The numbers in this single sentence in Wikipedia’s entry about Francesco Stephen Castelluccio – Frankie Valli — are a good illustration of how really important he is:
Here is the beginning of Valli’s profile at his website:
Oh, what a story. Frankie Valli, who came to fame in 1962 as the lead singer of the Four Seasons, is hotter than ever in the 21st century. Thanks to the volcanic success of the Tony-winning musical Jersey Boys, which chronicles the life and times of Frankie and his legendary group, such classic songs as “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Rag Doll,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” are all the rage all over again. As the play enters its third sold-out year on Broadway, and two touring companies of Jersey Boys travel around the U.S., the real Frankie Valli is packing concert halls coast to coast, from the Rose Theater, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, to L.A.’s Kodak Theater, home of the Academy Awards. (Continue Reading…)
Last month, Billboard’s Wayne Robins posted an interesting interview with Valli. This interesting response sums up Valli’s musical philosophy:
I always believed a singer should be able to sing any kind of song. If I wanted to sing a Cole Porter song, I should be able to do that. Or “Sherry,” I should be able to do that. Or a Dylan song. I didn’t go to any professional school to learn how to sing. I bought people’s records, listened to them, tried to do what the singer did by imitating them, as close as I could possibly get. We cover every kind of music. That’s important for anybody. We can do anything from working with a four- or five-piece band to working with a symphony orchestra. (Continue Reading…)
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons got a second life via the Broadway show “Jersey Boys.” Two of the group’s biggest hits were “Rag Doll” (above) and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” (below).
Lloyds Pharmacy group released a survey this week that said more than 40 percent of respondents reported that music eased their physical pain.
Raw Story reports that the survey, which was conducted in the U.K., found that two-thirds of respondents from 16 to 24 years of age said that music helped. Genres were evenly split in their usefulness: Respondents said that pop music (21 percent of people responding), classical (17 percent) and rock and indie (16 percent) helped.
The five most helpful songs, in order: Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” Robbie William’s “Angel,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Albatross,” Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” and The Commodores’ “Easy.”
Editor’s Note: The folks at Go-DIY Records were kind enough to post a note that TDMB welcomed new music. Several bands have sent me links and samples. My plan is to post the music in the order in which it came in and to present all or some of what the band (or its management) submits.
Next up is Hana-li. Pendery. The directly below is White Dove. At the bottom is Human Rights: The Beginning.
Here is Hana-li’s profile:
Hana-li was born in New York City to parents Nina Winters (sculptor) and David Brunoehler (songwriter). From the age of 2 her mother noticed her natural talent and love of singing. “She always sang on key, even from the beginning” says Nina. Nina continued to guide her to find her drive and true passion for communicating to people, telling Hana-li, “Just do what you do in the living room and you’ll be famous.” Hana-li has followed that advice ever since, making every lyric and performance count. “I want to inspire people to believe in themselves and their ability to make a difference in the world, in their friends, their families and in themselves. That’s why I sing, why I write and why I live”.
As a pop/rock singer/songwriter Hana-li’s biggest influences are Michael Jackson and The Beatles for their level of dedication to their craft and for knowing they had a bigger job to do than just making great music. She’s also cited influences such as Muse, Imogen Heap, Adele, Justin Nozuka, Janis Joplin, Jim Sturgess, Joe Cocker, Cirque du Soleil, Prince, Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, Celine Dion, Queen, Bon Jovi, Jason Mraz.
When she was just 15, Hana-li spent two and a half years singing back up for Isaac Hayes, Edgar Winter, Kate Ceberano (Australian pop artist), Doug E. Fresh, Elena Roggero (Italian pop artist), David Pomeranz (multi platinum singer/songwriter) and Angelo Pagan (actor/singer). Shes’ also shared the stage with artists such as Beck, David Campbell, Chick Corea, Alberto Plaza (Grammy winning artist from Chile), Tony Harnell of TNT, Mark Isham and James Barbour from Broadway. Hana-li has performed for packed houses ranging from 200-7,000 people all over the world from Florida, St. Louis, Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco to the Caribbean, Colombia, England, Suriname in South America and Mali, Swaziland and Lesotho in Africa where she sang for the king.
Sex Bomb (above) is perhaps the most bizarre recording I’ve even seen. The skeevy lyrics, the apparently well coached audience and the fact that the song and Jones’ delivery both are terrific add up to a level of awesomeness that is hard match.
Below is Tom Jones actually is Thomas John Woodward, which now is preceded by “Sir.” His stage name was taken from the movie Tom Jones, which was a filming of The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. Written in 1749 by Henry Fielding, it is considered the first novel in the English language.What’s New Pussycat?
Years ago, I was a reporter in the cable industry (I am again, but in a different way). Cable, because of the entertainment industry connections, has big time performers at its shows (Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Charles and Chuck Berry come to mind). It’s an easy payday for these folks, especially if the show is not too far away.
One year, Tom Jones was the headline act. Many of my cynical reporter friends went to see him as a joke. We were raised on rock and roll. Tom Jones? Isn’t he the guy that the old ladies throw their underwear at? Please.
The next morning, more than one person told me that it was the most extraordinary performance they ever saw, and that Jones simply wouldn’t leave the stage because he was having so much fun. And this was for a bunch of cable people…
While I’m on the topic, one of my fondest memories is of seeing Ray Charles at a cable show in Atlanta. The sponsoring network rented and closed The Hard Rock for the party. I got there early and, low and behold, Ray came out and started playing. It was early and there was virtually nobody else there. It was incredible. Charles opened with Charlie Parker’s Yardbird Suite, which made the whole thing even better.
