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‘You Light Up My Life’ Composer Commits Suicide

For the Guitar society
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Monday, May 23, 2011    5:00 PM

 
The Oscar-winning composer who penned the song “You Light Up My Life,” one of the biggest pop songs of the 20thCentury, has committed suicide.Joseph Brooks was facing a mountain of legal troubles, including awaiting trial on 82 counts of various alleged sex crimes. He was 73.

Joseph Brooks shot to prominence in 1977 thanks to his song, “You Light Up My Life,” which was originally recorded by Kasey Cisyk for the romantic comedy, You Light Up My Life, starring Didi Conn. Debbie Boone was hired to record the single, and her version shot to the top of the charts on its way to taking home an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Original Song, as well as earning Boone the Grammy for Best New Artist.

 

Mick Jagger Forming New ‘Super Heavy’ Band?

 the guitar society
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Monday, May 23, 2011    12:01 AM

 
 
Perhaps still smarting from various barbs in Keith Richards’ autobiography, Life, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger appears to be stepping out on his own. The New York Post is reporting that Jagger has been recording with Eurythmics guitarist Dave Stewart, Bob Marley’s son Damian Marley, singer Joss Stone and Oscar-winning Indian musician/producer A.R. Rahman.

An unnamed source told the Post, “They just finished a record and their first video and are talking to major labels about a deal. The name for the band at the moment is Super Heavy.”

“Each member has a very distinct and different style, but it works,” another source said. “Mick has been recording with Dave for a while, and both worked with Joss in the past.”

Jagger’s camp is still playing the whole project close to the vest, with a rep only disclosing: “They all thought it would be interesting and great fun to go into the studio and play some music. No video has been shot, no label in place. All a bit premature.”

 
 

Mick Jagger Forming New ‘Super Heavy’ Band?

Monday, May 23, 2011    12:01 AM

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Perhaps still smarting from various barbs in Keith Richards’ autobiography, Life, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger appears to be stepping out on his own. The New York Post is reporting that Jagger has been recording with Eurythmics guitarist Dave Stewart, Bob Marley’s son Damian Marley, singer Joss Stone and Oscar-winning Indian musician/producer A.R. Rahman.

An unnamed source told the Post, “They just finished a record and their first video and are talking to major labels about a deal. The name for the band at the moment is Super Heavy.”

“Each member has a very distinct and different style, but it works,” another source said. “Mick has been recording with Dave for a while, and both worked with Joss in the past.”

Jagger’s camp is still playing the whole project close to the vest, with a rep only disclosing: “They all thought it would be interesting and great fun to go into the studio and play some music. No video has been shot, no label in place. All a bit premature.”

 

Sky’s the Limit for Muse

Monday, May 23, 2011    12:01 AM

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Muse, who this past week won the prestigious International Achievement award at the Ivor Novello Awards in London, want to play music in outer space.

According to the Sun newspaper, lead singer Matt Bellamy said at the function: “We wanna be the first band to play there. We gave Richard Branson one of our songs for an airline advert, so we’ve got our foot in the door.”

Before that Bellamy is expecting a child with his actress fiancée Kate Hudson, something he’s already working into the new album. Bellamy told the Daily Mirror: “I’m already getting the vibraphone out and the Wurlitzer – these nice sort of twinkling high nice sort of mellow sounds that makes the baby kick and stuff. So I’ve got a feeling I’ll incorporate those sounds into the next album a little bit.”

 

This Day in Music: May 22nd

 

Sunday, May 22, 2011    12:01 AM

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Brought to you by ThisdayinMusic.com

Born on this day:
1950, Bernie Taupin, songwriter
1954, Jerry Dammers, The Specials
1959, Morrissey, The Smiths,
1962, Jesse Valenzuela, Gin Blossoms
1967, Dan Roberts, Crash Test Dummies

1964, The Beatles arrived back from their first US trip at Heathrow Airport and were greeted by thousands of fans. Also on this day The Beatles scored their second U.S. #1 album with The Beatles Second Album. It displaced ‘Meet The Beatles!’ from the top of the charts.

