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Monday
Jun232014

Grand Ole Opry Star Jimmy C. Newman Dead at Age 86

Grand Ole OpryGrand Ole Opry star Jimmy C. Newman died Saturday night in Nashville following a brief illness. He was 86 years old and is survived by his wife, Mae.

Newman became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1956 and was well known for his mix of Cajun and country music. The Louisiana native's biggest hits include "A Fallen Star," "Cry, Cry Darling" and "Alligator Man." He is a member of the Cajun Hall of Fame, the Cajun Music Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

Newman last performed on the Grand Ole Opry June 6 with his band, Cajun Country. A public memorial service will be held Wednesday morning at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. In lieu of flowers, fans can make donations to the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund in Newman's memory.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun232014

Katy Perry Offers to Write "Theme Song" for Hillary Clinton

ABC/Richard HarbaughIt's fair to say that Katy Perry is hoping Hillary Clinton will officially declare herself a candidate for the 2016 presidential election.

On Friday, Katy posted onto Instagram a photo of herself with Clinton at a signing for the former secretary of state's new book, Hard Choices. She wrote, "I told @hillaryclinton that I would write her a 'theme' song if she needs it..."

In the spring, Katy lent her support to Marianne Williamson, who was running in a congressional primary in California. Despite receiving the backing of Katy and other celebrities like Alanis Morissette and Kim Kardashian, Williamson was unable to secure enough votes to advance her candidacy. 

Katy is also a supporter of President Obama; in recent years she performed at a fundraiser and a post-inauguration celebration for him.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun232014

NBC's Beatles Project Faces Potential Snags

CBS Photography 1964Earlier this month, it was reported that NBC is developing an eight-part series about the rise of The Beatles. However, Billboard now notes, there are a few small problems with the project.

The publication reports NBC has not obtained the rights to use the Fab Four's music or likenesses in the series. There's also a potential conflict with a separate project that's been floated around by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which owns the publishing rights to the vast majority of The Beatles' catalog.  

Marty Bandier, chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, tells Billboard that about six months ago it had been working with Sony Pictures TV on a Beatles series that could have aired on premium cable TV. It had expressed interest in bringing in Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby director Baz Luhrmann to work on it.

He adds, "We hadn't taken the next step, which is to reach out to the Beatles. The proposal is still on the table."

Bandier says NBC has not approached Sony/ATV regarding the broadcast network's own Beatles project.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun232014

Ringo Starr Says He Loves His Current All Starr Band; Shares Update on His Next Album

Photo: Rob ShanahanRingo Starr makes no bones about it: He loves the latest incarnation of his All Starr Band.  The legendary drummer tells ABC News Radio that this group of musicians is the first he's played with since The Beatles that feels "like a real band."

Thanks to Starr's fondness for the current All Starr Band, which features Todd Rundgren, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, ex-Santana/Journey singer/keyboardist Gregg Rolie and Mr. Mister frontman Richard Page, the lineup has remained nearly unchanged for more than two years.

As for what makes the group special, Starr says, "I think we all support each other, you know?  We know what the game is…There's no prima donnas."  He then adds, with a laugh, "And they all understand that they're the best…and I'm the greatest.  That's an inside band joke."

The All Starr Band is a couple weeks into a 30-date North American tour that Ringo says is "going great."  The trek winds down with a July 19 show at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, but Ringo and the group also have announced another series of dates that kicks off October 2 in Catoosa, Oklahoma, and runs through an October 23 concert in Clearwater, Florida.  In between the tour legs, Starr is planning to finish work on his next studio album, which he originally had hoped to complete by this past April.

Ringo says the delay was due, in part, to "the February Beatle madness," referring to the various celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the band's first trip to the U.S.

"I found myself sort of racing [to finish the record], and I thought, 'No, stop…I'll do it later,'" he explains. "So now, it's gonna come out next year.  So I'll finish it by end of September it'll all be over."

As for how far along he is with the album, Starr says, "I've got nine songs, and I've done the vocals on six, I've put the brass on three, we've overdubbed on a couple of them, and I've got three finished songs but I have to do the vocals [on those]."  Ringo adds, "I really need one more [song].  It's like the myth you need 10 tracks, you know."

