Nancy Wilson – 59 Years of Singing Easy Listening Music

Nancy Wilson

 

Nancy Wilson was born on February 20, 1937 in Chillicothe, Ohio. She is now 78, and knew she would be a singer at the age of four.

Wilson recorded Like in Love in 1959, which was her first album. She recorded her last album Turned to Blue in 2006. That album won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album, which was very impressive, when considering that she was 69 at the time. She had won another Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album two years earlier for R.S.V.P (Rare Songs, Very Personal)

Her career was a paradox, in that she was an excellent singer, but had little commercial success, with no single she recorded reaching the Top 10. However, she still recorded 70 albums, and made a career of covering songs sang by other singers.

Guess Who I Saw Today

Guess Who I Saw Today is a song is an unusual song in that it is a conversational song, in which she is telling her husband she saw him earlier that day. Her vocal delivery and the orchestration combine to make the song easy listening at its best.

Our Day Will Come

It doesn’t matter that Nancy Wilson didn’t record the original version of Our Day Will Come, because she captures the essence of the song better than in the original sang by Ruby and the Romantics. This song to me was meant to be recorded by a soloist, since it needs the softness of one voice to make it an easy listening song. It has been covered by many artists ranging from singers, who passed away like Julie London, Isaac Hayes and Amy Winehouse.

You Don’t Know Me

Nancy Wilson singing the classic You Don’t Know Me. It has been covered by a long list of artists, but Nancy sings it as well if not better than any of them. It is hard to believe that 60 years have passed, since country singer Eddy Arnold first recorded it in 1955.

 

Nancy Wilson has been on the periphery of being a huge star. It is difficult to establish a name in music, when a singer becomes better known for their covers of the songs of other artist, and that has been the fate of Nancy Wilson. I still collect her music, because she is the epitome of an easy listening singer. Her music soothes and entertains and is even better when heard through headphones, so you can hear the nuances of her voice and the background music.

She is one of the last female singers who started in the 50’s that is still singing today. There are a few newer singers like Diana Krall who sing some of the standards from the 40’s and 50’s, to keep easy listening music alive, and she like Wilson combines great vocals, with great orchestration, with her piano stylings, and surrounds herself with musicians like guitarist Anthony Wilson, bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton.

Krall is carrying on the kind of music Wilson has been singing since 1959, into the 21st century.

Thank you Nancy Wilson for the memories, and hope you keep singing for years to come.

Doris Day Will Be 93 In April

Doris Day made her motion picture debut 69 years ago in 1948 in Romance on the High Seas at the age of 24.

 

Doris Day may be one of the most likeable motion picture and television actresses, that has graced the silver screen. However, she was first known as a singer, as she sang with the Bob Crosby and Les Brown bands. One of her first hit songs was Sentimental Journey.

She was born as Doris Mary Anne Von Kappelhoff  on April 3, 1924 in Evanston, Ohio and will be 93 this year. She would later change her name to Day, with her name coming from her song Day by Day.

Her career included 99 old-time radio shows, which included appearances on the Bob Hope Show and her own radio show.

Doris Day Golden Girl: Columbia Collection from 1944-1966.

 

I have the Golden Girl: Columbia Collection 1944-1966 in my compact disc collection. 27 Amazon reviewers give the album 5 stars, while only one gives it one star and no reviewer gives the album no stars. The album is on two discs with a total of 48 songs in the album.

Her rendition of It Had To Be You alone makes the album worthwhile. Again is another one of my favorite tracks on the album. It is good to hear music, that you can understand the words, as you listen to the album. She also sings the classic I Only Have Eyes For You. I listened to the entire album last week and was mesmerized to hear Doris Day at her best.

Amazon.com has short clips of all 48 songs and the album can be bought used for as little as 30 cents as of January 2, 2017.

Day married trombonist Al Jorden in 1941 and their divorce became final in 1943. Her only child Terry was born during this marriage. Her next marriage to saxophonist George Weidler was in 1946 and that marriage was over by 1949.

Then two years later she married Martin Melcher her agent, who later became her husband in 1951. Melcher produced many of her movies from 1956-1968. Melcher died at the age of 52 in 1968.

It was after his death, that she learned he had gone through her $20 million fortune and leaving her in debt. She may have been even deeper in debt, if not for his death. His business partner Jerome Rosenthal was sued by Doris Day for his financial dealings that burned through her fortune. Day has stated that she didn’t think her husband realized what Rosenthal was doing. She was awarded $22 million in damages in 1974.

Day found out after the death of Martin Melcher, that he had her lined up to do a television series and a couple of special shows. She still completed her obligation in the contract and she never acted again after the Doris Day Show ended in 1973. It has been 41 years since she last acted on television or on the screen.

Between the income from the television shows and her financial settlement there was no reason, for Day to ever act again. She did appear in some shows which didn’t involve acting.

Her son Terry Melcher, who had been adopted by her husband Martin Melcher was a successful record producer. He was introduced to Charles Manson by Beach Boy Dennis Wilson. Melcher was considering signing Manson to a recording contract but never signed Manson, which angered Manson. He did use two songs penned by Manson with the Beach Boys singing those songs.

Melcher was living with his girlfriend Candice Bergen at 10050 Cielo Drive house he was renting. Melcher and Bergen moved out of the house after Melcher and Manson had parted ways. Manson went to the house asking to see Melcher, but by then Melcher had moved.

It was on August 9, 1969 that members of the Manson family entered the home and murdered Sharon Tate, who was the wife of Polanski was eight months pregnant. Four others were murdered in the house including coffee heiress Abigail Folger and hairdresser Jay Sebring.

There has been much speculation about whether Manson knew Melcher was no longer living in the house. One thing for certain is that if he wanted to get Melcher’s attention, then he was so successful, that Melcher hired a bodyguard.

Doris Day had lost her husband one year before and now her only son was apparently being targeted by Charles Manson.

Some trivia about Doris Day from imdb.com:

Did not like swear words and required anyone using a swear word to put a quarter in the “Swear Jar”.  She would not even allow her songs to be used in movies, in which there was swearing.

Her mother named her after her favorite silent film star, Doris Kenyon. By coincidence, in the mid 1970’s when Day wrote her autobiography, Kenyon was her neighbor on Crescent Drive in Beverly Hills.

Son Terry Melcher was born February 8, 1942. She named him after the character in a comic strip she loved as a little girl, “Terry and the Pirates”. Sadly, he passed away of cancer on November 19, 2004.

Was a two-and-a-half pack a day smoker until about 1951.

She has two Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6278 Hollywood Boulevard and for Motion Pictures at 6735 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

In 1976, Doris married Barry Comden, 12 years her junior. They met at the Beverly Hills Old World Restaurant where he was the maitre d’. In the 1970s, Comden opened an Old World restaurant in Westwood and supervised the construction of another restaurant, Tony Roma’s, in Palm Springs. It was Comden who came up with the idea for a line of pet food that would feature Doris’ name. Doris Day Distributing Co. unraveled mainly because of a pyramid-type scheme that the couple had been unaware of. They lived in Carmel but Comden complained that Day preferred the company of her dogs more than him and they divorced in 1981.

Underwent a hysterectomy during the filming of Julie (1956) after being diagnosed with a tumour the size of a grapefruit that was growing into her intestines.

Some quotes attributed to Doris Day:

I like joy; I want to be joyous; I want to have fun on the set; I want to wear beautiful clothes and look pretty. I want to smile and I want to make people laugh. And that’s all I want. I like it. I like being happy. I want to make others happy.

[on Rock Hudson] I call him Ernie, because he’s certainly no Rock

[about Elizabeth Taylor‘s diamonds] When I see Liz Taylor with those Harry Winston boulders hanging from her neck I get nauseated. Not figuratively, but nauseated! All I can think of are how many dog shelters those diamonds could buy.

