Q1370 News 60's, 70's & 80's

Robert Plant says he and his solo band have "about 40 different instrumental ideas" for a new album

Robert Plant says he and members of his backing band The Sensational Space Shifters have been amassing material for a potential follow-up to his 2017 studio album, Carry Fire, and they may soon be hitting a recording studio to start the project.

"Between The Sensational Space Shifters' guitarists Justin Adams and Liam 'Skin' Tyson and everybody, we've got about 40 different instrumental ideas already," the Led Zeppelin legend tells Classic Rockmagazine.

Robert also reports that he and the group may work on the album in Nashville.

"[T]here are some things in the air, possibly in Nashville. I'm supposed to be going there in two weeks' time," he notes. "There's nothing going on at all at the moment, but there will be."

Plant points out that in recent years, he and The Sensational Space Shifters have been working on their recordings with Tim Oliver, the manager of Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios.

"[W]e can mess about in there," Plant says of the facility, which is located in Wiltshire, U.K. "I can spend an afternoon with Tim and really shift styles and stems of music in preparation to shape them as songs."

He adds, "We've recorded the last two records [Carry Fire and 2014's Lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar] with Tim and it's a great way of doing things. It's a good combination. We all know where we're going."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Queen launches FreddieMeter, allowing fans to rate how well they can mimic Freddie Mercury

Hey Queen fans, are you ready for the Freddie Challenge? Today, the band has teamed up with YouTube Music to launch FreddieMeter, an Artificial Intelligence-powered singing challenge that rates how closely you can mimic the vocals of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.

Fans logging on to the FreddieMeter microsite can choose one of four Queen classics to test their vocal prowess -- "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Don't Stop Me Now," "Somebody to Love" and "We Are the Champions."

The meter was created by Google researchers, and rates pitch, melody and timbre.

After belting out a song and getting your score, you're encouraged to share it on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook social media sites, then nominate three friends to take the challenge using the hashtag #FreddieChallenge. You also can spread the word by retweeting or resharing posts from @youtubemusic, @youtube and @Queen.

Perhaps most importantly, in your post, you can encourage people to donate to Mercury Phoenix Trust, the charity co-founded in Freddie's memory by Queen guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and manager Jim Beach to help in the fight to end HIV/AIDS.

As a bonus, fans taking the Freddie Challenge can take a video of their performance and include that in their social media posts.

The launch of the FreddieMeter coincides with the 44th anniversary of Queen's first live performance of "Bohemian Rhapsody," which took place at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool, U.K.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

The Beatles ranked #1 on 'Billboard' magazine's new Top 125 Artists of All Time chart

In honor of Billboard's 125th anniversary, the magazine has put together a new chart, the Top 125 Artists of All Time, that's based on appearances on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart and Billboard 200 albums tally.

Not surprisingly, The Beatles score the top spot on the all-time chart, followed at #2 by The Rolling Stones and at #3 by Elton John. Other veteran pop and rock acts landing in the tally's top 10 include Mariah Carey at #4, Madonna at #5, Barbra Streisand at #6, Michael Jacksonat #7, Stevie Wonder at #9 and Chicago at #10.

Among the many standout chart achievements the Fab Four have amassed: The most #1 hits in the history of the Hot 100 -- 20 -- and the most #1 albums on the Billboard 200 with 19.

Those 19 albums spent a collective total of 132 weeks atop the Billboard 200, 80 more weeks in all than the artist with the second-most weeks at #1 on the tally, Garth Brooks.

The Beatles also are famously the only act ever to hold the top five slots simultaneously on the Hot 100: On April 4, 1964, "Can't Buy Me Love" was #1, "Twist and Shout" was #2, "She Loves You" was #3, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" was #4 and "Please Please Me" was #5.

Two individual Beatles, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, also appear on Billboard's all-time chart thanks to their solo accomplishments, with McCartney landing at #12 and Harrison at #124.

Other veteran artists featured in the upper portion of the all-time tally: Whitney Houston at #11, Elvis Presleyat #13, Janet Jackson at #14, Rod Stewart at #15, Prince at #17, Billy Joel at #19, Herb Alpert at #21 and Bruce Springsteen at #24.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

In new 'Billboard' story, Paul McCartney reflects on Beatles' success, shares update about 'Let It Be'-related film

Paul McCartney was interviewed for the cover story of the latest issue of Billboard, which celebrates the publication's 125th anniversary. In the article, the ex-Beatles legend discusses a wide range of topics, including his old band's massive success, a new Fab Four-related project and much more.

In conjunction with Billboard's 125th anniversary, the magazine compiled a new list of the Top 125 Artists of All Time based on chart success, and The Beatles took the top spot. Asked how he felt about the achievement, McCartney responds, "That's fantastic. They were a great group."

He also notes that one of the aspects of The Beatles that propelled them to succeed was the band members' competitiveness, as well as their interest in "trying to get better and develop."

Paul further explains, "That was the force behind The Beatles: We'd do one song, and it'd be a hit, and instead of doing another with the same formula, we'd say, 'OK, we've done that.' You listen to The Beatles' output and no two songs are alike."

McCartney also shares an update about the new film being put together with unused footage shot for the 1970 Beatles flick Let It Be.

"The director [Peter Jackson] tells me that the overall impression is of friends working together," Paul said of the new flick, "whereas because it was so close to The Beatles' breakup, my impression of the film was of a sad moment."

He adds, "It won't be called Let It Be, but there will be something [coming out]."

Meanwhile, McCartney reveals that he's in the process of finalizing a deal in which he'll reclaim his portion of the U.S. publishing rights to Beatles songs from Sony/ATV. At one time during the mid-1980s, Paul was outbid for those rights by Michael Jackson.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Founding Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers bassist Ron Blair says he's preparing his first-ever solo project

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers bassist Ron Blair says he and his band mates are still mourning the 2017 loss of Petty, but admits that Tom's tragic passing has given him the chance to work on a long-gestating solo project.

"I've always written songs…[but] you really can't have a side career and be [Tom's] bass player," Ron explains to ABC Audio. "So…I've kind of put all that on hold till now."

Blair says he's about to release an original solo song called "Alchemy of Love," which he hopes will eventually be a part of a full album.

"It's a little reminiscent of the Heartbreakers band, but it's definitely my own thing," he maintains. "I've got the same kind of roots and…I love the same types of music, and I want to proceed full speed ahead into that."

His main collaborators are a San Diego-based group called the Chris Torres Band, with whom he's been playing regular live.

"It's pretty good stuff," says Blair of the solo material. "[I]t's done with a lot of love and really inclusive…I'm obviously proud of it and…intend to do some more of that."

Ron says that a couple of guest artists also have lent their talents to his solo tracks -- longtime Heartbreakers drummer Steve Ferrone and current Rolling Stones backing singer Bernard Fowler.

Blair reports he's working on a separate project with the Chris Torres Band as well, and that a cover of the Steve Winwood-penned Blind Faith gem "Can't Find My Way Home" likely will be released soon.

In addition, Ron has been working on an album by Hattie Webb, who sang backup on tour with Petty and the Heartbreakers. "We must have six or eight songs that are really interesting songs," he says.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Mick Fleetwood gathering all-star lineup for 2020 UK tribute show to ex-Fleetwood Mac frontman Peter Green

Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood is organizing a special star-studded U.K. tribute concert honoring the early blues years of his famous band and the group's original frontman, singer/guitarist Peter Green.

The show will take place February 25, 2020, at the London Palladium and will feature performances by Pink Floyd's David GilmourZZ Top's Billy GibbonsAerosmith's Steve Tyler, Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie, ex-Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, U.K. blues legend John Mayall, longtime Who touring drummer Zak Starkey, and singer/songwriter/guitarist Jonny Lang.

Mick will be part of the event's house band, which also will include acclaimed session guitarist Andy Fairweather Low, Fleetwood Mac touring keyboardist Ricky Peterson and journeyman bassist Dave Bronze.

"The concert is a celebration of those early blues days where we all began, and it's important to recognize the profound impact Peter and the early Fleetwood Mac had on the world of music," Mick says in a statement. "Peter was my greatest mentor and it gives me such joy to pay tribute to his incredible talent."

Concert tickets concert will go on sale to the general public Friday, November 15, at 10 a.m. U.K. time, while pre-sale tickets will be available starting Wednesday, November 13, at 10 a.m. U.K. time at LWTheatres.co.uk.

Part of the show's proceeds will be donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust, a U.K. charity that provides specialized nursing care and emotional support to young people with cancer.

Green, now 73, founded Fleetwood Mac in July 1967 with Mick Fleetwood and guitarist Jeremy Spencer, while bassist John McVie joined the group soon after. Green left the band in 1970 while struggling with mental health issues.

Visit MickFleetwood.com for more details about "Mick Fleetwood & Friends Celebrate the Music of Peter Green and the Early Years of Fleetwood Mac."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Ex-Blondie bassist Nigel Harrison contributes to new cover of Patti Smith's "People Have the Power"

Former Blondie bassist Nigel Harrison has teamed up with soulful Seattle-based singer Renee Holiday on a modern-sounding new cover of the 1988 Patti Smith anthem "People Have the Power," which will be part of an upcoming compilation seeking to encourage people to vote in the 2020 elections.