Regarding the sound of the record, the follow-up to 2012's aptly titled Ringo 2012, Starr says, "It's similar to all the others but different, completely different, because I write with [various] people."  Among his songwriting collaborators on the new album are veteran pop hitmaker Glen Ballard, Richard Marx and Lukather, who also contributes some guitar.  Peter Frampton, meanwhile, also has lent his guitar skills to the project.

In addition to making new music and touring with the All Starr Band, Ringo has become quite a prolific artist.  He tells ABC News Radio that he began creating pieces while he was on tour about a decade ago as a way to keep busy during his downtime.  His earlier work was mainly done on computer, while his more recent paintings are stencils.

"I feel I can go any way I want with my art," he notes.  "It's just whatever takes me at the time."

Collections of Starr's artwork are being exhibited at select locations during the current tour.  He attended openings this past Thursday at the Soho Contemporary Art gallery in New York City and Saturday at Caesars casino hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and also will be on hand for a private reception at the Hard Rock Café in Chicago this Thursday.

The next show for the All Starr Band, meanwhile, takes place Tuesday in Lewiston, New York.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun232014

Metallica's Kirk Hammett Recalls "Ride the Lightning" on Its 30th Anniversary

Didier Messens/Redferns via Getty ImagesIt's been almost 30 years since Metallica released its second album, Ride the Lightning. The album was released July 27, 1984, and  guitarist Kirk Hammett pauses to recall it for the August issue of Guitar World magazine. 

Hammett tells Guitar World, that recently listening back to the classic title track he had "absolutely no recollection" of playing so many guitar harmony parts.

"When the whole thing slows down and there's that solo section," Hammett adds, "I remember I pretty much played that solo as it is off the bat."

Hammett was 21 when Metallica recorded Ride the Lightning, and looking back at it as a man in his 50s, he says, "the actual sound of the album is still good."

The cover of Guitar World's August issue shows Hammett with a guitar in his left hand while he's strapped to an electric chair -- a nod to the meaning of the album's title, which Hammett actually took the time to explain to his kids.

"I’m like, 'These people are taking a picture of me in an electric chair!'” he says. "They’re both young, so of course they said, 'Why?' I explained it’s because we have a song called 'Ride the Lightning' and that’s another way of saying, 'You’re getting electrocuted in an electric chair!' Then I had to play them the song and sing them the lyrics. They’re sitting there looking at me, like, 'Wow.'"  That's life when your dad's in Metallica.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun232014

Alicia Keys Says New Album, Due Early 2015, Is About "What We’re Going Through as Human Beings" 

Michelangelo Di Battista/ RCA RecordsNext month, we'll see Alicia Keys starring in the new ad campaign for Dahlia Divin, the new fragrance by Givenchy.  The perfume comes out in September, but the release the singer's really excited about is her new album, tentatively due in early 2015.

Speaking to Women's Wear Daily, Alicia says, "With this album, I find I have much more I want to talk about. This album is more about the concept, the thought I’m trying to get across, where in the past, it’s been more about the melody. This time it’s more about what we’re going through as human beings."

She explains, "I find that the world puts us in these boxes where we’re only allowed to be one way...we’re so much more complex than that. It’s about breaking down those boundaries. The songs concentrate on concepts like that."  She adds that she really likes one of her new songs, called "Killing Your Mother," but the title isn't meant to be taken literally. She says, "It’s about emotions. I’ll leave it at that.”

What is certain is that Alicia's new album won't be just a collection of singles: it'll hang together as an artistic whole. “Obviously record companies need to go where the business is, so we started making singles, [not albums]," Alicia says. "Which is cool, but there’s something so amazing about an entire body of work, a collective view, that sense that all of this music came from one artist.”

As for the fragrance, Alicia, who wrote the music for its upcoming TV ads, says it's "grounded, but still has a femininity that is very earthy, and I love that.”  She'll appear at the Macy's at New York City's Herald Square on September 2 to promote the launch.

