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Soul singer Ben E. King dead at 76

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Ben E King performs at Thunder Valley Casino in 2013
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New Jersey – Soul singer Ben E. King died yesterday in New Jersey, this according to his booking agent.

Born Benjamin Earl Nelson in North Carolina, King moved to New York as a boy and joined up with The Five Crowns, a doo-wop group that later changed their names to The Drifters. The Drifters were famous for such hits as “Save the Last Dance for Me.”

King is best known for his hit “Stand By Me,” inspired by a gospel song, which he recorded on his own. King’s elegant baritone helped catapult the song into the top 10 in the U.S. in 1961 and returned to the charts 25 years later when it was prominently featured in “Stand By Me,” Rob Reiner’s 1986 coming-of-age movie about four adolescent boys.

King’s other hits included “Spanish Harlem,” “Amor,” “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)” and Supernatural Thing – Part I.”

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Eddie Money drummer kicks off an up close and personal tour

Glenn performs at home

Glenn performs at home

SACRAMENTO, CA – In celebration of his upcoming fifth album “Beautiful Detours,” original Eddie Money drummer Glenn Symmonds kicked off his Living Room Detours Tour from his very own living room.

The tour will be invitation-only as Glenn entertains fans across the country.

The accomplished musician will not be performing at your typical venue either, but in a more intimate environment where friends and family can gather to hear Glenn’s original music sprinkled with stories of his years on the road with Eddie Money and the Eddie Money band.

The Living Room Detours Tour is an invitation-only house concert hosted by fans across the country. The best part? Glenn will not be charging for his performance and anyone can host the event. All he asks is to please consider a donation to help cover his time and expenses, and if you enjoy the music, pickup one or more of his CD’s or other merchandise available at the event.

If you host a party with Glenn, you can expect a 75-minute set featuring an up-close & personal musical encounter with Glenn in your very own living room! The evening includes stories behind the songs, as well as photo opportunities.

Glenn telling stories

Glenn telling stories

According to Glenn, this is his way of giving back to his fans as they have supported him throughout his music career and more recently through his fight with cancer. The house concerts will be scheduled around his tour with Eddie Money. Fans can get more information and schedule their own event by contacting Glenn directly.

As for his kick-off performance? Glenn performed for 25 to 30 friends and family with a 2 hour set that started with Cat Stevens’ “Wild World” followed by Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis.”

One of the first things that stands out when Glenn performs solo, is his guitar skills as he picks his way through the melody. The second thing you notice, is his smoky smooth vocals as he pours out his soul in every song he performs – something you wouldn’t expect from a drummer.

Glenn picked up the pace with his original song “Jump in Let’s Go,” and then “California,” another original song about his own journey from being born and raised in California to his recent return to the golden state.

Glenn performs with Eddie Money at Thunder Valley Casino Resort

Glenn performs with Eddie Money at Thunder Valley Casino Resort

Fans were treated to a couple of songs that Glenn had never performed in public before, “Waiting” and “Mary Jane Repetta.”

Sprinkled throughout his performance were stories behind songs such as “Hey Walter,” “Troubadour,” “Sailboat” and more. Glenn also shared a number of his experiences on the road with Eddie Money including the time the band left Eddie behind – You’ll have to hear that one from Glenn.

Glenn played “Little Italy” a song he co-wrote with his fiancé Tami Landrum. Towards the end of his set he played “This Town,” a song that Tami wrote.

Glenn’s musicianship, coupled with his storytelling abilities, makes his performances extremely entertaining and something you won’t want to miss, so consider hosting your very own event with Glenn.

In an era where more artists are turning to online venues to engage fans, it’s refreshing to see an artist of this caliber willing to entertain fans in the comfort of their own homes. The experience is priceless.

For Sacramento area fans, you can catch Glenn performing with Eddie Money at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on July 31st, or better yet invite Glenn over to your house!