The album, Stop, Hey What's That Sound: Classic Protest Songs Reimagined, will be released on January 31, 2020, on veteran producer, songwriter and musician Roger McEvoy Greenawalt's Petaluma Records label. Greenawalt has overseeing the project, which features a variety of his musical friends offering up re-worked versions of memorable political-themed tunes, mostly from the late 1960s and early '70s.

Among the tracks are songs by Joni MitchellJohn FogertyJohn LennonNeil YoungStevie Wonder and Curtis Mayfield.

Harrison and Holiday's rendition of "People Have the Power" is available now as a digital single and via streaming services. Proceeds from the track will support Headcount.org, the nonprofit organization that helps facilitate voter registration.

A lyric video for the "People Have the Power" cover featuring Holiday premiered Thursday on AudioFemme.com, and you also can watch the clip now on YouTube.

Holiday, who previously recorded under the stage name Shaprece, says she had a great experience collaborating with Harrison.

"He is so kind, and such an encouraging person to work with!" she tells AudioFemme.com. "He complimented me on my professionalism, ability to learn a song on the spot, and perform it with confidence. I was majorly flattered and appreciative to get that sort of feedback from rock royalty."

Nigel played bass in Blondie from 1978 to 1982, and co-wrote a few of the group's popular tunes, including "One Way or Another," "Union City Blue" and "Eat to the Beat."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Whitney Houston's lover claims Eddie Murphy tried to stop singer from marrying Bobby Brown

In addition to revealing that they had a physical relationship, Whitney Houston's former assistant and lover Robyn Crawford is sharing even more details about the Grammy Award-winning singer and star.

In her book, A Song for You: My Life With Whitney Houston, excerpted by People, Crawford reveals that Houston became smitten with Eddie Murphy, even while she was being courted by Bobby Brown.

"She was more interested in Eddie Murphy, but he was elusive," Crawford writes, adding that Whitney "lost herself" in trying to get with the comedian.

Crawford even recalls a time where Whitney invited Murphy to dinner at her New Jersey mansion, but unfortunately, plans did not go as expected.

"One day when Eddie was supposed to come for dinner, I caught a glimpse of Whitney," writes Crawford. "She was wearing a black dress and low-heeled slingbacks. For a moment, I thought, 'Boy, I wish she was doing that for me.'"

According to Crawford, Murphy "never showed up that night," a rejection that left Whitney devastated.

However, Crawford says Murphy may have had a change of heart, because on the morning of her July 18, 1992, wedding to Bobby Brown, Whitney got a unexpected call from the Murphy.

"[That day], Eddie Murphy called to say she was making a mistake," Crawford writes, "but she pressed ahead."

A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston will be published November 12. You can see Crawford's full interview on Dateline, which airs Saturday at 9 p.m ET/8 p.m. CT on NBC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Robert Freeman, whose photos graced several classic Beatles albums, dead at 82

Robert Freeman, a photographer whose images of The Beatles were used for the covers of several of the Fab Four's albums, has died. According to NME, he was 82.

Freeman photos are featured on With The Beatles and its U.S. counterpart Meet The Beatles, as well as Beatles For SaleA Hard Day's NightHelp!and Rubber Soul

Surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr both have posted online tributes to Freeman.

"He was one of our favorite photographers during the Beatles years who came up with some of our most iconic album covers," McCartney writes in a message on his official website. "Besides being a great professional he was imaginative and a true original thinker."

Sir Paul notes that the cover shot for the Meet The Beatles album wasn't "a carefully arranged studio shot," as people often thought, but rather "it was taken quite quickly by Robert in the corridor of a hotel we were staying in where natural light came from the windows at the end of the corridor."

Also in the tribute, McCartney recalls how the distorted image used for the Rubber Soul album cover came about by accident as Freeman was aligning a projection of the intended photo on a white card that had fallen over.

Paul ends his homage by saying, "I will miss this wonderful man but will always cherish the fond memories I have of him."

Starr, meanwhile, tweeted a simple message that says, "God bless Robert Freeman peace and love to all his family," followed by a series of emojis including -- of course -- peace and love.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" back on the 'Billboard' Hot 100 thanks to Halloween

Despite controversy, Michael Jackson's music continues to have an impact on the charts.

As Billboard tallies Halloween's effect on sales and streams this year, the publication reports that Michael's Halloween classic "Thriller" has reappeared on the Hot 100 at number 44. 

As Billboard notes, it's the second straight year that the song has returned to the Hot 100; last year it re-entered the chart at number 31. Older songs can appear on the Hot 100 if they sell and/or stream enough to make the top 50 and, as Billboard puts it, if the song can show "a meaningful reason" for its revival.

"Thriller" experienced a 200% sales boost, and a 136% streaming boost.

The best-selling Halloween song of the week, though, is "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers, scoring a 253% sales increase and a 312% streaming boost.

Other songs that got big sales and streaming boosts last week include Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters," Danny Elfman's "This Is Halloween," and the theme to the 1978 movie Halloween.

Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London," Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper" and Oingo Boingo's"Dead Man's Party" were also all popular in sales this year.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne featured on soundtrack to new Johnny Cash documentary 'The Gift'

Bruce Springsteen and Jackson Browne appear on the soundtrack album of the new documentary The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash.  It's premiering this Monday on YouTube Originals after being screened at select film festivals earlier this year.

The soundtrack, which was released today, features the original music score created for the movie by Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, blended with interview soundbites from Johnny Cash, Springsteen, Browne, June Carter CashLoretta Lynn and others.

Bruce is featured in a segment called "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" in which he comments about the set Cash played at his famous 1968 Folsom Prison concert.

"[It] was a combination of sin and salvation," Springsteen notes. "That was the rule in country music: Saturday night, Sunday morning. Sunday morning was about repenting, repenting for the fun you had on Saturday night."

Browne, meanwhile, is heard in a segment titled "Bitter Tears Revisited" that offers commentary about Cash's 1964 concept album focusing about the plight of Native Americans.

The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash was directed by frequent Springsteen collaborator Thom Zimny, who utilized a bounty of rare archival interviews with Cash to create a profile of the country legend and his artistic triumphs, struggles with addiction, personal tragedies, spirituality and more.

Also in conjunction with The Gift, Johnny's son, John Carter Cash collaborated with Zimny on a special playlist that features the soundtrack segments, along with a career-spanning selection of songs by Johnny.

As previously reported, on Sunday, November 10 -- the eve of The Gift's YouTube premiere - a star-studded tribute show called Cash Fest will take place at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville. Check out full details at TheBestFest.com.

Here's The Gift soundtrack's track list:

"The Gift" -- Music: Mike McCready; Spoken Word: Johnny Cash
"A Passing Train"
"Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" -- Music: Mike McCready; Spoken Word: Bruce Springsteen
"Memories of Dyess, Arkansas; A Brother's Loss" -- Music: Mike McCready; Spoken Word: Johnny Cash
"The Promised Land" -- Music: Mike McCready; Spoken Word: Johnny Cash
"June and The Rambler" -- Music: Mike McCready; Spoken Word: Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash
"Forgiveness of Father and Son" -- Music: Mike McCready; Spoken Word: Ray Cash, Johnny Cash, John Carter Cash
"Bitter Tears Recalled" -- Music: Mike McCready; Spoken Word: John Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, Paul Muldoon, Jackson Browne, Bill Miller 
"The Cave, The Darkness, and the Presence of Light" -- Music: Mike McCready; Spoken Word: Johnny Cash
"Matthew 24; Luke 4" -- Music: Mike McCready; Spoken Word: Johnny Cash
"June and the Carter Family" -- Music: Mike McCready; Spoken Word: Lou Robin, Johnny Cash, John Carter Cash, Loretta Lynn
"Rick Rubin and New Inspiration" -- Music: Mike McCready; Spoken Word: Johnny Cash
"Hopes of Heaven" -- Music: Mike McCready; Spoken Word: Johnny Cash

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Brian May, Joe Walsh to play all-star Nashville charity concert hosted by ex-Elvis Presley guitarist James Burton

This Tuesday in Nashville, a jaw-dropping lineup of music stars will participate in a special charity concert headlined and hosted by former Elvis Presley and Ricky Nelson guitarist James Burton.

The James Burton & Friends concert will feature Queen's Brian MayJoe WalshSammy HagarThe MonkeesMicky Dolenz, ex-Chicago singer Jason Scheff, former Doobie Brothers guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and soul guitar legend Steve Cropper.

The show, at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center, will feature the various artists playing noteworthy songs from Burton's six-decade career.  It'll raise money for the James Burton Foundation, which help provide guitars to school music programs, children's hospitals and veterans.

Other performers on the bill: Paul Shaffer, acclaimed session guitarist Albert LeeStray Cats drummer Slim Jim PhantomJohnny Cash's son John Carter Cash and Roy Orbison's sons Roy Jr.Alex and Wesley.

General admission tickets are available at NashvilleSymphony.org. VIP packages, which include premium seating and a meet-and-greet, can be purchased by contacting the James Burton Foundation by phone at 318-424-5000 or by email at JamesBurtonFest@aol.com.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Joe Walsh promises a couple of surprise guests will perform at star-studded VetsAid 2019 charity show

Just a reminder that Joe Walsh's third annual VetsAid concert benefiting the Eagles guitarist's non-profit veterans organization of the same name takes place Sunday, November 10, on the eve of Veteran's Day, at the Toyota Center in Houston.

Joining Walsh at the show will be ZZ TopThe Doobie BrothersSheryl Crow, country star Brad Paisley and Americana act Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit. The concert will start at 5:30 p.m. local time.

Walsh tells People magazine that fans who attend the event will be treated to surprise appearances by at least two famous guest artists.

"I've got to keep them under wraps! But yeah, there's a couple…old boys," Joe reveals. "You never know who's going to show up, but I'm aware of a couple of surprises that are going to make a big difference to the crowd."

As for how he feels about the artists taking part in VetsAid, Walsh says, "A lot of people were able to rearrange their schedules so that they could make this show, and I'm really grateful."

Tickets for VetsAid 2019 are on sale now, and are available at the Toyota Center box office, at ToyotaCenter.com or by calling 1-866-4-HOUTIX.

Through a vetting process in coordination with the National Association of Veterans Serving Organizations, VetsAid recently chose 18 veterans charities to which it will distribute the proceeds from this year's show. Eight will receive large grants and 10 will get small grants. The first two VetsAid concerts brought in a total of $1.2 million.

Meanwhile, as previously reported, Walsh will serve as Grand Marshal of the "Houston Salutes American Heroes Veterans Day Celebration" on Monday, November 11. He also will deliver a keynote speech at the event, which will include a parade through the streets of Houston.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

John Fogerty says his new concert film '50 Year Trip: Live at Red Rocks' "was a wonderful journey"

John Fogerty's new concert film 50 Year Trip: Live at Red Rocks will be screened in select theaters across the U.S. today, Veterans Day. The movie, which documents a June 2019 show that the ex-Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman played at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, was preceded by the release of a companion live album on Friday.

The concert was part of Fogerty's ongoing My 50 Year Trip tour, which celebrates the half-century anniversaries of CCR's breakout year and the Woodstock festival. The show featured a bevy of Creedence classics, two of John's solo hits and covers of several songs performed by various artists at Woodstock.

Fogerty tells ABC Audio that watching the multifaceted performance "was a wonderful journey."

The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer notes that it was his wife Julie's idea for him to play the Woodstock tribute tunes, which included The Who's "My Generation," Sly & the Family Stone's "Everyday People" and "Dance to the Music," and a Joe Cocker-style rendition of The Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends."

"It gave me a wonderful opportunity to actually learn and perform these songs that I love…and it was a lot of fun," declares John.

The show also included a Jimi Hendrix tribute featuring a performance of "The Star Spangled Banner," not by Fogerty but by his son Shane, who plays in John's touring band.

"I get to stand just off stage watching him, and it's just remarkable," John gushes. "Every night he plays that guitar and…he's gotten better and better and better as he's gone along."

Interspersed throughout the performance are interview segments in which Fogerty shares recollections and tells stories about some of the famous songs he created.

Visit FathomEvents.com to check out screening locations for 50 Year Trip.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Late Cars frontman Ric Ocasek cut estranged wife Paulina Porizkova out of his will

Late Cars frontman Ric Ocasek cut his estranged wife, Paulina Porizkova, out of his will, according to public documents obtained by Page Six.

Page Six reports that Ocasek's will features a section that reads, "I have made no provision for my wife Paulina Porizkova…as we are in the process of divorcing…Even if I should die before our divorce is final…Paulina is not entitled to any elective share…because she has abandoned me."

Ric signed the will on August 28 of this year, less than three weeks before his death.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and the supermodel separated in 2017 after 28 years of marriage. The couple had two sons together, while Ric had four other sons from two previous marriages.

Ocasek died on September 15 at age 75 of heart disease while recovering from unspecified surgery that, according to Porizkova, took place two weeks before his passing and was not heart-related.

Following Ric's death, Paulina's spoke lovingly of him and revealed that despite their separation they still lived together.

In a note on her Instagram account posted in early October, Porizkova wrote that although Ocasek "could be aloof" and "not particularly social," "when he decided to turn his focus on you, it was as if the sun came out. His smile and his gaze warmed you and made you feel like the most special person in the world."

Following the publication of the Page Six article about Ocasek's will, Porizkova posted another Instagram notethat reads, "I've known about the will since the day after Ric passed. All you have heard from me since -- is inspite of that. #loveneverdies" The message is accompanied by a photo of Ric on a motor scooter and Paulina and their sons on bicycles, all smiling.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Adam Levine guest stars on new album by...Joe Pesci?

