on May 1 in Moscow. The glam-rock icons will also hit such cities as Helinksi, Stockholm, Oslo, Munich, Vienna, Frankfurt and Rotterdam before traveling to the UK for shows in Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester before the 15-city tour wraps at London's O2 on May 31. - NME, 11/29/16...... Rod Stewart has joined the lineup of headliners for the UK's 2017 Isle of Wight Festival, which takes place from June 8-11 at Seaclose Park, Newport. Billed as his only UK festival appearance in 2017, Stewart will top the festival bill on the final night of the festival. "I have been very lucky to have played many of the world's finest venues and festivals -- but never played the legendary IOW Festival. I am so excited to put that right. June can't come round soon enough," Stewart said in a statement. The festival originally ran between 1968 and 1970 before being revived in 2002, and recent headliners include Queen + Adam Lambert and Fleetwood Mac. - NME, 11/28/16...... James Taylor has announced a summer tour of four baseball parks for 2017, culminating in a date at Fenway Park, home of his beloved Boston Red Sox. Taylor and his band will open the tour on July 14 at Nationals Park in Washington. It continues July 17 at Wrigley Field in Chicago; July 29 at AT&T Park in San Francisco; and Aug. 11 at Fenway. It will be the third consecutive year Taylor has played Fenway, the venue where the Boston-born Taylor debuted his video for "Angels of Fenway," his ode to the redemptive spirit of baseball and a song featured on his 2015 album Before This World. Bonnie Raitt will open for Taylor at each show. - AP, 11/29/16...... Rush announced on its Facebook page on Nov. 30 that the band is donating the $40,000 award it's getting from the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, in honor of the late Tragically Hip frontman Downie. "Many families have been affected either directly or indirectly by this terrible disease. Through Gord's courageous efforts this cause is now getting the attention it desperately deserves. As a fellow musician and friend it's our turn to help support his efforts to fight Brain Cancer now," the post reads. Earlier in December, Canadian Music Week announced that Rush were the 2017 recipients of the Slaight award, which will be handed out in April; the award comes with a $40,000 prize earmarked for the charity of the recipient's choice. - Billboard, 12/1/16...... Dolly PartonCountry music legend Dolly Parton has established a fund to help victims of the recent spate of wildfires in the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, which is also home to her Dollywood theme park. Parton's My People Fund will provide $1,000 each month to families in Sevier County, Tenn., and in a new video the singer explained how she wanted to help get people "back on their feet" after the deadly natural disaster. "I've always believed charity begins at home and my home is some place special," she said. "That's why I've asked my Dollywood Companies -- including the Dollywood theme park, and DreamMore Resort; my dinner theater attractions including Dixie Stampede and Lumberjack Adventure; and my Dollywood Foundation -- to help me establish the My People Fund. We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires." Parton's theme park was also threatened by the fires. More info can be found at - Billboard, 11/30/16...... Pres. Barack Obama welcomed four of the recipients of the 2016 Nobel Prize to the White House in Washington on Nov. 30, and noticeably absent was Nobel winner Bob Dylan. "Unfortunately, for those of you wondering, Bob Dylan will not be at the White House today, so everybody can relax," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said during a press briefing. Earnest said Dylan didn't give a reason, but he noted that Dylan and the president had met previously and "the president enjoyed meeting him." In 2012, Pres. Obama presented the iconic rock star with a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature on Oct. 13 but won't be attending the prize ceremony, later announcing he may travel to Stockholm sometime in 2016 and give his Nobel Lecture then. - AP, 11/30/16...... A new court filing suggests that the late Prince's estate could be worth as much as $200 million, the first time a specific estimate has emerged publicly from court proceedings since the musician died from an overdose in April. Since Prince left no known will, the rock superstar's sister and five half-siblings are in line to inherit equal shares of the estate -- after taxes gobble up about half of it. Attorneys have avoided giving specific figures in public since then, but based on a court filing made public on Nov. 29, Bremer Trust puts the value of the estate at about $200 million, the AP has calculated. In 2016, Prince's estate took in $25 million and sold more albums than any other dead musician