Duet with Little Richard on Jerry Lee Lewis CD 2005
Jerry Lee Lewis Start Page
December 16 / 2004
By Maarten van der Tol
A new Jerry Lee Lewis CD will probably be released in the first part of 2005. For a long time, the rumoured CD title had been "Old Glory". However, according to an article in the music magazine Mojo, the CD is likely to be entiteld "The Pilgrim". The exact release date is not known yet.
Many guest artists have contributed to this album. Among them are Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Ron Wood, B.B. King, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Toby Keith, Rod Stewart, Kris Kristofferson, Eric Clapton, Kid Rock and Little Richard (I Saw Here Standing There, duet with Jerry Lee). Not all songs will be duets: there will be three or four tracks that don't have anyone but Jerry on them.
The producer is Jimmy Rip (who also played guitar in the band during Jerry's UK/Netherlands tour in February/March 2004). The CD will be released by DreamWorks (www.dreamworksrecords.com), a Universal label.
Several fans have already been able to listen to some of the tracks and they are very enthusiastic.
James Brown treated for prostate cancer
December 16 / 2004
By the press stab
Singer James Brown, dubbed the Godfather of Soul, underwent surgery to treat prostate cancer yesterday. Dr James Bennett said the 71-year-old soul star was "resting comfortably" after surgery at the Midtown Urology Surgical Centre in Atlanta, in the US.
"We expect a full recovery," said Dr Bennett. "With proper follow-up and care, we can also expect a full cure."
Before the operation, Brown said: "I have overcome a lot of things in my life. I will overcome this as well."
Brown, who recently finished a two-week Canadian tour, is expected to spend three weeks recovering from the operation.
"Mr Brown has always been a fighter and we are confident that he will be back 'on the good foot' soon for another 50 years," said the singer's manager, "SuperFrank" Copsidas.
Best known for hits such as "I Feel Good" and "Cold Sweat", Brown was diagnosed with prostrate cancer late last week.
He still plans a tour of Asia and Australia early next year and is due to release an autobiography next month.
Earlier this year, the soul legend was charged with domestic abuse after a row with his fourth wife Tomi Rae Hynie, but the allegation was resolved when he failed to contest the charge.
Prosecutors said Brown had pleaded guilty to the charges and would forfeit a $1,000 (£550) bond as a fine.
Bo Diddley's still on tour, for the love and the money
The Mercury News
December 11 / 2004
By Malcolm X Abram, Knight Ridder
It's the beat. After more than half century, that syncopated bomp da-bomp da-bomp, da bomp bomp still gets toes tapping and hips wiggling and sounds and feels like an auditory representation of a primal urge.
You know which urge.
That beat, along with the percussive guitar lick on top, became one of the bedrock grooves of early rock 'n' roll back in the '50s and one reason it was widely considered the devil's music. Surely, only Mephistopheles could come up with a sound so raw and sexual that could inspire teens from coast to coast and all points in between to clap, scream and move their bodies in obscene ways as if they'd been possessed.
Of course, it wasn't the devil who came up with that beat -- unless the devil was born in McComb, Miss., raised in Chicago and named Ellas Otha Bates McDaniel (aka Bo Diddley).
The 1987 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, who got his name while a high school student, stumbled upon that classic beat while attempting to play Gene Autry's ``I Got Spurs that Jingle Jangle Jingle.'' He applied it to several of his classic sides for the equally legendary Chess Record label (also home to foundation rocker Chuck Berry), including ``Bo Diddley,'' ``I'm a Man'' and ``Who Do You Love.''
While many of his contemporaries, such as Berry and Little Richard, either don't tour at all or rarely perform, the 76-year-old Diddley still works ``quite a few'' shows a year.
``That ain't my bag,'' Diddley says of retirement. ``I like to work because I made a lot of fans of people all over the world and we're still a rock 'n' roll family. I call the world my family. I like to perform for people.
