Monkees singer and guitarist Michael Nesmith, a pop visionary who penned many of the group’s most enduring songs before laying the groundwork for country rock with the First National Band in the early Seventies, died Friday from natural causes. He was 78.
“With Infinite Love we announce that Michael Nesmith has passed away this morning in his home, surrounded by family, peacefully and of natural causes,” his family said in a statement. “We ask that you respect our privacy at this time and we thank you for the love and light that all of you have shown him and us.”
Nesmith was known as the Monkee in the green wool hat with the thick Texas drawl, and the writer of songs like “Mary, Mary,” “Circle Sky,” “Listen to the Band,” and “The Girl I Knew Somewhere.” But he raged behind the scenes that the group didn’t have creative control of its albums, and in 1967 led the successful rebellion against record producer Don Kirshner. The group would subsequently release Headquarters and other albums created largely on its own.
Sondheim influenced several generations of theater songwriters with landmark musicals such as “Company,” “Follies” and “Sweeney Todd,” which are considered among his best work.
Adele Sets Spotify Single-Day Streaming Record For ‘Easy On Me’, Topping BTS
Return to the Magic and Mystique of the Renaissance!
The Festival is back and better than ever! The celebration begins on Saturday, September 4, and runs six consecutive weekends, and Labor day, ending on Sunday, October 10. The Festival is celebrating its return to the past with new entertainment, beautiful new displays from local artisans, as well as some classic shows and craftspeople that bring thousands of guests joy year after year.
The Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival is an entire day of immersive experiences for people of all ages. Guests can enjoy three armored Jousts a day, Knighting ceremonies, and nine stages of non-stop entertainment including music, dancing, comedy, sword fighting, and more! With so much unique entertainment, guests can revel in a different experience with every visit.
Returning Favorites like the CRAIC show and The Washing Well Wenches are back along with a variety of new performances.
The 2021 Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival is open Saturdays and Sundays only, September 4 through October 10, 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Festival is open rain or shine in the Gateway to the Laurel Highlands, just thirty miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
Admission for the 2021 season is $24 for adults and $12 for children ages 5-12. Children aged four and under are always free. Tickets can be purchased on their website at a discounted rate, or through the on-site box office on festival days.
Coupons can be found at Wendy’s and Eat N’ Park and must be redeemed at the Box Office.
For more information please visit the Festival website at www.pittsburghrenfest.com, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“Dean Martin is so important to Steubenville,” said JoJo Dialbert, owner of The Spot Bar. “We all know he was nationally known as a singer and entertainer. And numerous times, he mentioned Steubenville. And everybody knows that’s where he’s from.”
The celebration was an opportunity to learn more about Martin, but it also brought vendors of jewelry. food trucks and live music to downtown.
In addition. the cruise-in Saturday afternoon saw vintage cars gather so their drivers could see each other after a long year.”
This is one big family, these car people,” Kathy Waszkiewicz said. “We don’t get to see them often enough. It’s just nice to come out and support Steubenville and see our friends and have a good time with everybody.”
And the people living in Steubenville, as well as the people who come to visit, are the focus of the event’s organizers.”
That’s what we try to do with these festivals,” Barilla said. “Whether it’s the Fort Festival, the summer concert series, the Dean Martin Festival, the Nutcracker Festival, people coming together, families coming together, saying hello to one another, hugging one another, it’s a warm feeling. And it’s a rewarding feeling.””
You know it’s a lot of work and a lot of headaches, but when you look outside and see hundreds, sometimes a thousand, that are enjoying themselves, enjoying Dean Martin’s music, it makes you feel good,” Dialbert added. “You feel satisfied that you were able to pull it off and make a lot of people happy.”
The festival wrapped up Saturday night at The Spot Bar with a tribute to Dean Martin put on by Tom Stevens.
Juneteenth celebrations continue through the weekend, and we’re on the back half of a 10-day stretch of celebrations, meaning people only have a few more days to enjoy the Black Music Festival.
The Black Music Festival is celebrating Gospel Day.
Religious singer Tye Tribbett along with DJ Mannie Fresh will be part of the performances starting today at 11 a.m. There will also be around 60 vendors in the area.
