Victor Trent Cook, Ken Ard, Adrian Bailey and Frederick Owens are featured in Keep In Rollin’ and Searchin’, two of the songs featured in this final performance of Smokey Joe’s Café.
B.J. Crosby sings Fools Fall In Love in this emotional last performance of the long-running play Smoky Joe’s Café. The song builds to a crescendo in the last moments of the song, that you will never forget.
Disregard the foreign language captions, since the main thing is the song itself and the fantastic job B.J. Crosby does singing with so much emotion, that the audience gives her a standing ovation at the end of the song.
Frankie Valli was born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio on May 3, 1934 in Newark, New Jersey. The 79 year-old singer appeared on American Idol singing his classic hits Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You and Grease in the Season 12 American Idol finale.
Valli was enticed to sing after seeing Frank Sinatra in concert at the Paramount Theater in New York City. He appeared with various groups, but his main claim to fame came during his time singing with the Four Seasons. The group had monster hits like Sherry, Walk Like A Man, Big Girls Don’t Cry, which all went to No.1 on the Billboard charts in 1962 and 1963. Another 1963 hit Candy Girl peaked at No.3. Dawn (Go Away) would also climb to No.3.
His first hit as a soloist was Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, which reached the No.1 spot on the Billboard charts. My Eyes Adored You went to No.1 in 1974, then he had his last No.1 solo song with Grease.
An interesting note of trivia is that the Four Seasons were named after a New Jersey bowling alley.
When Valli recorded solo albums he sang in his regular voice, not the falsetto he used with the Four Seasons. Valli sounded good whether singing in falsetto or regular voice.
The Four Seasons and Valli weren’t affected by the British invasion, as they didn’t alter their sound to fit in with the Beatles craze.
The late 70′s would see Valli battle otosclerosis, which causes loss of hearing. He would have to sing from memory during this time and but would regain his hearing in 1980.
He would record his first solo album in 27 years in 2007 and is still active today 62 years after he first became an active singer.
A crowning achievement for Valli and Four Seasons was their induction, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
These are some 30 second clips of the Four Seasons and Frankie Valli hits:
Four Seasons singing Working My Way Back To You
Four Seasons singing a medley of Dawn, Rag Doll and Bye Bye Baby
Ryan Seacrest who is usually shorter than most of the singers on American Idol had to be happy, to stand next to the diminutive Frankie Valli who is five foot five, so Seacrest towered over him at five foot eight.
It is great to know that 79 year-old Valli is still active, with no signs of retiring anytime soon.
It has been evident since the Final 10 were chosen by judges, that Candice Glover was the best singer among those singers in the Final 10.
American Idol fans confirmed that she was the best, by choosing her as the new American Idol for Season 12. The only surprise would have been if Candice had not won. Kree Harrison finished second and Angie Miller was third in Season 12. I look for Kree and Angie to have successful careers, but Candice should have her first album released long before either of them, since her album should be in stores for months, before Kree and Angie release their albums.
The producers are smart to release the first album of Candice much sooner than usual. Most albums by the current American Idol are not released till November, so the summer release will let fans of Candice have her music, in their MP3 players and phones sooner rather than later, plus many albums should be sold on the American Idol tour this summer.
There were many guest artists on the finale, but none of them came close to matching Frankie Valli and him singing with the five guys on I Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You and Grease. Valli commanded the stage like giants of entertainment do when they enter the spotlight. Valli turned 79 earlier this month and was born a year before Elvis Presley. Valli has been singing since 17, which was 62 years ago.
Aretha Franklin also sang but her singing didn’t have the impact of Valli, since she was singing from New York, but she sang some of her biggest hits, which were received well by the audience.
It was great to see Candice become the first girl to win American Idol since Jordin Sparks won in Season 6.
Randy Jackson said his goodbyes to fans of American Idol last night. He is the only one of ten judges to remain with the show the first twelve seasons. Latest rumors say that the other three Idol judges could be leaving too, but it could be several months, before any changes to the judging panel will be announced. There are even some reports that the show could return to a three judge format.
It is too early for ratings results for the finale, but it is almost a foregone conclusion that the ratings will be the lowest for any finale in the 12 year history of the show.
The Voice Season 4 will be ending soon, then Season 5 of The Voice will return in the fall along with Season 3 of X-Factor, so three music competitions will end before American Idol returns in January.
It will be complete shock if Candice Glover isn’t crowned as the next American Idol. The above video escalated Candice to a whole new level of excellence. Kree Harrison is a great singer, that should have a long and successful career, but she is not the singer that Candice is.
Her rendition of I Who Have Nothing the Ben E. King classic showed that she is the best singer on American Idol this season. However, her chances of winning depend on how her voting base voted last night.
American Idol needs a win by Candice, since she is a powerhouse singer, that should sell millions of records and draw thousands to her concerts. Kree may sell a lot of albums, but she will never reach the star power of Candice, who delivers the big moments in her songs, that the Idol judges are looking for.
There are rumors that Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey will not return as judges, while Randy Jackson has already announced he won’t be returning for Season 13.
Simon Fuller the creator of American Idol was criticized last night, for the songs he chose for Candace and Kree to sing last night. Randy Jackson disliked his song choices and Ryan Seacrest interjected, that he only said that since he would be leaving the show after tonight’s finale.
Randy was wrong to even mention song choices, since Candice and Kree only sang the songs and had no part in selecting them. Why criticize the man who created the American Idol juggernaut and paid Jackson millions of dollars since the first show?
We can expect many changes in American Idol in Season 13. Another year of lower ratings demands that changes be made.
There is way too much emphasis on the celebrity of the judges, when the focus should be entirely on the contestants. Paying Mariah Carey $18 million, Nicki Minaj $12 million and Keith Urban $5 million was not able to attract viewers in larger numbers and in fact this season had the lowest ratings in the history of the show.
There are already rumors that Jennifer Lopez may return as a judge in January, but can’t see the producers signing another high salary celebrity.
I wouldn’t mind seeing some of the previous winners join the judge panel, who wouldn’t have the clout to demand huge salaries, plus they would understand better, what the contestants are experiencing during the life of the show.
Former American Idol contestants currently have albums in the Billboard 200. The Voice may be attracting more viewers, but their winners are not selling albums and downloads like winners or also-rans from American Idol. That makes American Idol the king of the singing competitions, till the other shows start producing singers that sell albums in the millions.
It was an almost foregone conclusion for me at least, that Candice Glover and Angie Miller would be the last two standing on American Idol but the voters chose Kree Harrison to face Candice in the last performance show next Wednesday night.
There was no doubt that Kree is a good singer, but to me she was not a singer of the caliber of Angie Miller. I don’t think Kree can connect with an audience nearly as well, as Candice who clearly has to be the favorite next week, but even she is not a sure winner, unless her supporters take time to vote her the next American Idol next Thursday night.
All Four Judges Could Be Fired
The latest reports circulating in the media are saying that all four judges will be fired, before the start of Season 13 next January.
In fact, Randy Jackson announced he is leaving the show in a Thursday statement. It would have been no surprise if Nicki Minaj or Mariah Carey had been fired or both, since their feud was a distraction during Season 12. Nicki Minaj telling Mariah to “simmer down sir” was a prime example of their dislike for each other.
Mariah has fired Randy as her manager, so that may have been a cause of a reported dustup between the two.
However, doubt many observers thought that all four judges would be fired. I thought Keith Urban did a good enough job to be retained for another season.
Even executive producer Nigel Lythgoe is reportedly in line to be fired. Ryan Seacrest could be the only familiar face to return next season.
The days of the high priced divas may be over for American Idol, after paying Mariah $18 million and Nicki $12 million, for this season.
Worst of all the May sweeps ratings determine the prices that sponsors are charged and with only 11.11 million tuning in last Wednesday night the show won’t have the money to pay the high salaries in Season 13. The 11.11 million viewers were the fewest viewers watching American Idol this season.
Season 6 ratings averaged around 30 million, so that is an indication of how far the ratings have tumbled since Jordin Sparks was the last woman, that was voted the winner of American Idol six years ago.
We should hear from American Idol management in the coming months, if these latest rumors are true. The show really has no choice, but to make changes in light of the extremely low ratings. There is almost no chance of the show being cancelled, since it is one of the top money-making shows on television.
So if you watch American Idol next week soak in the atmosphere, because it is almost a sure bet, that there will be major changes in Season 13.
Kree Harrison had to be shocked to be in the Top 2 with Angie Miller, on the Thursday night results show on American Idol. The judges had roundly criticized her performances on Wednesday night, but evidently the judges couldn’t sway the voters into not voting for her.
It was a shock to see Candace Glover in the Bottom 2, since she had some of the best feedback from the judges on Wednesday night. Amber Holcomb also was in the Bottom 2, but that wasn’t too surprising since there was some criticism of her decision to sing MacArthur Park on Wednesday’s show.
Ryan Seacrest teased the audience by saying “And going home is no one” and then explaining the show was expecting the judges to use their save, but when they didn’t the show needed an extra week to finish on the original schedule.
According to my calculations there should be three more weeks, with the final three revealed next week, then the final two the following week and finale the third week. None of this is official so is only conjecture at this point.
Lee DeWyze, the Season 10 winner, who is probably the least recognizable winner among the 11 winners so far sang a song from his new album.
The favorite to win Season 12 of American Idol seems to be Angie Miller, unless she falters in the remaining shows. She needs to follow the advice of the judges and Jimmy Iovine and sing while playing the piano, which seems to be the niche she needs to be in to become the next American Idol.
However, with the votes from yesterday and those cast next week anything can happen, so it is crucial for each of the remaining four contestants, to make good song choices and to perform them as flawlessly as possible.
American Idol has lost almost 5.5 million viewers since the premiere show in January. I think many fans have gone over to The Voice and don’t care to watch American Idol the next two nights. A Big Bang Theory rerun topped American Idol last week, which shows how far the ratings have tumbled this season.
Only 12.46 million viewers tuned in to the Wednesday performance show, but no results are available yet for last night’s show.
George Jones has died in the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 81. He had been admitted into the hospital, with fever and irregular blood pressure.
Jones was a traditional country singer in the purest sense. He was far removed from the uptown country sound heard so much today. When a country music fan thought of the greats of the past Jones was one of the first to come to mind.
The first George Jones song to make the Billboard charts was Why Baby Why which went to No.4 in 1955. Three years later White Lightning would be the first No.1 hit for Jones.
Tender Years would reach No.1 in 1961, then She Thinks I Still Care was No.1 in 1962. Five years later Walk Through This World With Me became his last No.1 hit in the 60′s.
The Grand Tour and The Door were his only No.1 hits in the 1970′s and both were released in 1974.
The 1980′s would see him release his signature song He Stopped Loving Her Today in 1980 and followed by another No.1 song Still Doin’ Time in 1981. 1983′s I Always Get Lucky With You was his last No.1 hit in the 80′s.
It has been 30 years since Jones recorded a No.1 song, but he did release three No.1 singles with Tammy Wynette, which included We’re Going to Hold On in 1973, Golden Ring and Near You in 1976.
He recorded Yesterday’s Wine another No.1 song with Merle Haggard in 1982.
It is hard to believe that Jones only had nine solo No.1 hits, but this is all that showed up on Wikipedia as being No.1 songs.
George Jones had a tumultuous life, but this is no day to go over his past. This is a day to remember one of the best pure country singers during our lifetime.
George, Thanks for the memories.
The judges may not have that much influence on American Idol voters, but if they do make a difference in the voting, then Angie Miller and Candace Glover should be in Top 2 and Kree Harrison and Amber Holcomb should be in the Bottom 2. However, we can only guess what the actual results will show, when Ryan Seacrest reveals the results tonight.
Kree Harrison got trashed, hammered and battered by the judges after she sang the Susan Tedeschi song Hurt So Bad. I was thinking how good of a job, that she had done with the song, but the judges hated her rendition of the song. It was plain to see that Kree was shocked at being attacked so mercilessly by the judges. I thought she did a creditable job on A Whiter Shade of Pale, but the judges were not impressed by that either.
Keith Urban seemed to think the one hit wonder songs should have been recorded in the last 10 years. The contestants are not mind readers and shouldn’t be expected to know what timeline the judges were wanting the songs from.
I can understand A Whiter Shade of Pale being a one hit wonder, since it was the only hit of Procol Harum, but Cry Me A River recorded by Julie London 58 years ago in 1955 would not be considered a one hit wonder, since London recorded many more albums after its release. It has been covered many times over the years, including my favorite version by Diana Krall in her Look of Love album released in 2001.
Candace received mixed reviews from the judges, while Angie received more praise, than any of the other three contestants. It would be a tremendous shock if Angie is in the bottom two and it would show that the opinions of the judges were not affecting the voting results.
Jimmy Iovine did not like Amber singing MacArthur Park, which was written by Jimmy Webb. Iovine called the song corny, probably because of the lyrics saying “Someone left a cake out in the rain and I’ll never find that recipe again” which was corny. Interesting side note about the song: Webb wrote the song after breaking up with Linda Rondstadt, since they had met many times in MacArthur Park.
Kree and Amber clearly got the worst feedback from the judges, so it looks like Angie and Candace should be the top vote-getters.
Vote For the Worst website has Kree as the one to vote for this week, which might help her stay another week. There is speculation that Ryan Seacrest’s surprise tonight may be that nobody goes home, since the judges haven’t used their save.
So the surprise may be either that the judges use their save or that Ryan will announce nobody will go home. The bad thing about that scenario is that fans cast millions of votes for nothing, so it would make sense if the judges are allowed to use the save, rather than just announce nobody will go home.
I don’t think the judges should even have judged the two group songs. The group songs are only filler anyway and it gave the judges a third chance to trash Kree. I don’t know if Kree can recover from hearing how much the judges hated her singing to become the American Idol.
There is no sense in American Idol having a two-hour show for four contestants and next week it will again be two hours for three contestants, unless the judges use their save to keep all four contestants for another week.
Next week’s show could be the next to last show of Season 12, unless everybody stays another week tonight.
Rumors have been flying around the internet that Mariah Carey might be fired, before the completion of Season 12, to boost the ratings, but those rumors seem to have been unfounded.
For a more complete recap of last night’s show:
My No.1 complaint about the internet is to be reading an article, then a pop-up ad covers up the article, which makes you have to X out the ad, so you can finish reading the article. Guess you can call this kind of pop-up a pop-over since it covers up an article. If the advertiser thinks pop-up ads will make me want to look at their ad, then they are dead wrong, since I will never buy a product, from a company that intrudes on my time on the computer.
Another culprit is the spammer who reads your blog and likes it and posting a phony message, about how much they like your blog, then you see it is a business trying to use your blog to advertise their business.
You Tube videos are another headache, when you expect to see a music video, but instead an advertisement starts playing for 30 minutes or 60 minutes. You are a prisoner to the advertiser, since you have no choice, but to watch their ad if you want to see the music video. I hate inserting a link in my blog, to a You Tube video that first shows an ad, since some viewers won’t want to sit there for 60 minutes watching an ad, before seeing the video.
Some websites are interminably slow to open a page, so eventually I will avoid those websites. For instance I have seen some websites take forever to open, but then go to ESPN which opens almost immediately, despite being graphic intensive website.
Then there are the websites, that require you to sign in with your email address and a password, just to view the content of that website. Another pet peeve of mine is going to a website that lets you read only part of an article, then says you have to pay to read the complete article.
There is nothing more aggravating, than to go to a website and start reading, then the page becomes unresponsive and you have to wait till the page lets you start scrolling again.
One thing that often happens on the internet is to go to a website and you get a message saying you need to download a program, before you can view that website. If you have problems downloading the program, then you have wasted several minutes for nothing.
Bloggers like me have another problem, by posting a photo found in a Google search, then go back to that page later and the photo is gone. Copyrighted photos should not show up in a Google search. I have about 925 posts in my blog, so it is impossible to go through each blog to see which photos or videos have been removed by someone.
Charging to view a website tells me it is time to forget about that website. That is why Facebook will not charge to use Facebook, because Facebookers will leave the site in droves, if they start charging. Facebook doesn’t want to tell their advertisers, that millions have closed out their Facebook accounts, so the advertiser will ask Facebook to reduce their advertising rates and Facebook surely doesn’t want to lose revenue.
The only internet service that I would ever consider paying for is if all the email services begin charging, for using their email service. Email is almost certainly the most widely used service on the internet, especially those that don’t use the social media for one reason or the other.
Note: Readers are welcome to list their complaints about the internet in the comments section. Any comments are appreciated.
Janelle Arthur who expected to be sent home last night became the first girl to be eliminated on American Idol on Thursday night.
The judges could have saved her, but seem to be saving their save for one of the remaining four contestants. Had heard that they had to use their save by Top 5 week, but apparently they will have it at their disposal for one more week. I will be surprised if these judges will ever save anyone, as they can’t seem to agree on who is worth saving. The following article says the judges will not be allowed to use their save now:
Top 4 week will see Amber Holcomb, Candace Glover, Angie Miller and Kree Harrison try to extend their time on American Idol. It was surprising to see Kree in the Bottom 2, but in another way it was not surprising, since any of the four remaining contestants would make excellent American Idols.
From now on the competition should be even tougher for the contestants, since we are nearing the end of Season 12. If the save is not used Season 12 will end the second week in May. The judges will have their hands full, as they and the voters hold the fate, of the remaining contestants as the season nears its end.
Nicki Minaj and Jimmy Iovine did not see eye to eye on the merits of Amber Holcomb’s singing on Wednesday’s show.
Clay Aiken and Fantasia sang on the show last night and Paula Abdul made a surprise appearance. Paula may have not been the best judge ever, but would be an upgrade over either Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey.
American Idol continues to trail The Voice in the television ratings. The Voice has seen a spike in their ratings during the Battle Rounds. The Voice may be an excellent show, but until one of their winners makes a real mark in the music world I can’t take it too seriously. I lose interest after the blind auditions on The Voice, then watch when they get down to the live shows after the Battle Rounds are over. Worst thing is that there is such a long gap from seeing The Voice contestants in the Battle Rounds, till all the finalists from the Battle Rounds appear individually in the remaining shows.
All four of the remaining contestants on American Idol should have recording careers, plus Janelle Arthur should make it big in the world of country music.
Lazaro Arbos has some less than flattering words about one of the remaining contestants, after he went home from the show:
“I’m not gonna say names and I don’t wanna sound rude,” Lazaro told ABC News Radio backstage at Live with Kelly & Michael earlier in the week. “But I think that one woman in particular is cra-a-a-a-z-y and she wants to win!” Lazaro would not say if the contestant was Kree, Candice, Amber, Angie or Janelle, but he thinks that she — whoever she is — needs to chill out. Big time. “She thinks that we’re in The Hunger Games and she’s fighting for her life,” dished Lazaro about the mystery contestant. “She needs to realize that it’s not about winning: it’s about what you do after the show.” – Vote for the Worst website
Janelle was chosen by Vote For The Worst website as their choice to vote for this week. It will be interesting to see how they choose as the worst remaining contestant, now that Janelle has been eliminated.
Facts on remaining contestants:
Candace Glover – Candace is 24 and from Beaufort, South Carolina. This was her third try at American Idol having competed in Season 9 and Season 11. She made it to Las Vegas week in Season 11 and performed in a group with Season 11 finalists DeAndre Brackensick and Jessica Sanchez.
Angie Miller – Angie is 19 and from Beverly, Massachusetts. She is partially deaf and has a You Tube page with 2.8 million views.
Amber Holcomb – Amber is 19 and from Houston, Texas. She was seen in Season 11 and was in a group with Season 11 finalists Shannon Magrane and Joshua Ledet.
Kree Harrison – Kree is 23 and came from Winfield, Texas, but currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Kree’s father died in an airplane crash when she was 12 and her mother died in a car accident, when Kree was 16.
The following poll asks which of the remaining four contestants will be the Season 12 American Idol:
The American Idol judges Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey have their work cut out for them since only the most talented singers are left in the competition.
It is looking like Candace Glover is the current favorite to win the title of the American Idol for Season 12. It will be interesting tonight to see how Candace fares in the voting results, that will be revealed tonight. The best singer on American Idol is not always the winner on the finale in May.
Janelle Arthur on the other hand is almost certain to be in the bottom two tonight, after receiving lukewarm critiques from the judges. I agree with Nicki Minaj that Janelle will make a mark in country music, even if she doesn’t win the competition.
It will be sad to see Janelle go home tonight, if she does receive the fewest votes. She is very likeable and seems to be able to handle any criticism from the judges well.
However, there are no guarantees in American Idol voting, as Pia Toscano can testify to when she was eliminated early in Season 12.
So Ryan Seacrest might reveal some surprising results tonight, but in all likelihood Janelle will be bidding adieu to her fellow contestants tonight.
Kree Harrison probably will be among the top vote-getters tonight, with Angie Miller or Amber Holcomb joining Janelle in the bottom two.
The shocking event of the night was that Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey actually talked to each other, for the first time that I know of during Season 12 live shows.
Unreality TV delves further into their altercation last night:
Personally, I thought all the contestants performed well, but the judges know music much better than me who missed notes or sang offkey, so my opinion and a dollar will get me on the city bus, but doesn’t really mean that much.
New York Daily News has posted a recap of last night’s show:
Latest Idol News
Pia Toscano mentioned earlier in this article will be seen in her first movie Grace Unplugged in October and should also release her debut album. New York Daily News has more info on the Season 10 American Idol contestant:
Fantasia will be seen on American Idol tonight singing Lose To Win and Clay Aiken is also slated to appear in the telecast.