for a No. 5 spot on the list of top earning deceased celebrities. Prince's estate has until Jan. 21 to file federal and state estate tax returns. Meanwhile, a new Prince documentary entitled Prince: R U Listening? is reportedly in the works for a spring 2017 release. The film, directed by Find Your Groove's Michael Kirk, will chronicle Prince's rise to fame and will feature interviews with members of his band, as well as friends and admirers including Bono, Mick Jagger, Sheila E, Lenny Kravitz and Billy Idol. Prince's Minnesota estate-turned-museum, Paisley Park, is is also planning a "Celebration 2017" event in April, with guided tours of the late singer's home and performances from Prince's former bands. - AP, 11/30/16...... The Bee GeesThe Bee Gees announced on Dec. 29 that they've inked a long-term worldwide agreement with Capitol Records that will cover the legendary trio's entire catalog of recorded music -- all 22 studio albums -- plus various compilations, unreleased recordings and other projects. Several soundtracks are also part of the agreement, including the disco era-defining Saturday Night Fever. Capitol will begin working with Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), Barry Gibb and the estates of late members Robin and Maurice Gibb on numerous sales and marketing campaigns aimed at breathing new life into the brothers' catalog, which ranged from psychedelic pop to disco to soft rock. The group's most active years were spent on either Polydor or RSO, aside from a brief stint with Warner Bros. "The Bee Gees catalog is one of the most esteemed and important bodies of work in the history of recorded music, and we are brimming with ideas that will remind fans of its brilliance and further the band's legacy by introducing their music to new audiences," Capitol Music Group chairman and CEO Steve Barnett said. "All of us at the company are honored that The Bee Gees have chosen Capitol as their new home." - Billboard, 11/29/16...... Cher will be among the celebrities featured in This Climate, an upcoming documentary about the perils of climate change. The film, which also features Mark Ruffalo, Vivienne Westwood and Noam Chomsky, will be screened in festivals, events, and universities worldwide in early 2017 after November's United Nations Climate Change Conference and before the World Economic Forum in January, for optimal impact on global discussion. - Billboard, 11/30/16...... A new picture book inspired by John Lennon's 1971 world peace anthem "Imagine" is set for release on Sept. 21, 2017, the United Nations' International Day of Peace. Authorized by Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, the book will be released in partnership with Amnesty International, which will receive some of the proceeds. ith illustrations by Jean Jullien, the book will feature Lennon's lyrics as it tells of a young pigeon's mission to advocate for peace. - AP, 11/29/16...... In other Beatles-related news, a rare copy of the Fab Four's "White Album" originally owned by Ringo Starr has topped a list of the world's most valuable vinyl records. The LP sold at auction in 2015 for £730,876. The list, compiled by, also includes recordings by the formative Beatles band The Quarrymen ("That'll Be The Day/In Spite Of All The Danger" - £100,000) at No. 2 and the Beatles' "Love Me Do" (£80,500) at No. 3. - NME, 11/29/16...... The Recording Academy has announced it will be adding 25 new musical works to its Grammy Hall of Fame, including David Bowie' "Changes," the Jackson 5's "ABC," Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock," Arlo Guthrie's "The City of New Orleans," Merle Haggard's Okie From Muskogee and the Beach Boys' "I Get Around." The selected singles and album recordings are all at least 25 years old to meet requirements for selection, and with this year's additions there will be 1,038 recordings in the Grammy Hall of Fame. - Billboard, 11/28/16...... Neil YoungNeil Young has penned an open letter to Pres. Barack Obama urging an "end to the violence" against the protestors at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota and South Dakota. "Standing together in prayer to protect water displays a deeply rooted awareness of life's interconnected nature, and of the intrinsic value and import of traditional ways," Young posted on his Facebook page on Nov. 28. "This growing movement stems from love, it is the most human instinct to protect that which we love." Despite the hundreds of people standing in solidarity and peacefully protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline, Young wrote that protesters are met with "violent aggression" from law enforcement. "Standing while being hit with water cannons, mace, tear gas, rubber bullets. Standing without weapons and praying, the water protectors endure human rights abuses in sub freezing temperatures," Young writes. "Thus, it is