Friday, October 20, 2017

Rock & Roll in the NEWS: Where New Rock Meets Old Rock...October 20, 2017 (Peter Wolf - J. Geils Band - News)

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J. Geils Band's Peter Wolf Recalls Passing on Tom Petty Hit

  Tom Petty performs at the Fox Theater on June 22, 2016 in Oakland, Calif

In 1979, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers recorded their song “Don’t Do Me Like That.” It ended up being one of the most important songs in Petty’s career. It was his first top-10 hit, and it served as the lead single from Damn The Torpedoes, the album that made Petty a star.
But the song could’ve ended up with someone else. Legend has always had it that Petty thought about giving “Don’t Do Me Like That” to the J. Geils Band, who were still in the midst of their hot streak at the time. (Petty and the Heartbreakers had opened for the J. Geils Band on tour.) And the rumor has always been that Damn The Torpedoes producer Jimmy Iovine convinced Petty to keep the song for himself. But now J. Geils Band singer Peter Wolf has said that Petty really did offer his song to Wolf’s band and that the band turned him down.

Talking to Rolling Stone, Wolf tells the whole story about how he got to know Petty and how he ended up turning down what would become a massive song. Here’s what he says about “Don’t Do Me Like That”:
It was in the midst of stuff. Maybe we thought we had the songs for our album: “We can do it for the next one.” I called up Jimmy and, I think, Tom and said, “Love the song. I’m not sure we’re gonna get to it. But I do like the song.” Tom wasn’t sure of it for himself for some reason. It was almost like, “As soon as I finished writing it, I thought of sending it to you.”…
It’s funny — it came up in our last conversation. Tom and I were together in his dressing room [in Philadelphia last July]. I said, “Tom, I gotta tell you, ‘Don’t Do Me Like That’…” And he goes, “Oh, yeah! Whatever happened?” I explained the whole thing – we were in the mix process or something. And he said, “I gotta thank you for that. When you didn’t end up doing it, everybody talked me into putting it on the record. And it became one of my big, big hits.”
Wolf’s new band the Midnight Travellers actually opened for Petty’s final tour, which is a cool full-circle thing. Read the full story here.
This article originally appeared in Stereogum.

Rock & Roll in the NEWS: Where New Rock Meets Old Rock...October 20, 2017 (Chris Cornell - MusiCares)

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How Chris Cornell's Guitar Strap Will Help Addiction Recovery

  Chris Cornell poses for a portrait to promote his latest album, "Higher Truth," during a music video shoot in Agoura Hills, Calif

Rocker Chris Cornell -- who died May 18 by suicide after battling substance abuse for years -- is among the A-list musicians who have donated personal items ranging from guitar straps to leather pants that California-based watch and accessory brand Nixon has fashioned into the Rock LTD Collection, a one-of-a-kind capsule collection of watches.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares MAP Fund, a charity arm of the Recording Academy dedicated to addiction recovery treatment. Other artists who donated items as part of the collection include Elton John, Foo Fighters frontman and Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, and Iggy Pop.
Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy and MusiCares, praised the bold-faced musicians who have contributed pieces over the years, and applauded Cornell as "legendary, unique, iconic, thoughtful, provocative and the penultimate musical artist."
The collection, available in time for the holidays, ranges from 25 to 30 pieces with prices ranging from $1,200 to $1,800 except for the Cornell piece which will tour to Nixon’s flagship locations in New York, London and Paris in the spring of 2018 before being auctioned off at a MusiCares benefit in May 2018.
Cornell, the Soundgarden and Audioslave rocker, had long been dedicated to MusiCares. In 2007, he was honored alongside promoter Jeff McClusky at the MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert with the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award for his support of the organization and his efforts in helping other addicts.
Nixon CEO Chad DiNenna tells THR that Cornell agreed to donate the guitar strap before his death and that his family was consulted on how to move forward now that he's gone. "This is what he would want," DiNenna says.
Says widow Vicky Cornell, "Addiction is a disease, and we lose far too many loved ones to the illness each day. MusiCares is a crucial organization and the MusiCares MAP Fund 100 percent supports the music community in its fight to protect those battling this affliction."

