Monthly Archives: April 2012
The Legends of Soul Tribute Show is a group of individuals who impersonate ““ well ““ legends of soul.
This very talented group of guys and gals, put on nothing short of a true Las Vegas style show, with each impersonator in full character during their entire set, and many performers playing multiple characters.
As droves of young and old crowded into Thunder Valley Casino Resort‘s Pano Hall on Saturday, radio personality, and the evenings emcee Nick Harper thanked everyone for coming out to the show, as well as Thunder Valley Casino for providing such a great venue.
The Legends of Soul kicked off their 2+ hour extravaganza with the legendary Sam Cooke played by Elijah Sterling (Get it? Legends of Soul ““ legendary Sam Cooke. I know, it cracked me up too.) Cooke dressed in a powder blue suit with matching hat, sang “Cupid” and “Twist the Night Away,” easily two of Cooke’s greatest hits from the early “’60s.
Following Cooke was Jackie Wilson, played by John Hampton. Wilson was known as Mr. Excitement due to his dynamic dance moves while onstage. Hampton didn’t disappoint as he took the stage by storm, dancing much like Wilson. Singing “You Keep Lifting Me Higher” and “Baby Workout,” Hampton delivered a high energy performance.
Wilson Pickett, played by Dwayne Thompson, delivered a soulful performance of “Mustang Sally,” followed by “In the Midnight Hour,” two of Pickett’s biggest hits.
The Legends of Soul wouldn’t be complete without the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, played by Samantha Richardson. A gentleman, accompanying Franklin on stage, removed a white fur she had draped around her neck and left the stage as she belted out “Chains of Fools” and “Rock Steady.” Franklin finished off her set with an extremely well done rendition of “Respect.”
The O’Jays arrived on stage singing “Love Train” and “Back Stabbers.” The trio was in perfect synchronization their entire set and sounded eerily familiar to the original O’Jays.
The Stylistics and The Dramatics also performed later in the show. Both groups performed flawlessly while they danced in-step with each other, lending to their credible performance.
Needing no introduction due to the silky tone and song choice, Lou Rawls, played by Russell Branch, came out singing “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine,” followed by “Lady Love.” I believe I saw a woman or two faint, he was that good.
So the show continued with one legend after another. Some audience members were lost in the moment, as I’m sure they were thinking back to those long forgotten memories, or maybe they were just dosing ,as some folks in the crowd were just a tad on the old side.
Other stars that shared the stage were Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Patti Labelle, and Stevie Wonder.
Most notable was John Hampton coming out as Stevie Wonder. Lending to the credible performance was Producer Rudolph Peter’s as he guided Wonder to his keyboard, taking Wonder’s hand and guiding it to the keyboard and microphone to ensure Wonder knew where they were. Complete with the sound of Wonder, Hampton’s performance included all the mannerisms of the legend.
Every performer did an excellent job staying in character and singing just like the real thing. The real standouts of the show, and mostly forgotten in the background, was the band, as they played a wide variety of hits throughout the night.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see this group of talented individuals performing in Las Vegas at some point in the future. They pack in the people, they love what they do, and they do it well.
Complete Cast in order of Appearance:
Master of Ceremony: Nicholas Harper
Sam Cooke: Elijah Sterling
Jackie Wilson ““ John Hampton
Wilson Pickett: Dwayne Thompson
Aretha Franklin: Samantha Richardson. Background Dee Johnson and Dewanna Slaughter
The O’Jays: Charles Boomer, David Lige, and Lionel Burns
Lou Rawls: Russell Branch
Curtis Mayfield: Elijah Sterling
Marvin Gaye: Chase Ruffin
Al Green: Lionel Burns
The Dramatics: James Hill, Stan Lockwood, Rodney James, Douglas Stepney, and Chase Ruffin
Patti Labelle: Dee Johnson ,background – Samantha Richardson, and Dewanna Slaughter
Stevie Wonder: John Hampton
The Stylistics: Ralph Greene (lead vocals), background- Elijah Sterling, Rodney James, and David Lige
Michael Jackson: Thurman Conners
Band: (Lead Guitar) Richard Cravalho, (Drummer) Rich Aguon, (Bass Guitar) Darrel Broadnax, (Keyboard Left) Archie White, (Keyoard Right) Earnest Nation, and (Congo) Glen Austin
Producer: Rudolph Peters
The founding members of The Beach Boys, one of the world’s most legendary bands in popular music history, have reunited for a global 50th Anniversary celebration, including a new album release, an international tour, and commemorative catalog releases. The Beach Boys announced details about their new studio album, That’s Why God Made The Radio, to be released June 5 by Capitol/EMI.
