Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi)

Richie Sambora, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer with rock band Bon Jovi was born 11 July 1959. Originally from Sayreville, New Jersey, Bon Jovi Formed in 1983 and consist of Jon Bon Jovi (John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.), guitarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan and drummer Tico Torres. The band’s lineup has remained mostly static during their history, the only exception being the departure of bass player Alec John Such in 1994, who was unofficially replaced by Hugh McDonald.The band

Bon Jovi achieved widespread recognition with their third album, Slippery When Wet, which was released in 1986. Their fourth album New Jersey, was released in 1988, and became just as successful as its predecessor. Eventually Bon Jovi went onto achieve thirteen U.S. Top 40 hits between 1986-1995, including four number-ones including You Give love a Bad Name“”, “Livin on a Prayer“, “Bad Medicine“, and “I’ll Be There for You”. Other hits include Keep the Faith ”Wanted Dead or Alive” ”Bed of Roses” Have a Nice Day and “Always”.

In 2000 Bon Jovi’s single “, It’s My Life“, successfully introduced the band to a younger audience. Bon Jovi has been known to use different styles in their music, which has included country for their 2007 album Lost Highway which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The next album, The Circle was released in 2009, reaching number one as well. Throughout their career, the band have released eleven studio albums, three compilation albums and one live album, and have sold 130 million records worldwide. They have performed more than 2,700 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 35 million fans. Bon Jovi was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006. The band was also honored with the Award of Merit at the American Music Awards in 2004, and as songwriters and collaborators, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009 and In 2013 Bon Jovi released the album “About Now”.

Richie Sambora recently parted company with Bon Jovi and has been interviewed about whether he will return. Aside from Bon Jovi, Sambora has also released a number of solo albums including: “Stranger in This Town” in 1991, “Undiscovered Soul” in 1998, and his third, “Aftermath of the Lowdown” In 2012.

Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys)

English musician, singer, songwriter, music journalist and co-founder of the synthpop duo Pet Shop BoysNeil Tennant was born 10 July 1954. As a child, Tennant attended St. Cuthbert’s Grammar School, an all-boys’ Catholic school in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Tennant’s songs “This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave” and “It’s a Sin” refer to his early life in Catholic school and the strict upbringing there While at school, Tennant played guitar and cello. At age 16, he played in a folk music group called Dust, whose most popular song was called “Can You Hear the Dawn Break?” They were heavily influenced by The Incredible String Band. During his teenage years, he was a member of the youth theatre at the People’s Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne.

In 1975, having completed a degree in history at North London Polytechnic (now London Metropolitan University), Tennant worked for two years as London editor for Marvel UK, the UK branch of Marvel Comics. He was responsible for anglicising the dialogue of Marvel’s catalogue to suit British readers, and for indicating where women needed to be redrawn for the British editions. He also wrote occasional features for the comics, including interviews with pop stars Marc Bolan and Alex Harvey. In 1977, he moved to Macdonald Educational Publishing where he edited The Dairy Book Of Home Management and various illustrated books about cookery, playing the guitar, and other home interests. Then he moved to ITV Books where he edited TV tie-in books. After having commissioned Steve Bush, then the designer of Smash Hits and The Face, to design a book about the group Madness, he was offered a job at Smash Hits as news editor of the British teen pop magazine in 1982. The following year he became Assistant Editor. He also edited the 1982, 1983 and 1984 editions of The Smash Hits Yearbook.

While working At Smash Hits, an opportunity arose for him to go to New York to interview The Police. Meanwhile Tennant formed the band Pet Shop Boys in London with Chris Lowe in 1981 whom he had met in an electronics shop on Kings Road in Chelsea, London, and who had a mutual interest in dance music. they began to work together on material, and produced “It’s a Sin”, “West End Girls”, “Rent” and “Jealousy”. Their big break came in August 1983, when Tennant was assigned by Smash Hits to interview The Police in New York. The duo were obsessed with a stream of Hi-NRG records made by New York producer Bobby Orlando, simply known as Bobby O. After hearing a demo tape that Tennant had brought along with him, Orlando suggested making a record with the Pet Shop Boys and Between 1983–84, Orlando recorded eleven tracks with Tennant and Lowe including; “West End Girls”, “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money”), “It’s A Sin”, “I Want A Lover”, “I Get Excited”, “Two Divided By Zero”, “Rent”, “Later Tonight”, “Pet Shop Boys”, “A Man Could Get Arrested” and “One More Chance.

In March 1985, after long negotiations, Pet Shop Boys cut their contractual ties with Bobby O. Tennant left Smash Hits (where he had progressed to the position of deputy editor) and released the single, “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)”/”In the Night”, “West End Girls” was rereleased in 1986 becoming a hit. followed by, “Love Comes Quickly” and the debut album, Please. New versions of their second single, “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)”, and the album track “Suburbia” were also released in 1986, followed by a remix album, Disco. Pet Shop Boys also performed “Love Comes Quickly” and “West End Girls” at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. In 1987 The Pet Shop Boys received both BRIT Awards and Ivor Novello Awards for “West End Girls” and released “It’s a Sin followed by “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” featuring Dusty Springfield which appeared on the second album Actually featuring the songs “Rent” , “King’s Cross”

Pet Shop Boys also appeared on Love Me Tender, a UK television programme, on ITV, commemorating the tenth anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. They were asked to perform one of their favourite Elvis tracks and played “Always on My Mind”, which was re-released in a 12″ version with “In My House” which was included on the 1988 album, Introspective. Pet Shop Boys started work on an film It Couldn’t Happen Here, with director Jack Bond, starring Barbara Windsor, Joss Ackland and Gareth Hunt. In 1988. The Pet Shop Boys wrote and produced the song “I’m Not Scared” for Patsy Kensit’s band, Eighth Wonder. The song became her biggest hit single and the Pet Shop Boys included their own extended version of the track on their Introspective album. The Pet Shop Boys released “Heart”, Which was included on their first and third greatest hits albums, Discography: The Complete Singles Collection and Ultimate. whereas the album version was on their second retrospective, the double PopArt: Pet Shop Boys – The Hits. The video to the single, directed by Jack Bond, starred Ian McKellen as a vampire who steals Neil Tennant’s wife.

In 1988, Pet Shop Boys released, “Domino Dancing” followed by the third album, Introspective-a six-track album of previously unheard remixes and extended tracks. Followed by “Left to My Own Devices”, and a cover version of the Sterling Void single “It’s Alright”. In 1990, Pet Shop Boys released, “So Hard”, followed by the’ fourth album Behaviour, containing the song “Being Boring”. In 1991, Pet Shop Boys released a cover of U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” as a medley with “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, together with a remix of the album track “How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?” by Brothers in Rhythm. In 1991 the Pet Shop Boys embarked on World Tour visiting Tokyo, United States, Canada, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. The Pet Shop Boys also released an 18-track compilation called Discography, which included all of their single releases up until then, two new singles—”DJ Culture” and “Was It Worth It?

The Pet Shop Boys also collaborated with many musicians. Including Dusty Springfield, on the singles “Nothing Has Been Proved” From the film Scandal about the Profumo political scandal starring John Hurt and “In Private”. The duo later went on to produce half of the tracks on her 1990 solo Reputation album. Pet Shop Boys were also asked to write and produce an album for Liza Minnelli, in 1989. The album, Results, generated four singles, including the hit single “Losing My Mind”, a cover version of the Stephen Sondheim song from the 1971 Broadway musical “Follies”. In 1989 Neil Tennant formed Electronic with Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr and co-wrote and co-produced the song “Getting Away with It”. Lowe also contributed to the chord sequence to “The Patience of a Saint” on Electronic’s 1991 album. In 1992, Tennant sang lead vocals on the song “Disappointed”, for the soundtrack for the film Cool World. A remix of “So Hard”, by The KLF, led to Tennant re-recording his vocals for the song. Pet Shop Boys set up the Spaghetti Records label in 1991. Their most successful release was the soundtrack to the 1992 film The Crying Game, which featured Boy George performing the title song “The Crying Game”.

In 1992, Pet Shop Boys were the subjects of a South Bank Show program on ITV. This included interviews with Neil and Chris, and contributions from Liza Minnelli, Simon Frith, David Alden and David Fielding. In 1993, Pet Shop Boys released the song “Can You Forgive Her?” and covered the Village People single “Go West which was adopted into a football chant at Arsenal Football Club (which Chris Lowe supports) and is heard at grounds throughout Europe. Pet Shop Boys released their fifth studio album, Very, featuring the songs “I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind of Thing”, “Liberation” and “Yesterday, When I Was Mad”. Pet Shop boys also released the album, Relentless, which was composed of six all-new darker progressive house tracks. In 1994, Pet Shop Boys remixed Blur’s single “Girls & Boys” and released the Comic Relief single, “Absolutely Fabulous” featuring Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley. The Pet Shop Boys also released Disco 2 a follow-up to their 1986 remix album Disco featuring club remixes of songs from Very and Behaviour, in a continuous megamix by Danny Rampling. The subsequent Discovery Tour visited Singapore, Australia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. In 1995 Pet Shop Boys released a new version of “Paninaro”.