Nina Simone’s granddaughter claims that Kamala Harris ‘bullied’ her mother to the point she ‘almost killed herself’
Legendary singer Nina Simone’s granddaughter accused Vice President Kamala Harris of causing the family to lose control of Simone’s estate while Harris was California attorney general.
“Nina’s granddaughter here,” ReAnna Simone Kelly wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “My family doesn’t run her estate anymore. It was taken away from us [and] given to white people. Our family name was DRAGGED in the media. We get NO royalties, nothing. Wanna hold someone accountable? Ask Kamala Harris why she came for my family.”
“As I said before, Ask her why she separated my family,” she continued. “Ask her why my grandmothers estate is in SHAMBLES now. Ask her why we as her family no longer own the rights to anything. Ask her why she bullied my mother in court and my mom almost killed herself from the depression.”
B.J. Thomas, the Grammy Hall of Fame inductee and award-winning country singer behind hits like “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head” and “Hooked on a Feeling,” has died. He was 78.
Representatives confirmed that Thomas died today at his home in Arlington, Texas on May 29 due to complications from stage four lung cancer. He first announced the diagnosis in March.
“I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to record and perform beautiful songs in pop, country, and gospel music, and to share those wonderful songs and memories around the world with millions of you,” he said in a statement at the time.
Over his career, Thomas won five Grammys, sold 70 million albums worldwide and has eight No. 1 hits and 26 Top 10 singles. Among his hits were “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” “I Just Can’t Help Believing,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” and “Hooked on a Feeling.” Thomas’ hit single “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, won the best original song award at the Academy Awards as part of the classic Paul Newman and Robert Redford film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” Sales soared to over 2 million copies and has continued to find its place in beloved movies, such as “Forrest Gump” and “Spider-Man 2.”
John Davis sang on the group’s hit album Girl You Know It’s True, but was not originally credited.
Singer John Davis, one of the true vocal talents behind notorious pop duo Milli Vanilli, has died from coronavirus at the age of 66.
Davis sang on the group’s hit 1989 album Girl You Know It’s True.
Fronted by Fabrice Morvan and Rob Pilatus, the group sold more than 30 million singles, but were stripped of a Grammy Award after it emerged they lip-synced on hits they had never recorded.
Paying tribute, Davis’s daughter Jasmin asked for one “last round of applause”.
Bob Dylan never said anything about hoping to die before he got old. He just told the old people to get out of the way if they couldn’t lend a hand.
On Monday, rock’s greatest poet turns 80, and — despite some rough concert performances here and there — his true fans will tell you they’re glad he never got out of the way.
Last year, the Hibbing, Minn., man who gave us “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1962 grabbed us by the collar during the pandemic with “Rough and Rowdy Ways,” one of his most lyrically dense, playful and challenging albums.
It was his 39th studio album, not counting the reams of unreleased bootleg stuff, and on the quality scale, it probably cracks the top 20. There’s reason to believe that there will be a 40th, that we’ll leap to hear it, that critics will gush, and that it will further this 60-year narrative in one fascinating way or another.
The buzz has been building for years around Reese Youngn and now the rapper from Homewood is finally blowing up. The spark is the video for his ‘No More Parties Remix’.Reese Youngn No More Parties Remix#TheLetOutOfficial VideoShot by @treeburkeFollow Reese @reeseyoungn
Conductor James Levine, who ruled over the Metropolitan Opera for more than four decades before being eased aside when his health declined and then was fired for sexual improprieties, has died. He was 77.
Levine died March 9 in Palm Springs, California, of natural causes, his physician of 17 years, Dr. Len Horovitz, said Wednesday.
Levine made his Met debut in 1971 and became one of the signature artists in the company’s century-plus history, conducting 2,552 performances and ruling over its repertoire, orchestra and singers as music or artistic director from 1976 until forced out by general manager Peter Gelb in 2016 due to Parkinson’s disease.
Levine became music director emeritus and remained head of its young artists program but was suspended on Dec. 3, 2017, the day after conducting a Verdi “Requiem” in what turned out to be his final performance, after accounts in the New York Post and The New York Times of sexual misconduct dating to the 1960s.