the ugliness of corporate America, seen around the world." The rocker later called upon the president "to step in and end the violence against the peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock immediately" before discussing President-elect Donald Trump, who he described as a "surprise president [who] claims he does not believe in climate science nor the threats it presents and his actions and words reflect that claim in tangible and dangerous ways." Trump also owns stock in the company laying the pipeline, and has called for its completion. - Billboard, 11/29/16...... The former wife of Phil Collins has told the UK paper Daily Mail that she will sue the former Genesis member after he slammed her with alleged inaccuracies in his new autobiography, Not Dead Yet. Andrea Bertorelli, Collins' first wife, took issue with what her ex shared about their five-year marriage, which ended in divorce in 1980, and blasted him for failing to remember even the simplest of details, like where they actually tied the knot. "Even the most basic facts have become distorted," she said. "For a number of years... I have variously been portrayed as a homewrecker, a gold-digger and a bad mother (in the media). The recent publication of Phil's autobiography Not Dead Yet is the final straw." It's not clear how much compensation Bertorelli is seeking from her ex, who is yet to comment on the lawsuit news. The former couple shares two adult children -- son Simon, a musician, and actress Joely, who was Bertorelli's daughter from a previous relationship. Collins adopted Joely as his own during their marriage. -, 12/2/16...... Tony Award-winning character actor Fritz Weaver, who played a German Jewish doctor slain by the Nazis in the 1978 mini-series Holocaust and an increasingly unstable Air Force colonel in the 1964 film Fail Safe, died on Nov. 26 at his home in Manhattan. He was 90. The Pittsburgh-born Mr. Weaver won a Tony in 1970 for his role in Robert Marasco's drama "Child's Play," and also appeared in such TV series as The Twilight Zone, Playhouse 90, Mission: Impossible, Magnum, P.I., Matlock, Gunsmoke, Falcon Crest and Murder, She Wrote. His screen credits included Marathon Man (1976), Demon Seed (1977), Creepshow (1982) and The Thomas Crown Affair (1999). - AP, 11/28/16...... Al BrodaxAl Brodax, the producer and co-writer of the Beatles' iconic animated 1968 film Yellow Submarine, died on Nov. 24 in Danbury, Conn. He was 90. In 1960, Mr. Brodax created and headed the television/motion picture division of King Features Syndicate, writing and producing more than 500 episodes of Popeye, Krazy Kat, Barney Google and The Beatles' cartoon series. In 1968, he was producer and co-writer of Yellow Submarine, winning more than 30 awards including the New York Film Critics Circle Award in 1969. Mr. Brodax went on to become the animation supervisor for ABC, producing the shows Make a Wish and Animals, Animals, Animals. In later years, he was a consultant for Marvel Comics. - The New York Times, 11/28/16...... Joe Esposito, a close personal friend and longtime aide of Elvis Presley, died on Nov. 23 of natural causes in Calabasas, Calif. He was 78. Esposito met Presley in 1959 while both were serving in the Army. After they completed their service, Esposito became Presley's assistant in professional matters, from keeping his calendar to functioning as road manager when the King was on tour. Esposito was one of two best men at Presley's 1967 wedding to Priscilla Wagner and a pallbearer at his funeral in 1977. After Presley's death, Esposito worked as a road manager for other artists, including the Bee Gees and Michael Jackson. His daughter, Cindy Bahr, said that her father was suffering from dementia at the time of his death. - AP, 11/29/16...... TV mogul Grant Tinker, the former chairman and CEO of NBC and former husband of Mary Tyler Moore, died on Nov. 29 at age 90. In 1969, Mr. Tinker and his then-wife Moore launched MTM Enterprises, which became an indie powerhouse that produced such hits as Moore's Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, The Bob Newhart Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere. In 1981, he left MTM to become chairman and CEO of then-last-place network NBC. With Brandon Tartikoff as his entertainment president, Mr. Tinker spearheaded a ratings turnaround, with the network rising from last to first place on the strength of a slew of hit new series, including The Cosby Show, Family Ties, The Golden Girls, Cheers, Night Court and Hill Street Blues. He left NBC in 1986, following its acquisition by General Electric. -, 11/30/16.