Nixon launched the collection as a benefit for MusiCares in 2005, and this year marks the seventh Rock LTD line (it has taken sporadic breaks over the years). Descriptions of this year's range include: John, a Sentry Chrono designed from donated leather paisley-patterned belt; Grohl, a Sentry designed from donated plaid flannel shirt; Novoselic, a Sentry designed from donated Sound City denim jacket; and Pop, a Sentry designed from donated leather chain wallet and belt.
Each watch is individually hand-numbered to denote its rarity. Additionally, each watch features a custom, etched case back with the name of the artist and is packaged with a certificate of authenticity from Nixon. Rockers who have previously donated items as part of the Rock LTD Collections include Ozzy Osbourne, Keith Richards, Pete Townshend, Eddie Van Halen, Steven Tyler, Ringo Starr, Anthony Kiedis and Flea, and Dave Navarro, among others.
This delivery of the Rock LTD Collection will be available at global retailers, including Ron Robinson, Sun Diego and Toronto’s Got Style. The collection will also be available at Nixon flagship locations including Nixon Chadstone and Bondi (AUS), Nixon London Carnaby, Nixon London Seven Dials, Nixon Paris and Nixon NYC. 
Says DiNenna, "Each piece is unique and to help spread the word for MusiCares."
And it shows, says Portnow. "Since MusiCares has a particular focus on helping people to achieve sobriety and have good, productive, happy lives, we are at the forefront, we believe, of getting the message out how important it is for everybody to pay attention to these issues — particularly in our creative community. This (collection) not only raises awareness, but provides a tangible way to help others.
This article originally appeared in

Rock & Roll in the NEWS: Where New Rock Meets Old Rock...October 20, 2017 (Gord Downie - R.I.P.)

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A Timeline of Gord Downie's Greatest Moments in The Tragically Hip

  Gordon Downie

It’s no exaggeration that many Canadians are in pain after hearing the news this morning that Gord Downie died Tuesday night.
The Tragically Hip’s frontman, who had brain cancer, has been part of the national arts fabric for more than 30 years -- the band released its first self-titled EP in 1987 and went on to sell more than 8 million albums globally. 
While there are too many to mention, Billboard has compiled some key musical moments in Downie’s history with The Hip.
1984:  The Tragically Hip formed in Kingston, Ontario, taking its name from a sketch in the Monkees’ Michael Nesmith’s video compilation Elephant Parts. The early lineup featured Gord Downie, Gord Sinclair (bass), Rob Baker (guitar), Johnny Fay (drums) and a saxophonist, Davis Manning, who left in 1986. Guitarist Paul Langlois later joined the fold. The lineup remained intact until Downie's passing.
1987: The band’s self-titled debut EP, The Tragically Hip, produced by Red Rider guitarist Ken Greer, was released and spawned two singles, "Small Town Bring-Down" and "Last American Exit." The Management Trust paid for it and RCA licensed it in Canada only.
1988: MCA VP of A&R Bruce Dickinson heard a track on a CMJ sampler, then flew to Toronto to see the band play two songs on the Toronto Music Awards and a full show the next night at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern. He signed the band.
1989: The Hip’s first full-length album, Up to Here, was produced by Don Smith and sold 100,000 units the first year. Eventually it would be certified Diamond, signifying sales of a million copies, no easy feat in a country this size (Gold, at the time, was 50,000, and platinum, 100,000). It includes such radio staples as “Blow at High Dough,” “New Orleans is Sinking” and "38 Years Old.” The band also won a Juno Award for most promising artist.
1991: The Hip's second full-length studio album, Road Apples, went platinum in 10 days in and they won entertainer of the year at the Juno Awards.
1992: The band's third full-length album, Fully Completely, was loaded with singles, such as “Locked in the Trunk of a Car,”   “Wheat Kings,” “Courage (For Hugh MacLennan)” and “Fifty Mission Cap. It too went Diamond.

1993: The Hip created Another Roadside Attraction, its own summer festival, that included Midnight Oil, Daniel Lanois, Hothouse Flowers and Crash Vegas on the first lineup. The five acts also released a charity single together entitled “Land” to protest clearcutting in British Columbia. The second festival, in 1995, included Blues Traveler, Matthew Sweet and others, while the last, in 1997, featured Sheryl Crow, Wilco, Los Lobos and more.
1994: Day for Night sold 300,000 copies in four days and was the band’s first release to debut at No. 1 on the Canadian Album Charts. It has since been certified 6x platinum and included singles “Grace, Too,” “Greasy Jungle,” “Nautical Disaster,” "So Hard Done By,” “Scared” and “Thugs.”
1995: The Hip get a coveted spot as musical guests on Saturday Night Live and were introduced by SNL alum Dan Aykroyd, a major fan of the band’s. The Canadian actor/comedian helped get them on the show. The band played “Grace, Too” and “Nautical Disaster.” They headlined their first concert at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens, played 30 U.S. dates with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant and toured Europe with The Rolling Stones.
1997: Trouble in the Henhouse went seven-times platinum and won three Juno Awards, including album of the year, beating out Celine Dion who had won a Grammy in the same category earlier that year (it contained her Titanic smash).
1998: The Hip’s seventh full-length, Phantom Power, produced five singles and won 1999 Junos for best single (for “Bobcageon” and best album design, and, in 2000, rock album of the year. It has been certified triple platinum.
1999: The Tragically Hip was selected to open then-brand new arena, Air Canada Centre. The band played there again on NYE and New Years Day to ring in the new millennium. They would frequently play the arena, including a 2004 stop that was recorded for the live DVD, That Night in Toronto, and three shows on their farewell tour in the summer of 2016.
2000:  The release of Music @ Work, which went double platinum and won the 2001 Juno for best rock album. It also reached No. 1 on the Canadian Billboard charts. Los Lobos member Steve Berlin, who toured with the band on Another Roadside Attraction, co-produced the set. That year, on Canada Day (July 1), the band played to 10,000 people in New York City’s Central Park and in September a charity show for War Child at The Forks in Winnipeg, which drew 80,000 people and raised over $500,000. 
2002: The Hip made a cameo as a curling team in Paul Gross’ film Men with Brooms. “Poets” and “Throwing Off Glass” are in the soundtrack. That same year, the band entertained Queen Elizabeth II with “Poets” and "It's a Good Life If You Don't Weaken" at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall.
2005: The Tragically Hip was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the Juno Awards in Winnipeg. Later that year, the band released a box set, entitled Hipeponmous, that included a double CD; double DVD; a documentary, Macroscopic; an animated short film, The Right Whale; a 2004 full-length concert; two new songs and other goodies.
2006: World Container, produced by Bob Rock, spawns four singles and reaches No. 1 on the Canadian rock charts. The band toured Canada, Europe and the U.S., including some dates with The Who.
2008: The Hip opened the then-new K-Rock Centre. It is the same venue where the band played its final-ever show together on Aug. 20, 2016, which was broadcast to millions.
2012: To celebrate the release of Now for Plan A, the band’s 12th studio album, produced by Gavin Brown, the band played free mini-sets every hour, facing the street at the small venue Supermarket in Kensington Market on Pedestrian Sundays. Once word got out, they did the same thing the following Monday through the Wednesday.
2015: The band hit the road in Canada and the U.S. for much of the year to celebrate the remastered versions of Fully Completely, reissue in three packages -- 2 CD deluxe, super deluxe and vinyl. All include the previously unreleased tracks “Radio Show” and “So Hard Done By,” but the deluxe versions both comes with a live album recorded at the Horseshoe in 1992.
2016: The announcement of the 13th and latest full-length studio album, Man Machine Poem, co-produced by Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene and Dave Hamelin, formerly of The Stills, came with the devastating news that Gord Downie had terminal brain cancer and that the band would be heading out on tour for one final time. His health closely monitored, Downie gave thousands of fans a touching goodbye. The final show in their hometown of Kingston on Aug.20 was broadcast live across all platforms on CBC. It was watched by an estimated 11.7 million people.

Rock & Roll in the NEWS: Where New Rock Meets Old Rock...October 20, 2017 (Jann Wenner & Rolling Stone Magazine)

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'Rolling Stone' Founder Jann Wenner Reportedly No Longer Speaking With His Biographer

  Jann Wenner, editor-in-chief of Rolling Stone during Rolling Stone Magazine Celebrates their 1,000th Issue at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City

A massive new biography of influential Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner is out next Tuesday, and Wenner is none too happy about it, the New York Times reports.
Writer Joe Hagan spent four years researching and writing Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine. Wenner, 71, cooperated in the book’s creation, but after reading an early copy of the finished product late this summer, he reportedly feels “betrayed.” Hagan has since been dis-invited from scheduled promotional appearances, including one at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which Wenner co-founded.
The source of the dispute seems to be Hagan’s decision to relate intimate details of Wenner’s personal life, including his sexual history, marriage, drug use, and working relationships. The book also arrives at a difficult time for the family-owned Wenner Media, which recently put its controlling stake in Rolling Stone up for sale. 
It’s somewhat impressive that Sticky Fingers made it to publication at all: As the Times points out, two earlier would-be biographers had book deals fall through after Wenner withdrew cooperation. If you’d like to pre-order this book Jann Wenner would probably prefer you don’t read, you can do that right here.
This article was originally published by Spin.


