Pop legend Dionne Warwick was on hand during the Jan. 11 episode of Fox's new singing competition show The Four to cheer on her 23-year-old grandaughter Cheyenne Elliott. After the 23-year-old Elliott took the stage and noted she came from "a very musical family" (her cousin was Whitney Houston), the show then cut to a segment recorded in the backstage greenroom, where Warwick told her beloved granddaughter "I know you're ready." "My grandmother has said she's passing the baton down to me. She wants this for me as much as I want it," said Elliott, whose performance was good enough to earn her a chance to challenge one of The Four. - Billboard, 1/12/18...... John Fogerty is lashing out at a new action film starring Taraji P. Henson (Empire) named Proud Mary after the former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman's 1969 hit. Fogerty, who penned the song, has issued a statement with a scorching rebuke of the movie and its attempt to capitalize on the popularity of his rock classic. Henson plays a hit woman in the movie, and Fogerty says in addition to he film's appropriation of his song title, he also objects from seeing the "Proud Mary" lyrics "working for the man every night and day" changed to "killing for the man every night and day" on the movie poster. "My songs are special to me. Precious," Fogerty wrote. "So it irks me when people seek to capitalize on the popularity of my music and the good will it has earned with the public for their own financial gain. Over the years, I have often found myself directly opposed to these uses," he continued. "This movie has nothing to do with me, or my song. They simply picked the title and wrote a completely fictitious story around it." While Fogerty can't take legal action against the filmmakers for using the song title, he says he's upset that no one from the film asked about using his song this way and makes it clear that if he has been asked, he would have declined. "This movie has nothing to do with me, or my song," Fogerty says. "They simply picked the title and wrote a completely fictitious story around it.... No one ever asked me about using my song this way, or even about the meaning of 'Proud Mary'" and that his song "was obviously a metaphor about leaving painful, stressful things behind for a more tranquil and meaningful life." - Billboard, 1/11/18...... Attendees at the annual CES tech gadget show in Las Vegas on Jan. 11 were treated to an impromptu performance by Motown legend Stevie Wonder. When piano teacher Gabie Perry of a California startup was demonstrating the company's internet-connected "smart" device designed to teach people how to play piano, someone told her that "Stevie Wonder would like to try it." Perry thought it was a joke, but Wonder then spent about 15 minutes playing tunes as a crowd gathered at The One Music Group's booth. Wonder, one of several celebrity musicians that included rapper Iggy Azalea and Aerosmith gutiarist Joe Perry, later said he likes to visit the conference to "see new things" and meet people. - AP, 1/11/18...... A new 2-CD deluxe edition of Fleetwood Mac's 5x platinum 1975 eponymous album will hit stores on Jan. 19 in a variety of formats, with expanded editions that include more unreleased early takes and live tracks. One of those tracks is an alternate take of "Monday Morning," the opening track on the album. Buckingham and his then-girlfriend Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac at the recommendation of co-producer Keith Olsen, after releasing their own Buckingham Nicks album, and Buckingham says that becoming part of a group required him to adjust his approach to music. "If you go all the way back to before Stevie and I joined Fleetwood Mac, the application of guitar was a lot more prevalent in the whole scheme of the space that was taken and the work that was done by a particular instrument," Buckingham says. "I wasn't even sure what my role was gonna be at that point; Obviously it was kind of a lesson in adaptation for me, and maybe giving up on certain things and concentrating on other things which were maybe strengths for the good of the band," he adds. Meanwhile, Fleetwood Mac is expected to tour in 2018, though Buckingham also has a solo album that's due out this year. "I think the earliest anyone expected to be back on the road with Fleetwood Mac might've been spring of 2018," Buckingham said in a 2017 interview. "Stevie, my understanding is that she's all ready. I've got this solo album; I'm the one who's holding it up. But, you know, that's typical for us. There's a lot of moving parts so, you know, you gotta wait for everyone to be ready." - Billboard, 1/11/18...... To