Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk: on October 29th, a federal judge struck down a Louisiana state law establishing quiet zones around churches and hospitals; the law (Senate Bill 909) was primarily targeted at musicians playing in front of the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square, and limited noise levels to 55 decibels within 10 feet of a church or other house of worship or hospitals; U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance declared the law an unconstitutional violation of free speech, saying it created criminal
penalties for noise levels similar to normal conversation and passing automobile traffic; "The regulation at issue applies to public streets and parks in New Orleans, the very heart of a city favored by citizens and
tourists alike for a culture grounded in live music and outdoor celebration," Vance said; the attorney general's office said it will appeal, but had no further comment.
IAJE Conference to Feature Jazz Superstars: the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference, scheduled for Jan. 12-15, 2000 in New Orleans, will feature a who's who of jazz music elite, including Joshua Redman, The Count Basie Orchestra, Danilo Perez, The Jimmy McGriff and Hank Crawford Quartet, Ramsey Lewis, Nnenna Freelon, New Orleans jazz giants Ellis Marsalis, Alvin Batiste, Pete Fountain and Nicholas Payton, and dozens of others; over 7,000 jazz educators, musicians, students, fans, and industry rep's from 30 countries are expected to attend.
Harry Connick, Jr.'s Tour resumes on November 2nd with several gigs on the West Coast, followed by a stop in Orlando to tape a Christmas special; rejoining Harry's band for the road trip will be homies and Harry's big band regulars Leroy Jones, Mark Mullins, Lucien Barbarin and Craig Klein.
All Saint's Day Tribute to Jazz Funerals: photographer and historian Sylvester "Keeping Jazz Funerals Alive" Francis will celebrate the opening of the "Backstreet Cultural Museum" on Monday, November 1st; the opening will commence with at 3 pm with a second line parade through the Treme neighborhood with the New Birth and Tuba Fats' Chosen Few brass bands (the parade starts at D.W. Rhodes Funeral Home, 1716 N. Claiborne Ave.); the Backstreet Cultural Museum (formerly Blandin Funeral Home), is located at 1116 St. Claude Street in Historic Treme; it features several Mardi Gras Indian suits, photos and videos of social aid and pleasure club annual parades, jazz funerals, and information on New Orleans second line and jazz funeral cultures in general; the museum hours are Tuesday - Friday, 10 am - 4 pm; for more info, call (504) 525-1733.
Master P Cut: rapper Master P (Percy Miller) was waived by the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday; the former college hoopster also failed to make the cut with the Charlotte Hornets last season.
What A Pair: heavy metal rapper Kid Rock just wrapped up taping his latest video, "Naked Women And Beer", which features a guest appearance by country singer Hank Williams, Jr..
Cash Money Update: Cash Money Records will release their first film, the straight to video "Baller Blockin'" on December 7th; a new CD by rapper Juvenile, titled "The G Code", also hits stores on December 7; head to our Cash Money Records page for all of the latest info.
Rappers Celebrate: fans clogged the 200 block of Decatur Street Sunday night for a birthday bash at the French Quarter House of Blues for rap duo Kane & Abel; others helping the twins celebrate included local rap stars Mac, Magic, Ghetto Twiinz and Fiend.
Get Real: according to Daily Variety, MTV's popular reality series "The Real World" may be shooting its new round of catfights and confessionals in the Big Easy next season; MTV executives insist that any deals with the city are still in the developmental phase, but casting calls have reportedly already taken place in Baton Rouge; New Orleans was beat out last season by Hawaii, but now New Orleans only has to contend with Chicago; the windy city had been a contender as well, until MTV was unable to work out an arrangement with the city.
Coroner Report Issued in Death of Blues Traveler: the New Orleans Coroner's Office announced on Thursday that Blues Traveler bassist Bobby Sheehan died from an accidental overdose of cocaine, valium and heroin; Sheehan was found dead in his New Orleans apartment on the morning of August 20th.
