Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Few Mid-Week Comments (Current Music News)

re:  ADELE: 
>>>So while congratulations are certainly in order for Adele and her 17 weeks at #1 on Billboard's Album Chart ... (and it's a GREAT album!) ... she's still got a LONG way to go before she hits the record books!  (kk)
Back in 1963, The Singing Nun became the first artist to have a #1 album on the Billboard charts at the same time a single from that album ("Dominique") topped the Hot 100. Not long after that, the Beatles became the second act to accomplish that feat when Meet The Beatles and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" were #1 simultaneously. This week, Adele's "Set Fire To The Rain" becomes her THIRD single from the 21 album to be #1 at the same time as the album is in the top spot. Now, THAT'S one for the record books!
-– Randy Price
In Memory of Etta James:
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Etta James. She was a great singer and her music was fabulous. I will miss her. She could really belt out a song. She will greatly be misses. May she Rest In Peace.
The Rhythm & Blues Foundation Mourns the Loss of Etta James
Family of 1989 Pioneer Award Winner & Former Board Member to Continue Her Legacy through R&B Foundation Memorial Contributions
PHILADELPHIA – As legendary blues singer Etta James is laid to rest tomorrow in Los Angeles, the Rhythm & Blues Foundation wishes to express its sorrow at the loss of “our friend and Rhythm & Blues Pioneer” and its deep appreciation to her family, which is asking for all donations to be made out to the organization. All contributions in her memory go to the Doc Pomus Fund to help artists in need of financial or medical assistance.  
A recipient of the R&B Foundation’s first Pioneer Awards ceremony in 1989, Etta James also served on the Board of Directors of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation during the formative years. A statement from Damon Williams, Chairman of the R&B Foundation reads:  
“Etta’s lifelong contributions to Rhythm & Blues music have paved the way for generations of artists, and we are grateful to her family for furthering her impact by selecting our organization as the recipient of memorial contributions to help our mission to preserve and celebrate the music and its artists. Etta James was a one-of-a-kind artist with a one-of-a-kind voice; she was an absolute Rhythm & Blues Pioneer. Etta was part of the fabric and spirit in which the Rhythm & Blues Foundation was built on. Awarding Etta James the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award in 1989 was one of the finest moments in our mission to celebrate the legacy of Rhythm &Blues artists. Our hearts go out to Etta James’ family and her long time manager, Lupe De Leon.”  
The Rhythm & Blues Foundation is the only non-profit organization solely dedicated to preserving Rhythm & Blues music and celebrating the artists who create it.
The Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Awards Program has recognized over 150 legendary artists whose lifelong contributions have been instrumental in the development of Rhythm & Blues music. The award honors the career achievements of solo artists, vocal groups, songwriters and producers who are nominated and selected by members of our board of directors.  As part of the Pioneer Awards, most recipients receive an honorarium.  Since 1989, the Pioneer Awards Program has given over $1.5 million to worthy honorees and will continue to celebrate legendary Rhythm & Blues artists. 
Contributions to the Rhythm and Blues Foundation can be sent to:
Rhythm & Blues Foundation
P.O. Box 22438
Philadelphia, Pa. 19101
Lots of glowing tributes to Etta James ... another artist who wasn't ever appreciated to the degree she deserved to be during her lifetime.  Even her best known hit, "At Last", only reached #47 on The Billboard Pop Chart when it was first released back in 1961.  (In all fairness, it fared better in Cash Box, where it peaked at #30.)  In the last 20 years it's become a true classic.  (Kind of like Louis Armstrong's hit "What A Wonderful World".  This record didn't even crack the Top 100 when it was first released in 1968 ... then, twenty years later it became a HUGE hit after it was included in the soundtrack to the Robin Williams movie "Good Morning Viet Nam") ... proof again that if you simply introduce this music to the public at large, they WILL embrace it!  We talked the other day about how big The Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" became after it was featured in the film "Ghost".  Prior to that, it was all but a forgotten oldie.  "Shout" by The Isley Brothers gets TONS of airplay now since the song was revived (by Otis Day and the Knights) in the film "Animal House".  It's happened again and again and again ... why aren't the right people paying attention?!?!?  (kk)