Beach Boys Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks recently completed their recording sessions at Los Angeles’ Ocean Way Studios for That’s Why God Made The Radio, the band’s 29th studio album (including 2011’s The SMiLE Sessions), the first in decades to feature all of the band’s surviving original members. Produced by Brian Wilson and executive produced by Mike Love, the album’s 11 new songs illustrate The Beach Boys’ unique and evocative West Coast story.
The album’s lead single, “That’s Why God Made The Radio,” showcases The Beach Boys’ soaring harmonies in an upbeat, beaming ode to music’s radio champions around the world. Listen to their latest song
“Radio was my whole education,” says Brian Wilson. “Chuck Berry, Rosemary Clooney, The Four Freshmen, Phil Spector, Little Richard … To hear ‘That’s Why God Made The Radio‘ on the radio would be a thrill beyond belief, it really would.”
“I got a lot of my appreciation for all of the creativity in the world, in terms of music, through the radio,” says Mike Love. “For all of us who grew up in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and beyond, the radio has played such a huge, important part in our lives. When we were kids, we’d sneak out of the house and go and sit in Brian’s car and listen to the local radio stations on his car radio.”
The album’s other new songs include “Think About The Days,” “Isn’t It Time,” “Spring Vacation,” “Private Life Of Bill And Sue,” “Shelter,” “Daybreak Over The Ocean,” “Beaches In Mind,” “Strange World,” “My Life Suite,” and “Summer’s Gone.”
The Beach Boys’ collaborative approach to writing and recording their new music is evidenced throughout the album, with all of the band members participating to create its glorious harmonies, lyrics, and arrangements.
“We’ve come full circle,” says Al Jardine. “Sharing our memories and ourpresent in the studio has been really remarkable. I can especially feel it when we’re all singing around the mic together, because we all hear each other and we really lock in.”
“We have reunited as a band, but we never ‘un-reunited’ as friends,” says Bruce Johnston. “To be back in the studio with these guys is like a prayer that’s been answered and I am thrilled to be sharing it with everybody.”
“This is more like a family reunion than anything,” says David Marks. “When we’re together, we get along great. The chemistry always works the same as the last time we were together, and the five of us become a single element.”
The band Train has been hitting the airwaves hot and heavy lately, including an unprecedented, week long, guest appearance on Rachael Ray, and another appearance on Dancing With the Stars.
And it’s working!
The Grammy Award winning band’s single “Drive By” has already surpassed one million in sales.
And according to Train guitarist, and all around good guy, Jimmy Stafford, after only two days California 37 has been certified platinum in the US.
On the heels of all this attention, Train has announced their first set of tour dates in support of California 37, beginning July 26 at the Time Warner Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Guest artists Mat Kearney and Andy Grammer will open select dates of the tour.
Released as a digital download in January, “Drive By” has become Train’s latest bona fide international sensation and is top 5 across the world and #1 in Germany, Netherlands, Finland, India, New Zealand and Switzerland. As of today “Drive By” remains in the top 20 digital downloads.