mark the second anniversary of his Jan. 8, 2016, death of David Bowie from liver cancer, Bowie's daughter Alexandra Jones and widow Inman have gotten new tattoos. Inman added two photos to her Instagram account showing the pair's tattoos, with the first appearing to be placed on Jones' forearm and the second on Iman's ankle. Jones opted to get a tattoo of a crescent moon wrapped around the words, "Daddy xxx," followed by 1947-2016, while Iman opted for a tattooed knife with "David" written on the handle. "You will always be part of us," Inman captioned the series of photos to honor the music legend. Earlier in the day she also posted a series of four black and white shots of the pair captioned, "My favorite love story is ours! #BowieForever #ForeverAndEver." In other Bowie-related news, U.K. fans snapped up more than five million of his recordings since his untimely death, according to a new report. The Official Charts Company has crunched the numbers on how the masses consumed his music, and released the data on Jan. 10. Bowie's 25th and final studio album Blackstar, released just two days prior to his death, went on dominate charts around the globe, including the U.S. and U.K., where it finished the year as one of the top 10 best-sellers. Blackstar is Bowie's most popular album in the U.K. since his death, moving 446,000 copies across all formats, with his 2008 hits set Best Of Bowie coming in second place (335,000 units) and 2016's Legacy in third (247,000). An additional three Bowie albums have each shifted more than 100,000 units -- the gold award level -- since his death: Nothing Has Changed - The Very Best Of, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Hunky Dory. - Billboard, 1/11/18...... In an interview with the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Queen guitarist Brian May had some harsh criticism for U.K. Prime Minister Teresa May, describing the Tory leader as being "driven by vanity and thirst for power" and the U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union as "the dumbest thing Britain has ever done in my lifetime." "She is, like [David] Cameron before her, driven by vanity and thirst for power," he said of Theresa May. "It was wrong from the beginning to ask the British to vote on Brexit, which has consequences that most were unaware of." Brian May continued: "I'm upset that a few politicians have managed to throw us under a bus. I sincerely hope that we can manage to get out of it again. It's a disaster, because the losses that are caused by it will be huge for us," he added. "Brexit is the dumbest thing Britain has ever done in my lifetime. For me and for many other Britons, this is an absolute tragedy, because the story is going in the wrong direction. It was always important to me to identify similarities and to work together. Brexit destroys the work of a whole generation that has brought Europe together." - New Musical Express, 1/10/18...... In other Queen-related news, the band will be among the Lifetime Achievement Awards recipients at the 2018 Grammy Awards, it was announced on Jan. 9. The honor, determined by the Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees, is presented to performers who have made impactful artistic contributions to the field of recording. A special award presentation ceremony and celebratory concert will be held in summer 2018. This year's recipents also include Tina Turner and Neil Diamond. The 2018 Grammy Awards will take place on Jan. 28 at New York City's Madison Square Garden. In other Grammy news, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler will be teaming up with Live Nation to hold the inaugural Janie's Fund gala and Grammy Awards viewing party. The event will include dinner, a live auction, the awards show telecast and a performance by Tyler and his Nashville-based band, Loving Mary. All proceeds from the event will benefit Janie's Fund, Tyler's charitable initiative in partnership with national family services nonprofit Youth Villages, which aims to help girls heal after suffering abuse and neglect. The initiative is named after Aerosmith's hit song "Janie's Got a Gun." Tyler's gala and viewing party will take place on Jan. 28 at the historic RED Studios in Hollywood. - Billboard, 1/9/18...... Thirty years after his death, the hologram company Base Hologram is taking a virtual Roy Orbison on an international tour with local symphony orchestras. Titled "In Dreams" after Orbison's hit single, the Orbison hologram will make its first-ever public appearance at the APAP Conference on Jan. 14. The U.K. leg of "In Dreams," which begins in April, has already sold over 70 percent of its tickets. After