Key Etta James tracks:
Wallflower  (1955); All I Could Do Was Cry (#23, 1960); If I Can't Have You (with Harvey Fuqua, #32, 1960); My Dearest Darling (#25, 1960); Spoonful (as Etta and Harvey, #78, 1960); At Last (#30, 1961); Trust In Me  (#25, 1961); Fool That I Am (#50, 1961); Don't Cry Baby (#39, 1961); Something's Got A Hold On Me (#20, 1962); Stop The Wedding (#22, 1962); Next Door To The Blues (#67, 1962); Pushover (#24, 1963); Tell Mama (#23, 1968); Security (#35, 1968)
How do you put together a hit list like this ... and STILL not get any airplay on the radio?!?!?  (kk)
By the way, speaking of Etta James ... and the new Billboard Charts ... guess who's sitting on top of the Blues Albums Chart right now!  You got it ... Etta's "Icon" album is #1 in Billboard this week.  And the Etta-inspired "Good Feeling" by Flo Rida is sitting at #3 on Billboard's Pop Chart, too.  It's a GREAT track that brings a whole new (good) feeling to an old classic!  (kk)
Kent ...
Stevie Wonder performed at the funeral for Etta James.  Christina Aguilera was also there.
Yeah, Christina made headlines (and caused a YouTube sensation) for whatever it was that was dripping down her legs during her performance of "At Last".  Quite emotional and near tears before she started singing, she completely butchered the song as far as I'm concerned ... and I'm a BIG Christina Aguilera fan ... I think she's legitimately got one of the BEST voices out there amongst the new breed of female singers ... but she COMPLETELY oversang and oversold it during this bare-bones performance ... and this somber occasion.  (On the plus side, she didn't forget the lyrics like she did during "The Star Spangled Banner" ... but she's got a whole NEW controversy going now surrounding this "mystery leakage"!!!  Proof again that not ALL publicity is GOOD publicity!!!)  Then again, "The Voice" kicks off right after The Super Bowl ... so she'll be pretty much in our consciousness for a while yet!  (kk)
Got this clip from FH Reader David Lewis ... a real "School Of Rock" moment ... what a GREAT way to introduce these young kids to the classics! (kk)
How unusual to get BOTH of these emails during the same week ...
Makes you want to check this out, doesn't it???
Hi Kent,
Sunday Morning on CBS is a favorite show of mine. This morning they did a story about a British singer / songwriter named Rumer. I confess I hadn't heard of her before. I was blown away. I think she is incredible. They compared her to several other artists but what I kept hearing was Karen Carpenter. She has that same clear, pure sound. It's weird to hear her speak with her British accent and then not even a hint of that in her singing. The lyrics are so clear and lovely that you don't need to wonder what she is singing about. I immediately went on Amazon and purchased her CD entitled "Seasons Of My Soul" ... I love it.
I need to tell you about a new singer known as Rumer ...
I have never been one to tout new talent because there is so much great stuff from my era, that I don't trifle with current screamer / fake backing music on a computer / singing with "goofy sounds" that don't seem real or is used constantly by EVERY current artist.  Yes, I love the old artists and music.  Yet, Sunday on CBS' Sunday Morning, I gotta say that an artist known as Rumer seems to have the Bacharach / David female song vocal to rival Dionne Warwick of the 60's.  The show opened with her cover of "Alfie" which was just great (as is the Warwick version).  If you added the echo effects of Dusty Springfield records, she might rival her sound as well, it would seem.  IF I were to buy a current artist's CD, it would probably be this one.  Recently, I commented on another site how Pickettywitch's 45 "Days I Remember"  (lead vocal by Polly Brown of "Up in a Puff of Smoke" fame) sounded so much like the old Bacharach sound of the 60's and THAT 45 was out in 1971!  I thought that sound was gone by THEN and was surprised to hear THAT great vocal back in 1971, so you can imagine my pleasant surprise at hearing this Rumer music.  Now, I will return to the 60's and you can judge Rumer as you wish.  Check out the CBS Sunday Morning video and story:;cbsCarousel