      [dismissing allegations that she “stole” husband Martin Melcher from his former wife, singer Patty Andrews] A person does not leave a good marriage for someone else.

 

Doris Day at the age of 89 is still involved with protecting animals from abuse. She may not have acted in the last 41 years, but her legacy of films in her 25 years of acting will keep us entertained for years to come. It is sad that her television show is seldom seen in reruns, but it can be seen on DVD. It might even be the best way to watch the show, as the show was known for its many season to season changes in its five-year run. In addition she has recorded many albums during her recording career.

I watched Move Over Darling last week, in which James Garner appeared with Doris Day. It was a hilarious movie, in which a husband is marrying a new bride, after his wife who “died” in a plane crash five years before and was now legally dead. Only problem was that she was rescued and comes back home to find her husband married to another woman. Chaos ensues as she and the character played by James Garner try to get back together again.

 

 

 

 

Bobby Blue Bland Dies At 83

Bobby Blue Bland 1930-2013

 

Bobby Blue Bland has died at the age of 83, in his home in Germantown, Tennessee. He was born as Robert Calvin Bland on January 27, 1930 in Rosemark Tennessee. Bland was mostly known as a singer, but played the harmonica.

Blues was the quintessential blues singer, that could make you feel the songs he was singing. I will never forget hearing him sing Stormy Monday Blues the first time. No other singer could sing that song with as much passion as Bland.

This is my favorite Bobby Blue Bland CD since it includes the hits most associated with his career and am glad to have it in my collection.

I bought a cassette of some of Bland’s hits, but knowing that finding something to play a cassette on is not easy decided to purchase Bobby Blue Bland: The Anthology.

The CD includes 50 of his best known songs, plus a few lesser known songs, but that doesn’t matter if they are known or not, since Bland’s delivery made them all sound good.

Some of my favorites from the CD:

Farther On Up The Road – One of his faster songs that went to No.1 on the R&B charts.

I’ll Take Care Of You – Slow ballad sung like only Bobby Blue Bland could sing it. Went to No.2 on R&B charts.

Cry, Cry, Cry – Another slow ballad that peaked at No.9 on R&B charts, but was a No.1 song for me.

I Pity The Fool – A more upbeat song that would top the R&B charts in 1961.

Stormy Monday Blues – A blues classic that surprisingly peaked at No.5 on R&B charts for Bland. Don’t understand why it wasn’t No.1.

That’s The Way Love Is – This song apparently was on the charts twice, since it is shown at No.1 and No.6. The song would be his last No.1 song for Duke Records and the last one of his career.

Turn On Your Love Light – A song that viewers of the second Blue Brothers movie will remember and this song went to No.2 for Bland.

Good Time Charlie – A catchy upbeat song that peaked at No.6 on R&B charts.

This is an album that you can turn on and relax and enjoy the musical stylings of a great blues artist, for close to three hours of listening to the blues at their best.

Readers can listen to short clips of songs from the CD:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00005K32H

The following New York Times obituary says Bland never played an instrument or wrote songs, but that didn’t matter because his voice is all that mattered to his fans.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/25/arts/music/bobby-blue-bland-soul-and-blues-balladeer-dies-at-83.html?_r=0

I had heard the name Bobby Blue Bland for years, but never really listened to his music till the last few years and will be listening to his music for many more years. I can’t remember him being on television much over the years, but then not many blues artists besides B.B. King were seen on television much. I can’t remember Freddie King or Albert King being featured on television.

Anyone that was fortunate enough to hear Bobby Blue Bland heard one of the great blues artists of our time.

RIP Bobby Blue Bland.

 

 

 

 

 

American Idol: Nobody Going Home

Angie Miller and Kree Harrison were Top 2 in American Idol results show in which nobody went home to get the show on schedule after judges didn’t use their save.

 

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.

Angie Miller seems to be favorite to win American Idol.

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.

American Idol: Judges Praise Angie, Trash Kree

Candace Glover, Angie Miller, Kree Harrison and Amber Holcomb will find out who is going home next on American Idol on the results show tonight.

 

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:

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/04/25/american-idol-amber-holcomb-judges-argue/

 

 

Net Worth of Petula Clark, Fabian, Prince Jackson, Connie Francis and Gordon Lightfoot

Petula Clark – $10 Million

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 – $25 Million

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 – $100 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.

Connie Francis – $25 Million

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.

Gordon Lightfoot in 1967 – $30 Million

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:

  • All Songs Written By Gordon Lightfoot

Remembering Roy Orbison 25 Years After His Death

It doesn’t seem like this December will mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Roy Orbison. Orbison was born in Vernon, Texas on April 23, 1936 and died in Madison, Tennessee on December 6, 1988 at the age of 52.

Orbison has left behind a rich musical legacy with his signature songs like Crying, Only the Lonely and Oh, Pretty Woman. He also was a songwriter writing songs like Claudette, which was recorded by the Everly Brothers.

1960 would bring his first Top 10 hit Only the Lonely which reached No.2 on the Billboard charts. Orbison would release  his first No.1 hit in 1960, when he recorded Running Scared and then would also see Crying reach No.2 on the charts that same year.

His main hit in 1963 was  Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream) which topped out at No.4 on the Billboard charts. Blue Bayou, one of his better known songs only reached No.29 in the United States, but went to No.1 in Australia. Mean Woman Blues peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard charts that same year.  In fact he only had two No.1 songs on pop charts in the United States, but had nine No. 1 hits in Australia.

Oh, Pretty Woman was his last No.1 hit in 1964, but he released It’s Over, which topped out at No.9 on pop charts, but claimed the No.1 spot on adult contemporary charts in 1964.

Orbison would not record another No.1 hit in the United States in the last 28 years of his singing career.

Opened For Beatles In United Kingdom

Duane Eddy was scheduled to appear in United Kingdom in 1963, but he was replaced by Roy Orbison. He opened for the Beatles and he performed without moving and yet the fans liked him so much that they asked for encores fourteen times. By this time the Beatles finally had to physically hold him back, so they could go on stage.  The crowd was chanting “We want Roy” which was a surprise, since the fans came to see the Beatles that night.

Orbison didn’t even know who the Beatles were and asked what’s a beetle and John Lennon said “I am”. The Beatles and Orbison became good friends later as they admired Orbison for commanding a crowd, even though he hardly even moved.

Wife Has Affair With Contractor

Orbison’s wife Claudette had an affair with the contractor who built their Hendersonville, Tennessee home. Claudette did join him that fall on a tour to England. She gave Orbison the idea for his hit song Oh, Pretty Woman, when she told him that she was leaving for home. He asked her if she needed money and she said ” Pretty woman never needs money” and it was only 40 minutes later before the song Oh, Pretty Woman was finished.

Personal Tragedies

The first of a string of tragedies began for Orbison during a 1965 tour in UK.  He broke his foot in front of thousands of screaming fans and had to perform in a cast. He reconciled with his wife Claudette after the accident, but she would die the next year when she was hit by a semi-trailer while she and Orbison were riding home on separate motorcycles on June 6, 1966.

Tragedy struck Orbison again on September 16, 1968, when he learned his Hendersonville, Tennessee home had burned down and his two eldest sons had perished in the fire. Orbison had now lost his wife and two sons in 27 months time. He would marry Barbara Jakobs of Germany on March 25, 1969.

Orbison would have to have a triple heart bypass on January 18, 1978.

Career Revived in 1987

Roy Orbison started to revive his music career in 1987, after being pushed into the background by the British invasion. He joined the Traveling Wilburys, which played a major part in reviving his career. His stage name was Lefty Wilbury in honor of the late country music star Lefty Frizzell.