1968, Gary Puckett And The Union Gap were at #1 on the U.K. singles chart with “Young Girl.” The song which was about under-age sex was the acts only U.K. #1.

1971, The Rolling Stones album Sticky Fingers started a four-week run at#1 on the U.S. charts, the group’s second U.S. #1 album, the set featured “Brown Sugar,” “Bitch’”and “Wild Horses.”

1980, U2 kicked off their 23 date 11 O’Clock Tick Tock tour at The Hope & Anchor in London.

1981, Stiff Little Fingers appeared at Dundee Caird Hall, Scotland.

1982, Madness went to #1 on the U.K. album chart with Complete Madness. their first #1 album. For more on this, see This Day in Music Spotlight.

1989, Stone Roses appeared at Dingwalls, London, England, tickets cost £5.

1993, Swedish group Ace Of Base started a three-week run at #1 on the U.K. singles chart with “All That She Wants,” a #2 hit in the US.

1997, Radiohead played the first of two sold-out nights at Zeleste, Barcelona, Spain.

2000, Robbie Williams set up a children’s charity with the cash he earned from a deal with Pepsi. Beneficiaries would include UNICEF and Jeans For Genes.

2009, White Stripes drummer Meg White married Jackson Smith at ex-husband and bandmate Jack White’s Nashville home. Jack and Meg White were married for four years and divorced in 2000. The event was part of a double wedding, which also saw Jack Lawrence and Jo McCaughey marry. Lawrence plays bass in Jack White’s other musical projects, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather.

 

Berry Gordy Working on Motown Musical with Diana Ross and Smokey Robinson?

Sunday, May 22, 2011    12:01 AM

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Motown Records founder Berry Gordy is apparently attempting to tell his life story in a Broadway musical. The New York Post is reporting that he’s working with Universal Music CEO Doug Morris and Rent producer Kevin McCollum on the project.

The musical would be set during Motown’s glory days of the 1960s and tell the story of the Detroit label’s rise to prominence. Motown stars Diana Ross and Smokey Robinson will probably be involved in the musical, which will draw on the label’s catalog of hits. Gordy owns most of the rights to that music.

 

This Day in Music: May 21st

 

Saturday, May 21, 2011    12:01 AM

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Brought to you by ThisDayinMusic.com.

Born on this day:
1904, Fats Waller, pianist
1928, Tom “Big Daddy” Donahue, disc jockey
1941, Martin Carthy, singer, guitarist
1941, Ronald Isley, singer, The Isley Brothers
1943, Hilton Valentine, guitarist, The Animals
1943, John Dalton, bassist, The Kinks
1948, Leo Sayer, singer
1954, Marc Ribot, guitarist
1955, Stan Lynch, drummer, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
1963, Kevin Shields, singer, guitarist, My Bloody Valentine
1972, The Notorious B.I.G. (born Christopher Wallace), rapper
1975, Lee Gaze, guitarist, Lostprophets

1955, Chuck Berry recorded his first single, “Maybellene,” at the Universal Recording Studios in Chicago. According to Berry’s partner, Johnnie Johnson, the song was a reworking of the traditional “Ida Red,” renamed “Maybellene” after producer Leonard Chess spotted a mascara box in the studio bearing that name. The song hit #5 on the U.S. pop charts and #1 on the R&B charts.

1956, during a performance at the Municipal Auditorium in Topeka, Kansas, Elvis Presley had to make a hasty exit when 2,500 fans stormed the stage. The Topeka Daily Capital reported, “With movements which would put a burlesque queen to shame, Elvis squirms out his songs. He keeps himself so breathless from the physical contortions that the pleasant timbre of his lower baritone notes can seldom be detected.”

1964, on holiday in Paris, Bob Dylan met the German model Nico, for whom he would later write “I’ll Keep It with Mine.”

1966, The Castiles (with Bruce Springsteen on vocals) appeared at Freehold Regional High School in New Jersey. The group performed at their own high school for the very first time at the senior prom.

1979, Elton John began a historic run of eight dates in the U.S.S.R., playing in Leningrad’s Great October Hall.