Gatemouth Donates to Country Music HoF: Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown donated a guitar, fiddle, and stage costume to the Country Music Hall of Fame on Monday (10/18/99) in Nashville.
High (Rock and) Rollers: Harrah's New Orleans is set to open with a bang on October 28th; the casino will host free concerts in Spanish Plaza featuring music icons Fats Domino (Oct 28), Aaron Neville (Oct 29), and Dr. John (Oct 30).
Hoopster Hopeful Master P sank two three-pointers and scored a total of 8 points in the Toronto Raptors win over Vancouver on Monday night; Master P (Percy Miller) has seen limited action so far, and is considered a long shot to make the team.
Milking Her Success? the new Britney Spears doll will hit the shelves of major toy & department stores on October 15th; made of plastic, the doll has flexible joints and hair that girls can style themselves; plans are being made for an animated, silicone version of the doll that will run on size Double-D batteries.
They All Axed For You: Chad Taylor, guitarist for rock group Live, had his 1960 Fender Jazz Master stolen between gigs in Pensacola, Florida (on October 7th) and the House of Blues in New Orleans (on 10/08); there's a $1,000 reward for recovery of his prized axe.
Superfly SuperJam: Superfly Presents has just announced the line-up for the 4th in their ongoing series of "SuperJam" concerts; performing together for the first time will be Leo Nocentelli (original guitarist for the Meters), Jaimoe (drummer for the Allman Brothers), Oteil Burbridge (bassist for the Allman Brothers and ARU), and Michael Ray (trumpeter with Sun Ra and Kool & The Gang, and leader of his own Cosmic Krewe); the late night show is set for October 29th (after the Widespread Panic gig) at the Howlin' Wolf; tickets are available at TicketWeb.
Anniversary for Songwriter's Night: Caffeine Music's "New Orleans Songwriters Night" celebrates it's first anniversary of songwriter showcases with a birthday party & alumni reunion on Sunday, Oct. 24th; the bash kicks off at 6:30 pm with beer and snacks; performing in the round will be Caffeine Music's Jim McCormick, Invisible Cowboy's Pat Catania, and Myshkin; in addition, Bryan Kelly will do a short set (Bryan is currently opening for the Goo Goo Dolls and will be in town for a short lay over); after Bryan, anything goes musically - bring your guitars, percussion and whatever else you can make music on and join the celebration!
Billboard Music Video Awards: nominees for the 1999 Billboard Music Video Awards include Harry Connick, Jr. (Best Jazz/Adult Comtemporary Video for "Come By Me") and Cox Metro 10's "Phat Phat 'N All That" (for Best Regional Rap/Hip-Hop TV Show); awards will be handed out on Nov. 12th.
Jazz Exhibit Headed To NOLA: the Smithsonian Institution's traveling exhibit, "The Jazz Age in Paris, 1914-1940" will be at the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans from October 23, 1999 to January 2, 2000; the exhibit features New Orleans born clarinet and soprano sax legend Sidney Bechet, Josephine Baker, and others.
Blues Traveler Cancels Gigs: Blues Traveler front man John Popper has cancelled eight gigs of his solo tour, including an October 10th show at the French Quarter House of Blues; low ticket sales and ongoing concerns about Popper's health were cited for the cancellations; also note that the October 8th Cubanismo and Yockamo All-Stars gig at the HOB has also been cancelled.
More Nominations for Britney: Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys top the field of nominees for the 1999 MTV Europe Music Awards; each were named in 4 categories, Britney for Female Artist, Breakthrough Artist, Pop Artist and Best Single (for "Baby One More Time"); the awards will be handed out in Dublin on November 11th.
House Of Shock Opens: Pantera front man Phil Anselmo opened his 7th annual House Of Shock on River Road in Jefferson on October 1st; the legendary haunted house will be open on weekends thru Halloween.
Britney Breaks Record: Britney Spears' "Baby One More Time" was certified 7 x platinum by the RIAA in their September award announcements, making it the highest selling CD ever by a teenaged female artist; Britney's debut is also in a 4-way tie for best selling album of 1999 (with The Dixie Chicks, The Backstreet Boys and and 'N Sync).
