Gone But Not Forgotten 2000: our annual tribute to people associated with Louisiana music who left us during the year; passings in Y2K included Zydeco ambassador Warren Ceasar, "Toot Toot" drummer Tony Charles, two-time LA governor and country music legend Jimmie Davis, influential jazz drummer Vernell Fournier, blues man Harmonica Fats, Coasters vocalist Will "Dub" Jones, bandleader Leon Kelner, Cajun music great Jessie "Jay" Stutes, jazz piano giant Phamous Lambert, bassist and music educator Richard Payne, and Basin Street Records co-owner Patti Samuels; read more.
Y2K In Review: online music destination CDNOW takes a look back at the year in music in their Best of 2000 feature; Louisiana music artists Wynton Marsalis, Brian Blade, Britney Spears, and Buddy Guy made it into the Top 10 Albums lists in their respective genres; read the reviews and commentary on these, plus music from the rest of the music world at CDNOW!
Drifters Notes: the Continental Drifters will begin work on their 3rd album in January for Razor and Tie Records, who will also be issuing a remixed version of their debut album on Jan. 9th; catch the band live at the Howlin' Wolf on December 22nd, and catch Drifter Vicki Peterson (playing with The Bangles) on "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" on December 31st (ABC-TV).
Musical Passing: our condolences to the friends and family of jazz scholar and musician George Finola, who passed away on December 1st at age 55; Finola, a native of Chicago, moved to New Orleans in 1965; he worked with many jazz legends over the years, and led his own band, The Chosen Few, at French Quarter venues and night spots for many years; see the Times Picayune obit for more info.
Late Night With Aaron: upcoming TV appearances for Aaron Neville include the Tonight Show With Jay Leno (NBC, 12/20) and Politically Incorrect (ABC, 12/22).
Britney's Big Pair: congrats to the pride of Kentwood, Britney Spears, who brought home a pair of trophies from the 2000 Billboard Music Awards, held in Las Vegas on December 5th; Brtiney won in the "Albums Artist of the Year" category and also picked up a special award for biggest one-week sales of an album ever by a female artist (1.3 million copies of her 2nd album "Oops! ... I Did It Again"); rapper Mystikal performed at the event, and former New Orleans resident Randy Newman was presented with Billboard's annual Century Award for creative achievement; check out photos of Spears, Mystikal, and Newman from the show.
Stellar Update: crooner Aaron Neville has joined the list of artists appearing at the 16th annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, being held on Jan. 13 in Atlanta; local trio Trin-i-Tee 5:7 are up for four awards at the event, which will be carried on the 'net by GospelCity.com; the show will also be syndicated to TV, and it will air between Jan. 13 and Feb. 8th (check your local listings).
B.G. Hits The Charts: the latest from Cash Money rapper B.G. - "Checkmate" - entered the Billboard 200 albums chart at No. 21 and the Billboard R&B Chart at No. 5; "Checkmate", B.G.'s sixth solo effort, sold 130,000 copies in it's first week on the street.
Stars Come Out For Charity Event: New Orleans jazz heavyweights Terence Blanchard, Nicholas Payton, Los Hombres Calientes, Irvin Mayfield, and ReBirth Brass Band are among the artists scheduled to perform at The Irvin Mayfield Birthday Extravaganza, a benefit concert for The Ronald McDonald House and The International House Of Blues, being held on December 22nd at the French Quarter House of Blues; various levels of concert ticket pricing and sponsorship opportunities are available; read the press release for additional info.
People's Choice Awards: teen star Britney Spears received a nomination in the Favorite Female Musical Performer category for the 27th Annual People's Choice Awards; the ceremonies will air live on CBS on January 7th.
Billboard Awards Nominees: congrats to country music singer Tim McGraw and pop star Britney Spears who received nominations for the 2000 Billboard Music Awards; Britney is up for 3 awards (Female Artist of the Year, Albums Artist of the Year, and Album of the Year), and McGraw was named twice (Country Artist of the Year and Country Album of the Year); it may be tough going for both however ... Spears is up against Eminem, 'N Sync, and Santana in two categories (guess which two!), and McGraw faces his missus, Faith Hill, for both awards; you can find out who will win on December 5th - the show airs live from Las Vegas on CBS; in the interim, check out the full list of nominees.
