This week we feature music from George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, Poco, Temptations, Carpenters, Billy Preston, Charlie Daniels Band and more . . .
John Clayton Mayer (born October 16, 1977) is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer. Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Mayer attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, but disenrolled and moved to Atlanta in 1997 with Clay Cook. Together, they formed a short-lived two-man band called Lo-Fi Masters. After their split, Mayer continued to play local clubs, refining his skills and gaining a following. After his appearance at the 2001 South by Southwest Festival, he was signed to Aware Records, and then Columbia Records, which released his first EP, Inside Wants Out. His following two full-length albums—Room for Squares (2001) and Heavier Things (2003)—did well commercially, achieving multi-platinum status. In 2003, he won the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for the single “Your Body Is a Wonderland”.
By 2005, Mayer had moved away from the acoustic music that characterized his early records, and begun performing the blues and rock music that had originally influenced him as a musician. He collaborated with blues artists such as B. B. King, Buddy Guy, and Eric Clapton. Forming the John Mayer Trio, he released a live album in 2005 called Try!, and his third studio album Continuum in 2006. Both albums received critical acclaim, and Continuum earned Mayer a 2007 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album. He also won Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Waiting on the World to Change”. That album was followed by Battle Studies in 2009, a return to pop, with a Battle Studies World Tour.
After developing an interest in the Grateful Dead and connecting with Bob Weir, Mayer formed Dead & Company in 2015 with three former Grateful Dead musicians. It is the latest of several reunions of the band’s surviving members since Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995. The band remains active and its tours have been well-received, with several shows scheduled from October 2019 through January 2020.
Mayer’s secondary career pursuits extend to television hosting, comedy, and writing; he has authored columns for magazines such as Esquire. He supports various causes and has performed at charity benefits. He is a watch aficionado (with a collection he values in the “tens of millions” of dollars), contributing to the watch site Hodinkee, and has been on the jury at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
Wilson Phillips is an American vocal group consisting of Carnie Wilson, Wendy Wilson, and Chynna Phillips, the daughters of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys and of John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, respectively.
Their 1990 eponymous debut album sold over 10 million copies worldwide and placed three number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100, making the trio the best-selling female group at the time. In 1990, the group won the Billboard Music Award for Hot 100 Single of the Year for “Hold On,” and in addition was nominated for five Grammy Awards and two American Music Awards.
Chynna Gilliam Phillips (born February 12, 1968) is an American singer and actress, and a member of the vocal group Wilson Phillips. She is the daughter of The Mamas & the Papas band members John and Michelle Phillips, and the half-sister of Mackenzie Phillips and Bijou Phillips.
Carnie Wilson (born April 29, 1968) is an American singer and television host, perhaps best known as a member of the pop music group Wilson Phillips and is the daughter of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys and of his first wife, former singer Marilyn Rovell of The Honeys. She co-founded Wilson Phillips with her younger sister Wendy and childhood friend Chynna Phillips when they were in their teens.
Wendy Wilson (born October 16, 1969) is an American singer and television personality and member of the pop singing trio Wilson Phillips. She is the daughter of Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson and his first wife Marilyn, who was a member of girl group The Honeys, and she is the younger sister of Carnie Wilson.
Spandau Ballet were an English new wave band formed in Islington, London, in 1979. Inspired by the capital’s post-punk underground dance scene, they emerged at the start of the 1980s as the house band for the Blitz Kids, playing “White European Dance Music” as “The Applause” for this new club culture’s audience.They became one of the most successful groups of the New Romantic era of British pop and were part of the Second British Invasion of the Billboard Top 40 in the 1980s, selling 25 million albums and having 23 hit singles worldwide. The band have had eight UK top 10 albums, including three greatest hits compilations and an album of re-recorded material. Their musical influences ranged from punk rock and soul music to the American crooners Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.
The band’s classic line-up featured Gary Kemp on guitar, synthesiser and backing vocals, his brother Martin Kemp on bass, vocalist Tony Hadley, saxophonist Steve Norman and drummer John Keeble. Gary Kemp was also the band’s songwriter. Their debut single, “To Cut a Long Story Short”, reached No.5 in the UK in 1980. It was the first of ten UK Top 10 singles. The band peaked in popularity in 1983 with the album True, with its title track reaching No.1 in the UK and the top five in the US. In 2011, it received a BMI award as one of the most played songs in US history with four million airplays. In 1984, they received a Brit Award for technical excellence, and were the first act to be approached by Bob Geldof to join the original Band Aid line-up. In 1985, they performed at the Live Aid benefit concert at Wembley Stadium.