Today's Featured Artist..October 20, 2017...Donnie Iris (video + blog + links)

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Donnie Iris

(Read all about Donnie Iris after the video)

Donnie Iris (born Dominic Ierace on February 28, 1943) is an American rock musician known for his work with the Jaggerz and Wild Cherry during the 1970s, and for his solo career beginning in the 1980s with his band, the Cruisers. He wrote the # 2 Billboard hit, "The Rapper", with the Jaggerz in 1970 and was a member of Wild Cherry after the group had a #1 hit with "Play That Funky Music." He also achieved fame as a solo artist in the early 1980s with the # 29 hit "Ah! Leah!" and the # 37 hit "Love Is Like a Rock."
In addition to performing on the first three Jaggerz albums and the fourth and final Wild Cherry album, Iris with his solo band has released eleven studio albums, one EP, two live albums, and two compilation albums. He continues to release new material and tours throughout the greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Youngstown and Cleveland, Ohio areas.


Early life and early career (1943–63)

Dominic Ierace was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania, but grew up in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania.[1] The son of father Sam and mother Carrie Ierace, young Dominic began to learn how to sing at an early age from his mother, who had sung in Curly Venezie's orchestra. He practiced earlier on by singing along with his mother's favorite singers, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. Per his mother's encouragement, Ierace began singing at weddings at age five, and by eight was performing on local television and entering talent contests.[2]
Over time, Ierace began to develop his own interests in music with the advent of rock music, drawing inspiration from Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly and later from the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and even R&B and soul artists Marvin Gaye and Ray Charles in addition to other Motown acts. The popularity of rock and roll inspired Ierace to become a self-taught guitarist. When his voice changed around age 12, he gave up singing and took up the drums.
About the time he was a senior in high school (circa 1961), Ierace's voice changed again, and he got back into singing. He formed a vocal doo-wop group called the Fabutons with Johnny Roth, Anthony Matteo, Lou Delessandro and Chuckie Hasson and performed gigs around Beaver and Lawrence counties in Pennsylvania. However, the group only performed a few times before they disbanded and Ierace went to college.
While attending Slippery Rock State College, Ierace formed a band called the Tri-Vels with guitarist Jim Evans and drummer Dave Amodie, two fellow students at Slippery Rock. With the addition of bassist Dave Reiser, they renamed themselves Donnie and the Donnells. This band in both incarnations played R&B and pop rock covers at fraternity parties and lasted from about 1961 to 1964.

The Jaggerz and Wild Cherry (1964–79)

Around 1964, Ierace left Donnie and the Donnells to form the Jaggerz (originally the "Jaggers") with Benny Faiella of Gary and the Jewel Tones.[3] After a few changes in line-up early on (including acquiring Jimmie Ross and Jim Pugliano from the Bell Boys[4]), the group became popular playing R&B covers throughout western Pennsylvania and northeastern Ohio. Eventually, Ierace and the Jaggerz began to write their own material and secured a contract with Gamble Records. Their first album, Introducing the Jaggerz, was released in 1969. The album was only a minor success, mainly receiving airplay in Iris' native Beaver County and the rest of the greater Pittsburgh area. Perhaps most importantly, it was the first album Ierace recorded on.
Ierace and the Jaggerz first came to national prominence in 1970 for the #2 hit "The Rapper," written by Ierace and included on their second album, We Went to Different Schools Together, released on the Kama Sutra label. The album itself reached #69 on the charts. The Jaggerz would go on to release one more album, Come Again, in 1975 when they were signed with Wooden Nickel Records. However, it failed to produce any more hits for the group. Between 1975 and 1976, most of the Jaggerz' longtime members left the group, including Ierace in 1976. The Jaggerz eventually broke up around 1977, but reunited in 1989 without Ierace, who by that point was well into his solo career.
After his departure from the Jaggerz, Ierace began to learn engineering at Jeree Recording in New Brighton, Pennsylvania. Also, he did about a two-year stint (1976-1978) playing shows with B. E. Taylor. While working at Jeree, the band Wild Cherry, a hot commodity because of their 1976 hit "Play That Funky Music," was recording there in 1978. Ierace was helping to engineer their third album, I Love My Music. The band was also looking for a new guitarist, and upon learning of Ierace and his association with "The Rapper," he was recruited by frontman Rob Parissi.[5] Ierace went on the road with the group for about the next year and recorded on their 1979 album Only the Wild Survive.
Throughout the 1970s, Ierace was credited by various names on Jaggerz and Wild Cherry albums: by his birth name, Dominic Ierace; Don Ierace; and a stage name he had adopted to make it easier for people to remember his name, Don Iris. By the end of the decade, as far as his music/public life went, he went by the name of Donnie Iris.
It was during this period that he became acquainted with Mark Avsec, then playing keyboards for Wild Cherry. Unfortunately, Wild Cherry was unable to duplicate the success of "Play That Funky Music" and disbanded by the end of the decade. Becoming good friends, Donnie and Mark decided to form a project together after Wild Cherry's breakup and the two began writing songs. Their first release saw the disco-influenced single "Bring on the Eighties" backed by a cover of "Because of You" in 1979; however it failed to garner attention. Iris and Avsec decided to go in a harder direction for their next release and returned to the studio with guitarist Marty Lee Hoenes, bassist Albritton McClain and drummer Kevin Valentine, who at the time was in the band Breathless with Avsec, to record his first full-length album. This line-up would form to what would become known as Donnie Iris and the Cruisers.