Death and Aftermath

Orbison would travel to Europe in November of 1988 and some observers noticed that he looked ill, but he continued to perform. He then returned to Hendersonville to rest, before embarking on another trip to London this time, to film two videos for the Traveling Wilburys.

However, the trip would never take place, because he would fly model airplanes with his son on December 6, 1988 and then visited his mother for dinner and died after dinner that night. Ironically his wife Barbara would die on the same date 23 years later on December 6, 2011 from pancreatic cancer.

Legacy

Roy Orbison left a rich musical legacy behind for his fans. Only Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison have had two Top 5 albums at the same time.  He will be forever remembered for singing while not moving, wearing his sunglasses and being dressed in black. His music is still being sung today as evidenced by Kree Harrison, an American Idol contestant sang Crying last Wednesday night, which reminded me of Orbison singing the original version which can be heard below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls2lC7DQFMI

American Idol Popularity Waning: Almost 20 Million Less Viewers Than in 2007

American Idol judges Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban are shown with host Ryan Seacrest in the center. The show is staggering into Season 12 as viewers leave the show in droves.

The first American Idol show was telecast on June 11, 2002 with 9.85 viewers watching The 2003 premiere show attracted 26.50 million viewers almost tripling the viewers from 2002. The 2007 premiere show attracted a record 37.44 million viewers, but there has been a steady decline of viewers since then, bottoming out at 17.93 viewers to start Season 12 last January. The show has lost close to 20 million viewers in the last six seasons.

Surprisingly the season finale topped out in Season 2 in 2003 at 38.06 million viewers and last year’s finale only attracted 21.49 million viewers, which is the all-time low for a finale.

With The Voice being telecast twice a year and X-Factor being shown in the fall it appears singing competition shows have reached the saturation point.  With American Idol starting about a month after the last X-Factor show has been shown, fans are not getting much of a break.

The Voice and X-Factor winners don’t get near the publicity of the American Idol winners. Quick, name all three winners of The Voice and the two winners of X-Factor. Only the most devout fans of either show could give you those names, without stopping to think it over.

Melanie Amaro who won X-Factor in December of 2011 has yet to release her debut album, which will be released next month. Meanwhile Phil Phillips the Season 11 winner of American Idol has already sold 700,000 copies of his debut album Dark Side of the Moon which has received 361 five-star reviews, while receiving only 5 one star reviews. I have to admit that I didn’t think Phil Phillips would go far as an artist, but he could be on the cusp of a great career.

Phil Phillips has been opening shows for Matchbox 20.

Season 12

American Idol went from a three judge panel of Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson in Season 11 to a four person panel of Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey in Season 12. The show got off on the wrong foot, before the first show aired as Nicki Minaj threatened to knock out Mariah Carey at the Charlotte auditions. They tangled more along the way to the opening show, but in recent weeks they have both calmed down and don’t talk to each other. Minaj is said to have said that if she had a gun she would shoot Carey, but later denied ever saying that.

Placing two divas on the judging panel was a recipe for disaster and that was what it turned out to be. I am sure the producers have told them to cool it, because most viewers like me don’t like a lot of attention being placed on the judges. Nicki Minaj seemed to be harsher with contestants a few weeks ago but seems to have calmed down and show more compassion for the contestants.

Keith Urban has really surprised me with his knowledge of American music and has very well thought out critiques of the singers. Randy Jackson has apparently appointed himself as the villain among the panelists, as he seems to be more critical of the singers, than the other three judges. Mariah Carey is taking over the Paula Abdul role as the judge who seldom says anything critical of most singers.

Ellen DeGeneres was by far the worst judge in the history of American Idol. She seemed to be more intent on cracking jokes, than on making meaningful critiques of the singers. It was no surprise, that she was a one season and out judge. I think even she sensed she didn’t belong on American Idol as a judge. Know that has nothing to do with Season 12, but just felt compelled to mention her judging skills or lack of.

It is too early to have a favorite or even to mention any names of the Season 12 contestants, since there are many eliminations ahead before the Final 10 is announced.

Apparently the tradition of judges going to rooms with contestants and telling which rooms are going home and which ones are advancing has been dropped, but that could change before the Final 10 is chosen. I liked that the Hollywood group week contestants were sorted into groups by American Idol executives. It ridded the show of the drama of singers begging to join a group or being dismissed by a group. I will never forget the season when the young boy from Louisiana was dumped by one group and him having to find a new group.

I don’t know if the tradition of contestants taking the long walk to talk to judges and being told their fate by the judges will be repeated this season. I am hoping by the end of this week, that we will know who the Final 10 singers are. Right now I think that the girl singers are better and should have more singers in the Top 10, but the producers may want an even number of girls and boys in the Top 10.

TV By the Numbers shows that both Big Bang Theory and Person of Interest attracted more viewers than American Idol last Thursday. The show is no longer the juggernaut it used to be, but it still is one of the most-watched shows on television.

It will be interesting to find out who the Final 10 will be composed of and we should know by the end of Thursday night’s show.

Wolfman Jack Still Remembered 17 Years After His Death

A young Robert Smith before he became known as Wolfman Jack, a rock and roll disc jockey.

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.

This is the way most rock and roll fans remember Wolfman 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:

Art Tatum: Jazz Pianist Extraordinaire

Art Tatum
1909-1956

 

Art Tatum was born October 13, 1909 in Toledo, Ohio. Tatum is regarded as one of the best pianists ever, despite being totally blind in one eye and limited vision in the other eye.

He learned to play by ear at the age of three. He attracted the attention of several well-known musicians in later years. Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong are among the musicians, that made a point to hear Tatum play in Toledo.

This clip from Ken Burns Jazz shows Tatum playing the piano and the clip also quotes musicians, on how much they revered the playing of Tatum:

The next clip demonstrates how fast Tatum can play the piano in the classic Tiger Rag:

Art Tatum in The Fabulous Dorseys movie (1947)

29 clips of his music can be heard at Amazon.com. If you only listen to one song, then listen to Tea For Two. I can guarantee you have never heard this song played, at lightning speed the way that Art Tatum plays it:

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Capitol-Recordings-Art-Tatum/dp/B000005GVR/ref=sr_1_6?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1342393555&sr=1-6&keywords=art+tatum

Art Tatum fooled many jazz fans into thinking that more than one man was playing the piano, not thinking any one pianist could play that fast. It was mutually agreed by his contemporary pianists, that he was the best pianist of their era.

He died on November 5, 1956 of kidney failure in Los Angeles.

One of the best compilations of his music is Art Tatum: Piano Grand Master, which contains 99 songs at Amazon.com for $30.54 new and for as little as $10.99 used.

http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Grand-Master-Art-Tatum/dp/tracks/B0000A1WPB/ref=dp_tracks_all_1#disc_1

Art Tatum may have died 56 years ago, but as his tombstone says “The Music Lingers On”.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=1368

 

 

 

 

Off the Beaten Path Music Websites: Passions of Patchy

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:

http://dapatchy.com/gospel/journal.html

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:

http://dapatchy.com/

Kenny Rogers: Legendary Singer In Music Business For Seven Decades

Kenny Rogers as he appeared when singing with First Edition.

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 Rogers seen while part of the Bobby Doyle Trio with Kenny on top, without his beard.

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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.

http://www.futureplc.com/2011/07/06/kenny-rogers-named-digital-camera%E2%80%99s-photographer-of-the-year-judge/

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.

http://inyourface.ocregister.com/2008/10/30/kenny-rogers-regrets-plastic-surgery-but-is-hopeful/1334/

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.

kennyrogers-featured

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:

http://www.billdeyoung.com/onekenny.html

Kenny sold his home in Georgia on Wednesday of this week:

http://www.ontheredcarpet.com/Kenny-Rogers-home-in-Georgia-sold-for-2-25-million–auction-avoided-Photos/8719446

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.