Appearing at the Detroit Lions-Minnesota Vikings NFL matchup in her hometown of Detroit on Thanksgiving Day, Aretha Franklin delivered a generous 4 minute and 35 seconds long rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" prior to the start of the game, which may have been as much a topic at Thanksgiving dinner as the game itself. Her lengthy version of the national anthem then went viral on social media, with one Twitter user joking that "there was enough time to cook a turkey, eat and do the dishes" during the performance. Others opined that the 74-year-old "Queen of Soul" had earned the right to sing the anthem for as long as she wanted. The CBS production team even got in on the fun during the game by including Franklin in a time of possession graphic: "Time of possession battle is crucial." -- NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) November 24, 2016. - AP, 11/26/16...... In related news, James Taylor tweeted a Thanksgiving message to his fans stressing the importance of gratitude on Nov. 24. "Sometimes we suffer setbacks. And if these reversals of fortune are deeply important to us, the loss can be a source of real grief. Recovery takes time and we should allow ourselves time to grieve. But what eventually seems to help most is to take a regular moment to give thanks. To whom we give it is a big question but just go ahead on and do it. Gratitude is the way to an improved attitude, dude," Taylor wrote in the post. The 68-year-old singer/songwriter then gets a little spacey in the message, speculating about the possibility that other distant worlds in the cosmos might support life. "Scientists tell us that it is likely, even inevitable, that there are other worlds in the cosmos which, like our own, would support life. But they are so rare and far apart that it's a long shot we'll ever be in touch... To have been born in human form and consciousness aboard this unbelievably beneficent planet is an incredible stroke of luck. Dig it..." - AP, 11/24/16...... Billy JoelAfter Bruce Springsteen made headlines earlier in November for being rescued by a group of biker veterans when his own motorcycle broke down on Allaire State Park in New Jersey on Veterans Day, Billy Joel revealed onstage during a Nov. 26 concert at Madison Square Garden that the faulty bike ridden by the Boss was, in fact, built in his own 20th Century Cycles shop in Oyster Bay, N.Y. "So he takes the bike out on Veteran's Day and it breaks down. It's all over national news: Bruce's Bike Breaks Down," the Piano Man told the audience. "So I'm reading this and thinking, Oh s--t, I hope it wasn't the bike I built for him. I called him, 'Bruce, what bike was the bike that broke down?' 'It was the one you made for me,'" Joel continued. Joel then said he apologized to the 67-year-old New Jersey rocker, to which Bruce responded, "Oh no, it's cool, dude." Perhaps to make amends, Joel covered Springsteen's classic "Born to Run" later in the show. Joel, 67, owns a custom motorcycle shop, 20th Century Cycles, in Oyster Bay, N.Y., and Springsteen is one of his clients. - The NY Daily News, 11/27/16...... Speaking of Bruce Springsteen, the musician has taped an appearance on the venerable BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs that will air during the third week of December. On Desert Island Discs, host Kirsty Young is joined each week by a guest who is asked to "name eight recordings, a book and a luxury item that they would take with them on a desert island." Springsteen said of his track choices that "this is the music that electrified me -- they galvanised me into changing my life in some way." First broadcast in 1942, Desert Island Discs has welcomed the likes of Tom Hanks, Bill Gates and Michael Bubl earlier in 2016. - New Musical Express, 11/24/16...... Stevie Wonder has announced that John Legend and Lionel Richie have been confirmed to perform at his annual House Full of Toys benefit concert, which is set for L.A. Live's Microsoft Theater on Dec. 9. Wonder launched House Full of Toys in 1996 at former Hollywood venue House of Blues. In subsequent years, the concert has been staged at The Forum in L.A. as well as the Microsoft. Concert proceeds benefit the We Are You Foundation, which assists children and families in need. For ticket information (patrons are also asked to bring an unwrapped toy), visit Additional performers at this year's event will be announced shortly. - Billboard, 11/23/16...... Elton JohnAfter Anthony Scaramucci, an advisor to President-Elect Donald Trump, made a surprise announcement that Elton John would be playing the president-elect's January inauguration on the BBC programme HARDtalk on Nov. 23, a rep for Sir Elton unequivocally denied the same day that John will be playing the Washington D.C. event. Scaramucci said that John's performance would demonstrate the president-elect's "commitment to gay rights," commemorating what he referred to as "the first American president in U.S. history that enters the White House with a pro-gay rights stance." It is worth noting however that Trump's running mate, Vice-President Elect Mike Pence, has been strongly criticized by