Gone But Not Forgotten: a look back at Louisiana musicians who passed away in 2004.
Michael Doucet Honored Cajun fiddler, composer and bandleader Michael Doucet is among the recipients of the 2005 NEA National Heritage Fellowships, the country's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts; honorees will head to Washington D.C. in September for a series of events including an awards presentation and a concert at Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University on September 23rd; more.
Radio Webcasts catch Sonny Landreth on WFUV's "City Folk Live" on May 31st (8:30 am CT); look for the Subdudes appearing on the weekly show etown (week of June 8-14).
Brit does Letterman: pop singer, expectant mom and reality show star Britney Spears and her hubby Kevin Federline made a surprise appearance on the David Letterman show on May 17th; the couple read Dave's Top 10 List for the day, "Top Ten Reasons To Watch Britney Spears and Kevin Federline's New Show"; the episode will re-air on May 30th.
ACM Awards: Tim McGraw and Brooks & Dunn were winners at the 40th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, held in Las Vegas on May 17th; McGraw won Single of the Year honors for "Live Like You Were Dying" (which was also named Song of the Year -- a songwriters award); Brooks & Dunn won for Top Vocal Duo -- their 19th win at the ACM's.
Boss Loves Bluerunners: 3 tracks from The Bluerunners "Honey Slides" album are being featured as "walk-in music" for Bruce Springsteen's "Devils and Dust" tour; rumor mill has it that the Boss is picky and personally hand picks the songs to be played... the man has good taste!
Thursday at the Square: the Dirty Dozen Brass Band's appearance at the Wednesday at the Square concert series, which was rained out on April 6th, has been rescheduled for Thursday, June 16th.
Mayfield Remembered: R&B singer/songwriter Percy Mayfield will be the focus of the Minden, LA "Spring Arts Festival" on Friday and Saturday (May 13 & 14, 2005); the city and the state of Louisiana have declared May 13th as "Percy Mayfield Day", and there will be many other events tied to the late Minden native, who's credits include his 1950 #1 hit, "Please Send Me Someone To Love" and the Ray Charles classic, "Hit The Road, Jack"; Mayfield will be inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in June.
Can I Get A Witness? Baton Rouge emcee Lil Witness has signed with indie label Rough Stone Records; his latest album, "Real Life's Not Fake", features guest appearances by fellow Red Stick rappers Lil Boosie, Max Minelli and T-Bo.
Band To Watch: young Baton Rouge-based rock band The Terms are making waves around the state and beyond; their debut album Small Town Computer Crash was recorded in L.A. and was produced by Grammy-winner Greg Ladanyi (Jackson Browne, Toto, Fleetwood Mac); check out audio clips at their web site thetermsmusic.com, along with a video from the album, tour dates, etc.; catch them live in New Orleans on May 25th at the Howlin' Wolf.
Gospel Notes: congratulations to newcomer Micah Stampley, who's debut CD, "The Songbook of Micah", entered the Billboard Gospel chart at #3; Stampley grew up in Baton Rouge, and spent time with Bishop Paul Morton at Greater St. Stephen's before moving to Houston; he will appear at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans on July 1st.
Pause for A Cause: singer Jimmy Elledge recently suffered a major stroke, and funds are needed to help defray the costs of ongoing recovery and therapy; you can help by purchasing a CD or by making a donation of any size; see his web site at jimmyelledge.com for more info.
Webcast: tune into the syndicated radio series World Cafe on April 19th to catch a performance by rising star Mary Gauthier.
New Music: South Louisiana native Lelia Broussard is finishing up her second CD, which is set for release this summer; the young PA-based singer & songwriter has had her music featured on the CBS series "Joan of Arcadia", and is getting interest from several major labels; we wish her continued success.
Musical Passing: singer, songwriter and bandleader John Fred Gourrier passed away in New Orleans on April 15th at age 63; the Baton Rouge native garnered international fame for his 1968 #1 pop hit, "Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)" (as John Fred and his Playboy Band).