Despite her involvement in the campaign, though, Alicia tells WWD she has some issues with the world of beauty. "I would like to see different representations of what beauty is. I’d like to see women with a little more voluptuousness," she notes. "There’s no way in the world that we’re all a size 2, and people beat themselves up if they’re not small enough or light enough or dark enough or skinny enough. It’s tricky to navigate that."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Monday
Jun232014

Michelle Williams Recalls Recording "Say Yes" with Beyonce & Kelly Rowland

eOneMichelle Williams has reunited with her Destiny's Child group mates Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland for her new single "Say Yes," the first offering from her third album, Journey to Freedom. Williams recalls how the collaboration came together.

"Its an old African song and my producer is actually Nigerian, people have been singing it in the African church for years," she tells ABC News Radio. "So, I thought I was done recording my album and out of the blue he was like, 'You need to record this song.' And I did and the girls heard it and they were like, 'Man, let's do a [Destiny's Child] mix of that.' That's how easy it was, you know, we always let each other listen to our music and so that how that came about."

The singer also revealed what was it like filming the video, which recently premiered on her YouTube page.

"Man, we were in Maplewood, New Jersey and just having a blast. It reminded me of my hometown, Rockford, Illinois with the tree-lined streets and the small community and I just wanted it to be a celebration," she says. "Nothing was really scripted, it was just about having fun and literally about being confident in the fact that somebody might have told you no but there's a power higher than you and I that can always make things happen."

Journey to Freedom is slated for a September 9 release.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Monday
Jun232014

Brad Paisley Treats His Opening Acts to a Midnight Screening of "Godzilla"

Photo Credit: Ben EnosThere are a lot of perks to being an opening act on a Brad Paisley tour, like good catering, great crowds and even free movies. On Friday, newcomer Leah Turner posted an Instagram photo of herself sitting in an Indianapolis movie theater with tour mates Brad, Randy Houser, Charlie Worsham and DJ Silver with the caption, "Midnight movie last night!"

It turns out Brad rented out the entire theater to treat his supporting acts to a screening of Godzilla. Leah said of Brad, "So NICE."

To see where Brad and his movie buddies are playing next, go to BradPaisley.com.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun232014

Miranda Lambert Expanding Her Oklahoma Empire with New Bed & Breakfast

Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert has revitalized her hometown of Tishomingo, Oklahoma, with her boutique, The Pink Pistol, bringing in thousands of tourists every year. Now she's expanding her small-town empire with the Ladysmith Bed & Breakfast opening later this year. Miranda's new venture is located right across the street from her boutique.

She says, "It's built in 1901, so it's been over a year of renovations. It is a bed and breakfast, but it's also an events center. So, you can rent it for weddings and showers and private parties -- all kinds of stuff, but it does have eight rooms."

Miranda admits she doesn't know anything about running a bed and breakfast, but she just couldn't let this building go unrestored.

"We're hoping to open in late summer and have people come," Miranda says. "I'm not setting a date, 'cause I don't wanna set myself up for failure, you know, but it's really beautiful, and I think it's gonna be so much fun for people."

For fans planning a trip to check out Tishomingo, Miranda says the closest airports are Dallas and Oklahoma City.

She says, "[It's an] hour-and-a-half both ways. Southwest goes to each one of those."

Miranda's also finding some time to tend her to her main gig of being a country superstar. Her Platinum tour launches July 10 in Fort Laramie, Ohio.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jun222014

Billy Corgan Adds Taste of Rock 'n' Roll to New Issue of "Food Network Magazine"

Anna Knott/Food Network MagazineThanks in part to Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan, there's a rock 'n' roll flavor to the July/August issue of Food Network Magazine.

As part of a spread featuring musicians with Food Network personalities, Corgan, who runs a Chicago-area tea shop called Madame ZuZu's, is teamed up with Jeff Mauro, star of Sandwich King and The Kitchen.  In the piece, Corgan tells Mauro about eating sandwiches at Central Gyros in Chicago, prompting Windy City native Mauro to say he filmed an episode of his Sandwich King show there.