In 1996 The Pet Shop Boys remix of the David Bowie song “Hallo Spaceboy” (co-written by Brian Eno), from the album Outside, was released, The Pet Shop Boys then joined Bowie at the 1996 BRIT Awards and released the singles, “Before” and Se a vida é (That’s the Way Life Is)”, from the sixth Pet Shop Boys album Bilingual. Tina Turner also released her Wildest Dreams album, featuring a Pet Shop Boys-produced track “Confidential”. 1996, Neil appeared live with Suede, singing the Suede song “Saturday Night” and Pet Shop Boys track “Rent” alongside Brett Anderson. In 1997 Pet Shop Boys had a three-week residency at the Savoy Theatre, in London, featuring a cover of the song “Somewhere” from the musical West Side Story featuring projections filmed by the artist Sam Taylor-Wood. Pet Shop Boys collaborated with Sam Taylor-Wood again in 1998, recording a version of “Je t’aime… moi non plus”, by Serge Gainsbourg, and also covered the Donna Summer track “Love to Love You Baby”. In 1998 thePet Shop Boys performed a series of live dates and released a charity album of Noël Coward songs, called Twentieth Century Blues. The album included Pet Shop Boys’ version of “Sail Away”, along with songs performed by Elton John, Texas, Marianne Faithfull, The Divine Comedy, Suede, Damon Albarn, Vic Reeves and Robbie Williams. Tennant provided backing vocals on Robbie Williams’ “No Regrets” single, along with Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy.

Pet Shop Boys also worked with playwright Jonathan Harvey on a stage musical project. In 1999, many of the tracks recorded ended up on the duo’s seventh studio album, Nightlife, including “I Don’t Know What You Want But I Can’t Give It Any More”,”New York City Boy”, “You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk”, and”Closer to Heaven” which became the title of Pet Shop Boys’ musical.

PART TWO

Tennant also sang “In Denial”, with Kylie Minogue about a father coming out to his daughter. Minogue also performed the track live, during her 2005 Showgirl tour. The Pet Shop Boys also toured during 1999 and 2000 playing in the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe and the UK. they also played a series of festival dates in Europe, including Glastonbury. They also won their third Ivor Novello Award, honouring their “Outstanding Contribution” to music. The musical, Closer to Heaven, opened at the Arts Theatre in London, in 2001. Tennant also wanted Closer to tour Europe and New York. in 2005, a series of performances were staged in the Brisbane Powerhouse, Australia. In 2002, Pet Shop Boys released their eighth album Release featuring the songs “London”, “I Get Along” and “Home and Dry”, this album has a stripped back acoustic sound and is a complete change from dance music and featuresJohnny Marr on guitar. They embarked on a less lavish tour, with no dancers, backing singers, or outrageous costumes which also included Bristol University, Keele University, University of East Anglia in Norwich, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough and De Montfort University, Leicester. They used two extra guitarists, Bic Hayes and Mark Refoy, a percussionist (Dawne Adams) and regular programmer (Pete Gleadall) alongside Chris Lowe (keyboards) and Neil Tennant (vocals and guitar).

They also toured Germany, the U.S., Canada, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand. In 2003 The Pet Shop Boys released Disco 3, Which included new songs as well as remixes. They also launched two new labels, Olde English Vinyl and Lucky Kunst. The first release on Olde English Vinyl was Atomizer’s “Hooked on Radiation”, followed by Pete Burns’ “Jack and Jill Party”. They also remixed Yoko Ono’s “Walking on Thin Ice” and Rammstein’s “Mein Teil”. In 2003, Pet Shop Boys released a second greatest hits album, PopArt: Pet Shop Boys – The Hits, a double compilation with two new singles: “Miracles” and “Flamboyant”. In 2004, Pet Shop Boys appeared at a free concert in Trafalgar Square in London , with the Dresdner Sinfoniker orchestra Performing a new soundtrack to accompany the 1925 silent film Battleship Potemkin. There were four more live performances in Germany in 2005. The Pet Shop Boys also played at the Prince’s Trust concert with other artists who had worked with the British producer Trevor Horn, including Grace Jones, ABC, Seal and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. In 2005, Pet Shop Boys headlined the Moscow Live 8 concert, in Red Square. They were also asked to put together music for the Back to Mine series, an ongoing anthology showcasing artists’ favourite music selections, with an emphasis on afterhours chill-out music. In 2006 Pet Shop Boys remixed Madonna’s single “Sorry”. The Pet Shop Boys also released “I’m with Stupid”, parodying the relationship between George W. Bush and Tony Blair. The promo video featured Matt Lucas and David Walliams as Tennant and Lowe, parodying, “Go West”, and “Can You Forgive Her?”.

The Pet Shop Boys released their ninth studio album, Fundamental, with a remix album called Fundamentalism, which included a version of “In Private” as a duet with Elton John and “Fugitive”, “Minimal”. A Channel 4 documentary, titled Pet Shop Boys – A Life in Pop, was also broadcast directed by George Scott and produced by Nick de Grunwald. With Contributions from Robbie Williams, Brandon Flowers, Tim Rice-Oxley, Jake Shears and Bruce Weber. Pet Shop Boys toured Europe in support of Fundamental in 2006 at assorted festivals and outdoor venues. They also played two dates at the Tower of London and at Thetford Forest. There were also performances of Battleship Potemkin, in Germany and Spain and at the Swan Hunter shipyard, in Newcastle upon Tyne, accompanied by the Northern Sinfonia orchestra. The Pet Shop Boys also worked with Robbie Williams on the album, Rudebox, producing two tracks: a cover version of “We’re the Pet Shop Boys”, written by My Robot Friend and “She’s Madonna”, a duet with Tennant, allegedly about Guy Ritchie’s affair with Tania Strecker, prior to his relationship with Madonna. They also toured Canada, the United States and Mexico, A DVD of the show in Mexico City titled Cubism was also released.

A book called “catalogue” was published, containing their entire visual output (photography, as well as the design of albums, videos, tours, books and fan club magazines) from 1984 to 2004. A small exhibition of Pet Shop Boys Artwork also opened in the Bookshop Gallery of London’s National Portrait Gallery. The song, “Numb”, was also released. the album Concrete was released in 2006. It is a double CD of the complete Mermaid Theatre concert, with the BBC Concert Orchestra (musical director: Trevor Horn), featuring Rufus Wainwright, Frances Barber and Robbie Williams. The Pet Shop Boys were also nominated for two 2007 Grammy Awards for “I’m with Stupid”, and ‘Best Electronic/Dance Album’ for Fundamental. Neil Tennant served as executive producer on Rufus Wainwright’s new album, Release the Stars, and also sang backing vocals on “Do I Disappoint You”, and “Tiergarten”. Pet Shop Boys’ released the Stars Are Blazing’ remix of The Killers’ “Read My Mind”. Pet Shop Boys continued their world tour, performing in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand and Australia (as co-headliners of the V Festival 2007), Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, Romania, Spain, Belgium and Singapore.

In 2007, Pet Shop Boys released Disco 4, Comprising remixes, completed by Pet Shop Boys, of other artists’ work including The Killers, David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Madonna, Atomizer and Rammstein. Plus two remixed PetShop Boys “Integral” and “I’m with Stupid”. In 2008, the Pet Shop Boys released the single “I’m in Love with a German Film Star” featuring photographer Sam Taylor-Wood on vocals, to coincide with her exhibition in London, this was remixed by Gui Boratto, Juergen Paape and Mark Reeder. The Pet Shop Boys next album Yes was released in 2009featuring “Beautiful People” “Love etc” and “Did You See Me Coming?” They also appeared on Girls Aloud’s new album Out of Control, collaborating on the Song “The Loving Kind”. In 2009, Pet Shop Boys received the British Phonographic Industry’s most prestigious accolade, the award for outstanding contribution to British music, at the 2009 Brit Awards ceremony atEarls Court’ London. During the show the Pet Shop Boys collaborated with Lady Gaga and Brandon Flowers (The Killers). following the new album and tour a new official website was released

in 2009 Pet Shop Boys began their Pandemonium Tour playing Saint Petersburg, Russia, Tel Aviv, Israel, the Manchester Apollo and the O2 Arena in London, the Metropolis, in Montreal, Canada. This tour included songs such as “West End Girls”, “It’s a Sin” and “Always on My Mind”,” Two Divided by Zero”, “Why Don’t We Live Together?” and the B-side “Do I Have To?” InBrazil the Pet Shop Boys released a compilation titled Party, including songs that were heavily featured in the following TV Globo soap operas: “Being boring” (Meu Bem Meu Mal OST), “Domino dancing” (O Salvador da Patria OST), “West End Girls” (Selva de Pedra OST) and “King of Rome” (Viver a Vida). On 14 December 2009, Pet Shop Boys released an EP of covers, remixes, and new material, titled Christmas.

