Pops Goes Platinum: Louis Armstrong has earned his first Platinum record; on July 27, 2001, Satchmo's 1968 album, "What A Wonderful World", was certified Platinum (sales of one million units) by the RIAA; Pops also has a couple Gold albums to his credit; for the albums "Louis Armstrong's All Time Greatest Hits" and "Hello, Dolly!".
Teens Choose Britney: Britney Spears was named "Choice Female Artist" at the 2001 Teen Choice Awards held on Sunday, August 12th in Los Angeles; Britney was also a presenter at the event, which will be televised by FOX on Monday, August 20th.
BET Plays Pageant: Better Than Ezra are among the performers scheduled to play at the 2001 Miss Teen USA Pageant, which airs on CBS on August 22nd.
Al Broussard Arrangements: final services for musician Al Broussard will take place on August 10 and 11, including a Jazz Funeral and Second Line which will stop at The Tricou House, his "musical" home for the last 20 years; click here for the complete schedule.
Hurricane Fest: the "Southern Comfort Hurricane Festival" is scheduled for September 22 at Audubon Zoo; scheduled performers include Cowboy Mouth, Blues Traveler and Ratdog; see the concert line for more info.
Voodoo Fest: the artist line-up for the 2001 Voodoo Music Festival (Oct. 27) has been announced, and performers include Tool, Snoop Dog, Missy Elliott and Better Than Ezra; see the concert line for more info.
New BTE CD: the new CD from Better Than Ezra, titled "Closer", hits store shelves today (August 7th); the band will appear on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Wednesday (August 8th) to perform the first single from the album, "Extra Ordinary"; BTE vocalist and guitarist Kevin Griffin will appear on ABC's "Politically Incorrect" on Thursday night (along with the Sex Pistol's John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten); the band is also taping a performance for an upcoming segment for CBS's "Saturday Early Show", and we will post the air date for that when available.
Musical Passing: our sympathy goes out to the family and friends of piano great Al Broussard, who passed away on Sunday, August 5th at age 95; his wake is scheduled for Friday night, at 8 pm, at Gertrude Geddes Willis Funeral Home, 1610 Lapeyrouse (tel. 522-2525); the funeral will be Saturday morning (details TBA).
Blanchard To Succeed Marsalis: award winning jazz musician and composer Terence Blanchard will succeed Ellis Marsalis as Chair of UNO's Jazz Studies Program; the announcement was made by UNO Chancellor Gregory O'Brien at the "Satchmo to Marsalis" benefit concert held on August 4th; Blanchard, a former student of Marsalis, was on the road in Colorado, but accepted the position via video tape; the epic concert featured performances by Ellis, his sons Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason, and Harry Connick, Jr. (with backing from Roland Guerin, Lucien Barbarin, and others).
Louis Armstrong Centennial - "Satchmo SummerFest" kicks off on August 2nd with airport renaming ceremony; the Armstrong Centennial Conference to feature jazz scholars from around the world, plus members of Armstrong's bands; "Satchmo Club Strut" takes place in the Decatur/Frenchmen St. music corridor; check out the full SummerFest schedule.
Ultimate Aaron: Hip-O Records will release "Aaron Neville: Ultimate Collection" on August 21st; the album features 20 tracks, spanning 37 years, and includes his top hits and also many rarities; alas, it does not include one of my personal favorites - "I Fall To Pieces" (his 1994 duet with Trisha Yearwood) - but it is an excellent collection none the less; read more.
Songwriters Hall of Fame Nominees: this year's nominees for induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame include Shreveport native Hank Williams, Jr.; winners will be announced at ceremonies scheduled for November 4, 2001; past inductees from Louisiana include Ted Daffan, Gov. Jimmie Davis, Red Lane, Leadbelly and Glenn Sutton.
Ellis in BET Finals: the finals of BET On Jazz's "Jazz Discovery" competition featuring local sax player Lance Ellis (see more below) are scheduled to air on Thursday, August 2nd; see the TV page for details.
Happy B-Day Buddy: happy birthday to Buddy Guy who turns 65 on July 30; Buddy will be celebrating by performing on the Jay Leno show, and he will also be featured on the syndicated radio show World Cafe.
Buddy Guy Jams & Plays Leno: blues man Buddy Guy, fresh off of a hot jam session with Eric Clapton, is scheduled tp perform on NBC's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Monday, July 30th; also: singer and songwriter Lucinda Williams performs on Leno on Wednesday, August 1st.
Branford Ends JazzSet Run: Branford Marsalis is ending his nine year run as host of NPR's "JazzSet with Branford Marsalis" radio show; jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater will take over hosting duties as of October 1st, and upcoming guests include Terence Blanchard; read more.
Local Rapper OD's Cash Money Records rapper B.G. has recovered from an alleged drug overdose; B.G., born Christopher Dorsey, supposedly suffered a drug overdose two weeks ago, igniting rumors that he had passed away; visit Allstar News for more on the story, and catch the Cash Money Millionaires on BET's "106 & Park" this Friday (see TV page for details).
2001 MTV VMA's: congratulations to Britney Spears, who is the only LA music artist nominated for a "2001 MTV Video Music Award"; she was named in the Best Pop Video category for her single, "Stronger"; the ceremony takes place on September 6th, and it will air live on MTV.
Just Du-et! Lucinda Williams performs a duet with "mountain music" man Ralph Stanley on his upcoming album, "Clinch Mountain Sweethearts", due in stores on September 25th; the album also features collaborations with Gillian Welch, Iris DeMent, Dolly Parton, and others.
New Music: new releases hitting store shelves this week include Gatemouth Brown's "Back To Bogalusa", and "Down From The Mountain", which features live performances from the artists on the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack (The Cox Family, Chris Thomas King, and others); coming soon are new releases from C.J. Chenier, Better Than Ezra, J. Paul Jr., and Juvenile, plus re-issues from Dave Bartholomew, Beau Jocque and Aaron Neville.
Hootie Calling: Continental Drifter Peter Holsapple became Darius Rucker's "Phone A Friend" selection on Sunday night's "Top of the Chart" edition of the ABC game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire"; Rucker, of Hootie & The Blowfish, selected Holsapple to help with the question "Located in the Mariana Trench, what is the name of the deepest known point on Earth?"; Peter was stumped and didn't come up with an answer before time ran out; Rucker then chose to poll the audience, went with their incorrect choice, and lost $93,000 (of money that would have gone to charity); the "Top of the Chart" episodes of Millionaire continue on Tuesday, July 24 (btw, the answer was "Challenger Deep").
Juvenile Unplugged: a Jackson, Tennessee concert featuring New Orleans rapper Juvenile was shut down on Wednesday, ten minutes into the rap stars performance; the manager of the Carl Perkins Civic Center, Mose Burton, pulled the plug on the show citing the excessive use of profanity as his reason; "The rapper had agreed to do a clean show, and children were allowed in if they were accompanied by a parent," Burton said; "It got really nasty," Burton added, "I told the sound man to cut the music and we cleared the house. The show was over" (What was this guy thinking when he booked a rap star who's biggest hit was "Back That Azz Up", and who's other songs include "Never Had S***", and "F*** That Nigga"??).
R&B Foundation honors Toussaint! legendary songwriter, producer, arranger and musician Allen Toussaint is among the recipients of the R&B Foundation's 2001 Pioneer Awards; ceremonies will be held October 4 at New York's Apollo Theatre; other honorees this year include Fontella Bass, Big Jay McNeely, Dee Dee Sharp, The Emotions, the songwriting team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, and the late Louis Jordan; the Rev. Al Green will receive the music charity's lifetime achievement award.
Musical Passing: singer and musician Richie Matta died of a heart attack at his Slidell home on July 8th at the age of 57; the New Orleans native recorded for the Scram label in the 1960's, played with the bands The Nobles and The Spades, and was an inductee into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame; he also performed with The Phantoms while serving in the Marine Corps in Viet Nam; Matta was laid to rest on July 13 at the Biloxi National Cemetery in Biloxi, MS.
TV Note: the 8 part documentary "Popular Song: Soundtrack of the Century" debuts on Bravo on August 12; the series features contemporary and archive interviews and performances from the most well-known names in music - a total of almost 150 writers, performers and producers who have individually and collectively made an indelible mark on the history of modern music; jazz legend Louis Armstrong and folk artist Leadbelly are among those to be featured; commentators include Harry Connick, Jr.; segments of local interest can be found on our TV Music page; see the Bravo web site for the full schedule.
Roots Music Documentary: an upcoming PBS documentary, "American Roots Music", will include music from Leadbelly and Clifton Chenier, among many others; the four part series, which will feature masters in the fields of folk, country, blues, gospel, western swing, bluegrass, Cajun, Zydeco, Tejano and Native American music, is set to air on consecutive Mondays beginning October 29th; the theme music for the series was created by Ricky Skaggs, Earl Scruggs, Stuart Duncan, James Cotton and Marc Savoy.