Gospel Music Awards: congrats to NOLA alt-rock band MuteMath, who's single "Control" was named Modern Rock Song of the Year at the 36th Annual GMA Music Awards (aka Dove Awards) held April 13, 2005 in Nashville.
Concert News: tickets for the Allman Brothers Band (May 17th at the Saenger) go on sale on Saturday, April 9th
New Venue: "Irvin Mayfield's Over the City", a new music venue located on the 31st floor of the World Trade Center (#2 Canal Street), will be opening during the French Quarter Fest weekend; scheduled artists over the weekend include owner and trumpeter Irvin Mayfield with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, John Boutte, and Kermit Ruffins; shows begin nightly at 8:00 pm; see clubs & venues page.
The Write Stuff: award winning songwriter (and Shreveport native) Troy Verges has been a busy guy; he recently shared the Songwriter of the Year award at the ECMA Awards in Canada, penned a tune ("The Very Last Moment In Time") on pop star Lindsay Lohan's "Speak" CD (over 800,000 units sold), and also has a track ("The Man You Love") on the classical/opera group Il Divo's debut album (a million seller in the U.K.) ... read more on Troy.
Musical Passing: services were held on April 6th for guitarist Eugene Synegal (photo), who passed away in New Orleans on March 30th at age 52; Eugene worked with a slew of local bands over the years, including Sam & The Soul Machine, Lee Dorsey, the Neville Brothers, Ironing Board Sam, and Cyril Neville.
Britney Spears TV Series: Britney Spears and hubby Kevin Federline have signed a deal with UPN for a new television series that will share their love story via exclusive, private home videos they shot themselves during their courtship, engagement and wedding; the series will consist of six episodes to be broadcast on UPN later this season, with repeats airing on MTV networks; no word was given on whether Britney would lip-synch or actually speak her parts in the show; see press release.
Galactic, Broussard Open for DMB: opening acts for the Dave Matthews Band summer tour include Galactic and Marc Broussard; see the DMB web site for dates & details.
Give Peas A Chance: the Black Eyed Peas have been added to the 2005 Essence Fest line-up (July 1-3 at the Superdome); see full list of performers here.
String Fever: Cajun fiddle prodigy Amanda Shaw is featured in the current issue (Spring 2005) of Louisiana Life magazine.
Drifters Dissolve: according to a posting by Peter Holsapple, the Continental Drifters are dissolving the LLC they formed to handle the band's business matters, and added that it is doubtful that there will be further activity from the group; in a follow-up posting, guitarist Robert Mache noted that there are many permutations of the band, and many former band members still out there ... so maybe we haven't heard the last from the band after all ... in a related note, The dB's (one of Peter's former bands) have reunited and are working on their first album since 1987's "The Sound of Music."
Radio and Webcast: tune in to the syndicated radio show Mountain Stage this week for performances by Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Sonny Landreth, Dirty Dozen, and others.
Music Events: the New Orleans International Music Colloquium will hold its annual symposium on April 8th & 9th at the Old U.S. Mint; honorees at this year's event include legendary percussionist Alfred "Uganda" Roberts.
New Music: Big Blue Marble celebrates the release of their new album "Stars in Suburbia" with a performance at Tipitina's on Saturday, April 2nd.
Real Estate: Trent Reznor's uptown mansion has been sold for $1.8 million (to actor John Goodman); the Nine Inch Nails leader moved to Los Angeles late last year ... rumor has it that he (NIN) will be back as a headliner at the 2005 Voodoo Music Fest.
Pause For A Cause: Tipitina's Foundation will hold their 4th annual "Instruments A Comin'" Benefit Concert on Monday, April 25th; the fundraiser, which provides musical instruments for New Orlean public school band programs, will feature performances by Galactic, The Radiators, Rebirth Brass Band, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, and many others.
The Bic Stops Here: rapper C-Murder has been barred from having ink pens in jail; his lawyer is now only allowed to bring pencils in with his legal documents; Sheriff Harry Lee's attorney said pens were barred because they are hollow and can be used to carry song lyrics; C-Murder riled Lee after release of his latest album & video, both of which were partially recorded in Jefferson Parish Prison.
