August 23, 2014
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Classic Hits News

Image Courtesy of FoxThe longest marathon in television history is now under way, as FXX continues airing all 25 seasons of The Simpsons chronologically.  In the history of the show, a whole lot of famous music artists made appearances -- in cartoon form -- in Springfield, and you still have time to catch many of them before the marathon ends on Labor Day, September 1.

By Saturday morning the marathon will have reached the middle of Season Five, which means you will be able to watch animated performances by Paul & Linda McCartney, James Taylor, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Elton John, The Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive and many others.

For a complete list of all the animated music artists who've appeared on The Simpsons in the last two-and-a-half decades, go to Billboard.com.  Here's a select chronological list of upcoming appearances that will be shown during the FXX marathon:

Season 5

James Taylor: "Deep Space Homer"

Season 7

Paul & Linda McCartney: "Lisa the Vegetarian"
Paul Anka: "Treehouse of Horror VI"
Peter Frampton: "Homerpalooza"

Season 8

Johnny Cash: "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)"

Season 9

U2: "Trash of the Titans"

Season 10

The Moody Blues: "Viva Ned Flanders"
Cyndi Lauper: "Wild Barts Can't Be Broken"
Dolly Parton: "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday"
Elton John: "I'm With Cupid"

Season 11

The B-52's: "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)"
Clarence Clemons: "Grift of the Magi"
Bachman-Turner Overdrive: "Saddlesore Galactica"

Season 12

The Who: "A Tale of Two Springfields"

Season 13

R.E.M.: "Homer the Moe"

Season 14

Elvis Costello: "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation"
Mick Jagger: "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation"
Tom Petty: "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation"
Keith Richards: "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation"
Brian Setzer: "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation"
David Byrne: "Dude, Where's My Ranch?"
Jackson Browne: "Brake My Wife, Please"

Season 16

Los Lobos: "Thank God It's Doomsday"

Season 19

Lionel Richie: "He Loves to Fly and He D'ohs"

Season 22

Joey Kramer: "The Ned-Liest Catch"

Season 24

Marvin Hamlisch: "Gone Abie Gone"
Tom Waits: "Homer Goes to Prep School"
Max Weinberg: "Love is a Many-Splintered Thing"


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/23/2014 06:00:07am

Image Courtesy of Muscular Dystrophy AssociationBret Michaels is among the stars scheduled to appear on the MDA Show of Strength Telethon, benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The two-hour broadcast airs Sunday, August 31 on ABC, beginning at 9 p.m. ET.

The Poison frontman will be one of several artists giving "one-of-a-kind" performances of their songs on the telecast. Other performers include Josh Groban, Aloe Blacc, Jason Derulo, Matt Nathanson, American Authors, and country stars Rascal Flatts and LeAnn Rimes.

The telethon also will feature a bevy of celebrity presenters, including Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, Brad Paisley, Kesha, Jordin Sparks and Ludacris, as well as Alyssa Milano, Nashville's Charles Esten, Tom Bergeron and more.  In addition, five families will share their stories of what it's like to live with muscular dystrophy.

You can call, text or donate online at MDA.org. This is the 49th installment of the telethon: the first aired in 1966, on a single TV station in New York City.  It's since become the most successful fundraising event in TV history.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/22/2014 07:00:38pm

Credit: Ethan HillGrammy-winning artist Christopher Cross returns September 12 with a new album called Secret Ladder.

The disc features 13 new songs about what Cross calls "grown-up subject matter."  One song is a takedown of TV evangelists; another, "A Letter to My Children," was written, he says, as "a lasting statement for my kids."  "We Will Remember You," a tribute to members of the armed forces, will be available for download September 11.

The day of the record's release, Cross will perform in New York City; he also has tour dates scheduled through the fall.  Visit ChristopherCross.com to see his full itinerary.

Secret Ladder is Cross' followup to 2011's Doctor Faith.  The singer/songwriter most recently was seen in December singing his classic "Ride Like the Wind" with Will Ferrell -- portraying his Anchorman character Ron Burgundy -- on Jimmy Kimmel Live!


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


08/22/2014 07:00:38pm

NYS Department of Corrections and Community SupervisionFor the eighth time since his incarceration for the December 8, 1980, the murderer of John Lennon, Mark David Chapman, has been denied parole.  The decision by the New York State Board of Parole came following a videoconference interview with Chapman held Wednesday at the Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, New York.