Cox Family Update: news item on The Cox Family patriarch Willard Cox from Country.com (link to article); Cox Family considering joining "O Brother" tour; Willard still confined to wheelchair after July, 2000 auto accident.
Lil' Romeo Debuts in Top 10: pre-teen rapper Lil' Romeo's self-titled debut album will enter the Billboard 200 Albums chart at No. 6 (in July 21st issue of Billboard).
K-Doe Arrangements: final services for R&B legend Ernie K-Doe have been set for July 12 and 13, 2001; the royal send-off includes a wake at Gallier Hall with oral and musical tributes (on Thursday), and a jazz funeral procession, scheduled for Friday; click here for the complete schedule; Ernie's widow Antoinette needs financial assistance with funeral expeneses and several benefit shows have been announced; see www.k-doe.com for the latest info.
Hot Stuff!! recent certifications announced by the RIAA include Gold Records issued for Brooks & Dunn's "Steers & Stripes", and Cash Money Records rapper Lil' Wayne's "Light's Out".
New Music: in stores today (07/10) is the latest release from Galactic (which was recorded live at Tipitina's); hitting record store shelves soon are new CD's from Gatemouth Brown, C.J. Chenier and Better Than Ezra, plus re-issues and collections from Dave Bartholomew, Sonny Landreth and the late Beau Jocque; pre-order these albums now, and they will be delivered to your door on the day of release!
Pierce to Hall of Fame late honky tonk legend (and West Monroe, LA native) Webb Pierce is among 12 honorees to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame it was announced on Monday; the 2001 induction ceremonies will take place in Nashville on October 4; others being honored include Waylon Jennings, The Jordanaires, Sam Phillips, and the Everly Brothers; Pierce will join fellow Louisiana natives Jimmie Davis and Faron Young in the country music shrine.
What Made Milwaukee Famous: country singer Trace Adkins was arrested near his Brentwood, TN home late Thursday evening, July 5th, and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol; Adkins, a native of Springhill, LA, was initially pulled over for speeding, but officers found an open beer bottle in his truck; Adkins refused to submit to a sobriety test, and he was immediately arrested in accordance with Tennessee's implied consent laws; Adkins posted $1,000 bail and was released early Friday morning; he is scheduled to appear in court for the DUI charge on July 23rd.
Book Signing: journalist and author Charles Suhor will be signing copies of his newly released book "Jazz in New Orleans: The Postwar Years Through 1970" at Octavia Books (513 Octavia St) at 3:00 pm on Saturday, July 14th; stop by the Satchmo.com Book Shop for more hot musical reads.
Praise for Drifters: "Better Day" makes for an ebullient, hook-infested guitar pop recording, while, propelled by their glorious harmonies, the band finds the shining heart of every song" (full Sonicnet review); "The Continental Drifters rock with age" from The Phoenix; check out audio clips from "Better Day" at CDNOW, and catch the Drifters live at The Parish on July 20th.
Lucinda Named "America's Best": Lake Charles native Lucinda Williams was named the country's best songwriter by Time Magazine in their recent feature, "America's Best Artists and Entertainers" (an honor I concur with); for all of the latest news on Lucinda, be sure to check out her recently revamped web site at LucindaWilliams.com.
Council Okays Armstrong Airport Proposal: the New Orleans City Council passed an ordinance on July 5th which approved renaming the New Orleans International Airport to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport; the official renaming ceremony is scheduled to take place during Armstrong Centennial celebrations, scheduled for the first week of August.
Ernie K-Doe Update: Allen Toussaint (who wrote "Mother-In-Law") and Ernie's widow Antoinette were interviewed on WWL-TV's evening news; the segment also featured performance clips of the late music legend; the WWL News video archive of Thursday's broadcasts (see 5 pm, 6 pm, and 10 pm) will be available online for one week if you'd like to check them out; here are a couple of news briefs on K-Doe's passing from AP and Reuters; if you'd like to send a card, condolences, etc., they can be mailed to: Antoinette K-Doe, Mother-in-Law Lounge, 1500 N. Claiborne Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70116; Antoinette is also asking for donations to assist with maintaining the lounge and Ernie's legacy; contributions can be sent to the same address; also, be on the lookout for a number of benefits and tributes being held at local clubs in the next couple of weeks; for more on K-Doe's passing, see Jay Mazza's nice article in the current issue of The Louisiana Weekly, and this tribute from the S.F. Chronicle.
K-Doe Passes Away: New Orleans and international R&B legend Ernie K-Doe passed away today, July 5th, at the age of 65; details are sketchy at this time, but Ernie had apparently been in a coma at Charity Hospital for the last four days; K-Doe, born Ernest Kador at Charity Hospital in February 1936, came to national prominence in 1961 with his smash, "Mother-In-Law", which hit #1 on both the Pop and R&B Charts, and netted him a Grammy nomination; other K-Doe classics included "Te-Ta-Te-Ta-Ta", "Wanted $10,000 Reward", "Waiting At The Station", "I Cried My Last Tear" b/w "A Certain Girl", "Popeye Joe", "Later For Tomorrow", and "(It Will Have To Do) Until The Real Thing Comes Along"; for additional info, see Ernie's All Music Guide bio and his official web site at K-Doe.com (where you can share your thoughts with others on the message board).
Connick Film Bypasses Theaters: the new film "Life Without Dick", which stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Harry Connick, Jr. will premiere on cable TV, bypassing theatrical release; the movie centers on a woman (Parker) who falls in love with an Irish hitman (Connick) who was hired to kill Dick (MTV's Johnny Knoxville), her boyfriend; "Life Without Dick" (sorry, make up your own joke) will tentatively debut on the Encore Channel sometime this fall.
R.I.P. there's been a number of musical legends from elsewhere in the world that have passed away within the last few days; in case you missed it the first time around, here's news on the deaths of country guitarist Chet Atkins; tenor sax innovator Joe Henderson; Afro-Cuban jazz composer and bandleader Arturo "Chico" O'Farrill, and bluesman John Lee Hooker.
Props 4 Pops: if Louis Armstrong was still around, he would be celebrating his 101st birthday tomorrow, July 4, 2001; community radio station WWOZ-FM will be featuring music from Satchmo's Decca years in a two hour show on July 4th, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am; if you're out of OZ's listening area, you can also tune in online; see our Satchmo Centennial area for additional upcoming events honoring Louis.
Lil' Romeo on the Street: pre-teen rapper Lil' Romeo's self-titled debut album hits store shelves today (July 3rd); the CD has already produced a #1 R&B and Rap single - "My Baby" - making Romeo the youngest person in history to have a No. 1 hit; in related news, Lil' Romeo has been added to the roster for the upcoming Michael Jackson tribute concert - "Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration" takes place on September 7th and 10th at Madison Square Garden in NYC, and will feature performances by Jackson and special guests including Britney Spears, Gloria Estefan, Luther Vandross, Diana Ross, 'N Sync, Whitney Houston, and the Jackson 5; see LilRomeo.com for more news.
Local Boy Makes Good: congrats to sax man Lance Ellis who has made it to the finals of the Bet On Jazz channel's "Jazz Discovery" competition; Lance's video for "You Never Told Me" from his "Just Curious" CD won first place in the 2nd round of semi-finalist competition in the instrumental category which took place (and was televised) on June 28th; the finals will take place in early July, and we'll try to find the the exact air date and times as soon as poss.
Local Boys Make Good: congrats also to local rockers Tom's House, who have landed a couple of high profile gigs in Los Angeles; the band will perform at a July 14th party sponsored by HBO and People Magazine for the hit HBO series, "Sex In The City"; the following day, the group will play at the exclusive L.A. hotspot, the Viper Room; in the interim, Tom's House is playing a free show at the Boomtown Casino in Harvey on Friday, July 6th; ya better catch 'em while ya still can!
Meters Honored: the annual Jammy Awards were held in New York City on Thursday, June 28th; New Orleans funksters The Meters were recipients of the Lifetime Achievement award, which was accepted by founding member George Porter, Jr.; Porter also performed at the event, sitting in with Soulive, and he also joined in on the evening's finale, The Meters' "Cissy Strut", which featured Stanley Jordan, John Popper, and the Derek Trucks Band; here's more on the Jammy's from Allstar News.
Live Music Marathon: Ernie K-Doe, Papa Grows Funk, Jason and Delfeayo Marsalis, and many others will perform at a free 10-hour marathon concert celebrating Independence Day, presented by Trinity Artist Series at Trinity Episcopal Church; the fun kicks off at 8:00 pm Tuesday, and runs straight through 'til 6:00 am Wednesday morning (July 4th); for full details, check the Gig Announcements section of the message boards.
Sunday Morning with Satchmo: the program "CBS News Sunday Morning" will feature Satchmo on this week's show (July 1); the segment, "Louis Armstrong at 100" - takes a look back at the career of Louis Armstrong; the program airs locally at 9:00 am Sunday morning in New Orleans.
Concert Notes: the Counting Crows are booked at the HoB for two nights in August; Continental Drifters take a break from touring for a gig at The Parish on July 20th; here's more concert info.
Webcasts: catch Leroy Thomas & the Zydeco Roadrunners in a live concert from Washington DC on Friday, June 29th; coming soon (July 11) is an online chat session with Master P & Lil' Romeo; see the webcast page for details!
Local Stars to Salute Pops in NYC: The City University of New York will be staging a birthday party for Louis Armstrong on Saturday, July 14th; "Louis Armstrong's 100th Birthday Blowout" will feature performances by many of our hometown faves, including Kermit Ruffins & The BBQ Swingers, ReBirth Brass Band, James Andrews, John Boutté and the Lady Buckjumpers Social Aid and Pleasure Club; this should be some shindig, so if you're in the NYC area on the 14th, ya have to "second line" on over there.
LA @ The Opry: three Louisiana natives will featured in performances at The Grand Ole Opry on Friday, June 29th; Jimmy C. Newman and Chris Cagle will be appearing in the 9:00 pm show, and Eddy Raven performs during the 9:30 pm show; you can tune into the Grand Ole Opry via the 'net at WSM Radio in Nashville.
Teen's Choice: congrats to local artists receiving nominations for the 2001 Teen Choice Awards; Britney Spears is nominated in 3 categories, and rapper Mystikal was named in 2 categories; if you are between the ages of 13 and 19 (age discrimination!!!), you can vote for your favorite artists online at the Seventeen Magazine web site; the awards show will be televised on FOX on August 20th.
Back That Glass Up: Cash Money Records rap star Juvenile (Terius Grey) has been named in a $5 million law suit by the person he allegedly attacked with a champagne bottle outside of a Miami comedy club on March 28th; Jackson Saintagne, 28, is seeking damages for pain and suffering stemming from the incident that also led to the arrest of Juvenile on suspicion of aggravated battery, battery on a police officer and resisting arrest; Juvenile's attorneys claim that he is innocent, and witnesses have stated that Saintagne instigated the fight.
Get 'Em While Ya Can: there are still tickets available for the August 4th "Satchmo to Marsalis: A Tribute to the Fathers of Jazz" concert being held in conjunction with other Louis Armstrong Centennial events; the concert will feature Ellis Marsalis, with sons Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason, plus Harry Connick, Jr.; ticket prices begin at a mere $35 (in most cases, it would cost more than this to see just one of these jazz greats!); visit the Satchmo Centennial web site for info on the concert, the Satchmo SummerFest, and other upcoming events.
Connick on Independence Day: no, not the movie, it's an NBC TV 4th of July special; Harry Connick, Jr. will host "Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular", a 1 hour special airing locally at 8 pm on Independence Day; the extravaganza, airing live from New York, will feature amazing pyrotechnics set to a musical score from such popular artists as the Backstreet Boys, Madonna and Shania Twain, plus live performances by Bon Jovi and Jessica Simpson; the climactic fireworks display will run commercial-free for 28 minutes.
NOLA Music Store: CD's hitting store shelves this week (June 19) include new compilations of Mahalia Jackson classics, featuring many previously unavailable tracks; Legacy Records is releasing the sets in tribute to the Queen of Gospel as we approach what would have been her 90th birthday; check the Music Store for more upcoming CD release news.
Musical Passing: services for musician and sound technician Rodger Poché, who passed away on June 15th at age 49, will be held on Tuesday, June 19, at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church; a star-studded tribute and benefit concert is scheduled for Wednesday (June 20) at Tipitina's; our sympathy goes out to his family, friends and musical colleagues.
Romeo and Mystikal Nominated: congrats to rappers Mystikal and Lil' Romeo who both received nominations for Billboard Magazine's inaugural R&B/Hip-Hop Awards; Lil' Romeo, the 11-year old son of Master P, is nominated in the "Top Rap Single - Sales" category (for "My Baby"), and Mystikal was named for "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles - Airplay" (for his single "Danger"); Mystikal was also named for his collaboration with R&B singer Joe (Top R&B Hip-Hop Single) on "Stutter (Remix)"; winners will be named on August 30th in New York.
Props 4 Pops: Louis Armstrong's "Complete Hot Five & Hot Seven Recordings", a 4 CD box set released by Columbia Records last August, was named "Reissue of the Year" at the Jazz Fest 2001 awards held in New York on June 14, 2001; read more.
"Little Queenie" CD Release: Leigh "Little Queenie" Harris will celebrate the release of her new CD, "Polychrome Junction", with a performance at Le Chat Noir on June 20th; if you're out of town or otherwise unable to attend, you can tune into the show (via radio or Internet) courtesy of WWOZ-FM.