Diddley is one of the few artists still performing who was part of the genesis of rock 'n' roll. As a youngster in Chicago, Diddley knew he wanted to perform for people. With a dozen years of training as a classical violinist, music seemed to make sense as a career choice, and Diddley says those years spent holding a violin bow helped him discover his guitar style.
``That's one of my successes, my rhythmic patterns. I mix it up, and my wrist is educated to different movements in playing,'' Diddley says.
After spending a few years playing around the Chicago area with his group, the Langley Avenue Jive Cats, Diddley cut a demo record of what would become his most famous songs -- an early version of ``Bo Diddley,'' then called ``Uncle John.'' After shopping the demo around town, he came upon Leonard and Phil Chess, who persuaded him to change the title to make it more personal and release it with ``I'm a Man'' in 1955 as a double A-sided single. The songs shot to the top of the R&B charts and became standards in the repertoire of young bands around the globe, including R&B- and blues-loving groups such as the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds.
Aside from his love of performing, Diddley works because he has to survive. Having spent a half century in the music business, he has learned some hard lessons, and when he looks back at his career, his summation is not the least bit romantic or philosophical.
``It makes me think I got ripped off from record companies that have been involved with my product,'' he says.
Like many artists in the '50s, Diddley was not schooled on the vagaries of music publishing. Consequently, whenever a Bo Diddley song such as George Thorogood's version of ``Who Do You Love'' is played or one of his tunes turns up as the soundtrack to a commercial, Diddley unfortunately gets diddly.
Is he bitter?
``I am bitter,'' he says matter of factly. ``Maybe someone will find it in their heart to put a check in my mailbox for all the work that I've done and all the people who have made it off of my inventions. There is satisfaction'' in being recognized as an innovator, ``but satisfaction don't pay bills. I got bills, just like everybody else.''
Joe Edwards at center of University City Loop revitalization
The Kansas City Star
December 9 / 2004
By Betsy Taylor
UNIVERSITY CITY (AP) When Joe Edwards opened his Blueberry Hill restaurant and bar three decades ago, he threw out about two-thirds of the clientele, including neighborhood drug dealers and outlaw motorcycle gang members.
"Within a week after opening, I realized that if Blueberry Hill were to succeed, I was going to have to work on the area, too," Edwards said.
Blueberry Hill - with Edwards' own collections of pop culture memorabilia and monthly concerts by his good friend and Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer Chuck Berry - now draws visitors from around the world. And the surrounding six-block area that straddles St. Louis and neighboring University City has flourished into a diverse shopping, entertainment and nightlife district, in large part due to Edwards' efforts.
He now owns more than a dozen buildings in the neighborhood, including Pin-Up Bowl, an art deco-inspired bowling alley that serves up martinis; The Pageant, a concert venue that can hold an audience of about 2,000; and the Tivoli Theatre, a restored movie house.
Edwards is far from the stereotypical businessman. He's low-key - often spotted in jeans and sneakers with his long hair tied back in a pony tail. And he didn't set out with a game plan.
But those who know him said Edwards has an ability to think big while paying attention to detail. He has an appreciation for talent and celebrity but no need to be in the spotlight himself, and a reputation for showing respect to the people around him.
As St. Louis alderwoman Lyda Krewson put it, "Every area should want a Joe Edwards."
Born in St. Louis, Edwards majored in psychology at Duke University and later served in the Army. When he returned to the St. Louis area, he and his wife, Linda, opened Blueberry Hill in 1972 with $10,500 borrowed from friends.
Despite the initial struggles, Blueberry Hill gained a following, expanded and now occupies a city block.
Long before John Goodman became a household name playing Roseanne's husband, he would drop by the bar with friends and listen to the jukebox, Edwards said. The actor liked the place so much he even lent a quote to the menu years later: "I had my first legal drink at Blueberry Hill in 1973. And I enjoyed it every bit as much as the ones I had before that."
But it took years before the establishment would become the people-watching spot it is today.
