Dubious Honor: New Orleans rappers Mercedes and Kane & Abel both made USA Today's worst rap albums of the year list (however, Mercedes' album did win Satchmo.com's Award for "CD Cover of the Year"); Brooks & Dunn made it onto the worst country albums of the year list; on a happier note, the locally recorded "Fragile", by Nine Inch Nails, was named the best rock/pop album of the year.
News Bytes: Corey Harris and Henry Butler Recording Duet Album ...Trin-i-tee 5:7 finds a spiritual groove.
Wishes For A Speedy Recovery: to former Governor Jimmie Davis; Davis, the composer of Louisiana's state song, "You Are My Sunshine", was hospitalized last week after a fall at his home.
Wynton & LCJO Embark on World Tour: Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra have announced plans for a massive tour that will include 22 U.S. concerts, plus stops in China, New Zealand, Taiwan, Australia and Japan; foreign shows will feature the music of Duke Ellington; the U.S. leg of the tour is called "For Dancers Only" and features famous dance tunes from the past; the tour runs from February thru June and it includes a performance in New Orleans, scheduled for May 5th; members of the LCJO on the tour include New Orleanians Wess "Warmdaddy" Anderson, Victor Goines and Herlin Riley.
Concert Review: Harry Connick, Jr. and band (particularly trumpeter Leroy Jones) received critical acclaim for their recent Ottawa concert; read the complete review from The Ottawa Citizen.
Another Million For Britney: teen pop star Britney Spears' debut album "Baby One More Time" was certified 11 x Platinum (11 million copies sold) by the RIAA on January 11, 2000.
Riot At Cash Money Concert: an Oakland, CA concert by Juvenile and the Cash Money Millionaires was cancelled Friday night (Jan. 14) after fighting broke out inside and outside of the Oakland Coliseum; Juvenile and krewe never had a chance to go onstage before the event was cancelled by arena officials; 25 people were treated for injuries, and 2 were hospitalized in the melee; read more ...
Condolences to the family and friends of R&B vocalist Richard "Dimples" Fields who passed away in Los Angeles on January 12 at age 58; Fields, a native of New Orleans, had 12 songs hit the R&B charts between 1981-91, including the 1982 No. 1 hit "If It Ain't One Thing, It's Another".
Doc Does Duke: Dr. John talks to Billboard Magazine about his upcoming Duke Ellington tribute album.
American Music Awards: congratulations to Britney Spears (Favorite New Pop/Rock Artist) and Brooks & Dunn (Favorite Country Band, Duo or Group), who were among the winners at the American Music Awards held on January 17th.
Louis Prima Documentary: music documentarian Don McGlynn will screen his latest film, "Louis Prima: the Wildest", at the Reel Music Festival in Portland, Oregon this week (Jan. 8-15); the biopic, which features plenty of vintage performance footage, will air on the AMC cable TV network in February.
Juvenile Rules The Charts: local rapper Juvenile has 2 albums in the Billboard 200 albums chart as of Jan. 15; both are also riding high in the R&B/Hip Hop Albums Chart with his latest, "Tha G-Code" at No. 5, and the triple platinum "400 Degreez" at No. 13 ... read more.
IAJE Conference Recap: Jazz Educators Convene In New Orleans ... Joshua Redman, Count Basie Orch. Headline Jazz Conference ... IAJE Closes With Wide Variety Of Live Jazz Acts ... Jazz Veterans Named American Jazz Masters ... Michael Ray keeps Sun Ra in the house.
Channel Surfing: jazz progenitor Ellis Marsalis is the subject of a PBS profile, airing on Feb. 16; Little Richard is featured in a made-for-TV film bio of his early years, airing on NBC on Feb. 20; see the TV Page for details.
Web Surfing: singer and songwriter extraordinaire Lucinda Williams was the subject of a Salon magazine profile on January 11th.