Green Day & Keb Mo in January upcoming concerts in the new year include punksters Green Day (at UNO on January 14th) and blues man (and former NOLA resident) Keb' Mo' (at HoB on January 16th); jump to the Concert Line for details on these and more.
New Year's Eve Shows announced at local clubs and venues so far include Fats Domino, Neville Brothers, Kermit Ruffins, John Mooney w/ ReBirth Brass Band, The Iguanas & Snooks Eaglin, Royal Fingerbowl, Tab Benoit, and others; see the Concert Line for more info.
Our sympathy and prayers go out to Basin Street Records founder & owner Mark Samuels. Mark, his wife Patti, his three children, and his parents were involved in a serious single-vehicle accident approximately 20 miles north of Jackson, MS early in the morning of November 21; Mark and his family were on their way back to New Orleans from a family reunion in St Louis. Everyone in the vehicle was injured in the accident; however, Patti Samuels sustained major injuries and did not survive. Mark's children and his mother were also hospitalized after the accident. Services for Patti were held on November 26.
New Spin on Britney: Spin magazine's "Best of 2000" issue lists the Britney Spears hit "Oops!... I Did It Again" among the Top 20 Singles of the year (it's ranked #13); the issue hits the streets on December 5th.
New Label for Lucinda: head of the Mercury Nashville label Luke Lewis and artist manager Frank Callari will launch a Nashville-based Mercury imprint during the first quarter of 2001, according to Billboard; roster for the label, as yet unnamed, will include Lucinda Williams, Kim Richey, Robert Earl Keen and Ryan Adams; Williams, Richey and Adams are clients of Callari's FCC Management.
Props For Pops: details on several events celebrating the centennial of Louis Armstrong's birth (in August, 2001) are slowly coming to light; UNO will sponsor a Louis Armstrong symposium featuring jazz scholars and musical heavyweights (including former Armstrong sidemen); French Quarter Festivals, Inc. and OffBeat are sponsoring the Satchmo Summerfest - a multi-day celebration with food and music, and the "Marsalis Family Tribute to Louis Armstrong" concert is scheduled to feature the entire Marsalis Clan (Ellis and sons Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo, and Jason), along with Harry Connick, Jr. - get the details here.
Hitman Harry? crooner and actor Harry Connick, Jr. is in negotiations to star with actress Sarah Jessica Parker in a dark, romantic comedy about the Mob, titled "Life Without Dick"; Connick recently finished production on "Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific", a made-for-TV film that was shot in Australia; it will air on ABC in 2001.
BTE Artifacts: currently label-less rockers Better Than Ezra have issued a collection of previously unreleased material on a CD titled "Artifakt"; you can pick up a copy of the CD at BTE concerts, or order it directly from their web site, betterthanezra.com.
Britney Spears in Playboy! and so is rapper Juvenile, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tim McGraw, Harry Connick Jr, Dr. John and Louis Armstrong; no, it's not a pictorial of naked Louisiana music artists, it's the annual "Playboy Jazz & Rock Poll"; you can vote online for your favorite music stars through November 29 at the Playboy.com web site (no looking at pictures!); winners of the annual poll will be published in Playboy's April 2001 issue.
Liner Notes: Dr. John makes a guest appearance on the upcoming release by legendary B3 organ master Jimmy Smith, titled "Dot Com Blues" (due in stores on January 9); Dr. John sings and plays piano on his own "Only In It for the Money", and shares writing credits with Smith on "Mr. Johnson"; the album, Smith's first in 5 years, also features appearances by Etta James, B.B. King, Taj Mahal, and Keb' Mo'.
Brooks Gets Grammy Honor: blues guitar great and Dubuisson, LA native Lonnie Brooks was among the recipients of the first-ever Legacy Award's handed out by the Chicago Chapter of the Recording Academy in ceremonies held on November 15th; performers at the event included Lonnie's son, Ronnie Baker Brooks.