New Music: in stores on March 22 -- new CD's from Tab Benoit, The Tomatoes (their debut CD; release party at Twiropa on 03/25), Los Super Seven (with Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown), Morris Ardoin, Trace Adkins, and Michael "Patches" Stewart; check out more upcoming releases.
Kids' Choice: the Britney Spears single "Toxic" is nominated for Favorite Song at the 2005 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards; Lil' Romeo is nominated for Favorite TV Actor; Romeo and Brit's little sister Jamie Lynn Spears are among the celebs scheduled to attend the event, which airs live on Nick on April 2, 2005.
CMT Awards: Tim McGraw received multiple nominations for the 2005 CMT Music Awards, including "Collaborative Video of the Year" for his pairing with rapper Nelly (on the track "Over and Over"); the fan-voted awards show airs live on CMT on April 11th.
Gospel Awards: nominees for the 36th Annual GMA Music Awards (aka Dove Awards) include Bishop Paul S. Morton's "That's Reason Enough" (from "Seasons Change") for Traditional Gospel Song of the Year, and MuteMath's "Control" for Modern Rock Song of the Year; winners will be announced on April 13th in Nashville.
Live From SXSW: Austin radio station KUT will feature three Louisiana music artists live/in-studio on Thursday, March 17th; catch Mary Gauthier (at 10:00 am), Los Hombres Calientes (at 1:30 pm), and Susan Cowsill (at 10:30 pm).
Radio / Webcast: spend "An Hour with Henry Butler" on Friday (March 18th), courtesy of WNYC in the Big Apple.
Irma and Frogman Honored: Irma Thomas and Clarence "Frogman" Henry will be inducted into the Delta Music Museum's Hall of Fame during the Delta Music Festival, being held in Ferriday on April 2nd; both New Orleans music legends will perform at the event.
Singer Slain in B.R. blues singer Jackie Neal was shot and killed in Baton Rouge on Thursday by a former boyfriend; Neal was the daughter of late Louisiana blues legend Raful Neal, and the sister of noted bluesman Kenny Neal; services for Neal will be held on Tuesday, March 15, at the Bellemont Great Hall.
KRVS Airs Concert: catch the Marcus Roberts Trio (on Friday, March 11; 7:30 pm), live from Lake Charles, LA, courtesy of KRVS FM; the trio features Marcus Roberts on piano, Jason Marsalis on drums and Roland Guerin on bass.
NOLA Music Online: local entertainment magazine Where Y'At has a nice feature article on New Orleans Band Web Sites in their March, 2005 issue.
New & Future CD's: the Marc Stone Band will be recording a live CD at The Old Point on Monday, March 7th; Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes' second studio album "Pain, Pleasure, Fear and Opera" will be available on April 5th; the debut CD from The Tomatoes, "The Rise and Fall of The Tomatoes" will hit the streets on March 25th; the Paradise Vendors celebrated the release of their first CD, "Candy", on March 5th; more new CD releases.
Radio & Webcasts: Lucinda Williams and Carol Fran are featured on this week's edition of "American Routes" ... next week, tune into "Mountain Stage" for a performance by the subdudes (with Nellie McKay, Jamie Cullum and others)
ACM Awards: crooner Tim McGraw leads the pack with 6 nominations for the 40th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, to be held at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on May 17th (airs live on CBS).
Wednesday at the Square: the Wednesday at the Square free concert series returns to downtown New Orleans on April 6th with a performance by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band (with guests James Andrews & Trombone Shorty); this year's line-up will also feature Gatemouth Brown with special guest Delbert McClinton (04/13), Marc Broussard (04/20), Marcia Ball (04/27), Jose Conde Y Ola Fresca (05/04), Ellen Rogers with Voodoo Funk & Soul (05/11), Hip Boot Joe (05/18), Sonny Landreth (05/25), Cowboy Mouth (06/01), Michelle Shocked (06/08), Shemekia Copeland (06/15), and Deacon John wraps things up on June 22nd.