Other musicians featured in the July/August issue, which hits newsstands June 24, include classic rocker Sammy Hagar and pop star Taylor Swift.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jun222014

Lionel Richie Discusses Family & Fame on "Oprah's Master Class"

Image credit: Andrew MacPherson

Lionel Richie opens up about the trappings of fame on the next episode of Oprah's Master Class, airing Sunday.

In two video teasers, the legendary singer reflects on his career and the entertainment industry.  "Maintaining a quality relationship with your family and kids is very difficult," Richie shares.  "Success is lethal.  You like girls... you get all the girls.  Like dope?  Like alcohol?  Now that you have it all, can you survive it?"

He also reveals that having children helped him find his balance.  "They treat me like dad, they don't treat me like Lionel Richie," he says.  "Having kids changed me tremendously."

The episode will air Sunday, June 22, at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

 

Sunday
Jun222014

Motley Crue's Vince Neil Gets OK to Start New Arena Football League Team in Las Vegas

Denise Truscello/WireImageAs Motley Crue winds down as a band, singer Vince Neil is revving up his interests in the Arena Football League.

Neil became a minority owner of the Jacksonville Sharks a few months ago.  Now comes word that he's received approval from league officials and other team owners to "build a Las Vegas team from scratch," according to the Las Vegas Sun.

Previously, Las Vegas was home to the AFL's Sting, then the Gladiators.  Neil has submitted a request for his Sin City-based team to be known as the Outlaws.

Meanwhile, the Crue's farewell tour, with special guest Alice Cooper, begins with a stretch of U.S. dates starting July 2 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jun222014

Marsha Ambrosius Teams with Dr. Dre for New Single, "Stronger"

RCA RecordsMarsha Ambrosius continues to surprise fans with new music from her sophomore album, Friends & Lovers. The singer has issued an up-tempo single called "Stronger" featuring Dr. Dre.

Her new offering is a take on Sade's 1988 classic single, "Stronger than Pride."  Dr. Dre can be heard rapping along to the drum-heavy beat, which samples Jeru the Damaga's "Come Clean."

In addition, Marsha also released her upcoming album's official track list via Instagram. "I am SO HYPE!!!" she wrote in the caption.

The project is due out July 15 and includes production from Pop & Oak, Da Internz, Eric Hudson and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, among others. The album is the follow-up to 2011′s Late Nights & Early Mornings.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Sunday
Jun222014

Josh Groban Ready to Host, Do "Interpretive Dance" on ABC's New Competition, "Rising Star"

ABC/Bob D'Amico"It was a no-brainer."

That's how Josh Groban describes his decision to accept a job hosting ABC's new singing competition show, Rising Star, which will premiere this Sunday night, live, and then air live each Sunday night for the next 10 weeks.

Unlike the hosts of other music reality shows, like Carson Daly and Ryan Seacrest, Josh says in addition to keeping the show moving along, he'll actually get to help coach the contestants.  That's what sold him, he says.

"Mentoring singers, mentoring young artists, being part of their journey, is one of the great joys that I've gotten out of being in this business," he tells ABC News Radio. "And so, for me to be able to do that on a large platform like this, it was a no-brainer."

As for whether he's nervous about being a host, rather than just standing there and singing, Josh points out that he's had a lot of experience co-hosting Live with Regis & Kelly many times before Michael Strahan became that show's permanent co-host.  Not only that, but he believes that essentially, being a solo artist who tours a lot is great preparation for the gig.

"To a certain degree you're hosting your own show every night when you're on tour," he tells ABC News Radio. "I mean, you're carrying it, and you're making sure your audience is entertained and laughing and having a great time -- hopefully not at the songs -- and I think, in some ways, this is no different."

While Josh is the host, he'll be working with a panel of three "experts:" pop star Kesha, rapper/actor Ludacris and country superstar Brad Paisley.  They'll get to mentor the contestants and vote too, but their votes only counts for a fraction of the total results.  That's because it's the viewers who are the judges, and they'll decide who goes through, by using a free app to vote live as each contestant performs. 

