Monday 11am: Spot Light Artist – Stevie Wonder

May 13, 2019
Editor In Chief

Stevland Hardaway Morris (born May 13, 1950), better known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist.

A child prodigy, Wonder is considered to be one of the most critically and commercially successful musical performers of the late 20th century. He signed with Motown’s Tamla label at the age of 11, and continued performing and recording for Motown into the 2010s. He has been blind since shortly after his birth. Among Wonder’s works are singles such as “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours”, “Superstition”, “Sir Duke”, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”, and “I Just Called to Say I Love You”; and albums such as Talking Book (1972), Innervisions (1973), and Songs in the Key of Life (1976). He has recorded more than 30 U.S. top-ten hits and received 25 Grammy Awards, one of the most-awarded male solo artists, and has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the top 60 best-selling music artists.

Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a holiday in the United States. In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2013, Billboard magazine released a list of the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart’s 55th anniversary, with Wonder at number six.

Thursday 11am: Spot Light Artist – Billy Joel

May 9, 2019
Editor In Chief

Today we feature an extended edition.

William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer and pianist. Commonly nicknamed the “Piano Man”, he has been making music since the 1960s, releasing popular albums throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

He was born in 1949 in The Bronx, New York, and grew up on Long Island, New York, both places that influenced his music. After dropping out of high school, Joel took part in two short-lived bands, The Hassles and Attila, before signing a record deal with Family Productions and kicking off a solo career in 1971 with his first release, Cold Spring Harbor. In 1972, Joel caught the attention of Columbia Records after a live radio performance of the song “Captain Jack” became popular in Philadelphia, prompting him to sign a new record deal with the company and release his second solo album, Piano Man; this album contained his first hit single of the same name, which is often considered to be his signature song. After releasing two more albums, Streetlife Serenade and Turnstiles, Joel released his critical and commercial breakthrough album, The Stranger, in 1977; this album became Columbia’s best-selling release, selling over 10 million copies and spawning several hit singles, including “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)”, “Just the Way You Are”, “Only the Good Die Young”, and “She’s Always a Woman”.

In 1978, Joel’s album 52nd Street was his first album to peak at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Joel released his seventh studio album, Glass Houses, in an attempt to further establish himself as a rock and roll artist; this release featured “It’s Still Rock & Roll to Me”, Joel’s first single to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart, as well as “Don’t Ask Me Why” and “Sometimes a Fantasy”. His next album, The Nylon Curtain, was released in 1982, and stemmed from a desire from Joel to create more lyrically and melodically ambitious music. An Innocent Man, released in 1983, served as an homage to genres of music which Joel had grown up with in the 1950s, such as rhythm and blues and doo-wop; this release featured “Uptown Girl” and “The Longest Time”, two of his most popular songs. After releasing the albums The Bridge and Storm Front in 1986 and 1989 respectively, Joel released his twelfth and final solo album, River of Dreams, in 1993. He went on to release Fantasies and Delusions, a 2001 album featuring classical compositions composed by Joel and performed by British-Korean pianist Richard Hyung-ki Joo. Joel also provided voiceover work in 1988 for the 27th animated Disney film, Oliver & Company, in which he provided the voice of the character Dodger, and contributed to the soundtracks to several different films, including Easy Money, Ruthless People, and Honeymoon in Vegas.

Across the 20 years of his solo career, Joel produced 33 Top 40 hits in the US, all of which he wrote himself, and three of which (“It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”, “Tell Her About It”, and “We Didn’t Start the Fire”) managed to top the charts. He is also a six-time Grammy Award winner who has been nominated for 23 Grammy Awards. With over 150 million records sold worldwide, he is one of the best-selling artists of all time as well as the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States. His 1985 compilation album, Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2, is one of the best-selling albums in the US.

Joel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2006). In 2001, Joel received the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2013, Joel received the Kennedy Center Honors, the nation’s highest honor for influencing American culture through the arts. Since the advent of his solo career, Joel has held a successful touring career, holding live performances across the globe in which he sings several of his written songs. In 1987, he became one of the very first artists to hold a rock and roll tour in the Soviet Union following the country’s alleviation of the ban on rock and roll music. Despite largely retiring from writing and releasing pop music following the release of River of Dreams, he continues to tour. He frequently performs at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. Joel has been in several relationships, including marriages to Elizabeth Weber Small, model Christie Brinkley, and Katie Lee. Since 2015, he has been married to Alexis Roderick, his 4th spouse.