PART THREE

In 2010, Pet Shop Boys released a live album/DVD double-pack called Pandemonium. Containing the soundtrack and footage recorded from their 21 December 2009 show at the O2 Arena in London. The Pet Shop Boys also released a cover of “Love life”, as part Record Store Day 2010, which was originally recorded during the Release sessions in 2001 and given to Swedish band Alcazar. The B-side was “A Powerful Friend”, which was composed in the early 1980s and appears on the Disco 3 album. The Pet Shop Boys also headlined the Other Stage at the Glastonbury Festival. They also released The greatest hits album “Ultimate” preceded by the single “Together”. The Pet Shop Boys’ also produced a ballet based on The Most Incredible Thing by Hans Christian Andersen. It was adapted by Matthew Dunster with choreography by Javier de Frutos and features former Royal Ballet star Ivan Putrov, with animated films created by Tal Rosner, and orchestrations by German composer Sven Helbi. In 2012 the album, Format, was released featuring the duo’s B-sides from 1996 to 2009, as a sequel to their earlier B-side collection Alternative. In 2011, the Beyond Theatre Award, was presented to Pet Shop Boys and the director of The Most Incredible Thing, Javier de Frutos.

The Pet Shop Boys next album Elysium included the song “winner” which was featured heavily during the 2012 London Olympic Games. Pet Shop Boys also performed three songs before the Olympic tennis games in Henman Hill, Wimbledon: “Always On My Mind”, “What Have I Done to Deserve This?”, and “Winner. Pet Shop Boys performed “West End Girls” in the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in August. Elysium contained the songs “Winner” “Leaving” and, “Memory of the Future” and the b-side “Listening” which was written for Morten Harkett (Aha). The Pet Shop Boys also played a free concert in the recently opened MediaCityUK BBC facilities accompanied by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the Manchester Chamber Choir. Performing ‘Miracles’,”The Survivors’ and “He Dreamed of Machines”. In 2013 The Pet Shop Boys twelfth album, “Electric”, was released. In 2014 The Pet Shop Boys new orchestral work A Man from the Future received its world premiere at the BBC Proms. Performed by the BBC Singers, BBC Concert Orchestra Sven Helbi and the Pet Shop Boys, the work was inspired by the life of WW2 code breaker Alan Turing. The concert also included Overture to Performance, an orchestral arrangement of Pet Shop Boys songs used to open their 1991 Performance tour, and four Pet Shop Boys songs arranged by Angelo Badalamenti and sung by Chrissie Hynde – “Vocal”, “Love is a Catastrophe”, “Later Tonight” and “Rent”.

the Pet Shop Boys released that their thirteenth album, Super, in 2016 containing the songs “Inner Sanctum”& “The Pop Kids”. They performed the ‘Inner Sanctum’ tour, for four nights at the Royal Opera House in London. The subsequent Super Tour started in October 2016. In 2017, the Pet Shop boys announced their latest ‘Further Listening’ reissues project, called ‘Catalogue: 1985-2012’. Featuring remasters of ‘Nightlife’, ‘Release’ and ‘Fundamental’. ‘Further Listening’ ‘Yes’ and ‘Elysium’.

The Pet Shop Boys have sold more than 50 million records worldwide, and are listed as the most successful duo in UK music history by The Guinness Book of Records Three-time Brit Award winners and six-time Grammy nominees, since 1985 they have achieved forty-two Top 30 singles and 22 Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart, including four UK number ones: “West End Girls” (also number one on the US Billboard Hot 100), “It’s a Sin”, an acclaimed cover of “Always on My Mind” and “Heart”. Other hit songs include a cover of “Go West”, “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)” (satire of Thatcherism) and “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” in a duet with Dusty Springfield. At the 2009 Brit Awards in London, Pet Shop Boys received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2016, Billboard magazine named Pet Shop Boys the No. 1 Billboard Dance duo/group over the 40 years since the chart’s inception in 1976. In 2017 the duo received NME’s Godlike Genius Award

Jim Kerr (Simple Minds)

Jim Kerr, the singer songwiter and keyboard player with Scottish rock band Simple Minds, was born 9th July 1959. Simple minds achieved worldwide popularity from the mid-1980s to the 1990s and are best known for the songs “Don’t You (Forget About me)”, from the soundtrack o theJohn Hughes film The BreakfastClub, “Alive and Kicking” and”Belfast Child”. The band has sold more than 60 million albums since 1979. In 1982 the band’s single “Promised You a Miracle” and the album New Gold Dream were released, containing the songs “Promised You a Miracle”, “Colours Fly, “Somene Somewhere in Summertime”, “Glittering Prize and Catherine Wheel” In February 1984, Sparkle in the Rain, was released containg Waterfront, “Speed Your Love to Me” and “Up on the Catwalk”.

Despite the band’s new-found popularity in the UK and Europe, they remained unknown in the U.S. until the film The Breakfast Club, where Simple Minds were offered the song ‘Don’t You (Forget About me) whoch broke them into the US market almost overnight,In 1988 Simple Minds signed up for Mandela Day, a concert held at Wembley Stadium, London, UK, as an expression of solidarity with the then-imprisoned Nelson Mandela. Bands involved were asked to produce a song especially for the event – Simple Minds was the only act which actually produced one. This was “Mandela Day”, which the band played live on the day (alongside cover versions of “Sun City” with Little Steven and a cover version of Peter Gabriel’s “Biko” on which Gabriel himself took on lead vocals). “Mandela Day” was released on the Ballad Of The Streets EP, Another EP track, “Belfast Child”, was a rewrite of the Celtic folk song “She Moved Through the Fair” (with new lyrics written about the ongoing war in Northern Ireland) and was also an expression of Simple Mind’s support for the campaign for the release of Beirut-held hostage Brian Keenan.

Simple Minds’ next album, Street Fighting Years maintained the band’s growing sense of scale but moved away from the American soul and gospel influences of Once Upon a Time in favour of rock oriented acoustic and folk music-related ingredients. The lyrics were also more directly political covering topics including the Poll Tax, the Soweto townships, the Berlin Wall and the stationing of nuclear submarines on the Scottish coast. Simple Minds then recorded Once Upon a Time which included : “Alive & Kicking”, “Sanctify Yourself”, “Ghostdancing” and “All the Things She Said”. In 1991, Simple Minds returned with , Real Life which included the songs ”See the Lights” They then released the compilation album Glittering Prize in 1992. Simple Minds released the album Good News from the Next World including the songs “She’s a River” and “Hypnotised”. In 1997 Kerr and Burchill played live as part of the Proms tour and played orchestral versions of “Alive And Kicking”, “Belfast Child” and “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” backed by a full orchestra then began working on a brand new Simple Minds album called Cry. Then A 2-CD compilation, The Best of Simple Minds, was released soon afterwards to continue to build commercial momentum.

In 2003 Seen The Lights – A Visual History, the first-ever Simple Minds commercial (double) DVD, was releasd, featuring over four hours and twenty minutes of archive footage plus the majority of the band’s promotional videos. Then In 2004, Simple Minds released a five-CD compilation entitled Silver Box which. comprised previously unreleased demos, radio & TV sessions and various live recordings from 1979 to 1995, and included the long-delayed Our Secrets Are the Same In 2005, Simple Minds released their fourteenth studio album, Black & White 050505, and 2007 saw the band’s 30th anniversary, and a brief tour of Australia & New Zealand as guests of INXS.Simple Minds played the 90th birthday tribute to Nelson Mandela on 27 June 2008 in London’s Hyde Park. The band then undertook a short tour throughout the UK to celebrate their 30th anniversary.

Simple Minds next album, Graffiti Soul, was released on 25 May 2009. Jim Kerr also recorded and released his first solo album Lostboy! AKA Jim Kerr on 17 May 2010 under the name “Lostboy! AKA”. During 2011, Simple Minds embarked on the ‘Greatest Hits Forest Tour’, playing a series of seven dates in woodland locations of England, as part of Forestry Commission Live Music they also visited , Belgium, Portugal, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, Gibraltar, Belgrade, Serbia IREland and Bad Harzburg. A Simple Minds X5 box set has also been released featuring the 5 first albums over 6 discs, Life in a Day, Real to Real Cacophony, Empires and Dance, Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call and New Gold Dream as well as bonus material on each disc including rare and previously unavailable CD, B-sides and remixes). Simple Minds latest album Big Music is out now.