TV Alert: catch singer/songwriter Marc Broussard on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" -- Tuesday, March 1st at 12:35 am (local time)
Video Shoot: Morning 40 Federation are asking fans to come out for their video shoot, taking place on February 26th on Lesseps between Chartres and Royal in the 9th Ward, at 12:00 noon.
Rock Hall Update: bluesman Buddy Guy will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by B.B. King and Eric Clapton; the 2005 induction ceremony takes places on March 14th in NYC; cable channel VH1 will air highlights of the event beginning on March 19th.
Breakfast w/ Davell: get up early on Thursday (02/24) to catch Davell Crawford on WWL's "Eyewitness Morning News" (from 6-9 am); Davell will perform and also discuss his upcoming "Ray Charles Tribute" benefit concert (being held on Friday, March 4th at Tipitina's).
Concerts: Gulf Coast rock band 3 Doors Down have announced new tour dates, including a stop at the UNO Lakefront Arena on May 11th; the group's latest CD, "Seventeen Days" (released on Feb. 8th), debuted at #1 on the Billboard Albums chart; other stops on the tour include Bossier City (04/22) and Lafayette (05/10).
Top Ten List: legendary New Orleans beat-keeper Earl Palmer has been named one of the 10 greatest session drummers of all time by Drum! magazine (March 2005 issue); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Palmer is joined on the list by Hal Blaine, Kenny Arnoff, Eddie Bayers, Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Gadd, Al Jackson Jr., Jim Keltner, Matt Chamberlain and Josh Freese.
Morton Honored: Bishop Paul S. Morton is among the 2005 inductees to the Int'l Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Museum; the induction ceremony will take place in Detroit on October 22, 2005.
Jammy Time: the "Shake, Holla and March" tour (which featured North Mississippi Allstars, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Rising Star Fife & Drum Band) is nominated for Tour of the Year at the 2005 Jammy Awards; read more.
"Redemption" at One Eyed Jacks: One Eyed Jacks will host a screening of the award winning film "Southern Redemption Part I: From Midnight to Morning, Baby" on March 16th; the event will also feature a concert by local artists whose music is featured in the film, including Kipori "Baby Wolf" Woods, Johnny J, Rockie Charles, Coco Robicheaux and Little Freddie King; see Purple Hayes Productions for more info.
Baton Rouge Blues: the line-up for the 2005 Baton Rouge Blues Week has been announced; the event, which runs from April 24 - April 30, will feature Deacon John, The Bluebirds, Phil and Sam Guy, the Neal Brothers Band, Sonny Landreth, and others; see more upcoming music events & festivals.
Pause For A Cause: a benefit for ailing drummer Roy Stewart is being held at Phil Brady's in Baton Rouge on Thursday, February 24th; Stewart backed up the late Raful Neal for 20 years; the event will feature Lil Ray Neal and other Baton Rouge blues greats.
Get Your Kix: country star Kix Brooks (of Brooks & Dunn) will host the 3rd annual Kix Brooks Charity Golf Tournament at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant, LA on March 17th and 18th; Brooks will also be honored as a "Louisiana Legend" at the 15th annual Louisiana Legends Awards Gala and Auction on April 28th in Baton Rouge.
Jazz Fest Update: the Leroy Jones Quintet has been added to the line-up for the 2005 Jazz & Heritage Festival; Leroy & band will perform at the Fair Grounds on Thursday, April 28th.
American Idol 4: three contestants from Louisiana are in the semifinals for the 4th season of "American Idol"; New Orleanians David Brown and Judd Harris are among the top 12 males; Lindsey Cardinale, from Ponchatoula, made it to the top 12 females; their first performances will air on Fox on February 21st & 22nd.
Grammy Recap: the 47th Grammy Awards were held in Los Angeles on Feb. 13th; winners with Louisiana ties included Britney Spears (her first), Tim McGraw and Terence Blanchard; McGraw performed his Grammy-winning single "Live Like You Were Dying", and he also took part in a tribute to Southern rock and an all-star tsunami relief performance of "Across the Universe"; brief homages were paid to Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Jerry Lee Lewis and Jelly Roll Morton during the telecast; Grammy winner Gretchen Wilson sported a t-shirt which read "In Memory of Kilgore", honoring country music manager, musician and songwriter Merle Kilgore, who passed away on Feb. 6th; read more on Louisiana music and the Grammys see all 2004 nominees.