touring the U.K., the hologram will play a total of ten additional shows in Europe and Australia, before embarking on a three-month North American run in fall 2018. "It's important to make sure your core base is happy, but this [tour] is even more for the fans who missed Roy's shows while he was still alive," says Orbison's son Alex Orbison, president and co-founder of Orbison's estate, known as Roy's Boys. Base Entertainment, the parent company of Base Hologram, is the second-largest producer of live shows in Las Vegas behind Cirque du Soleil. In the future, it says it aims to work more with living artists, especially those who cannot otherwise meet the physically taxing demands of a 100-day world tour. - Billboard 1/11/18...... In a Jan. 9 interview with BBC Radio 2, Eric Clapton revealed that he is losing his hearing and has been diagnosed with the hearing loss condition tinnitus. "I am still going to work. I'm doing a few gigs," the 72-year old guitarist said in an interview promoting his new documentary, Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars. "I'm concerned with now is being in my 70s and being able to be proficient. I mean, I'm going deaf, I've got tinnitus, my hands just about work. I mean, I am hoping that people will come along and see me for more than that [because] I am a curiosity. I know that is part of it, because it's amazing to myself that I am still here." Clapton also suffers with peripheral neuropathy, which causes weakness and pain in hands and feet, making it difficult to play guitar. However, he still has some concerts lined up in New York and Los Angeles in March 2018. Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars premieres on the Showtime cable channel on Feb. 10. - Billboard, 1/10/18...... Paul McCartney has given his backing to the U.K. Music initiative, a Parlimentary campaign which aims to curb the rising number of music venue closures across the U.K. "Without the grassroots clubs, pubs and music venues my career could have been very different," Sir Paul said ahead of the campaign's Jan. 10 launch. "If we don't support music at this level, then the future of music in general is in danger," he added. The U.K. Music initiative is sponsored by Labour MP John Spellar, who has introduced a new bill in the House of Commons in an effort to implement the "Agent of Change" principle into UK law. Also supporting the bill are Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and Billy Bragg. - NME, 1/10/18...... Eagles guitarist/singer/songwriter Joe Walsh has signed a new global publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Walsh's songwriting catalog includes his solo hits "Life's Been Good," "Rocky Mountain Way," "All Night Long" and "Lucky That Way," as well as "Life In The Fast Lane" and "In The City," which he wrote and recorded with the Eagles. "Joe's vast career catalog, both solo and with Barnstorm and the Eagles, have found the perfect home with Marty and Sony/ATV," Walsh's longtime manager Irving Azoff said in a statement. - Billboard, 1/10/18...... After abruptly ending a concert in San Diego earlier in January due to breathing difficulties, Willie Nelson has cancelled three upcoming shows in Palm Springs, Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nev. The 84-year-old had barely begun his opening number, "Whiskey River," in San Diego before concluding the performance early; he was coughing and experiencing difficulty breathing as he exited the stage. Nelson's publicist told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the musician was suffering from either "a bad cold or the flu" and was returning to Texas to recuperate. Nelson has yet to announce any cancellation of his February shows, which begin in Georgia on Feb. 7. In August, he ended a show near Salt Lake City early due to altitude sickness. - Spin.com, 1/9/18...... James Taylor announced on Jan. 9 that he'll kick off a 2018 summer tour on May 8 in Jacksonville, Fla. In a sequel to his 2017 tour with opener Bonnie Raitt, Taylor will once again be accompanied by his longtime friend and fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Raitt. The 17-date tour will also visit such cities as Orlando (5/9), Tampa (5/12), St. Louis (5/21), Kansas City (5/22), Denver (5/27), Phoenix (5/29), and Los Angeles (6/1, 3), wrapping on July 1 in Bufallo, N.Y. Meanwhile, Taylor performed his classic "Sweet Baby James" among other favorites at Sean Penn's Haiti Rising Gala at Milk Studios in Hollywood on Jan. 6. Taylor finished the night's performance with his hits "Carolina In My Mind" and "How Sweet It Is." The event was co-hosted by Penn and benefited the Haitian Relief Organization. - Billboard, 1/9/18...... Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has announced he'll tour North America in the spring behind his upcoming solo effort, American Utopia. Byrne's tour will launch on Mar. 3 in Red Bank, N.J., also visiting Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (3/4), Buffalo, N.Y. (3/6), Hershey, Pa. (3/7), Waterbury, Conn. (3/9) and Kingston, N.Y. (3/9) before a South American leg that begins on Mar. 16 in Santiago, Chile. - Billboard, 1/8/17...... Rod Stewart announced on Jan. 8 that he'll once again embark on a North American tour with special guest Cyndi Lauper this summer. The 22-date Stewart/Lauper tour gets underway on June 25 in Hollywood, Cal., also visiting such major markets as Orlando, Fla. (7/26), Charlotte, N.C. (7/28), Louisville, Ky. (7/29), Nashville, Tenn. (8/1), St. Paul, Minn. (8/15), Indianapolis, In. (8/18), St. Louis (8/19), Denver (8/22), San Diego (8/26) and San Francisco (8/29) before wrapping on Sept. 1 in Seattle. The 2017 Stewart/Lauper was a hit among critics and fans alike, with Entertainment Weely describing it as a "nostalgia blast." - Billboard, 1/8/18...... Guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani will release his new studio album What Happens Next on Jan. 12. The new, instrumentally electrifying album features a power trio of legendary status; Satriani on guitar and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee bassist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple/Black Country Communion) and drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers). Satriani will revive his G3 Tour entity in 2018 beginning Mar. 16 in Moscow and winding up on Apr. 30 in Birmingham playing shows in many European countries, including the U.K. France, Italy, Spain, Poland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland and more. - Noble PR, 1/9/18...... R&B singer/songwriter Denise LaSalle, whose hit "Trapped by a Thing Called Love" topped the R&B charts in 1971, died in a Jackson, Tenn., hospital on Jan. 8. She was 78. Media outlets report LaSalle suffered from health issues in recent months that resulted in the amputation of her right leg after she suffered a fall. Along with "Trapped by a Thing Called Love," the Mississippi native is also well known for the song "Now Run and Tell That." She had a string of successful singles in the 1970s and the early 1980s. "She had a very unique voice," said musician/producer Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell, whose father, Willie Mitchell, recorded LaSalle at Hi Records. LaSalle was a 2011 inductee in the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis. Her citation for that year notes her "bold and bawdy stage act." She later sang blues as a recording artist for Mississippi-based Malaco records. - AP, 1/9/18...... Motorhead guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke passed away on Jan. 10 after a battle with pneumonia. He was 67. Fellow band member Mikkey Dee responded to the heartbreaking news. "I saw Eddie not too long ago and he was in great shape. So this is a complete shock," he said before adding his condolences to Eddie's "family and close ones." - Billboard, 1/11/18...... French pop icon France Gall, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965, where she was representing Luxembourg, with the song "Poupe De Cire, Poupe De Son," has died at age 70. Gall, whose real name was Isabelle Genevive Marie Anne Gall, released her debut single "Ne Sois Pas Si Bte" in 1963, when she was 16 years old. She went on to release 28 albums in total, concluding with 2004's Videment compilation. Gall retired from music following the death of her eldest child, Pauline, in 1997. She had been working on humanitarian projects since then. Gall had been suffering from cancer for two years, and was taken to hospital near Paris in December for treatment on a severe infection. - New Musical Express, 1/7/18.
The latest installment of the annual New Year's Eve TV special New Year's Rockin' Eve founded by the late Dick Clark and now hosted by Ryan Seacrest saw its biggest overall audience in at least 27 years, welcoming 25.6 million viewers with an 8.2 rating among adults 18-49 (10.6 million) during its late-night part 1 programming slot from 11:30 p.m. to 1:09 a.m., according to data by The Nielsen Company provided by ABC. The ratings were high enough to best last year's Grammy Awards telecast, which aired on CBS last February, making it the top music special of 2017. Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve debuted in 1972 on NBC and has aired on ABC since 1974. - Billboard, 1/2/18...... Ray Thomas, the flautist and vocalist for The Moody Blues, died suddenly at his home in Surrey, near London, on Jan. 4, according to his record label Esoteric Recordings/Cherry Red Records. He was 76. No cause of death was given, but Thomas disclosed in 2014 that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. "It is with profound sorrow and sadness that Cherry Red Records and Esoteric Recordings regret to announce that Ray Thomas, founder member, flautist and vocalist of the Moody Blues, passed away suddenly at his home in Surrey on Thursday 4th January 2018," the company said in a statement. "We are deeply shocked by his passing and will miss his warmth, humour and kindness. It was a privilege to have known and worked with him and our thoughts are with his family and his wife Lee at this sad time," the statement added. Born on Dec. 29, 1941, in Stourport-on-Severn, England, Thomas founded The Moody Blues in 1964 with fellow musicians including Mike Pinder and Denny Laine, and the group was among the first to make extensive use of the Mellotron and the flute. The band soon swapped its blues roots for a more orchestral sound that came to be called progressive rock. Thomas's flute solo was a key ingredient on one of the band's biggest hits, "Nights in White Satin," and he was also the principal composer of such Moodys tracks as "Twilight Time" and "For My Lady." Thomas also released the solo LPs From the Mighty Oaks (1975) and Hopes Wishes and Dreams (1976). John Lodge also honored Thomas on Twitter, noting that "Ray and I have been on this magical journey through life together since we were 14...two young kids from Birmingham who reached for the stars...and we made it together. El Riot you will always be by my side." The Moody Blues are due to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio in April. - AP, 1/7/18...... A 1981 Volvo 262C Bertone Coupe that was once owned by David Bowie was sold for approximately $218,000 in an auction in Switzerland on Jan. 3. Bowie's Volvo was one of the last of the line produced in 1981, and it was delivered to his Swiss home in June of that year. It was registered under Bowie's legal name, David Robert Jones, before being transferred over to the record company Belway Bros. It sold with over 33,000 miles on the odometer. - Stereogum.com, 1/5/18...... In related news, a Honda Monkey-Trail Bike XUC 91H used by John Lennon between 1969 and 1971 to get around his Tittenhurst Park estate in the Surrey countryside has been obtained by the classic motorcycle company H&H Classics and will be put up for auction on Mar. 4 at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, UK. Henry Graham acquired the bike from Lennon in 1971, before selling it on to its current vendor, John Harington, in the same year. Harington has kept the bike ever since, and has displayed it at various events and shows throughout the past 47 years. Experts estimate the motorbike could command as much as £30,000. - NME, 1/3/18...... A group of music and film artists including Roger Waters, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Tom Morello, John Cusak, Viggo Mortensen and John Cusak have signed a letter in support of New Zealand singer Lorde following her cancelling a scheduled gig in Israel. Lorde had been scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv in June, but announced on Christmas Eve the show was cancelled after facing a backlash from fans. They argued the concert would act as an endorsement of Israel's occupation of Palestine. Shmuley Boteach, an outspoken rabbi, had branded Lorde an anti-semetic "bigot" in a full-page advertiesment in the Washington Post for her decision, and now the artists have signed a letter supporting her "right to take a stand." "We write in support of Lorde, who made public her decision not to perform in Israel and has now been branded a 'bigot'," reads their full page advertisement in the Washington Post. "We deplore the bullying tactics being used to defend injustice against Palestinians and to suppress an artist's freedom of conscience. We support Lorde's right to take a stand," it continued. - New Musical Express, 1/7/18...... The Doors drummer John Densmore gathered with dozens of friends, family and fans in Los Angeles on Jan. 4 to unveil a pair of street signs informing motorists they have just arrived at the corner of Morrison Street and Densmore Avenue. Until now, the street names had been on signs placed on poles on separate corners. City officials, who had declared Jan. 4, 2017, the Day of the Doors in honor of the 50th anniversary of the release of the band's first album, recently took care of that problem when they put signs naming both streets on the same pole in front of a stately, two-story home on the second anniversary of the celebration. "I come up a few blocks. You're kidding? Densmore Street crosses Morrison Street," Densmore recalled as the crowd laughed. Densmore also quietly recited some of the words to late Doors frontman Jim Morrison's poem "An American Prayer" before pulling the string to unveil the signs. "Oh great creator of being, grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives," he concluded. The Doors formed in 1965 in LA's beachfront community of Venice, where last year's Day of the Doors celebration was held. Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger are the band's only surviving members. Morrison died in 1971 and keyboardist Ray Manzarek passed in 2013. - AP, 1/5/18...... Country singer and restaurant/bar operator Mickey Gilley and his son were injured in a car accident near Corrigan, Texas, on Jan. 3 when their car rolled over, leaving the 81-year-old Gilley with a fractured ankle and a fractured right shoulder. The two are recovering, and Gilley announced he will reschedule his next concert scheduled for Greeneville, Texas, on Jan. 6. Gilley's namesake Texas honky tonk club inspired the 1980 film Urban Cowboy and the resulting nationwide fad for Western-themed nightspots in the 1980s. He is known for such country hits as "Room Full of Roses," "Stand By Me," "Window Up Above," and the honky-tonk anthem "Don't the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time." - AP, 1/5/18...... Cable TV's HBO will premiere a new Elvis Presley documentary called Elvis Presley: The Searcher this spring that will give fans an unprecedentedly deep look at his life and music, from his first forays into Memphis blues clubs to his early stardom, up through his late '60s comeback and exhausting '70s touring. The nearly three-and-a-half-hour-long, two-part documentary (which will also get a soundtrack released through Sony/Legacy) features new interviews with scholars, stars like Bruce Springsteen and the late Tom Petty, and -- most notably -- Priscilla Presley, who famously met the superstar when she was 14 and was married to him from 1967 to 1973. Priscilla, 72, says she was excited to share the details of the King as an artist, and even though the couple eventually divorced, "we remained very close." "We had long conversations at night," she says. "He wanted to perform, to get out. He had nervous energy. In fact, he wanted to go all over the world. He wanted to explore." - Billboard, 1/5/18...... Elton John posted a touching tribute to his late mum Sheila Farebrother, who died on Dec. 4 at age 92, on Jan. 3 on Instagram. In a post featuring a picture of a memorial plaque, Sir Elton wrote, "Dear Mum, Today's funeral was perfect. Having the service in the family chapel and attended by your brother and sister brought us all comfort. Having the service where Nan lived out her final days brought you and your Mother back together again." Just days after Ms. Farebrother's death, John paid homage to her during a concert at Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany, where he dedicated "Your Song" to her. Though the two were estranged for years, they had reconciled in recent years. Following her death, John said he had gotten together with her a week before she passed and was "in shock" at her passing. "I'm glad to say she passed away peacefully, with no pain," he said at the show. "But maybe sooner than she should have done, so I was quite shocked. And I was thinking how I could pay tribute to her tonight, and what song I should choose." - Billboard, 1/4/18...... Elvis Costello has composed a new song for the film Film Stars Dn't Die in Liverpool, a movie about the life of actress Gloria Grahame. "You Shouldn't Look at Me That Way," is a haunting, piano-based tune that conveys the complex, true relationship between the aging, struggling Grahame, played by Annette Bening, and much younger actor Peter Turner, played by Jamie Bell, in the Sony Pictures Classic film, currently in theaters. Costello is scheduled to begin a six-show residency in Las Vegas in February, and is working on a musical based on the 1957 classic film A Face in the Crowd, which he says seems more relevant than ever in the age of Donald Trump. "It's about the ability of television to make monsters," Costello told Billboard. "I wouldn't demean the story by comparing it to the present resident of the White House because that would be somebody too mediocre to trouble with because this will pass." - Billboard, 1/3/18...... The ABC television network has scrapped a planned three-hour special about Rolling Stone magazine that was slated to air