Marc Almond

English singer-songwriter and musician. Peter Sinclair “Marc” Almond was born 9 July 1957. As a child, Almond listened to his parent’ record collection, which included his mother’s “Let’s Dance” by Chris Montez and “The Twist” by Chubby Checker, also his father’s collection of jazz including Dave Brubeck and Eartha Kitt. As an adolescent, Almond listened to Radio Caroline and Radio Luxembourg. He also listened to progressive music, blues and rock, Free, Jethro Tull, Van der Graf Generator The Who, and The Doors, and bought the first ever issue of Sounds, because it contained a free poster of Jimmy Page. Almond became a fan of Marc Bolan after hearing him on the John Peel Show, buying the T. Rex single “Ride a White Swan”. From then on Almond “followed everything Marc Bolan did,” Almond was such a fan of Bolan that he adopted the name ‘Marc’ he also discovered the songs of Jacques Brel through Bowie as well as Alex Harvey and Dusty Springfield.

Almond shot to fame in the early 1980s when he began performing and recording With synthpp/New Wave duo Soft Cell. whose hits included “Tainted Love”, “Bedsitter” Say Hello, Wave Goodbye, “What!”, “Soul Inside” and the club hit “Memorabilia”. Soft Cell’s first release was an independent record (funded by David Ball’s mother) entitled “Mutant Moments” via Red Rhino Records in 1980.”Mutant Moments” came to the attention of music entrepreneur Stevo Pearce, who at the time was compiling a “futurist” chart for the music paper Sos which featured young, upcoming and experimental bands of the new wave of electronic sound. He signed the duo to his Some Bizzare label and they enjoyed a string of nine Top 40 hit singles and four Top 20 albums in the UK between 1981-84. They recorded three albums in New York with producer Mike Thorne: Non Stop Erotic Cabaret, Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing and The Art of Falling Apart.

Almond became involved with the New York Underground Art Scene at this time with writer/DJ Anita Sarko, and performed at a number of Art events as well as meeting many New York Art luminaries including Andy Warhol.”Tainted Love”, a cover of a Gloria Jones’ Northern Soul classic was number one in the UK and in many countries over the world and was in the Guinness Book of Records for a while as the record that spent the longest time in the Billboard Top 100 chart in the U.S. It also won the best single award of 1981 at the first Brit Awards. Soft Cell brought an otherwise obscure Northern Soul classic to mass public attention and their version of the song is, to date, the UK’s 59th best selling single of all time, selling over one million copies in the UK.

In 1982, Almond formed Marc and the Mambas as an off-shoot project from Soft Cell. Marc and the Mambas was a loose experimental collective which included Matt Johnson, Steve James Sherlock, Lee Jenkinson, Peter Ashworth, Jim Thirlwell and Annie Hogan, with whom Almond worked later in his solo career. Under the Mambas moniker Almond recorded two albums; Untitled and the seminal double opus Torment and Toreros. He disbanded the collective when it started to feel too much like a regular band.Soft Cell also disbanded in 1984 just before the release of their fourth album, This Last Night In Sodom, though the duo reunited in 2001.Almond’s first proper solo album was Vermin in Ermine, released in 1984. It featured musicians from the Mambas outfit, Annie Hogan, Martin McCarrick and Billy McGee.

This ensemble, known as The Willing Sinners, worked alongside Almond for the subsequent albums Stories of Johnny (1985) from which the title track became a minor hit, and Mother Fist and Her Five Daughters (1987), which was highly acclaimed in reviews, stating that it “embraces classic European cabaret to wonderful effect, more so than any American or English rock album since Bowie’s Aladdin Sane or Lou Reed’s Berlin.” McCarrick left The Willing Sinners in 1987 to join Siouxsie and the Banshees, from which point Hogan and McGee became known as La Magia. Almond released the album The Stars We Are in 1988 which featured Almond’s version of “Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart”, which was later re-recorded as a duet with the song’s original singer Gene Pitney and released as a single. The track reached No. 1 in the UK. It also reached number one in Germany and was a major hit in countries around the world. Almond’s other recordings in the 1980s included an album of Brel songs, called Jacques, and an album of dark French chansons originally performed by Juliette Greco, Serge Lama and Léo Ferré, as well as poems by Rimbaud and Baudelaire set to music. This album was released in 1993 as Absinthe (The French Album), and was initially recorded in the late 1980s then finished in Paris in the early 1990s.

Almond’s next album was Enchanted, which spawned the UK Top 30 hit “A Lover Spurned”. A further single from the album, “Waifs and Strays”, was remixed by Dave Ball who was now in the electronic dance band The Grid. In 1991, Soft Cell returned to the charts with a new remix of “Say Hello Wave Goodbye” followed by a re-release of “Tainted Love” (with a new video). The singles were issued to promote a new Soft Cell/Marc Almond compilation album, Memorabilia – The Singles, which collected some of the biggest hits from Almond’s career throughout the previous ten years. Almond then released a new solo album, Tenement Symphony and also the album Fantastic Star recording sessions for the album with John Cale, David Johanson, and Chris Spedding. During recording Almond also spent several weeks attending a treatment centre in Canterbury for addiction. Almond re-invented himsel with a more downbeat and atmospheric electronica album, Open All Night. This featured R&B and trip hop influences, as well as torch songs for which he had become known. The album featured the songs “Black Kiss”, “Tragedy” and “My Love” Plus duets with Siouxsie Sioux and Keli Ali (Sneaker Pimps).

in 2001, Soft Cell reunited briefly and released their first new album in 18 years, Cruelty Without Beauty. Two singles came out of this album, “Monoculture” and a cover of the Frankie Valli’s “The Night”, then In June 2007, Almond released an album of cover songs, Stardom Road. Picked to tell a story of his life and career, the album featured songs as diverse as “I Have Lived” by Charles Aznavour, to “Stardom Road” by Third World War, Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night”, and “Kitch” by Paul Ryan. The album featured also featured a newly written song. In October 2007, the fashion house Yves Saint Laurent picked Almond’s “Strangers in the Night” to represent their show at London’sFashion Rocks. Almond performed for the event at the Royal Albert Hall.

In 2008 and 2009, Almond toured with Jools Holland throughout the UK as well as guesting at shows by Current 93, Baby Dee and a tribute show to the late folk singer Sandy Denny. In October 2009, Almond released an album titled Orpheus in Exile: Songs of Vadim Kozin which was a tribute to Russian singer Vadim Kozin, who was exiled to the gulags of the Arctic Circleof Russian and comtaimed Romantic ballads and Gypsy songs. In June 2010, Almond released Varieté, an album of crafted personal songs, his first studio album of self-penned songs in almost a decade, and In 2011, Almond released an album Feasting with Panthers. A collaboration with musician and arranger Michael Cashmore. It featured poems of Count Eric Stenbock put to music as well as decadent and homoerotic poems by Jean Genet, Jean Cocteau, Paul Verlaine andRimbaud. Almond also took part in a unique music-theatre work Ten Plagues held at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre which was a one man song cycle based on Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year (which dates back to 1665), with metaphors of Aids and epidemics, and was a collaboration between Almond, theatre director and designer Stewart Laing, libretto author Mark Ravenhill and composer Conor Mitchell. The show won the Scotman’s Fringe First Award. In 2012, Almond took the role of the Greek Stoic philosopher Seneca in the Paris Théâtre du Châtelet’s experimental rock adaptation of Poppea based on Monteverdi’s original 17th century opera The Coronation of Poppea also starring ex-Libertines Carl Barat, Benjamin Biolay, Fredrika Stahl, Valerie Gabail and Anna Madison.On 9 August 2012, Almond performed at Antony Hegarty’s Meltdown Festival in London’s Southbank. He sang the whole Marc and the Mambas Torment and Toreros album for the first time live. Some of the original musicians in the album also performed with Almond.

Beck

American singer, songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist Beck Hansen was born July 8, 1970 in Los Angeles. Beck liked hip-hop and folk and began to perform locally at coffeehouses and clubs. He moved to New York City in 1989 and became involved in the city’s small fiery anti-folk movement. Returning to Los Angeles in the early 1990s, he cut his breakthrough single “Loser”, which became a worldwide hit in 1994, and released his first major album, Mellow Gold, the same year. Odelay, with its sonically experimental and lo-fi style. Beck began as a folk musician, switching between country blues, Delta blues and more traditional rural folk music in his teens. He began performing on city buses, often covering Mississippi John Hurt alongside original, sometimes improvisational compositions. He was also in a band called Youthless that hosted Dadaist-inspired freeform events at city coffee shops.