Delbert Clinton: Roadhouse Blues At Its Best

Delbert McClinton will be 72 in November.

It doesn’t seem possible that Delbert McClinton will be 72 in November, but he has been active in music business s for 40 years now, since he started in 1972.

Nobody in my opinion epitomizes road house blues better than McClinton. He sings what I call driving road house blues.

Surprisingly McClinton only has had one song that reached the Top 10 in Giving It Up For Your Love peaked at No.8 on the U.S. charts, 32 years ago when he was 40 years old in 1980.

However he has had four No.1 albums on the blues chart. McClinton won a Grammy Award in 2006 for Best Contemporary Blues Album Cost of Living. He had won a Grammy in 1991, for a duet with Bonnie Raitt when they sang Good Man, Good Woman.

In addition to his vocals, McClinton plays harmonica, piano and guitar.  He wrote Two More Bottles of Wine which topped the charts at No.1 in 1978 for Emmy Lou Harris.

Delbert McClinton singing Thank You Baby in a song that rocks with the roadhouse blues sound.

McClinton singing Shaky Ground on Austin City Limits in 1989.

McClinton singing his No.8 hit Giving It Up For Your Love.

Delbert slows it down with Dreams To Remember

Bekka Bramlett joins Delbert on She’s Living It Up on Austin City Limits.

Delbert singing Squeeze Me In on a Sandy Beaches Cruise in January of 2012 at the age of 71.

Tanya Tucker and Delbert singing their No.4 duet hit Tell Me About It.

Josh Ledet Sounded Even Better Live (Now With Video of Concert)

Josh Ledet

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.

1953: The Last Year With No Rock and Roll On Charts

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.

http://www.bobborst.com/popculture/top-100-songs-of-the-year/?year=1953

The Band: Toured With Bob Dylan and Tiny Tim

Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson and Robbie Robertson in this 1968 photo of The Band.

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.

Richard Manuel 1943-1986

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 is still singing and drumming today at the age of 71.

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 EstradaShooter,Smooth TalkThe Right StuffThe DollmakerFeeling MinnesotaEnd of the LineIn the Electric MistFire Down BelowStaying Togetherand portrayed Loretta Lynn‘s father in the film Coal Miner’s Daughter opposite Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones. – from Wikipedia

Robbie Robertson is now 68.

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 muscial genius of The Band is 74.

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.

American Idol Update – June 24, 2011

 

Jennifer Lopez hasn’t made a decision yet on whether to return for Season 11 of American Idol.
Jennifer Lopez is in negotiation for two film roles. It remains to be seen how she can be an American Idol judge, travel across South America to find talent for the new reality show Q’Viva (The Chosen) and star in films.
 
American Idol ties her down during the audition process in several major cities, plus once the live shows start next year, she will be keeping an extremely hectic schedule.
 
 
$12 Million Salary
 
It won’t be easy for her to walk away from $12 million salary she earns as an American Idol judge, but she could make even more from the new reality show and her recording  and film career.
 
It is just my opinion but I think she would like to return, but I look for her to decide to leave the show after considering how little time she would have with her family, since making the movies could use up months of her time.
 
I didn’t always agree with Jennifer’s comments as a judge, but respect her concise remarks, with no stammering around like we had from Ellen DeGeneres in Season 9. I could tell she truly cared about the contestants and how much it hurt her to tell Chris Medina he wouldn’t be one of the final 24.
 
 
American Idol Rejuvenated With New Judges
 
The American Idol franchise was rejuvenated with her and Steven Tyler as new judges. The main thing I liked about all three judges including original judge Randy Jackson was that they never seemed to be at a loss for words. The loss of Simon Cowell turned out to be a non-event. Ellen DeGeneres wasn’t missed but I thought Kara DioGuardi did an excellent job as a judge.
 
American Idol might have problem keeping judges, that are trying to restart their career like Jennifer Lopez.  While she has not made her decision yet on whether to continue as a judge for Season 11, I look for her to leave due to her busy schedule.
 

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:

http://www.americanidol.com/news/view/pid/4886

 

 

 

American Idol: Another Reinhart on the Horizon: Angela Reinhart

Angela Reinhart and Haley Reinhart seen when Haley returned to Wheeling, Illinois for Haley's homecoming.

 

 

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.

The Voice: Why Are Established Singers On The Show?

Vicci Martinez hopes to advance to semi-finals on The Voice next week for Team Cee Lo.

The Voice telecast their first elimination show last night as Lily Elise, Raquel Castro, Patrick Thomas and Jared Blake went home. It was a total surprise that Beverly McClellan was saved by America. Christina Aguilera chose not to choose a younger singer between Lily Elise and Raquel Castro but instead went for an established Broadway star in Frenchie Davis.

That raises the question of why Frenchie Davis was allowed to be on the show with her having appeared on Broadway for many years. She appeared in the musical Rent on Broadway, which to me should have disqualified her from being on The Voice. How can 16-year-old Raquel Castro have a chance of competing against a singer like Davis who has appeared on Broadway?

Aguilera Chooses More Experienced Singer

When it came right down to making her choice, Christina Aguilera decided on the older, more experienced singer in Davis, eliminating younger singers Castro and Lily Elise. Sure, Castro and Elise got a lot of exposure from being on the show, but they had no chance against the professional singers like Davis and McClellan.

The producers of the show need to consider altering the selection process so that every contestant has an equal chance of being chosen The Voice.

Shelton Makes Surprise Selection

America saved Dia Frampton so Blake Shelton had to choose who to save between Xenia, Jared Blake and Patrick Thomas. I was expecting Shelton to save Patrick Thomas since he was the only country singer left on his team.

However, he chose Xenia to advance to the semi-finals. She joins Frampton which gives Shelton’s team the two youngest singers in the competition.

Team Cee Lo Performances

Nobody will ever sing Jolene as well as Dolly Parton but Vicci Martinez sang it well and is my favorite to advance to the semi-final round for Cee Lo Green’s team. Torri and Taylor Thompson livened up the stage with their rendition of  the World War II classic by the Andrew Sisters, Boogie Woogie Boy of Company B.

Nakia sang Sex on Fire a song I had never heard of, but did well enough to have a chance of being saved by America. Curtis Grimes sang Addicted to Love a Robert Palmer song. I don’t think it was a wise song choice for the country singer and it may be that Cee Lo Green choosing that song for him may cause Grimes to be eliminated next week.

Team Adam Performances

Jeff Jenkins did an excellent version of the Carrie Underwood song Jesus Take The Wheel. It was an emotionally charged performance for Jenkins since his biggest supporter, his mom had died from cancer prior to him being on the show. Javier Colon sang Angel and knocked it out of the park. Colon is another singer who has a previous background in music, since he had a recording contract with Capitol records, but it wasn’t renewed.

Devon Barley sang another song I had never heard of in Stop and Stare. He seemed to establish a rapport with the audience and he is singing better each week. Casey Weston sang Black Horse and the Cherry Tree, another song I had never heard of. It is difficult to review a song when you have never heard it before, since there is no way of knowing what it is supposed to sound like.

Who Will Be Saved Next Week?

Team Cee Lo will probably lose Curtis Grimes for sure since he was singing out of his genre. The country music voters may have voted for him if he had sung a country song, but now it is debatable whether they will support him. It is a tossup of who America will save if Grimes isn’t saved with Tori and Taylor, Vicci Martinez and Nakia all showing they are worthy of advancing to the semi-finals. Personally, I think Vicci Martinez and Nakia will be saved by either America or by their coach Cee Lo Green.