Expect to see more of the American rock band since they are scheduled to appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (April 23), The Talk (April 24), and The View (May 22). The group will also appear on “Sesame Street” (with air dates TBD). I have it on good authority that Train has already taped the Sesame Street appearance.
Train will also be launching a brand new Cabernet Sauvignon from the Save Me, San Francisco Wine Company. The much-anticipated third varietal from the acclaimed craft winery, “California 37″ is a worthy addition to previous varietals, “Drops of Jupiter” (Petite Syrah) and “Calling All Angels” (Chardonnay). A portion of the proceeds from the varietal will go to the San Francisco charity Family House, which provides temporary housing to families of seriously ill children. For more information please visit familyhouseinc.org.
TRAIN -CALIFORNIA 37 TOUR DATES 2012
July 10 Montreal, QC Metropolis
July 11 Toronto, ON Sony Center
July 26 Charlotte, NC Time Warner Center
July 27 Raleigh, NC Raleigh Amphitheater
July 28 Des Moines, IA Stars In The Park
July 29 St. Louis, MO Peabody Opera House
August 4 Indianapolis, IN Indiana State Fair
August 5 Nashville, TN The Woods at Fontanel
August 7 Rochester Hills, MI Meadowbrook
August 8 Cincinnati, OH PNC Pavilion
August 10 Kansas City, MO Starlight
August 11 Highland Park, IL Ravinia Festival
August 12 Highland Park, IL Ravinia Festival
August 14 Toledo, OH Toledo Zoo Amphitheater
August 15 Springfield, IL Illinois State Fair
August 16 Cleveland, OH Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
August 18 Philadelphia, PA Mann Center for the Performing Arts
August 19 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun
August 21 Vienna, VA Wolf Trap
August 24 Canandaigua, NY Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center
August 25 Essex Junction, VT Champlain Valley Exposition
August 26 Gilford, NH Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion
August 27 New York, NY Rumsey Playfield- Summerstage
August 30 West Long Branch, NJ MAC Center -Monmouth University
August 31 Lenox, MA Tanglewood
September 1 Atlantic City, NJ Borgata
September 2 Virginia Beach, VA American Music Festival
September 5 Boca Raton, FL Mizner Park Amphitheater
September 6 St. Augustine, FL Saint Augustine Amphitheater
September 7 Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheater
September 9 Dayton, OH Downtown Revival Music Festival
September 11 Tuscaloosa, AL Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
September 12 Memphis, TN Mud Island Amphitheater
September 13 Oklahoma City, OK Zoo Amphitheater
September 15 Grand Prairie, TX Verizon Theater
September 16 New Braunfels, TX WhiteWater Amphitheater
September 19 Morrison, CO Red Rocks
September 22 Portland, OR Edgefield
September 23 Puyallup, WA Western Washington Fair
September 28 Berkeley, CA Greek Theater
September 29 Los Angeles, CA Nokia Theater
September 30 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theater
Details surrounding the circumstances of Ham’s death were not released. Police have confirmed that a 58 year old’s body was discovered by two friends who were checking in on him. As is standard, the police did not release the name of the deceased.
Detective Senior Sergeant Shane O’Connell informed reporters that they were still investigating the cause of death. According to O’Connell, there were several “unexplained” aspects which required further investigation.
Ham joined Men at Work in 1979, the band went on to score a string of hits in the “’80s including “Who Can It Be Now” and “Down Under.”
Ham played flute, saxophone and keyboards for the band. Ham left the band in 1985 and went on to work as a music teacher in Australia.
Dick Clark, television host and entrepreneur who helped bring rock ‘n’ roll into the mainstream with “American Bandstand,” and later produced and hosted a vast range of programming from game shows to the year-end countdown from Times Square on “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” has died.
Spokesman Paul Shefrin said Clark had a heart attack Wednesday morning at Saint John’s hospital in Santa Monica, a day after he was admitted for an outpatient procedure.
Clark continued performing after he suffered a stroke in 2004 that impaired his ability to speak and walk.