In 1989, Beck went to New York City with little more than eight dollars and a guitar. He spent the summer attempting to find a job and a place to live and eventually began to frequent Manhattan’s Lower East Side where he discovered the East Village’s anti-folk scene’s first wave. Beck became involved in a loose posse of acoustic musicians—including Cindy Lee Berryhill, Kirk Kelly, Paleface, and Lach, headed by Roger Manning—whose raggedness and eccentricity placed them well outside the acoustic mainstream. Inspired by the freedom this gave him and by the local spoken-word performers, Beck began to write free-associative, surrealistic songs about pizza, MTV, and working at McDonald’s, turning mundane thoughts into songs. Beck and Paleface, attended many open mic nights together before Beck returned to his home of Los Angeles in early 1991. Where he worked at a video store in Silver Lake and started performing in arthouse clubs and coffeehouses such as Al’s Bar and Raji’s. In order to keep indifferent audiences engaged in his music, Beck would play in a spontaneous, joking manner. Beck would hop onstage between acts in local clubs and play “strange folk songs”, while sometimes wearing a Star Wars stormtrooper mask. Beck met someone who offered to help record demos in his living room, and he began to pass cassette tapes around.

Beck met Margaret Mittleman, the West Coast’s director of talent acquisitions for BMG Music Publishing, independent record label Bong Load Custom Records. Beck expressed an interest in hip hop, and Rothrock introduced him to Carl Stephenson, a record producer for Rap-A-Lot Records. In 1992, Beck visited Stephenson’s home to collaborate. The result—the slide-sampling hip hop track “Loser” was released in 1993. DJ Chris Douridas played the song on his radio program Morning Becomes Eclectic, and asked to have Beck play live on the air,” Douridas said. “He came in that Friday, rapped to a tape of ‘Loser’ and did his song ‘MTV Makes Me Want to Smoke Crack. Beck performed at the Los Angeles club Cafe Troy to a packed audience and talent scouts from major labels. The song then spread to Seattle through KNDD, and KROQ-FM and Beck was beset with offers from major labels. Beck signed to GEFFEN A&R records. Beck also released the sprawling, 25-track collection of pre-“Loser” recordings titled Stereopathetic Soulmanure in 1994 and also released the the low-budget, genre-blending album Mellow Gold. “Loser” became a huge hit worldwide and Beck was subsequently dubbed “King of Slackers” with Critics, dubbing Loser the essential follow-up to Radiohead’s “Creep” among the disaffected Generation X,

Sadly by the summer of 1994, Beck was struggling and many of his fellow musicians thought he had lost his way with many believing that “Loser” was a “one-hit wonder”. Beck embarked on a world tourAt some concerts, crowds were treated to twenty minutes of reggae or Miles Davis or jazz-punk iterations of “Loser”.[15] At one-day festivals in California, he surrounded himself with an artnoise combo. The drummer set fire to his cymbals; the lead guitarist “played” his char with the strings faced towards his body; and Beck changed the words to “Loser” so that nobody could sing along. However Beck gained the respect of his peers, such as Tom Petty and Johnny Cash, and created an entire wave of bands determined to recapture the Mellow Gold sound.

Beck’s second album Odelay was released in 1996 and was a blend of country, blues, rap, jazz and rock which was inspired by an unfinished studio album Beck first embarked on following the success of “Loser”, chronicling the difficult time he experienced. Beck put together an album of somber, orchestrated folk tunes which could have been a commercial blockbuster along with similarly themed work by Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails and Nirvana”. However Beck plucked one song from it “Ramshackle”—and shelved the rest (“Brother” and “Feather In Your Cap” were however later released as B-Sides). Beck was also introduced to the Dust Brothers, producers of the Beastie Boys’ album Paul’s Boutique, whose cut-and-paste, sample-heavy production suited Beck’s vision of a more fun, accessible album. It was another commercial success and critical acclaim. The record produced several hit singles, including “Where It’s At”, “Devils Haircut”, and “The New Pollution”, and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1997, winning a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album as well as a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for “Where It’s At”. He also contributed “Deadweight” to the soundtrack of the film A Life Less Ordinary.

Beck released his next album Mutations in 1998 which was a far-cry from the cut-and-paste aesthetic of Odelay meant to capture the performance of the musicians live. However it was released against Beck’s wishes so he voided the Record Company contract and they then Counter-sued Beck for breach of contract and he was mired in litigation for years. However Beck was later awarded Best Alternative Music Performance for Mutations at the 42nd Grammy Awards.

Beck’s next album Midnite Vultures was released in 1999 and included hip hop and R&B, influences in the way Al Green and Stax records had done in previous decades. Musicians included bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen, keyboardist Roger Joseph Manning Jr., and producer-engineers Mickey Petralia and Tony Hoffer plus Dozens of session players including Beck’s father, David Campbell, who played viola and arranged some of the strings. Beck wanted to make an up-tempo album that would be fun to play on tour night after night. Midnite Vultures was accompanied by a world tour. Beck, wanted to return to high-energy performances that had been his trademark as far back as Lollapalooza. Midnite Vultures was nominated for Best Album at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards.

Sadly In 2000, Beck and his fiancée, stylist Leigh Limon, ended their nine-year relationship and Beck lapsed into a period of melancholy and introspection, during which he wrote some bleak, acoustic-based tracks which appeared on the next album Sea Change which was released in 2002. Music magazine Rolling Stone described it as “the best album Beck has ever made. Sea Change came second on the year’s Pazz & Jop Critics Poll. Beck subsequently toured with The Flaming Lips as Beck’s opening and backing band. During the tour Beck was playful and energetic, sometimes throwing in covers of The Rolling Stones, Big Star, The Zombies and The Velvet Underground.

Following the release of Sea Change, Beck Wanted to change direction, and wrote nearly 35 more songs. Sadly though During his solo tour, these Demo tapes were left backstage during a stop in Washington, D.C., and Beck was never able to recover them. During the recording of Beck’s eighth studio album, Guero, several significant events occurred in his life: his girlfriend, Marissa Ribisi, became pregnant; they were married; their son, Cosimo, was born; and they moved out of Silver Lake. He collaborated with the Dust Brothers again for Guero which was released in 2005 and was notable for their use of high-tech measures to achieve a lo-fi sound. Guero featured the song “E-Pro”. Beck also collaborated with artists 8-Bit and Paza on the Hell Yes, EP. Geffen also released Guerolito, a fully reworked version of Guero featuring remixes by the Beastie Boys’ Ad-Rock, the Dust Brothers’ John King and Boards of Canada. Guerolito combined remixes previously heard as B-sides and new versions of album tracks. A Brief Overview, a 12-track promotional-only “History of Beck” compilation CD sampler was also released, this featured a combination of older and newer Beck tracks.

Beck’s ninth studio album, The Information was released in 2003 and featured low-budget videos to accompany each song, packaged the CD with sheets of stickers so buyers could customize the cover, and leaked tracks and videos also appeared on his website. Digital download releases automatically downloaded the song’s additional video for each single sale, and physical copies came bundled with an additional DVD featuring fifteen videos. In 2007, Beck released the single “Timebomb”, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance. Beck’s tenth album Modern Guilt was produced by Danger Mouse and released in 2008. This was full of off-kilter rhythms and left-field breakdowns, with an overall 1960s vibe”. Beck had known Danger Mouse before, and ended up working with Danger Mouse’s side project, Gnarls Barkley. Beck began working more heavily on his own seven-year-old label, focussing on smaller, more quixotic projects,Beck moonlighted as a producer, working with artists such as Charlotte Gainsbourg, Thurston Moore and Stephen Malkmus.

Beck also founded Record Club, a project whereby an entire classic album—by The Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen, INXS, Yanni—would be covered by another singer in the span of a single day. Beck provided four songs for the film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), each attributed to the title character’s fictional band, Sex Bob-Omb Beck also collaborated with Philip Glass,Jack White, Tobacco of Black Moth Super Rainbow, Jamie Lidell, Seu Jorge, Childish Gambino, and The Lonely Island. Beck released Song Reader which comprised songs presented only as sheet music,to inspire enterprising musicians to record their own versions. The idea of Song Reader came about shortly after the release of Odelay after Beck was sent a book of transcribed sheet music for that album, He aimed to keep the arrangements as open as possible, to re-create the simplicity of the standards, and became preoccupied with creating only pieces that could fit within the Great American Songbook. In 2013 Beck began playing special Song Reader concerts with a variety of guests and announced he was working on a record of Song Reader material with other musicians.

In 2014 Beck released the electro ballad “Defriended”, the chorus-heavy “I Won’t Be Long” and the song Gimme and also released his twelfth studio album, Morning Phase, reuniting him with musicians who had worked on Sea Change. This contained the songs “Blue Moon” and, “Waking Light”. Beck also Headlined the Boston Calling Music Festival in May 2015. Morning Phase also won three Grammys for : Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical; Best Rock Album; and Album of the Year at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. Beck’s latest album includes the songs “Dreams”,”Wow” and “Up All Night” “7th Heaven,” “Dear Life” and “No Distraction”

Louis Armstrong

American trumpeter, composer, singer and occasional actor louis Armstrong tragically died of a heart attack in his sleep on July 6, 1971, a month before his 70th birthday while residing in Corona, Queens, New York City.