Team Adam has two of the strongest singers, who both performed well last night, in Jeff Jenkins and Javier Colon. Casey Weston and Devon Barley both sang well, but they are not in the same league as Jenkins and Colon. My choice to be saved next week by America and Adam Levine is Jeff Jenkins and Javier Colon.


This Is Vintage Now: Album Review

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:

http://www.reverbnation.com/thisisvintagenow

Johnny Ace: Singer Kills Himself Accidentally on Christmas, 1954

Johnny Ace 25, died on Christmas, 1954 when he shot himself during a break between sets in Houston, Texas.

Johnny Ace an up and coming rhythm and blues singer had it all going his way until he shot himself on Christmas of 1954. For some reason Russian roulette is identified ,as the cause of his death. However two eyewitnesses tell a different story.

Big Mama Thornton’s bass player Curtis Tillman,  who was in the room at the time said this in Wikipedia about his death:

It was widely reported that Ace killed himself playing Russian roulette.[4][5] Big Mama Thornton‘s bass player Curtis Tillman, however, who witnessed the event, said, “I will tell you exactly what happened! Johnny Ace had been drinking and he had this little pistol he was waving around the table and someone said ‘Be careful with that thing…’ and he said ‘It’s okay! Gun’s not loaded…see?’ and pointed it at himself with a smile on his face and ‘Bang!’ – sad, sad thing. Big Mama ran outta that dressing room yelling ‘Johnny Ace just killed himself!”[6]

However Big Mama Thornton, who also witnessed the shooting tells a slightly different story:

Thornton said in a written statement (included in the book The Late Great Johnny Ace) that Ace had been playing with the gun, but not playing Russian roulette. According to Thornton, Ace pointed the gun at his girlfriend and another woman who were sitting nearby, but did not fire. He then pointed the gun toward himself. The gun went off, shooting him in the side of the head.

There has been speculation that Ace was murdered, but after reading the two eyewitness accounts of Tillman and Thornton, that seems impossible since neither mentions anyone else having a gun.

What we do know for sure is that Johnny Ace was born June 29, 1929 in Memphis, Tennessee and that he was born John Marshall Alexander, Jr. He later changed his name to Johnny Ace and appeared to be on his way to a successful recording career, when fate intervened and ended his life before his career could take off.

Johnny Ace singing Pledging My Love which became a posthumous No.1 hit.

Ironically, his biggest hit Pledging My Love was released after his death and was at the top of the Billboard R&B charts for ten weeks beginning on February 12, 1955.

56 years later the song is still being recorded and is one of the most recognizable songs among rhythm and blues fans.

Singer David Allan Coe sang Pledging My Love in concerts relating how he heard the news of his death. Elvis Presley recorded it during his last recording session in 1976 on his Moody Blue album.

The memory of Johnny Ace will live on as Pledging My Love will continue to be sung for years to come in concerts and on albums that have yet to be released.

American Idol: Scotty and Lauren Alaina Sign Record Contracts

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.

http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2011/06/american-idol-scotty-mccreery-and-lauren-alaina-sign-with-mercury-nashville.html

 

 

 

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:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2011-05-31-idol-season-9-catch-up_n.htm

 

 

American Idol: Is Summer Tour Slowing Down American Idol Careers?

It seems like the summer tour is slowing down the start of the career by American Idols, by keeping them too busy to finish albums.

The summer tour is apparently a huge money maker for the American Idol franchise, plus it pays the singers who participate well, but it slows down those singers who have recording contracts. Traveling from city to city for two months is not conducive to starting a career.

When the American Idol typically doesn’t release their debut album till November most years, it robs them of the chance to release an album during the summer and probably selling many more albums before so much time passes.

For instance right now Scott McCreery is as hot as a firecracker on the Fourth of July, but by the time the summer is over and November comes around the hotness diminishes over time.

By November, the next season of American Idol is only two months away and fans start anticipating the new season and by then have tired of waiting for an album to be released.

Scotty McCreery may be the exception, but it can’t help his career not having an album in the stores and available for download six months after the last confetti has hit the floor on finale night. Then there is another three month wait after the tour is over.

Pia Toscano could possibly have an album ready much sooner since she is already working on an album and should be the first American Idol contestant to have an album released.

The only way to take advantage of the new American Idol’s name recognition is to cancel the summer tour and release their debut album sooner, but can’t see it being canceled since it is too much of a money-maker for American Idol’s corporate ownership.

So American Idol fans will likely have to wait six months before actually having a CD of the new American Idol in their hands.

 

American Idol: Scotty McCreery’s Single Debuts at #32 on Billboard Country Chart

Scott McCreery’s new single I Love You This Big has debuted at #32 on the Billboard Country Music chart. It is the highest any debut single has reached when first entering the chart since the chart was changed to include Nielsen Broadcast Data System results in 1990. It is impressive that McCreery is the first to accomplish this feat in the 21 years since the new system was adopted.

The runner-up Lauren Alaina song Like My Mother Does charted at the No.49 position.

http://thecelebritycafe.com/feature/scotty-mccreery-enters-airplay-chart-higher-position-past-two-american-idol-winners-05-30-20

Billboard sees both of their songs moving onto the Hot 100 chart when it is announced on Thursday, June 2.

http://www.billboard.com/#/column/chartbeat/scotty-mccreery-makes-historic-start-lauren-1005207362.story

Today’s poll asks if visitors to this website if they would be interested in buying Scotty’s or Lauren’s downloaded single.

Tony Bennett: I Wanna Be Around – Newport Jazz Festival 2002

The video below will only work by copying and pasting but is worth the trouble to hear Tony Bennett sing in an HD quality video:

http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/tony-bennett/video/i-wanna-be-around_2146595811.html

Tony Bennett singing I Wanna Be Around at the Newport Jazz Festival on August 20,2002.

This video shows Tony Bennett at his best singing one of his standards that has been around for years. Those wanting to see more of his videos during the Newport Jazz Festival will be able to see Tony singing many of his hits including his signature song I Left My Heart in San Francisco in other videos also available at Wolfgang’s Vault website.

Tony is still active nine years later as he sang last Wednesday night, August 25 with Haley Reinhart of American Idol. He will be 85 years old later this year.

Voters are welcome to add their own favorites to list if they are still singing today, not necessarily recording music today.

American Idol: Aftermath and Latest News Updates

Scotty McCreery shown backstage on finale night after being voted the Season 10 American Idol on Wednesday, May 25.

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:

http://www.thedeadbolt.com/news/1000092/lauren_alaina_turned_down_by_americas_got_talent.php

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:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/american-idol-winner-scotty-mccreery-192650

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.

American Idol: Scotty To Sell More Albums Than Last Two Idols

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.

American Idol: Did American Idol Producers Set Up Lauren Alaina To Win Tonight?

First, before any Lauren Alaina fans bash me for being anti-Lauren, I can honestly say I have no favorite going into tonight’s finale and would be equally happy with her winning as much as I wouldn’t mind seeing Scotty McCreery winning.

Scotty Pushed To Background From The Start

My complaint is that the show last night pushed Scotty McCreery out of the spotlight from the first minute. Ryan Seacrest opened the show talking about Lauren Alaina having a problem with her voice. Then he dramatically called a doctor onstage to give his diagnosis, which was that Lauren had been treated and would be able to sing and sing well.

Why even bring this up unless there was a medical crisis in which she couldn’t sing at all? It was evident during the show that Lauren was singing as well, if not better than she had all season.

Scenario If A Finalist Couldn’t Sing

The situation though if it ever happened that a singer couldn’t sing on finale night, raises questions of how American Idol would handle it if one of the finalists couldn’t sing on the final performance night. Would the other singer still sing or would they stop the competition that night and fill the show with guest singers and then extend the finale night to a third night? Or would they go ahead and have the fans vote after the show as always, even though neither singer had sung that night?