Wednesday 11am: Spot Light Artist – Darren Hayes

May 8, 2019
Editor In Chief

Darren Stanley Hayes (May 8, 1972) is an Australian singer-songwriter, and podcaster. Hayes was the frontman and singer of the pop duo Savage Garden until it disbanded in 2001. Their 1997 album Savage Garden peaked at No. 1 in Australia, No. 2 in United Kingdom and No. 3 in United States. It spawned the singles “I Want You”, “To the Moon and Back”, and Australian and US No. 1 “Truly Madly Deeply”. The duo followed the success of their debut album with Affirmation (1999), which provided additional hits such as US No. 1 “I Knew I Loved You”, and Australian No. 3 “The Animal Song”. Savage Garden parted ways in 2001. They have sold more than 23 million albums worldwide.

Hayes released his first solo album Spin in 2002. The album sold two million copies worldwide, debuted at No. 2 in the UK and No. 3 in Australia. It delivered the hit single “Insatiable”. Hayes’s second solo album The Tension and the Spark marked a change of direction for the singer-songwriter, showing experimentation with electronica and darker lyrics. NME wrote about its first single, “Pop!ular” saying it was “A twistered masterclass in career reintervention…This guy is a genius.” While The Observer said “This album is no folly and succeeds, often to the point of all out triumph, on its own terms.” Hayes parted way with his record label Columbia Records in 2006 and started his own independent record label, Powdered Sugar, from which he would release his third solo album, This Delicate Thing We’ve Made (2007).

In mid-2010, Hayes announced the completion of recording his fourth solo album, Secret Codes and Battleships, featuring three songs co-written and produced by Brian West and mixed by Robert Orton, who is best known for working with Lady Gaga. On 17 April 2011, Hayes signed with Mercury Records’ Australian division and in August 2011 with EMI Records in the UK. The album was released in Australia on 21 October 2011, 24 October in the UK, and 25 October in the US, with singles “Talk Talk Talk”, “Bloodstained Heart”, and “Black Out the Sun” released before the album.

In 2013, Hayes relocated from London to Los Angeles, where he studied improv sketch comedy at The Groundlings Theatre and School. In 2015, he created a comedy podcast titled The He Said He Said Show. In 2016 he launched another comedic podcast – a movie review show with co-host Anthony Armentano called ‘We Paid to See This’. Hayes announced publicly on 13 March 2016 that he has been writing an original musical with writer and comedian Johnny Menke.

Tuesday 11am: Spot Light Artist – Bob Seger

May 7, 2019
Editor In Chief

We feature an extended program.

Robert Clark Seger (born May 6, 1945) is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist. As a locally successful Detroit-area artist, he performed and recorded as Bob Seger and the Last Heard and Bob Seger System throughout the 1960s, breaking through with his first national hit and album in 1968. By the early 1970s, he had dropped the ‘System’ from his recordings and continued to strive for broader success with various other bands. In 1973, he put together the Silver Bullet Band, with a group of Detroit-area musicians, with whom he became most successful on the national level with the album Live Bullet (1976), recorded live with the Silver Bullet Band in 1975 at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan. In 1976, he achieved a national breakout with the studio album Night Moves. On his studio albums, he also worked extensively with the Alabama-based Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, which appeared on several of Seger’s best-selling singles and albums.

A roots rocker with a classic raspy, shouting voice, Seger wrote and recorded songs that deal with love, women, and blue-collar themes and is an example of a heartland rock artist. Seger has recorded many hits, including “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man”, “Night Moves”, “Turn the Page”, “Still the Same”, “We’ve Got Tonight”, “Against the Wind”, “You’ll Accomp’ny Me”, “Shame on the Moon”, “Like a Rock”, and “Shakedown”, which was written for Beverly Hills Cop II (1987). Seger also co-wrote the Eagles’ number-one hit “Heartache Tonight”, and his recording of “Old Time Rock and Roll” was named one of the Songs of the Century in 2001.