The contestants will sing in front of a massive video wall that will display, in real time, how the voting is going.  Enough "yes" votes, and the wall rises, indicating that the contestant is moving on.  There are your results, right there: no waiting 'til next week.  The eventual winner will get a contract with Capitol Records.

"We only have a certain amount of say-so, so I think that's what's gonna be one of the parts that's gonna be very interesting," says Ludacris of he and his fellow "experts." "And that's what creates great entertainment."

But still, do we really need yet another singing competition? Well, Kesha says we need this one.

"When I heard about the format of the show, before they wanted me, I remember telling my manager, I was like, 'This is genius,'" Kesha tells ABC News Radio. "Like, with or without me, this is gonna be huge just because of the technology behind it.  It's instantly gratifying and it's an app!  Like, everyone just loves that [stuff]!"

Josh predicts that with four stars from such different musical genres, there'll be "a lot of differing opinions" when it comes to voting on the contestants. "I don't think we're all going to agree. I think that's the coolest thing about the panel, is that it's going to be interesting to hear the banter after each song as to what worked, and what didn't," he says.

More than anything, Josh says he, Kesha, Ludacris and Brad are all a bit on edge, wondering if the Rising Star concept, which has worked in other countries, can give American Idol and The Voice a run for their money.

"There is an overall feeling with all of us, almost a nervous energy of something that really is, potentially, a very, very new concept, and we're all excited by it, and sure, we're all nervous about it," he tells ABC News Radio, adding, "I'm the one that has to interpretive dance if the technology hits the fan!"

"But," he adds, "I think that that's what makes it exciting, and that's what's gonna make it fun for people to tune in."  

Here’s the list of singers set to perform on Sunday’s premiere:

Lisa Punch, 21, Brooklyn, NY
Joshua Peavy, 28, Soperton, GA
Jesse Kinch, 20, Seaford, NY
Maneepat Myra Molloy, 16, Los Angeles, CA
Sarah Darling, 31, Nashville, TN
Summer Collins, 18, Fayetteville, NC
Colin Huntley, 16, Georgetown, TX
The duo: Daniel & Olivia,(Daniel Wolfe, 24 and Olivia Thai, 25,
San Gabriel Valley, CA
A group called Beyond 5 from Nashville, TN. (Zac Love, 19; Tanner Myler, 19; TJ Ryan, 16; Patch Crowe, 19; Ammon Soloasa Tuimaualuga, 17)

Rising Star debuts this Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jun222014

The Stars of ABC's "Rising Star" Say Show's Concept Is "Genius;" Will Be "Great Entertainment 

ABC/Bob D'Amico"This is gonna be huge." 

That's what Kesha says she thought when she first heard about the concept behind ABC's new reality singing competition Rising Star, which will premiere this Sunday night, live, and then air live each Sunday night for the next 10 weeks.

"The show's so different.  When I heard about the format of the show, before they wanted me, I remember telling my manager, I was like, 'This is genius,'" Kesha tells ABC News Radio. "Like, with or without me, this is gonna be huge just because of the technology behind it.  It's instantly gratifying and it's an app!  Like, everyone just loves that s**t!"

The app Kesha refers to is the free Rising Star app -- you download it, and during the show, it allows you to vote yes or no, live, as each contestant performs in front of a massive video wall that will display, in real time, how the voting is going.  Enough "yes" votes, and the wall rises, indicating that the contestant is moving on.  There are your results, right there: no waiting 'til next week.  The eventual winner will get a contract with Capitol Records.

As one of the panel of "experts" on the show, Kesha, along with her cohorts -- rapper/actor Ludacris and country superstar Brad Paisley -- will all get to vote, too, but their votes only count for a fraction of the total results.  The viewers are the judges, and they'll decide who goes through. 

"We only have a certain amount of say-so, so I think that's what's gonna be one of the parts that's gonna be very interesting," says Ludacris. "And that's what creates great entertainment."