on Feb. 7 after the magazine's founder, Jann Wenner, was accused by a journalist in November of offering a writing deal in exchange for sex. Wenner has denied allegation, and a new sexual harassment claim surfaced in late December against the publisher. The 50th Anniversary Rolling Stone special was scheduled to showcase live performances, short films, iconic onstage moments, never-before-seen musical pairings and stars who have helped to shape pop culture, music and politics over 50 years of the magazine. - The Hollywood Reporter, 1/3/18...... Alabama record producer Rick Hall, who recorded some of the biggest musical acts of the 1960s and '70s and helped develop the fabled "Muscle Shoals sound," died at his home on Jan. 2 following a battle with cancer. He was 85. Mr. Hall founded FAME Recording Studios in northwestern Alabama in 1959 and went on to record major acts including R&B stars Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett. Mr. Hall also recorded country artists including George Jones and Brenda Lee and produced pop acts including Paul Anka and The Osmonds. A new generation of listeners became familiar with Mr. Hall through the 2013 documentary Muscle Shoals, which tells the story of the producer, the region's musicians, and its distinctive, soulful sound featuring heavy bass, electric piano or organ and drums. Rock musician Micheal Des Barres remembered Mr. Hall in a tweet, calling him "The King of Muscle Shoals" who "wrote and produced for some of the greatest musicians of all time." - AP, 1/2/18...... Tony Calder, who once promoted the Beatles in the early stages of their career and co-founded the Immediate Records label, has died at the age of 74 of complications from pneumonia at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London. Calder worked for Decca Records in the early 1960s, and in 1962 was tasked by Brian Epstein with promoting the Beatles' first single, "Love Me Do," after it failed to receive any radio play in the first week of its release. Calder personally sent 100 copies of the single to clubs all over the UK, attaching a note which claimed it was "a guaranteed floor-filler." "We mailed it on the Monday. By Wednesday, they were all playing it," Calder recalled. The song reached number 17 in the UK singles chart as a result. He would later go on to co-found the PR company Image with the manager of the Rolling Stones, Andrew Loog Oldham. Together, the pair went about creating a reputation for the Stones in the mid-1960s as the bad boys of British music. Calder and Oldham also founded the short-lived independent label Immediate Records in 1965, signing a host of acts including the Small Faces, Rod Stewart, Nico and Fleetwood Mac, before it was forced to fold in 1970 after going bankrupt. Later in his career, Calder also signed Black Sabbath and The Bay City Rollers, while he also enjoyed a stint managing Eddie Grant. "Tony had ears and balls. I loved him and he will be missed," Andrew Olham said in tribute to his friend and business partner. - New Musical Express, 1/4/18...... Actor/comedian Jerry Van Dyke died on the afternoon of Jan. 5 at his ranch in Arkansas. He was 86. Mr. Van Dyke's widow, Shirley, said her husband's health had deteriorated since the two were involved in a car accident over two years ago. A beloved comedian just like his old brother Dick Van Dyke, Jerry pursued stand-up as a young man and performed at military bases around the world. He made his acting debut on The Dick Van Dyke show and followed that up with appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show before becoming a regular on The Judy Garland Show. However he was best known for his role on the sitcom Coach, where he earned 4 Emmy nominations playing Asst. Coach Luther Van Dam alongside Craig T. Nelson. He also had major roles on Yes, Dear and most recently, The Middle. He is survived by his wife and two children. - TMZ.com, 1/6/18...... It has been recently announced that actor Harry Landers, who co-starred in the popular 1960's series Ben Casey passed away in October at 96 years old. Following the successful five-year run (1961-1966) of the Ben Casy series, Mr. Landers continued to work in film and television. His extensive resume includes episodes of such classic television series as Quincy M.E., Star Trek, Mannix, The Virginian, The Rat Patrol, Combat! Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Dennis the Menace, The Untouchables, Have Gun-Will Travel and The Roy Rogers Show, among many others. His wife, Jeanne Vaughn Thompson, an actress and runner-up Miss America, preceded him in death, and he is survived by his sons, Scott and Logan. - Deadline.com, 1/4/18.