Donnie Iris and the Cruisers' peak years (1980–85)

Iris' first album, Back on the Streets, was released in July 1980 on the small Cleveland, Ohio-based Midwest Records.[6] With the track "Ah! Leah!" receiving airplay in Boston, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, MCA Records took notice and quickly signed Iris to a five-album deal and re-released the album nationally in October. The first single "Ah! Leah!" peaked at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 (and #34 in Australia) in February 1981 and became one of the most frequently played AOR tracks of the year, and the album reached #57 on the Billboard 200. In addition, the band launched a national tour to promote the album and its follow-up during the summer of 1981.[7]
The follow-up album, King Cool, credited to Donnie Iris and the Cruisers, was released in August 1981 and garnered the band more AOR success, with "Love Is Like a Rock" reaching #9 on Billboard's Top Tracks chart. Two other songs from the album received significant AOR airplay; "My Girl" at #25 and "Sweet Merilee" at #31, charted on the Rock Tracks chart. In addition, he gained the nickname King Cool from this album in the later part of his career. However, the album itself charted less successfully, at #84. After the long tour promoting their two previous albums, the band continued songwriting and in the fall of 1982 released The High and the Mighty. The album contained the single "Tough World," but only charted at #180, marking a decline in his success, but the band still was determined to release new material.
Their next album one year later, Fortune 410, contained the hit single "Do You Compute?" which was used by their label MCA and the computer company Atari to form a cross-marketing promotion. Because the promotional partnership was secured prior to release of the album, it was possible to use the Atari 1200 XL Home Computer in poster photography, as well as in the video clip for "Do You Compute?", which aired on MTV. The title of the album is a reference to the trademark glasses Iris wears, Fortune 410's.[8] The combination of marketing and the promotion for its hit single allowed the album to chart higher than its predecessor.
Despite Fortune 410 charting higher than The High and the Mighty, MCA was displeased that both albums didn't chart as high as Back on the Streets and King Cool had. The label suggested that the band allow them to bring in a new producer, displacing Mark Avsec, as well bring in new songwriters. Iris and the Cruisers, wanting to keep as much of their creative freedom and sound as they could, said no. As a result, MCA dropped the band in 1984.[9]
Shortly after being let go from MCA, the band signed with the small HME Records label. Their next album, No Muss...No Fuss, released in 1985, continued the trend set by Fortune 410 by charting at #115 with the single "Injured in the Game of Love". Both of the aforementioned albums ended up being more critically acclaimed than The High and the Mighty.[7]

New Cruisers lineups and different projects (1986–93)

Just prior to the release of No Muss...No Fuss, the band began to split into different directions. Drummer Kevin Valentine and bassist Albritton McClain left to join a new group, the Innocent, whose members included future Nine Inch Nails main man Trent Reznor. The two were replaced by Scott Alan Williamson on bass and Tommy Rich on drums. That same year, keyboardist Mark Avsec released a solo project under the moniker Cellarful of Noise. Even after releasing the eponymous debut album that same year, Cellarful of Noise, Avsec and Iris maintained that Donnie Iris and the Cruisers was still their main focus, and that they wanted to continue to release new albums with the band and its new line-up.[10] The band returned to the studio in 1986 and recorded a new album titled Cruise Control; however, a lawsuit with the band's former label MCA resulted in the shelving of that album pending the resolution of the lawsuit. It has still not been released as of 2016. Also around this time, the HME label that the band had signed with to record No Muss...No Fuss went out of business, leaving Donnie Iris and the Cruisers an unsigned act.
Since the band seemed to have hit a road block, Iris partnered with Avsec on the second Cellarful of Noise album, Magnificent Obsession, which was released in 1988. The album produced a moderately successful single, "Samantha (What You Gonna Do)."
In the early 1990s, Iris set up a mortgage company, SIMCorp, with partners Lynn Shelley and Priscilla Micinko, as a side business from the band. SIMCorp, located in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, remained under Iris's ownership for nearly twenty years.[11]
Donnie Iris and the Cruisers returned to the studio in 1992 to release their first album containing new material since 1985. Titled Out of the Blue, the album was a compilation album containing older hits and new material. It failed to have any impact on the charts, however. Still, the band toured throughout the rest of the year around Pennsylvania and Ohio, and attracted newer and younger fans from the area.[12] The band released another album the following year, Footsoldier in the Moonlight. At this point, the band underwent yet another line-up change as drummer Tommy Rich departed the group. His replacement, Steve McConnell, auditioned & was hired-on in the summer of 1990, long enough to record on and tour behind Footsoldier in the Moonlight & can be heard on live recordings from 1992 & 1993 . Later in 1994, Rich rejoined the group.