Taylor Hicks is still appearing in concerts, but his albums are not selling well. His 2011 album Taylor Hicks has received great reviews with 248 Amazon reviews rating the album 5 stars, while only 5 gave the album 1 star. His problem is that it has not sold well and is currently 87,267th in sales and new and used copies of the album can be bought for one cent.
George Beverly Shea has died in Montreat, North Carolina after a brief illness at the age of 104. He was born on February 1, 1909 in Winchester, Ontario, Canada.
Shea is best known for being a soloist with the Billy Graham crusade from 1947 till almost 60 years later when Graham was no longer physically able to stand and preach.
His recording career lasted from 1951 till his death and he recorded 70 albums during his recording career. I can still remember hearing him sing How Great Thou Art and It Took A Miracle and many other songs during the televised crusades.
He was an accomplished musician playing the violin, piano and organ.
Shea was married a combined 70 years to his first wife Erma Scharfe who died in 1976 and his second wife whom he married in 1985 and survived him upon his death.
George Beverly Shea may be gone, but he will never be forgotten by the many of us who saw him sing so many times over the years, with the Billy Graham crusade. His music will live on for years to come.
Candace Glover received enthusiastic praise for her singing on American Idol last night. Her rendition of Love Song was so good, that Randy Jackson said that it was the best performance of any singing competition ever. It is looking now like Candace is the one to beat. However, she didn’t even finish in the Top 3 last week. Instead Kree Harrison, Angie Miller and Lazaro Arbos finished in the Top 3.
The question now is whether her voting base will cast enough votes for her to be in the Top 3, when the voting results are announced by Ryan Seacrest tonight. American Idol is not always about who is best, but who has the strongest voting base.
A case in point is Lazaro Arbos, who is still around despite being the worst of the boy singers and worst of the remaining contestants. Lazaro was hammered unmercifully by the judges last night, but that may actually work in his favor. It may have caused him to garner sympathy votes, which may keep him on the show. Or maybe the criticism may cause some of his supporters, to abandon him and start voting for real singers. I like Lazaro but know good and well, that he is not going to be the next American Idol.
For the tenth best singer among the ten contestants, to be competing for a spot in the Final 5 tells me the voters are not particularly voting for the best singer.
However, even if Lazaro stays the girl who receives the least votes would almost certainly be saved by the judges.
Nicki Minaj continues being nice to a contestant one minute, then the next minute rip their singing the next minute. She seems to enjoy sticking it to a contestant, after luring the contestant into thinking she is going to say something positive about their performance. Janelle Arthur was the victim last night of her criticism saying her song was boring. I am not saying Nicki doesn’t have the right to criticize the contestants, but she should start her criticism from the start, instead of acting like she really cares about a contestant, then jump on them with both feet.
If the voters vote strictly on performance, then Candace, Kree Harrison and Amber Holcomb should be in the Top 3 tonight, with Janelle, Angie Miller and Lazaro at the bottom of the vote-getters. If Lazaro stays I look for Janelle to finish last and then be saved by the judges.
My personal pick as of today to be the next American Idol is Candace, with Kree Harrison likely to be the finalist with her on finale night, but Amber Holcomb is still in the running, if either of them falters.
One criticism for the show is that I see no need for the show to be two hours long, with only six singers left in the competition. The songs last about two minutes or less, so the 12 songs last night lasted only about 24 minutes. That left one hour and 36 minutes for judges to make their critiques, run umpteen commercials and fill the rest of the time with filler.
We are forced to watch the show on regular antenna, since the satellite network doesn’t carry the closest Fox station. We used to record the shows when we were on cable, which saved us watching about 40 minutes of commercials and turning the show into an hour and 20 minute show. The show will be two hours again next week, even though they may be down to five singers, unless Lazaro stays and a girl singer is saved, which would still leave six singers.
For a complete rundown on last night show from Hollywood.com:
Lazaro Arbos may be going home on Thursday night, since he is only male contestant left in Season 12. However, that is not a foregone conclusion, with him finishing in the Top 3 last Thursday night. Those in the Top 3 were not announced in a particular order, so it is conceivable that Lazaro may have even been the top vote-getter.
Lazaro may be a sentimental favorite of the voters this season, since the judges have not had many kind words about his singing during the season. Their critiques of his singing may even be helping to garner sympathy votes for Lazaro.
Janelle Arthur may even be going home next Thursday, if Lazaro isn’t sent home this week. She finished in Bottom 2 last week, so unless she steps it up next week she could be going home.
If a girl doesn’t win in Season 12, then something is very wrong with the voting procedure, since the girls are clearly much better singers than the boys this season.
If Lazaro is sent home, then it means a very talented singer will be going home the next week and every week after, till the new American Idol is announced.
Any of the remaining girls including Janelle, Amber Holcomb, Candace Glover, Angie Miller and Kree Harrison are worthy of being the next American Idol.
It will be interesting to see how American Idol fans vote in this poll, so we can see if Lazaro’s fan base can keep him on the show and send a better singer home.
American Idol – The Voice Ratings Battle
Season 4 of the Voice premiered with 13.64 million viewers and has increased to 13.93 million viewers on the last episode.
Meanwhile American Idol garnered more viewers, for their premiere of Season 12, with 17.93 million viewers, but last Thursday’s results show drew over 6 million less viewers, with 11.72 million watching the results show. The producers have to be concerned with the loss of that many viewers.
Evidently, viewers are tiring of the music competition genre. Television has a predilection to latch onto a hot trend and doesn’t let go of it till it fizzles out. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire was a prime example of overkill at its worst. The show did well till it was shown on more than one night a week, then withered away till where it wasn’t even shown during primetime.
Singing competitions are proliferating to the point, where summer is our only respite from the shows. However, with X-Factor and The Voice in the fall and then American Idol in January and The Voice in March we are having singing competition shows from September to May.
Nicki Minaj took to Tweeter lecturing Devin Velez that he should be gracious for being on the show. When Velez sang I Can’t Help Myself on Wednesday night, with Lazaro Arbos and Burnell Taylor Minaj compared their singing to that of Hollywood week. Even worse, she ordered the group off the stage, which to me was extremely mean. They had to feel bad enough, after being trashed by Minaj, without her ordering them off the stage.
Nicki Minaj tweeted to Devin Velez last week, after he tweeted that Minaj was not very professional in ordering the group of Velez, Lazaro Arbos and Burnell Taylor, off the stage after their rendition of I Can Help Myself. Velez did admit the performance was sub-par, but thought Minaj acted unprofessionally, when ordering them off the stage. Minaj tweeted back that Velez needed to be gracious for his shot on the show.
Nicki Minaj was angered by a tweet by Devin Velez, after he was voted off the show and tweeted back to him that he should have been gracious for even being on the show. She went on to say in her tweet, that she was not going to save a boy, since the girls are much better singers. Velez said he didn’t mind being criticized by Minaj after the group of Velez, Lazaro Arbos and Burnell Taylor performed I Can’t Help Myself, but thought she acted unprofessionally, by telling the group to get off the stage.
I don’t think that the group singing should have even be judged on Wednesday night. It was just more filler to justify having eight singers sing in a two-hour show. Fox could have easily cut the show to half and hour, since each song takes about a minute and a half and then the judges do their critiques for 3 or 4 minutes, so each song and judging of that song should last no longer than 6 minutes. That comes out to 48 minutes for 6 songs. That left an hour and 12 minutes for commercials and filler material. Can’t wait till they get down to 6 songs, so maybe they will cut the show down to an hour and a half.
The first poll question is if Nicki Minaj is helping or hurting American Idol ratings in Season 12:
The second poll question is which of the remaining 7 contestants will become the American Idol of Season 12?
I think Minaj has been a major factor in Season 12 of American Idol losing so many viewers. Last Thursday night’s results show was the lowest ratings of the season. I do agree that the save will not be used on a boy, when it could be used on a girl with real talent.
My personal picks for top three to win and not necessarily the one I want to win would be between Candace Glover, Angie Miller and Kree Harrison.
There are even rumors that Ryan Seacrest may not return for the next season, but if I remember right he is in second year of three-year contract paying him $15 million a year.
The Voice has done well in the ratings, but still hasn’t come up with a winner that can sell records. Season 1 winner Javier Colon’s album Come Through For You peaked at No.134 on the Billboard 200 chart and has sold only 45,000 copies, as of late last December, more than a year after its initial release.
Season 2 winner Jermaine Paul has an album Finally that has no release date listed at Amazon.com, almost a year after he won The Voice in May of 2012.
Season 3 winner Cassidee Pope has released these singles which have sold a lot of downloads. She covered Cry a song recorded by Faith Hill and sold 81,000 copies in one week last December and debuted at No. 60 in its first week.
.Pope also recorded singles of Over You by Miranda Lambert which rose to No.25 on the Billboard Country chart and also recorded Keith Urban’s Stupid Boy which was at No.40, plus Michelle Branch’s Are You Happy Now, which was No.95. The real test for Pope will be when her first album is released later on down the road.
So the judges this season are intent on finding someone who will become a bona fide star, with name recognition something which has eluded the first three winners of The Voice.
Shakira and Usher the two one name judges seemed to have settled in well, in the first shows of Season 4.
Monday night’s show saw all four judges turn around their chairs for the Morgan Twins who sang Fallin’ and Judith Hill who sang What A Girl Wants.
Midas Whale a duo singing Folsom Prison Blues and Sarah Simmons singing One of Us sang well enough to have all four judges turn around for them on Tuesday night.
Cathia who sang “No Me Doy por Vencido” attracted the attention of Shakira, Usher and Blake Shelton and Cathia naturally chose Shakira as her mentor.
No judges turned around for six contestants on Monday night and for one of the six singers shown last night. It is heartbreaking to see a singer sing their heart out, only not to have one judge turn their chairs around. That is what gives the show credibility though, since everyone knows, that some of the singers are not ready for prime time yet.
I usually watch the Blind Auditions, then skip the Battle Rounds, since it seems to be a contest of who can sing the loudest and hit the highest notes. I then return for the individual competitions in the last weeks of the show.
The Voice may be very popular, but until they have a singer who breaks through and has national name recognition it will be known more as the show that features judges turning around in their chairs.
After all these singers are vying to win The Voice and hope to sell millions of albums, like some past winners of American Idol have done. Selling 45,000 albums in close to a year like Javier Colon is not going to help him or The Voice. That is far from the record sales of Carrie Underwood, who has sold 15 million albums, which included 7 million copies of her Some Hearts album.
For The Voice to be taken seriously as a star maker they have to come up with a star that can sell more than 45,000 albums, while an American Idol winner like Carrie Underwood has sold 15 million albums.
The Celebrity Net Worth website discloses that American Idol Season 4 winner Underwood has a net worth of $45 million, while Season 1 American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson has a net worth of $14 million.
I will start taking The Voice more seriously, when they can produce stars of the magnitude of Underwood and Clarkson.