Galactic Recording Live CD: funk-meisters Galactic will be recording their two shows at Tipitina's Uptown on December 1st & 2nd for a live CD release; visit galacticfunk.com for more info.
Britney TV Special: FOX TV will air the one hour special "Britney Spears: There's No Place Like Home" on November 30th; the taped special features Britney performing her hits in concert at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
Meters Reunion: the original members of The Meters were reunited for the first time in 20 years at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco on Saturday, Nov. 11; read reviews from Sonicnet.com, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Times-Picayune.
American Music Awards: nominees for the 28th American Music Awards were announced in Beverly Hills on November 13th; Britney Spears was nominated in the Pop/Rock Female Artist and Pop/Rock Album (for "Ooops! ... I Did It Again") categories; Tim McGraw was nominated in the Country Male Artist category; the event will air live on ABC on January 8, 2001, and will be hosted by Britney Spears.
Jacquet To Be Honored: tenor sax titan Illinois Jacquet will be among the honorees at the Fifth Annual Jazz at Lincoln Center Awards Gala and Benefit Concert being held at New York's Avery Fisher Hall on November 13th; the event will feature music from the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, and special guests Jessye Norman, Dr. John, Warren Vache, and Andre Deshields, who will be performing jazz standards popularized by Louis Armstrong.
PBS Satchmo Tribute: PBS TV will present "Armstrong - When the Saints Go Marching In" featuring Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra on December 13th; the special, a musical tribute to Louis Armstrong in celebration of the centennial of his birth, will feature guest appearances by New Orleanians Don Vappie, Lucien Barbarin, and Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews.
Jazz Passings: our sympathy goes out to friends and family of New Orleans born jazz drummer and music instructor Vernell Fournier (aka Amir Rushdan), who passed away in Jackson, MS on November 4th at age 74. Fournier was a significant presence on the national jazz scene and influenced many other drummers; he started playing drums at age 10, and performed with the New Orleans Young Swingsters while in the 5th grade; Fournier worked with King Kolax and Dookie Chase in the 40's; he became the house drummer with Norm Simmons' band at the Bee Hive in Chicago before joining the Ahmad Jamal Trio in 1957; in 1979, Fournier moved to New York and played with Clifford Jordan, led his own trio, and taught drumming at Barry Harris's Jazz Cultural Theater, the New School, and the Mannes College of Music; he suffered a stroke in 1994, and was confined to a wheelchair; Fournier moved to Mississippi in 1998 and continued to teach young musicians despite his inability to play.
Chris Cagle Making Waves: country rocker Chris Cagle is gaining national attention with the release of his debut solo album "Play It Loud", and the hit single "My Love Goes On and On"; USA Today says: "With Garth Brooks all but retired, country music is ripe for a larger-than-life figure with the potential to pack arenas. Cagle, born in Louisiana but raised in Houston, angles hard for the position with this debut."; for more on Chris, see "Chris Cagle Cranks Up Country", a feature from CDNOW, and his official web site at ChrisCagle.com.
New Suit For Master P: rapper and No Limit CEO Master P is being sued by Bank One after falling behind on payments on a $739,000 loan; read more.
Jimmie Davis Passes Away: Former Louisiana governor and country music legend Jimmie Davis passed away in Baton Rouge on November 5th at the age of 101; Davis served as governer from 1944-48 and 1960-64; he wrote hundreds of songs, most notably the classic, "You Are My Sunshine"; Davis was a member of the Louisiana Hall of Fame, Country Music Hall of Fame, Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame; read more: Jimmie Davis bio from Peer Music.
Video Premiere: MTV will premiere the latest video from Master P, "Souljas", on their hip-hop show Direct Effect on Monday, November 6th; the debut video from his new album "Ghetto Postage" is the first fully animated hip-hop video in history.