the LGBT community for his anti-gay positions as governor of the state of Indiana. - Billboard, 11/23/16....... In an interview with the London Times, David Bowie's saxophonist Donny McCaslin claims that Bowie was planning to make more music at the time of his death in January at age 69, two days after the release of his album Blackstar, a record which many fans believed was his final farewell. "It certainly didn't seem that it (Blackstar) would be his last record," McCaslin said. "He was going to start writing new music -- or maybe he had started; it wasn't quite clear -- but he was in the process of planning a new recording with us. I don't think Blackstar was this goodbye thing," he added. McCaslin also said Bowie was considering appearing on stage for the first time in a decade. "Clearly there wasn't going to be a Blackstar tour but he was going to sit in with us at (New York jazz club) the Village Vanguard," McCaslin said. "It would just have been him turning up unannounced after rehearsing during the day." Earlier in 2016, McCaslin and his band released their own album, Beyond Now, inspired by and dedicated to their former collaborator. The LP includes original tracks by McCaslin and a number of covers of songs by the likes of Deadmau5, Mutemath, The Chainsmokers and Bowie. - New Musical Express, 11/25/16...... Prolific TV actor Ron Glass, a veteran of such series as Barney Miller, Stakeout, Bureaucrat, Ms. Cop, Vigilante and The New Odd Couple, died at his home in Los Angeles on Nov. 15. He was 71. It is not yet clear if the star had been ill prior to his death, but there is speculation that he was suffering from respiratory problems. The news of Glass's death shocked members of California's Buddhist community, of which he was a prominent figure. Sharing the news on Facebook, one friend wrote: "My Buddhist Brother and Friend, Ron Glass passed last night. I had called him 11/15/16 to find out how is doing since it's been a few months since I had see him last and his nurse said he was not up to talking. I called back on 11/16/16 and said to the nurse: 'let him know that I love him and really care'." The Indiana-born performer also appeared on such series as Friends, Star Trek: Voyager, CSI, Rugrats, Rhythm & Blues and Murder, She Wrote. - The Mirror UK, 11/16/16...... Fidel CastroFidel Castro, the controversial revolutionary leader and former head of state of Cuba, died on Nov. 25 at the age of 90, according to Cuban state television. One of the world's longest-serving political leaders, Fidel Castro ruled Cuba for 49 years after playing a central role in the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s. He cut a divisive figure during his lifetime, transforming Cuba into the Western Hemisphere's first communist country and becoming a thorn in the side of the United States during the Cold War. Hailed by supporters as a hero who fought for socialist ideals by standing up to the U.S. and the world's other political giants, Fidel Castro was seen by critics as a ruthless dictator guilty of subjecting his people to countless human rights abuses, devastating Cuba's economy and forcing more than a million Cubans to flee the island. Considered by many Cubans to be a national hero, Castro in February 1959 was sworn in as prime minister of the island nation, after his group of revolutionaries finally succeeded in forcing the increasingly ruthless dictator General Fulgencio Batista to flee the country, after many attempts. While the international community criticized Castro's government for its brutal campaign of retribution against Batista supporters, the Cuban people were firmly on Castro's side. Hundreds of thousands of Cubans would gather and cheer as he delivered long, rousing speeches -- some of them lasting hours about the revolution (his longest on record in Cuba was 7 hours and 10 minutes). During the Cold War, Castro's Cuba proved especially influential in the politics of the day, after he revealed his belief in socialism and declared his allegiance to the USSR early on in his rule. After Russian missiles, placed in Cuba with Castro's consent, were spotted by an American spy plane in October 1962, the Soviets and the Americans engaged in tense negotiations, the world spun closer to nuclear war than at any other time before or since. Fortunately, however, the USSR -- to Castro's fury -- finally agreed to remove the missiles from Cuba, and the crisis was averted. Castro fell ill in 2006 with an undisclosed disease, and handed the reins of power to his brother Ral Castro. He officially resigned in 2008, after 49 years as Cuba's head of state. Castro was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on behalf of developing nations in 2001, and also spoke up against global warming and other environmental issues and was lauded by some for his environmentalism and green policies. - Huffington Post, 11/26/16.