It was no surprise that another boy was sent home on the results show of American Idol last Thursday. Paul Jolley became the second boy in a row, to be sent home in Season 12.
This is looking more and more like the years of the girls on American Idol. They are so much better than the boys, that if a boy wins I will be completely shocked.
I have honestly tried to like Nicki Minaj, but when she asked Paul Jolley if he was jolly, then said his song was terrible it just shows how insensitive she can be. Why say something nice about a contestant, then rip his singing in the next sentence? Nicki plays favorites and that has been clear this season. I don’t mind her criticizing the contestants, but she could do it with a little more respect.
There is no way that Amber Holcomb should have been in the bottom three, but my poll a couple of weeks ago sort of gave an indication she does not have a strong fan base.
The results of my poll from the March 13 blog shows the results, with 69 voters in the poll as of this minute:
Angie Miller – 34 votes, 49.28 percent
Candace Glover – 12 votes, 17.39 percent
Kree Harrison – 11 votes, 15.94 percent
Lazaro Arbos – 4 votes, 5.8 percent
Janelle Arthur – 4 votes, 5.8 percent
Amber Holcomb - 2 votes, 2.9 percent (Have no idea why Amber received only 2.9 percent for her 2 votes, while Curtis received 3 percent for his 2 votes.)
Curtis Finch – 2 votes, 3 percent ( Was eliminated last week)
Burnell Taylor, Devin Velez and Paul Jolley ( Was eliminated on Thursday) received no votes.)
The poll showed 5 girls in the first 6 positions.
Lazaro Arbos is being touted by Vote For the Worst website as their poster boy. They are seeking to make Lazaro into another Sanjaya Malakar, who lasted much longer than he should because of the support from the website.
Speaking of Lazaro, there was some confusion over when he learned the song, with him saying he learned it the night before the live show, while Jimmy Iovine claimed he had the song for many days.
Some of the contestants didn’t seem to be very knowledgeable about the Beatles, as some didn’t even know of the song they picked.
It was good to see Jessica Sanchez and Casey Adams again, as they sang for the audience. It looks like both of them could go far in music.
Casey Adams released an album last June, that is currently No.16 among albums on Amazon. Most of the songs are original, with the exception of a duet with Haley Reinhart of the Ray Charles classic Hit the Road Jack. Samples of the songs can be heard in these clips:
It is looking like Candace Glover, Angie Miller and Kree Harrison are the top three contestants this season. I think Amber Holcomb belongs up there with them, but her voting base needs to strengthen to become a factor in the voting.
I don’t think anyone was surprised to see the judges decide not to use their save on Paul Jolley. I doubt if they will use on any of the boys, since they may need it to save one of the girls.
OTHER AMERICAN IDOL NEWS
Kris Allen and his wife Katy were involved in a car accident in January, which left Kris unable to play the guitar due to a broken wrist. However, they now have some good news, with the announcement that they are expecting a baby boy later this year….The ratings for American Idol continued to dip, as the performance show on Wednesday only drew 12.94 million. The performance show from the previous week had attracted 13.44 million viewers. The 11.65 million viewers watching the Thursday results show was the lowest number of viewers for any show in Season 12….Grey’s Anatomy topped American Idol last Thursday night for the first time ever.
The Voice starts on Monday, which could cause further erosion for American Idol. Viewers may be burned out after watching The Voice for a couple of nights, then face two more nights of singing competition on American Idol. This will be a real test, that tells us what direction American Idol is going.
John Mayer has announced that Phillip Phillips winner of Season 11 will be opening for his next tour. Phillip Phillips seems to be one of the more successful American Idols….There has not been a girl voted the American Idol, since Jordin Sparks won in 2007….Aubrey Cleland won out over Charlie Askew as the 11th member of the American Idol tour this summer.
Nicki Minaj has angered the other judges during the auditions, when showing up late for the shows. I have always heard that Mariah Carey was a diva, but it appears Nicki is even more of a diva.
The Celebrity Net Worth website lists 80 year-old Petula Clark as being worth $10 million. Clark has now been singing for 74 years. When I think of Petula Clark I think of her hit song Downtown.
Fabian Forte known only as Fabian by most rock and roll fans was 70 last February and although he may not have a lot of hit songs he made his mark in the movies, appearing in a total of 45 movies and TV shows from 1959-1996. Celebrity Net Worth lists Fabian’s net worth at $25 million.
Prince Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. may be only 16, but he is already worth $100 million.. He may or may not have access to that money now, but his financial security is insured, if he doesn’t go through his money too fast.
The net worth of Connie Francis is listed at $25 million despite the fact that she only had three No.1 hits in her 70 year career. The 74-year-old Francis had her first No.1 hit in My Heart’s Got A Mind Of Its Own in 1960. Her next No. 1 hit was released in 1961 when Together was No.1 on adult contemporary chart and her last No. 1 hit was Don’t Break The Heart That Loves You which reached No.1 on the Billboard charts in 1962. Francis has not even released an album since 1969. One of her best known songs was Who’s Sorry Now, but it peaked at No.4 for her first Top 10 hit in 1957.
Her biggest regret was not marrying Bobby Darin, after her dad chased Darin out of a building at gunpoint. He then said Darin was out of their lives, when the news of his marriage was broadcast on the radio. Francis said she wished their car had been filled with water, while driving in the Lincoln Tunnel and hoping her father would both be killed.
The 74 year-old Gordon Lightfoot is listed as being worth $30 million. Lightfoot has been singing since 1956 at the age of 18. Bob Dylan said Lightfoot was one of his favorite songwriters. He wrote Early Morning Rain, which was covered by many well-known singers including Elvis Presley.
His first No.1 song was If You Could Read My Mind, which reached No.1 in Canada in 1970. His other No. 1 hits on Canadian pop charts were Sundown in 1974 and The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald in 1976. Lightfoot had nine songs reach No.1 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary charts. Sundown was the only Lightfoot song to reach No.1 on the U.S. pop charts, but he placed four songs on the U.S. Adult Contemporary charts.
He released his last album All Live on Rhino Records in 2012. It includes most of his most well-known hits in this list from Wikipedia:
- “14 Karat Gold”
- “If You Could Read My Mind“
- “Fine as Fine Can Be”
- “Baby Step Back”
- “Early Morning Rain“
- “A Painter Passing Through“
- “Rainy Day People“
- “Ringneck Loon”
- “Carefree Highway“
- “Christian Island”
- “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald“
- “Canadian Railroad Trilogy“
- “Let It Ride”
- “Blackberry Wine”
- “Song for a Winter’s Night“
- “Old Dan’s Records“
- All Songs Written By Gordon Lightfoot
It doesn’t seem like this December will mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Roy Orbison. Orbison was born in Vernon, Texas on April 23, 1936 and died in Madison, Tennessee on December 6, 1988 at the age of 52.
Orbison has left behind a rich musical legacy with his signature songs like Crying, Only the Lonely and Oh, Pretty Woman. He also was a songwriter writing songs like Claudette, which was recorded by the Everly Brothers.
1960 would bring his first Top 10 hit Only the Lonely which reached No.2 on the Billboard charts. Orbison would release his first No.1 hit in 1960, when he recorded Running Scared and then would also see Crying reach No.2 on the charts that same year.
His main hit in 1963 was Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream) which topped out at No.4 on the Billboard charts. Blue Bayou, one of his better known songs only reached No.29 in the United States, but went to No.1 in Australia. Mean Woman Blues peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard charts that same year. In fact he only had two No.1 songs on pop charts in the United States, but had nine No. 1 hits in Australia.
Oh, Pretty Woman was his last No.1 hit in 1964, but he released It’s Over, which topped out at No.9 on pop charts, but claimed the No.1 spot on adult contemporary charts in 1964.
Orbison would not record another No.1 hit in the United States in the last 28 years of his singing career.
Opened For Beatles In United Kingdom
Duane Eddy was scheduled to appear in United Kingdom in 1963, but he was replaced by Roy Orbison. He opened for the Beatles and he performed without moving and yet the fans liked him so much that they asked for encores fourteen times. By this time the Beatles finally had to physically hold him back, so they could go on stage. The crowd was chanting “We want Roy” which was a surprise, since the fans came to see the Beatles that night.
Orbison didn’t even know who the Beatles were and asked what’s a beetle and John Lennon said “I am”. The Beatles and Orbison became good friends later as they admired Orbison for commanding a crowd, even though he hardly even moved.
Wife Has Affair With Contractor
Orbison’s wife Claudette had an affair with the contractor who built their Hendersonville, Tennessee home. Claudette did join him that fall on a tour to England. She gave Orbison the idea for his hit song Oh, Pretty Woman, when she told him that she was leaving for home. He asked her if she needed money and she said ” Pretty woman never needs money” and it was only 40 minutes later before the song Oh, Pretty Woman was finished.
The first of a string of tragedies began for Orbison during a 1965 tour in UK. He broke his foot in front of thousands of screaming fans and had to perform in a cast. He reconciled with his wife Claudette after the accident, but she would die the next year when she was hit by a semi-trailer while she and Orbison were riding home on separate motorcycles on June 6, 1966.
Tragedy struck Orbison again on September 16, 1968, when he learned his Hendersonville, Tennessee home had burned down and his two eldest sons had perished in the fire. Orbison had now lost his wife and two sons in 27 months time. He would marry Barbara Jakobs of Germany on March 25, 1969.
Orbison would have to have a triple heart bypass on January 18, 1978.
Career Revived in 1987
Roy Orbison started to revive his music career in 1987, after being pushed into the background by the British invasion. He joined the Traveling Wilburys, which played a major part in reviving his career. His stage name was Lefty Wilbury in honor of the late country music star Lefty Frizzell.
Death and Aftermath
Orbison would travel to Europe in November of 1988 and some observers noticed that he looked ill, but he continued to perform. He then returned to Hendersonville to rest, before embarking on another trip to London this time, to film two videos for the Traveling Wilburys.
However, the trip would never take place, because he would fly model airplanes with his son on December 6, 1988 and then visited his mother for dinner and died after dinner that night. Ironically his wife Barbara would die on the same date 23 years later on December 6, 2011 from pancreatic cancer.
Roy Orbison left a rich musical legacy behind for his fans. Only Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison have had two Top 5 albums at the same time. He will be forever remembered for singing while not moving, wearing his sunglasses and being dressed in black. His music is still being sung today as evidenced by Kree Harrison, an American Idol contestant sang Crying last Wednesday night, which reminded me of Orbison singing the original version which can be heard below.
American Idol started back in January and last night finally revealed their Top 10 for Season 12 of the show. I wish that the voting would be based on the best singers, which may have allowed Breanna Steer (my personal favorite since she was from Louisiana and was very talented) and Aubrey Cleland to be in the Top 10. However, only five girls and five boys were allowed to join the Top 10.
It was an especially emotional moment, when Janelle Arthur was voted into the Top 10, in her third try at becoming the American Idol. She and Kree Harrison were not the only ones voted in that were from the same state, with Arthur living in Oliver Springs, Tennessee, which is located close to Knoxville and Harrison who hails from Nashville, Tennessee. Paul Jolley lives in Palmersville, Tennessee.. So three of the Top 10 reside in Tennessee.
Curtis Finch Jr., from St. Louis, Missouri, Devin Velez from Chicago, Illinois and Angela Miller from Beverly Massachusetts were the only Top 10 finalists, who were born outside the south.
The others from the south include Candace Glover, St. Helena Island, Georgia, Amber Holcomb, Houston, Texas, Burnell Taylor, New Orleans, Louisiana and Lazaro Arbos of Naples, Florida.
The Clicker Today website says this about the 11th singer going on tour with American Idol:
(And if you’re furious about someone getting eliminated, you may get a second chance to see your favorite again: The male and female who finished sixth in the semifinal voting in their groups will take the stage once more next week. The winner of that match will get a bonus 11th spot on the tour.)
Not sure if this means the 11th singer will sing only on the summer tour, since it doesn’t mention anything about the winner actually being a contestant.
There were a few surprises among the Top 10, but overall it seems to be a good group, especially the girls in the Top 10. It may be time to not split the Top 10 evenly among girls and boys, when the girls overwhelmingly had the best singers this year.
It was no surprise that Charlie Askew and Zoanette Johnson didn’t make the Top 10. Askew for some reason completely changed his look for the boys competition, which detracted from his singing. Askew seems to have serious emotional problems, which need to be addressed immediately. Zoanette may have made the Top 10 female singers, but she was not the singer the other girls were. She may have had an intriguing back story, but this is a singing competition and when Randy Jackson said her song was a mess it gave no reason, for voters to vote for her, with so many girls who sang much better on the show.
Nicki Minaj once again showed her mean side on American Idol last week, when she complimented Bryant Tadeo for his powerful closing of New York State of Mind, but then turned on him and said that was only good part of the song. It is easy to see Ms. Minaj has no compassion for some contestants, when the night before she heaped lavish praise on Zoanette Johnson who was mediocre at best singing Circle of Life.
Ms. Minaj clearly plays favorites and has let the back stories of some singers sway her critiques of the contestants. I thought Rachel Hale sang much better than Zoanette, but someone had to be sacrificed so Zoanette could advance. I can tell from the expression on the face of Minaj if she will praise or criticize a performance.
Just my opinion but I think Keith Urban is the best judge on the panel this season. He focuses on the singing and nothing else.
If Zoanette advances to the Final 10 there might be a backlash from American Idol fans. If the fans vote her into the Top 10 it will be a shock. However, she may show she can be a serious singer next week, so it isn’t fair to write her off yet, but just can’t see her selling millions of albums in the future.
The girls are much better than the boys this season, which makes me wonder if the judges should have been allowed to pick the best singers and not have to choose 10 boys and 10 girls.
These are the remaining 20 contestants according to the Wikipedia page for Season 12:
|Curtis Finch, Jr.|
American Idol Season 12 ratings continued to tumble on Thursday night, as the show attracted only 12.56 million viewers, which is the fewest for this season. The Voice and Dancing With the Stars return later this month, but not sure if they will going against each other head to head . It is similar to the situation of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire a few seasons back,when it was being shown so much that fans eventually tired of seeing it so often. Season 11 had a season low 14.85 million viewers, which was surprisingly the night the Final 2 sang. You would think that would be one of the most-viewed shows of the season, but instead it was the least-viewed, probably because Phil Phillips and Jessica Sanchez were in final two, while Josh Ledet was clearly a better singer than either one of them, yet finished third so there may have been some viewer backlash in play that night.
Maybe once the Top 10 is chosen the ratings may move upward again, but with the proliferation of singing competition shows the bubble may have already burst.
The following poll may give us a better idea of how American Idol fans felt about Zoanette being advanced:
The first American Idol show was telecast on June 11, 2002 with 9.85 viewers watching The 2003 premiere show attracted 26.50 million viewers almost tripling the viewers from 2002. The 2007 premiere show attracted a record 37.44 million viewers, but there has been a steady decline of viewers since then, bottoming out at 17.93 viewers to start Season 12 last January. The show has lost close to 20 million viewers in the last six seasons.
Surprisingly the season finale topped out in Season 2 in 2003 at 38.06 million viewers and last year’s finale only attracted 21.49 million viewers, which is the all-time low for a finale.
With The Voice being telecast twice a year and X-Factor being shown in the fall it appears singing competition shows have reached the saturation point. With American Idol starting about a month after the last X-Factor show has been shown, fans are not getting much of a break.
The Voice and X-Factor winners don’t get near the publicity of the American Idol winners. Quick, name all three winners of The Voice and the two winners of X-Factor. Only the most devout fans of either show could give you those names, without stopping to think it over.
Melanie Amaro who won X-Factor in December of 2011 has yet to release her debut album, which will be released next month. Meanwhile Phil Phillips the Season 11 winner of American Idol has already sold 700,000 copies of his debut album Dark Side of the Moon which has received 361 five-star reviews, while receiving only 5 one star reviews. I have to admit that I didn’t think Phil Phillips would go far as an artist, but he could be on the cusp of a great career.
Phil Phillips has been opening shows for Matchbox 20.
American Idol went from a three judge panel of Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson in Season 11 to a four person panel of Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey in Season 12. The show got off on the wrong foot, before the first show aired as Nicki Minaj threatened to knock out Mariah Carey at the Charlotte auditions. They tangled more along the way to the opening show, but in recent weeks they have both calmed down and don’t talk to each other. Minaj is said to have said that if she had a gun she would shoot Carey, but later denied ever saying that.
Placing two divas on the judging panel was a recipe for disaster and that was what it turned out to be. I am sure the producers have told them to cool it, because most viewers like me don’t like a lot of attention being placed on the judges. Nicki Minaj seemed to be harsher with contestants a few weeks ago but seems to have calmed down and show more compassion for the contestants.
Keith Urban has really surprised me with his knowledge of American music and has very well thought out critiques of the singers. Randy Jackson has apparently appointed himself as the villain among the panelists, as he seems to be more critical of the singers, than the other three judges. Mariah Carey is taking over the Paula Abdul role as the judge who seldom says anything critical of most singers.
Ellen DeGeneres was by far the worst judge in the history of American Idol. She seemed to be more intent on cracking jokes, than on making meaningful critiques of the singers. It was no surprise, that she was a one season and out judge. I think even she sensed she didn’t belong on American Idol as a judge. Know that has nothing to do with Season 12, but just felt compelled to mention her judging skills or lack of.
It is too early to have a favorite or even to mention any names of the Season 12 contestants, since there are many eliminations ahead before the Final 10 is announced.
Apparently the tradition of judges going to rooms with contestants and telling which rooms are going home and which ones are advancing has been dropped, but that could change before the Final 10 is chosen. I liked that the Hollywood group week contestants were sorted into groups by American Idol executives. It ridded the show of the drama of singers begging to join a group or being dismissed by a group. I will never forget the season when the young boy from Louisiana was dumped by one group and him having to find a new group.
I don’t know if the tradition of contestants taking the long walk to talk to judges and being told their fate by the judges will be repeated this season. I am hoping by the end of this week, that we will know who the Final 10 singers are. Right now I think that the girl singers are better and should have more singers in the Top 10, but the producers may want an even number of girls and boys in the Top 10.
TV By the Numbers shows that both Big Bang Theory and Person of Interest attracted more viewers than American Idol last Thursday. The show is no longer the juggernaut it used to be, but it still is one of the most-watched shows on television.
It will be interesting to find out who the Final 10 will be composed of and we should know by the end of Thursday night’s show.
I was recently researching the survival rate for my duodenal cancer, which has a history of returning. I found out at one website that I had a 30 percent chance of living past five years.
The oncologist when told about this survival rate gave me a reality check, by telling me the average life span for an American male is only 76. Since I will be 69 later this year that means I may be down to my last seven years of life, regardless of how the cancer situation may change. The five years survival rate doesn’t sound so bad, when I may have only seven years left anyway.
Chemotherapy has gone well during the first ten weeks, which ends tomorrow leaving me with fourteen more weeks left. If the Catscan shows that the cancer has returned when the chemotherapy ends, then I may be forced into making some very difficult decisions. Don’t know whether I would want to start a new round of surgery, if surgery is even an option and whether continuing chemotherapy would even be an option.
It would be easy to be selfish and continue to pursue any surgery or chemotherapy, that may rid my body of the cancer. This cancer has reduced me to a man who has ostrich legs, which really indicate that something is seriously wrong with my health.
One of the main reasons for me to try to go to any length to keep fighting cancer, if it has returned would be to see my grandsons a few more years. I have a grandson who was 14 yesterday that dreams of playing major league baseball. He will be trying out for his high school team in Texas in the spring of 2014. I would like to be around if and when he plays baseball on the professional level.
His brother who will be 12 in October likes to play soccer and does extremely well in school, since he loves to read books. I would like to see him grow up and start a career, while I am still living.
The worst thing about leaving this world is those I would leave behind, including my two sons and daughter and my wife Rhonda and my stepson Justin.
My father is 98 and will be 99 in November of this year. It is now a possibility that he may outlive me and I am happy for him. He made the right health choices to eat almost exclusively healthy meals and very seldom ate out at fast food places. He worked in his garden till well into his 90′s and also mowed the yard.
What really matters the most is that whatever happens will be God’s will, so I am ready to accept whatever God has in store for me.
I may live another 10 or 15 years, but on the other hand I may not even be around this time next year.
I want to see all the baseball and football games I can see while I am still around. I want to listen to some of my 17,000 old-time radio shows from the 1920′s through 1962 when old-time radio died on September 30 of that year.
There is a lot of music I would like to hear again, while I am still around and enjoy nature and see the stars in the night sky.
Only God knows what my future holds and how much time I have left. Time will tell how all of this plays out.
One of my main objectives is to be the same person I have always been, no matter how good or bad the news may be about my cancer as the years roll by. I don’t want anyone feeling bad for me, because I will be worried about the ones being left behind more than myself.
I thought Simon Cowell was the harshest American Idol judge, but Nicki Minaj gave him a run for his money last night. She not only criticized the singing of the singers, but their attitude and demeanor as well. She seemed to enjoy trashing the singing of Matheus Fernandes and then added insult to injury by saying he was choosing songs about his height, so he could have a pity party. She could have handled this situation better, by telling him backstage not to dwell on his height.
Fernandes may be remembered by some viewers, when he competed in The Glee Project on the Oxygen channel in 2011. The 4′ 9″ Fernandes was the shortest of all the American Idol contestants in the 2012 season.
Mariah Carey, who I had considered as a diva of the first magnitude showed a lot more class than Minaj during the show last night. Keith Urban and Randy Jackson didn’t seem to get as much camera time, as Minaj since she obviously enjoyed having the spotlight on herself, rather than on the contestants, who should have been in the spotlight. It is almost like Minaj enjoys stabbing the contestants with a knife and then gives it a little twist for maximum shock effect.
I think it was important that American Idol brought back Randy Jackson for Season 12, to give the show some stability. Keith Urban has shown how well he knows American music, by knowing a song that one of the singers hadn’t heard of, with Urban being from Australia.
American Idol Officials Choose Groups
With the judges picking which contestants were in each group it eliminated some of the drama. There was no drama of someone begging to join a group, or to be kicked out of a group and finding a new group. However, there was still the drama of not all the singers liking a song choice. One group in particular had a country singer, who was trying to learn a Maroon 5 song Moves Like Jagger. The song choice sealed his fate as he couldn’t remember the words and was clearly uncomfortable singing a song out of his comfort zone.
TV Ratings Down
American Idol premiered this year on January 16 and drew only 17.93 million viewers, which was the lowest since the show debuted in 2002 with 9.8 million viewers. This was the first season since 2002, that less than 20 million viewers watched a premiere show.
A season low 13.28 million viewers watched American Idol last night and this is during the Hollywood week.
The proliferation of singing competitions has dealt American Idol a blow, that they may never recover from. To make matters worse The Voice will be returning again, about three months after ending their fall version in December. That could put a further dent into American Idol ratings. X-Factor finished their season a month before the 2013 debut of American Idol.
It would not surprise me to see a viewer backlash against Nicki Minaj, if she continues to belittle the contestants in such a cruel way. The way she is behaving tells me she won’t be back for Season 13.
Ralph Emery got his start with radio station WTPR in Paris, Tennessee in 1951, while earning a salary of $39.50 a week. By 1953 Emery was working for WSIX with shows on both radio and television in Nashville.
Emery has been in radio for 62 years and in television for 60 years and will be 80 on March 10 of this year.
I bought my first AM-FM radio stereo, which was about five feet wide in 1967 from Tony’s Appliance Center and I remember listening to Ralph Emery on WSM out of Nashville. I enjoyed the way he interviewed the country stars and played the great country songs of that era. It was like being in another world, when listening to the most famous country music disc jockey ever in Emery. He would work briefly in 1956 for WLCS in Shreveport, Louisiana, before returning to Nashville.
Moves to WSM Radio in 1957
When Emery was hired by WSM radio in Nashville it was a huge career advancement. He was now being heard on a 50,000 watt station, that reached many areas of the country. He worked the graveyard shift at WSM from 1957-1972.
Emery was seen on WSM-TV off and on from 1963-1991 on various country shows that he hosted. He also hosted a syndicated show named Pop Goes the Country.
He brought country music to the forefront when he hosted Nashville Now on the The Nashville Network from 1983-1993.
Nashville Now did more for country music, than any other television show before or since. Country music fans could see their favorite singers sing and be interviewed by the best country music host Ralph Emery. He was the glue that held the show together for 10 wonderful years.
One thing I will always remember is Randy Travis singing as Randy Ray on one show, then he appeared as Randy Travis the next time he appeared on Nashville Now. His real name is Randy Trawick, so finally settled on Randy Travis as his name.
Fans loved that the show was on five nights a week and gave them a chance to really know the singers, when they were interviewed by Emery. This show was a first class production with regular backup singers and musicians, which complemented the singing of the stars.
Emery Can Be Seen on RFD-TV
Ralph Emery started a new show Ralph Emery Live which started on the RFD television cable network in 2007.
For example last week T.G. Sheppard was on the show and Emery asked Sheppard about his days with the Memphis Mafia, that stayed at Graceland. Sheppard was then Bill Browder who worked promoting RCA artists. Elvis Presley was surprised to learn that Bill Browder was recording under the name of T.G. Sheppard. Elvis asked why he didn’t tell him and was told that Browder was afraid of being fired by RCA if the secret came out in the open. Elvis then says “I am RCA” inferring that Browder didn’t have a reason to worry about losing his job. Sheppard tells how he heard about the death of Elvis. He said he got a call from J.D. Sumner, which was unusual in itself, but he had an idea that Elvis had died and told Sumner he knew why he was calling.
Sheppard is then asked questions by viewers who call in to the show, which was interesting as they asked him what songs he liked the most, of the songs that he recorded.
You could tell Sheppard was in awe of Emery and knows what he did for the careers of many country music stars. From the graveyard shift on WSM radio to the television show on RFD TV Emery has been an ambassador for country music.
Have recorded the next show when Emery interviews Lorrie Morgan. In fact Lorrie owes a lot of her success to Emery who hosted a morning show in Nashville, in which Lorrie often sang.
Life has not always been a bed of roses for Emery, as he had a very rough childhood and entered the world of country music, to escape an unhappy situation at home. His marriage to Skeeter Davis who recorded The End of the World was a rocky one that ended in divorce. Emery has written his autobiography and other books about country music.
Ralph Emery to me epitomizes country music and what it stands for and he may be the best interviewer ever in any entertainment spectrum.
It would be 56 years after his first radio job, before Emery was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007.
1976 – We started the year of 1976 still working at Monroe Morning World. My wife was unhappy with her job and I found out there were two openings for my old job at Town Talk. So we moved back to Pineville, Louisiana at the Quail Creek Apartments off of Stilley Road in Pineville. It was good to be working in cold type again, after working with hot metal the previous two years in Monroe. My salary was $159 a week, when I left the Town Talk in 1974 and my salary had increased to $190 a week during the two years in Monroe. There were some negotiations with Town Talk personnel manager, who didn’t really want to pay the $190 salary, but I knew there was no way, that I would accept a cut in pay. He eventually agreed on the $190 salary, which totaled $9,880 for a year.
Can remember watching television that July 4, as the United States observed the 200th birthday since the Declaration of Independence.
1977 – We saw Elvis Presley at the Rapides Parish Coliseum in March. The seats were in the nosebleed section and we could barely even see Elvis, unlike our seats in Monroe, when we were on the floor, in about the 20th row from the stage. Elvis got sick that night and had to rest, while one of the backup singers sang a solo. We could tell that Elvis had gained a lot of weight, even sitting near the top of the coliseum, in seats that were the worst seats in the coliseum. Elvis didn’t even appear, at a scheduled Baton Rouge concert a couple of days later and was taken back to Memphis to Baptist Hospital.
We were watching the news on television in August of 1977, when we heard the news that Elvis had passed away. It came as a complete shock and it would be revealed later, that Elvis had a serious drug habit, that resulted in his death. This August marks the 36th anniversary of his death. Elvis would be 78 if still alive today.
1978 – My daughter Debbie was born on June 13 at 11:31 AM on a Tuesday at Rapides Hospital. We finally had cable television installed at the Quail Creek Apartments in 1978 and can remember being able to watch the Atlanta Braves on the WTCG Channel 17 superstation in Atlanta. We also were able to watch mostly Chicago Cubs games on WGN superstation out of Chicago.
1979 – We moved to our new home at 310 Burns Street in Pineville. I had remembered that house being built in 1958. The Louisiana College head football coach Les Patrick moved into the home. We lived across the street at 313 Burns Street, where we had lived since 1952. So it was like going home to live across the street from the house I had grown up in. So we moved into the house that had been built 21 years earlier.
1980 – Can’t remember much in the way of local news in 1980, but it was the year that John Lennon was shot outside his hotel. Other news that year included the election of President Ronald Reagan as he defeated President Jimmy Carter in the general election. Jessica Simpson was born in 1980 and will be 33, on the 10th of July.
A new Ford Pinto Pony automobile cost $3,910, while gasoline cost $1.19 a gallon.
United States boycotted the 1980 Olympics, because of Russia had invaded Afghanistan. Ironically, Russia left Afghanistan, while U.S. is presently in Afghanistan 33 years, after the Olympic boycott.
1971 – We were living on Riverfront Street in Pineville and very close to the Red River, so I walked to Town Talk each day. I passed a lady living in a tent, on the way to work each day. It was sad to know, that she couldn’t afford to live in a house, so she lived next to the river on public land. Later that year we moved to a duplex on Donahue Ferry for $50 a month, which saved us $25 a month in rent. Coincidentally, both the Riverfront and Donahue Ferry rentals burned down after we moved out of them. In addition the house behind us on Riverfront Street was a victim of the erosion of the banks of Red River, which forced the owners to leave their house, before it fell into the river.
1972 – Our first son Steve was born shortly after midnight at 1:52 AM on Thursday, February 17 at Rapides General in Alexandria, Louisiana. My wife’s mother drove down from Texarkana, Arkansas to assist my wife in taking care of Steve the first few days of his life.
This was also the year that the Alexandria Daily Town Talk converted from hot type to cold type composition. We now started using paper, instead of lead to produce the paper each day. The first day was chaos, since everyone was trying to work on all the pages at once. A system was soon put into place, designating what pages each page builder was responsible for, which made the production of the newspaper much smoother.
1973 – Steve would have a bad case of gastroenteritis, which caused his hospitalization. Former president Lyndon B. Johnson died while he was in the hospital. To compound the problems, during his hospitalization I was chosen to serve on a jury in a criminal case involving a drug store owner, who was shot in the back when he opened the store at night for the two criminals. Each suspect was found guilty and given a fifteen year sentence, so have been out of prison for at least 25 years now.
1974 – This was another eventful year, in which Elvis Presley indirectly helped me get a job at Monroe, Louisiana newspaper. We were watching the news on a Monroe television station and they mentioned that tickets were for sale to see Elvis Presley at the Monroe Civic Center. While in Monroe to see Elvis we passed the Morning World-New Star newspaper building and we decided I should apply for a job there. So when we got home I applied for a job and was granted an interview. We left the Town Talk for a $8 a week raise. It didn’t make much sense at the time, but I made so much overtime that I actually made thousands more than what the Town Talk paid.
Meanwhile….back to the Elvis Presley concert. You could feel the electricity in the air when Elvis took the stage, while singing “C.C. Rider”. Elvis was still at the top of his game that night, since this was only a year, after his Aloha From Hawaii concert. It was sad to see the concert end, since it was such a great show. If Elvis was on drugs that night, then it wasn’t evident to me in his performance.
We moved to West Monroe, Louisiana the next day after Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run passing Babe Ruth, on the all-time home run list.
Our first apartment was the Shangri-La apartments off of Wellerman Road. I was only at my new job, for only a few days, when a lot of the workers, who were in the union went on strike. That caused me to get more overtime, than I ever wanted, since we were working so short-handed. Strike-breakers from the Shreveport Times came to work with us. I was worried that since I was new, that I might be mistaken for a strike-breaker. One of the strike-breakers was pulled over by a car, with flashing lights and then attacked by some union ruffians. Those on the picket line tried to prevent me from driving onto the parking lot, but I kept driving and they eventually moved out-of-the-way. None of the strikers ever returned to work at the Monroe newspaper plant.