I became aware of Estelle through the hit American Boy (above) simply because my daughter had the radio tuned to stations that played it. Her part is great, but the pop/hip hop response format — Estelle and Kayne West in this case — always seems forced.
Another of the YouTube clips is Wonderful Life (below), which I like just as much. It’s a completely different, which demonstrates her talent.
This is what Wikipedia says about Estelle:
Estelle Fanta Swaray (born 18 January 1980) commonly known as Estelle, and formerly as Est’elle, is an English R&Bsinger-songwriter, rapper and record producer. Estelle was born in London. After meeting John Legend, Estelle signed a record deal with V2 and Atlantic Records.
In 2004 Estelle released her debut album The 18th Day, which peaked with in the top 40 of the official UK charts. The album released three singles “1980″, “Free”, and “Go Gone” which all charted with in the top 40 also of the UK charts. In 2008 Estelle released her second studio album Shine which was certified Gold in the UK. The lead single “Wait A Minute” failed to chart anywhere. The second single “American Boy” peaked at number one in the UK and also became Estelle’s first song to chart in the US at a position of nine. The album released a further three singles. In 2012 Estelle released her third album All of Me. The lead single “Break My Heart” featured American rap artist Rick Ross, the single charted at number 30 on the US R&B Chart. The second single “Thankyou” peaked at 120 on the US Billboard and 22 on the US R&B chart and the third single “Back to Love” was released. (Continue Reading…)
Here is the start of Estelle’s AllMusic profile:
Able to rap, sing, and write songs that had everyone from John Legendto Roots Manuva singing her praises, Estelle Swaray got her start in London’s renowned hip-hop record store Deal Real. Her fellow employees encouraged her to take a chance and get on the mike on-stage; soon she was playing numerous London clubs and appearing with the likes of Manuva and Rodney P. Local hero Skitz asked her to appear on his 2000 album, Countryman, and soon she landed on albums by the likes of the 57th Dynasty and Blak Twang. She made her solo debut in 2003 with the Excuse Me 12″ on the Paradise Isle label, but her breakthrough track came in 2004 when “1980″ was released by the V2 label and reached number 14 on the U.K. pop chart. (Continue Reading…)
Here is Estelle’s website.
The Super Bowl has a long history of presenting performers who are considered past their prime. The focus is on high profile, not relevance.
Sometimes, though, acts at the top of their game have high enough profiles for the big stage. It doesn’t hurt that the stable of aging super bands that haven’t performed at the game is running thin.
That all makes Beyoncé a natural for this year. It doesn’t hurt that she is fresh off the controversy of having lip-synced The National Anthem at President Obama’s inauguration. Perhaps she should have sung it or made it clear she wasn’t. But, in the bigger picture, it seems we have a habit of being super critical of our stars — and then wondering what happened when they go off the rails.
Beyoncé sings Irreplaceable above at Glastonbury Festival 2011.
Here is the beginning of what Wikipedia says about Squeeze:
Squeeze are a British band that came to prominence in the United Kingdom during the New Wave period of the late 1970s and continued recording successfully in the 1980s and 1990s. They are known in the UK for their hit songs “Cool for Cats”, “Up the Junction”, “Tempted”, “Labelled With Love”, “Black Coffee In Bed”, “Another Nail in My Heart”,”Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)” and “Hourglass”. Though not as commercially successful in the U.S., Squeeze had American chart hits with “Tempted”, “Hourglass” and “853-5937″, and they have a dedicated following there and continue to attract new fans. All of Squeeze’s hits were written by band members Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, with the former penning the lyrics and the latter handling the composition. The duo were hailed as “the heirs to Lennon and McCartney’s throne” during their peak of popularity in the early 1980s. Continue Reading…
AllMusic, as usual, had an insightful essay:
As one of the most traditional pop bands of the new wave, Squeeze provided one of the links between classic British guitar pop and post-punk. Inspired heavily by the Beatles and the Kinks, Squeeze was the vehicle for the songwriting of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, who were hailed as the heirs to Lennon and McCartney’s throne during their heyday in the early ’80s. Unlike Lennon and McCartney, the partnership between Difford and Tilbrook was a genuine collaboration, with the former writing the lyrics and the latter providing the music. Squeeze never came close to matching the popularity of the Beatles, but the reason for that is part of their charm. Difford and Tilbrook were wry, subtle songwriters that subscribed to traditional pop songwriting values, but subverted them with literate lyrics and clever musical references. While their native Britain warmed to Squeeze immediately, sending singles like “Take Me I’m Yours” and “Up the Junction” into the Top Ten, the band had a difficult time gaining a foothold in the states; they didn’t have a U.S. Top 40 hit until 1987, nearly a decade after their debut album. Even if the group never had a hit in the U.S., Squeeze built a dedicated following that stayed with them into the late ’90s, and many of their songs — “Another Nail In My Heart,” “Pulling Mussels (From the Shell),” “Tempted,” “Black Coffee In Bed” — became pop classics of the new wave era, as the platinum status of their compilation Singles 45′s and Under indicates. (Continue Reading…)
The band’s website is here. Above is Cool for Cats and below is Up the Junction.