Coming Up On JazzSet: NPR's JazzSet, hosted by Branford Marsalis, recently issued their fall program guide; upcoming shows will feature Branford with The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Bobby McFerrin with Astral Project, highlights from past New Year's Eve shows (with Harry Connick, Jr., the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Wes Anderson, and others), and a Wynton Marsalis performance from the Marciac Jazz Festival.
People's Choice: teen queen Britney Spears won the award for "People's Choice: Favourite International Artist" (voted on by the public) at Much Music's Video Awards, held on Sept. 23rd; locally, fans can catch a rerun of the show on Cox Metro 10 on Wednesday, 09/29, at midnight.
It's Miller Time! Master P (Percy Miller) is set to release his latest album, "Only God Could Judge Me", on October 26th; the CD features 21 new tracks produced by Beats By The
Pound, Jermaine Dupri, Rico Lumpkins, and others; originally, Master P was going to release a greatest hits album, but decided to release a new album with all original songs; in related news, Master P heads to NBA training camp with the Toronto Raptors on October 5th.
CMA Awards: congrats to Tim McGraw (Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year) and duo Brooks & Dunn who won "Vocal Duo of the Year" for a record 8th year in a row!
Condolences go out to the family and friends of Johnny Reininger who passed away in New Orleans on September 14th; Reininger, a great clarinetist and sax player, led big bands in New Orleans from the 30's through the 50's, playing at the Jung Hotel Roof, Lenfant's, and the My-Oh-My Club.
Master P Goes Pro rap, film & sports entrepreneur Percy Miller (Master P) has reached yet another goal in his successful endeavors in life; on Monday (09/13/99), Miller signed an NBA contract with the Toronto Raptors franchise; Miller's road to the NBA has been a two-year journey that included training camp with the Charlotte Hornets earlier this year, and a brief stint with the CBA's Ft. Wayne Fury in 1998; during the NBA summer league, Miller averaged 24 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists; Raptors training camp opens on October 4th.
Juvenile Delinquent: after forty-five weeks on the Billboard 200 albums chart, New Orleans rapper Juvenile's double-platinum CD, "400 Degreez" will finally crack the Top 10 (in the #9 spot) when next week's chart (dated 09/25/99) is released; his latest single "Back That Thang Up", which can be heard booming from car stereos all over town, is at #25 in Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart.
Lucinda News: Kathy Mattea, Steve Earle, Kim Richey and Lucinda Williams will perform on the opening night of the Smithsonian Institution's "Tribute to Hank Williams" symposium, taking place Sept. 24 and 25; elsewhere, Lucinda appears on the latest album from Toronto-based folk veteran Bruce Cockburn, titled "Breakfast in New Orleans; Dinner in Timbuktu".
Aaron Neville Ailing: Aaron Neville, suffering from an undisclosed throat ailment, has been advised to abstain from singing indefinitely; a spokesman for the William Morris Agency said they expect full recovery upon treating the condition with a complete rest of Neville's vocal chords; The Neville Bros. had been scheduled to tape a segment for the PBS TV series "Sessions at West 54th" on Sept. 15, and were also due to perform at the Detroit Festival of the Arts this coming weekend.
Beau Jocque dead at 43: services were held in Kinder, LA on Tuesday (09/14/99) for Zydeco great Beau Jocque (born Andrus Espre), who died of a heart attack on Friday morning (Sept 10) at his home in Kinder.