In the early days, Edwards and other merchants would often collect donations from each other if they wanted something special for the neighborhood. In 1980, Edwards co-founded a special business district for The Loop, helping to set a program in place where neighborhood businesses agreed to additional taxes to provide funds for improvements.
The next year, he started offering his own label Rock 'N' Roll beer. He met Chuck Berry when he was working on special photo beer cans honoring rock's heroes. Berry ultimately began regular gigs at Blueberry Hill, duck-walking and entertaining crowds in Edwards' "Duck Room."
Edwards also wanted a way to celebrate the accomplishments of famous St. Louisans, so he established a Walk of Fame up and down Delmar Boulevard, the main drag in the Loop. A nonprofit group selects the honorees, like Tennessee Williams, Tina Turner and Yogi Berra. More than 100 stars now decorate the sidewalks with informational plaques.
In 1994, Edwards saw an old movie theater just down the street from his bar had a handwritten sign on its front, reading "Closed Forever."
Edwards thought someone should save The Tivoli, so he decided to give it a try - even though there were pigeons flying through holes in the ceiling, condemned upper floors and standing water in the basement.
It was among his biggest risks, but it paid off. He reopened the movie house in 1995.
While he brought in an outside operator to manage the theater, the project cemented a pattern that has continued. If Edwards felt something should be done, he tried to do it.
Edwards constructed The Pageant, a three-story building with a live music nightclub, a bar, retail and office space that opened in 2000. And last year, just down the street, he put in Pin-Up Bowl, billed as "St. Louis' original bowling and martini lounge."
"I just thought it would be great to create a really good martini lounge ... that happens to have eight lanes of bowling," Edwards said. "I always thought an art deco design with a pin-up theme would be a fun way to decorate a place, create a fun atmosphere."
Edwards has other ideas, too. He part of a group seeking a trolley system linking the neighborhood to nearby Forest Park. He's agreed to design another boutique bowling alley in a new downtown St. Louis entertainment development.
He's leased out several buildings for shops and restaurants across from his own newest projects. But ask him how many buildings he now owns in the neighborhood, and he needs to take out a new area map to count them.
"Twelve for sure, and that's eleven more than I ever thought, I'd have." He thinks about it a beat and realizes he's forgotten to add in two buildings. "So, I guess 14," he said. "Gee, that's unbelievable."
W3C celebrates tenth anniversary
W3C web site
November 30 / 2004
By the press stab
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is marking its tenth anniversary with a day-long symposium on 1 December at the Fairmont Copley Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. W3C10 brings together Web and Internet technical leaders from around the globe to both remember the W3C's origins and look to the future of the Web and W3C's role in it.
In March of 1989 while employed at CERN (l'Organisation Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire), Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal that would become the basis for the World Wide Web. With approval from his supervisor, the late Mike Sendall, and support from colleagues including Robert Cailliau, Berners-Lee's invention grew from one server at CERN (1990), to millions and millions of servers today.
Yet even in those early days, Berners-Lee saw the potential for tremendous growth predicated on key features: openness of technologies, and agreed-upon standards and protocols. CERN agreed to make Tim's code available to all free of charge, but who would ensure that standards and protocols would be developed, disseminated and used, ensuring one Web for all users rather than fragmentation?
In October 1994, Berners-Lee, with help from the late Michael Dertouzos of the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science, founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Its earliest stated mission was to "Lead the Web to Its Full Potential." It has done so in at least two distinct ways. First, W3C has developed technical recommendations that industry embraces as Web standards such as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and Extensible Markup Language (XML), the last of which has given rise to new graphics and multimedia formats (SVG and SMIL) as well as applications for mobile devices, such as VoiceXML 2 and XHTML Basic. In addition to these formatting standards, W3C serves as the developmental center of the Semantic Web. The second way that W3C has impacted the Web is through the creation of policies and practices that encourage the extended applicability and growth of Web technologies to the broadest number of people, including W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative, its Internationalization Activity and its Patent Policy.