Later endeavors and new albums (1994–2009)

In the summer of 1994, original members Albritton McClain and Kevin Valentine temporarily reunited with Iris, Avsec and Hoenes to record the first album of all new material by the original line-up in nearly 10 years. During recording, the band performed one reunion show together at Conneaut Lake. The album Poletown was released in 1997.
In 1998, the band released their first live album. A collection of tracks played at Nick's Fat City, a popular Pittsburgh nightclub, Live! At Nick's Fat City was the first release to feature bass guitarist Paul Goll, who had been touring with the band since 1993, along with drummer Tommy Rich. 1999 saw the release of an Iris collaborative project entitled Together Alone, featuring contributions from other regionally popular artists like Michael Stanley, Scott Blasey, B. E. Taylor and Joe Grushecky. After Alone, which featured a softer side of Iris's vocals, the band took a break from releasing new material but continued to perform regularly through the decade.
The first true compilation album from the band was released in 2001 by their former label at MCA: 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Donnie Iris, featuring material from the band's four MCA-released albums from the early 1980s. In 2004, the band celebrated its 25th anniversary with a new compilation album featuring their rarer material, 25 Years, and performed live at the Chevrolet Amphitheatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for 4,000 people. This concert was known for featuring a four drummer lineup of current and previous drummers for the band; Kevin Valentine, Tommy Rich, Brice Foster and Mark Avsec's daughter Danna Avsec, who was the guest drummer.[13] Since then, the band has used a three drummer line-up for several concerts.
The band's 2006 album, Ellwood City, was a tribute to Iris's hometown, Ellwood City, Pennsylvania.[14] June 17, 2006 was recognized throughout Lawrence County, Pennsylvania as Donnie Iris Day by Ellwood City Executive Council President Glenn Jones and Mayor Roy P. Meehan. Iris also received special commendations and awards from United States Congresswoman Melissa Hart and Pennsylvania state representative Frank LaGrotta.
In 2008 and 2009, King Cool Light was developed after Mark Avsec realized that "King Cool" sounded like the name of a refreshing beer. He later approached Iris and Marty Lee Hoenes who both immediately liked the idea, giving birth to King Cool Limited.[15] King Cool Light was unveiled on November 20, 2009, at Club Diesel in Pittsburgh during the band's 30th anniversary concert. Every case was sold out, but 25 more cases were brought in, which were also sold out.[16]
The band's first EP, You Can't Really Miss Me If I Never Go Away, was released in 2008. It was followed in 2009 with their second live album, Ah! Live!, recorded at shows in Erie and Kittanning, Pennsylvania.

Recent years (2010–present)