Over the years, Maroon 5'Adam Levine has made guest appearances on a number of songs for other artists, including rappers Kanye West and50 Cent, Guns 'N Roses guitarist Slash, musical comedy trio The Lonely Island, and pop group Gym Class Heroes.  But his latest guest appearance is the most improbable of all.

According to Entertainment Weekly, actor Joe Pesci, best known for his roles in My Cousin Vinny, Goodfellas, the Home Alone franchise andCasino, has announced that he'll be releasing a new album on November 29.  It's called Pesci...Still Singing, and it includes not just one, but two tracks featuring Adam. 

One track's a cover of Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie Amour," and the other is a song called "Baby Girl" that also features Latin music giant Arturo Sandoval.  You can listen to "Baby Girl" now.

This will be 76-year-old Pesci's third album, and it arrives two days after his latest film, Martin Scorsese'The Irishman, hits Netflix.  The actor, a former lounge singer, hasn't released an album since 1998's parody record Vincent Laguardia Gambini Sings Just for You.  His first album, Little Joe Sure Can Sing!, came out in 1968.

It's not clear how Adam and Pesci know each other.

Here's the Pesci...Still Singing track listing:

"How About You"
"Falling In Love is Wonderful"
"I Remember April"
"I’ll Be Seeing You"
"Round Midnight"
"If I Should Lose You"
"My Cherie Amour" (feat. Adam Levine)
"In My Solitude"
"Folks Who Live On The Hill"
"If I Ever Lost You"
"The Nearness of You" (feat. Jimmy Scott)
"Baby Girl" (feat. Adam Levine)

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Sting performing on two upcoming ABC holiday specials

Sting is one of a variety of music stars who are celebrating the holiday season with Disney.

The former Police frontman will be featured on two upcoming ABC holiday specials: The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration and Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade.

On Magical Holiday Celebration, which airs on on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, Sting will team up with his recent collaborator Shaggy for a reggae version of "Silent Night (Christmas Is Coming)."

On Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade, which airs Christmas Day, December 25, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer he'll play his rendition of the song "Soul Cake." Sting's performances will be filmed at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both specials will be hosted by former Glee star Matthew MorrisonThe Spice GirlsEmma Bunton and TV host Jesse Palmer. Other performers featured on the shows include Portugal. The ManPentatonixIngrid MichaelsonAndy Grammer and ex-Fifth Harmony singer Ally Brooke.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Billy Joel to continue stadium residency at Fenway Park with August 2020 show

It's a long way 'til next summer, but Billy Joel is already making plans to step up to the plate.

The Piano Man is continuing his "stadium residency" at Boston's Fenway Park by performing a seventh concert there on August 28, 2020.  The show follows six years of consecutive sellouts at the historic ballpark.

To mark the occasion, Billy and Fenway Park are donating four prime VIP tickets to every Red Sox home game during the season to raise money for two local charities: one in Billy's home turf of Long Island, New York and one in New England. 

The money from the sale of the tickets, valued at over $127,000, will go to the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association and the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association.  Billy fans are no doubt aware of his longtime support of commercial fishermen: his song "The Downeaster 'Alexa'" is about that very topic.

Tickets to the August 28 show go on sale to the general public November 15 starting at 10 a.m. ET via RedSox.com/BillyJoel.  American Express card members can access them from November 11 through 14.

In other Billy Joel ballpark news, he'll perform his first-ever solo stadium show in Cincinnati, Ohio on September 11, 2020, at Great American Ball Park.

“I am a huge Billy Joel fan,” says Reds and National Baseball  Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench.  “What sets Billy Joel’s music apart is how it makes you feel.  Every song evokes emotion, triggering memories from throughout my life.  Having him perform his timeless hits at the home of the Reds is going to be unforgettable. ”

Ticket sale days and times are the same as for the Fenway Park show, except the general public tickets for Cincinnati will go on sale via livenation.com.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Flea felt he'd be "cheating" if new memoir was about Red Hot Chili Peppers

Flea's new memoir, Acid for the Children, tells the story of the Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist's upbringing, but it ends just as the iconic band is starting up. That may be disappointing for rock fans looking for juicy Chili Peppers tidbits, but for Flea, it was important for his creative process to not rely on those stories.

"I thought if I wrote a book about the Chili Peppers, it'd be like cheating," Flea tells the BBC.

"But if I could write a book about my childhood that could exist on its own merits, without the band, then I deserved to write a book," he explains. "That was the challenge I set for myself."

Acid for the Children makes up for the lack of Chili Peppers content with personal, emotional stories about Flea's life growing up, including his tumultuous relationship with his stepfather.

"After some of those really traumatic episodes at my house, I would go to school the next day feeling hung over and in a daze, really upset," Flea says. "But when you're a kid, you don't see the forest for the trees. It's just your experience and you're trying to make sense of it.