Swamp Boogie Queen Dead At 63: blues singer and pianist Katie Webster (nee Kathryn Thorne) died of heart failure on Sunday (September 5) at her home in Nassau Bay, Texas; the award-winning Houston native played on numerous recording sessions for Jay Miller of Excello Records and Eddie Schuler of Goldband Records in the 1950's and 60's, including recordings by Guitar Junior (Lonnie Brooks), Clarence Garlow, Slim Harpo, Lazy Lester, Lightnin' Slim, Phil Phillips and Clifton Chenier; she was discovered by Otis Redding at The Bamboo Club in Lake Charles in 1964, and toured with him until shortly before his death in 1967; she became popular in Europe in the early 80's and returned there nearly 30 times, performing and cutting albums for a number of small labels; Katie teamed with Alligator Records in 1988 and cut the last 3 albums of her career; guests on the albums included Webster admirers Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, Lonnie Brooks and C.J. Chenier; Katie was felled by a stroke in 1993, and returned to her home in Nassau Bay; she lost some of the use of her left hand and almost all her eyesight, but her magnificent voice and her wonderful right hand were still in good shape; she made occasional festival appearances until her passing.
Une Grand Merci to the editorial staff of Gambit Weekly who named satchmo.com as their pick for "Best Local Web Site" in their 1999 "Best of New Orleans" readers poll; while we didn't make the cut with the readers (heck, I didn't even vote for satchmo.com), it was nice to be associated with the "top guns" in town, who are all equally deserving of the honor.
Rap Pays: rap mogul Master P was ranked No. 28 (ahead of Michael Jordan) in Fortune magazine's listing of the 40 Richest Under 40, with a net worth of $361 million; also, Master P was featured in the special issue.
More Nominations for LA Musicians: nominees for the ARTISTdirect Online Music Awards include Master P (Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist) and Britney Spears (Favorite Female Artist, and Best Pop Fansite); the awards, which recognize excellence in music on the Web, will be held October 7th at the House of Blues in Los Angeles (and webcast on ARTISTdirect.com, beginning at 7:30 pm CST); Britney has also been nominated in the Best Young Artist/Musical Group Category for Hollywood Reporter's 4th Annual YoungStar Awards, being held November 7th at Universal Studios' Panasonic Theatre.
New Orleans Musicians to Ring in New Year in Aspen: The Jazz Aspen Snowmass bash being held on New Years Eve in Aspen will focus on what they're calling "Artists For The New Millennium"; featured performers will be Dr. John with the Wild Magnolias; young guns playing at the event include the Jason Marsalis / Irvin Mayfield Quartet, Los Hombres Calientes and John Mooney Blues Mania.
Rockin' Jake Smokes Competition: harmonica whiz Rockin' Jake was declared "Brisket King of New Orleans" at The New Orleans Musicians BBQ Cook-Off on Sunday (08/29/99); normally known for "cooking" on stage, Jake won the the plaque for 1st place in the cook-off's brisket division; when being grilled by reporters after the event, Jake declared "I've got brisket in my veins!".
Swampstock VI: "Swampstock", country music star Tim McGraw's annual charity softball game and concert, is scheduled for October 10 in McGraw's hometown of Rayville, Louisiana; scheduled guests at this year's event include Faith Hill (Tim's wife), Asleep at the Wheel, Rhett Akins, Ty Herndon, The Clark Family Experience and Jo-El Sonnier.
Britney News: teen queen Britney Spears has joined LeAnn Rimes as the top selling female teens in history; Britney will be performing at the MTV Video Awards and the MuchMusic Video Awards (and is a nominee at both).
Breakdown A Day Early: fans of Melissa Etheridge can get a taste of her new album "Breakdown" at Listening Parties being held at Hard Rock Cafes around the country (including New Orleans); the event, which will also feature a viewing of Etheridge's performance on VH1's "Hard Rock Live", takes place on October 4 (10pm - 1am), one day before the release of the album.
No Membership for No Limit: rapper Master P and associates have been denied membership to an exclusive Baton Rouge country club, and P's attorney has accused the club of being racist; Master P recently purchased five houses adjacent to the club for himself and members of his No Limit family; neighbor and ex-gov Edwin Edwards discounts the racism aspect, says Edwin: "I assume if they denied him, he must be one hell of a golfer and they don't want to be put to shame by his golf score".