He was fired the following March 12 and never conducted again. He had been scheduled to make a comeback performances of Brahms’ ”Ein Deutsches Requiem” this Jan. 17 and 21 in Florence, Italy, but the concert were canceled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Hundreds of popular K-pop songs have been removed from Spotify, amid a dispute with South Korean music distributor Kakao M.
Releases by popular acts including Sistar, IU, Monsta X and Epik High have vanished, leaving fans frustrated.
Spotify said its “existing licensing deal” with Kakao M had “come to an end” but it hoped the disruption would be temporary.
But the Korean company accused Spotify of refusing to extend its licence.
Chick Corea, the virtuosic keyboardist who broadened the scope of jazz during a career spanning more than five decades, died on Tuesday from a rare form of cancer. A post on his Facebook page confirmed the news. Corea was 79.
“Throughout his life and career, Chick relished in the freedom and the fun to be had in creating something new, and in playing the games that artists do,” his family wrote in a statement. “Through his body of work and the decades he spent touring the world, he touched and inspired the lives of millions.”
“Chick Corea was the single greatest improvisational musician I have ever played with,” John Mayer, who had appeared with Corea onstage, wrote on Instagram. “Nobody was more open, more finely tuned to the moment, changing his approach with every new offering by the musicians around him. If you hit a wrong note, he’d immediately pick it up and play it as a motif so as to say ‘all of this has value, whether you see it or not.’ What an immeasurable loss in so many ways.”
In the early Sixties, Corea established himself as an A-list pianist, working with Stan Getz, Herbie Mann, and others. Later in the decade, he joined Miles Davis’ band and played a key role in helping the trumpeter make the transition to a more contemporary, plugged-in sound on albums like Bitches Brew. Following his work with Davis, he formed his own groundbreaking electric band, Return to Forever, which played some of the most vibrant and dynamic music of the fusion era. In the ensuing decades, Corea threw himself into countless projects, showing off his limitless range — from a refined duo with vibraphonist Gary Burton to his trendsetting Elektric Band. His most recent album, the 2020 live solo disc Plays, showed off his wildly diverse skill set and body of influences, touching on classical pieces, bebop, and more.
In a statement to Fox News on Tuesday, Clark, 88, said she is in “shock and disbelief” at the despair seen across the world on Dec. 25.”I feel the need to express my shock and disbelief at the Christmas Day explosion in our beloved Music City,” Clark wrote, adding, “I love Nashville and its people.””Why this violent act – leaving behind it such devastation?” Clark pressed.
The singer, who saw her song soar to the top of the Billboard charts in 1965, said that after she was told about “Downtown” being used “in the background of that strange announcement” Clark said she wondered, “Of all the thousands of songs – why this one?”
Petula Clark responded after her 1964 record “Downtown” was used during the “intentional” explosion in Nashville, Tenn., on Christmas Day, which left a number of businesses destroyed and injured three people in its wake on Second Avenue.
Releasing two surprise albums this year, Taylor Swift has had one of the most successful campaigns in her career to date, which is saying a lot. Her most recent album, evermore, debuted at the #1 position on the Billboard 200 album chart, and the song “willow” also started off at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, her song’s stay at the top was short-lived, only staying there for a week and breaking records with the manner in which it fell from grace, even passing Tekashi 6ix9ine’s record for the most disastrous fall for a #1 debut in chart history.
Plus, Jose Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad” hits the top 10 for the first time, 50 years after its original release.
Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” returns to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, rising from No. 2. The song, first released on Carey’s album Merry Christmas in 1994 and which first reigned for three weeks last holiday season, adds its fourth total week atop the Hot 100, tying for the most time at No. 1 among holiday hits in the chart’s 62-year history.
The carol is one of a record-tying five Yuletide songs in the Hot 100’s top 10, joined by Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock,” Andy Williams’ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and, in the top 10 for the first time, 50 years after its original release, Jose Feliciano‘s “Feliz Navidad.”
Long overlooked military documents indicate the small plane in which Miller was likely traveling when he disappeared in 1944 probably crashed in the English Channel after fuel intakes froze, according to Dennis Spragg, a senior consultant to the Glenn Miller Archive at the University of Colorado Boulder.