In an interview with Cleveland Scene published on February 3, 2010, Mark Avsec announced that the band's next project would be a Christmas album.[17] Ah! Leluiah! was released on November 18, 2010.[18] Additionally, King Cool Light was released in the Youngstown, Ohio market in July of that same year.[19] Also that year, Iris retired from the mortgage banking business and sold SIMCorp.[20]
Despite initial strong sales, King Cool Light was phased out in the Pittsburgh and Youngstown markets in the latter half of 2012[citation needed]. Though neither the band nor brewery commented on the discontinuation of the beer[citation needed], the KCL website has gone offline and the beer can no longer be found in stores in the region[citation needed], it can be inferred[by whom?] that production has ended.
Avsec announced in a March 2012 interview that the band had begun working on their twelfth studio album, due out in 2013 to commemorate Iris's seventieth birthday.[21] However, this project has turned into a special release to celebrate the thirty-fifth anniversary of the formation of Donnie Iris and the Cruisers, which was expected to be released in 2014.[22] On June 17, 2014, Iris and the Cruisers leaked a new song, "Sing the Songs of Summer (All Night Long)," the first track to be released from the band's intermittent time in the studio in the previous two years.[23] On the April 2, 2015 episode of Jim Krenn's No Restrictions podcast, Iris mentioned that he and the band hoped to have the often-delayed album out by the end of 2015.[24] As of October 2016, there is still no release date known for the new album.
In February 2015, Iris was nominated for a Pittsburgh Rock 'N Roll Legends Award in the modern era category (artists with 20-plus years in music business). The awards, begun in 2014, honor those who have made significant contributions to the Pittsburgh rock scene. In his category, Iris went up against Joe Grushecky, Billy Price and Rusted Root.[25] On March 19, it was announced that Iris had won the public voting process to be inducted for the Rock 'N Roll Legends in his category, along with Lou Christie (Legacy Legends category, 40-plus years in the business) and Porky Chedwick (non-performer/musical professional category, 20-plus years active). Iris was enshrined with a plaque at Pittsburgh's Hard Rock Cafe on April 23, 2015 and he performed a set with an all-star Pittsburgh band.[20][26]

More Music History for October 20, 2017 (with links)

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1955 -

October 20
Harry Belafonte records a traditional Jamaican Folk tune called "The Banana Boat Song" ("Day-O"). It reached #5 in the US in early 1957 and later became Belafonte's signature song.

October 20
Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, The Four Lads and Pat Boone appear together in concert at the Brooklyn High School auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio.

1962 -

October 20
The Four Seasons' "Big Girls Don't Cry" is released. It will become their second consecutive Billboard #1 hit, spending five weeks at the top.

October 20
"The Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett, reached the top of Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart. This novelty song, which was recorded in less than two hours, has now become an annual favorite.

1968 -

October 20
After six US Top 40 hits over the past eighteen months, The Yardbirds give their final performance at Liverpool University.

1973 -

October 20
The Rolling Stones had the number one song in the US with "Angie". It made #5 in the UK. It is often reported that the song was written about David Bowie's wife at the time, the former Angela Barnett, but many reliable sources say that the song is really about Anita Pallenberg, the long-time love of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.

1974 -

October 20
Eric Burdon and his wife Rose have a baby girl in Palm Springs, California and name her Mirage.

1976 -

October 20
Led Zeppelin's film, The Song Remains the Same, a mixture of concert footage and fantasy sequences, premieres in London.

1977 -

October 20
Three members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, his sister Cassie Gaines (one of three backing singers) and manager Dean Kilpatrick were killed in a plane crash en route from Greenville, South Carolina, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The remaining members, Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, Billy Powell and Leon Wilkeson were seriously injured, but all recovered. The band was finished for ten years, until the survivors invited Ronnie's younger brother Johnny to join them in a reunion concert.

1979 -

October 20
Herb Alpert, who led his Tijuana Brass on 17 instrumental chart hits in the mid 1960s, reached number one in the US with a dance tune called "Rise". It made #13 in the UK. Next Spring, the song will win a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.

1997 -

October 20
Henry Vestine, guitarist for Canned Heat, died at the age of 52 from heart and respiratory failure.

2001 -

October 20
An all-star lineup including David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, Elton John and The Who appear at The Concert For New York City at Madison Square Garden in a five hour show to benefit the victims of the 9/11 attack.

2008 -

October 20
Dee Dee Warwick, a Soul singer who won recognition for both her solo work and her performances with her older sister Dionne Warwick, passed away at the age of 63. Warwick had several hits on the Soul and R&B charts in the 1960s and '70s, including "Foolish Fool", "She Didn't Know (She Kept on Talking)" and a version of "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" that was later covered by Diana Ross And The Supremes. She was born Delia Mae Warrick, but changed her last name to Warwick, just like her famous sister.

2014 -

October 20
Cat Stevens first album in five years, "Tell 'Em I'm Gone", began streaming on The LP was supported by a six-date tour beginning in December, his first string of North American dates in 35 years.

Today in Music History...October 20, 2017 (Now with more info & links)

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Music History: October 20th:


2016 Little Big Town release the single "Better Man," which they later reveal was written by Taylor Swift, marking the first time she pitched a song to another artist.

2011 John Mayer has throat surgery to treat a problem with his vocal cords, pushing back the release of his album Born and Raised.