So what is Kesha looking for, as far as contestants are concerned?  "Somebody...that has that indescribable "it" factor," she tells ABC News Radio. "You can't take your eyes off of them, and you can just tell that they have the heart and soul for this, and they want it so bad.  That's what I'm looking for."

This is the first major project that Kesha's taking on following her stint in rehab earlier this year for an eating disorder. Why choose Rising Star as her entree back into the spotlight? 

"It all happened very serendipitously," she says. "I'm working on music right now, and one day a week I get to come in here and help young kids achieve their dreams.  Like, it's a dream job -- studio six days a week and this, one.  So, it makes sense for me right now."

Helping young kids was a big part of the reason doing the show also made sense for host Josh Groban, who guest-hosted Live with Regis & Kelly many times before Michael Strahan became that show's permanent co-host.  Unlike other reality show hosts, he'll actually get to work with the contestants.

"Mentoring singers, mentoring young artists, being part of their journey, is one of the great joys that I've gotten out of being in this business," he tells ABC News Radio. "And so, for me to be able to do that on a large platform like this, it was a no-brainer."

Josh predicts that with four stars from such different musical genres, there'll be "a lot of differing opinions" when it comes to voting on the contestants. "I don't think we're all going to agree. I think that's the coolest thing about the panel, is that it's going to be interesting to hear the banter after each song as to what worked, and what didn't," he says.

More than anything, Josh says he, Kesha, Ludacris and Brad are all a bit on edge, wondering if the Rising Star concept, which has worked in other countries, can give American Idol and The Voice a run for their money.

"There is an overall feeling with all of us, almost a nervous energy of something that really is, potentially, a very, very new concept, and we're all excited by it, and sure, we're all nervous about it," he tells ABC News Radio, adding, "I'm the one that has to interpretive dance if the technology hits the fan!"

"But," he adds, "I think that that's what makes it exciting, and that's what's gonna make it fun for people to tune in." 

Here’s the list of singers set to perform on Sunday’s premiere:

Lisa Punch, 21, Brooklyn, NY
Joshua Peavy, 28, Soperton, GA
Jesse Kinch, 20, Seaford, NY
Maneepat Myra Molloy, 16, Los Angeles, CA
Sarah Darling, 31, Nashville, TN
Summer Collins, 18, Fayetteville, NC
Colin Huntley, 16, Georgetown, TX
The duo: Daniel & Olivia,(Daniel Wolfe, 24 and Olivia Thai, 25,
San Gabriel Valley, CA
A group called Beyond 5 from Nashville, TN. (Zac Love, 19; Tanner Myler, 19; TJ Ryan, 16; Patch Crowe, 19; Ammon Soloasa Tuimaualuga, 17)

Rising Star debuts this Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jun222014

Little Big Town Had a "Sixth Sense" About Latest Single, "Day Drinking"

ABCLittle Big Town kicked off the recording sessions for their upcoming album laying down the lead single, "Day Drinking." In an effort to capture a live party vibe, the band recorded their vocals as the band played the song in the studio.

LBT's Phillip Sweet tells Billboard, "We had some sound partitions, but we were all experiencing it in the same room."

While Little Big Town is excited for fans to hear the rest of their new music, they knew all along "Day Drinking" would be the lead single.

"When we got done with everything, it still stood out as the one," Phillip says. "There was a sixth sense about it."

"Day Drinking" is now available for digital download.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jun212014

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Schedule Three New Shows in the Northeastern US

Reprise/WEATom Petty & the Heartbreakers will be visiting a few more cities during their North American tour in support of their forthcoming album, Hypnotic Eye.  The band has added three concerts to the trek, which will feature Steve Winwood as the opening act.

The new shows are scheduled for August 31 at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine; September 11 at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey; and September 16 at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Tickets for the concerts will go on sale to the general public on Friday, June 27.  Members of Petty's Highway Companions Club will be able to purchase pre-sale tickets starting this Monday.