In 1990, the band played their last live show before a 19-year absence. In 1999, Hadley, Norman and Keeble launched an unsuccessful case in the High Court against Gary Kemp and Reformation Publishing for a share of the band’s songwriting royalties. Spandau Ballet reformed in 2009 for The Reformation Tour, a sell-out “greatest hits” world tour. In 2014, their archive-only feature-length documentary biopic, Soul Boys of the Western World, was world premiered at SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. It was officially screened at the Rome, Ghent and NYC Doc film festivals and received its European premiere at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
In 2017, Hadley announced his departure from Spandau Ballet. A year later, the band announced singer and actor Ross William Wild as their new frontman for a series of European live dates and a one-off show at Eventim’s Hammersmith Apollo. Suddenly in May 2019, Wild tweeted that he had quit the band “to pursue my own music with my band Mercutio”, while Spandau bass player Martin Kemp confirmed there were no further plans for Spandau to tour.
Stranger in Town is the tenth studio album by American rock singer Bob Seger and his second with the Silver Bullet Band, released by Capitol Records on May 5,1978. Like its predecessor, the Silver Bullet Band backed Seger on about half of the songs and the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section backed Seger on the other half.
The album became an instant success in the United States, being certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America less than a month after the album’s release, and, like its predecessor Night Moves, it would later go 6× Platinum. It was also his first album to chart in the UK, where limited editions were released on silver vinyl and in picture disc format as well as standard black vinyl.
1. “Hollywood Nights” 4:59
2. “Still the Same” 3:18
3. “Old Time Rock and Roll” 3:14
4. “Till It Shines” 3:50
5. “Feel Like a Number” 3:42
6. “Ain’t Got No Money” 4:11
7. “We’ve Got Tonight” 4:38
8. “Brave Strangers” 6:20
9. “The Famous Final Scene” 5:09
Bon Jovi’s second single, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”, from the album Have A Nice Day goes to number one in the U.S. Hot Country Charts for two weeks. This is the first time a rock band has achieved a number one hit in the US country charts.
Three 6 Mafia became the first African American hip-hop group to win an Academy Award for Best Song and also became the first hip-hop artists to ever perform at the ceremony. The group was nominated for the song “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from the Hustle & Flow film soundtrack.
March 10 – In Dortmund, Germany, David Gilmour begins his first world tour since Pink Floyd’s 1994 world tour, in support of his On an Island album.
March 11 – James Blunt, with his single “You’re Beautiful”, becomes the first British artist to top the US Billboard Hot 100 chart since Elton John with “Candle in the Wind 1997” almost nine years earlier.
March 21 – My Chemical Romance release their first live album Life on the Murder Scene.
March 22 – Aerosmith cancel their tour after lead singer Steven Tyler is taken ill, requiring throat surgery.
March 25 – Christofer Johnsson quits Demonoid while the band hires Emperor Magus Caligula as his replacement although it wasn’t publicly announced that Emperor Magus Caligula was hired until 2007.
April 1–2 – The Festival Imperial is held in the Autódromo La Guácima, in Alajuela, Costa Rica.
April 3 – Killing Joke release their 13th studio album, Hosannas from the Basements of Hell. This was Killing Joke’s last album to include the original four members of the band.
April 4 – Hawk Nelson released their second album, Smile, It’s the End of the World.
April 5 – Eminem files for divorce from wife Kim, less than three months after they were married for the second time.
April 11 – Rapper Proof is shot and killed by a nightclub bouncer at 8 Mile Road in Detroit, Michigan, after allegedly shooting a third man, Keith Bender, Jr, who later dies of his injuries.
April 15 – Mary J. Blige’s single “Be Without You” ends its 15th week at number one on the US Billboard R&B chart, making it the most successful R&B song in history.
April 20 – Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins confirms that the band are in the studio recording their first album since 2000’s Machina/The Machines of God.
April 21–23 – The Terrastock 6 festival is held in Providence, Rhode Island, USA.
April 25 – American rock band, the Goo Goo Dolls, celebrate 20 successful years in the music industry with the release of Let Love In.
April 29–30 – The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival takes place in Indio, California, USA. Performers include Madonna, James Blunt, Kanye West, Depeche Mode, and Paul Oakenfold.
This week we feature music from: Kurtis Blow, Lionel Richie, Supertramp, Pat Benatar, Beastie Boys, Joe Jackson, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Michael Jackson, Van Halen, Blondie, David Lee Roth and more . . .