Clark was referred to as “the world’s oldest teenager” due to his boyish appearance. He was responsible for bringing the more rebellious music to the forefront.
As founder of Dick Clark Productions, Clark supplied movies, game and music shows, beauty contests and more to TV. Among his credits: “The $25,000 Pyramid,” “TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes” and the American Music Awards.
Daniel M. Snyder, Chairman, and Mark Shapiro, Chief Executive Officer today issued the following statements about Dick Clark:
Daniel M. Snyder, Chairman, Dick Clark Productions One of the real draws when we purchased Dick Clark Productions was the opportunity to build on the tremendous foundation of programming that this icon of American broadcasting created.
I got to know Dick over the past five years and he was just as personable and warm in person as he was on television. Once you got to know Dick, it was obvious why he was so beloved by his fans. He was in every sense of the word, a giant.
Dick Clark will be sorely missed. He was truly one of a kind.
Mark Shapiro, Chief Executive Officer, Dick Clark Productions Dick Clark was an American institution. He was able to replicate the magic he brought to American Bandstand, not once but several times, through The Golden Globes, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and thousands of hours of programming in almost every genre imaginable. He was the first of his kind — a pioneer, entrepreneur and creative visionary who bridged and cultivated the music scene with traditional show business.
Dick Clark entertained and touched the lives of several generations. He is truly irreplaceable and will be greatly missed by the employees of our company and millions of fans worldwide.
The original “American Bandstand” was one of network TV’s longest-running series as part of ABC’s daytime lineup from 1957 to 1987. It later aired for a year in syndication and briefly on the USA Network. Over the years, it introduced stars ranging from Buddy Holly to Madonna. The show’s status as an American cultural institution was solidified when Clark donated Bandstand’s original podium and backdrop to the Smithsonian Institution.
New Years will never be the same again.
Why the hell am I writing about this?
I’m glad you asked.
Last week I wrote about how her Madgesty’s new album MDNA was the number one selling album one week, and then the bottom fell out the next. This was due to her giving away CD’s to anyone who purchased tickets to her upcoming tour. As the tour started to sell out, her CD sales dried up.
Well now you can purchase Truth or Dare by Madonna at Macy’s, but that’s not all!
Pay $151 and you get a special fragrance package which includes the 2.5 oz. and 1.7 oz. Truth or Dare by Madonna Eau de Parfum, body lotion, T-Shirt, Truth or Dare DVD, and you guessed it, a genuine MDNA CD.
Michelle Long ““ I suggest you tear open that CD and at least give it a listen!
Berlin Featuring Terri Nunn performed their first concert of 2012 at Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Pano Hall on Friday. Nunn put on an electrifying performance that had the crowd singing and dancing throughout the show.
First up though was Larisa Bryski, a Sacramento area native. Bringing her signature mix of classic rock, drizzled with a dollop of pop, Bryski kicked it into high gear from the start with “Butterflies.”
Joining Bryski onstage was Willy Seltzer (guitar), Tommy Armstrong-Leavitt (guitar), Andrew Houston (bass), and Darrell Hale (drums).
Bryski did an awesome job getting the crowd jump started for Berlin. The band performed flawlessly with Tommy Armstrong-Leavitt stealing the show with his guitar work, as he effortlessly blasted out riff after riff.
After Bryski exhausted the crowd there was a quick intermission to make way for Berlin.
The new wave group Berlin took the stage with Nunn singing “Masquerade.” As Nunn made her way to the front of the stage, I realized she was much taller than I remember ““ if anyone has seen Nunn perform, you will realize this was a joke. For everyone else, let’s just say she’s small in stature, but makes up for it in personality and singing ability.
Nunn “‘s vocals were pristine and downright awesome, sounding much like she did years ago when she originally recorded Berlin’s chart topping “Take My Breath Away,” from the movie Top Gun.