Falling In Place For Lauren Alaina

Meanwhile, back to the situation last night, it seemed like everything was falling into place for Lauren Alaina. The judges seemed to favor her over Scotty for the most part. Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson clearly thought Lauren Alaina performed better than Scotty. Jennifer Lopez avoided saying who was best on the third and final song of the night.

Song To Mom Might Be Moment Lauren Alaina Won

The emotionally charged moment when Lauren Alaina hugged her mom and sang to her may be the moment she won American Idol. Since that song was concocted by those in charge of the show, it seemed unfair that Scotty couldn’t have had a song that he could have sung to his mother. I don’t want to take away from how special that moment had to be for Lauren Alaina and her mom.

Unless, I am totally mistaken Lauren Alaina will become the Season 10 American Idol tonight. If she doesn’t it won’t be because the American Idol producers didn’t do all they could in their power to have her win the coveted title as the next American Idol.

Haley Reinhart Lost By Millions of Votes

This may be the first year I don’t have a favorite, since my favorite Haley Reinhart was voted out of the competition a week ago and didn’t even come close to staying on the show losing by millions of votes, having only 25 million votes out of 95 million votes cast.

Having followed the show all season, from the earliest auditions to finale night tonight, it has been a great season.

Several Record Deals For Contestants

This season should produce record deals for seven or eight of the singers by next spring. There were some shocking developments earlier in the season with Casey Abrams voted off the show and then saved by the judges. That save prevented them from saving Pia Toscano being voted off in one of the most shocking votes of all time.

However, American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe told reporters that Pia was not doing well in the voting anyway, so even a judge’s save may not have kept her from being sent home. I still am having problems digesting why she was sent home since she had it all, the talent, the looks, but for some reason the voters weren’t enamored with her.

In conclusion, let me wish the best to whoever wins tonight. May they sell albums in the millions, not the hundreds of thousands, like the last two winners Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze.

Lee DeWyze Dissed by American Idol Producers

Speaking of Lee DeWyze the American Idol producers, for some strange reason as of yesterday hadn’t invited DeWyze to even be in the building for the finale tonight. I can understand their disappointment in his poor album sales, but come on, he did win last season and deserves to be on the show out of common courtesy.

Today’s poll asks if American Idol intentionally or unintentionally set up Lauren Alaina to be the next American Idol?

American Idol: Too Close to Call For Finale Night

There was no clear cut winner last night on the last performance night for American Idol in Season 10. I thought both Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina sang very well in all three of their songs.

The judges had nothing but praise for the two singers that will find out tomorrow if they are the next American Idol. Randy Jackson seemed to lean more toward Lauren Alaina, but Jennifer Lopez refused to say who sang better after they all had sung. Steven Tyler gave the night to Lauren Alaina.

I think Lauren Alaina may have helped herself by singing so well even with throat problems before the show. She had the most sentimental moment of the night when she sang to her mother during her last song. That very well may have won American Idol for her.

However, Scotty did fine and may have been given a better song by George Strait, since the judges didn’t seem to like it as much as I thought they would. Check Yes or No just isn’t the kind of song that shows how well Scotty can sing. If Scotty had chosen the same song, he would have been accused of playing it safe.

Despite the judges giving a slight edge to Lauren Alaina, I think the voting will be too close to call.

The poll question asks who you will think you win based on last night’s competition:

American Idol: Il Volo Teenagers Wow American Idol Crowd Plus Elvis Presley Version

Italian teenagers Piero Barone, Gianluca Genoble and Ignazio Boschetto of IL VOLO made an impact on American Idol audience last week on results night.

I doubt if anyone attending the American Idol results show last Thursday night expected the three teenagers who comprise the Italian singing group IL VOLO, to have such powerful voices at their age.

You could see that the three contestants Haley Reinhart, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina were thoroughly enjoying IL VOLO singing O Sole Mio.

IL VOLO singing O Sole Mio.

O Sole Mio is probably the oldest song ever sung on the American Idol stage by any guest singer or contestant. The song was written 113 years ago in 1898. If American Idol has a 1890’s theme one week next year, this will be one of the songs sang.

Elvis Presley sings It’s Now or Never to the tune of O Sole Mio after another singer sings part of the Italian version.

The Presley video was filmed in Rapid City, South Dakota less than two months before his death in August of 1977.

American Idol: Lee DeWyze Winner of 2010 Season Dissed (Update After Finale Night)

Lee DeWyze who was the American Idol for 2010 has not been asked to appear on finale night and won't even be in the audience according to DeWyze.

Update after the finale: It is being reported that Lee DeWyze was in the audience during the finale and that Ryan Seacrest stood where he was blocking DeWyze which may have been intentional since producer Nigel Lythgoe seemed to be angered at DeWyze for not presenting the winner’s trophy to Scotty McCreery. Read this story for more details:

http://www.examiner.com/tv-in-national/american-idol-the-lee-dewyze-finale-controversy-intensifies

Lee DeWyze the American Idol of last season found out that American Idol producers don’t think much of him to  not have asked him to return to perform on finale night on Thursday.

I know he has not done that well in record sales, but he still deserves to be on the show. It is almost like they are ashamed of him.

DeWyze sent this Tweet about the situation:

http://twitter.com/#!/LeeDeWyze/status/72805630527803392

It is like the producers don’t want to be reminded that the show has failed to produce a big selling record artist in the last two seasons with neither DeWyze or Season 8 winner Kris Allen doing well in sales.

Still it seems like common courtesy to let the previous year’s winner perform on finale night. Shows what I know about the cutthroat world of show business.

I can’t recall if a previous year’s winner has not been asked to return the following year, but have a feeling this is a first for American Idol and one that Ryan Seacrest won’t be mentioning during the finale.

UPDATE AFTER FINALE

It was clear that Crystal Bowersox was the better singer last season, but for some reason she didn’t draw enough votes to be the American Idol for Season 9.

Poll question is should DeWyze been invited to at least appear, even if not perform on finale night.

American Idol Poll: Are the Two Best Singers in Final Two?

I don’t want to take anything away from Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina and am very happy for both of them, but am wondering if readers thought they were the most talented of the 13 singers in Season 10.

Personally, I thought Pia Toscano and James Durbin were the most talented singers this season. However, neither one made it to the final three, with Pia leaving many weeks ago.

The American Idol franchise has had a great season ratings wise. The show seamlessly changed from a judging lineup of Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, Simon Cowell and the worst judge ever in Ellen DeGeneres (who deserves credit for admitting she was out of her element) to a lineup of a  returning Randy Jackson and new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.

I have to admit that I was thinking that with the loss of Simon Cowell, that the show would jump the shark with his departure. Fox proved me wrong by picking judges that brought the strongest lineup of singers in the ten year history of the show.

As much as the show focuses on talent, popularity is a huge part of who wins and loses from week to week. Pia Toscano can attest to that fact. Producer Nigel Lythgoe stated that Pia had not been getting that many votes so it may have been a shock to most of us, but he could see it coming since he knew the exact vote count.

Naturally everyone is going to vote for their favorites, so if their favorite isn’t the most talented but still polls more votes than the other contestants, we will see less talented singers winning the competition.

For example, Haley Reinhart is a much better singer than either Scotty McCreery or Lauren Alaina, but she won’t be competing tonight because she only drew approximately 25 million votes out of 95 million votes cast. She wasn’t even close to being in the final two, but she didn’t have the backing of the voters like Scotty and Lauren Alaina.

Unless voting procedures are changed we will continue to see more talented singers fall by the wayside during the season while the more popular singers, whether as talented or not are the ones still standing for the final competition.

The last thing the American Idol franchise wants is another Kris Allen or Lee DeWyze type winning American Idol. How often have we heard about anything either of them has done since winning the coveted title of the American Idol? Neither is breaking any albums sales records.