He was born August 4, 1901 in New Orleans, Louisiana ans spent his youth in a rough neighborhood known as the Battlefield, which was part of the Storyville legal prostitution district. His father, William Armstrong, abandoned the family when Louis was an infant. His mother, Mary “Mayann” Albert left Louis and his younger sister, Beatrice Armstrong Collins in the care of his grandmother, Josephine Armstrong, and at times his uncle Isaac. At five, he moved back to live with his mother, her relatives and a parade of “stepfathers”. He attended the Fisk School for Boys, where he most likely had early exposure to music. He brought in some money by selling newspapers, delivering coal, singing on the streets at night, and also by finding discarded food and selling it to restaurants, but it was not enough to keep his mother from prostitution. He hung out in dance halls close to home, where he observed everything from licentious dancing to the quadrille. For extra money he also hauled coal to Storyville, and listened to the bands playing in the brothels and dance halls, especially Pete Lala’s, where Joe “King” Oliver performed as well as other famous musicians who would drop in to jam.

After dropping out of the Fisk School at age eleven, Armstrong joined a quartet of boys who sang in the streets for money. He also started to get into trouble. Cornet player Bunk Johnson said he taught Armstrong (then 11) to play by ear at Dago Tony’s Tonk in New Orleans. He also worked for a Lithuanian-Jewish immigrant family, the Karnofskys, who had a junk-hauling business and gave him odd jobs. The influence of Karnofsky is remembered in New Orleans by the Karnofsky Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to accepting donated musical instruments to put them into the hands of an eager child who could not otherwise take part in a wonderful learning experience.

Armstrong developed his cornet playing skills by playing in the band of the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs, where he had been sent multiple times for general delinquency, most notably for firing his stepfather’s pistol into the air at a New Year’s Eve celebration . Professor Peter Davis (who frequently appeared at the home at the request of its administrator, Captain Joseph Jones) instilled discipline in and provided musical training to the otherwise self-taught Armstrong. Eventually, Davis made Armstrong the band leader. The home band played around New Orleans and the thirteen-year-old Louis began to draw attention by his cornet playing, starting him on a musical career. At fourteen he was released from the home, living again with his father and new stepmother, Gertrude, and then back with his mother. Armstrong got his first dance hall job at Henry Ponce’s, where Black Benny became his protector and guide. He hauled coal by day and played his cornet at night.

He played in the city’s frequent brass band parades and listened to older musicians every chance he got, learning from Bunk Johnson, Buddy Petit, Kid Ory, and above all, Joe “King” Oliver, who acted as a mentor and father figure to the young musician. Later, he played in brass bands and riverboats of New Orleans, and began traveling with the well-regarded band of Fate Marable, which toured on a steamboat up and down the Mississippi River. He described his time with Marable as “going to the University,” since it gave him a much wider experience working with written arrangements. In 1919, Joe Oliver resigned from Kid Ory’s band; Armstrong replaced him. He also became second trumpet for the Tuxedo Brass Band. Throughout his riverboat experience, Armstrong’s musicianship began to mature and expand. At twenty, he could read music and started playing extended trumpet solos, one of the first jazz men to do this, injecting his own personality and style into his solo turns. He had learned how to create a unique sound and also started using singing and patter in his performances.

In 1922, Armstrong went to Chicago, after being invited by his mentor, Joe “King” Oliver, to join his Creole Jazz Band. Oliver’s band was among the most influential jazz bands in Chicago in the early 1920s, at a time when Chicago was the center of the jazz universe. Armstrong lived luxuriously in Chicago, in his own apartment with his own private bath (his first). Excited as he was to be in Chicago, he began his career-long pastime of writing nostalgic letters to friends in New Orleans. Unusually, Armstrong could blow two hundred high Cs in a row. As his reputation grew, he was challenged to instrumental “cutting contests” by hornmen trying to displace him.[17] Armstrong made his first recordings on the Gennett and Okeh labels (jazz records were starting to boom across the country), including taking some solos and breaks, while playing second cornet in Oliver’s band in 1923. At this time, he met Hoagy Carmichael (with whom he would collaborate later) who was introduced by friend Bix Beiderbecke, who now had his own Chicago band.

Armstrong enjoyed working with Oliver, but Louis’ second wife, pianist Lil Hardin Armstrong, urged him to seek more prominent billing and develop his newer style away from the influence of Oliver. Lil had her husband play classical music in church concerts to broaden his skill and improve his solo play and she prodded him into wearing more stylish attire to make him look sharp and to better offset his growing girth. Lil’s influence eventually undermined Armstrong’s relationship with his mentor, especially concerning his salary and additional moneys that Oliver held back from Armstrong and other band members. Armstrong and Oliver parted amicably in 1924. Shortly afterward, Armstrong received an invitation to go to New York City to play with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, the top African-American band of the time. Armstrong switched to the trumpet to blend in better with the other musicians in his section. His influence upon Henderson’s tenor sax soloist, Coleman Hawkins, can be judged by listening to the records made by the band during this period.

Armstrong quickly adapted to the more tightly controlled style of Henderson, playing trumpet and even experimenting with the trombone. The other members quickly took up Armstrong’s emotional, expressive pulse. Soon his act included singing and telling tales of New Orleans characters, especially preachers.[18] The Henderson Orchestra was playing in prominent venues for white-only patrons, including the famed Roseland Ballroom, featuring the arrangements of Don Redman. Duke Ellington’s orchestra would go to Roseland to catch Armstrong’s performances and young horn men around town tried in vain to outplay him, splitting their lips in their attempts. Armstrong made many recordings on the side, arranged by an old friend from New Orleans, pianist Clarence Williams; including small jazz band sides with the Williams Blue Five (some of the most memorable pairing Armstrong with one of Armstrong’s few rivals in fiery technique and ideas, Sidney Bechet) and a series of accompaniments with blues singers, including Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Alberta Hunter.

Armstrong returned to Chicago in 1925. He was content in New York but conceded that the Henderson Orchestra was limiting his artistic growth. In publicity, much to his chagrin, she billed him as “the World’s Greatest Trumpet Player”. At first, he was actually a member of the Lil Hardin Armstrong Band and working for his wife. He began recording under his own name for Okeh with his famous Hot Five and Hot Seven groups, producing hits such as “Potato Head Blues”, “Muggles” (a slang term for marijuana cigarettes: Armstrong used marijuana daily for much of his life and “West End Blues”, the music of which set the standard and the agenda for jazz for many years to come.

The group included Kid Ory (trombone), Johnny Dodds (clarinet), Johnny St. Cyr (banjo), wife Lil on piano, and usually no drummer. Armstrong’s band leading style was easygoing. Among the most notable of the Hot Five and Seven records were “Cornet Chop Suey,” “Struttin’ With Some Barbecue,” “Hotter Than that” and “Potato Head Blues,”, all featuring highly creative solos by Armstrong. His recordings soon after with pianist Earl “Fatha” Hines (most famously their 1928 “Weather Bird” duet) and Armstrong’s trumpet introduction to and solo in “West End Blues” remain some of the most famous and influential improvisations in jazz history. Armstrong’s style included a heavy dose of effervescent jive, such as “whip that thing, Miss Lil” and “Mr. Johnny Dodds, Aw, do that clarinet, boy!” Armstrong also played with Erskine Tate’s Little Symphony, at the Vendome Theatre. They furnished music for silent movies and live shows, including jazz versions of classical music, such as “Madame Butterfly”, which gave Armstrong experience with longer forms of music and with hosting before a large audience. He began to scat sing (improvised vocal jazz using nonsensical words) and was among the first to record it, on the Hot Five recording “Heebie Jeebies” in 1926. After separating from Lil, Armstrong started to play at the Sunset Café for Al Capone’s associate Joe Glaser in the Carroll Dickerson Orchestra, with Earl Hines on piano, which was soon renamed Louis Armstrong and his Stompers. Hines and Armstrong became fast friends and successful collaborators.Armstrong returned to New York, in 1929, where he played in the pit orchestra of the successful musical Hot Chocolate, an all-black revue written by Andy Razaf and pianist/composer Fats Waller. He also made a cameo appearance as a vocalist, regularly stealing the show with his rendition of “Ain’t Misbehavin’”,

Armstrong then worked at Connie’s Inn in Harlem, chief rival to the Cotton Club, a venue for elaborately staged floor shows, and a front for gangster Dutch Schultz. Armstrong also had considerable success with vocal recordings, including versions of famous songs composed by his old friend Hoagy Carmichael. His 1930s recordings took full advantage of the new RCA ribbon microphone, introduced in 1931, which imparted a characteristic warmth to vocals and immediately became an intrinsic part of the ‘crooning’ sound of artists like Bing Crosby, such as His famous interpretation of Carmichael’s “Stardust” And his radical re-working of Sidney Arodin and Carmichael’s “Lazy River”.