Talk about a ball of energy. She continued back and forth between band members, including the drummer, the whole time belting out hits including “A Matter of Time” and “The Metro.”
The temperature in Pano Hall started to rise as things started to get steamy between Nunn and guitarist Carlton Bost, with Nunn sidling up to Bost and getting very in your face, or should I say in his face. It was quite a show and well worth the price of admission!
In addition to Bost there was Dave Schulz on keyboards and Chris Olivas on drums.
There was a touching moment when Nunn performed “Mom,” a song she wrote and dedicated to her mother. She wrote the song after her mother had passed away.
Afterwards Nunn kicked it back up a notch and had the audience on their feet as she made her way through the crowd. Being a tad short, Nunn had some assistance getting up on a chair in the middle of Pano Hall so everyone could see her. As she made her way back to the stage, she asked a strapping young security guard to lift her up on stage. Once Nunn was safely on the stage, the security guard was rewarded with a big hug from Nunn.
Nunn’s the real deal and is still going strong after all these years. She sounds and looks great and at 50 she’s still a little hotty.
5-time Grammy Award winner Lady Gaga is set to make her return to the stage this spring with The Born This Way Ball.
In this brand new tour, Gaga will perform her latest album Born This Way as well as music from both The Fame and The Fame Monster. The Born This Way Ball, produced globally by Live Nation, will begin on April 27th, 2012 in Seoul, South Korea.
The Born This Way Ball announces performances in 21 European cities, following overwhelming ticket sales throughout Australia and Asia, including multiple sell outs in Melbourne, Auckland, Hong Kong, Singapore and more. The European leg of the tour begins August 14th in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Supporting Lady Gaga for the European leg of The Born This Way Ball is the newly reformed British rock band THE DARKNESS, best known for their hit “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”. Famed German electronic dance music DJ and producer ZEDD will join the tour as Lady Gaga’s special guest for all concerts in Asia starting April 27th in Seoul and ending June 3rd in Jakarta, Indonesia. And Lady Gaga’s longtime performance partner and DJ, LADY STARLIGHT, has been confirmed as a special guest DJ for all concert dates in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.
Lady Gaga’s last tour – The Monster Ball – captivated audiences around the globe, receiving rave reviews in every city. The Sun called it “the best live show you will see this year,” and the Pollstar Concert Industry Awards named it the Major Tour of the Year.
“The Haus of Gaga and I have worked for months conceiving a spectacular stage,” said Mother Monster. “THE BORN THIS WAY BALL is an Electro-Metal Pop-Opera; the tale of the Beginning, the genesis of the Kingdom of Fame. How we were birthed and how we will die celebrating.”
The Born This Way Ball will be Lady Gaga’s first tour since the release of her album Born This Way (Streamline/Konlive/Interscope), which has sold nearly 6 million copies worldwide since its release in May 2011.The album is the follow-up to back-to-back Grammy Award-winning albums 2009’s The Fame Monster, and 2008’s The Fame. Combined, The Fame and The Fame Monster have sold 15 million albums worldwide, while Lady Gaga’s hit singles have combined sales of over 65 million worldwide.
Gaga was named Forbes’ Most Powerful Woman in the World 2011 and was included in Time’s annual “The 2010 Time 100″ list of the most influential people in the world. With over 2.2 billion combined views of all her videos online, Lady Gaga is one of the biggest living people on Facebook with over 49 million ‘likes’ and is #1 on Twitter with over 22 million followers. Lady Gaga is the only artist in the digital era to top the 5 million sales mark with her first two hits.
Tickets are scheduled to go on sale beginning Friday, April 13th in select markets.