Scotty McCreery probably could sell a million records, the first month after releasing an album and Lauren Alaina could probably do as well also.

With all respect to Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood is the best American Idol prior to Season 10. Producer Lythgoe, mentioned earlier in this article, stated that Carrie led the voting all of her season. She not only had the talent, but also had the voters behind her the entire season. Despite all the drama on finale night that year, she probably won by millions and millions of votes over runnerup Bo Bice.

So tonight’s vote will be more of a popularity contest than a talent contest. American Idol is in a risky situation if they tinker with the voting process, since it may alienate their fans if they are only allowed to vote one time, as has been mentioned recently.

It all comes down to what is more important, for a singer to have a huge fan base voting for them in large numbers or for the most talented singer to be sitting in the audience watching a less talented, but more popular singer become the next American Idol.

Today’s poll asks if the two most talented singers of Season 10 are the ones competing tonight to be the next American Idol. This poll question has nothing to do with favorites or popularity, but about if the most talented singers are still standing tonight.

American Idol: Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery Singing Duets Earlier This Season

Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina singing Up on the Roof on American Idol.

Scotty McCreery teamed up for some duets during Season 10 of American Idol. It is ironic the two singers find themselves in the final two competition on Tuesday night, May 24.

Lauren and Scotty team up on the 1962 classic Up on the Roof first sung by the Drifters.

Lauren and Scotty singing the Randy Travis song I Told You So.

Scotty and Lauren singing American Honey during Season 10 of American Idol.

It will be interesting to see which of these two, Lauren Alaina or Scotty will be declared the American Idol on Wednesday night.

What happens during the competition show tomorrow night may not even matter, since Scotty and Lauren Alaina probably have been at the top or near the top in voting all season. It may be more of a case of which singer has the better fan support. Still, it would not be good to have any of the judges say disparaging words about their performance.

Earlier in the season I thought that Pia Toscano and James Durbin would be in the final two, but it didn’t work out that way. If the voters are only allowed to vote once next season, which has been mentioned by the producers, we may get a much truer vote.

We could not have two nicer people in the final two than Scotty and Lauren Alaina. It is sad that one of them will lose, but they both have bright futures in the recording industry. There is no doubt that Scotty will sing country music, but Lauren Alaina could sing either pop or country as she embarks on a recording career.

Carrie Underwood Tops Kelly Clarkson in Record Sales and Tour Earnings

Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood shown together on stage in this photo from a CMT blog.

Carrie Underwood is now the biggest selling American Idol ever after surpassing Kelly Clarkson and has sold 12,296,000 albums since winning Season 4 of American Idol.

Clarkson who won Season 1 has sold 10,674,000 albums which is 1, 622,000 less than sold by Underwood despite having a three year head start.

Underwood also leads in digital track sales with 18,482,000 while Clarkson has sold 15.6 million digital tracks with Underwood selling almost three million more digital tracks than Clarkson.

When it comes to gross earnings from concert tours, Underwood holds a commanding lead over Clarkson, earning $66 million in concert revenue compared to $32 million earned by Clarkson.

Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks didn’t even make the list, while fourth place finisher that season, Chris Daughtry is third on the list at Hollywoodreporter.com.

However, Kellie Pickler the sixth place finisher in Season 5 also is tenth on the list of top American Idol earners.

It is ironic that the American Idol of Season 5, Taylor Hicks didn’t even make the Top 10, while the fourth and sixth place finishers both made the list.

I can’t see Season 8 winner Kris Allen or Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze making the Top 10 list anytime soon, as they haven’t done well in album sales and probably are not booked in the larger arenas, which limits their revenue.

Scotty McCreery should sell well if he is voted the American Idol, while Lauren Alaina probably will sell less albums than McCreery if she is voted the American Idol of Season 10.

For more complete details of the Top 10 money earning Idols and contestants who have sold well, despite not being voted the American Idol.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/idol-worship/carrie-underwood-surpasses-kelly-clarkson-190305

If you only had enough to buy one album, which album would you buy?

American Idol Tour To Pay Singers $1,000 For Each Concert

The eleven American Idol finalists will be $49,000 richer at the end of their 49 concert tour this summer, with each singer being paid $1,000 a concert. The singers alone combined will earn a combined $539,000.

The Idols will also receive a cut of the merchandise sales during the tour.

Concertgoers will be able to see Pia Toscano sing with her fellow American Idol singers for the first time since leaving the show early in the season.

The ticket prices will be affordable for only the most affluent American Idol fans or those fans who have saved up for the tour for several months.

For instance the concert at Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas will range from $94 for the cheapest ticket to $631 for the most expensive ticket not counting the meet and greet tickets at $1,649 each.

A family of four buying the cheapest tickets would be setback $376, not including any trips to the concession stands or memorabilia purchases.

Paying the orchestra assuming there will be a traveling orchestra, stagehands, concession workers and roadies to unload and load the trucks and whoever else is needed to stage the shows will amount to a huge amount of money.

It is a shame that so many fans who would want to see the concert tour, simply can’t afford the money it would take to see the shows. American Idol is a huge cash cow, that may make a lot of money for the ownership of the company, but the average fan working for a living will find the tickets are too pricey for them to attend.

The tour was cut short in 2010, but don’t expect that to happen with the wealth of talented singers on the tour this year. Sadly Ashton Jones and Karen Rodriguez who were the first and second singers to be eliminated, thus disqualifying them from the tour will not receive the $49,000 the other 11 will be receiving.

I personally would love to see one of the concerts, but financially the tickets are too expensive for me to see the concerts.

Haley Reinhart Received 25 Million Votes of 95 Million Votes Cast

Haley Reinhart polled over 25 million votes Thursday night.

Haley Reinhart apparently didn’t even come close to being one of the two finalists of Season 10 on American Idol.

Producer Nigel Lythgoe tweeted that Reinhart had garnered over 25 million votes, without giving hte exact number.

If she did receive 25 million votes that would leave a total of 70 million votes divided by Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina.

Even if those votes were divided equally that would give McCreery and Alaina 35 million votes each, so Reinhart would be 10 million votes behind the leading vote-getter.

She could be even further behind if the leader picked up a lot more votes than the 35 million votes.

At least Reinhart knows that she is still the third place finisher in Season 10 but in no way was she a threat to win it all.

She was my personal favorite since I like the kind of music she sings except for the more current songs she sang this season. Her music has a bluesy feel that should sell well, but doubt that she will sell in the multi millions like Scotty McCreery might do.

Jimmy Iovine of Interscope-Geffen-A&M played a song for Lythgoe that might be on Reinhart’s debut album.

Something tells me we haven’t heard the last from Haley Reinhart.

American Idol: Which Contestants Will Notch Recording Contracts?

Season 10 of American Idol should produce the most albums of any season. Most of us know Pia Toscano, Casey Abrams, Jacob Lusk, Paul McDonald, Haley Reinhart, James Durbin and of course, Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery should have albums by the end of the year.

However on the other hand it is unlikely that Naimi Adedapo, Karen Rodriguez, Ashton Jones, Thia Megia and Stefano Langone will make an album this year. It will be interesting to watch if any of these five singers make an album even in the next two or three years.

Now to the contestants who should have recording contracts in the coming months:

SCOTTY MCCREERY

It is almost scary that Scotty McCreery will release his first album as a teenager, making me wonder if he can sustain his popularity over many years.  The record business is an up and down business and a singer is only as good as his last album, so in a way hate to see  Scotty start at such an early age. Having said that, he has the talent to succeed and his likability factor is through the roof, so he could very well have a career that lasts for many decades.