Branford & The Nevilles In Session: the acclaimed live music TV series "Sessions at West 54th" begins taping for their new season in September; The Neville Brothers (taping on 09/15/99) and jazz great Branford Marsalis (taping 09/16/99) are scheduled to appear this season; if you plan to be in New York City, you can check on free tickets to the shows at freetix.com.
Heavy Metal for Cash Money: "Chopper City in the Ghetto" by B.G. (aka Baby Gangsta) was certified gold by the RIAA on August 17th; Juvenile's "400 Degreez" was certified double platinum on August 13th; both artists record for New Orleans' Cash Money Records.
Who Dat Call The Police?: ex-Police man Sting is hitting the road to support his first album in 3 years; "Brand New Day", due for release on Sept. 28th, features a guest appearance by former Sting band member Branford Marsalis; Sting is scheduled to perform at Saenger Theatre in New Orleans on November 3rd.
Make 'em say Ha: congrats to local rapper Juvenile, who's smash hit "Ha" picked up the Single of the Year award at The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards, held on August 18.
R&B great Tommy Ridgley passes away: our condolences go out to the family and friends of New Orleans R&B vocalist Tommy Ridgley, who passed away on Wednesday, August 11th at the age of 73; see Tommy's official web site for more info.
Gate on CBS: jazz & blues great Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown was featured on CBS News Sunday Morning on August 22nd; the segment showed "Gate" at the House of Blues, visiting the Louisiana Music Factory, and at his home Slidell.
MTV Video Awards: teen pop star Britney Spears' video for "Baby One More Time" is nominated in the Best Female Video, Best Pop Video and Best Choreography In A Video categories at this year's MTV Music Video Awards; the ceremonies take place on September 9, and they will air live on MTV; Britney will also perform at the event, along with Nine Inch Nails, Lauryn Hill, DMX, Kid Rock, Jay-Z, Ricky Martin, Backstreet Boys, TLC, Eminem and Moby.
News Bytes: Dr. John to appear on new Kenny Wayne Shepherd CD .... Lucinda Williams joins Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit.
Liner Notes: The Cox Family are featured on the new Alison Krauss album, "Forget About It" ... the Dirty Dozen Brass Band make a guest appearance on Widespread Panic's latest, "'Til the Medicine Takes" ... Wynton Marsalis appears on several tracks on the new Tony Bennett album, "Bennett Sings Ellington/Hot and
Cool" (due on 09/28/99) ... Brooks & Dunn (covering Bob Seger's "Against the Wind") and Trace Adkins (covering Lynyrd Skynyrd's "I Know A Little") are among artists contributing to the upcoming Elektra Records "King of the Hill" soundtrack, set for release October 26th.
Soul Train Awards: nominees for the "5th Annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards" were announced on August 3rd; New Orleans trio Trin-i-tee 5:7 were selected in the Best Gospel Album category; nominees in the R&B/Soul Song of The Year include singer Mya's "Movin' On", which featured New Orleans rapper Silkk The Shocker (Vyshonn Miller).
King In New Coen Brothers film: musician Chris Thomas King will appear in the new Coen Brothers movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou" (from Universal/Disney); the film stars George Clooney, along with King, Jon Turturro, Tim Nelson, Holly Hunter and John Goodman; Clooney plays the leader of a trio of chain gang escapees in the 1930's who try to elude a deadly tracker through various locales around Mississippi while in search of buried treasure; Chris, minus his trademark dreadlocks, plays the role of Tommy Johnson, a young delta bluesman; the film is due for release in the summer of 2000 ... Chris has also just released his latest CD titled "Me, My Guitar and the Blues"; for details check out Chris Thomas King's home page.
1999 CMA Awards: Tim McGraw Rakes In Seven CMA Noms -- the Delhi, Louisiana native tops the field in nominations for the 1999 Country Music Association Awards; the event will air live on CBS television on September 22.
Britney News: Kentwood, LA pop star Britney Spears' video, "Baby, One More Time" received three nominations for the 1999 MTV Music Video Awards; she will also appear on ABC's "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch" in late September.