1981, Bob Marley was laid to rest near his birthplace in Jamaica. The reggae singer and national hero, who died of cancer ten days earlier, was buried with his familiar red Gibson Les Paul. His final words to his son Ziggy before his death were: “Money can’t buy life.”

1982, the world famous Haçienda nightclub opened in Manchester, England. Financed largely by Factory Records—and immortalized in the film, 24 Hour Party People—the club was an important site in the rise of acid house and rave music.

1983, David Bowie went to #1 on the U.S. singles chart with “Let’s Dance,” featuring blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was Bowie’s first single to reach #1 on both sides of the Atlantic.

2003, Paul McCartney played in his old Beatle launching pad, Hamburg, Germany before leaving for Russia the following day to collect an honorary doctorate in music from St. Petersburg State University. Macca was back in the (former) U.S.S.R. the following year to play a massive gig in St. Petersburg’s Palace Square.

 

Las Vegas Beatles Reunion Set for June

Saturday, May 21, 2011    12:01 AM

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A sizable chunk of the Beatles family will assemble in Las Vegas on June 8 to celebrate the five-year anniversary of Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles-themed show, Love. According to USA Today, surviving band member Paul McCartney will attend the celebration, along with John Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, George Harrison’s widow, Olivia Harrison, Harrison’s son, Dhani Harrison, producer George Martin and his son, Giles Martin (who co-produced the Grammy-winning Love soundtrack with his father).

Ringo Starr is unable to attend due to tour commitments, but will send a videotaped message to be played during a special show. Roughly half of the audience for the special performance will be personal invitees of the Beatles and Cirque du Soleil camps. McCartney will host a private party afterward featuring his favorite DJ, Chris Holmes.

Since its premiere in June 2006, Love has played to packed houses and critical acclaim. Based on its success, Cirque du Soleil launched another popular music-based show, Viva Elvis, in 2009, and has scheduled upcoming projects featuring the music of Elton John, Michael Jackson and Danny Elfman over the next three years.

Cirque du Soleil Senior Vice President Jerry Nadal enthused, “Tapping into all these different fan bases has meant a great expansion for us. For the first year or two, we got a lot of hardcore Beatles fans who had never seen a Cirque show. They said, ‘Wow, that’s Cirque? I want to see another one.’”

 

Allman Brothers Legend Gregg Allman to Write Memoirs

Saturday, May 21, 2011    12:00 AM

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Following in the footsteps of Keith Richards, Sammy Hagar, Steven Tyler and Pete Townshend, Gregg Allman will finally put his story to pen and paper. The Allman Brothers legend signed a deal with William Morrow and will release his memoirs next spring.

In a statement, Allman said: “When I got out of high school, I thought, ‘I’ll take a year or two off and play the clubs, get this out of my system and then go to med school.’ More than 40 years later, I figure it’s finally time to write about this crazy journey that’s taken me around the world and back.”

The Allman Brothers Band was formed in 1969 by Gregg Allman, his brother Duane, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks and Jaimoe Johanson. Following the tragic deaths of Duane Allman in 1971 and Berry Oakley in 1972, the band soldiered on and—despite a few breakups and reunions—the Allmans have continued their tradition as one of rock’s great live acts to this day.

 

Chart-Topping ’60 Pop Star Kathy Kirby Dies

|Friday, May 20, 2011    
 
British pop star of the ’60s, Kathy Kirby has died. The Daily Telegraph reports that she was 72.

Best known for her dramatic version of “Secret Love” which made it to #4 on the U.K. charts in 1963, Kirby suffered a short illness before passing away on Thursday.

In 1964, NME named her Top British Female Singer and, in 1965, Kirby, a blonde bombshell often compared to Marilyn Monroe, represented the U.K. in the Eurovision Song Contest with “I Belong,” finishing second behind Luxembourg.

She had two more Top 10 hits in the ’60s and her own TV series. She also sang the theme song for the BBC series Adam Adamant Lives! A stage show about her life, Secret Love, was produced Leeds in May 2008.

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