With a career spanning six decades, Seger has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. Seger was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012. Seger was named Billboard’s 2015 Legend of Live honoree at the 12th annual Billboard Touring Conference & Awards, held November 18–19 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. He announced his farewell tour in September 2018.

Monday 11am: Spot Light Artist – Randy Travis

May 6, 2019
Editor In Chief

Randy Bruce Traywick (born May 4, 1959), known professionally as Randy Travis, is an American country music and Christian country music singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actor.

Active since 1978, he has recorded 20 studio albums and charted more than 50 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including sixteen that reached the No. 1 position. Considered a pivotal figure in the history of country music, Travis broke through in the mid-1980s with the release of his album Storms of Life, which sold more than four million copies. The album established him as a major force in the neotraditional country movement. Travis followed up his successful debut with a string of platinum and multi-platinum albums. He is known for his distinctive baritone vocals, delivered in a traditional style that has made him a country music star since the 1980s.

By the mid-1990s, Travis saw a decline in his chart success. In 1997, he left Warner Bros. Records for DreamWorks Records and then for Word Records, where he began recording more Christian material. Although the career shift produced only one more number-one country hit “Three Wooden Crosses,” Travis went on to earn several Dove Awards, including Country Album of the Year five times. In addition to his singing career, he pursued an acting career, appearing in numerous films and television series, including The Rainmaker (1997) with Matt Damon, Black Dog (1998) with Patrick Swayze, Texas Rangers (2001) with James Van Der Beek, and seven episodes of the Touched by an Angel television series.

Travis has sold over 25 million records and has won seven Grammy Awards, six CMA Awards, eleven ACM Awards, 10 AMA Awards, eight Dove Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2016, Travis was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Friday 11am: Spot Light Artist – Frankie Valli

May 3, 2019
Editor In Chief

Frankie Valli (born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio; May 3, 1934) is an American singer and actor, known as the frontman of The Four Seasons beginning in 1960. He is known for his unusually powerful head voice. Valli scored 29 Top 40 hits with The Four Seasons, one Top 40 hit under The Four Seasons alias The Wonder Who?, and nine Top 40 hits as a solo artist. As a member of The Four Seasons, Valli’s number-one hits included “Sherry” (1962), “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (1962), “Walk Like a Man” (1963), “Rag Doll” (1964) and “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” (1975). Valli’s recording of the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” reached number two in 1967. “You’re Ready Now”, a Valli solo recording from 1966, became a surprise hit in the UK as part of the Northern soul scene and hit number eleven on the British pop charts in December 1970. As a solo artist, Valli scored number-one hits with the songs “My Eyes Adored You” (1974) and “Grease” (1978).

Valli, Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi and Bob Gaudio – the original members of The Four Seasons – were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.

Thursday 11am: Spot Light Artist – Lou Gramm

May 2, 2019
Editor In Chief

Lou Gramm (born Louis Andrew Grammatico; May 2, 1950) is an American rock singer-songwriter, best known for being the original lead singer of the British-American rock band Foreigner.

Gramm began his musical career in high school playing in local Rochester bands, including St. James Infirmary (later The Infirmary), PHFFT, and Poor Heart. Gramm then went on to sing, play drums and eventually become front man for the band Black Sheep. Black Sheep was the first American band signed to the Chrysalis label, which released their first single, “Stick Around” (1974). Black Sheep played in nightclubs in Rochester and Buffalo, New York, including McVan’s, formerly at Niagara Street and Hertel Avenue. Soon after this initial bit of success, Black Sheep signed with Capitol Records, releasing two albums in succession [Black Sheep (1975) and Encouraging Words (late 1975)]. They were the opening act for Kiss when an icy accident with their equipment truck on the New York State Thruway suddenly ended the band’s tour on Christmas Eve, 1975. Unable to support its albums with live performances, Black Sheep disbanded.

A year earlier, Gramm met his future bandmate Mick Jones. Jones was in Rochester performing with the band Spooky Tooth, and Gramm had given Jones a copy of Black Sheep’s first album (S/T). It was early in 1976, not long after Black Sheep’s truck accident, when Jones, in search of a lead singer for a new band he was assembling, expressed his interest in Gramm and invited him to audition for the job of lead singer.

A WordPress.com Website.
%d bloggers like this: