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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
When the surgeon that performed my cancer surgery told me in November, that my duodenal cancer has a history of returning it reminded me of my immortality. It may have been negative news, but it also reminded me of many events of my 68 years of living, that were either positive and negative.
1944 – Was born on October 14, just four months after the D-Day landing and World War II would be over in Europe, about six and-a-half months later in April of 1945.
1950 – My first memory is of walking to school with my brother on the first day of school to Pineville Elementary. I remember Mrs. Price was my first grade teacher. School lunches were only 10 cents at the time.
1951 – This is the year I rode my last school bus in the second grade, when I accidentally got off the bus in Libuse, instead of five blocks from Louisiana College, so walked home that day from Libuse to Pineville. I never rode another school bus after that day.
1952 – We moved from Holloway Drive to Burns Street in February of 1952, moving from a small house to a very large house. The house payment was $55 a month, which was a bargain at the time.
1954- Think this is the year when my dad purchased our first television, when I was nine years old. He didn’t buy it for entertainment reasons, but because my sister had a lazy eye and a special screen was placed over the TV screen, that made her use her lazy eye. We bought it at L.B. Henry’s store on Main Street, when they were selling televisions. Our first TV was an Admiral.
This is also the year I really became interested in baseball and remember listening to the 1954 World Series between the New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians. Willie Mays made his famous catch in one of those games on a ball hit by Vic Wertz of the Indians.
1955 – Ray Kroc opened his first McDonalds fast food restaurant (the McDonald brothers opened the first eight, before selling out to Kroc.) Once after he bought the San Diego Padres they were playing so badly, that Kroc said over the public address system that his short order cooks at McDonalds could play better the Padres.
This was the first year I played Little League baseball. I went to a local hardware store to buy a baseball glove and wanted to buy a $6.50 glove. Only problem was that I only had $6, but the owner Mr. Brister let me have it for $6. It was a Nokona brand glove.
1956- My main memory of 1956 was when Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in a World Series. He recently sold his uniform from that game for $756,000 and is using part of the money to pay college education expenses for his grandchildren.
1957 – Elvis Presley buys Graceland for $100,000, since their last Memphis home had attracted too many fans, with no way of keeping them off the grounds. This was the year my baby sister was born on March 23. Three months later the worst hurricane to hit Alexandria-Pineville area in my memory hit the area, with full force when Hurricane Audrey hit. Audrey had earlier killed 500 people in Cameron, Louisiana. I remember Jim Gaines of KALB Radio telling, about the progress of the hurricane and the damage being done. We had a very tall pine tree fall in our yard, but was not close to the house.
August of 1957 would bring many memories when my dad, older brother and me took a road trip in our 1949 Packard, from Louisiana to Maine. We made the usual tourist stops like Rock City, Lookout Mountain, Mount Vernon and other tourist attractions. We visited the most tourist attractions in Washington, D.C. We visited the National Archives Building, Capitol building, White House (just saw it from the fence), Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of Mint and Engraving and watched the workers print sheets of currency.
We visited the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and saw a show at the planetarium, plus visited the site of the Liberty Bell. However, the main thing I remember from the Philadelphia visit was seeing my first major league game. The hometown Phillies were playing the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates in Connie Mack Stadium. I remember fans bringing paper bags with bottles in them to the game. I can only imagine what was in those bottles. I also remember the Phillies fans booing their own players. The highlight of the game was when Bill Mazeroski hit a home run that hit the tin roof over our heads, in the left field bleachers. Three years later Mazeroski would hit a walkoff homer that defeated the New York Yankees in the 1960 World Series Game 7.
Saw my grandpa for the only time in my life in the hospital. Not sure where the hospital was located. It was either New Jersey or Pennsylvania. My dad’s folks were living in Millville, New Jersey.
Will never forget my dad driving through the Bowery district in New York City and seeing men laying on the sidewalk. That would be the only time for me to visit New York. Then we went on to Beverly, Massachusetts and ate at a Howard Johnson’s restaurant, with the classic orange roof. My dad was in town for an American Chemical Society convention, then after the convention ended we went to Maine, to see my uncle and aunt and their family. It was the only time I saw my cousin alive, since he was piloting a helicopter in Vietnam, when he was shot down and killed.
Then we raced back to Louisiana, stopping only one night at Warsaw, Kentucky, then my dad drove almost non-stop since school started the next day at Pineville Elementary. The next month the Milwaukee Braves would win the 1957 World Series.
1958 – Played Pony League baseball in 1958, which would be my fourth and last year of playing baseball. One night when we were playing a game, someone hollered “That plane is going to crash” and we saw a plane plummeting to the ground, about two miles from the park. It crashed about a block or two off of Main Street near a National Cemetery, but not positive about the exact crash site.
This was also the year I entered Pineville High School. It is difficult to believe that this was 55 years ago. Finding classes was not easy that first day, since I wasn’t used to attending such a big school.
The Milwaukee Braves took a three games to one lead in the 1958 World Series, but would let the Yankee,s that they had defeated in 1957 come back to win the World Series.
1959 – I remember this being the year my older brother graduated from high school. February of 1959 would see Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper go down in an airplane crash in Iowa. The Big Bopper had appeared in Alexandria, Louisiana about 1958, at a KALB Radio record hop. 1959 was also the year the White Sox won the AL pennant but lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.
The highlight of 1959 was our trip in a Volkwagen Micro-bus, which took us to Missouri, Canada and back to Louisiana. My dad was taking classes at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, so we stayed mostly in Missouri at the 80 acre farm of my grandpa and grandma. They had only recently installed indoor plumbing in their home. I will never forget the huge console radio on the living room floor. The sound was great and I could hear the Kansas City Athletics baseball games on the radio. Saw Leave it to Beaver for the first time on their television. Don’t think it was on KALB TV in Alexandria, La., since it was on another network.
We spent part of the summer at the Chateau Cottages near Devils Lake in Wisconsin. We were on a tourist boat, when the captain asked me to pilot the ship. He sold souvenirs, while piloted the boat up the Wisconsin River. It was a relief when he took over the helm, since there were a lot of duckboats on the water.
Then after my dad finished the summer classes we drove to Chicago. It was amazing to look up at the tall buildings on the Loop and we went to a church in Berwyn, Illinois. Then we drove to Detroit and visited the Ford headquarters and also toured Post Cereals factory and can’t remember if we also toured the Kelloggs plant. We crossed into Canada at Windsor and journeyed to Brantford, Ontario where my mom had relatives. We then went to Niagara Falls and crossed back into the United States.
My dad was stopped by the Canadian Mounties, because our Volkswagen micro-bus resembled a vehicle they were looking for. At one point during our trip while driving in the United States a driver hollered “Governor Long” at us, when he saw the Louisiana license plate. This was the same year he managed to escape from a mental health institution, so Louisiana was in the news a lot that summer.
1960 – Nothing stands out about this year for me, except for the Pittsburgh Pirates defeating the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series. Bill Mazeroski, who I had seen hit the home run, in Philadelphia three years earlier hit a walkoff home run over the left field wall, that made Pirates the world champions of baseball.
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 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:
Passions of Patchy may be off the beaten path, compared to mega music sites like Pandora and Spotify, but that in no way means the content is not as good. There may not be as much musical content as the afore named sites, but this is not just a musical site.
Before you even scroll down to the music icons, there is a CLICKS icon for links, which take you to some very interesting sites, including a link to make your own license plate, then emailing it to someone, that is just one of many links.
The CHUCKLES icon provides a plethora of jokes like this:
I am not offended by all the blonde jokes, because I am not dumb and I am not blonde – Dolly Parton
You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy. – Erica Jong
Six year old Del says the best way to have someone to fall in love with you is to tell them you own a bunch of candy stores.
The section is broken down to 27 categories. Caution: It is addictive and time-consuming, once you start reading the jokes.
TOUCH SOMEONE -This is the first of the music sections and includes Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings and the REM classic Everybody Hurts. Rock Around the Clock seems to be out-of-place on this page, but it really doesn’t matter when you can hear Johnny Mathis sing his standard Misty.
The bottom row of icons is where you find most of the music on the page in jukebox format with list of songs to choose from.
BLUES IN MY EYE JUKE JOINT – This page consists of three jukeboxes consisting of songs like I’ve Been Loving You Too Long sung by the late and great Etta James which reminds us again of how great of a singer she was. The jukebox also includes current singers like Susan Tedeschi, singing It Hurt So Bad. Jonny Lang has his clothes in his matchbox and is heard singing Matchbox, a driving blues number that really jumps. There is an option at the bottom of each jukebox to play all the songs in jukebox. A lot of the songs may not be recognizable, due to them being sung and played by some of the blues pioneers of the past.
LOST IN THE 50′S AND DOO-WOP – Having grown up during this era, this is my favorite music on the entire website. The Lost in the 50′s page has six jukeboxes, filled with the songs, that baby boomers like me grew up with.
Some of favorites from the jukeboxes:
I Heard It Through the Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
Locomotion – Little Eva
Harbor Lights – The Platters
Shotgun – Jr. Walker and the All-Stars
Hurt – Timi Yuro…..one of the most emotion packed songs ever.
Lost in the 50′s…..this song takes me back to the 50′s, like no other song can do.
You next will find the DOO WOP jukebox on the bottom row of the Lost in the 50′s page. When you go to the Doo Wop page, there will be three speakers holding the doo wop music including songs like:
Blue Velvet – Clovers….This is nothing like the Bobby Vinton version as it gets the full doo wop treatment.
A Thousand Miles Away – Heartbeats….Doo wop music at its best.
Earth Angel – Penguins….A classic doo wop song that will live on forever, as long as there is music.
In The Still of the Night – Five Satins….This song was so well-known that it was included, as part of Ronnie Milsap’s song Lost in the 50′s.
SATIN SMOOTHIES - Is next as you return to the home page where you find two jukeboxes, where you can find the songs my parents grew up with, plus some we remember as teenagers. These songs were the chart-toppers, before Bill Haley and the Comets and Elvis Presley changed music forever in the middle 50′s.
These are just a few of those songs:
Old Cape Cod – Patti Page….You will be very fortunate, if you can find a song like this being recorded today.
Unforgettable – Nat King Cole….This has to be the best of Nat King Cole’s hits that has become a standard.
In The Mood – Glenn Miller Orchestra…. When you think of the big band era, this is one of the first songs, that come to mind and it sad we lost Glenn Miller during the war.
Lazy River – Mills Brothers….This was one of the premier groups of this era, who epitomized the music of the era.
SUNRISE GOSPEL – This page has only one jukeboxes but will bring back memories, to those of us who grew up in church in the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s, plus some more recent songs. The artists are not listed, but that sounds a lot like Dolly Parton on Farther Along.
Some of my favorites from this page:
Beyond the Sunset….song written by a blind person after a group of people were viewing a sunset together and thus the title of the song, since the blind writer said they looked beyond the sunset. The reading that goes with this song makes it even more special.
Family Bible….Willie Nelson wrote this song, but sold the rights to it for only $50 to Claude Gray, the country music singer.
Precious Memories….sang this at funeral once for a lady who attended our church. What a great thought to think of the precious memories, even though the loved one is gone.
TWO STEPPIN’ JUKE BOX - Last but not least, Patchy’s Passion includes three jukeboxes for country music fans.
The list includes:
Don’t Rock the Jukebox – Alan Jackson….This song really rocks out and tells the story of a man, who is too sad over his breakup with his girlfriend and doesn’t want to hear the Rolling Stones on the jukebox, but wants to hear George Jones instead.
He Stopped Loving Her Today – George Jones….This song has been chosen as the best country music song ever, on many lists of Top 100 songs.
Sweet Dreams – Patsy Cline…. also recorded by Tommy McLain of Pineville, Louisiana, who attended my high school in the 60′s. His recording of Sweet Dreams outsold Don Gibson, the writer of the song and the immortal Patsy Cline. His version went to No.15 on the Billboard chart.
For the Good Times – Ray Price….Has it really been 42 years since Ray Price recorded this country classic? It is true and also it is true that Ray Price is still actively singing at the age of 86. The 2010′s started his eighth decade of being active in country music.
Passions of Patchy was created on March 17, 2000, which she dedicated to her mom Candy, who was dying of cancer. This page tells about the last months of her mother’s life. If this doesn’t make your eyes tear up, then it may be time to have your pulse checked:
You could spend hours at this website listening to the music and going to some of the links at the website.
Most of all though it is all about the music.
To go back in time to hear some of the music from the past that we never became tired of:
Kenny Rogers was born August 21, 1938 in Houston, Texas. Rogers is in his sixth decade of being in the music business, starting the mid 50′s with the The Scholars, which was disbanded and Rogers struck out on his own.
Kenny singing That Crazy Feeling in 1958 on Carlton Records singing in the doo-wop style.
Only 194 people have viewed this video of Kenny Rogers at the House of Blues, which apparently was on the Disney Channel sometime in the past. He is seen early in the video singing Walkin’ My Baby Back Home a 1931 song and nothing like a song, you would expect him to sing. He is shown playing the upright bass in another song at the 14:25 mark in the video.
When he sings When I Fall In Love, one of the girls in the audience rests her head on the shoulder of the man, that she is sitting with, which demonstrates the emotion which Rogers sings with carries over to the listeners. He sings another song from the past, in I Get Along Without You Very Well a 1939 tune, penned by Hoagy Carmichael and demonstrates the gift of Rogers to sing any genre. At 43:53 in the video Rogers sings perhaps the best rendition of I Remember You, that I have ever heard sung.
The video is interspersed with Kenny telling about the highlights of his career. Clips from the past are shown, in addition to him singing at the House of Blues, with the backing of a string orchestra. The video shows Kenny singing Sweet Home Chicago, showing Kenny can sing blues music too. He also sings some of his big hits like Lady and The Gambler. This video is worth watching, because it shows how multi-talented Kenny is and helps bring home the fact, that he may be one of the best singers, to ever walk on a stage.
This is why it is a mystery, why he has never been enshrined in the Country Music or Rock and Roll Hall of Fames. Maybe his crossover hits, prevented him from being defined into either category. One thing for sure is that he is going to sing well, regardless of what genre he is singing at any particular time.
Kenny joined the New Christy Minstrels in 1966, but he left the folk group the next year to form the First Edition. The group’s best known hits were songs like Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town and my personal favorite Reuben James.
Kenny and the First Edition singing Reuben James.
Ten years later in 1976, Kenny would begin his solo career which is still going strong 36 years later.
1977 would produce his first No.1 hit in Lucille, which would be the first of many No.1 hits. He would have seven No.1 hits when the 1980′s started. Then he recorded his first song to be No.1 in U.S. Country, U.S. and Adult Contemporary, which was Lady and maybe his most popular song recorded and was written by Lionel Richie. 1983′s Islands in the Stream recorded as a duet with Dolly Parton placed first in all three of the categories again.
It has been 26 years since Kenny recorded a non-duet No.1 with his recording of Tomb of Unknown Love in 1986.
The complete Kenny Rogers discography:
Kenny recorded many duets and eight of those songs made the Billboard charts.
Kenny singing Don’t Fall In Love With A Dreamer with Kim Carnes.
Kenny singing Islands In The Stream with Dolly Parton at the 25th anniversary of Dollywood in 2010.
Kenny and Dolly singing the same song a few years earlier.
Kenny and Dottie West singing Everytime Two Fools Collide
Yesterday, I found a Kenny Rogers DVD of his appearance on Live By Request on the CBS television network. I had given it to my wife for her birthday several years, but she had never gotten around to watching it till yesterday and that is why I am writing this article today.
I was surprised to look in my MP3 player and there wasn’t one Kenny Rogers song in the player. I will have to rectify that situation, as soon as possible but I do have a Kenny Rogers LP, which I hope to listen to today.
Any collection of Kenny Rogers hits would need to include Lady and The Gambler.
Kenny singing Lady in the Live By Request program on CBS television. Viewers called in any Kenny Rogers song they wanted to hear and Kenny would sing it.
Kenny singing one of his classics The Gambler.
Kenny singing She Believes In Me.
Kenny singing Through The Years at Giants Stadium 26 years ago.
Kenny Rogers is not only a great singer, but is also a talented photographer. This short article shows some of his photography. Kenny is so well-respected in the photography field, that he has been a judge in a Digitial Camera’s Photographer of the Year competition, which is described in this undated article, but appears to have happened in 2011.
Kenny Rogers decided to have plastic surgery, when he married his wife Wanda Miller, that is 29 years younger than him. They are still married 15 years later. He has been married for 48 years combined, after five marriages. He has twin sons Justin and Jordan who will be 8 on July 6. His wife is a twin and both he and his wife have a history of twins in their families.
Kenny singing Love Or Something Like It at Bonaroo festival three weeks ago. Sorry for the poor sound quality, but thought readers would want to see Kenny is going strong at 73.
Kenny and Lionel Richie singing Lady after Kenny tells about the history of the song. If you only watch one video in this article this is the one to see. To see two professionals like Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie singing one of the greatest songs ever written, makes taking the time to watch it worth every minute.
No article on Kenny Rogers would be complete without mentioning his movie career. Kenny appeared in the The Gambler TV movies five times from 1980-1994, which again proved how talented Kenny is in any endeavor that he undertakes.
Kenny as he appeared in the series of The Gambler TV movies.
Not everything Kenny touched turned to gold, even though it may have in the early days, when his Kenny Rogers Roasters expanded to 350 restaurants in 1995. Three years later, the company was bankrupt and sold for $1.25 million. Kenny must have taken a financial bath, for the company to be sold for only $1.25 million. No Kenny Rogers Roasters remain open in the United States today.
The following article gives extensive details about the life of Kenny Rogers, but it may take close to an hour to read the entire article:
Kenny sold his home in Georgia on Wednesday of this week:
I knew Kenny Rogers was a successful singer, but only in the last two days have I learned, just how great he was and is still great today. It is safe to say that Kenny Rogers has made a lasting impression on many Americans, through his music and his acting. I have developed a new appreciation for Kenny Rogers and will be looking for his LP as soon as this is posted.
In closing it amazes me that Kenny Rogers is not in the Country Music Hall of Fame, even though he has had 21 country hits. Part of the problem is that maybe the voters who elect singers to the Country Music Hall of Fame don’t consider Rogers a pure country singer, but just sang songs that found their way to the top of the country charts.
In addition, I can’t see why he isn’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame either, because if any singer belongs, in both Hall of Fames it would be him. Hopefully he will be inducted to one or the other or both, while he is still with us and can enjoy being inducted, like so many others have in past years.
It was just yesterday that I learned Josh Ledet would be appearing, in Heritage Square in Sulphur, Louisiana. We got there early about 1:20 PM, before the 2PM concert. We live only about a mile-and-a-half from Heritage Square, so it took about three minutes to arrive at the venue.
Jason Ledet, the brother of Josh was the host of the show and introduced all the acts and thanked the sponsors and workers, who did an amazing job, considering they only had two days to set up for the concert.
A lady sang Amazing Grace, then a couple of country singers sang a couple of songs each. The lady had a French sounding name so won’t attempt to guess at the spelling. She returned after the country singers sang and sang the Loretta Lynn classic You Ain’t Woman Enough To Take My Man.
Then a fourth singer sang six songs, while playing the acoustic guitar, with none of the songs being recognizable to me and the crowd seemed to be uneasy, since most of the crowd was in the extreme heat and wanted to see Josh. Then a surprise guest Chase Slaughter of X-Factor sang a song acapella.
After all acts left the stage, it was time for Josh to make his entrance and he rewarded his fans, with his stirring rendition, of When A Man Loves A Woman. Almost everyone was on their feet, from the first note of the first song, till he left the stage. Josh called out to some family and friends, that he recognized. He also sang It’s A Man’s World, Ain’t Too Proud to Beg and I Wish a song that really rocked the house and sounded even better than this version on American Idol.
Josh also sang Ready For Love. If you have a chance to hear Josh Ledet take it, because you will never forget the experience. He commands the stage well and has as much stage presence, as anyone since Elvis Presley. You could feel the electricity in the air when the took the stage.
This video shows Josh singing at the concert at Heritage Square in Sulphur, Louisiana. The video starts off with still photos, but it switches to video, when Josh begins to sing. Somehow this writer was captured on this video shot, since if I had known I would have absconded from the scene. I am the prematurely gray man wearing a Calvary Baptist T-shirt, not having a clue I was being filmed. The best part of the video is when Josh sings I Wish, which was a hit for Stevie Wonder. The video doesn’t come close to the sound of actually being there:
He came out early because of the extreme heat. Free bottles of water were being handed out to the fans, to keep them hydrated. My wife drank three or four bottles of water by herself and was feeling sick, when the crowd closed in to see Josh. We were just outside the covered part of the arena, so there was no escaping the heat, unless leaving the seat, to stand under the trees.
We left after Josh finished the first half of the show and went to his motor home behind the stage. I was badly sunburned by then, so we decided to leave before my wife got sicker or I got more sunburned, than I already was.
The main thing is that we got to see and hear Josh Ledet in person. I will be shocked if he is not a bigger star, than the American Idol Phillip Phillips or runner-up Jessica Sanchez.
Best of all, the concert, food and water were free, with McDonalds furnishing free hamburgers.
Josh Ledet will be returning to Louisiana later this summer, when the American Idol tour stops in Lafayette, Louisiana and appears at the Cajundome. The seats won’t be cheap, but if you got the money you will definitely get your money’s worth.
There have been a lot of great organists who play different genres of organ music. One of the best rock and roll organists were Booker T & the MG’s. They are shown playing their classic Green Onions.
I bought the LP of The Cat recorded by Jimmy Smith playing his Hammond B3 organ. The title song The Cat is a song I have never got tired of, after listening to it for 48 years.
Denny McLain is known for being the last major league pitcher, to win 30 games when he won 31 in 1968. He also was a proficient organist, that plays two classics, More and Laura in this audio recording:
The late Leonard George DeStoppelaire, better known as Lenny Dee plays the classic It Had To Be You.
The late Ken Griffin who died in 1956 plays Now Is The Hour a classic Hawaiian song.
An unidentified organist playing a southern gospel classic Bye and Bye When the Morning Comes.
Nancy Bea Hefley playing the organ at a Los Angeles Dodgers game.
Hope these videos bring some memories of present and past organists, who have left an indelible impression on our lives with their music.
Shindig was a show featuring many of the best known singers of that era, that was first televised on the ABC television network on September 16, 1964. The Beatles had started the British invasion, in February of 1964 and the show featured many British singers.
The show featured regular singers like Bobby Sherman, Jackie DeShannon and Donna Loren and Teri Garr was one of the dancers and went to be a movie actress.
Guest hosts on the show were a strange mix of Boris Karloff, Mickey Rooney, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Ed Wynn, Hugh O’Brian, Jackie Leonard and others, who were not known for their musical talent.
This video features Herman’s Hermits singing I’m Into Something Good. The harmony from the background singers reminds me of the Beach Boys sound. The next song is Doo Wah Diddy sang by the Manfred Mann. Gerry and the Pacemakers close out the video with Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying, their signature hit.
The Isley Brothers sing Shout in this video, that also features the Shindig dancers.
Bobby Sherman singing the Frankie Ford hit Sea Cruise.
Jackie DeShannon sings her hit song What the World Needs Now, which peaked at No.7 in 1965.
Donna Loren singing Shakin’ All Over which also features the Shindig dancers.
Bobby Vinton singing his classic Mr. Lonely.
The Supremes singing Stop in the Name of Love.
The Beach Boys singing Do You Wanna Dance.
Patty Duke singing Say Something Funny, the only time I have ever seen her sing.
The Temptations featuring David Ruffin sing My Girl.
Shindig may have ended 46 years ago, but we can still enjoy the videos of the singers from those shows, that lets us go back in time. I had a little portable TV while in the Army in Hawaii and was able to see some of the Shindig shows. Ironically the show went off the air, about the same time that I was boarding a troop ship for Vietnam.
It is just my opinion but the music of today doesn’t come close to the music of the middle 1960′s.
Robin Gibb has died in London at the age of 62 of colorectal cancer. Gibb had been in a coma in April and was reported close to death by some media sources. However he emerged from the coma but died Sunday morning.
His death leaves Barry Gibb as the only surviving member of the Bee Gees. Andy Gibb had died at the age of 30, from a heart condition, in 1988 and Robin’s fraternal twin brother Maurice had died of a heart attack in 2003 at the age of 53.
The Bee Gees singing How Can You Mend A Broken Heart with Robin and Barry Gibb featured in their first No.1 song on U.S. charts which was recorded in June of 1971.
Robin Gibb as a solo artist singing How Deep Is Your Love
Bee Gees singing their classic hit How Deep Is Your Love
My favorite Bee Gees songs were How Can You Mend A Broken Heart and How Deep Is Your Love. Their harmonic sound reminds me of the Beach Boys.
Robin, Maurice and Andy Gibb may have passed away, but as long as music fans love great harmony, their music will live on forever.
Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers sing their first and most successful hit Why Do Fools Fall in Love on the Frankie Laine show in 1956.
The Premiers, the original name used before they became The Teenagers were working on a song Why Do Birds Seem So Gay, when Frankie Lymon one of the members of the group decided to change the name, of the song to Why Do Fools Fall in Love. The song became their first single and peaked at No.6 on the pop charts, but was No.1 on the R&B charts.
The group then became known as Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. The group broke up the next year, as Lymon became a solo act. Lymon caused Alan Freed’s Big Beat television show to be canceled, when he was dancing with a white girl during a performance, which didn’t set well with television stations in the south.
His records didn’t sell as well as his voice changed and he picked up a heroin habit at the age of 13. Lymon lost his record contract with Roulette in 1961. Then he was married for the first time in 1964, but his only child died two days after her birth. To compound matters, he had married his wife, while she was still married to her husband.
He then married Zola Taylor of The Platters, but the marriage didn’t last long due to his drug habit. He then married his third wife in a three and-a-half year period in June of 1967.
Lymon had not taken heroin for three years, before having a big promotion scheduled to help his career. However, he went back to heroin, to celebrate what he thought was going to be a return to fame. However the celebration didn’t last long, as he died of a heroin overdose on February 28, 1968 at his grandmother’s house.
His legal problems followed him even in death, as all three lives tried to gain access to his estate. Part of the problem was that Lymon had never got around to divorcing his first two wives. His third wife Emira Eagle was finally awarded the right to Lymon’s estate. Lymon had never received a penny for co-writing Why Do Fools Fall in Love, but Emira Eagle did begin to receive royalties from the song.
The following tribute shows his grave and tells about his influence on Motown music at Find A Grave website.
The Four Aces singing their 1955 hit Love is a Many Splendord Thing over 50 years later in a PBS special. They do an excellent job, especially considering their voices have changed in the last 50 years.
The Four Preps singing their hits 26 Miles and Big Man in a 2004 PBS special.
The Four Lads singing Moments To Remember which I remember being sung on Your Hit Parade many years ago.
The Four Lads singing their hit song Standing On The Corner on the Mike Douglas Show.
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons singing a medley of their greatest hits.
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons singing Working My Way Back To You
A later version of the Four Freshmen singing the Beach Boy’s hit Surfer Girl.
The Four Tops singing I Can’t Help Myself in London, England on March 15, 1970. They are seen wearing the famous Nehru jackets of that era.
These are the most well-known groups I can think of, with Four in front of their name. It was fun putting together this collection of the music I grew up with.
I can remember some of these songs being sung on Your Hit Parade. I was amazed at how many ways they presented the same song when it ran for weeks on the show. There are only so many ways of singing Standing On The Corner.
There was a time when surf music was king. The Beach Boys may not have been the first band featuring surfing music, but they are certainly the best-known from that genre. Dick Dale and the Del-Tones are generally recognized, as the first to record surf music with “Let’s Go Trippin’.
Jan and Dean were an early surfing music group who found a new way of surfing….sidewalk surfing:
Surfin’ USA was the first Top 10 hit for the Beach Boys when it went to No.3 in 1963. The Beach Boys are shown singing two of their early hits Surfin’ USA and Surfer Girl which went to No.7 a few months later.
Jan and Dean had a No.3 hit with Little Old Lady From Pasadena. Used car dealers in California would sell cars telling potential buyers, that the cars had been driven by a little old lady from Pasadena, who drove the car only on Sundays to go to church. Jan and Dean turned it all around in their song, changing the little old lady into a street car racer:
The Beach Boys also got into the hot rod music scene with Little Deuce Coupe and 409.
I Get Around went to No.1 one of only four No.1 hits by the Beach Boys:
Jan and Dean recorded Dead Man’s Curve and Google Maps shows the route taken in the song:
Ironically Jan Berry of Jan and Dean was in an accident not too far from Dead Man’s Curve which can also be seen on this Google Map. Those readers who know this area probably will be interested in knowing the exact locations.
Italy’s highway system places a whole new meaning when it comes to dead man’s curbs as their highways seem to have no shoulders to change flat tires. Instead of shoulders they have drop offs of hundreds of feet if a car veers off the road. Dead Man’s Curve being sung while showing these treacherous highways adds a new meaning to the song:
This video shows The Ventures playing Wipeout their classic instrumental:
The last video is of the Beach Boys singing Fun, Fun, Fun about a girl having fun driving the car until her daddy takes the keys away:
1968 and 1969 were years defined by the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, American astronauts being the first to walk on the moon, anti-war protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the New York Jets and the New York Mets were surprise Super Bowl and World Series winners.
Super Bowl II would be won by the Green Bay Packers when they defeated the Oakland Raiders on January 14.
Mister Roger’s Neighborhood would be seen for the first time on February 19, 1968.
March 16, 1968 would be one of the low points of the Vietnam War when between 374-504 unarmed civilians were killed at My Lai by United States troops. 2nd Lt. William Calley was charged with 22 of the deaths and sentenced to life imprisonment, but only served three-and-a-half years of house arrest.
President Lyndon B. Johnson announced on March 31 that he would not be running for president in the 1968 election. His decision resulted in the Democrats only having one president elected in the next 24 years, when Jimmy Carter was elected in 1976. It would be 1993 before Bill Clinton took office as the 42nd president and he would become the first Democratic president to serve two complete terms since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
April 4, 1968 started a year of assassinations and demonstrations, when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated on the balcony of his Memphis motel room. Ironically only seven days later the Civil Rights Act bill was passed by Congress, which outlawed racial discrimination, which Dr. King had been fighting before his death.
Then only two months and one day after the assassination of Dr. King, Bobby Kennedy was assassinated while celebrating a win in California primary during his 1968 presidential bid. Sirhan Sirhan is arrested for the murder of Kennedy.
If Kennedy had lived to win the Democratic nomination, he may have defeated Richard Nixon in the 1968 election. Instead Nixon defeated Senator Hubert Humphrey by half a million votes.
The Yippies led by Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman would descend on Chicago and the streets of Chicago turned into a riot zone as the Yippies and other radical groups battled Chicago police, U.S. Army and National Guard, while the Democratic convention was being held.
The chaos on the streets of Chicago poured onto the Democratic Convention floor when Senator Abraham Ribicoff denounced the use of Gestapo tactics in the streets of Chicago. His remarks enraged Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago would could be seen yelling at Ribicoff.
Anti-war protesters in Chicago may have hurt their own cause. In retrospect they may have protested at the wrong convention since the Democrats were more on their side than the Republicans. The Republican convention in Miami was turmoil free, in contrast to the chaos in Chicago.
Richard Nixon would go on to defeat Senator Humphrey in the general election.
1969 was another year with many newsworthy events and January 12 of 1969 would see the New York Jets defeat the Baltimore Colts 16-7, after Jets quarterback Joe Namath had predicted the Jets would upset the Colts.
Richard Nixon would take office as the 37th president on January 20. The Beatles who had first sang in America almost five years ago would hold their last public concert on January 30.
Sirhan Sirhan admits assassinating Bobby Kennedy on March 3. Ironically seven days later James Earl Ray would plead guilty to assassinating Dr. Martin Luther King. Later that month former President Dwight D. Eisenhower died on March 28, 8 years after finishing his second term as president.
The first American troop withdrawals of the Vietnam War were made on July 8. Senator Teddy Kennedy would end any hope of becoming president, when he drove his car off a bridge on July 18, in what became known as the Chappaquiddick incident. Mary Jo Kopechne would die at the age of 28 in the submerged car.
Two days later on July 20, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, when the lunar module Eagle landed on the moon. It had to be ranked as one of the biggest stories of the 20th century. The first flight by the Wright Brothers in 1903 would have been another major advance in the 20th century. Their flight led to commercial flights by airlines in later years.
August 9, 1969 was a day of violence as Charles Manson followers killed actress Sharon Tate and four others. The next day August 10, they would murder Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in their home.
August 15, 1969 will always be remembered as the day the Woodstock Music Festival kicked off on Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, New York. The promoters were expecting 50,000 fans, but those numbers were very conservative, considering 500,000 fans showed up.
August 17 would be another deadly day, this time because of Hurricane Camille which hit the Mississippi coast killing 248 people and causing damage of $1.5 billion.
The first ATM was installed in Rockville Centre, New York on September 2, while on the same day Ho Chi Minh, leader of North Vietnam died.
The Chicago Eight trial begin on September 24 in Chicago, but was changed to the Chicago Seven, when Bobby Seale a Black Panther was sentenced to four-year sentence for contempt of court.
Another New York sports team would win a championship, when the New York Mets defeated the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. Seven years earlier the Mets had been the laughingstock of baseball when they posted a 40-120 record in 1962.
On a lighter note Sesame Street would be seen for the first time on the National Education Network on November 10.
While 250,000-500,000 demonstrators were protesting against the war in Washington, D.C. on November 15, Dave Thomas is busy opening the first Wendy’s in Columbus Ohio.
American astronauts would walk on the moon, only four months after the initial landing, four months prior to the Apollo 12 landing. Pete Conrad and Alan Bean would both walk on the moon.
With the year drawing to a close, a draft lottery was put in place on December 1 and would be the last major event of 1969.
A quick rundown of the events in 1968-1969:
Dr. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy Assassinated
Unarmed Vietnamese Citizens Killed By U.S. Troops
President Lyndon B. Johnson Announces He Will Not Run For Presidency
Anti-war protesters riot during the Democratic National Convention
Richard Nixon is elected president in general election.
Richard Nixon takes office of presidency
Withdrawal of Vietnam troops commences
Teddy Kennedy drives car off bridge in Chappaquiddick incident
Four astronauts become first men to walk on moon
Charles Manson followers kill seven in two days
500,000 anti-war protesters attend Woodstock Music Festival
Hurricane Camille kills 248 persons
First ATM installed in Rockville Centre, New York
Ho Chi Minh Dies
Chicago 7 Trial Begins in Chicago
250,000-500,000 demonstrate in anti-war protest in Washington, D.C.
Dave Thomas opens first Wendy’s
Sesame Street shown for the first time on National Education Network
Draft lottery is instituted
Song From Moulin Rouge by Percy Faith Orchestra was the No.1 song in 1953.
It was hard to believe that the first major rock and roll song, Shake, Rattle and Roll by Bill Haley and the Comets, would break into the Top 30 list, the next year 1954 ending in the No.26 spot. Bill Haley would come back in 1955, for his monster hit Rock Around the Clock, which went to No.2 on the chart.
The country had gone from an easy listening orchestra song in 1953, to two of the rocking and rollingest songs ever, in the space of two years.
These are some of the songs that were on the 1953 list, that began the end of the easy listening music era:
No. 2: Vaya Con Dios – Les Paul and Mary Ford
No. 3: How Much Is That Doggie In The Window – Patti Page….It was a novelty song that I can remember from Your Hit Parade Days.
No.8: No Other Love – Perry Como
No.9: Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes – Perry Como….Como had a third song on the list also Say Your Mine at No.21
No.12: Ebb Tide – Frank Chacksfield Orchestra….One of the classic easy listening songs of all time. The orchestra also had the No.27 song Limelight on the 1953 chart.
No.19: Rags To Riches – Tony Bennett….One of the few singers who had a long career despite rock and roll taking over the charts.
No.22: Dragnet – Ray Anthony Orchestra….Theme song from the television show Dragnet.
One of my favorite singers Joni James singing Why Don’t You Believe Me which was No.25 in 1953. She also had No.26 Your Cheating Heart and No.30 Have You Heard.
1953 chart represented a smorgasbord of musical tastes, from orchestra music, to novelty tunes, to the great crooners like Perry Como, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, groups like Hilltoppers, Ames Brothers and Gaylords, up and coming stars like Joni James, who would miss years of singing, while taking care of her very sick husband.
At the end of 1953, nobody probably even thought, that in 1956 Elvis Presley would have five songs in the Top 30, with Carl Perkins and Gene Vincent, also having rock and roll songs, plus Bill Doggett had his instrumental hit Honky Tonk, which clearly was not an easy listening recording.
1956 emphasized even more that the easy listening era, was coming to an end. There were still some crooners and orchestras on the 1956 list. It is safe to say that 1957 was the year that rock n’ rollers took over the charts, 25 rock and roll songs making the top 30.
The easy listening era was over. We can still listen to old records and cassettes from the past, but it looks like rock n’ roll is here to stay, until the next best thing comes along.
The Bobhorst.com website lists the Top songs of each year from 1946-2010. The list expanded from Top 30 to Top 100. The link will take readers to the 1953 charts, but it can be switched to any year easily.
X-Factor has given its fans the impression that 60 year old LeRoy Bell is trying for one last chance at fame. However, Bell as part of the Bell and James singing duo had already experienced fame in a big way at the age of 28, when their hit song Livin’ It Up reached No.7 on the U.S. Blacks chart in 1979. That single sold over a million copies, which made it a platinum seller.
LeRoy Bell and Casey James of Bell and James singing their hit song Livin’ It Up.
X-Factor is taking a huge credibility hit, by not revealing that LeRoy Bell had a huge hit 32 years ago. X-Factor willingly or unwillingly has led its fans to think Bell was some down on his luck singer. Bell and James were a short-lived group who made only three albums, releasing their last album in 1981.
The worst thing is that a younger singer or group has lost their chance to be on X-Factor, because of Bell. There also have been rumors circulating that Stacy Francis has also had some success in the music business in the past.
Stacy Francis singing at a birthday party for Tom Cruise.
Dexter Hagood Wanted Off X-Factor
A third over 30′s singer Dexter Hagood asked to be taken off X-Factor, which as far as I know, was never mentioned on the show. His reason was that he only wants to sing rock. I was actually feeling sorry for him, but it turns out he sang with Xavion, the first all black group to appear on MTV. He should have known that singing competition shows, don’t allow the singers to sing only genre of music. I can’t help but wonder if his tears were real, if he is willing to walk away from a possible $5 million recording contract because he is not getting to sing, his kind of music week after week.
There are reports the group wants him back, in the group and had lost contact with him, until they saw him on X-Factor. Unless Josh Krajcik has also had success in the past, he should be the best of the over 30′s singer by default, considering the other three contestants hid their past, or X-Factor didn’t do their homework on their backgrounds.
Stories mentioning the Hagood, Bell and Francis:
The Band may be the most original name for a band ever. They were referred to as the band, so they adopted the name, while touring with the legendary Bob Dylan and the not so legendary Tiny Tim.
The photo above looks like it could have been taken in the 1800′s, since this was a very scruffy looking band. They look more like an outlaw gang, than musicians in the photo.
Joined Ronnie Hawkins And The Hawks
All the members of The Band gradually joined Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks, with the exception of Levon Helm, who already a member of the Hawks backing band.
It was in 1963, when the Hawks broke up with Ronnie Hawkins, because they were going in a different musical direction. It was odd that Ronnie Hawkins found himself out of his own group, which would be come Levon Helm and the Hawks. They also recorded under the name of the Canadian Squires during this time.
Touring With Bob Dylan
The Band began touring with Bob Dylan, first with only Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm, but then the entire band, would later join Dylan on the road.
By this time Dylan was trying to be more of a rocker, than a folk singer so The Band fit nicely into his plans to have an edgier sound. However some of the folk song purists were calling Dylan by the name of Judas, since they didn’t appreciate Dylan converting into a rock singer.
Made Woodstock Appearance
The Band made an appearance at Woodstock in 1969, but their appearance wasn’t shown in the movie Woodstock, due to legal ramifications.
Eric Clapton, George Harrison Influenced By The Band
The Band made a huge impact on other artists of that era, including Eric Clapton and George Harrison. Clapton was said to have wanted to join The Band. Clapton liked The Band’s Music From Big Pink album so much, that he said it changed his life.
Eric Clapton singing in The Last Waltz movie. Notice how The Band covers for Eric when his guitar strap becomes unattached. This is guitar playing at its best.
The Last Waltz Documentary
By 1976 Robbie Robertson, who apparently perceived himself the leader of The Band, decided he didn’t want to tour, any longer, so planned a huge retirement celebration for The Band on Thanksgiving Day of that year. Many of the biggest names in music were there and movie director Martin Scorsese filmed the concert.
Whether you like the music or not, the movie will bring memories flowing back ,of a long ago era, when hippies were still dominant in San Francisco, where the concert was filmed at the Winterland Ballroom. One musical memory from the night was the use of a tuba in the concert by the orchestra.
Levon Helm singing the Robbie Robertson composition The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, a song about the end of the Civil War.
Bob Dylan singing Baby Let Me Follow You Down in the voice we like to remember him by.
Levon Helm singing The Weight which was voted 41st best song on Rolling Stone’s list of Top 500 Songs.
My son Steve had told me about the Last Waltz movie being made about The Band. I really had paid no attention The Band and hadn’t heard of the movie.
Be forewarned that the language in this movie is not for kids, but the music is what really matters the most, plus the reminders of a different era.
The Eric Clapton video of him singing in Last Waltz, is only the beginning of the music from this movie.
This is Levon Helm singing Ophelia, my personal favorite from the movie.
Neil Young singing Helpless.
Neil Diamond singing Dry Your Eyes
Rick Danko singing It Makes No Difference
All the singers join in on I Shall Be Released
The Band would resurface in 1983, but without Robbie Robertson. Levon Helm feuded with Robertson who was credited as songwriter on most of their original songs, but Helm thought the songwriting was more of a team effort. Their feud prevented Helm from even attending, the group’s induction, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Helm also did not attend the night, The Band was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2008.
Tragic Death of Richard Manuel
Richard Manuel, the pianist/drummer for The Band had been a heavy drinker, earlier in his career, but later would suffer a relapse. He told fellow band member Garth Hudson thanks for 25 years of music, not long before hanging himself in a Orlando, Florida motel on March 4, 1986. He was 42 at the time of his death.
Rick Danko Dies in 1999
The death of Rick Danko from drug related heart failure on December 10, 1999 signaled the end of The Band. Danko had been taking prescribed morphine since a 1968 car accident, which left him in great pain, but he was still able to sing and play the guitar for the next 31 years.
His death came in his sleep in Marbletown, N.Y. home, which ironically was close to Woodstock.
Surviving Members of The Band
Levon Helm has not retired from the music business, but is still going strong and also has some acting credits:
Helm has also had a considerable career as an actor. He has appeared in the movies The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Shooter,Smooth Talk, The Right Stuff, The Dollmaker, Feeling Minnesota, End of the Line, In the Electric Mist, Fire Down Below, Staying Togetherand portrayed Loretta Lynn‘s father in the film Coal Miner’s Daughter opposite Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones. – from Wikipedia
Robertson Writing Music For Soundtracks
Robbie Robertson 68, is still active today and has done a lot of work, with movie soundtracks. He has been active in the music business for 51 years.
Garth Hudson Still Recording Today
Garth Hudson was the resident musical genius of The Band who played the organ, piano, saxophone, accordion and electronic keyboards. Hudson is still active at 74. He has worked with music for movie soundtracks and has recorded five albums since 2000.
Music Chart Busts
The Band’s highest ranking single on the Billboard charts was Up on Cripple Creek which topped out at #25. Even The Weight did not sell well as it ended up at #63.
Last Waltz Movie Worth Watching
Martin Scorsese’s Last Waltz is worth watching if you haven’t seen it. It is also worth watching again, if you have seen it. It takes us back to a time a lot of us would like to forget, but also back to the music back then. There are not that many chances to see and hear a tuba being played in a band.
The street scenes shown at the first of the movie, will be especially enjoyed by those in San Francisco, who have walked those streets.
Neil Diamond was born in New York City on January 24, 1941. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 14, 2011. First thought is what took them so long to induct him, behind a band named Traffic, which was inducted in 2004. Traffic may have been a great group, but I can’t recall the name of even one of their songs, or band members and wasn’t even sure what they looked like, till I saw their photo at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website. There is no reason for Neil Diamond to wait 45 years to be inducted, after writing a No.1 song in I’m A Believer, which was also Popular Music Song of the Year in 1966.
Sweet Caroline perhaps his best known recording peaked at No.3 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart but went platinum. Diamond had Holly Holy in 1969, Cracklin’ Rosie and 1979′s duet You Don’t Bring Me Flowers with Barbra Streisand all reach the platinum status.
Neil Diamond singing Dry Your Eyes in The Last Waltz a 1978 movie.
Cracklin’ Rosie First No.1 Hit
Diamond achieved fame as a songwriter, before recording is first No.1 hit in 1970′s Cracklin’ Rosie, which was written and sung by Diamond. Two years later in 1972 Diamond would place Song Sung Blue, in both the U.S. and U.S. Adult Contemporary categories on the record chart.
Then Diamond continuing the trend of having a No.1 hit every two years, recorded Longwell Serenade, which was a No.1 song in U.S. Adult Contemporary in 1974.
Diamond would record ten No.1 hits during his career, with the last No. 1 being Heartlight released in 1982.
Only One No.1 Studio Album
The first studio album was released by Diamond in 1966. It would be 42 years later, in 2008 when he had Home Before Dark, a studio album place No. 1 on the record chart.
No other Neil Diamond album ever went to No.1, but six of his albums were designated as multi-platinum.
Neil Diamond singing his classic Sweet Caroline.
Third Most Popular Adult Contemporary Artist
Only Barbra Streisand and Elton John have sold more albums than Diamond among all adult contemporary artists. He is still touring at the age of 70 and drawing huge crowds.
Even at age 70, Diamond was No.1 in ticket sales according to this news from Billboard.com ahead of No.2 Jason Aldean and No.3 Dolly Parton:
Neil Diamond shines at No. 1 on the latest Hot Tours ranking with $4 million in ticket sales reported by London’s O2 Arena, the final venue on his tour outing during the spring and summer. The veteran singer/songwriter played three shows in London on July 9, 11 and 13 with a combined attendance total of 36,000 for all three nights, capping off a slate of June/July arena performances in five markets in the U.K. and Ireland. Diamond kicked off his 2011 tour in New Zealand at the end of February and played dates in Australia and South Africa during March and April. The European leg began in Belgium in early June.
Dubious Claim To Fame
There is one thing that Neil Diamond would probably not want to be remembered for. His America would be used as the theme song, in the presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis, in his futile bid for the presidency in 1988.
Neil Diamond has had an eventful year, having been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March, even though some thought he was drunk when he made his acceptance speech, if it can be called a speech.
His concerts are drawing huge crowds and earning millions of dollars, but even more importantly, he has announced his engagement with his manager Katie McNeil.
Diamond has been in the music business for about 50 years, but he seems as popular as ever, since his fans are still showing up in droves in whatever venues, that he appears.
Mr. Acker Bilk playing Stranger on the Shore, the No. 1 hit of 1962.
I can remember the posters for American Graffiti, like the one pictured that asked the question Where Were You in 62′?
My memories of 1962 include walking the halls of Pineville High for the last times that summer, as I took English IV again in summer school so I could receive my diploma that September. It was my third and last encounter with summer school.
The class of 1962 will be celebrating our 50th reunion next April. Just the thought of 50 years passing since I walked out the door of Pineville High School for the last time as a student in 1962 tells me I am getting older much faster than I really wanted to.
It also reminds me that music has changed since then. Can you imagine a clarinet solo by Mr. Acker Bilk being No.1 on the Hot 100 chart today, like Stranger on the Shore was in 1962?
It even charted higher than the No.2 classic I Can’t Stop Loving You sung by the great Ray Charles.
Mashed Potato Time and The Loco-Motion charted No.3 and No.7, but No.9 The Twist by Chubby Checker is the song we will remember most from that year. Checker was 21 in 1962, but will be 70 next month.
Checker would also have the No.17 hit Slow Twistin’ in 1962. Many songs released in 1962 had the word twist or a variation of twist in the title including these songs:
No.23 Twistin’ the Night Away – Sam Cooke
No.25 Peppermint Twist – Joey Dee and the Starliters
No. 32 Dear Lady Twist – Gary and the US Bonds
No. 38 Twist and Shout – Isley Brothers
No. 87 Percolator Twist – Billy Joe and the Checkmates
No. 88 Twist, Twist Senora – Gary and the US Bonds
No. 89 Twistin’ Matilda and the Channel – Jimmy Soul
No. 92 Soul Twist – King Curtis
Ten songs or ten percent of the Top 100 songs, had to do with the new Twist craze.
It was a great year for ballads too with such standouts as Roses Are Red, Break It To Me Gently, Ramblin’ Rose, Love Letters, You Don’t Know Me and Town Without Pity.
The Beach Boys had one song in the Top 100 list which was Surfin’ USA at No.100, but it apparently had just been released, because it topped out at No.3 the next year. Surprisingly, the Beach Boys only had four No.1 hits during their career.
Ahab the Arab was the best known novelty song of the year, having been released by Ray Stevens.
Green Onions which was recorded by Booker T. and the MG’s to me was one of the best instrumentals ever to be released came out that year along with instrumentals, like Moon River by Henry Mancini and Walk on the Wild Side recorded by the great jazz organist Jimmy Smith.
The list below will take the readers down memory lane. It was a great year for music.
Basic Training and the Cuban Missile Crisis
It was October 12 of 1962, when I started basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. My first memory is of a soldier from Wardville a suburb of Pineville, Louisiana yelling out a second story window, to a sergeant below “Hey nutbrain”. The sergeant set a new record for climbing the stairs that day, telling the private in no uncertain terms, that that was not the proper way to address someone higher ranking than him. The infiltration course was the least fun of all, not to mention taking our gas masks off in a gas-filled room, so we would know what it was like to experience it.
If there was enough reason to take the basic training seriously before, there was even more now, because we were training during the middle of the Cuban missile crisis.
This is one of the songs we sang as we marched:
“I don’t know but I believe, I’ll be in Cuba by Christmas Eve”
The ten-mile hike and bivouac was not exactly a bed of roses either. It had been hot when we first arrived, but by the time the bivouac came around, it was brutally cold sleeping in a tent in December.
The best part about basic training was when the family visited one Sunday, having made the trip from Pineville to see me.
1962 had started with the final semester starting at Pineville High School in January, receiving my diploma in September, then starting basic training in October, which ended in December.
The year ended with me visiting home, for Christmas and New Year’s Day. 1963 would bring being stationed in Indianapolis, Indiana to start the year, staying there till April at the Adjutant General’s postal school. Then in May my three-year enlistment started, after deciding to re-enlist rather than go to Army Reserve meetings for several years.
Early in June of 1963, I arrived in the tropical paradise of Hawaii, not knowing that I would board the troop ship the USNS General Walker on a 14 day trip, to another tropical paradise in Viet Nam two-and-a-half years later. The only problem was that the inhabitants of this tropical paradise, didn’t appreciate visitors with M-14′s and tanks.
By now it is way past 1962, so better stop now.
Scotty McCreery singing I Love You This Big in his first video that was recently released.
Scotty has been keeping a hectic schedule this summer on the American Idol tour, but found time to release his first video. The tour is a real moneymaker for the American Idol franchise, but it prevents the American Idol winners, from devoting more time to their career.
Lauren Alaina has released her first video Like My Mother Does.
Lauren Alaina may have been second in the American Idol voting, but I can see her becoming a top recording artist in country music. There is no doubt that she was born to sing country music.
She may not sell as many albums as Scotty when releases her debut album later this year, but she will hold her own and should be one of the top country music stars for years to come.
Pia Toscano singing on her debut This Time video.
There is no doubt that Pia Toscano was the best singer on American Idol. She may not have been the most popular though, having been sent home during the fourth week.
For some reason, voters just didn’t connect with Pia and went for the younger Scotty and Lauren Alaina. While the other American Idol singers were still in the competition, Pia was making moves to jump-start her career. She used the time between leaving the show and embarking on the summer tour wisely by singing on television shows, keeping her name out there, even though she had been eliminated from American Idol.
As time goes by we will be able to tell which one of the three singers featured in this article will be the most successful, but for right now I think that Scotty, Lauren Alaina and Pia will all have long careers.
Jordin Sparks, who was the Season 6 American Idol winner has done what no other contestant has ever done. She sold four million digital copies of her “No Air” duet with Chris Brown, the most sold by any American Idol contestant.
Sparks won in 2006 when 36 million fans tuned in to see the finale. In comparison, only 20 million watched the finale this year.
When Sparks won in 2006 she was the youngest at 17, to ever win the coveted title of American Idol.