“The icing took three forms: engine icing, carburetor icing and induction ice,” Spragg says. “And that’s the kind of ice that forms on the fuel tanks and fuel lines, feeding fuel to the engine.”
Miller was born in Iowa and spent the latter part of his boyhood in Fort Morgan on Colorado’s Eastern Plains. There, he played high school football and honed his skills on the trombone. He attended the University of Colorado Boulder briefly before dropping out to pursue his music career.
On the day he went missing, Dec. 15, 1944, Miller, an Army major, is believed to have boarded a UC-64A Norseman in Bedfordshire, England, as a passenger. The plane was bound for France, where Miller was planning a performance for Allied troops.
Spragg has penned a book on the subject of Miller’s disappearance, called “Resolved.”
Spragg says the plane was flying low because of poor visibility. When fuel lines froze the engine stopped, giving the plane’s pilot about eight seconds to react before it plunged into the water. Because the plane was constructed of mostly lightweight materials, it probably disintegrated on impact, killing those aboard instantly, Spragg says.
(Photo: Courtesy University of Colorado Boulder Glenn Miller Archive)Spragg cites military documents to back his claims, some of which have been in the public realm for decades, but were previously uninspected by Glenn Miller researchers, he says.
In the late 1930s, Miller experienced widespread fame with hits like “Tuxedo Junction” and “Chatanooga Choo-Choo.” Even though Miller was in his late 30s and it was unlikely he would have been drafted for World War II, the band leader joined the Army. Spragg says Miller signed up partly out of patriotism and partly for practical reasons, including that Miller may have had a hard time keeping young musicians in the band because of the draft.
As a major in the U.S. Army Air Forces Band, Miller led musical shows broadcast from England and meant to boost troop morale.
He also participated in counter-propaganda campaigns against the Nazis. In some recordings Miller speaks German, phonetically pronouncing words for a German audience. Such broadcasts, combined with Miller’s work alongside British actor David Niven, Spragg says, emboldened theorists to assert that Miller had been a spy for the Allies and perhaps assassinated.
Some other entertainers, including dancer Josephine Baker, did covert work.
Yet there’s no substantial proof that Niven, who served for a short time in an elite British military unit, worked as a spy with Miller, Spragg says.
“There is a difference between broadcasting music or information to the enemy from England as opposed to being clandestine agents in the field running around the continent putting yourself at risk,” Spragg says.
Another theory — one that’s more widely accepted — is that the plane Miller was flying in was destroyed by friendly fire. That theory was first proposed in the 1980s as intriguing evidence about the Norseman plane came to light. It was discovered that 138 planes returning from an aborted Allies bombing raid disposed of their bombs over the English Channel, and the theory is that one hit Miller’s plane, causing it to crash.
Citing U.S. Army Air Force records, Spragg says the timing of when the planes were over the channel rules out that theory.
More likely, he says, is that another plane was journeying across the channel at the time the bombers were returning. It appears to be a “case of mistaken identity” that the Norseman was in the area at the time.
Get ready to do the time warp again.
Stage Right Theatre Company will stage “The Rocky Horror Show Live” under a big top tent on Oct. 23-24 and 30-31.
There will be a few pandemic-driven changes to the company’s long-running Halloween season production, including the outdoor venue, said director and Stage Right founder Tony Marino.
The 40-by-80-foot “glorious, giant circus tent” sheltering the production will be set up in Stage Right’s parking lot at 105 W. Fourth St., Greensburg.“It was really important to us that if we were going to do this (that) we did it safely,” Marino said. “So the tent is huge and will have sides rolled up to provide airflow, (and) we are only selling 200 tickets per show.”And where there’s a circus tent, there should be a circus atmosphere, he said.Members of the show’s ensemble will be costumed as iconic sideshow and circus freak characters.“That seems to fit 2020 more than anything,” Marino said. “More than being a Halloween staple, that seems to fit the intersection of where we are now.”
His longtime manager Jim Morey said in a statement on Facebook that Davis died on Tuesday in Nashville, Tenn., after heart surgery and was surrounded by family and friends.