W.C. Handy Awards Y2K: The Blues Foundation announced the candidates for the 21st Annual W.C. Handy Blues Awards on January 11th; nominees with Louisiana connections include: Bobby Rush (Blues Entertainer of the Year and Soul/Blues Male Artist); Irma
Thomas (Soul/Blues Female Artist); Larry Garner (Contemporary Blues Male Artist); Marcia Ball (Contemporary Blues Female Artist and Blues Instumentalist - Keyboards); Dr. John (Blues Instumentalist - Keyboards); Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown (Blues Instumentalist - Other); Lonnie Brooks, Long John Hunter, & Phillip Walker (Contemporary Blues Album and Blues Album of the Year for "Lone Star Shootout"); Lazy Lester (Comeback Blues Album of the Year for "All Over You"); and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown (Reissued Blues Album of the Year for "Okie Dokie Stomp"); awards will be handed out on May 25th at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis; here's the full list of nominees ...
Local Rappers On Soundtrack: brothers Silkk The Shocker and C-Murder will appear on the soundtrack of the urban comedy "3 Strikes", which was directed by noted hip-hop producer DJ Pooh; the film debuts on February 25 and the soundtrack hits store shelves on February 22.
Local Stars Back Blowfish: Peter Holsapple (Continental Drifters) and Fred Leblanc (Cowboy Mouth) make guest appearances on the forthcoming solo album by Hootie & the Blowfish guitarist Mark Bryan; the album, titled "30 On The Rail", is due for release on March 14th.
Grammy Nominees: nominees for the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards were announced on January 4th; Kentwood, LA pop queen Britney Spears was named in the Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance categories; other nominees with local ties include: Harry Connick, Jr. (Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance for "Come By Me"); The Neville Brothers (Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for "Valence Street"); Tim McGraw (Best Male Country Vocal Performance for "Please Remember Me"); Branford Marsalis (Best Jazz Instrumental Performance for "Requiem"); The Dukes Of Dixieland (Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album for "Gloryland "); and Beausoleil (Best Contemporary Folk Album for "Cajunization"); winners will be announced on February 23rd; the ceremony will be carried live by CBS TV ...
Grim Tidings Our sympathy goes out to the friends and family of New Orleans R&B piano player & vocalist Roland Stone (Roland LeBlanc), who passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, December 22 at age 59; also Charles "Boogie" Phillips Jr. succumbed to cancer on Wednesday at age 57; Phillips worked with Sammy Ridgley for several years.
Upcoming Net Event: the Putumayo Records CD Release Party being held on Jan. 27 will be webcast by Tipitinas.com and carried on the radio and Internet by WWOZ-FM; scheduled performers include Rosie Ledet, Cyril Neville, Rockin' Dopsie, Jr., and Eddie Bo.
RIAA Certifications for NOLA Musicians: recent certifications by
the Record Industry Association of America include Harry Connick, Jr.'s
See You" (Gold, on 12/10/99); rapper C-Murder's "Life
or Death" (Platinum, on 12/13/99); and Lil' Wayne's "Tha
Block Is Hot" (Platinum, on 12/10/99) ...
News Bytes: Louis Armstrong, just getting to know ya (from Reuters/Variety)
... Britney Spears and the Nevilles in Endymion Parade (Mardi Gras Central) ... Dr. John to appear on next Wild Colonials CD (Allstar News) ... Sammy Kershaw Grants Christmas Wish (CountryCool.com).
Billboard Year in Music: Harry Connick, Jr.'s "Come By Me" is the Top Jazz Album of 1999, and rapper Juvenile's "400 Degreez" was named the No. 1 R&B/Hip-Hop Album of '99; read details on this and more at Billboard Online's 1999: The Year In Music.
Blues Down Under: Kenny Wayne Shepherd is featured in an interview at Aussie music site Undercover Online.
The NPR 100: National Public Radio has published their list of the 100 Most Important American Musical Works of the 20th Century; the selections, compiled from the votes of 14,000 listeners and a panel of musicians including soul legend Isaac Hayes and jazz star Wynton Marsalis, includes: Fats Domino's "Ain't That A Shame" (words & music by Fats and Dave Bartholomew); "Great Balls Of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis; "Hello Dolly" by Louis Armstrong; "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" by Mahalia Jackson; "(Goodnight) Irene" by Leadbelly; "King Porter Stomp" by Jelly Roll Morton; and "West End Blues" by Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five; other songs noted include "Mood Indigo" (co-written by Barney Bigard) and "Sing, Sing, Sing" (written by Louis Prima); here's the full list!