Condolences to the friends and family of tuba player Frank Bedell, who passed away on August 1st from heart failure; he was 46 ... condolences also go out to friend and family of New Orleans drummer Albert "Lil' June" Gardner Sr., who died last week of a stroke at age 48; Gardner worked with many local musical luminaries, including The Neville Brothers, Raymond Miles, Professor Longhair and Irma Thomas; he was the son of drummer Albert "June" Gardner.
Hi-Tech Harry: Harry Connick, Jr. showed off his technical prowess during an apperance on NBC's Today Show on Monday, August 1st; members of Harry's big band had computer monitors with scrollable images of sheet music for the band's arrangements; Connick added that he writes all of his music on a PC and he can interactively make changes that are then readily accessible to his musicians; Harry also discussed his role in the animated feature film, "The Iron Giant, and led his band thru rollicking versions of Professor Longhair's "Go To the Mardi Gras" (featuring hot solos from Lucien Barbarin and Leroy Jones and his own, "Come By Me".
R&R Hall of Fame Coming: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is coming to Louisiana on November 16-22, 1999, for its annual educational travel program; highlights of "The Sounds of Louisiana: From Bourbon Street to the Bayou" trip will include a rare backstage view of New Orleans' clubs and concert halls in the famed French Quarter, visits to authentic Zydeco and Cajun bars and jam sessions, and lectures by noted music historians.
New Orleans Collections: Mosaic Records will issue "The Complete Verve Recordings of Kid Ory", a limited edition 8 CD set, on September 7th; it features some of the legendary trombonist's greatest work, and includes studio and live cuts, plus rare and unissued tracks; Mosaic also still has a few copies of their epic trad jazz collection "The Atlantic New Orleans Jazz Sessions" available; get 'em while ya can!
Spin thru the 90's: the current Spin magazine features their take on the top 90 albums of the 90's; Nirvana and P.J. Harvey were the only artists to get 2 albums cited; Nirvana's "Nevermind" was No. 1 (it was ranked No. 3 in their list of the best albums of 1991); the only Louisiana artist to make the list was Lucinda Williams, whose "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road" came in at No. 61.
High Profyle: Motown's new boy band sensation Profyle kicks off their summer tour on July 26th; the Shreveport based vocal group's stops include an August 8th Baton Rouge date with Destiny's Child.
Soundtracks: Jean Knight's "Mr. Big Stuff" appears on the "Dick" soundtrack ... Billy Joel covers the Lloyd Price classic "Where Were You (On Our Wedding Day?)" on the "Runaway Bride" soundtrack.
No Limit Army Tour: No Limit Records announced plans for a U.S. tour featuring main man Master P and 11 other artists (Snoop Dogg, Silkk The Shocker, C-Murder, Mercedes, Mystikal, Mia X, Fiend, Mac, Magic, Mr. Serv-On and Ghetto); initial dates include Dallas (8/6), Denver (8/7), St. Louis (8/13), Detroit (8/14), Cleveland (8/15), Philadelphia (8/27), Charlotte (8/28), and Tampa (8/29); more dates are expected to be added.
Hip Hop Awards: nominees for "The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards" include New Orleans natives Master P, Juvenile and Silkk The Shocker; Master P and Juvenile are also scheduled to perform at the event.
Heavy Metal: recent certifications by the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) include: Gold (500,000 units) - Lucinda Williams' "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road"; Platinum (1 million units) - Tim McGraw's "A Place In The Sun".
New Orleans Rappers On Tour: Cash Money Records rappers Juvenile, B.G. and Hot Boys are hitting the road beginning July 9th; stops include Shreveport and Lafayette.
Happy 4th: Eddie Bo and Ernie K-Doe were featured in a 4th of July concert in Washington DC.
News Bites: the Dirty Dozen are featured in a Boston Phoenix article.
Tour Notes: jazz funksters Galactic are teaming up with Gov't Mule and the String Cheese Incident for a month of gigs in late July and August.
Louisiana Labels Sold: EMusic.com, a leading seller of MP3 downloadable music, has purchased the catalogs of Jewel, Paula, Ronn and other record labels from music industry pioneer Stan "The Record Man" Lewis; expect to see classic tracks from B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Charles Brown, Lightnin' Hopkins, Otis Rush, Fats Domino, Magic Sam, Ike & Tina Turner, T-Bone Walker, Elmore James, The Soul Stirrers, Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy and others on the EMusic web site in the near future.
New Suit for Master P: New Orleans rapper & head of No Limit Records Master P and several of his associates are the subject of a ten million dollar lawsuit; the suit, filed by Roy Joseph of Slaughter House Records, alleges misconduct on the part of No Limit's signing of rap diva Mia X; an attorney for No Limit denies the allegations (see The Times-Picayune, 06/25/99).
CD Aids Health Care for New Orleans Musicians: proceeds from the recently released CD, "Get You a Healin'," go directly to support the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic; the non-profit clinic provides low cost medical assistance to area musicians; the CD, which features music from Dr. John, The Funky Meters, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, George Porter, Jr., Maria Muldaur, Tiny Town, Coco Robicheaux, Guardians of the Flame, and others, is available from the Louisiana Music Factory.
Guitar Slingers Wanted: aspiring guitar legends are invited to impress judges in the Jimi Hendrix Guitar Competition; entries for the competition will be accepted through July 30, 1999; New Orleans is one of six cities hosting semi-final action.
Tim McGraw in Time: country mega-star Tim McGraw and his equally famous wife, Faith Hill, are featured in Time Magazine.
Big Screen for Britney? teenage pop queen Britney Spears is being considered to star in an MTV Films remake of "Alice in Wonderland"; the project reportedly would feature major recording artists as the characters Alice encounters in Wonderland.
The Hot Sauce with the Big Boss: swing-meister Kermit Ruffins & his Barbecue Swingers are currently being featured at the Tabasco web site.
Master P Detained at Airport: rapper Master P and his entourage were stopped at New Orleans International Airport Tuesday morning when trying to get two guns checked at the security gates; P and friends did try to precheck the guns, but had to carry them into the airport because of their late arrival for a flight to Minneapolis; the guns (two Glock semi-automatics, one with a laser site) were registered to Kevin McDaniels; McDaniels was given a misdemeanor summons and the group were allowed to continue with their travel plans.
Gilley's II: country star Mickey Gilley is planning a sequel to his honky-tonk Gilley's, which gained fame when it was featured in the 1980 film "Urban Cowboy" (Gilley was featured in the film and on the soundtrack; Gilley (the cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart) said he plans to open up the new club in downtown Dallas, and wants it to be a little more upscale than Gilley's, which operated in Pasadina, Texas; the original Gilley's, billed as the world's largest honky-tonk, closed in 1989.
Junkyard Harry: Harry Connick, Jr. can be heard in the animated feature film, "The Iron Giant", due for national release on August 6th; the film is based on poet laureate Ted Hughes 1968 story, "The Iron Man," about a giant metal machine that drops from the sky and frightens a small town in Maine in 1958; it turns out to be friendly, and teaches the town to be vigilant of fear and prejudice; Harry is the voice behind Dean, a beatnik junkyard owner.
Blues on Tour: Shreveport blues/rocker Kenny Wayne Shepherd will be on the road with the "B.B. King Blues Festival 1999" tour in August & September (tour also features B.B. King, Tower of Power, and Indigenous); Kenny's latest album is due out in September.
Jazz Awards Held: the second annual Jazz Awards were held in New York on June 14th; performers included the Terence Blanchard Septet; nominees Wynton Marsalis and Nicholas Payton were shut out at the event.
Master P and WCW Agreement Announced: an agreement between New Orleans rap nabob Master P and World Championship Wrestling was formally announced on Monday (June 14) in Washington; Master P will perform and make a number of appearances at WCW Pay-Per-View events and on Monday Night Nitro over the next year; "We are looking to merge wrestling and hip hop. The relationship with Master P will allow us both to expand our demographics" said WCW President Eric Bischoff.
TNN Music City News Country Awards: the husband and wife team of Faith Hill and Tim McGraw were big winners at the TNN Music City News Country Awards on June 15th in Nashville, taking home 6 of the 12 trophies; McGraw was named male artist of the year, and the pair's duet "Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me" won best vocal collaboration and song; Hill won a total of 5 awards; after winning the best male artist award, McGraw quipped: "I'm glad my wife wasn't nominated for this tonight"; other winners included Brooks & Dunn, who went home with the award for vocal duo/group of the year.
Britney News: controversy continues to swell over Britney Spears' alleged breast implants, however Britney flat out denied the rumor in a recent Q&A session with reporters in Boston.
It's A Gas, Gas, Gas: country star Tim McGraw and hundreds of his fans were pepper-sprayed at a June 4th charity concert in Pontiac Michigan; a woman in the crowd emptied a canister at an alleged groper, and the gas affected others after getting into the club's ventilation system.
Retired Rapper News: rap potentate Master P, who announced his retirement from rap at a press conference in November, 1997, has two albums due out later this year, including a Greatest Hits compilation; No Limit diva Mia X announced her retirement from rap in a recent interview with Launch Magazine; she plans to pursue a career in entertainment law ... in related news, WWL-TV reports that Master P and No Limit are being sued by Baton Rouge Cellular Phone for over $32,000 in unpaid cellular phone bills (got the hook-up?); the Associated Press reports that Master P has signed a one-year agreement to appear at an unspecified number of World Championship Wrestling events.
Master P in Town: Master P, in town to record the video "Hoody Hooo" from the latest Tru album, hosted an all-day blast on Saturday in the B.W. Cooper housing project where he grew up; thousands of lucky fans who crowded the stage and hung out of windows were treated to music, food, a second line parade, T-shirts and Master P action figures.
20 Years of Buckwheat: Buckwheat Zydeco continues to celebrate their 20th anniversary with the release of "The Buckwheat Zydeco Story – A 20-Year Party", a compilation album of the band’s best recordings; the CD, to be released on Buckwheat's own Tomorrow Recordings label, will be in stores on July 6; the multi-label retrospective will feature 74 minutes of music & comprehensive liner notes; the album's cover features an unforgettable image of leader Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, Jr. in front of the tiny boyhood home he shared with 11 brothers and sisters in Lafayette, LA; the album's release coincides with Buckwheat Zydeco's "20th Anniversary Bayou Bash Tour", and several promotional TV appearances are also scheduled.
Pops Goes Gold: Louis Armstrong's "All Time Greatest Hits" (MCA, 1974) was certified gold (sales of 500,000 units) on April 27th.
Rappers' Case Rescheduled: twin rappers Kane & Abel (David and Daniel Garcia) had their court date rescheduledfrom June 1st to August 30th; the two were indicted on May 6th for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute; the No Limit Records recording duo are also authors of the neo-noir novel, "Eyes of a Killer / Behind Enemy Lines".
Misc. News Items: chick group The Bangles, including Continental Drifter Vicki Peterson, will make their first appearance together in 10 years at the Hollywood Bowl's June 25th gala opening featuring George Martin conducting the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in a program of Beatles music; Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn begins an 11-hundred-mile trek from Nashville to New Orleans today (June 1st) on a five-day jet ski journey; the charity event winds up in 5 days in New Orleans.
W.C. Handy Awards: the 1999 W.C. Handy Awards honoring blues musicians were handed out in Memphis on May 27, 1999; winners included Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and former New Orleans resident, Keb' Mo'.
Picture This: the Library of Congress's Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz features over 1,600 photographs of celebrated jazz artists, documenting the jazz scene from 1938 - 1948; the photos, by noted jazz reporter and photographer, William P. Gottlieb, include classic shots of Louis Armstrong, Red Allen, Sidney Bechet, Bunk Johnson, Wingy Manone, Tony Parenti, Louis Prima, and dozens of other local and national jazz legends.