2005 Jazz singer/pianist Shirley Horn dies of complications from diabetes at age 71.

2002 A man identifying himself as Kid Rock's personal assistant is charged with felony and misdemeanor drug possession after a traffic stop on Rock's tour bus on the Florida Turnpike. Officers find a small amount of cocaine, two marijuana cigarettes, a glass pipe, and rolling papers on Kevin J. McMahon's person and in his luggage. He is released from jail on $16,000 bond.

2001 Raising money for victims of the September 11th attacks, Paul McCartney leads "The Concert For New York" in Madison Square Garden. Elton John, Billy Joel, David Bowie, The Who, and Eric Clapton all participate.

1999 John Mellencamp plays a surprise gig at the 350-person-capacity Mercury Lounge in New York.

1999 A year after nearly dying from pneumonia, Johnny Cash finds himself battling the condition again. Cash is listed in serious condition at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.

1998 98 Degrees release their breakout album, 98 Degrees and Rising, featuring the hit singles "Because Of You" and "The Hardest Thing," as well as "True To Your Heart," a duet with Stevie Wonder from the Disney movie Mulan.

1997 Canned Heat guitarist Henry "The Sunflower" Vestine, age 52, dies of respiratory and heart failure in a Paris hotel room just after finishing a European tour with the band.

1996 Carly Simon is unable to perform due to stage fright, aboard the Queen Elizabeth II in New York.

1992 Madonna releases Erotica, a concept album about the pleasures and pitfalls of sex and romance, a day before her controversial Sex book hits the market.More

1991 Country music singer Clint Black marries TV actress Lisa Hartman. The couple met when Hartman and her mother attended a New Year's concert Black gave in Houston.

1979 The instrumental "Rise" by Herb Alpert goes to #1 in America, thanks to its use on the soap opera General Hospital.

1978 The Police make their US performance debut at CBGB's in New York.

1976 The Led Zeppelin concert documentary The Song Remains The Same opens in London and New York, with the band attending the New York premiere.

1974 Eric Burdon (of The Animals) names his newborn daughter Mirage (he later changes it to Alex).

1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono release their Wedding Album LP (with a photo of their own wedding cake and a copy of their marriage certificate included).

1964 Jim Sonefeld (drummer for Hootie & the Blowfish) is born in Lansing, Michigan, but would relocate to Naperville, Illinois.

1964 Rolling Stones' first live performance in France; there are 150 arrests.

1960 Elvis Presley's film G.I. Blues premieres.

1959 Patty Duke opens on Broadway in The Miracle Worker.

1958 Mark King (lead singer, bassist for Level 42) is born in Cowes, Isle of Wight, England.

1955 Bill Haley, Pat Boone and Elvis Presley all appear together in concert at a Cleveland High School (the concert is filmed for a documentary of Cleveland DJ Bill Randle but is never released).

1955 Harry Belafonte records "The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)."

1954 LaVern Baker records "Tweedle Dee."

1951 Al Greenwood (keyboardist for Foreigner) is born in New York.

1950 Tom Petty (of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, The Traveling Wilburys) is born in Gainesville, Florida.

1937 Wanda Jackson, known as The Queen of Rockabilly, is born in Maud, Oklahoma. Hits include "Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine", "A Woman Lives for Love" and "Fancy Satin Pillows."

1925 Tom Dowd is born in New York City. After giving up a career in nuclear physics, he becomes a top producer, able to coax sounds out of many famous artists with his technical expertise and agreeable personality. His production credits include Idlewild South by The Allman Brothers and 461 Ocean Boulevard by Eric Clapton.

1901 Film composer Frank Churchill is born in Rumford, Maine. Known for his work on Disney films, including memorable songs for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, like "Heigh-Ho."

Lynyrd Skynyrd Singer And Guitarist Killed In Plane Crash

1977Lynyrd Skynyrd members Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines die in a plane crash in Mississippi. Gaines' sister Cassie, a backup singer with the group, is also killed along with two pilots and the band's manager. Other members of the group are badly injured.
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Featured Events

1977 In town for a gig with The Police, Sting kills some time by walking through the red light district of Paris. Watching the ladies of the night ply their trade gives him the inspiration for what becomes the band's first hit: "Roxanne."

1973 The Rolling Stones ballad "Angie" hits #1 in America.

1971 Snoop Dogg is born Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr. in Long Beach, California. His parents dub him "Snoopy" because of his resemblance to Charlie Brown's pet beagle.

1962 "Monster Mash" by Bobby Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers hits #1 on its way to becoming the most famous Halloween song of all time. Pickett's vocals are his impression of Boris Karloff, who was known for his role as Frankenstein's monster.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan - "The Cockroach Stomp"

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