Petty & the Heartbreakers get their tour under way on August 3 in San Diego and it's scheduled to wrap up October 10 in Los Angeles.  You can check out the band's full itinerary at TomPetty.com.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jun212014

The Kinks' Ray Davies Celebrates His 70th Birthday Today

Ian Brodie/Decca Label GroupSending out Happy Birthday wishes to Ray Davies, who turns 70 Saturday.  As the lead singer and main songwriter of The Kinks, Davies amassed an impressive body of work that was critically acclaimed, commercially successful and hugely influential.

During The Kinks' 30-plus-year history, Ray was responsible for penning such classic songs as "You Really Got Me," "All Day and All of the Night," "Sunny Afternoon," "Waterloo Sunset," "Lola," "Celluloid Heroes" and "Come Dancing."

While the early hits he wrote for the band featured lyrics that offered raw and simple expressions of young love and lust, Davies writing quickly matured, offering insightful and witty character studies, observational musings on the mundanities of the average Englishman and nostalgic reminiscences about the way life in his homeland used to be.

Beyond being a craftsman of pop gems, Davies also explored the concept album with such records as 1973's Preservation Act 1, 1974's Preservation Act 2 and his 1985 solo project Return to Waterloo, which was a companion piece to a TV movie he wrote and directed.

Following The Kinks' breakup in 1996, Davies launched a full-fledged solo career that has seen him issue such well-received albums as 2006's Other People's Lives and 2007's Working Man's Café.

In addition, he's has written a number of stage musicals, including 2008's Come Dancing, which was based on the 1983 Kinks hit of stage name, and a new production called Sunny Afternoon that tells the story of his band's early years.  Ray also has used his literary talents to pen a pair of memoirs, 1994's X-Ray and 2013's Americana.  He currently is involved in a variety of projects, including an album based on Americana and a mini opera about the big-band era.  Meanwhile, Ray apparently has been discussing the possibility of a reunion with his brother and Kinks band mate Dave Davies, although nothing concrete has been decided.

Among the many honors Ray has received during his long career are induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 as a member of The Kinks, an Icon award from performing-rights organization BMI in 2006 and induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame earlier this month.  Davies also was bestowed with the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, or CBE, honor by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jun212014

New Version of Metallica's "Lords of Summer" Released

Ross HalfinSummer officially begins this morning, and Metallica got a jump on the new season by releasing a "first pass" version of its new song "Lords of Summer" on iTunes.

It's the most recent edition of what the band describes as "still a work in progress."  The band debuted the song during its South American tour earlier this year and posted a "garage demo version" to YouTube in March.  A post on Metallica.com says, "Those of you with astute ears will notice some minor differences from the version we streamed on YouTube and released on LiveMetallica.com. ... it most probably will change again."

ESPN will mark summer's arrival by airing "Lords of Summer" throughout the day today.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jun212014

Jason Mraz to Appear on HSN July 1, Launches Short Film with Three New Songs

Jen Rosenstein/Atlantic RecordsJason Mraz hopes viewers of the Home Shopping Network say "YES!" to his new album.

The singer will appear on HSN on July 1 at 9 p.m. ET to perform in support of his new album, YES!, which comes out July 15.  You can pre-order the new album now at HSN.com, and you'll get a bonus: four live tracks, including in-concert versions of "I'm Yours" and "I Won't Give Up."  The channel also has posted snippets of all Jason's new songs online for you to check out.

In other Jason news, he's posted a short film that incorporates three of the songs from YES!, including the first single, "Love Someone."  The film, which USA Today premiered, is called We Can Take the Long Way, and he explains why he decided to go this route.

"Making a music video is challenging. To me a song is personal: its story, message, or melody resonating uniquely with each listener," he writes in the comments field under the film. "Adding moving pictures can sometimes paint a mood/suggest an attitude that's different from how the listener hears a song in his/her heart. We Can Take the Long Way is an effort to tell a story about love and life with several songs from YES! playing a supporting role."

He adds, "I recommend you turn down the lights, crank up the volume, snuggle up to your beloved, and enjoy the film."

In addition to "Love Someone," the new songs in the film are "Hello, You Beautiful Thing" and "Long Drive."  The film's title, We Can Take the Long Way, is a lyric from "Long Drive."


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