Set-list:

Wild World (cover)
Walking in Memphis (cover)
Jump in Let’s Go (original)
California (original)
Waiting (original)
Hey Walter (original)
Sailboat (original)
Big Boy Now (original)
Eddie’s Almost 65 (original – Lyrics Jeff Symmonds)
Guacamole (original)
Heart of Gold (cover)
Mary Jane Repetta (original)
Folsom Prison Blues (cover)
Charlie Sheen (original)
Three Men Named Bob (original)
This Town (original – Lyrics by Tami Landrum)
Stir it Up (cover)
Here Comes the Sun (cover)
Railroad (cover)

Suge Knight officially charged faces third strike

Suge Knight - 2008 mugshot Credit Las Vegas PD

Suge Knight – 2008 mugshot
Credit Las Vegas PD

LOS ANGELES, CA – Today former hip-hop mogul Marion “Suge” Knight was officially charged with murder and attempted murder in a Compton hit-and-run that occurred on Friday.

Adding to Knight’s woes, his bail of $2.025 million bail was revoked after homicide detectives petitioned the bail commissioner, plus this will be a third strike for the Death Row Records founder.

The 49-year-old Knight was arrested early Friday after going to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s West Hollywood Station, accompanied by his lawyer. Earlier that day Knight is accused of running over two men following an altercation.

Fifty-five-year-old Terry Carter was killed and actor Cle “Bone” Sloan was injured when Knight backed over the pair in his red Ford F-150 Raptor pickup and then ran over them as he fled the scene.

Knight’s attorney claims he was trying to escape an attack when he accidentally struck the victims. A homicide lieutenant said Knight argued with Sloan through the driver’s side of the truck and then purposely struck Sloan and Carter while in the parking lot outside of Tam’s Burgers in Compton.

Knight has been officially charged with one count of murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of hit-and-run with an allegation that he committed a serious and violent felony while out on bail in another pending case. He was out on bail for a robbery charge.

Authorities said bail was revoked since Knight is considered a flight-risk. They were also concerned about witness intimidation due to his criminal past. The District Attorney has confirmed this would be his third strike if convicted.

Knight faces life in prison if convicted. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.

Former rap mogul Serge Knight arrested for murder

1997 nmate photo

1997 nmate photo

COMPTON, CA – Former rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight has been arrested for murder after two men were mowed down by a truck driven by the troubled artist, killing one and injuring the other.

Los Angeles police Lt. John Corina told CNN that witnesses said it appeared that the driver of the truck intentionally hit the two victims, so they are handling the investigation as a homicide. Knight’s bail was set at $2 million.

According to reports, Knight had an argument with 55-year-old Terry Carter and 51-year-old Cle Sloan, on the set of the biopic “Straight Outta Compton,” a film about the rap group N.W.A. The argument continued in the parking lot of Tam’s Burgers.

Knight allegedly tracked the two men down in the parking lot and backed his red Ford Raptor over the victims and then ran over them a second time as he left the scene, killing Carter and injuring Sloan. Officers later found Knight’s Raptor abandoned in Westwood.

Knight, who was accompanied by his attorney, turned himself in at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station.

Knight, the founder of Death Row Records, is no stranger to violence. In 1996, while Knight was driving a car in Las Vegas, Tupak Shakur, who was a passenger in his car, was shot to death.

Death Row Records filed for bankruptcy in 2006 after Knight spent several years in prison for violating parole on assault and weapons convictions, adding to his troubles he had ongoing feuds with Dr. Dre, Snoop Lion (Dogg) and others.

Last August Knight, along with two others, were shot while attending a party hosted by singer Chris Brown on the evening before the MTV Music Awards. Then in October he was arrested for allegedly stealing a photographer’s camera.

In October, he was busted along with comedian Micah “Katt” Williams for allegedly stealing a photographer’s camera.

 

Joe Cocker dead at 70

Joe Cocker

Joe Cocker

The legendary Joe Cocker has reportedly died at the age of 70. Cocker had been battling lung cancer.

According to the BBC, The Sheffield born singer song-writer died of an undisclosed illness on Sunday. His agent Barrie Marshall confirmed his death.

Cocker had a career spanning 4 decades with hits including “You Are So Beautiful” and “Up Where We Belong.”

Marshall told the BBC that “it will be impossible to fill the space he leaves in our hearts.”

Cocker gained fame as a pop star back in 1968 when he released his version of The Beatles’ “With A Little Help from My Friends.”

His duet with Jennifer Warnes, “Up Where We Belong” – from An Officer And A Gentleman – won him a both a Grammy and an Academy Award in 1983.

Last year his arena tour across Europe saw him achieve a number one album in Germany and give what was to be his final concert in Hammersmith, London, in June.

