Sunday, August 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Whitney Houston

Photo source: BET Network

~ Whitney Houston Megamix | Whitney Houston ~

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Michael Jackson - Love Never Felt So Good

A holographic image of Michael Jackson performs onstage during the 2014 Billboard Music
 Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 18, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

"Love Never Felt So Good" is a song performed by American recording artist Michael Jackson, released posthumously on May 2, 2014.
Two reworked versions of the 1983 demo track originally composed by Jackson and Canadian singer-songwriter Paul Anka form the first single released from Jackson's second posthumous album, Xscape.

The first version is a solo produced by American record producer John McClain and Dutch record producer 
Giorgio Tuinfort.

The second version is a duet featuring American recording artist 
Justin Timberlake, produced by American record producers Timbaland and Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon.

It is the second collaboration between Jackson and Anka to be released since Jackson's 2009 death (the first being "
This Is It").

Regarding the video version of the
 song with Justin Timberlake . . .

The music video for the duet debuted in the morning on May 14, 2014, which was regarded as "a careful visual tribute of the late pop singer's lasting legacy on future generations." It was directed by Rich Lee and Justin Timberlake.  A crowd of young dancers and Justin Timberlake sang along and made some memorable moves from Michael Jackson's classic music video or live shows. 

Source:  Wikipedia 

Justin Timberlake lands his first Billboard
 Adult R&B No. 1 as Michael's legacy lives on!

Miss you Michael, but you live on through your
gift of music and dancing to your fans 
all over the world who still love you.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Paul Stanley, KISS and the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame

photo credit:  Rolling Stone

Fans have waited over a decade for their beloved band KISS to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, as well as band members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, the two original band members who have remained as the backbone of the group going on 40 years.

40 years?  OMG, I feel old!!!

Tonight the dynamic duo Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, along with two other original band members, will attend the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, New York, along with ex-guitarist Bruce Kulick (who played with the band from 1984 to 1996) and the current KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer.

The dynamic duo offered to bring their "Monster" stage to perform at the ceremony, along with all the members of KISS, past and present.

The words, "that is a non-starter" by what Paul considers a "pencil pusher" who is a co-founder of the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame put an end to any hope of the fans enjoying a celebratory performance at the ceremony.

The problem? The "pencil pusher" only wants to acknowledge the original members of the band, including two who quit and never came back . . . but not the others who came after. 

As a protest to the Hall of Fame and the original band members, I will not mention their names for the search engines to pick up. They are not worthy. 

Shame on the powers that be at the Hall of Fame to be so unbending.

Paul Stanley, who is set to release his book "Face the Music: A Life Exposed" on April 22, has been doing the news circuit, looking extremely comfortable in his skin, exclaiming that "I'm not in a position where I have to bend to anybody at this point . . . I've never quit the band once, let alone twice. I've been here 40 years." (quotes from Yahoo News)

I, for one, continue to be one of his biggest fans!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Linda Ronstadt - The "Mad Love" Album

Linda Ronstadt will finally be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2014.  

She appeared on the cover the Rolling Stone Magazine six times in the 1970's, who deemed her "The Queen of Rock."  By 1979, Ronstadt had collected eight gold, six platinum, and four multi-platinum certifications for her albums, an unprecedented feat at the time.

The changing times of the 80's had something different in store for Linda.

It is said that Linda hated her rock and roll image.

Imagine that . . . it is what most artists strive for.

Look at what they go through nowadays to get our attention!

on the cover of the February 28, 1977 issue

While she has had many accomplishments through the 1970's, my favorite is the theme of this post . . . the 80's punk/new wave times . . . and Linda's contribution to that music era . . . Mad Love.  Being the 80's freak that I am, it is, of course, my favorite of all her recordings.

"In 1980, Ronstadt released Mad Love, her seventh consecutive platinum-selling album. It was a straightforward rock and roll album with post-punk, new wave influences, including tracks by songwriters such as Elvis Costello, The Cretones, and musician Mark Goldenberg who played on the record himself.
She also made the cover of Rolling Stone magazine for a record-setting sixth time. Mad Love entered the Billboard Album Chart in the Top Five its first week (a record at that time) and climbed to the #3 position." Source:  Wikipedia 
Her success as a punky/new wave princess was short lived.  In my opinion, the Mad Love new wavish era for Linda was her best.  I'm sad she didn't continue with it. 

Although she recorded another successful pop/country influenced recording, her heart longed for something else, which would take her in an entirely different direction as an artist.
She had accomplished all the success for the pop, rock, country, folk, new wave genre . . . commercially successful to the max.  What more was left in this arena for Linda?  She had already reached the top.
I often wonder what the struggle is like for these artists who become so over the top successful that it actually becomes boring to them.  What was once a creative passion they loved as much as life itself became a job that most of us dread.  