As with his trumpet playing, Armstrong’s vocal innovations served as a foundation stone for the art of jazz vocal interpretation. The uniquely gravelly coloration of his voice became a musical archetype that was much imitated and endlessly impersonated. His scat singing style was enriched by his matchless experience as a trumpet soloist. His resonant, velvety lower-register tone and bubbling cadences on sides such as “Lazy River” exerted a huge influence On singers such as Bing Crosby.The Great Depression of the early 1930s was especially hard on the jazz scene. The Cotton Club closed in 1936 after a long downward spiral, and many musicians stopped playing altogether as club dates evaporated. Bix Beiderbecke died and Fletcher Henderson’s band broke up. King Oliver made a few records but otherwise struggled. Sidney Bechet became a tailor, later moving to Paris and Kid Ory returned to New Orleans and raised chickens.

In 1930 Armstrong moved to Los Angeles to seek new opportunities. He played at the New Cotton Club in Los Angeles with Lionel Hampton on drums. The band drew the Hollywood crowd, which could still afford a lavish night life, while radio broadcasts from the club connected with younger audiences at home. Bing Crosby and many other celebrities were regulars at the club. In 1931, Armstrong appeared in his first movie, Ex-Flame and was also convicted of marijuana possession but received a suspended sentence. He returned to Chicago in late 1931 and played in bands more in the Guy Lombardo vein and he recorded more standards. When the mob insisted that he leave, Armstrong visited New Orleans, had a hero’s welcome and saw old friends. He sponsored a local baseball team known as “Armstrong’s Secret Nine” and had a cigar named after him. Following a tour across America shadowed by the mob, Armstrong decided to go to Europe to escape.

After returning to the United States, he undertook several exhausting tours. However he had financial troubleS and Breach of contract violations plagued him. Finally, he hired Joe Glaser as his new manager, a tough mob-connected wheeler-dealer, who began to straighten out his legal mess, his mob troubles, and his debts. Armstrong also began to experience problems with his fingers and lips, which were aggravated by his unorthodox playing style. As a result, he branched out, developing his vocal style and making his first theatrical appearances. He appeared in movies again, including Pennies from Heaven. In 1937, Armstrong substituted for Rudy Vallee on the CBS radio network. In 1943 Armstrong settled permanently in Queens, New York with his fourth wife, Lucille. where he continued to develop his playing. He recorded Hoagy Carmichael’s Rockin’ Chair for Okeh Records.

During the subsequent 30 years, Armstrong played more than 300 gigs a year. Bookings for big bands tapered off during the 1940s due to changes in public tastes: ballrooms closed, and there was competition from television and from other types of music becoming more popular than big band music. However, a revival in the traditional jazz of the 1920s made it possible for Armstrong to consider a return to the small-group musical style of his youth. Following a highly successful small-group jazz concert at New York Town Hall on May 17, 1947, featuring Armstrong with trombonist/singer Jack Teagarden, Armstrong’s manager, Joe Glaser dissolved the Armstrong big band on August 13, 1947, and established a six-piece traditional jazz group featuring Armstrong with Teagarden, Earl Hines and other top swing and Dixieland musicians, most of whom were previously leaders of big bands. This group was called Louis Armstrong and His All Stars and included at various times Earl “Fatha” Hines, Barney Bigard, Edmond Hall, Jack Teagarden, Trummy Young, Arvell Shaw, Billy Kyle, Marty Napoleon, Big Sid Catlett, Cozy Cole, Tyree Glenn, Barrett Deems, Mort Herbert, Joe Darensbourg, Eddie Shu and the percussionist Danny Barcelona. Armstrong also made many recordings and appeared in over thirty films. He was the first jazz musician to appear on the cover of Time magazine, on February 21, 1949. In 1948, he participated in the Nice Jazz Festival, where Suzy Delair sang “C’est si bon”, by Henri Betti and André Hornez, for the first time in public.in 1950, Armstrong recorded the first American version of C’est si bon (Henri Betti, André Hornez, Jerry Seelen) and La Vie en rose (Louiguy, Édith Piaf, Mack David). He also toured Ghana and Nigeria, performing with Victor Olaiya during the Nigerian Civil war.

By the 1950s, Armstrong was a widely beloved American icon and cultural ambassador who commanded an international fanbase. However, a growing generation gap became apparent between him and the young jazz musicians who emerged in the postwar era such as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Sonny Rollins. The postwar generation regarded their music as abstract art and contempory players considered Armstrong’s vaudevillian style, half-musician and half-stage entertainer, outmoded. While touring Australia, 1954, he modified his anatomical references for the sake of the gentle ears of his host country, “Bebop?” he husked. “I just play music. Guys who invent terms like that are walking the streets with their instruments under their arms “. Sadly in 1959 Armstrong suffered a heart attack while touring Italy. In 1964, he recorded, “Hello, Dolly!”, a song by Jerry Herman, originally sung by Carol Channing. This remained on the Hot 100 for 22 weeks, and went to No. 1 making him, at 62 years, 9 months and 5 days, the oldest person have Number One hit. He also dislodged the Beatles from the No. 1 position they had occupied for 14 consecutive weeks with three different songs. Armstrong made his last recorded trumpet performances on his 1968 album Disney Songs the Satchmo Way.

Armstrong kept touring well into his 60s, even visiting part of the communist bloc in 1965. He also toured Africa, Europe, and Asia under the sponsorship of the US State Department with great success, earning the nickname “Ambassador Satch” and inspiring Dave Brubeck to compose his jazz musical The Real Ambassadors. By 1968, he was approaching 70 and his health finally began to give out. He suffered heart and kidney ailments that forced him to stop touring. Armstrong did not perform publicly at all in 1969 and spent most of the year recuperating at home. Meanwhile, his longtime manager Joe Glaser died. By the summer of 1970, Armstrong’s doctors pronounced him fit enough to resume live performances. He embarked on another world tour, but a heart attack forced him to take a break for two months.

Armstrong had nineteen “Top Ten” records including “Stardust”, “What a Wonderful World”, “When The Saints Go Marching In”, “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, “You Rascal You”, and “Stompin’ at the Savoy”. “We Have All the Time in the World” was featured on the soundtrack of the James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and His 1964 song “Bout Time” was later featured in the film Bewitched. Armstrong performed in Italy at the 1968 Sanremo Music Festival where he sang “Mi Va di Cantare” alongside his friend Lara Saint Paul. He also appeared with Lara Saint Paul on the Italian RAI television channel where he performed “Grassa e Bella,”. In 1968, Armstrong released “What a Wonderful World”, Which was also used twenty years later in the 1987 film Good Morning Vietnam In 1970 Armstrong appeared on the October 28, 1970, Johnny Cash Show, Singing Nat King Cole’s hit “Ramblin’ Rose” and joined Cash backing Jimmie Rodgers on “Blue Yodel No. 9”.

Armstrong appeared in more than a dozen Hollywood films, usually playing a bandleader or musician. His most familiar role was as the bandleader cum narrator in the 1956 musical, High Society, in which he sang the title song and performed a duet with Bing Crosby on “Now You Has Jazz”. In 1947, he played himself in the movie New Orleans opposite Billie Holiday, which chronicled the demise of the Storyville district and the ensuing exodus of musicians from New Orleans to Chicago. In the 1959 film, The Five Pennies (the story of the cornetist Red Nichols), Armstrong played himself as well as singing and playing several classic numbers. With Danny Kaye Armstrong performed a duet of “When the Saints Go Marching In” during which Kaye impersonated Armstrong. Armstrong also had a part in the film alongside James Stewart in The Glenn Miller Story in which Glenn (played by Stewart) jammed with Armstrong and a few other noted musicians of the time. In 1969, Armstrong had a cameo role in the film version of Hello, Dolly! as the bandleader, Louis, to which he sang the title song with actress Barbra Streisand. His solo recording of “Hello, Dolly!” is one of his most recognizable performances. In 1956 Armstrong played a bandleader in the television production “The Lord Don’t Play Favorites” on Producers’ Showcase.He was heard on such radio programs as The Story of Swing (1937) and This Is Jazz (1947), and made countless television appearances, during the 1950s and 1960s, including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

Armstrong appears as a minor fictionalized character in Harry Turtledove’s Southern Victory Series. When he and his band escape from a Nazi-like Confederacy, they enhance the insipid mainstream music of the North. A young Armstrong also appears as a minor fictionalized character in Patrick Neate’s 2001 novel Twelve Bar Blues, part of which is set in New Orleans, which won the Whitbread Book Awards. There is a scene in Stardust Memories (1980) in which Woody Allen is overwhelmed by a recording of Armstrong’s “Stardust” and experiences a nostalgic epiphany. Terry Teachout wrote a one-man play about Armstrong called Satchmo at the Waldorf that was premiered in 2011 in Orlando, Fla., and has since been produced by Shakespeare & Company, Long Wharf Theater, and the Wilma Theater. The production ran off Broadway in 2014. A fledgling musician named “Louis,” who is obsessed with Buddy Bolden, appears in two of David Fulmer’s Storyville novels: Chasing the Devil’s Tail and Jass.