Dr. Got The Blues: Dr. John teamed up with early Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green to contribute two songs to a forthcoming Robert Johnson tribute album; read more ...
Milestone for Britney: teen pop star Britney Spears' debut album, "Baby, One More Time", was certified with Diamond Status (sales of 10 million copies) by the RIAA on December 9th; as of March, 1999, only 62 titles qualified for this elite status; the album is running neck and neck with the Backstreet Boys' "Millennium" (also a 10 million seller) for top album of the year; Britney begins a nationwide tour in March, which includes a stop in New Orleans on 4/4/2000.
Wynton Tops Down Beat Poll: trumpeter Wynton Marsalis was voted Jazz Artist of the Year and Composer of the Year in the 64th Annual Down Beat Readers Poll; the full list of winners is available in the December issue of Down Beat Magazine; in related news, Wynton will debut his new work, "All Rise" in a performance with the LCJO and the New York Philharmonic on Dec. 29 and 30; the Dec. 30th performance will be distributed by the WFMT Fine Arts Network to 215 radio stations around the country.
Jelly Roll Morton: is featured in a three part series in The Chicago Tribune, documenting how the musical genius was robbed of his money, his dignity and his legacy.
Our Sympathy goes out to the friends and family of New Orleans R&B vocalist Bobby Marchan, who passed away at the Stonebridge Convelescent home in Gretna on December 5, 1999 after a lengthy illness; Marchan had many regional hits in the 50's and 60's, including "There's Something On Your Mind (Part 2)", which topped the Billboard R&B chart in June of 1960; Marchan is also noted as vocalist for Huey Smith and The Clowns on hits such as "Rockin' Pneumonia", "Don't You Just Know It" and "High Blood Pressure".
Remembering R&B Roots: On Dec 10, 1949 Dave Bartholomew made Rock & Roll history when he brought a young Fats Domino into Cosimo Matassa's J&M Recording Studio at 838-840 North Rampart Street to record Domino's first single, "The Fat Man"; the 50th anniversary of this event was commemorated with a plaque mounting ceremony, designating the site as a historic landmark, on Friday, December 10th; the site of the old studio is now occupied by Hula Mae's Tropic Wash (838 North Rampart).
More Ramblin': here's more on The Hackberry Ramblers' recent visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry (see below) ....
Continental Drifters & Friends: The Continental Drifters were joined onstage by Susanna Hoffs (who worked with Drifter Vicki Peterson in The Bangles), Freedy Johnston, and Kate Jacobs at a concert in Hoboken, NJ on Monday night; read more ...
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to honor Earl Palmer !! The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation will introduce a new "Sidemen" category this year; the first honorees inducted into this category will be legendary New Orleans drummer Earl Palmer, plus saxophonist King Curtis, drummer Hal Blaine, Elvis' guitarist Scotty Moore, and bassist James Jamerson; ceremonies take place on March 6, 2000 in New York City.
Britney Leads AMA Nominees: Britney Spears, Shania Twain, and Whitney Houston lead all nominees (each named in 3 categories) for the 27th Annual American Music Awards, to be held on January 17, 2000; other nominees with local ties are Juvenile, Tim McGraw and Brooks & Dunn.
Cash Money Y2K: in what promises to be one of the major tours of the new year, the krewe of New Orleans Cash Money Records (Juvenile, B.G., Hot Boys, Lil' Wayne, and Big Tymers) will criss-cross the country with Ruff Ryders DMX, Eve, Swizz Beats, Drag-On and The Lox; click here for details...
The Buck Jumps Here: the jazz editors at online retailer Amazon.com named the Dirty Dozen Brass Band's "Buck Jump" as one of the top 11 jazz albums of the year; check out their entire list at the Amazon.com Jazz Page.
McGraw Wins CMT Award: country star Tim McGraw was named Male Video Artist of the Year in the CMT 1999 Countdown Video Awards; Tim's video for "Please Remember Me" came in second place in CMT's list of the year's best videos.