Aug 14 Sofia, Bulgaria Vasil Levski National Stadium On sale Apr 27
Aug 16 Bucharest, Romania Arena Nationala Stadium On sale Apr 27
Aug 18 Vienna, Austria Wiener Stadhalle On sale Apr 21
Aug 21 Vilnius, Lithuania Vingis Park On sale Apr 30
Aug 23 Riga, Latvia Riga Mezaparks On sale Apr 30
Aug 25 Tallinn, Estonia Tallinn Song Festival Grounds On sale Apr 30
Aug 27 Helsinki, Finland Hartwall Areena On sale Apr 16
Aug 30 Stockholm, Sweden Ericsson Globe On sale Apr 20
Sept 2 Copenhagen, Denmark Parken Stadium On sale Apr 20
Sept 4 Koln, Germany Lanxess Arena On sale Apr 20
Sept 8 London, UK Twickenham Stadium On sale Apr 13
Sept 11 Manchester, UK MEN Arena On sale Apr 13
Sept 15 Dublin, Ireland Aviva Stadium On sale Apr 16
Sept 17 Amsterdam, NL Ziggo Dome On sale Apr 16
Sept 22 Paris, France Stade de France On sale Apr 16
Sept 24 Hannover, Germany TUI Arena On sale Apr 20
Sept 26 Zurich, Switzerland Hallenstadion Zurich On sale Apr 20
Sept 29 Antwerp, Belgium Sportpaleis On sale Apr 13
Oct 2 Milan, Italy Mediolanum Forum On sale Apr 20
Oct 4 Nice, France Stade Charles-Ehrmann On sale Apr 16
Oct 6 Barcelona, Spain Palau Sant Jordi On sale Apr 19
The Grammy-winning rock band Train will celebrate the release of California 37, the group’s feverishly-awaited new album on Columbia Records, with an unprecedented week-long residency on the Emmy-winning daytime talk show “Rachael Ray,” running from Monday, April 16, through Friday, April 20.
Train’s landmark engagement, a first for daytime television, gives the group a chance to play old favorites while introducing viewers to new songs from California 37. The band’s “Rachael Ray” performances will include “Hey Soul Sister”/”Bruises” (Monday), “Drive By”/”Feels Good At First” (Tuesday), “Marry Me”/”This’ll Be My Year” (Wednesday), “50 Ways To Say Goodbye”/”Meet Virginia” (Thursday) and “Drops of Jupiter”/”Mermaid” (Friday).
California 37, featuring Train’s latest hit, “Drive By,” will be available in stores and online Tuesday, April 17.
Released as a digital download in January, “Drive By” has become Train’s newest bona fide international sensation with heavy chart activity in Australia (where the single is certified platinum), Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand (where it’s been certified gold), Sweden and the US (where the record’s currently #13 on the Billboard Hot 100). “Drive By” continues to climb the radio charts and has entered the Top 10 at both the AAA and HOT AC formats, selling more than 750,000 copies since its release. The “Drive By” video premiered on February 18 on VH1, where it has gone into rotation, with support from VEVO.
Train will preface its historic “Rachael Ray” residency with the San Francisco 2012 Tour, a special hometown run of intimate club shows starting April 10 at Cafe Du Nord and finishing up April 15 at the Fillmore.
Madonna‘s MDNA debuted at #1 on the charts, heralding in the singer’s comeback. However, MDNA sales have fallen a whopping 88 percent, dropping from over 379,000 copies to a disappointing 47,000 copies as reported by Forbes reports.
What the hell happened to the material girl?
You need to take a closer look at the original 379,000 copies sold. You see Madge packaged the album with ticket sales, which were counted in Billboards tally of album sales. This after Bon Jovi and Tom Petty successfully used this ploy to garner their way to the top of the charts with past album sales. You would think Billboard would get a clue and stop counting these types of transactions as “sales!”
Fast forward a few weeks of great ticket sales and her concerts are sold out, or nearly so, drying up those free albums that inflated her original sales.
Richie on the other hand was able to sell 20,000 albums in one hour by appearing on the Home Shopping Network. That’s almost half the number of albums Madonna moved all week.
It just goes to show you that traditional marketing is still king.