Forbes Magazine lists Carrie Underwood as the biggest earner among former American Idol contestants as she took in $20 million in 2010, far eclipsing the sales of Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry who earned $6 million.
Fantasia was next earning $4 million and Sparks was right behind her earning $3 million.
Scott McCreery received a check for $250,000 for winning Season 10, but Season 7 winner David Archuleta was given a check for $360,000.
However, Ryan Seacrest earned $61 million last year which is more than the Top 10 earners among American Idol contestants made combined. He earned $15 million as the host but that is only a small part of his earnings, since he is earning money, as a disc jockey, host for the E channel’s Entertainment News and is producing reality television shows.
Something is wrong when Seacrest is paid $15 million for hosting American Idol while Scotty McCreery gets a measly $250,000 check. The fans tune in to see the contestants, not Seacrest so it wouldn’t hurt Seacrest to take a pay cut, so the winner would receive a larger check.
The new X-Factor show debuting this fall on FOX, is paying their winner $5 million which is 20 times more than McCreery earned for winning American Idol. The Voice which recently concluded their first season only paid their winner $100,000, but they have a much shorter season. The X-Factor winner will receive a check 50 times the $100,000 check that The Voice winner receives.
The complete article and list of the leading earners among American Idol contestants in 2010:
American Idol Notebook
Randy Jackson is pitching his own talk show to the networks. So far, there has been no official response. I can’t see a Randy Jackson talk show being successful, but with television you never know….There are rumors that Ryan Seacrest will replace Regis Philbin on Regis and Kelly, which would probably be re-named Ryan and Kelly if that actually happens. Since Seacrest has most of his work based in California, the show may have to move to California for it to work for Seacrest. With his multitude of jobs already it may be too much for him to do Ryan and Kelly, American Idol, his radio show, his E News program, his producing of Keeping Up With the Kardashians and other reality shows he produces. I can see how he could do the Ryan and Kelly show if he drops his radio show, since it would be telecast in the morning, while American Idol would be shown at night.
Pia Toscano has finally signed a record deal with Interscope. There were reports that she had signed a recording contract shortly after leaving American Idol, but those reports proved to be false. Even though she finished ninth in the voting, I look for her to be one of the most successful singers from Season 10….Auditions for Season 11 begin in St. Louis on June 28 about a month after Scotty McCreery became the American Idol for Season 10. It is unknown if the three judges will be there for the auditions but that should be known, once the auditions start.
Barry Manilow said last night on Piers Morgan Tonight that he thinks singers on shows like American Idol are making it too fast, without paying their dues, like most singers have to do….The American Idol summer tour starts in West Valley City, Utah on July 6 and ends on September 10 in Rochester, New York.
For more information on the tour:
Haley Reinhart’s run at becoming the Season 10 American Idol is over, after finishing third, but her sister Angela has the talent to compete in Season 11 or Season 12 if she decides to enter the hit reality show.
Haley’s little sister was reportedly in the sophomore class at Wheeling High School in Wheeling, Illinois earlier this year, so by should be a junior this fall.
She not only sings well, but also accompanies herself on the guitar. I have never seen Haley play a musical instrument, but she doesn’t really need one with her voice, which took her to the next last week of American Idol this season.
Their father, Harry Reinhart mentions in the video with this article that Angela has been very supportive of her older sister Haley during her quest to be the American Idol.
After Angela finishes her first song, someone in the audience shouts “American Idol No.2″, so it is possible that she could follow in the footsteps of her sister.
Angela and Haley write songs together and perform with Midnight, the name of the family band with their father Harry and mother Patty.
Their parents met 30 years ago through their interest in music.
Angela Reinhart, sister of Haley Reinhart singing two songs with Midnight in April of 2011.
Just my opinion, but it seems like the music was overpowering Angela’s vocals. From what I could hear, she seems to be able to make a name for herself on American Idol if she wishes to pursue a musical career like her sister Haley.
One huge advantage with Haley as her sister, would be that Haley can help her know what to expect from the first audition to the last weeks of the competition for American Idol.
Angela Reinhart may not be a household name yet, but don’t be surprised if you see her on American Idol in the next year or two. To my knowledge, no sisters or brothers of a previous contestant have made it to the live shows.
David Gasten has compiled a collection of vintage music for his This Is Vintage Now album which features many genres from jump blues, to easy listening, to exotica to his own band David Gasten and the City Kids.
Any listener that likes to hear a variety of music on one album will be thrilled to listen to this album.
THIS IS VINTAGE NOW – Compiled by David Gasten
BEVERLY KENNEY – Tea For Two – The album starts off with a classic jazz vocal rendition of Beverly Kenney singing Tea for Two. This song is perfect for listening on a cold winter night, as you listen to Beverly Kenney singing in a perfectly understated voice, that lets the listener enjoy the warmth of her voice, giving the impression she is singing to the listener. The musical accompaniment plays softly, in the background, leaving the listener to hear each word of the lyrics clearly. This track is my personal favorite on the album since I grew up in the era when this kind of music was at the zenith of its popularity.
BIG JAY MCNEELY – Get On Up And Boogie (Parts 1, 2 and 3) – The second track is the direct opposite of the first track, as Big Jay McNeely rocks out on Get On Up And Boogie, a fast tempo roadhouse style blues song, that jumps from start to finish. This is the kind of song where nobody will be slow dancing to, because it is meant to be danced to fast and furiously. Only skilled musicians can play this fast,without missing some notes, since this song’s frenetic pace leaves no margin for error, but Big Jay McNeely and his band are up to the task. You will notice some excellent horn work on this track. Don’t be surprised if after listening to this track, that you will want to play it again.
CARO EMERALD – Just One Dance – This young lady, Caro Emerald is a 30 year old Dutch singer, who sings Just One Dance on the album. Her voice is mesmerizing on this track, as this track reminds me of music from the 80′s. Caro switches from being louder in some parts to being much softer sounding in other parts. After listening to this track, you will want to search You Tube for more of her music. There is no question of if she will make it big, but when. Her current schedule shows no trips to the United States through the first week of September. Her career will really take off when she tours the United States. Remember the name Caro Emerald, because you will be hearing more of her music in the future.
ILANA CHARNELLE – Piece - Music fans who like slower music will enjoy this haunting song named Piece sung by Ilana Charnelle. The sparse background music highlights the distinct tone of Ilana’s voice. You will want to hear more of her music, after listening to this track. The well-written lyrics, mesh very well with her voice. Ilana can be found on Facebook and Twitter and she responds to the posts of others on her page, unlike some other artists who post very infrequently. The sky is the limit for Ilana, as more and more music fans find her music. We have not heard the last from Ilana Charnelle and hope the Australian vocalist will be touring in the United States sooner, rather than later.
THE PHAROHS – Tears On My Pillow – Little Anthony and the Imperials took Tears on My Pillow to No.1 in 1958 and has been covered many times. This version by the Pharohs is closer to the original than covers sung by many other artists. It also reminds me of the time when rock and roll was only four or five years old, when this song was popular. So it is good that the Pharohs have recorded this song, even though it is now 53 years old. If you want to go back in time for three minutes and some change, this song will take you back again to the 50′s.
THE WAITIKI 7 – Similau - Exotica music is one of the rarest genres of music found today, so it is exciting to know that Waitiki 7 is bringing back the music, of Martin Denny and other exotica artists recorded over forty years ago. The jungle sounds on the track bring back great memories of when we could imagine being in a faraway jungle, enjoying the sounds of birds and other sounds of the jungle. It is good to know, that The Waitiki 7 are keeping the exotica genre alive and you will enjoy hearing this exotica music as much as you enjoyed hearing Martin Denny music many years ago.
DAVID GASTEN AND THE CITY KIDS – The Deacon Don’t Like It - The voice of David Gasten is what makes this song great. He has a unique voice that doesn’t sound like any other singer today. David has a great band backing up his vocals. You will want to hear more David Gasten music after hearing The Deacon Don’t Like It. I look for David and his band to be better known, once they can get some of their music on You Tube. The background singers add a lot to the vocals by singing their parts well. David Gasten and the City Kids have a bright future. It is just a matter of being in the right place at the right time, to be heard by the right people and to have some internet exposure.
CAROLE CREVELING – Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea - This may be a short track lasting barely over two minutes but Carole Creveling makes the most of the short time singing Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea as well, if not better, than other singer who has recorded it. It was first recorded by Cab Calloway in 1931 making it 80 years old this year. Carole wasn’t intimidated by the history of the song and performs it well on this track in an up tempo style.
BLAKE JONES AND THE TRIKE SHOP – If Hawthorne Were Foggy - The instrumental If Hawthorne Were Foggy is an easy listening track that features excellent orchestration. Sounds like an xylophone is being used during parts of the song, which gives the instrumental a very soft sound. The Fresno, California group is planning a return trip to England soon.