The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision says a New York State Board of Parole panel determined after reviewing the 59-year-old killer's interview and record that there was "a reasonable probability that you would not live and remain at liberty without again violating the law and your release would be incompatible with the welfare of society and would so deprecate the serious nature of the crime as to undermine respect for the law."

Among the factors the panel cited for denying Chapman's parole are that he "stalked and waited for [his] victim and thereafter shot him multiple times causing his death," while noting that Lennon "had displayed kindness to [Chapman] earlier in the day and [his] actions have devastated a family and those who loved the victim."

Chapman was sentenced in 1981 to 20 years to life for Lennon's murder and was first eligible for parole on December 4, 2000.  His next parole hearing is scheduled for August 2016.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/22/2014 03:00:34pm

MJ Kim/MPL CommunicationsHolding down the "big bottom" for a big-name band can earn a musician some big bucks.  That's the upshot of a new list from Richest.com that ranks the top 10 bass players, based on their net worth.

At #1 on the tally is exactly whom you might imagine: former Beatles bassist Paul McCartney, who's reportedly worth $1.2 billion.  Sir Paul, of course, earned much of his fortune by writing or co-writing -- with late Fab Four band mate John Lennon -- some the most memorable pop and rock songs of all time.

The number-two position is a tie between ex-Police frontman Sting, and Gene Simmons of KISS, each worth $300 million.  One-time Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters sits comfortably in the number-four spot, with $270 million, and U2's Adam Clayton rounds out the top five with $150 million.

A little further down the list is Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, who comes in at #7 with $80 million.

Take all of this with a grain of salt: The site neglects to mention the sources of its financial data.  Here's Richest.com's full "Top 10 Richest Bassists in the World" list:

1. Paul McCartney (The Beatles) -- $1.2 billion
2. Gene Simmons (KISS) -- $300 million
2. Sting (The Police) -- $300 million
4. Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) -- $270 million
5. Adam Clayton (U2) -- $150 million
6. Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) -- $115 million
7. John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) -- $80 million
8. Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath) -- $65 million
9. Tony Kanal (No Doubt) -- $45 million
10. Krist Novoselic (Nirvana) -- $40 million


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/22/2014 03:00:00pm

RhinoAfter posting a message Thursday on its official Facebook page teasing fans about some "exciting" news, Genesis has revealed that it will be releasing a new career-spanning compilation titled R-Kive on September 22 in the U.K. and September 30 in the U.S.  The three-CD, 37-track retrospective was compiled by the members of the band's classic early-'70s lineup -- singer Peter Gabriel, singer/drummer Phil Collins, keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and lead guitarist Steve Hackett.

According to the Facebook announcement, the musicians selected the songs "via a process of collaboration and elimination."  In addition to various classic Genesis tunes and album gems, the collection includes a few personally chosen songs from all of the band members' solo careers or side projects.

The tracks are arranged in chronological order and include the Genesis smashes "Invisible Touch," "Turn It On Again" and "Land of Confusion, such solo hits as Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" and Collins' "In the Air Tonight," as well as "The Living Years" by Rutherford's side group Mike + the Mechanics.

In other news, the recently announced BBC documentary Genesis: Together and Apart, which also features the participation of Gabriel, Collins, Banks, Rutherford and Hackett, is scheduled to premiere in October.  A companion DVD titled Sum of the Parts will be released in the U.S. on November 18.

Here is the full track list of R-Kive:

Disc 1
"The Knife"
"The Musical Box"
"Supper's Ready"
"The Cinema Show"
"I Know What I Like"
"The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway"
"Back in N.Y.C."
"The Carpet Crawlers"
"Ace of Wands" (Steve Hackett)

Disc 2
"Ripples"
"Afterglow"
"Solsbury Hill" (Peter Gabriel)
"Follow You Follow Me"
"For a While" (Tony Banks)
"Every Day" (Steve Hackett)
"Biko" (Peter Gabriel)
"Turn It On Again"
"In the Air Tonight" (Phil Collins)
"Abacab"
"Mama"
"That's All"
"Easy Lover" (Phil Collins and Philip Bailey duet)
"Silent Running" (Mike + The Mechanics)