Davis had a long and varied career in music for decades as a writer, singer, actor and TV host and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006. In addition to penning Presley hits, he was responsible for his own track “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me.” He was named 1974’s entertainer of the year by the Academy of Country Music and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“Thank you, dear Lord Jesus, for letting us know the man to whom you gave the most incredible talent,” said Reba McEntire in a statement. “He entertained and spread joy to so many people. What a wonderful legacy he left all of us with his music. Mac was one of a kind. I’m so blessed to have been one of his many friends.”
“I Am Woman” became the unofficial anthem of the Women’s Liberation Movement, and Reddy said in a 2013 interview that she was just trying to represent the women in her life with the empowering song. “There were a lot of songs on the radio about being weak and being dainty and all those sort of things,” she told the Chicago Tribune. “All the women in my family, they were strong women. They worked. They lived through the Depression and a world war, and they were just strong women. I certainly didn’t see myself as being dainty.”
A biopic about Reddy titled after her signature hit debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, and I Am Woman star Tilda Cobham-Hervey spoke with Billboard at the time about the song’s staying power. “As much as this song is so relevant today, I think it will always be relevant to women,” the actress said. “It’s a really empowering song. It talks about the future and it’s really about bringing people together. I hope it’s a song that’s really inclusive of all people, of all gender identities. I also think that as much as there’s still a long way to go, it’s amazing to look back and see how far we’ve come too. She had to live through a lot of things that I know today I don’t have this struggle with.
Jamie Lee Curtis took to Twitter to remember introducing Reddy at the Women’s March back in January 2017, calling the moment “the honor of my life.
When Na’Chelle Simone submitted a song to WYEP’s Reimagination Project, she hoped it was good enough to be released on the compilation album featuring young musicians from the area.
Na’Chelle, an 18-year-old from Homewood, had no idea “Rise Up” would earn national attention through a story featured on National Public Radio. But the most significant benefit was how the song ameliorated a family issue: “Rise Up” became a bridge back to her mother, with whom Na’Chelle had been having difficulties.
“It was just a misunderstanding between me and my mom,” Na’Chelle says. “But once she heard the song and liked it, we talked about it. I feel like it helped us.” (Listen to it here, along with other Reimagination Project songs.)
PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) The Allegheny County Summer Concert Series, presented by BNY Mellon, has moved to Pittsburgh’s CW for this year.
The concert series continues this Sunday Aug. 16, with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Pittsburgh Opera.
Tune in to the CW this Sunday at 7:00 p.m. to catch the weekly concert series.
You can watch a replay of every concert on the Allegheny County Parks’ Facebook page or the Allegheny County YouTube channel.
To see the full concert lineup or to replay past shows, visit the the Allegheny County website.
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh area DJs had a change of tempo on Saturday.
Truck beds became DJ booths with generators, laptops, and turntables strapped to the back.
Almost 40 local DJs hit the streets laying beats down in about 50 neighborhoods for a mobile DJ dance party.
“We host parties we host events and help people have the most amazing time with their families but we haven’t been able to do that,” said DJ Willie T, who was participating in the parade in the Elizabeth Township neighborhood.
By the looks of it, the message was well-received.
Residents emerged from their homes and onto their porches. They danced along from their stoops and lawns while maintaining social distancing.
The parade came as a total surprise for the family of little Finnegan Connors of Elizabeth Township, who was celebrating his 4th birthday with a block party when the mobile DJ booth rolled passed his house.
“We had a DJ and it turned into a dance party and it was amazing,” said Courtney Connors, Finnegan’s mom.
Shyheed Hatch was one of the DJs mixing it up on Saturday.
He told KDKA, music has helped him get through some tough times. He’s hopeful the community had the same reaction.
“I love music. Music is everything to me. It saved me a lot but today it’s for the community. It’s bigger than ourselves. That’s what we’re here to do,” said Hatch.
A very talented, promising young musician just earned his first No. 1 on the Billboard charts, and he goes by the name of [checks notes] Bob Dylan? Yes, Nobel Prize in Literature holder, Oscar winner, and ten-time Grammy award-winning folk legend Bob Dylan has climbed to the top of the charts for the first time in his career at the tender age of 78. Pitchfork reports that Dylan’s 17-minute song “Murder Most Foul” about the assassination of JFK, which he surprise released last month, now sits atop the Rock Digital Song Sales chart after selling 10,000 downloads within its first week of release.