"So I just waited for that feeling to end, and I'd go play basketball or play in the band and hope for the best," he continues. "But it was very difficult many a time."

Acid for the Children is out now. For dates on Flea's current book tour, visit RedHotChiliPeppers.com.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

In her first television interview, Whitney Houston's best friend and former assistant, Robyn Crawford, confirms the rumors that they were sexually involved.

In her first television interview, Whitney Houston's best friend and former assistant, Robyn Crawford, confirms the rumors that they were sexually involved.

Crawford makes the revelation in her memoir, A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houstonand describes their relationship in a special edition of NBC's Dateline.

"We were intimate on many levels, and all I can say is that it was very deep and we were very connected," Crawford says in an excerpt from the TV interview. "Our friendship was a deep friendship. In the early part of that friendship it was physical.”

Whitney and Robyn met as teenagers when they worked as summer camp counselors in East Orange, New Jersey. Robyn says the sexual part of their relationship ended just before Whitney signed her recording contract with Arista Records in 1983.

"She said, 'I don't believe we should be physical anymore,'" Crawford continues. "The music business was a world that we were learning and we didn't want anything to interfere where she was going. I just felt that I wouldn't be losing much. I still loved her the same and she loved me and that was good enough."

Robyn says no one knew about their sexual relationship and she kept the secret, until now.

A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston will be published November 12. You can see Crawford's full interview on the episode of Dateline that airs this Saturday at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on NBC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Why new rom-com 'Last Christmas' has a George Michael soundtrack -- and George Michael's blessing

The romantic comedy Last Christmas, starring Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding and Emma Thompson, is in theaters today. It was inspired by the 1984 Wham! hit "Last Christmas," and the entire soundtrack is made up of Wham! and George Michael hits.  Thompson, who also wrote the film, says the George gave the movie his blessing before his death, and also appreciated that it touches on real-world issues.

"During the development of the project, I met with George and told him the story that we had, and he loved it, and he was particularly thrilled about all the stuff [in the movie] about homelessness," Thompson tells ABC Audio. "Because he [had] a passionate social conscience."

The movie is a great opportunity for younger fans to discover George's music, which Thompson, Henry Golding and, according to them, everyone in the U.K. loves. 

"There's a tune or track of his that follows you throughout life," says Golding." And George was one of those magnificent people who wrote from the heart. He created melodies that would last a lifetime, and left us with something so, so special."

Thompson, meanwhile, admires how George's music evolved from Wham!'s pop hits to deeper material like "Praying for Time."  When the late singer finally came to terms with his sexuality, she notes, "His music just became remarkable."

The film's end credits feature an unreleased song by George called "This Is How (We Want You to Get High)." Thompson personally chose it from several offered to her because, she says, it mirrors the movie's theme.

As she puts it, "It's about looking up into the world and getting the highs that we get -- not from the dopamine hit that you get from your social media...but getting it from looking into each other's eyes." 


Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Ex-Styx singer Dennis DeYoung says he finished recording his "final album"...with a little help from Julian Lennon

Former Styx singer/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung reveals that he recently completed recording the final song for what he says will be his last studio album, and to help him, he tapped the talents of a special guest singer…Julian Lennon.

DeYoung posted a photo on his official Facebook page of Julian taking a selfie of both of them at Mission Sound studio in New York City, where the track was recorded.

In a message on his Facebook page, Dennis explains what inspired him to collaborate with Lennon, whom he says he's been a fan of since hearing his early hits "Too Late for Goodbyes" and "Valotte."

DeYoung begins by noting that for the new album, "I decided to write songs about my journey from humble beginnings in my basement on Chicago's far south side to the very top my chosen profession."

Since The Beatles were one of his biggest musical inspirations, Dennis wrote a song that he describes as "my ultimate musical and lyrical tribute to the lads from Liverpool," and because he envisioned the tune as a duet, he thought it would be cool to have John Lennon's duet with him on the track.

However, before he emailed Julian to ask him if he would take part in the recording, DeYoung says he realized he didn't want Lennon to sing on the track after all, noting, "It was my story not his."

Instead, DeYoung says he wrote a new song "specifically for he and I to sing together." When Julian heard the tune, he told Dennis he'd be honored to sing it with him.

Reflecting on the session, DeYoung writes, "I knew [Julian] would be great but he elevated the song with his heartfelt performance. Just wait till ya hear it."