Disc 3
"Invisible Touch"
"Land of Confusion"
"Tonight Tonight Tonight"
"The Living Years" (Mike + the Mechanics)
"Red Day on Blue Street" (Tony Banks)
"I Can't Dance"
"No Son of Mine"
"Hold On My Heart"
"Over My Shoulder" (Mike + the Mechanics)
"Calling All Stations"
"Signal to Noise" (Peter Gabriel)
"Wake Up Call" (Phil Collins)
"Nomads" (Steve Hackett)
"Siren" (Tony Banks)


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/22/2014 03:00:00pm

Motown/Universal MusicFifty years ago this week, The Supremes ascended to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for the very first time, with their classic "Where Did Our Love Go."  This began a historic run for the famed Motown girl group, as the trio went on to score four more #1 hits in a row, becoming the first U.S. act ever to have five consecutive chart-topping singles.

Mary Wilson recalls how excited she and her fellow Supremes were about their first major chart success, because the group had struggled for quite a while to get a hit.

"That was a great time for us because we had been called the 'No-Hit Supremes' prior to that, having released about seven records that were not hits," she explains to ABC News Radio.

She adds, "I remember that we were on the Dick Clark show, Caravan of Stars, and he didn't even want to take us at that time because we didn't have a hit record, and our record 'Where Did Our Love Go' became a hit while we were on his tour.  So, yeah, it was quite an experience for us finally to get that #1 hit record."

As happy as they were about the success of "Where Did Our Love Go," Wilson admits that she and the other Supremes didn't think the tune would be a hit when they first heard it.

"We were a little p**sed.  It wasn't like a Martha & the Vandellas song," Mary tells Billboard.  "We told [the songwriting team of] Holland-Dozier-Holland to bring on the hits.  If we didn't get a hit, our parents were going to make us go to college."

Wilson points out that one thing she and band mate Florence Ballard didn't like about the tune was the simplistic backing vocal part they were told to sing.

"Flo and I just had to sing, 'Baby, baby,'" she explains to Billboard.  "We were used to doing intricate harmonic patterns but on this song we didn't do anything."

Mary also remembers that she was "still living in the projects" when "Where Did Our Love Go" became a hit.  "Hearing it on the radio for the first time was big for us even though we didn't like the song," she tells Billboard.  "It was infectious."

As for how her life changed after the song's chart success, Wilson tells Billboard, "at a time when it was an impossible dream for black people, we accomplished something…We started touring the world and every country we went to, we were introduced as 'Motown's Supremes.'  We helped put Motown on the map."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/22/2014 11:01:01am

Ross Halfin/Universal MusicRock fans who'll be in New York City during the week leading up to Halloween will have the chance to attend a special Q&A and film event featuring one of the world's scariest rock stars, Alice Cooper.  This October 27, the legendary shock rocker will visit the 92nd Street Y, where he will be interviewed by Rolling Stone journalist Anthony DeCurtis following a screening of the 2014 documentary Super Duper Alice Cooper.

Described as the first "doc opera," the movie tells the dramatic story of how Cooper, who was born Vincent Furnier and raised in a religious household, developed his outrageous stage persona and became a rock superstar, then battled serious alcohol and drug addictions that nearly killed him.  The flick got its premiere at New York's Tribeca Film Festival in April and was released on DVD and Blu-ray in June.

The interview event will take place a day before Cooper's performance at New York's Madison Square Garden with Motley Crue as part of the glam-metal band's farewell tour.

In other news, on Wednesday night, Cooper accepted a challenge by Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  Alice was doused with ice water onstage while opening for Motley Crue in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and then nominated the Crue and his friend Johnny Depp to take part in the campaign.  Motley Crue agreed to get doused in chilly water later that same evening.

Meanwhile, to raise more money for the initiative, Cooper is auctioning the American flag shirt he wore while taking the challenge, as well as the robe he put on after his bath.  The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge supports the ALS Association's efforts to find a cure for the progressive degenerative nerve disease also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/22/2014 11:01:00am

Eagle Rock EntertainmentOver the last year or so, Moody Blues frontman Justin Hayward has mounted a couple of U.S. solo tours during which he's thrilled fans by performing stripped-down versions of some of his band's well-known songs, as well as tunes from his latest album, Spirits of the Western Sky.  Now, a concert video and album, both called Spirits...Live, have been released capturing a show that the singer/guitarist played last August at the Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta.