And then, there's James McCartney's TV debut on Letterman Monday night.  I did not care for his song and his stage presence was NOTHING.  He must not like Letterman just like his dad, since Dave was gracious with him and shoook his hand and he showed NO emotion at all. 
In the end, "Rumer has it" and James does not, I guess.
Clark Besch
Kent ...
I guess there's no point in watching half - time show ... Madonna promises no malfunctions.
Meanwhile, Elton John has given Madonna some Half-Time Show advice ...  Click here: Elton John Gives Madonna Some Half Time Show “Advice”
I don't think they like each other!
Frank B.
A few good shows coming up on the local scene in and around Chicago ... Don't forget about the Crash Landing show coming up this weekend at SPACE in Evanston.  Our FH Buddies Quent Lang and Mike Flynn have assembled some of Chicago's top session musicians and have put together an entire program of classic rock that Quent describes as "a very enjoyable tour de force".  More details here:
Hope you and our old fans can join us !!!!!
Quent Lang
Meanwhile, Michele Abrams tells us about another show that sounds pretty cool:
Legendary sax player Bobby Keys will perform with Hot Rocks, the Rolling Stones Tribute Band on Friday, February 17th at Chord On Blues in St. Charles and on Satuarday, February 18th, at Chicago City Limits in Schaumburg.
Contact the clubs for tickets and more information: or
Bobby Keys will perform many of his signature Rolling Stones sax solos like Brown Sugar, Live With me, Can't You Hear Me Knocking along with classic rock songs he recorded with Dion, John Lennon, and other music legends accompanied by Chicago's 
Hot Rocks band.
And don't forget about these dates at The Arcada Theatre: A Nite of Zeppelin with Kashmir -- Friday, 2/17/12, 8 PM  
- Eddie Money -- Satuarday, 3/3, 8 PM
- Frankie Avalon -- Friday, 3/9, 8 PM 
- A Nite of RUSH with Animation -- Saturday, 3/10, 8 PM
- The Righteous Brothers with Bill Medley --
Friday, 3/30, 8 PM 
- Joan Rivers Television Taping -- Saturday, 3/31  
(Two Shows:  7 PM and 9 PM) 
- The BoDeans -- Friday, 4/20, 8 PM 
- Echoes of Pompei - The Pink Floyd Tribute -- 
Saturday, 4/21, 8 PM 
- A Night of Chicago with 25 or 6 to 4 -- 
Saturday, 5/5, 8 PM 
- ABBA-Mania -- Friday, 5/11, 8 PM 
More dates to be announced
New York, NY (January 30, 2012)--Roger Hodgson, the legendary voice of Supertramp, will embark on his Breakfast in America Tour next month, kicking off with two sold out shows at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, CA.
Fans the world over have been thrilled with Hodgson's unforgettable songs such as "Breakfast in America," "The Logical Song," "Dreamer," "Give a Little Bit," "Take the Long Way Home," and "School." Hodgson and his band will perform these timeless songs, as they take you on a magical musical journey.   
Universally recognized as one of the most gifted composers and songwriters to have ever put pen to paper, Hodgson helped define a generation of progressive rock. Founding Supertramp in 1969, Hodgson's dulcet tones and beautifully crafted lyrics helped the band sell in excess of 60 million albums, transforming them into a worldwide phenomenon. Although he departed the band in 1983, he is still regarded as the spiritual and creative force behind Supertramp.  
For a taste of the live Hodgson experience, Take the Long Way Home - Live in Montreal, is available on DVD from Eagle Rock Entertainment.  Click to view songs from the DVD: "Take the Long Way Home," "Breakfast in America" and "Give a Little Bit." 
Reflecting on his tour and DVD, Roger said "I love performing these songs, which continue to resound for me as a performer and for the fans.  My songs come from a very personal place inside me and they carry my beliefs and my dreams and my philosophy of life.  I understand the deep connection that fans have with my songs that have been a part of so many peoples' lives around the world."
Roger Hodgson will perform at the following venues:
February 24 and 25 Temecula, California, Pechanga Resort Casino 
February 26 Chandler, AZ, Wild Horse Pass Casino 
February 28 Tulsa, OK, Hard Rock Casino - The Joint 

March 2 Hinckley, MN, Grand Casino Hinckley 
March 3 and 4 Milwaukee, WI, Potawatomi Casino / Northern Lights Theater 

March 7 Hollywood, FL, Hard Rock Live 

March 8 Ft. Pierce, FL, Sunrise Theatre 
August 17 Lincoln, RI, Twin River Casino Event Center 

More dates to be announced in the coming weeks!  For details: