July 26, 2014
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Classic Hits News

Joseph Guay/Capitol RecordsElton John's upcoming movie biography Rocketman will cover the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's life story "from birth to rehab."  That's according to Lee Hall, the man who's writing the film.

Hall, who also penned the movie Billy Elliot and then worked with John to turn it into an ultra-successful musical, tells the BBC that Rocketman will be "an absolutely huge, crazy Technicolor affair."  While also dealing with Elton's childhood and his rise to fame, Hall says, it won't shy away from the darker parts of his life, such as the singer's self-confessed "monstrous" behavior when he was in the throes of drug addiction.

Hall says John provided him with plenty of material for the movie, and gave him "incredible free rein."  He explained, "One day, he took me to his house and opened a safe and he had all his private diaries that nobody had seen from when he was in rehab and left me there to read all this stuff."

Hall added, however, that Elton has "never commented once on the script," and "hasn't interfered at all" in terms of how he's being depicted.

John will be portrayed by The Dark Knight Rises actor Tom Hardy in Rocketman, which will begin shooting in late 2014.  Elton's original music will be used, but it's not clear whether Hardy will perform the songs or simply lip-sync.  Either way, Hall says of the movie, "It's fantastic, it's all singing, all dancing."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

07/26/2014 06:00:03am

Image Courtesy Webster PRKenny Rogers will sit down for an in-depth interview at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville on August 16 to celebrate the new exhibit, Kenny Rogers: Through the Years.  Rogers will share recollections about his life and multifaceted career during the chat, which will be augmented by archival videos and photos.

The event will be included in the price of admission for those visiting the museum, and will be free to museum members.  If you can't attend, you'll be able to watch the interview live that day at 3:30 p.m. ET at CountryMusicHallofFame.org/streaming.

Rogers' exhibit opens August 15 and runs through June 14, 2015.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

07/25/2014 07:00:48pm

Paul Drinkwater/NBCLionel Richie, currently touring the U.S. with his hit-packed show, will be honored for his skills as a live performer at this year's Billboard Touring Awards.

Lionel will receive the Billboard "Legend of Live" award at the event, which takes place November 20 in New York City.  The "Legend of Live" award is given to artists who've made "significant and lasting contributions to live music and the touring industry."  It also recognizes "professionalism and steadfast commitment to the art and craft of live performance and reaching fans through the concert experience."

That certainly describes Lionel, who's been thrilling audiences around the globe for decades, first as part of the Commodores, and then as a solo artist. His current tour, with special guest Cee Lo Green, wraps up August 2 in Bethel, NY.

In a statement, Ray Waddell [wah-DELL], Billboard's executive director for touring and live entertainment, says, "Mr. Richie is an international superstar whose talent transcends musical trends. His fans span generations, and he is committed to making his live shows the best possible experience, and, as such, he personifies a Legend of Live."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

07/25/2014 03:00:46pm

David Wolff-Patrick/Redferns via Getty ImagesPeter Frampton has announced some interesting new additions to his 2014 tour itinerary.  The veteran guitar whiz, who recently wrapped up a series of co-headlining shows with The Doobie Brothers. will begin a run of late-summer solo dates on July 30 in Sterling Heights, Michigan, before launching a new installment of his Frampton's Guitar Circus concerts on August 21 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Blues great Buddy Guy will appear at all eight 2014 Guitar Circus events, while Frampton's other special guests during the trek include Robert Randolph, ex-Eagles guitarist Don Felder, founding Guess Who/Bachman Turner Overdrive member Randy Bachman, Los Lobos' David Hidalgo and the one and only B.B. King.  Check Frampton's schedule below to find out which renowned guitarists will be featured at each date of the Guitar Circus, which winds down on August 31 in Tucson, Arizona.

In addition, Frampton has more than a dozen more headlining concerts lined up for late summer and early fall.  Those shows run from a September 14 appearance at the Blues & Brews Festival in Telluride, Colorado, through an October 5 concert in Hollywood, Florida.

Frampton currently is promoting his recently released mini-album Hummingbird in a Box, which features music he composed for his 2013 collaboration with the Cincinnati Ballet.

Here are all of Frampton's confirmed 2014 tour dates:

7/30 -- Sterling Heights, MI, Freedom Hill Amphitheatre
8/1 -- Manistee, MI, Little River Casino Resort
8/2 -- New Lenox, IL, Community Center
8/3 -- Carmel, IN, The Center for the Performing Arts
8/6 -- West Allis, WI, Wisconsin State Fair Park
8/7 -- Benton Harbor, MI, The Mendel Center
8/8 -- Wisconsin Dells, WI, Crystal Grand Music Theatre
8/10 -- Littleton, CO, The Hudson Gardens and Event Center
8/11 -- Pueblo, CO, Memorial Hall
8/13 -- Albuquerque, New Mexico, Popejoy Hall
8/15 -- Chandler, AZ, Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino
8/16 -- Laughlin, NV, Edgewater Casino Resort
8/17 -- Jackpot, NV, Cactus Pete's Casino
8/19 -- Sandy, UT, Sandy Amphitheater
*+8/21 -- Jacksonville, OR, Britt Pavilion
*#8/23 -- Goldendale, WA, Maryhill Winery
*#8/24 -- Woodinville, WA, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
*@8/26 -- Saratoga, CA, The Mountain Winery
*+@$8/27 -- Los Angeles, CA, Hollywood Bowl
*@8/29 -- Visalia, CA, Oval Park
*#8/30 -- Valley Center, CA, Harrah's Rincon - The Events Center
*+%8/31 -- Tucson, AZ, AVA Amphitheater
9/14 -- Telluride, CO, Blues & Brews Festival
9/16 -- Prescott, AZ, Yavapai College Performance Hall
9/19 -- Rancho Mirage, CA, Aqua Caliente Casino
9/20 -- Reno, NV, Grand Sierra Resort & Casino
9/21 -- Glen Ellen, CA, B.R. Cohn Winery
9/23 -- El Paso, TX, Plaza Theater
9/25 -- Stafford, TX, Stafford Centre Performing Arts
9/26 -- Shreveport, LA, Municipal Auditorium
9/27 -- Biloxi, MS, IP Casino Resort
9/30 -- Jacksonville, FL, Florida Theater
10/1 -- Sarasota, FL, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
10/3 -- Clearwater, FL, Ruth Eckerd Hall
10/4 -- Orlando, FL, WMMO Downtown Concert Series
10/5 -- Hollywood, FL, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

* = Guitar Circus show with Buddy Guy
+ = with Robert Randolph
# = with Don Felder
@ = with Randy Bachman
$ = with Los Lobos' David Hidalgo
% = with B.B. King.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

07/25/2014 03:00:44pm

Reprise RecordsTom Petty & the Heartbreakers' latest album, Hypnotic Eye, arrives in stores this Tuesday, July 29, but fans can check out the record in its entirety from now until Monday at Amazon.

The album is available in a variety of configurations, including a standard CD, standard vinyl LP, high-quality FLAC digital download, Blu-ray Audio, and limited-edition two-LP set on 180-gram vinyl.  Most versions of the release feature 11 tracks, but the Blu-ray Audio and double-LP editions also include a bonus track titled "Playing Dumb."

As previously reported, Petty and his band will kick off a North American tour in support of Hypnotic Eye with an August 3 concert in San Diego.  Steve Winwood will serve as the opening act on the trek, which is scheduled through an October 10 show in Los Angeles.

Petty has posted some photos and a couple of brief video clips of him and The Heartbreakers rehearsing for the tour on his official Instagram site.  One clip shows the band rocking out to Hypnotic Eye's lead track, "American Dream Plan B."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

07/25/2014 11:00:17am

Image Courtesy of Scott PoiznerDoobie Brothers singer/guitarist Tom Johnston has revealed some new details about the upcoming collaborative album featuring reinterpretations of many of the band's classic songs by various country artists.  In a recent interview with LagniappeMobile.com, the veteran rocker reported that the record will be titled Southbound, and that it's scheduled for a November 4 release.

Among the many country stars featured on the album are Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Zac Brown Band, Toby Keith, Chris Young, Sara Evans and Love & Theft.  Johnston also revealed that Vince Gill, Hunter Hayes and veteran Nashville session musician and producer Dann Huff lent their guitar talents to the project.  As previously reported, ex-Doobie Brothers member Michael McDonald also participated in the album, and Tom explained that his former band mate played keyboards on new versions of the songs on which he originally appeared.

With regard to the many respected musicians who took part in the recording, Johnston said, "It's quite the lineup.  We were kinda blown away that these folks would be interested in jumping on board with us, but they were eager to do it."

As for how he thinks the album turned out, Tom said, "It's been an interesting project and having heard the results, I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised."

Meanwhile, The Doobie Brothers currently are in the middle of a busy North American tour that includes a few co-headlining shows with Boston that are scheduled for early August.  The band's 2014 itinerary is mapped out through an October 31 concert in Rama, Canada.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

07/25/2014 06:00:43am

AEG LivePhiladelphia isn't far from New Jersey, which is why Jon Bon Jovi has devoted a lot of his humanitarian efforts to the City of Brotherly Love.  Now, he'll be getting an award for it.

This November 18, Jon will receive the 2014 Marian Anderson Award, named after the late singer and Philadelphia native Marian Anderson, who became the first African-American soloist at the Metropolitan Opera.  The award is presented annually to "critically acclaimed artists who have impacted society in a positive way, either through their work, or their support for an important cause."  Past recipients include Elizabeth Taylor, Bill Cosby, James Earl Jones and Harry Belafonte.

Jon's charity, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, was founded in Philadelphia, and has worked to provide food and shelter to homeless and low-income families in Philly and across the country. 

In a statement, Jon said, "It's a great honor to be recognized by the great city of Philadelphia in receiving this prestigious award. The JBJ Soul Foundation originated in Philadelphia...and will continue to reach those in need, both locally and nationally. Through the 'power of WE,' we can end homelessness and hunger."

Marian Anderson Award board chair Nina C.Tinari said in a statement, "This year, we wanted to single out an artist whose work is not only global, but also deeply invested here in Philadelphia....We also wanted to highlight the impact of an individual who is in the forefront of artists who have made the choice to help change the world for the better."

Continuing his humanitarian efforts, on July 30, Jon and his solo band, the Kings of Suburbia, will play a fundraising show in Red Bank, New Jersey, to benefit a local health center.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

07/24/2014 07:00:19pm

Image Courtesy of Fashion Rocks!KISS and Duran Duran are among the famous acts that will celebrate the connection between style and music when they perform at this year's Fashion Rocks concert.  CBS will air the event live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 9.  Other stars on the bill include Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, Usher, Miranda Lambert and The Band Perry.

Ryan Seacrest will host the bash, and more artists will be added to the bill in the coming weeks.  Tickets for the 2014 Fashion Rocks event will go on sale to the general public on Friday, August 1, at 10 a.m. ET via Ticketmaster, Ticketmaster.com and BarclaysCenter.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.  American Express Card members will have the chance to purchase pre-sale tickets beginning this Monday at 10 a.m.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

07/24/2014 07:00:18pm

Image Courtesy of William HamesMr. Big has announced some unfortunate news about one of its founding members.  Pat Torpey, the pop-metal band's longtime drummer, has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and will not be able to continue his normal duties with the group when the rockers head out on their tour in support of their upcoming album, …The Stories We Could Tell.

"I've been dealing with Parkinson's symptoms for the past couple of years and only recently received a confirmed diagnosis as symptoms worsened," reveals Torpey in a statement.  "I intend to fight the disease with same intensity and tenacity that I drum and live my life by and will continue recording and performing, as always, to the best of my ability."

Mr. Big intends to announce a new touring drummer soon, although the band expects that Pat will get behind the kit for select songs during its upcoming shows, as well as take part in the group's regular acoustic set.

The band's next confirmed concert is scheduled for October 14 in Manila, Philippines.  Mr. Big is best known for the chart-topping 1991 single, "To Be with You," and also scored hits with 1992's "Just Take Heart" and a 1993 cover of Cat Stevens' "Wild World."  …The Stories We Could Tell is due out in September.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

07/24/2014 07:00:17pm

Ross Halfin/MSO PR; Mary McCartney/MPL CommunicationsTwo of the rock world's biggest stars came together recently for a very interesting studio collaboration.  Aerosmith's Joe Perry revealed to the Chicago Sun-Times in a phone interview earlier this week that he did a recording session "with Paul McCartney a month and a half ago for a private thing."

The guitar great explained that he'd previously met the Beatles legend briefly "once or twice" over the years, but this time he got to "spend six or eight hours in studio with him."

So, what was it like working with Sir Paul?  "He makes you feel like [you're recording with just another guy].  He just happens to be a motherf**king huge talent!" Perry declared.  "Everyone’s in the room at once; you play until you get a good take."

Also on hand for the session were Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp, the latter of whom is mutual friends with Cooper, Perry and McCartney.  Joe recalled of the star-studded gathering, "[T]he three of us are looking at each other like, hey, we're sitting here with Paul McCartney!  And we're all looking at each other like open-mouthed kids."

Perry added, "Paul was really nice.  He's all about business [when he's recording].  At 72 he can still hit all those notes."

As for what the recording is for, Perry would say only, "It's a project that we're keeping under wraps for now.  There will be [an announcement when the time is right]."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

07/24/2014 03:00:11pm

Bushbranch Records/Surfdog RecordsEric Clapton's star-studded JJ Cale tribute album The Breeze won't be released until this Tuesday, but you can preview a couple of tracks from the collection now at different locations on the Internet.

GuitarWorld.com is hosting the exclusive premiere of "Train to Nowhere," which features contributions from ex-Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler and longtime Cale bandmate Don White.  The song is one that Cale, who died in July 2013 at the age of 74, had never recorded.

Billboard.com, meanwhile, is streaming "Don't Wait," which sees Clapton teaming up with John Mayer.

The album, whose full title is Eric Clapton & Friends: The Breeze, An Appreciation of JJ Cale, boasts renditions of 16 Cale compositions, and also features such other acclaimed music artists as Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, Derek Trucks, David Lindley and Albert Lee.

Cale was a longtime friend of and musical influence on Eric.  He's probably best known for writing the Clapton hits "After Midnight" and "Cocaine," and he also teamed up with Slowhand for the 2006 collaborative album, The Road to Escondido.

Meanwhile, Clapton tells Billboard that he's planning to record a number of additional unreleased and/or unfinished songs by JJ for inclusion on his own upcoming projects.

"I have to finish them.  It would be wrong not to bring them to a finished point," notes Eric.  "So that's the next thing.  I've got time booked to finish those tracks and mix them, and then with [his widow] Christine's permission and [his manager Mike Kappus'] permission I'll put them on albums…I'll just include them in any other things I carry on doing."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

07/24/2014 11:01:03am

Image Courtesy of Jo LopezThe Doors' Robby Krieger lent some of his trademark flamenco-style guitar licks to "Her Bullets Energy," a new song by John Garcia, founding lead singer of the stoner-rock group Kyuss.  The track closes out Garcia's upcoming self-titled debut solo album, which will be released on August 5.

Garcia tells Rolling Stone that the idea to get Krieger to contribute to "Her Bullets Energy" came from producer Harper Hug, who's friends with Robby and who decided after hearing the song that a flamenco guitar would fit in well on it.

"I pretty much fell over from my chair and said, 'Do you think he would do it?'" recalls Garcia.

Krieger, meanwhile, reveals to Rolling Stone that the track was the first project he recorded in the new studio he's been building with Hug and sound engineer Michael Dumas.

"We're calling it Horse Latitudes," he says of the facility.  "Harper played me a song that I really liked, and we decided to try recording some of my flamenco guitar on it…We did it in the big room, and it sounded awesome."

With regard to having the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer featured on his song, Garcia says, "If someone told me at 19 years old, when I wrote 'Her Bullets Energy,' that Robby Krieger would be playing on it, I would have told them, 'You're out of your mind and go jump in a lake.'"

John Garcia also includes guest appearances by Danko Jones and ex-Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri.