The video, which is available on DVD and Blu-ray, and the CD include the entire set from the gig, which closed out Justin's 2013 solo outing.  Hayward tells ABC News Radio that he's "very pleased" with the performance, at which he was accompanied by a three-piece backing group -- young guitar virtuoso Mike Dawes and keyboardists/backing singers Alan Hewitt and Julie Ragins.

The 67-year-old British rocker points out that while the concert does showcase a lot of his new solo material, fans who are patient will be rewarded by hearing renditions of many Moody Blues hits and some lesser-known gems.  Among the classic tunes featured are "Tuesday Afternoon," "Your Wildest Dreams," "Question" and "Nights in White Satin," while Justin also digs deeper into the Moodies catalog to play songs like "It's Up to You," "Lovely to See You" and "New Horizons."  Another highlight is a rendition of "Forever Autumn," a solo Hayward song featured on the 1978 album Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds.

Hayward says he really enjoyed playing his songs live with a smaller group of musicians.  He offers as an example the Spirits…Live version of "I Know You're Out There Somewhere," "where you can hear it just pared right down, and to see what it was really like [when I wrote it,] and just to concentrate on the vocal performance."

As an added bonus, the DVD and Blu-ray include some extra video footage that, as Justin points out, includes "about another 70 minutes of stuff, backstage stuff and behind-the-scenes things, which is quite interesting too."

Hayward embarked on a second U.S. solo trek during the late-spring of this year, accompanied then by only Dawes and Ragins.  He's currently touring with the Moody Blues, but he tells ABC News Radio that another solo outing "could be on the horizon."

"I'm certainly getting a lot of interest for my solo show, with me and Mike…and Julie, from around the world," he reports.  "And we're having to consider that, and look at that."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/22/2014 06:00:07am

Verve RecordsBryan Adams will revisit his youth this fall when he releases The Tracks of My Years, a collection of covers of some of his favorite songs from the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

The disc, Adams' first studio album in more than six years, features 10 classic tunes, and one new original song called "She Knows Me," co-written with his longtime collaborator Jim Vallance.  The deluxe version of the record adds five more tracks.  The album's cover features a photo of Bryan sporting extremely long hair that was taken just before he turned 16.

"Making the selection of the songs for the album took a long time," Adams says in a statement, noting that the process spanned three months of recording spread out over two years.  "We recorded all kinds of songs until the songs sort of presented themselves, or sounded different enough from the originals." 

Noting the diversity of the songs on the project, Bryan explains, "Radio was king when I was a teenager.  You'd hear Paul McCartney's 'Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey’ straight into 'Kiss and Say Goodbye' by The Manhattans.  Radio didn't discriminate back then."

Among the songs the Canadian singer covers on The Tracks of My Years: Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lady," The Beatles' "Any Time at All," The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows," The Association's "Never My Love," Chuck Berry's "Rock and Roll Music" and the aforementioned song by The Manhattans.

The Tracks of My Years is due out this fall; the release date is not yet final, but it'll be sometime in either September or October.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/21/2014 07:00:31pm

Cliff Lipson/CBSMadonna and her boyfriend, Timor Steffens, reportedly are through.

The 56-year-old Material Girl and the 26-year-old Steffens were vacationing with her kids in the south of France when, a source tells Us Weekly, “Madonna politely asked Timor to take his luggage and leave."

The source adds, "He packed up and left the trip and said they were done.”

Madonna has since flown to Ibiza, Spain, minus Steffens, according to the magazine.

Madge isn't too broken up over the split, though, according to another source who tells Us, "It was never serious, and she was never that into it."  The source adds, "She's been working on her album and getting [her daughter Lourdes] off to school, no time for anything heavy."

Madonna and Steffens were first spotted together publicly back in January.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/21/2014 07:00:00pm

Eddie Wolfl; Myrna SuarezStevie Wonder and Billy Joel are among the respected music artists who will receive a prestigious honor this fall from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.  The stars will be presented with the ASCAP Centennial Award at a November 17 gala celebrating the performing-rights organization's 100th anniversary at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

The "once-in-a-century" accolade recognizes the honorees' impressive achievements in their respective musical genres.  Also set to receive the award are folk legend Joan Baez, country superstar Garth Brooks, and renowned Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim.