Harry on the BEEB: actor and crooner Harry Connick, Jr. will appear on the BBC America talk show Parkinson on November 11th; BBCA is available on DIRECTV, the DISH Network, and through many U.S. cable providers.
At A Loss For Words: rap artist Eminem lost a notebook containing lyrics for an upcoming project while on his way to New Orleans to appear at the Voodoo Music Festival; a reward is being offered for the return of the notebook; read more.
Label News: Breaux Bridge born blues man Sherman Robertson has signed with Alligator Records; a new CD is due in early 2001 ... locally based jazz/funk band idletime has had their debut CD, "Time Stops" picked up by Louisiana Red Hot Records; the album was remixed at Word of Mouth Studios in New Orleans, and it will be available nation-wide on Nov. 28th.
Pantera Postpones: metal rockers Pantera have been forced to postpone the first leg of their upcoming "Real Steel Tour" due to lead singer (and New Orleans native) Philip Anselmo breaking two ribs; the tour was set to kick off on November 7th at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi; canceled dates are now scheduled to begin in February 2001, but exact dates have not been confirmed; read more.
Late Night With Aaron: Aaron Neville will appear on CBS's "Late Show With David Letterman" on Friday, November 10th.
Master P Delivers New CD: the latest CD from No Limit Records CEO Master P, titled "Ghetto Postage", is due in stores on November 28th; the debut video from the album (for the song "Souljas") will be first fully animated hip-hop video in history; the 3:45 music video took over 11,000 man-hours (and untold $'s) to create; label mates C-Murder, Silkk The Shocker, Snoop Dogg, and Tamar Braxton make guest appearances on the album.
Stellar Awards: congratulations to local trio Trin-i-Tee 5:7 who received four nominations (Group/Duo of the Year, Contemporary Group/Duo of the Year, Contemporary CD of the Year and Music Video of the Year) for the 16th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards; the ceremonies will be held on January 13, 2001 in Atlanta; read more.
More Gospel: Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr., pastor of the Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church, is featured in an interview with GospelCity.com.
Bits & Bytes: CDNOW reviews the Van Morrison & Linda Gail Lewis duet CD "You Win Again" .. Henry Butler is now online at HenryButler.com .. Master P is among the attendees at a Hip-Hop Summit in New York scheduled for Oct. 30; the event will be held at the headquarters of Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network in Harlam, and will focus on the hip-hop music industry and violence ... Britney Spears will perform at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party awards show in London on Dec. 10th.
Angelle Update: singer / songwriter Lisa Angelle was the subject of a recent feature at Billboard Online; she's to be featured in "VH-1 Country Introduces Lisa Angelle", 8 hours of programming which will air in daily segments between October 28th and November 7th on cable channel VH-1 Country; Lisa's debut solo album is scheduled for release on October 31st; last but not least, Lisa will be on tour in Japan for the U.S.O. for 10 days in late November.
Payton to Release Tribute Album: Satchmo disciple Nicholas Payton and his "Louis Armstrong Centennial Celebration Big Band" recently recorded tracks for an upcoming Armstrong tribute CD; the album, tentatively titled "Dear Louis", is scheduled for release on Verve Records circa February 2001; for upcoming Payton tour dates, visit our Louis Armstrong Centennial Events page.
Blanchard Tops Reader's Poll: trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard was selected "Jazz Artist of the Year" and "Trumpeter of the Year" in the 65th Annual Down Beat Magazine Reader's Poll; Blanchard, who was snubbed in this year's Down Beat Critics Poll, also won for "Jazz Album of the Year" for his latest release, "Wandering Moon"; full results of the Reader's Poll will appear in the December issue of Down Beat (featuring Terence on the cover!); catch Terence live, performing with students from the Thelonious Monk Institute, on Friday, October 20th, at the Contemporary Arts Center.
Concert Notes: local faves the Continental Drifters will open for Hootie & The Blowfish on Nov. 14th at the House of Blues.
New Music: new releases for Oct. 17 include the latest from Sonny Landreth, Cyril Neville, Profyle, and Vin Bruce.