"Her Bullets Energy" currently is streaming on RollingStone.com.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

07/24/2014 11:01:03am

Kristin Burns/Warner Bros.Stevie Nicks hinted earlier this year that she might release some older songs that had never seen the light of day.  Now, she's making good on that tease: her new album 24 Karat Gold -- Songs from the Vault is due October 7.

According to Stevie, the album features mostly songs written between 1969 and 1987, with two that were written in 1994 and 1995.  "Each song is a lifetime.  Each song has a soul.  Each song has a purpose. Each song is a love story," she says in a statement. "They represent my life behind the scenes, the secrets, the broken hearts, the broken-hearted and the survivors. These songs are the memories -- the 24 karat gold rings in the blue box. These songs are for you."

The artwork for the album includes never-before-seen Polaroid photos taken by Stevie throughout her career.

24 Karat Gold -- Songs from the Vault is available for pre-order starting August 5.  That same day, Stevie will debut her new, official Instagram account, StevieNicksOfficial, where she'll begin previewing snippets of the music.

In addition, a limited edition double vinyl version of 24 Karat Gold -- Songs from the Vault will come out September 29.  Also available will be a Deluxe Photobook CD, which will include two bonus tracks, as well as 48 pages of exclusive photos from Stevie's personal collection.

Stevie and Fleetwood Mac will hit the road for their On with the Show tour -- featuring the return of Christine McVie -- starting September 30 in Minneapolis.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

07/24/2014 10:53:43am

Farm AidThis year's Farm Aid benefit show will take place on September 13 in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the lineup includes all the usual suspects, plus one new face: Jack White.

White will join Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Neil Young on the bill at the event, which takes place at Raleigh's Walnut Creek Amphitheater.  Tickets go on sale August 1 at 10 a.m. ET.  Others on the bill include country star Jamey Johnson, the Preservation Jazz Hall Band, and the group Delta Rae.

In a statement, Willie Nelson, Farm Aid's president, says, "In North Carolina and across the Southeast, family farmers have struggled to stay on the land, but they have also pioneered new roads to economic sustainability. This region knows the value of its farmers and offers increasing opportunities for new farmers to build a strong regional food system."

He adds, "On the Farm Aid stage Saturday, September 13, we'll celebrate family farmers and the healthy communities they're growing for all of us."

Mellencamp added in a statement that Farm Aid has a "fair-like feeling," explaining, "All day long, people are performing onstage and food from family farmers is being served. It’s a great occasion for families to come listen to great music and teach their children about where their food comes from."

Farm Aid was inspired by something Bob Dylan said at Live Aid in 1985: he noted that he hoped some of the money raised would go to help farmers who were in danger of losing their farms because they couldn't pay their mortgages.  Later that same year, the first Farm Aid concert was held in Champaign, Illinois, with a massive lineup of performers, including Dylan, Mellencamp, Nelson and Young, plus Bon Jovi, Bonnie Raitt, Lou Reed, Carole King, Huey Lewis, Roy Orbison, Billy Joel and dozens more.  Since then, Farm Aid events have raised $45 million to support family farmers.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

07/24/2014 09:50:06am

Image Courtesy of CBSAerosmith is scheduled to be out on tour with Slash through a September 12 show in Nova Scotia, Canada, but guitarist Joe Perry says fans will have quite a bit to look forward to after he and his band mates wrap up their 2014 itinerary.

As previously reported, Perry will be releasing his autobiography, Rocks: My Life in and out of Aerosmith, on October 7, and he reveals to ArtistDirect.com that he's also about halfway done with a new solo album.

"I've got about six songs I'm really excited about," Perry tells the website.  "I want to get into them as soon as possible.  That's the main focus now."

The 63-year-old rocker also says he'll spend about a month promoting his book, including some in-store signing appearances.

"We're thinking of different ways to use the Internet to promote it," Joe adds, revealing that he's planning to release four free songs that are "really representative of some of my solo work" to those who purchase the memoir.

In addition, Perry tells ArtistDirect.com that Steven Tyler also is hoping to complete a solo album, and says that Aerosmith may even "get together and do another record" sometime next year.

Aerosmith's next concert is scheduled for this Friday in Tinley Park, Illinois.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

07/24/2014 06:00:03am