I was in for a shock, since the Monroe Morning World was still using hot metal composition. So I was thrust back into the world of hot type, after having worked in cold type composition for two years. One of my jobs was to use a Ludlow stick which was used for the Page One headline. The Morning World used three line staggered headlines, which made it even trickier to get the spacing just right. I had never been given the chance to use a Ludlow stick at Town Talk, so it was good to learn how they worked.
My main job was building pages and then after the shift was over would throw away the type, unless it was to be used in the News-Star the next day. We tossed the ads which would not run again in a bucket, and used string to tie up the ones that would run again and place them in the News-Star page. Basically what I did when arriving at work most days was tear down the News-Star pages and then set up the Morning World pages by placing the ads where they were designated to be placed in page layouts. When President Nixon looked like he was dying of phlebitis in 1974 we had several pages ready in case he died, but we eventually wound up throwing the pages in the bucket.
Another major event was the birth of our second son Kenneth on December 20 at 3:05 PM on a Friday. It turned out that week that I worked 73 hours with about 36 hours of overtime, since our normal week was 37 and a half hours. Then after getting off work on Christmas Eve we assembled a toy for my first son.
1975 – I worked so much in 1975, that I made $5,000 of overtime. I would work from 2:00 PM till 6:00 AM on most shifts. The composing room superintendent would call me each weekday and ask me if I would come into work at 2 PM, instead of the normal 4:30 PM. I once worked 49 days in a row, without one day off, because the foreman would ask me if I wanted to work both of my days off. I got sick on the 50th day, which I had off so it took a toll on me. So I was working 16 hour days on weekdays. This year consisted of working and sleeping for the most part, because when I woke up the boss would be calling me in to work early.
We moved again during 1975 to Monroe side of the Ouachita River, to the Plantation Apartments off of North 18th Street. We were much closer to work and didn’t have to cross a bridge to arrive at work. 1975 was a good year financially, but it was a tiring year, with so little time to sleep.
George Strait and Alan Jackson singing Murder on Music Row.
The best known version of Murder on Music Row was recorded by George Strait and Alan Jackson, but was originally recorded by Larry McCordle and Lonesome Standard Time.
The following link takes you to a website where the lyrics are shown and you can hear George and Alan singing the words and sing along with them if you want.
I had liked country music over the years, but really got interested after seeing Your Cheatin’ Heart the life story of Hank Williams Sr. The movie told the life story of Hank Williams Sr. in a way that showed his struggles on the way to the top and how his drinking habit caused him to lose jobs and probably caused his early death at the age of 29, in the backseat of a car on the way to a concert. The part I best remember was when the audience found out Hank had died enroute to the concert and started singing ” I Saw The Light . ” which was the most poignant part of the movie.
When I saw the movie in the 60′s when stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii it jump started my collection of country music record albums.
I particularly liked Buck Owens and Buckaroos and at one time owned fifteen of their albums. I became a Ernest Tubb fan and bought his Ernest Tubb Life Story Album, which contained many of his older songs from the World War II era. Songs like Filipino Baby, Driftwood on the River, Rainbow at Midnight and others brought home what it was like for soldiers during World War II.
It was exciting to be able to buy a record album of Ernest Tubb and Loretta Lynn, when they appeared in concert as a duet in Alexandria, Louisiana and to top it off both of them autographed their albums. I was struck by how beautiful Loretta Lynn was in person.
Country Music Not the Same
Country music isn’t the same today. You might hear a few traditional singers like George Strait, Alan Jackson, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Randy Travis, but for the most part traditional country music has died. Like the song says murder was committed on Music Row and is being committed with each release of this non-traditional music.
I couldn’t name one country song from 2012, since I spend my time listening to the old music on my MP3 player of George Strait, Jim Reeves, Ernest Tubb, Porter Wagoner, George Jones and others previously mentioned in this article. There are no songs that stand out like He Stopped Loving Her Today, Take This Job and Shove It, Heartaches by the Number, Hello Darlin’, Together Again, I Can’t Stop Loving You, Welcome To My World, Okie From Muskogee, Big City and the great George Strait songs from the 80′s and 90′s.
So if you want to start a collection of traditional country music at its best, then this is the time to start. I found a 99 song Ernest Tubb collection for only $11.02 used. I bought this collection two or three years ago at a good price from Amazon. I have bought many used CD’s from Amazon dealers and have never had a CD that didn’t work. It might pay to compare prices with eBay dealers.
When the Beach Boys reunited for their 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour it appeared, that the group would still be together after the end of the tour. However, lead singer Mike Love and band member Brian Johnston plan on splitting from the group, at the end of the current reunion tour.
Before the reunion the Beach Boys had split into three fractured groups, with the Love-Johnston configuration, the Al Jardine group and the Brian Wilson group. Love has announced that Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks will not be part of the Love-Johnston group.
We are only five days away from the last performance of the 50th reunion tour, when the Beach Boys appear as a group for the last time, unless the various factions can work out their differences.
It is sad to see that apparently the egos of Mike Love and Bruce Johnston are too big to share a stage with the other members of the group.
With Brian Wilson now 70, Mike Love 71, Al Jardine 70, David Marks 64 and Johnston 70, it makes me wonder how willing fans will be to pay to see the fractured groups. In a perfect world the Beach Boys could have been together, as a group for the last 50 years, but instead the band has been fractured by lawsuits of the various factions, that only made things worse as the various groups fought over the right to use the Beach Boys name.
Having being stationed in Hawaii from June 1963 – January 1966, Beach Boys music was a huge part of the music scene during those years. I was fortunate to see Beach Boys in concert at Conroy Bowl at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. I can remember going to the beach on the weekends listening to Beach Boys music, on my transistor radio.
I purchased the Beach Boys Live at Knebworth concert from England video from 1980, which would be the last time the complete group appeared in England. At the end of the video Al Jardine mentions that Dennis Wilson and Carl Wilson had died in the years, since that concert. It is my favorite Beach Boys video, since it includes most of their greatest hits.
It would be nice if the members of the Beach Boys would think more about their fans, than their own financial situation, but apparently that isn’t the case. So we probably will see the group split into various factions again, instead of banding together and giving fans to hear them as the group we grew up listening to.
Regardless, I still want to thank all of the Beach Boys for providing years of music for their fans. Just wish that most of them who are mostly in their 70′s could overlook their petty differences, so we could hear them as a group, not as splintered groups from the Beach Boys we knew for the last 50 years.
The Voice not only defeated X-Factor in the ratings, but drew 3.2 million more viewers during the 8 ET – 9PM time slot last night. I seriously thought that Britney Spears making her debut as a judge would attract more viewers to X-Factor.
It was a huge win for The Voice, as it drew 10.7 million viewers, while X-Factor only brought in 7.5 million viewers. The worst thing is that X-Factor had 12 million viewers on their debut show last September.
The 7.5 million viewers is an all-time low for X-Factor, as it was worse, than the 8.51 million viewers who watched the live results show on November 23 of last season.
So the spinning chairs won this battle over Simon Cowell, Britney Spears and the X-Factor singers.
These results don’t bode well for X-Factor, as the other networks will be debuting their fall programs soon. However, with The Voice not in direct competition next week, it will be a true test, to see if X-Factor rebounds from a shocking ratings loss.
The Voice has won one round one, but we may see both shows losing viewers, in the coming weeks.
Simon Cowell is probably in deep depression, since he had criticized The Voice producers, for scheduling their program, against X-Factor. Now the ratings results make it worse for him, since he knows X-Factor is not in the same league as The Voice, when it comes to attracting television viewers. Cowell had predicted X-Factor would draw 20 million fans during the inaugural season, but never drew more than 12.59 million fans, which watched the live results final last December. So dropping to 7.5 million in the first show this season, compared to 12.49 million viewers watching the debut show in 2011 is a serious setback to Cowell.
Producers of both shows will be watching the ratings next week, to see if The Voice can top X-Factor for a second week. X-Factor will be on its own tonight, but with the Packers-Bears game going against it, there could be more disappointing ratings announced tomorrow.
American Idol producers can’t be too happy, after the ratings were released, as the singing competitions bubble may be on the verge of being burst.
The Voice may have made a critical mistake, by competing head-on with X-Factor from 8PM ET till 9PM ET. X-Factor went on to finish their show uncontested during the 9PM till 10 PM time slot. It will be interesting what the ratings, which should be released later today will show, which show won the time slot.
It seems to me that singing competition fans would rather see Britney Spears and Demi Lovato making their debut as judges on the X-Factor, than watching The Voice for the third time in the week.
The blind auditions on The Voice to me are the highlight of the season. The tension as the singer sings and as family members watch is sometimes unbearable, as they wait for one of the judges to turn the chair around. It is sad to see a singer complete their song with no chairs turning around. The judges have not turned their chair around 14 times during the 35 songs sang over the three nights.
Bryan Keith was the only singer on Monday to see all four judges turn their chairs around as he sang It Will Rain. Adriana Louise Figueroa impressed all four judges, enough for them to turn their chairs around on Tuesday night during her rendition of Domino.
Nicole Nelson saw four chairs turn around on Wednesday night while singing Hallelujah.
It is easy to notice that Christina Aguilera is not interested in country singers, as she has passed on them.
The highlight for me after the first week’s shows was Gracia Harrison singing I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart. The song is 78 years old, which could make it the oldest song sung this season, since it was written in 1934. Harrison’s yodeling really made the song standout. Christina Aguilera was the only judge to not turn their chair around. It was a foregone conclusion that she would choose Blake Shelton as her mentor.
For pure entertainment Casey Muesiggman owned the stage while singing Sweet Home Alabama, but I find it hard to believe he is only 22 years old, as he looks much older.
Terry McDermott from Scotland and now New Orleans was the first singer of the season, while singing Baba O’Riley and he chose Blake as his mentor. Treven Hunte who sang Listen to close out the Monday night show is a singer to watch. He is only 18, but he sings like a veteran singer.
One criticism of The Voice is that the singers we are seeing may not be seen again for several weeks during the battle rounds. I am not a battle rounds fan, since it seems like it turns out into a duel, to see who can reach the highest note.
It is possible for a singer disappear for seven or eight weeks before being seen during the battle rounds, especially since there will be 16 singers for each judge to mentor.
After the first three shows the judges have only 21 of the required pool of 64 singers, with 33 more slots to fill.
For a complete rundown of the first week of The Voice:
X-FACTOR SHOWCASES BRITNEY SPEARS
The main reason Britney Spears was signed to a $15 million contract was to garner higher ratings this season. The saddest part of the show was when Jillian Jensen, a victim of being bullied during middle school and high school sang with so much emotion, that the judges could feel her pain and voted to advance her.
Spears was visibly moved when Don Phillip, who had sung with Britney Spears on her debut album in 1999 in a duet, after he failed to advance in the competition and had a meltdown, before leaving the stage. It was a classic case of a grown man losing it in front of millions of television viewers.