Zippers Record New Album in NOLA: swingsters the Squirrel Nut Zippers have just finished recording their fourth LP at New Orleans' Kingsway Studios (where they recorded their 1997 smash album "Hot"), mixing and mastering is underway, and the album is scheduled for release in August of 2000.
Heavy Metal for LA Artists: recent RAII certifications include Britney Spears' "Baby, One More Time" (9 x platinum); Tim McGraw's "A Place In The Sun" (2 x platinum); and the Hot Boys' "Guerilla Warfare" (platinum).
Harry Christmas: Harry Connick, Jr., reflecting on Christmas, recalls his personal favorite gift, a piano he received when he was 13; "I came downstairs and there was a Yamaha, sort of a six-foot grand piano," Connick remembers fondly, "I still have it, and I still play it. That was the greatest thing in the world, and I think about my mother when I play that piano" ... Harry, along with bandmates & New Orleans homies Mark Mullins, Lucien Barbarin, Craig Klein and Leroy Jones will be featured in a pair of holiday TV specials; check our TV Page for details; the boys will spend New Year's Eve in Las Vegas, and they hit the road again in January...
Our Sympathy goes out to the family and friends of snare drummer Eldridge "Eldo" Andrews who passed away on Friday at the age of 23; Eldridge, a co-founder of the Lil' Rascals Brass Band, was a member of the noted Andrews musical family, which includes brother Revert Andrews (of The Dirty Dozen), cousin James Andrews, and New Orleans legends Jessie "Ooh Pooh Pah Do" Hill and Louis Nelson.
Ramblers Head To Opry: music legends The Hackberry Ramblers will make their long-awaited debut at the Grand Ole Opry on December 4th; while in Nashville, the band will also visit the Country Music Hall of Fame (on December 3rd), where Luderin Darbone will donate a fiddle for display in the Hall's new museum that is currently under construction; there is a possibility that their performance will be televised on TNN, so stay tuned to our TV page for further details.
Billboard Awards Nominees Announced: congrats to Louisiana music artists named as finalists for the 1999 Billboard Music Awards (taking place on Dec. 8; airs on Fox TV); Britney Spears led all artists with 6 nominations; also named were rapper Juvenile, and country star Tim McGraw; here's the full list of nominees ...
Harry Helps Homeless: Harry Connick, Jr. announced "Harry's House On Music Street", a partnership with the New Orleans area Habitat for Humanity; Harry to led a mock Jazz Funeral for poverty housing on Nov. 19; see Press Releases section of Satchmo.com's Message Boards for details.
Los Hombres Feature: check out this feature article on Los Hombres Calientes from the online e-zine, Salon ...
Baby, One More Time:†in the Reuters photo at left, Britney Spears reacts backstage after winning her four trophies at the 1999 MTV Europe Music Awards held in Dublin on November 11th; in other news, Britney will announce her new charitable foundation on Monday, Nov. 22nd; she will also hold an online chat session at Disney.com the same day; Britney will appear on several upcoming TV specials, all of this while working on her second album, due for release in spring of 2000; check our Britney page for more on the teen pop queen ....
Master P's Hoop Career on the Rebound? No Limit Records CEO and rapper Master P (Percy Miller), recently cut by the NBA's Toronto Raptors, has signed with the San Diego Stingrays of the new International Basketball League; The Stingrays obtained the rights to Miller, age 29, when they selected him in the round 23 of the IBL's Inaugural Draft in July; "Iím glad to be with the International Basketball League in San Diego and Iím ready to play basketball," stated Miller.
No Blues for Basin Street: congratulations go out to Basin Street Records recording artists Kermit Ruffins, Irvin Mayfield and Jason Marsalis who each had CD's eligible for Grammy's in February 2000, and each of them appeared on the Grammy entry list in multiple categories; good luck to them, and let's hope they receive nominations!
Britney Sweeps at MTV Europe Awards: teen pop star Britney Spears, who was nominated in four categories at the 1999 MTV Europe Music Awards held in Dublin on Nov. 11, came home with awards in each; full details.