To celebrate its tenth anniversary, W3C is organizing a one-day symposium on 1 December for its Members and invited guests to reflect on the impact of the Web, W3C's central role in its growth, and risks and opportunities facing the Web during W3C's second decade.
"This special anniversary brings the opportunity to acknowledge the impact of the Web and the W3C's stewardship role," said Tim Berners-Lee, W3C's Director. "I hope it will also inspire ever more collaboration, creativity, and understanding across the globe."
The event's emcee is Ethernet inventor and Internet pioneer Bob Metcalfe. The rich program includes equal parts reflection and projection. Sessions cover the early days of the Web and W3C's emergence, through the commercial and social impacts of the Web on the world we now experience. Others look at the impact of the Web, and of Web standards, with an eye towards new frontiers for Web technical development, and tensions that may require resolution.
"W3C10 is a celebration that brings together the people who are pioneering, standardizing, implementing and benefiting from Web technologies," explained Steve Bratt, W3C Chief Operating Officer. "We'll share stories from the W3C's past and dreams for the future of Web technology, making for a full and exciting day."
W3C10 enjoys generous sponsorship from both Members and outside organizations including Platinum sponsors MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), HP, and Microsoft Corporation; Gold sponsors Adobe Systems, Amadeus e-Travel, BEA Systems, Google, IBM, ILOG, and INRIA; and Silver sponsors Billiotek srl, CERN, Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), IONA Technologies, Inc., Intervoice, Inc., Nokia, Sogei, and Uncover the Net.
The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. More than 350 organizations are Members of W3C. To learn more, see http://www.w3.org
R&B music legend Ray Charles dies, June 10
June 10 / 2004
By the press stab
The legendary R&B musician Ray Charles has died aged 73, in Los Angeles, his publicist has said. Charles, who has been blind since the age of six, had had a low public profile for almost a year.
Complications with his hip surgery forced him to call off a performance in New York last month. Despite recent ill health, he had been working on a CD of duets with performers such as Elton John, Norah Jones and Johnny Mathis.
Charles is considered a pioneer of soul music with hits including Georgia on My Mind and I Can't Stop Loving You. The 12-time Grammy winner played his 10,000th concert on 23 May 2003 in Los Angeles.
Born Ray Charles Robinson in Albany in the south-eastern state of Georgia on 23 September 1930, Charles went on to become one of America's most enduring musicians. After the blood disease glaucoma left him blind as a child, Charles was sent to a school for the deaf and blind in Florida, where he developed a lifelong talent and passion for music. The young pianist later made his way to the north-western city of Seattle where he first performed as a solo act, modelling himself on the late musical legend Nat "King" Cole. He was a master of many styles, dabbling in country, jazz, big band and blues.
Battling childhood poverty and adult drug addiction, his intense renditions of classic songs earned him the nickname The Genius.
His last public appearance was alongside Clint Eastwood on 30 April in LA. The city has designated the singer's studios, built 40 years ago in the centre of the town, an historic landmark. Charles died in his Beverley Hills home of complications of liver disease, according to his publicist, Jerry Digney.
"It's devastating," Mr Digney told the AFP news agency. "He's been ailing for while now and it started out with a hip situation and went from there to other things, primarily the liver".
Family members and his manager were present when he died.
Guitarist Robert Quine found dead
June 7 / 2004
By Chris Morris and Jonathan Cohen
Guitarist Robert Quine, one of punk rock's most daring soloists, was found dead Saturday (June 5) in his New York apartment. He was 61. According to close friend and guitar maker Rick Kelly, who discovered Quine's body, the musician died of a heroin overdose Memorial Day weekend. He had been despondent over the recent death of his wife.
Born in Akron, Ohio, Quine was heavily influenced by the Velvet Underground, whose music he recorded obsessively while living in San Francisco. He moved to New York in 1971 and became the lead guitarist for bassist Richard Hell's important group the Voidoids, with whom he recorded two albums. His skittering, unpredictable work with Hell defined the possibilities of punk guitar.