Against his doctor’s advice, Armstrong played a two-week engagement in March 1971 at the Waldorf-Astoria’s Empire Room and had a heart attack. He was released from the hospital in May, and quickly resumed practicing his trumpet playing. Still hoping to get back on the road, however this proved too much and Armstrong tragically died. Following his death  He was interred in Flushing Cemetery, Flushing, in Queens, New York City. His honorary pallbearers included Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Pearl Bailey, Count Basie, Harry James, Frank Sinatra, Ed Sullivan, Earl Wilson, Alan King, Johnny Carson and David Frost. Peggy Lee sang The Lord’s Prayer at the services while Al Hibbler sang “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” and Fred Robbins, a long-time friend, gave the eulogy. Louis Armstrong was one of the most influential figures in jazz.

Jimmy Crespo (Aerosmith)/

Jimmy Crespo, American guitarist and songwriter with rock band Aerosmith was born 5 July 1954. Sometimes referred to as “The Bad Boys from Boston” and “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” The band was formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970. Guitarist Joe Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton, originally in a band together called the Jam Band, met up with singer Steven Tyler, drummer Joey Kramer, and guitarist Ray Tabano, and formed Aerosmith. In 1971, Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford, and the band began developing a following in Boston, Their style, which is rooted in blues-based hard rock, has come to also incorporate elements of pop, heavy metal, and rhythm and blues, and has inspired many subsequent rock artists.

They were signed to Columbia Records in 1972, and released a string of multi-platinum albums, beginning with their 1973 eponymous debut album, followed by their 1974 album Get Your Wings. In 1975, the band broke into the mainstream with the album Toys in the Attic, and their 1976 follow-up Rocks cemented their status as hard rock superstars.The band released two more albums, toured extensively, and charted a string of Hot 100 singles. By the end of the 1970s, they were among the most popular hard rock bands in the world and developed a loyal following of fans, often referred to as the “Blue Army”. However, drug addiction and internal conflict took their toll on the band, which resulted in the departures of Perry and Whitford in 1979 and 1981, respectively; they were replaced by Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay. The band did not fare well between 1980 and 1984, releasing a lone album, Rock in a Hard Place, which went gold but failed to match their previous successes. Perry and Whitford returned in 1984 and the band signed a new deal with Geffen Records. After a comeback tour, the band recorded Done with Mirrors, which won some critical praise but failed to come close to commercial expectations. It was not until the band sobered up and released 1987′s Permanent Vacation that they regained the level of popularity they had experienced in the 1970s.Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, the band scored several hits including Dude, looks like a lady Walk this Way (Featuring RUN DMC) and “love in an elvator“, and won numerous awards for music from the multi-platinum albums Pump, Get a Grip, and Nine Lives. The band also became a pop culture phenomenon with popular music videos and notable appearances in television, film, and video games. Their comeback has been described as one of the most remarkable and spectacular in rock ‘n’ roll history. Additional albums followed in 2001 and 2004 including the songs Crazy (Featuring Alicia Silverstone & Liv Tyler) and I don’t Wanna Miss a Thing, from the film Armageddon.

After 42 years of performing, the band continues to tour and record music. Their latest album,is The Aerosmith reunion album “Music From Another Dimension” which was Released 2 Nov 2012, The album opens with Luv xxx which is an absolute classic Aerosmith track, Oh Yeah is another awesome bluesy track with huge depth and Out Go The Lights is an epic rock and roll song.’Closer’ also carries a bluesy edge and is a strong, slow-tempo song, while ‘Freedom Fighter’ is a pseudo-political rock number with Joe Perry on vocals. “Legendary Child.” is another awesome track. Aerosmith are among the best-selling American rock bands of all time, having sold more than 150 million albums worldwide,including 66.5 million albums in the United States alone. They also hold the record for the most gold and multi-platinum albums by an American group. The band has scored 21 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, nine number-one Mainstream Rock hits, four Grammy Awards, and ten MTV Video Music Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and were included among both Rolling Stone’s and VH1′s lists of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time

Huey Lewis

Huey Lewis, the lead singer with the band Huey Lewis and the News was born 5th July 1950. Based in San Francisco, California. Huey Lewis and the News had a run of hit singles during the 1980s and early 1990s, eventually scoring a total of 19 top-ten singles across the Billboard Hot 100, Adult Contemporary and Mainstream Rock charts. Their greatest success was in the 1980s with the number-one album, Sports, coupled with a series of highly successful MTV videos. Their worldwide fame expanded when the song “The Power of Love” was featured as a key track in the film Back to the Future, became a number-one hit, and nominated for an nrss,Academy Award. The News combined a rock (and sometimes, a “blues-rock”) backing with soul and doo-wop-influenced harmony vocals and Lewis’ voice.In 1972, singer/harmonica player Huey Lewis and keyboardist Sean Hopper joined the Bay Area jazz-funk band Clover. Clover recorded several albums in the 1970s, and in the middle of the decade transplanted themselves to England to become part of the UK pub rock scene for a time. Without Lewis (but with Hopper), they eventually became the original backing band for Elvis Costello’s first album My Aim Is True.

Lewis also worked with Irish band Thin Lizzy, contributing harmonica to the song “Baby Drives Me Crazy,” recorded onstage for the Live and Dangerous album. Lizzy bassist/vocalist Phil Lynott introduces Lewis by name during the song. The band returned to the Bay Area by the end of the 1970s. Clover’s main competition in the Bay Area jazz-funk scene was a band called Soundhole, whose members included drummer Bill Gibson, saxophonist/guitarist Johnny Colla, and bassist Mario Cipollina (younger brother of John Cipollina). Like Clover, Soundhole had spent time backing a famous singer, Van Morrison. After getting a singles contract from Phonogram Records in 1978, Huey Lewis united his former bandmate and three of his former rivals to form a new group, Huey Lewis & The American Express. In 1979 they recorded and released a single, “Exo-Disco” (a disco version of the theme from the film Exodus), In 1979, the band wooed guitarist Chris Hayes and moved to Chrysalis Records. in January 1980 they changed their name to Huey Lewis and the News and issued their first studio album, a self-titled LP, Huey Lewis and the News. In 1982, the band released their second studio album, the self-produced Picture This, containing the songs “Do You Believe in Love” , “Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do” and “Workin’ for a Livin’. their third studio album, Sports, initially hit No. 6 in the U.S. when first released. Four singles from the album reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100: “Heart and Soul” reached No. 8, while “I Want a New Drug,” “The Heart of Rock & Roll,” and “If This Is It” all reached No. 6.Their song “The Power of Love” was a number-one U.S. hit and featured in the 1985 film Back to the Future, for which they also recorded the song, “Back in Time”, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Following the success of “The Power of Love” and Back to the Future, Huey Lewis and the News released their fourth studio album, Fore! in 1986. Fore! followed the success of Sports and reached number-one on the Billboard 200. The album spawned the number-one singles, “Stuck with You” and “Jacob’s Ladder” as well as the mainstream rock hit “Hip to Be Square”. In all, the album had five top-ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified triple platinum. The band continued to tour throughout 1987, and released Small World in 1988. After two hit, multi-platinum albums, Small World was considered a commercial disappointment, peaking at No. 11 and only going platinum. The album, which was more jazz and less rock than their previous albums, had one top ten single, “Perfect World”In 1991, they released Hard at Play, which went back to the R&B/rock sound of their earlier albums, and released the hit singles, “Couple Days Off” (No. 11) and “It Hit Me Like a Hammer” (No. 21). The album was certified Gold the bands also released a cover album in 1994 called Four Chords & Several Years Ago featuring doo-wop and rock songs from the 1950s and 1960s. In early 1997, the band released their first greatest hits album, Time Flies, which focused primarily on the releases from Picture This, Sports, and Fore!, and included four new tracks.

In 2001 Huey Lewis and the News released the abum Plan B, which featured the single, “Let Her Go & Start Over”? The band continues to tour regularly, and in December 2004, Huey Lewis and the News recorded the live album, Live at 25, at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California, which celebrated their 25th anniversary as a band. In the summer of 2006, the band co-headlined a U.S. tour with Chicago. Highlights of the tour included Chicago’s Bill Champlin playing with the band, and members of Huey Lewis and the News playing on Chicago’s percussion-laden hit “I’m a Man”. Huey Lewis also sang the lead on Chicago’s “Colour My World”. On August 21, 2007, the band played a show at the California State Fair and were joined on stage by Cipollina during a four-song encore, his first on-stage performance with the group in over 10 years. Huey Lewis and the News performed at the 28th annual presentation of A Capitol Fourth in Washington, D.C.,The band returned to the studio in 2010, recording their first album of new material in nearly a decade. The album, entitled Soulsville, is a Stax Records tribute album