ASCAP's centennial celebration will be hosted by the organization's president and chairman, songwriter Paul Williams, and will be attended by all of the Centennial Award recipients.  In addition, special guest performers will be on hand to pay tribute to the honorees.

"Each of our ASCAP Centennial Award recipients is in a class of his or her own, as the creator and performer of songs that have touched the lives of people across the globe," says Williams in a statement.  "It's wonderful to be able to salute them on the occasion of ASCAP's centennial year."

The event also will serve as the inaugural fundraiser for the ASCAP Foundation, which supports various music education, talent development and humanitarian programs.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/21/2014 03:00:25pm

James Minchin III; David BergmanCould a bucket of ice water be a sign that relations between Jon Bon Jovi and his band's estranged lead guitarist, Richie Sambora, are beginning to warm up?  Sambora recently joined the ranks of celebrities who have doused themselves in icy water in support of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge after he was challenged to take part in the campaign by the singer this past weekend.

Jon took the challenge himself this past week and called on Sambora, as well as Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres and keyboardist David Bryan, to do the same.

In a video posted on Sambora's official YouTube channel showing him completing challenge, Richie, in turn, nominates his rumored girlfriend, Australian rock guitar whiz Orianthi, and "all my friends and fans all over the world" to take part in the initiative.  Sambora does not acknowledge Bon Jovi in the clip.

Richie has not performed with Bon Jovi since April 2013, and has told the press he's taking a hiatus from the band to spend more time with family.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge calls for nominated participants to pour ice water over their heads within 24 hours or donate $100 to help find a cure for ALS, a progressive degenerative nerve disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.  As of Thursday, more than $41 million has been raised by this year's campaign.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/21/2014 03:00:00pm

Jacob Blickenstaff/TCI ArtistsThe Zombies' current U.S. tour wraps up this Sunday in San Francisco, and the band then plans to turn its attention toward recording its next studio album.  In conjunction with the new project, the legendary British Invasion group has launched a Pledge Music crowdfunding campaign that will allow participating fans to check out audio of some of the new tunes and video of the band members in the studio.

A video posted on PledgeMusic.com features Zombies singer Colin Blunstone and keyboardist Rod Argent sharing details about the initiative.

"We've been recording for over 50 years, and for the first time, through Pledge Music, we'd like to include you, the fans, in the whole magical process of recording," says Blunstone.

Adds Argent, "We would love to take you on this journey with us and let you have bits and pieces from the studio, some snips of new tracks as we lay them down, giving you access actually to all sorts of things which are not available to anybody else outside of the Pledge campaign."

The initiative also offers a bevy of incentives to fans, depending on the amount they contribute, including early access to the new album, rare and signed collectibles, Zombies T-shirts, mugs and other merchandise and the chance to appear in an official video by the band.

Meanwhile, after the campaign reaches its goal, 10 percent of the additional money raised will be donated to Music Unites, a charity that supports music-education programs for at-risk students.  The initiative, which officially kicked off on Tuesday, is off to a fast start:  More than 50 percent of the goal has been pledged with 86 days remaining.

Here are the remaining shows on The Zombies' U.S. tour:

8/21 -- Santa Monica, CA, Santa Monica Pier
8/23 -- Stateline, NV, Harrah's Lake Tahoe
8/24 -- San Francisco, CA, Stern Grove Festival


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

08/21/2014 11:00:59am

ABCFoo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl welcomed his third child with wife Jordyn Blum earlier this month, Us Weekly reports. The baby girl, named Ophelia Saint Grohl, was born August 1.

Sadly, just days later, on August 6, Grohl’s father passed away after a long-term illness. "Bittersweet news -- congratulations David Grohl and Jordyn Blum who have welcomed a new baby girl #3 Ophelia Grohl! The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away!!" read a post on The David Grohl Alley Scholarship Program's Facebook page on August 8.

Grohl and Blum, his wife of 11 years, are already parents to Violet Maye, 8, and Harper Willow, 5.

Foo Fighters will release their new album, Sonic Highways, November 10.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

08/21/2014 06:00:34am