Broussard on Kimmel: singer/songwriter Marc Broussard is scheduled to appear on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on March 1st; fans in the Hollywood area can pick up tickets for the show at 1iota.com.
Crowes at Jazz Fest: the recently reunited Black Crowes have been added to the Jazz Fest line-up on April 22nd.
Upchurch Backs 3 Doors Down: Houma, LA native Greg Upchurch has joined the Gulf Coast rock band 3 Doors Down for their upcoming national tour (kicks off Feb. 12th in Daytona); Upchurch is "on loan" to 3 Doors Down from his regular gig as drummer for Puddle of Mudd.
Kilgore Passes: country music giant Merle Kilgore passed away on February 6 at age 70; Kilgore, who was raised in Shreveport, got started in the music business as a studio guitarist on the Louisiana Hayride show in 1950; his lengthy career included work as a deejay, performer, songwriter (credits include "Ring of Fire" and "Wolverton Mountain"), actor, and artist manager (Hank Williams Jr.).
P Speaks Out: rap magnate Master P will hold a press conference this week to discuss his recent arrest on gun charges in Los Angeles (see below); P spoke out about the arrest on Friday (Feb. 4), saying "Black man with gun, white cop panic. I'm a businessman. If the cops stopped panicking for one minute, they would've realized that the guns were registered, and that is legal in America."
More Bling for Britney: Brithey Spears' second album, "Oops! ... I Did It Again", has been awarded Diamond status (10 million copies sold) by the RIAA; this is the second time Spears has reached this milestone; her debut release, "... Baby One More Time", has exceeded sales of 14 million copies to date.
Dozen on Late Night: catch the Dirty Dozen Brass Band performing on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien", Mardi Gras night (Tuesday, Feb. 8th) on NBC; if you are still out partying, check out the repeat on CNBC on Wednesday (Feb. 9th); also see our TV music page.
LA Music on World Cafe: trumpeter & bbq swinger Kermit Ruffins will be featured on the nationally syndicated radio show "World Cafe" on Tuesday, Feb. 8th (Mardi Gras day) .... tune in again on Thursday (Feb. 10) and catch guitar slinger Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
Tsunami Aid: the United Way, the Asian Pacific American Society and the House of Blues are sponsoring a concert fundraiser to aid victims of the December 26th tsunami; artists scheduled to perform (so far) include Irma Thomas, Charmaine Neville, Better Than Ezra, Jon Cleary, and the Zion Harmonizers; tickets for the February 22nd event go on sale soon at TicketMaster and the House of Blues.
Master P & Silkk Busted: brothers Master P and Silkk The Shocker were arrested on felony gun charges in Los Angeles on Jan. 27th; police pulled over the car they were driving and found 2 loaded pistols under their seats; the pair were released after spending 3 hours in the slammer; here's more from The Smoking Gun, who broke the story.
Video Shoot: you can appear in Supagroup's "Let's Go (Get Wasted") video; they will be filming while riding in the Krewe of Saturn parade (Feb. 2nd, along the St. Charles Ave. route), and again at their Friday Feb. 4th) show at One Eyed Jacks; the bands new CD, "Rules", hits store shelves on May 10th.
Book Shop: the new book "Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War" tells how the government added jazz to their diplomacy arsenal; visit our book shop for more LA music books.
TV Alert: catch local funk band Iris May Tango appearing in an episode of UPN's "Road To Stardom with Missy Elliott" (airs Jan. 31 at 8:00 pm Central); the band provided backing for the show's contestants in a segment taped at the Howln' Wolf last summer.
Festival Alerts: line-ups for the 2005 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Festival International de Louisiane (in Lafayette, LA), and Ponderosa Stomp are now available.
Rebels for Breakfast: wake up early on Friday (01/28) and catch the Soul Rebels, who are scheduled to appear on WWL's "Eyewitness Morning News" (6-9 am).