Here are DeYoung's confirmed upcoming shows:

11/15 -- Oxford, AL, Oxford PAC*
11/16 -- Pompano Beach, FL, Pompano Beach Amphitheater+
11/22 -- Des Moines, IA, Hoyt Sherman Place#
11/23 -- Sloan, IA, WinnaVegas Casino Event Center#
2/14/20 -- St. Louis, MO, River City Casino - The Venue
2/15 -- St. Louis, MO, River City Casino - The Venue
3/7 -- El Cajon, CA, Magnolia Performing Arts Center#

* = accompanied by the Atlanta Pops Orchestra
+ = with Night Ranger
# = The Grand Illusion 40th Anniversary Album Tour.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Journey, Steve Miller, Mike Love among nominees for induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame next year

JourneySteve MillerThe Beach BoysMike Love and former Eurythmics members Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart are among 24 music acts who've been nominated for induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2020.

All of the aforementioned artists have been nominated in the Performing Songwriters category. Other nominees in that category include R.E.M.Gloria EstefanThe Isley BrothersBread frontman David GatesMariah CareyPatti Smith, country star and current Eagles member Vince Gill, and rap duo Outkast.

Among the non-performing songwriters vying for induction next year: William "Mickey" Stevenson, who has co-written a variety of Motown classics; Rick Nowels, whose resume includes songs recorded by Stevie NicksBelinda Carlisle and Santana; former Crickets member Sonny Curtis, who wrote "I Fought the Law"; and Jerry Fuller, who penned hits for Gary Puckett and the Union Gap.

Also on the list: late '60s and 1970s hitmaker Tony MacaulayRoger Nichols, who co-wrote several Carpenters classics; the late Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, known for penning many hits for The Monkees; and L. Russell Brown and the late Irwin Levine, who collaborated on some of Tony Orlando and Dawn's hits.

Of the 24 nominees, six artists will ultimately be inducted into the Hall during a gala ceremony in New York City on June 11, 2020. Voting on the finalists will continue until mid-December.

To be eligible, you have to have written your first hit at least 20 years ago.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Whitney Houston's former assistant Robyn Crawford reveals they were lovers

Whitney Houston’s best friend and former assistant, Robyn Crawford, is admitting for the first time publicly that she was in a romantic relationship with the celebrated singer.

She makes the revelation in her memoir, A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston.

“Whitney knows I loved her and I know she loved me,” Crawford writes in the book, as excerpted by People.com. “We really meant everything to each other. We vowed to stand by each other.”

Following years of rumors that they were romantically involved, Crawford says now is the time to reveal their relationship.

“I wanted to lift her legacy, give her respect and share the story of who she was before the fame, and in that, to embrace our friendship,” she explains.

Whitney and Robyn met as teenagers when they worked as summer camp counselors in East Orange, New Jersey. Robyn says the sexual part of their relationship ended after Whitney signed her recording contract with Arista Records.

“She said we shouldn’t be physical anymore, because it would make our journey even more difficult,” writes Crawford. “She said if people find out about us, they would use this against us, and back in the ’80s, that’s how it felt.”

Robyn maintained their relationship as a secret, until now.

“I kept it safe,” she says. “I found comfort in my silence.”  

Robyn also recalls that Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston, objected to their relationship.

“Whitney told me her mother said it wasn’t natural for two women to be that close,” says Crawford, “but we were that close.”

A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston. will be published November 12.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Neil Young turned down lucrative Harvest-themed tour; says he "won't close the door" on a CSNY reunion

Neil Young hasn't announced any touring plans for 2020 yet, but the folk-rock legend says he turned down a big payday to do a trek celebrating his most successful album, 1972's Harvest.

In an in-depth new interview with AARP The Magazine, Young reveals, "I was just offered millions of dollars for a tour to do Harvest. Everyone who played on Harvest is dead. I don't want to do that. How about planting instead of harvesting?"

He adds, "If I decide to go on the road, I'd like to do a democracy tour next year, with different people that keep changing. Not right or left. Democracy is not you on this side and me on that side just to see who wins."

Harvest was Young's only album to reach #1 on the Billboard 200, and it featured the chart-topping hit "Heart of Gold." The backing group that recorded most of the album, dubbed The Stray Gators, included pedal-steel guitarist Ben Keith, pianist Jack Nitzsche, bassist Tim Drummond and drummer Kenny Buttrey, all of whom have passed away.

Also in the interview, Young shared his thoughts on his estranged Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young band mate David Crosby, and what the chances might be for a reunion.

"Crosby should write an introspective book: Why People Won't Talk to Me Anymore," Neil says. "He made a lot of great music for a long time. I don't know what happened with David. I got nothing to say."

"I love Stephen [Stills]. I love Graham [Nash]. If a reunion happens, it would be a surprise," he adds. "I won't close the door on anything. I can hold a grudge with the best of them but only if there's a reason for it."

Check out the full interview at AARP.org.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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