Charge dropped again AC/DC Drummer

indexBAY OF PLENTY, NEW ZEALAND – AC/DC drummer, Phil Rudd, who was charged on Thursday with several counts in connection to trying to have two men killed, will be facing one less charge.

According to Rudd’s attorney, Paul Mabey, the New Zealand police charge of “attempting to procure murder” against his client has been dropped.

The 60-year-old drummer for the legendary hard rock band, had been accused of trying to procure the murder of two men. However, the Crown Solicitor decided there wasn’t enough evidence to justify it.

Mabey wrote in a statement, “The charge alleging an attempt to procure murder should never have been laid. The Crown Solicitor’s opinion was not sought. The charge is now withdrawn, within 24 hours of Mr. Rudd’s first appearance in court,” continuing Mabey complained, “Mr. Rudd has suffered unnecessary and extremely damaging publicity as a result of widespread and sensational reporting of a very serious allegation, which on any basis was never justified.”

Rudd still faces several other charges, including threatening to kill.

On Thursday afternoon, Rudd made an appearance in court to face charges of; attempting to procure the murder of two men, threatening to kill and possession of methamphetamine and possession of cannabis.

Earlier on Thursday police paid a visit to Rudd’s beach front mansion and searched the premises.

The names of the two men he was attempting to have killed have not been released, nor has the name of the potential hit-man.

Rudd did not enter a plea to the charges at the Tauranga District Court and was released on bail. His next appearance is schedule for November 27.

The Australian born Rudd moved to New Zealand in 1983, after being fired by the legendary rock band AC/DC, but rejoined the band years later.

In 2003 AC/DC was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and remains one of the world’s biggest-selling musical acts.

The band is set to release their latest album, “Rock or Bust,” in December. However, when AC/DC gathered to film videos for a pair of ‘Rock or Bust’ tracks in early October, Rudd was a no show due to a “family emergency.” Also, in a shocking turn of events, original founding member, guitarist Malcolm Young, was absent after being diagnosed with Dementia earlier this year.

AC/DC Drummer arrested for contracting to have 2 men killed

indexBAY OF PLENTY, NEW ZEALAND – Phil Rudd, the drummer for the hard rock band AC/DC, has been arrested and charged with attempting to have two men killed.

According to CNN affiliate TVNZ in New Zealand, the 60-year-old made an appearance in court Thursday afternoon and is facing one count of attempting to procure the murder of two men, this according to the Bay of Plenty Police District representative Kim Perks.

In addition, Rudd was also charged with threatening to kill, possession of methamphetamine and possession of cannabis.

Police searched Rudd’s home on Thursday morning.

The names of the two men he was attempting to have killed have not been released, nor has the name of the potential hit-man.

Rudd did not enter a plea to the charges at the Tauranga District Court and was released on bail. His next appearance is schedule for November 27.

The Australian born Rudd moved to New Zealand in 1983, after being fired by the legendary rock band AC/DC, but rejoined the band years later.

In 2003 AC/DC was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and remains one of the world’s biggest-selling musical acts.

The band is set to release their latest album, “Rock or Bust,” in December.

B.B. King falls ill cancels remaining tour

BB King performs at Thunder Valley Casino Click for more images

BB King performs at Thunder Valley Casino
Click for more images

The legendary B.B. King was forced to cancel the remainder of his current tour after falling ill following a shortened performance at Chicago’s House of Blues on October 3.

The 89-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was scheduled to play another eight shows this year.

According to his reps, King did not feel well enough to continue his performance at the House of Blues in Chicago on Oct 3. He was immediately evaluated by a doctor and diagnosed with dehydration and suffering from exhaustion whereby causing the eight remaining shows of his current tour to be cancelled.

No other information was available.

Earlier this year EW’s The Music Mix wrote that Kings performance in St. Louis was shaky and erratic, with Kings reps issuing a statement of apology soon after the gig. “The combination of the rigors of the very long drive and high blood sugar due to his medication error resulted in a performance that did not match Mr. King’s usual standard of excellence,” the statement read. King suffers from Type II diabetes, a condition he’s lived with for over 20 years.

According to the blues singer’s website, “King is back at his home where he is resting. In order to fully recuperate, he has cancelled his remaining eight shows of the tour. He has been on tour all year with over 70 performances for 2014. He does not have any additional shows scheduled for the remainder of the year.”