During the '80s, he recorded and toured frequently with Lou Reed and played on saxophonist/composer John Zorn's best-known albums. Quine made key guest appearances on Tom Waits' "Rain Dogs" (1985) and Marianne Faithfull's "Strange Weather" (1987). In 1989, he began a long association with Matthew Sweet; he also worked regularly with Lloyd Cole. In 2001, Universal released a three-CD box of Quine's live 1969 recordings of the Velvet Underground, "The Bootleg Series Volume 1: The Quine Tapes".
"Robert Quine was a magnificent guitar player -- an original and innovative tyro of the vintage beast," Reed says in a statement released to Billboard.com. "He was an extraordinary mixture of taste, intelligence and rock'n'roll abilities coupled with major technique and a scholar's memory for every decent guitar lick ever played under the musical son. He made tapes for me for which I am eternally grateful -- tapes of the juiciest parts of solos from players long gone. Quine was smarter than them all. And the proof is in the recordings, some of which happily are mine. If you can find more interesting sounds and musical clusters than Quine on 'Waves of Fear' [from Reed's 1982 album "The Blue Mask"], well, it's probably something else by Robert".
"He was a marvelous guitarist, a soulful music lover with high standards and had an eviscerating wit," Patti Smith Band drummer Jay Dee Daugherty tells Billboard.com. "He did not suffer fools gladly, but made up for it with a thinly disguised generosity of spirit".
French rock star in murder appeal
May 18 / 2004
By the press stab
French rock star Bertrand Cantat is appealing against an eight-year jail sentence for the murder of his actress lover, his lawyer told the AFP agency.
Cantat, 40-year-old lead singer of rock band Noir Desir, was found guilty of causing the death of Marie Trintignant.
He had told the court he slapped her several times during a jealous row; she died from head injuries a week later.
Ms Trintignant's family believes Cantat's sentence is too lenient and is asking for it to be increased.
The maximum sentence Cantat could receive from the court in Vilnius, Lithuania, is 15 years in prison.
The murder happened when the couple were staying at a hotel in Vilnius last year, where Ms Trintignant was making a film about the French literary heroine, Colette.
Cantat admitted having caused her death but said it was a tragic accident.
Ms Trintignant's killing and Cantat's trial gripped France, where both are well-known personalities.
During the trial, the court heard that Cantat hit Ms Trintignant four times as they rowed in the hotel last July.
Ms Trintignant, the daughter of French film star Jean-Louis Trintignant, fell into a coma and died five days later from swelling of the brain.
Nadine Trintignant, the victim's mother, has rejected Cantat's explanations, and labelled him a "murderer" in a book she wrote about her daughter.
Veteran US R&B singer John Whitehead shot dead
May 13 / 2004
By the press stab
American R&B singer John Whitehead, best known for the 1979 hit song Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now, has been shot dead in Philadelphia, May 11, 2004. The 55-year-old musician was shot in the neck while he and another man, also wounded, were mending his car in the street. The two assailants fled.
Whitehead and singing partner Gene McFadden were both former members of The Epsilons, managed by Otis Redding.
After a brief stint in jail for tax evasion, Whitehead went solo in 1988.
McFadden was reported to have been devastated by the news of his colleague's death.
He attended the scene of the crime in the city's West Oak Lane neighbourhood.
The other man shot in the incident, Ohmed Johnson, was taken to hospital. Police said he was in a good condition early on Wednesday morning.
"Why did they do this to my dad?," daughter Dawn Whitehead, 33, asked at the scene.
"I just talked to him yesterday. He was a fun person. Who would want to kill him?"
Police said they had no suspects or motive for the crime.
Both McFadden and Whitehead were born in Philadelphia in 1948, joining The Epsilons as teenagers.
The group's career took off during a two-year tour singing backing vocals for Otis Redding in the 1960s, but the quintet split up following Redding's untimely death in 1967.
Subsequently, McFadden and Whitehead joined the Philadelphia International label where they focused on their producing and songwriting skills.
Notable hits on the songwriting front included Wake Up Everybody for Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes, and Back Stabbers for The O'Jays.
The pair also wrote for artists including The Jacksons, James Brown and Gladys Knight and The Pips, winning over 20 gold discs.
Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now, later covered by Luther Vandross, sold more than eight million records and was nominated for a Grammy Award.
The Animals and Friends:
40th anniversary tour and album, "Instinct"
Apr 12 / 2004
By the press stab
John Steel - Mick Gallagher - Jim Rodford - Johnnie "Guitar" Williamson - Peter Barton
In 1964 a wave of new energetic rock and roll swept over the youth of the world. On the crest of this wave was The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and of course The Animals. From the banks of the Tyne came the North East's offering; a brand of rhythm & blues that the whole world seemed to grasp greedily.
The Animals were the second British band to top the American charts after The Beatles with the now multi-million selling and legendary anthem, "House of the Rising Sun". The band subsequently achieved over twenty global Top Ten hit records, many of which gained the Number One slot in various parts of the world. In Britain alone, the band had no less than twelve chart entries. The Animals were the first British band to tour Poland to mass hysteria. They were also the first British band to tour Japan.
That was then, this is now...
After forty years the legend still grows. The line-up may have changed but the raw energy that burned in the souls of those five young guys forty years ago still burns as strong today in the surviving members and The Animals still perform to hysterical fans all over the world.
The name of The Animals still stands proud on the British mantle-piece of rock and roll and to commemorate forty glorious years, the band now have a new album, "Instinct", featuring an amazing array of invited friends as guests on this much awaited musical tapestry Spanning every musical taste, members and ex members of YES, SAXON, ELO, FAIRPORT CONVENTION, THIN LIZZY, STONE ROSES, DEEP PURPLE, PENTANGLE, JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE, FRANK ZAPPA BAND, SMOKIE and JETHRO TULL - all rub shoulders on this very special recording. To help launch the album the band are embarking on a mammoth 200 date World tour.
On most of the British dates the band will be joined on stage by ex original members of The Kinks, The Hollies and The Tremeloes all celebrating forty years in the music business. The show spans their collective careers and including songs from across their repertoires.
Original members of The Animals, The Kinks, The Hollies and The Tremeloes - all part of the Class of 64 - are available for any press or media activity. We want the fans out there to know, that they are still here. After all these bands are part of our national heritage. They remain our great British rock & roll pioneers.
Surf-music star Jan Berry dies
Mar 27 / 2004
By the press stab
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) Jan Berry, a member of the duo Jan & Dean that had the 1960s surf-music hits "Deadman's Curve" and "Little Old Lady from Pasadena" died march 26. He was 62.
Berry had a seizure and stopped breathing Friday at his home. He was pronounced dead that evening at a hospital, said his wife, Gertie Berry.
He had been in poor health recently from the lingering effects of brain damage from a 1966 car crash.
Jan & Dean had a string of hits and 10 gold records in the 1960s with their tales of Southern California. Among them were 1964's "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena," about a hotrod racing grandma, and "Surf City," with its lines about taking the station wagon to a place where there are "two girls for every boy."
With Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, William Jan Berry co-wrote the lyrics for "Surf City" and "Deadman's Curve," which featured the driving guitar licks and falsetto crooning of the wildly popular surf music.
Berry's hit-making career with high school friend Dean Torrence was cut short in 1966 when Berry's speeding Corvette hit a parked truck and he suffered severe brain damage that left him partially paralyzed and unable to talk.
His recovery was slow, but eventually he was able to resume singing and writing songs.
In addition to his wife, Berry is survived by his parents, William and Clara Berry of Camarillo; three brothers and three sisters.