LAUREN ALAINA

It is interesting to try to figure out what niche Lauren Alaina will find herself in in when it is time to record an album. She has the ability to sing both country and pop so she and her record company will have to decide which direction to go. She may not have the success of Carrie Underwood but could still be a top seller in whatever genre she lands.

JAMES DURBIN

Even though James Durbin could only make the final four, he could sell albums very well, because of the energy he brings to his music. Scotty McCreery should be a huge seller, when he records his album.

I look for him to be one of the best selling heavy metal artists almost immediately. Knowing his back story, makes me hope he is a huge success in the music industry and that he can show the world that Tourette’s syndrome is not going to keep him from achieving his dreams.

HALEY REINHART

Haley Reinhart  probably will record an album that focuses on blues and jazz. She definitely can sing a blues song or a jazz vocal with the  best of anyone. She may not be a mainstream artist, but that depends on how her record company wants to sell her music, and what direction they want her to take.

PIA TOSCANO

There is no doubt that Pia Toscano will have the first album among the American Idol contestants, since while they were still engaged in the competition, she was free to start work on her debut album. Being the most technically correct of all the contestants this season, she should easily fall into whatever niche her record company wants her to be locked into.

CASEY ABRAMS

It will be very interesting to see what kind of album Casey Abrams releases later this year. The multi-talented singer/musician is by far the most talented musician ever to appear on American Idol. He is the only singer to sing while playing the upright bass, in my memory. He may have been eliminated early because the voters didn’t realize how talented he is.

JACOB LUSK

Jacob Lusk may have peaked too early during the competition. He seemed to become discombobulated ,by all the advice from mentor Jimmy Iovine and the judges. However, he should be signing a recording contract to sing as a rhythm and blues artist and/or a gospel artist sometime this year. Whether his albums sell well remains to be seen.

PAUL MCDONALD

If ever a singer had a distinct sound, it is Paul McDonald who sounds more like Rod Stewart than Rod Stewart.  Whether his unique sounds helps sell albums is a question mark that will be answered when his album is released.  McDonald didn’t particularly like singing cover songs like he was required to sing on American Idol, so now he will likely sing a lot of his own songs. The big question for McDonald is whether music fans buy the albums of a singer that sounds like a famous singer, like Rod Stewart.

SUMMARY

This is not the best time to be in the music business since downloading is such a big part of the music business. We could be seeing less and less music issued on CD’s in the coming years.

The American Idol contestants may have struggled for years before getting a chance to record an album, without their exposure on American Idol. There is no way a Scott McCreery or Lauren Alaina would be recording albums as teenagers without being on national television for the last three or four months.

We want to wish the best to all of the American Idol contestants who record albums this year and hope they continue to sell albums for many decades.

However, we have seen many contestants lose recording contracts over the years, so there are no guarantees for any of them. For the most part, only Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry have sold albums by the millions and millions.

So we could see many careers launched this year when they record their albums or it could be the beginning of the end for those that can’t sell their albums.

The poll asks the readers which American Idol contestants will sell the most albums:

American Idol: Haley Reinhart Goes Home, Final Poll

It was a sad night for Haley Reinhart as she was voted off of American Idol. She had went home last weekend and now she will be going home again unless she will hang around till the finale next week.

I have to admit Haley was my favorite this season, but I am happy that Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery will be in the finale next week. Unless there is a major mistake by either singer next week, I expect Lauren to be the next American Idol, but would not be surprised at all to see Scotty win.

It is a time a girl won American Idol after the last two males who won, have not exactly set the world on fire, when they released their album. It takes a second to even remember Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze were the last two American Idols.

COULD TELL SCOTTY AND LAUREN ALAINA WOULD BE IN FINALE

There was a general consensus that Lauren Alaina (who has dropped her last name Suddeth for the show) and Scotty McCreery would wind up; in the finale after James Durbin went home.

HALEY SLIGHTLY BETTER SINGER

Haley Reinhart may have been a slightly better singer, but just didn’t have the popularity of Lauren and Scotty. I feel like the judges may have turned the voters against Haley, even though it may not have been intentional. Her fall last night probably did help her in the voting.

SCOTTY VERY EMOTIONAL DURING VISIT TO GARNER, NORTH CAROLINA

Scotty’s return home last weekend showed how emotional he is, which is a good thing in my book, but some may think of it as a weakness. To tell you the truth, it was several weeks into the show before I thought Scotty was a serious contender to be the next American Idol. When he stayed out of the bottom group for most of the season, then I knew he was as Randy Jackson likes to say, in it to win it.

LAUREN MOST LIKABLE OF AMERICAN IDOL CONTESTANTS

Lauren who also stayed out of the bottom group until one of the very last shows, kept getting stronger and stronger.  There was no doubt Lauren was the most likable of the 13 American Idol finalists.

 When she visited her hometown of Rossville, Georgia and and viewed the devastation of the recent tornadoes that his Rossville, it touched my heart and those of many other American Idol fans. The most touching scene was when she talked to a young boy who had been thrown 200 yards by the tornado, then looked out for the safety of his family members.

EQUALLY HAPPY FOR SCOTTY OR LAUREN TO WIN

In past years, I have rooted for one of the finale singers, but this year, I will be equally happy for either to win since Scotty and Lauren are so likable.

Scotty will probably sell more albums than any of the other singers this year, because of his immense popularity with the country music fans. Lauren is not locked into one genre as she showed when she sang an Aerosmith song with Steven Tyler after being told she was going to Hollywood.

We want to salute Haley Reinhart for her fighting back against all odds, to wind up in the final three. She was in the bottom three week  after week, before gaining momentum in the last weeks of the competition.

Haley seemed to be in a state of shock when Ryan Seacrest announced she had been voted off the show. Guess that is normal though, when you want something that bad, only to lose it in the next to last week of the competition. This is not the last we will hear of Haley Reinhart as she is too good of a singer to fade away.

When her album comes out this fall, it should sell well if it features her singing the songs she sings best. If she growls, that is alright because that is how she sings and nobody needs to change it.

The final poll this season is obvious as we ask  who will the next American Idol be, Lauren Alaina or Scotty McCreery.

American Idol Producer Nigel Lythgoe Lashes Out at Morons Tweetering

Nigel Lythgoe an American Idol producer is tiring of Twitter haters posting that American Idol is being manipulated to favor certain contestants.

He has this to say at mtv.com about the Twitter haters who think the show is being arranged:

“Thanks for all the personal abuse from the usual morons out there in Twitterland,” he tweeted after last Wednesday night’s “Idol.” “I personally feel Haley is the most improved contestant.”

Jim Cantiello, the resident MTV American Idol expert tweeted after Haley sang so well last Wednesday when singing her second song:

“@dizzyfeet Whew! Looks like you have a lot of Haley votes to delete tonight! ;)”

Lythgoe goes on to explain the reasoning behind James Durbin singing when he did recently.

For the complete article:

http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1664026/american-idol-nigel-lythgoe.jhtml

American Idol: Voting May Be Changed in 2012 Season

Nigel Lythgoe an American Idol producer has stated that there could be a change in the voting next season.

It is not a sure thing yet, but voters next season, may be limited to one vote instead of voting repeatedly for the same candidate which is currently allowed.

This may prevent another travesty like Pia Toscano being voted off the show in the early weeks of the Season 10 competition.

There is no way in my book that Pia is a worse singer than Naimi Adedapo and Stefano Langone, but that is what happened earlier this season.

Pia should have been in the finals, if the voting had been done solely on talent. The problem is that some voters are voting for the best singers, while others are voting for favorites even though they know they are not the best singers.

The voting changes need to be made if it will prevent even one singer like Pia from going home so early in the competition.

http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2011/05/american-idol-major-voting-change-on-the-way.html

The poll question is: Should American Idol voting be changed for the 2012 season?

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