Branford to Teach: Branford Marsalis and his quartet will serve as resident artists for North Carolina Central University's (Durham, N.C.) jazz program during the spring semester; the New Orleans native has lived in the Raleigh / Durham area since the summer of 2002.
Bluegrass Awards: congrats to Alecia Nugent who received 3 nominations for the SPBGMA Bluegrass Music Awards, being held on Feb. 6th in Nashville; the Hickory Grove, LA native is nominated for Bluegrass Album of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, and Song of the Year (for "My First Mistake").
Blues Divas: Soul Queen Irma Thomas and other R&B stars will be featured in the upcoming "Blues Divas" concert series airing on Mississippi's Public Broadcasting channels; a 2-hour compilation of the 8-part series will air in February; the full series, filmed by Robert Mugge at the Ground Zero Blues Club, will air later in the year.
Essence Fest: Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Talib Kwele and Floetry have been added to the line-up for the 2005 Essence Music Festival (Louisiana Superdome, July 1-3); previously announced artists include Destiny's Child and Fest favorites Maze featuring Frankie Beverly.
New from Mary Gauthier: singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier's next release, Mercy Now, is due in stores on Feb. 15th.
Live Landreth: guitar whiz Sonny Landreth will celebrate the release of his new live CD "Grant Street" at (appropriately) Grant Street Dance Hall in Lafayette on January 28th; the CD, in stores on Jan. 25th, features 11 tracks with backing from Dave Ranson and Kenneth Blevins; New Orleans fans can catch Sonny at the Rock 'n Bowl on February 19th.
Rebelution: longtime Satchmo.com favorites the Soul Rebels Brass Band will be celebrating the release of their smokin' new CD "Rebelution" at Rosy's Jazz Hall on Saturday, January 29th; doors open at 10:00 pm, and everyone who buys a ticket gets a copy of the CD.
Grammys: U2, Tim McGraw, Green Day and Alicia Keys are the first performers announced for the upcoming Grammy Awards (airs live on CBS on Feb. 13th); LA native McGraw is nominated for Best Country Album and Best Male Country Vocal Performance; more on the Grammys.
NOLA Legends Get Vegas Stars: Fats Domino, Louis Prima and Sam Butera are among 100 music artists and entertainers to be honored on the "Las Vegas Walk of Stars" in celebration of the city's Centennial year more.
Image Nod for Wynton: the Wynton Marsalis Quartet is among nominees for the 36th NAACP Image Awards; the group was named in the Outstanding Jazz Artist category, for the album "The Magic Hour"; winners will be announced on March 19th, and the show will air (taped) on FOX on March 25th.
Pops is Tops: the Recording Academy announced today (January 19, 2005) that Louis Armstrong's 1932 recording of "All of Me" has been added to the Grammy Hall of Fame; this makes a total of seven Satchmo tracks enshrined in the Hall of Fame to date (see complete list).
Webcast: Lafayette's KRVS will be carrying the next installment of the Louisiana Crossroads concert series, live from the historic Sliman Theatre in New Iberia on Wednesday, Jan. 19th; the show will feature Susan Cowsill, Mark Meaux (of The Bluerunners), and others; the concert starts at 7:00 pm, and KRVS will air a pre-show at 6:30 pm featuring Susan's and Mark's music along with interviews.
Fests and Events: we are slowly getting our 2005 Events Calendar up-to-date -- check it out for upcoming music events, festivals, etc.
Pause For A Cause: on Thursday, January 20th, Virgin Megastores nationwide will host in-store concerts to raise funds which will benefit tsunami victims; "100 Acts of Support: The Concerts for Tsunami Relief" will feature multiple acts performining at 20 different Virgin location; fans will be able to purchase $2 bracelets to show their support, and there will also be donation boxes and auction items; the NOLA Virgin Megastore line-up will include the Happy Talk Band, Theresa Andersson and Bill Summers (concerts start at 7:00 pm).
New Bluerunners: Lafayette rockers The Bluerunners will release their first CD in over 3 years on January 25, 2005; "Honey Slides" features 9 new tracks & 3 covers, plus guest appearances by Susan Cowsill, Michael Doucet and Sonny Landreth; the band will celebrate with a CD Release Party at the Rock 'n Bowl on Saturday, Feb. 26th.
Jurisprudence: the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a jury's decision clearing local rapper Juvenile (and Cash Money Records) of charges that he lifted his hit "Back That Azz Up" from rival hip-hop star DJ Jubilee of Take Fo' Records; read the 48 page ruling here (pdf file).
Louisiana Blues: an exhibition featuring memorabilia from LA music legends Slim Harpo, Ernie K-Doe and Raful Neal will open at the West Baton Rouge Museum on January 22; a reception and a concert are planned for opening night, with music from Ed Johnston & The Blue Notes, featuring James Johnson and Rudy Richard, both former members of Harpo's band; the exhibit runs through May 1st.
Purple, Green & Gold Paisley: country music star Brad Paisley will tape a special for the CMT cable channel during Mardis Gras; he will be seen hanging out in the French Quarter and performing at the House of Blues; the one-hour special, "Brad Paisley's Muddi Gras", will premiere on CMT on March 11th at 8:00 pm (ET).
Ponderosa Stomp: the Ponderosa Stomp is set to return to the Rock 'n' Bowl on April 26th & 27th; the fourth annual mini-fest, presented by the Mystic Knights of the Mau-Mau, will feature Archie Bell, Betty Harris, Roy Head, Lazy Lester, Lil' Buck Senegal, Barbara Lynn, Scotty Moore, Ray Sharpe, Brenton Wood, Link Wray, and many more music greats from the past; see the Stomp web site for additional info.
Connick in PJ's: Harry Connick, Jr. is set to appear in a revival of the Broadway play "The Pajama Game"; the musical, which first hit the stage in 1954, is planning to open late in 2005.
Morton & Lewis Honored: Jelly Roll Morton and Jerry Lee Lewis are set to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards from The Recording Academy (aka Grammys); both will be recognized at a special Grammy ceremony on February 12, 2005, and again during the 47th Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 13th (airs live on CBS); see our Louisiana Music at the Grammys
section for more info.
2004 Sales: Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying" was the 6th best selling album of 2004 according to Nielsen SoundScan, who track sales of recorded music; Britney Spears' "Toxic" was the 8th best selling digital track of the year, and Brit's debut "Baby One More Time" is ranked #10 in the Top Selling Albums of the SoundScan era (1991 - 2005), with over 10,500,000 units sold; overall music sales were up in 2004, and virtually every genre of music --- except jazz --- experienced sales increases; digital track sales exceeded a whopping 140 million.
Charts: highlights from Billboard's 2004 year end charts: Billboard 200 - Britney Spears "In the Zone" (#8), Tim McGraw "Live Like You Were Dying" (#28), Juvenile "Juve The Great" (#60), Harry Connick Jr. "Only You" (#80); Hot 100 - Juvenile with Soulja Slim "Slow Motion" (#13), Britney Spears "Toxic" (#48); R&B/Hip Hop Albums - Juvenile "Juve The Great" (#9), Lil' Wayne "Tha Carter" (#22); Top Country Albums - Tim McGraw "Live Like You Were Dying" (#4), Trace Adkins "Comin' On Strong" (#18), Brooks & Dunn "Red Dirt Road" (#20), Tim McGraw "Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors" (#24); Top Jazz Albums - Harry Connick Jr. "Only You" (#1), Harry Connick Jr. "Harry For The Holidays" (#3), Wynton Marsalis "Magic Hour" (#13), Dr. John "N'Awlinz: Dis, Dat or D'Udda" (#18), Aaron Neville "Nature Boy: The Standards Album" (#25).
John Fred On Music Commission: John Fred Gourrier (of John Fred & His Playboy Band fame) has been appointed to the Louisiana Music Commission by Governor Kathleen Blanco; Fred gained national fame in 1968 with his #1 pop hit, "Judy in Disguise".