Earlier King wrote to his fans, “I’m back at home now listening to music, watching movies and enjoying some down time. I think I’m busier at home now than on the road talking to friends calling to check up on me. I do appreciate everyone’s calls and concern. I want to tell you, I’m doing alright.”

Songs of the South at Thunder Valley

Alabama performs at Thunder Valley Casino

Alabama performs at Thunder Valley Casino

Rachel Steele and Scott Prentice of Road 88

Rachel Steele and Scott Prentice of Road 88

LINCOLN, CA – The legendary country music band Alabama made its way to Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Saturday with special guest, Sacramento’s own, Rachel Steele and her band Road 88.

It was an evening of southern rock infused with a bit of bluegrass, sprinkled with a whole lotta of country as the award winning Alabama reminded fans why they have reigned over country music since the 80s.

Rachel Steele and Road 88 kicked off the concert in fine fashion with a cover of Miranda Lambert’s “Gun Powder & Lead” as temperatures hovered in the mid 90’s. Steele sang a number of original songs including “Drive a Little Faster,” “Nashville” and, my favorite, “The Shot Song.”

Randy Owen of Alabama

Randy Owen of Alabama

Steele was in complete command of the stage and the audience with her band Road 88, consisting of Scott Prentice (guitar/vocals), Charlie McGimsey (drums), Vinnie Panteleoni (bass), Bob Kinney (guitar), Gordon Graft (keys) and Sherry Eidhammer (backup vocals).

Sue and Katlin with Randy Owen of Alabama

Kaitlyn and Sue with Randy Owen of Alabama

Alabama has been together as a group for over 40 years and in 2004 the group decided to part ways and played their “final” concert in Bismark, North Dakota. In 2013 the band reformed for their 40th anniversary and set out on their Back to the Bowery tour, in reference to the Myrtle Beach club where they got their start.

During the bands time apart, Owen stayed active as a solo act and also successfully battled prostate cancer. Cook was  performing with his Allstar Goodtime Band, while Gentry was producer for his band Rockit City.

When Alabama took the stage everyone in the packed outdoor amphitheater was on their feet cheering as original band members Randy Owen (lead vocals/guitar), Jeff Cook (lead guitar,violin) and Teddy Gentry (bass), kicked off their 90+ minute set with “If You’re Going to Play in Texas,” with the audience singing along.

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Jeff Cook of Alabama

They continued on with “Tennessee River,” followed by “Dixieland Delight.” The mostly older crowd remained seated for the majority of their performance, with small clusters of fans standing. During some of their songs people would dash to the aisles to dance to their favorite song.

Teddy Gentry of Alabama

Teddy Gentry of Alabama

Two audience members were singled out by Owen when he invited them up onstage so he could sing them “Happy Birthday.” Sue and Kaitlyn made their way to the stage and after Owen finished singing “Happy Brithday,” he asked them if that was good enough. By the looks on their faces it was plenty good enough.

For their encore they performed “Mountain Music,” at which point the crowd exploded to their feet to sing and dance along.

 

Last surviving member of the Ramones dead at 62

ramonesQUEENS, NY – Tommy Ramone, Co-founder, drummer and last surviving member of the Ramones died Friday at the age of 62.

According to his business associate, Dave Frey, Ramone’s wife contacted him to let him know that he passed away on Friday at his home in Ridgewood, Queens, New York following treatment for bile duct cancer..

Tommy Ramone co-founded the Ramones in 1974 in New York along with singer Joey Ramone, bassist DeeDee Ramone and guitarist Johnny Ramone. All four band members took the common name of Ramone in support of the band.

The band was best known for their influential hit songs “I wanna be sedated” and “Blitzkrieg Bop,” among others, earning them an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

While the band struggled since their debut album in 1976, they left an indelible mark on the rock genre with their rapid fire lyrics and unique sound.

Johnny Ramone, whose birth name was John Cummings, died in 2004 of prostate cancer. Joey Ramone, whose real name is Jeff Hyman, died in 2001 of lymphatic cancer. Dee Dee Ramone, whose real name is Douglas Colvin, died from a drug overdose in 2002. Tommy Ramone was born Erdelyi Tamas in Budapest, Hungary.

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