THE NECRO-TONZ – Fare Thee Well And Go To Hell - The Necro-Tonz sound is a distinct sound as Fare Thee Well And Go To Hell starts off with a 34 second musical introduction before the vocal starts. The song is about a girl who is not happy with her lover and wants him gone and minces no words in saying it in the song. The horns kick in at the last part of the song. This group is focused on bringing back jazz and cocktail music, but not in the traditional sense. Their idea of jazz and cocktail music is more along the lines of reviving the sounds of extinct bands.
The album has not been released yet but clips can be found of the songs at:
Paul Albert Anka was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on July 30, 1941. He will be 70 on his birthday which is hard to believe. It seems like only yesterday I was listening to him sing Diana, You Are My Destiny, Put Your Head on My Shoulder and Lonely Boy. Lonely Boy would be his last No.1 hit until he hit No.1 again in 1974 with You’re Having My Baby and his last No.1 in 1975 with Times of Your Life.
Paul Anka singing a medley of his hits including the title song for The Longest Day.
Paul Anka singing his classic composition My Way.
His best known song My Way a song he wrote for Frank Sinatra. He wrote English words for the song, which is one of the most sung songs today.
He was married to Anne Zogheb from 1963 to 2000 and one of his daughters from that marriage, Amanda, is married to actor Jason Bateman. He later married Swedish model Anna Yeager who thirty years younger than Anka, but the marriage only lasted from 2008 to 2010.
It is now official: Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina have both signed with the Mercury Nashville record label. The recording company’s ad announcing the signings is included in the link at the end of this article.
With the Lauren Alaina signing, it should signal that she will be recording almost exclusively country music. To me, her voice is better suited for country music. However, time will tell if she will crossover into pop music from time to time.
One thing that can be said for American Idol is that it is great training for new artists, since they have to keep an exhausting schedule during the season.
It is a shame that Scotty and Lauren Alaina can’t hit the road now with their own tour, instead of being tied down to the American Idol tour most of the summer. When they do tour, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them both appearing together in concerts as a package deal.
I want to be one of the first to wish them successful recording careers and that they will be singing country music for many years to come.
AMERICAN IDOL UPDATES
American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe and Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze continue to conduct their “tweeting” war, over when DeWyze was told he would be presenting the American Idol trophy to the Season 10 winner.
Lythgoe contends it was a week before the finale night, while DeWyze said he wasn’t told till the last few moments of the show. I tend to believe Lythgoe since it is a more believable scenario that DeWyze was told a week before. It is unlike American Idol to have asked DeWyze the last-minute to present the trophy. I am not saying it didn’t happen that way, just not the way the well orchestrated finale would likely to have been handled by the producers. If DeWyze was lying as Lythgoe charged, it will only hurt his career. I realize he was upset at not being asked to sing on the finale, but it still doesn’t excuse his behavior if he had agreed a week before to present the trophy, then back out the last-minute.
James Durbin has tweeted that he is close to signing a record deal….Haley Reinhart has told Digitalspy.com that she was very comfortable singing with Tony Bennett, because of his demeanor and that she felt at home singing with the jazz quartet backing them….Casey James a contestant on Season 9 opened for Sugarland earlier this year and has been signed by Sony Records and is in the process of putting a band together.
Aaron Kelly also from Season 9 is working on an album and will be opening this summer for Rodney Akins and Little Big Town….Another Season 9 contestant Siobhan Magnus will be singing in concerts this summer singing songs from her alternative-grunge debut album.
The following USA Today article gives more updates on all 12 of the Season 9 contestants:
It has been two days since Scotty McCreery was named the American Idol for Season 10. The last confetti has probably been swept up and thrown in the dumpsters by now.
Life will never be the same for Scotty McCreery, as he embarks on a country music recording career. I have already read online that some record executives don’t think he can sustain a long-term career in country music. However, in my opinion it way too early to prognosticate on how long his career will last.
Other singers like Tanya Tucker and LeAnn Rimes started even younger than Scotty and are still performing so I think the record executives need to back off and see what happens.
When I think of Scotty, it brings to mind Jordan Dorsey telling Scotty he didn’t want him in his group during Hollywood week. He may not have been good enough for his little group, but he was good enough for American to vote for him as their American Idol.
Scotty showed his character during the Jacee Badeaux episode, when Jacee was unceremoniously tossed out of the group Scotty was in during Hollywood week with Jun Gamboa being the instigator. Scotty later said they had not done Jacee right and wish he had done more to keep it from happening and broke down talking about it.
BUSY SUMMER WITH TOUR STARTING IN JULY
Scotty and the 10 American Idol contestants who didn’t win probably will be allowed to go home for a while, then they will start rehearsing for the American Idol tour this summer. Latest word is that they will travel across the country appearing in 49 concerts.
Last year the tour was cut short, probably due to the talent not being as good as it will be this year. I can’t see that happening this year with so many talented singers.
It is sad that the high ticket prices will keep a lot of American Idol fans from seeing the show. It will cost a family of four $376 to sit in the $94 nosebleed seats in Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas.
The singers will make $1,000 for each concert during the tour, but that will only be a fraction of the profits being made. They will earn part of the profits from any merchandise sold at the concerts.
AMERICAN IDOL PRODUCER LYTHGOE DISSES DEWYZE
Nigel Lythgoe said in a tweet that Lee DeWyze refused to give Scotty McCreery the American Idol trophy. DeWyze said he did refuse, but was only asked moments before it was time to award the trophy. Someone made an oversight to not have asked DeWyze sooner.
Instead in the midst of the chaos, after Scotty had been revealed to be the next American Idol, Lythgoe asked DeWyze but he refused because he didn’t want to intrude on the special moment for Scotty.
RATINGS JUMP 21 PERCENT OVER LAST YEAR’S FINALE
Like most American Idol fans, I thought the loss of Simon Cowell would cripple the ratings of American Idol. Then I wondered if hiring Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez might be a mistake. I was wrong on both counts since the ratings for the Wednesday night rose by 21 percent over the 2010 finale.
29.3 million viewers watched the show which had some of the biggest stars in the music business. The list of singers appearing on the show would be astounded if shown on a television screen as part of the credits.
American Idol decided to go back to the three judge format, which was a smart move in my opinion. I really didn’t know what to expect with Tyler and Lopez on the judge’s panel with a returning Randy Jackson.
Both of the new judges, when critical of a singer’s performance never were mean to the contestants, but gave more constructive criticism, staying away from the nasty barbs Cowell was famous for. Randy was the closest thing to Simon this season, but then upon reflection, he wasn’t really that close.
LAUREN ALAINA TURNED DOWN BY AMERICA’S GOT TALENT TWICE
Lauren Alaina revealed on the Tonight Show that she had tried to appear on America’s Got Talent, but was turned down.
Piers Morgan, one of the judges said it was a scandal that she didn’t make it and stated that she never had appeared in front of the judges.
The following article tells more about her appearance and includes two videos of her appearance:
SCOTTY AND LAUREN: FINANCIAL REWARDS DISCLOSED
Scotty McCreery will be $250,000 richer after winning American Idol, while runner-up Lauren Alaina won $87,500. Lauren’s money would double if she records an album.
For the complete article:
Other American Idol News
The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that Scotty McCreery will be visiting Disney World in Hollywood on Monday and will participate in a 10:00 AM parade….Limelife has revealed that Carrie Underwood gives her phone number to the final two contestants. Wonder if Lauren will be giving her a call?
Pia Toscano who was voted off the show early in Season 10 has been working on her new album and some songs have already been recorded but no release date has been announced since it is a work in progress….Haley Reinhart is currently negotiating on a record deal, but no details have been announced…Ashton Jones and Naimi Adedapo both have plans of recording albums according to bet.com, signaling a chance of as many as 10 of the Season 10 singers having albums in the stores by this time next year.
I think it is safe to say that Scotty McCreery will sell more albums than Season 8 winner Kris Allen and Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze.
The country music fans will embrace Scotty when he releases his debut album this fall. One of the reasons he will sell more albums than Allen or DeWyze is that he will be recording country music, whose fans will buy his albums in the millions.
Allen and DeWyze just don’t have the fan base that McCreery will have. While Allen and DeWyze are not locked into a certain kind of music, McCreery will be locked into country music only.
Scotty may have to work on not sounding like other singers, before going into the recording studio. It won’t be easy to sell albums if he tries to sound like Josh Turner on every song. I am sure when we hear him on his debut album that he will have a distinct sound of his own.
LAUREN ALAINA WILL HAVE TO FIND NICHE FOR DEBUT ALBUM
Lauren Alaina will have to decide if she wants to record pop or country tunes, so she will have decide after the American Idol tour which direction she will take.
This is just my opinion but I think she will find more success in the country field since she has a voice perfect for country music.
We may never know just how close or how far behind Lauren was in the voting. All we know is that she will have no problem becoming a recording artist with the great tone in her voice.
With the last two Idols not seeing their albums flying off the shelves, the record companies would like to actually make some big money on this year’s Idols.
CONGRATULATIONS TO SCOTTY AND LAUREN ALAINA
We want to congratulate both Scotty and Lauren Alaina for making the final two and to Scotty for becoming the Season 10 American Idol. Not only were they two youngest finalists ever, but also may be two of the most likeable singers to reach the final two.