How easy is it to walk away

from all that success and

everything that comes with it?

Linda has remained true to herself although it meant walking out of the spotlight that once haunted her, yet brought her success and riches beyond belief, and ultimately brought the media who helped her up the ladder of success, come to the plate to ridicule everything about her.
I believe Linda's had the last laugh . . . although her greatest fans from the rock days still miss her terribly, but happy for her.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits and The British Invasion

Peter Noone became the lead singer, spokesman and the face of Herman's Hermits when he was only 15.  Herman's Hermits was one of the most popular bands of the British Invasion in the early 1960s, having their share of hit records and success.

Graphic from Peter Noone's website

He currently has a show on Sirius satellite radio, "Something Good with Peter Noone," during which he plays '60s hits, offers commentary and often shares stories about the music and era.

He is also recognized from his hosting duties for VH1's "My Generation" and as host for the PBS special "The British Invasion Returns."  

Peter is still doing the concert circuit after all these years.  The Captain and I recently had the pleasure of attending one of his concerts and had a blast singing along to all those hits whose lyrics were still fresh in our minds.  

His voice is as awesome as ever, with the same witty personality as Herman the teenage boy with the sweet face we knew back in the day.   It was an excellent concert we will not soon forget . . . what a treat.  Peter is a timeless entertainer who is very entertaining!

Photo by Gina Alfani

So much success that started at a very young age . . . and turned out to be a great role model as an adult from my generation.  It seems like he has really enjoyed his success and doesn't take himself so seriously . . . it is all about his fans.  Admiral man!

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Everly Brothers . . . RIP Phil Everly

It was my first popular music era. "Wake Up Little Susie" could possibly be my first favorite song.  The memories are no more than hearing the music on the radio hanging around the house as a child.  It was a catchy tune that made a little kid barely out of diapers dance to the music.

George W. Bush, during his 2000 presidential campaign, announced on the Oprah Show that "Wake Up Little Susie" was his favorite song.

The brothers signed their first record deal in the late 50's and produced one hit after another. The streak of hits came to an abrupt end in the early 60's.  It was a short but productive ride for the brothers that left a lasting mark on generations of fans.

By today's musical standards, I believe The Everly Brothers would have been classified as country music, but back in the day, this was pop music.

They entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

Cal Thomas, in an article for The Baltimore Sun, best describes The Everly Brothers, music lyrics of that time and the end of innocence.  It sums up a changing society that longed for more freedom of expression.  Be careful what you wish for!

Here is an excerpt of the article . . . the link follows . . .
"Phil and Don Everly squeezed into the public consciousness for only a few years between 1957, the year before Elvis Presley left a gaping hole in pop music when he entered the Army, and the arrival of The Beatles, who more than filled that void beginning in 1964. The brothers' music survives, not only in its own right, but because of its influence on other acts, including The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Linda Ronstadt, Simon and Garfunkel and Bob Dylan.
The music was danceable, the lyrics understandable and the sentiments memorable. My generation "invented" rock and roll. While some of it was sexually suggestive, it avoided coarse language and left much to young imaginations. Not all of us, including me, understood at the time what Fats Domino meant when he sang "I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill."
Wonderfully handsome with good stage presence and great hair, Phil and Don Everly expressed in their music what was in the hearts of many teenagers. "All I Have to Do is Dream" is about a guy who loves a girl and can always be with her in his dreams.
Two of my favorites remain "That's Old Fashioned" and "Wake Up Little Susie," because they appealed to a moral code that has not been followed in many years, especially in popular music and culture.
In "That's Old Fashioned," Don and Phil sing:
"It's a modern changing world, everything is moving fast;
But when it comes to love, I like what they did in the past.
I'm the kind who loves only one, so the boys say I'm old-fashioned.
Let them laugh, honey, I don't mind.
I've made plans for a wedding day for you and me.
That's old-fashioned, that's the way love should be."
Phil didn't practice what he sang. He married three times and struggled with drugs, but the standard remains a good one in an age of singers whose performances would be shameful to most people alive in the '50s.
In "Wake Up Little Susie," the brothers sang about a boy and girl on a movie date. They fall asleep in the car and when they wake up at 4 a.m., the boy fears they may be in trouble with her parents:
"What are we gonna tell your Mama
What are we gonna tell your Pa?
What are we gonna tell our friends
When they say, "Ooh la la!"
There is also this:
"The movie wasn't so hot
It didn't have much of a plot
We fell asleep, our goose is cooked,
Our reputation is shot."
Who worries about reputation today? What followed in the '70s, '80s and '90s was music containing foul lyrics, explicit sex, hatred of parents, gangsta rap about killing the police, misogyny. I doubt that those who listened to it will proudly play the music of their lives for their grandchildren as my generation can."
To read the rest of the article by Cal Thomas click here.