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Paul Rodgers' "The Royal Sessions" Debuts at #1 on "Billboard" Blues Albums Chart

429 RecordsPaul Rodgers' latest solo studio effort, The Royal Sessions, has debuted at #1 on Billboard's Blues Albums chart.  The album features the founding Free and Bad Company singer's interpretations of classic blues, soul and R&B tunes that he recorded at Memphis' famed Royal Studios.

Among the songs featured on The Royal Sessions are covers of four Otis Redding songs -- "I've Been Loving You Too Long," "That's How Strong My Love Is," "Any Ole Way" and "Dreams to Remember" -- as well as renditions of Sam & Dave's "I Thank You," Albert King's "Born Under a Bad Sign" and Ann Peebles' "I Can't Stand the Rain."  Accompanying Rodgers was an impressive lineup of veteran Memphis studio musicians, some of whom played on the original versions of the tunes.  All proceeds raised by sales of the album will be donated to Memphis' Stax Music Academy, which provides music education programs to inner-city children.

While promoting the new album in New York City this week, Rodgers paid a visit on Tuesday to the New York Stock Exchange, where he rang the closing bell.  Paul also entertained the Wall Street traders by belting out "I Thank You" along to a pre-taped backing track.

In a brief video interview with the Stock Exchange staff, Rodgers said, "I'm here to bring some Memphis soul to the heart of Wall Street, and it's all in the name of music for kids.  We made this album [as] a labor of love and we so enjoyed making it, we wanted to give something back."

The clip, which includes footage of the rocker ringing the closing bell and singing, has been posted at the NYSE Euronext YouTube channel.

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