The Mind of Mystikal: red hot rapper Mystkal is featured in articles from MTV News and Rolling Stone.
Interview With Aaron: Aaron Neville discusses his latest album, his Gospel influences, and Neville Brothers plans in an exclusive interview with CDNOW editor Brian Mansfield; Aaron also recently chatted with Jacki Lyden on NPR's "All Things Considered".
Concert Notes: tickets go sale this weekend for Better Than Ezra (appearing in Baton Rouge on 11/03), Marilyn Manson (State Palace Theatre on 11/04), and Styx, Reo Speedwagon and Survivor (Lakefront Arena on 11/22).
Devotion to DVD: Aaron Neville will become the first major artist to release an album in the DVD audio format when his solo effort "Devotion" is released on DVD on October 24th; in addition to the 14 tracks from the CD, the DVD version will contain interview footage of Neville at his New Orleans home, interviews with friends and family, and a moving documentary of his recent performance at Angola State Penitentiary. "I am very honored and excited to have "Devotion" released as the first DVD Audio disc ... surround
sound is amazing... The music comes alive and is so vibrant -- it's unlike anything you've ever heard before!" says Neville.
Britney in Britain: teen pop queen Britney Spears "wowed 'em at Wembley" on the opening night of her U.K. and European tour on Oct. 10th; read more.
Cash Money & Profyle To Tour: New Orleans bounce kings the Cash Money Millionaires and Shreveport vocal group Profyle are hitting the road with rapper Nelly and soul crooner Joe beginning Nov. 12th in Houston; click here for the full schedule.
Britney on Xmas Collection: Britney Spears, 'N Sync, Backstreet Boys, and Christina Aguilera are among those contributing to a new holiday album from Jive Records; "A Platinum Christmas" is scheduled for release on Nov. 24th.
Free Downloads: check out these free audio downloads from rapper Mystikal and New Orleans born singer and songwriter Lisa Angelle (requires free Liquid Audio Player).
Horton Remembered: country music legend Johnny Horton will be honored during special festivities scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 7 at Rebel State Historic Site near Marthaville, LA; scheduled to appear at the event are Claude King of Shreveport who wrote "Wolverton Mountain", Shreveport native Merle Kilgore, who wrote the Horton hit "Johnny Reb", and Tillman Franks, Horton's long time manager.
Awards: singer Tim McGraw was named Male Vocalist of the Year at the 34th Annual CMA Awards, held on Oct. 4th ... Monroe, LA native Andy Griggs was a double winner at the BMI Country Awards, held on Oct. 3rd.
Music Charts: New Orleans rapper Mystikal's new release "Let's Get Ready" will debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and R&B charts for the week ending October 14th; Mystikal will be the musical guest on HBO's "The Chris Rock Show" on Friday.
Video Charts: New Orleans native Lisa Angelle's "A Woman Gets Lonely" has cracked Country Music Television's Top 12 videos for the week of October 4th; the "Top 12 Countdown" airs this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on CMT (see TV page).
Big Tymers Go Platinum: congrats to Cash Money Records rappers the Big Tymers, who's latest CD "I Got That Work" was certified Platinum by the RIAA on Sept. 15th; in other CMR news, veteran rapper B.G. will release his latest, titled "Checkmate", on October 31st.
More Noms For Britney: Britney Spears received 3 nominations for the Y2K MTV Europe Music Awards, scheduled for November 16th in Stockholm; here's more on the awards, including a full list of nominees.
Ferriday Gets New Museum: the Louisiana Bond Commission has approved $100,000 for the Town of Ferriday, Louisiana to acquire and renovate an old post office building to be used as the town's new museum; the Ferriday Music Museum, when opened, will feature memorabilia from Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley, Rev. Jimmy Swaggart, and Leon "Pee Wee" Whittaker, among others.
Walk of Fame: New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival producer Quint Davis was inducted into Hilton Riverside's Walk of Fame on Monday, Oct. 2nd; the annual awards honor New Orleanians who have made a positive contribution to the way of life in the Crescent City.