There was no mention of Melanie Amaro the first X-Factor winner, which makes me wonder, if they are holding out any hopes of her being a successful singer. The first season ended last December and her debut album won’t be released till this December. American Idol winners have their first album released about 6 months after the last show. I don’t know if there have even been any Melanie Amaro sightings.
The following article gives a more complete rundown of the shows, including best and worst singers and a list of zingers used by the judges:
Just when we thought it was safe to use cell phones again, Sheryl Crow has stated that her “archaic cell phone” may have caused her brain cancer. Crow stated in an article that the cancer developed in the vicinity of where she had talked for hours on the cell phone.
It will be interesting to see if others say they too have developed cancer, close to where they held their cell phones. I think cell phone users everywhere would be in a state of shock, if they were found to have caused cancer, but so far it may be only the older cell phones which have been linked to cancer.
She made the statements on the debut, of the Katie talk show hosted by former CBS anchor lady Katie Couric. The following article doesn’t mention about the cancer appearing, where she held her own, but it includes her comments about former boyfriend Lance Armstrong, who was recently stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.
The complete New York Daily News article:
Since Phillip Phillips became the current American Idol, the American Idol franchise is looking very shaky, as the music competition show can’t seem to get its act together.
The chemistry between judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, over the last two seasons was excellent, but now with Lopez and Tyler leaving the show and Randy Jackson’s status questionable the show seems to be in disarray.
Mariah Carey is the only judge confirmed for Season 12 and will reportedly be earning $18 million. I am not sure she is a good fit for the show and she is certainly not worth $18 million. It seems strange after the ratings decline of Season 11, that they would pay that kind of money to a judge.
Carey is not only making a lot of money, but is trying to influence who else is on the panel. She was furious to know Nicki Minaj could be on the judging panel. Carey apparently thought she was to be to the only female judge on the panel and at the age of 42, she would be 13 years older than the 29 year-old Minaj. In addition Carey seems to have had the impression that she would be the only female judge like Jennifer Lopez was in Seasons 10 and 11.
Meanwhile Carey is calling for Lenny Kravitz to be one of the judges in Season 12. There are all kinds of rumors, about whether Randy Jackson will return as a judge or as a mentor, plus there is a long list of names being mentioned as possible judges.
Kanye West, Alanis Morrisette, Keith Urban, Enrique Iglesias, Brad Paisley, Adam Lambert, Carrie Underwood and even Charlie Sheen have been mentioned as possible judges.
Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley are the only possible judges, that I would like to see get the judging gig, but that probably won’t happen since they are both country music stars.
The question is how much longer the American Idol producers will continue to let this media circus go on. I think they made a huge mistake in signing Mariah Carey, especially at $18 million and since she is trying to influence which other judges will join the panel.
There is no way Carey is worth the extra $6 million, over what Jennifer Lopez was earning as a judge, when she signed her $12 million contract. Carey may surprise me, but I don’t see her having the emotional connection with contestants, that Lopez exhibited in her two years as judge.
Fox and the American Idol producers need to make their decisions soon on the judges for Season 12. Rumors are floating around that there may even be a fourth judge in Season 12.
The days as a ratings juggernaut for American Idol may soon be over. There were some chinks in the armor in Season 11, when almost 8 million fewer viewers turned in to see the finale, than had tuned in for the Season 10 finale.
Season 10 had Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina in their finale, while Season 11 had Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez, so that may explain the drop in the ratings.
I look for X-Factor to have a ratings spike in Season 2 with Britney Spears on the judging panel. Even though American Idol and X-Factor don’t compete directly against each other, there may be viewers who like X-Factor so much more, that they won’t bother watching American Idol next year.
It is time for American Idol to get their act together, assemble the rest of the judging panel and end the present chaos and show Mariah Carey, that she is not going to pick and choose who the judges will be on the panel.
Ryan Seacrest may not even be able to save American Idol, if something isn’t done soon to restore the luster of the American Idol franchise.
The Skyliners hit Since I Don’t Have You reached No.12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1959. Personally, it is my favorite doo-wop song ever to be recorded.
It was amazing that they recorded their first hit, in the first year of the group. The group stayed together till 1963, then re-formed in 1974 and have been active since then. The Skyliners still have a busy schedule of performances, mainly performing at doo-wop revival concerts across the country.
This is the original group recording of Since I Don’t Have You from 1959:
I was in my second year of high school in 1959 and hearing it today brought memories of those days to mind.
This is The Skyliners singing their signature hit 46 years later in 2005. Jimmy Beaumont is still the lead singer, all these years later in this concert, at the Sands Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Janet Vogel one of the singers in the group died a tragic death, of carbon monoxide poisoning on February 21, 1980. Her story was made into a movie Since I Don’t Have You, that will be released in September of this year. This trailer from the movie shows how tragic of a life Janet had, before her suicide and the backstage story of her life as a singer with the Skyliners.
The movie shows that there is a price to pay for success and the toll it takes on a child, who grows up in a musical environment.
Robert Weston Smith was born January 21, 1938 in Brooklyn New York. He became better known as Wolfman Jack, when he adopted that name while broadcasting on KCIJ, a country and western radio station. located in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1962.
Part of the inspiration for the Wolfman Jack personna was derived from the style of bluesman Howlin’ Wolf. His love of horror films also influenced him in becoming Wolfman while he picked up the Jack part of his name from hipster lingo, which commonly mentioned Jack.
Wolfman Jack moved to XERF a powerful 250,000 watts station in Mexico. U.S. radio stations were limited to only 50,000 watts. A car driving from New York to California reportedly would never lose the station during the trip.
After eight months in Mexico, Wolfman Jack was managing a Minneapolis radio station, while still sending his tapes to XERF for broadcast in Mexico. He then moved to Los Angeles in 1966 and sent his tapes to another border blasting station XERB in Rosarito Beach, Mexico.
His popularity was so widespread that artists like Freddy King, Todd Rundgren and Guess Who wrote songs about the Wolfman. George Lucas a film-maker was a Wolfman Jack fan and included a scene in his movie American Graffitti with Richard Dreyfuss walking into his radio station. The Wolfman pretends to not be the Wolfman in this scene:
He was the regular announcer on the Midnight Special on the NBC television network. He is seen on Midnight Special, while the Guess Who sing a song about the Wolfman.
Wolfman Jack died on July 1, 1995 in Belvidere, North Carolina from a massive heart attack. He reportedly had just finished a promotional tour for a book, when he arrived home and died in his wife’s arms.
Music had changed after 1962 and Wolfman Jack said the happy music ended in 1962. Music became a part of the war protests of the 60′s and he longed for the days of happy songs like Short Fat Fanny, as he chose this song to illustrate a happier type of music.
One last clip that lets you hear Wolfman Jack in action:
I have the Doris Day album: Golden Girl Columbia Recordings 1944-1966 in my collection. The two CD set contains 48 songs, but the one song that I play the most is Again which to me epitomizes the meaning of easy listening and I never tire of hearing the song.
This YouTube video shows why I keep playing this song on my MP3 player:
Art Tatum was born October 13, 1909 in Toledo, Ohio. Tatum is regarded as one of the best pianists ever, despite being totally blind in one eye and limited vision in the other eye.
He learned to play by ear at the age of three. He attracted the attention of several well-known musicians in later years. Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong are among the musicians, that made a point to hear Tatum play in Toledo.
This clip from Ken Burns Jazz shows Tatum playing the piano and the clip also quotes musicians, on how much they revered the playing of Tatum:
The next clip demonstrates how fast Tatum can play the piano in the classic Tiger Rag:
Art Tatum in The Fabulous Dorseys movie (1947)
29 clips of his music can be heard at Amazon.com. If you only listen to one song, then listen to Tea For Two. I can guarantee you have never heard this song played, at lightning speed the way that Art Tatum plays it:
Art Tatum fooled many jazz fans into thinking that more than one man was playing the piano, not thinking any one pianist could play that fast. It was mutually agreed by his contemporary pianists, that he was the best pianist of their era.
He died on November 5, 1956 of kidney failure in Los Angeles.
One of the best compilations of his music is Art Tatum: Piano Grand Master, which contains 99 songs at Amazon.com for $30.54 new and for as little as $10.99 used.
Art Tatum may have died 56 years ago, but as his tombstone says “The Music Lingers On”.
Big Brother 14 debuted for the 2012 season on Thursday night with a couple of new twists. The first twist was that four former contestants, including two winners would be coaches this season. The house guests will be competing for a $500,000 prize, given to the winner in the finale show this September.
Big Brother 2 and Big Brothers All-Stars winner Mike Boogie and Dan Gheesling of Big Brother 10 were the two returning winners, while Janelle Pierzina of Big Brother 6 and Big Brother All-Stars and Britney Haynes of Big Brother 12 will be the other two mentors, who will be competing for the $100,000 prize for best coach.
The other twist was that no house guests were given keys, because the coach of the losing team, in the head of household competition, on the inaugural show would have to choose one of his team for immediate eviction on opening night.
Personally, I hope this never happens again, since each contestant deserves one full week on the show, before being evicted, instead of being unceremoniously sent home on the first night.
This website is a great source of information worth saving to your favorites if you want to keep up to date, with what is going on in the house between the shows. Don’t go to this site if you want to wait for the shows to air, since it tells who was nominated since Thursday’s show and who won the veto, plus will tell the outcome of the veto ceremony next week.
Latest American Idol News
It is now official that Steven Tyler is not the only American Idol judge leaving the show. Tyler had announced earlier this week, that he was leaving American Idol to return to Aerosmith full-time. There have been rumors that Jennifer Lopez was resigning her job as a judge. Those rumors are no longer rumors, as Lopez told host Ryan Seacrest, that she was leaving the show to have more time, to allow herself to have more time to pursue other options in her entertainment career.
As if this wasn’t enough news about judges for one week, there is now word out, that Randy Jackson may be leaving the show as a judge, but may remain as a mentor for the contestants.
This would create openings for three judges. Mariah Carey has been mentioned as a possible judge, but there is no official word, as to whether she was actually offered the job. Adam Lambert has also been mentioned as a possible judge. With the auditions for Season 12 going on now, it is probably imperative that a new set of judges be chosen soon, so they can be filmed at the auditions, determining the fate of the contestants.
After a huge drop in ratings last season, American Idol may be having too much change, too soon for these changes to improve the ratings for Season 12. The proliferation of singing contests has reached the saturation point and I can foresee the ratings drop for the entire genre. The Voice and X-Factor return in September and The Voice being on twice in one year, could be a huge mistake since it hasn’t produced a name star yet.
With Britney Spears reportedly being a train wreck on X-Factor as a judge, this is what can be expected from X-Factor this September.
Big Brother 5 Winner Tasered By Cops
Big Brother winners have a history of having run-ins with the law and Drew Daniel winner of Big Brother 5 is the latest winner, to experience a brush with the law. He reportedly injured a man, while in a domestic dispute. Now for the rest of the story, including the part where he is tasered by the cops.