Music

FILE - In this May 11, 2013 file photo, Aretha Franklin performs during McDonald's Gospelfest 2013 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Franklin will not be attending a baseball luncheon during which she was to receive an honor for contributions to civil rights. Franklin, 71, has already canceled several concerts recently because of undisclosed health reasons. In a statement issued Monday, Aug. 19, by Major League Baseball, the Grammy-winning singer referred to ongoing "treatment" that prevented her from traveling.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Still Commanding ‘Respect’

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Aretha Franklin is riding on the freeway, or maybe it’s just I-70, on her way home to Detroit from Washington, D.C. She was in the nation’s capital to play for the president at the White House, but that’s old hat to her. She played for President Jimmy Carter and President Bill Clinton, and it was President George W. Bush who …

Brian Wilson Reunites With Al Jardine

Sunday, April 26, 2015

New York — While Brian Wilson doesn’t plan to officially reunite with the surviving members of the Beach Boys, having an old friend sing on a new record certainly provided a comfort zone. Former bandmate Al Jardine, who sang lead vocals on Wilson’s 1965 chart-topping single Help Me, Rhonda, appears on a few …

‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ Has Staying Power

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The great Percy Sledge record When a Man Loves a Woman was released 49 years ago on Thursday. Credited to songwriters Andrew Wright and Calvin Lewis, it was recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Ala., and featured some of the era’s great R&B instrumentalists. It was the only song the two …

Country King Garth Brooks Returns

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Pittsburgh — There’s always a chance that Led Zeppelin will go back in the studio or Jim Morrison will return out of the blue, but we can probably go ahead and declare the return of Garth Brooks “the …

‘Laugh-In’ Announcer Gary Owens Dies at 80

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Los Angeles — Gary Owens, the droll, mellifluous-voiced announcer on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and a familiar part of radio, TV and movies for more than six decades, has died. He was 80. The veteran voiceover star died …

Sam Smith Wins Song, Record of the Year

Monday, February 9, 2015

A partial list of winners from the 57th Grammy Awards: ∎ Album of the year: Morning Phase, Beck. ∎ Song of the year: Stay With Me, Sam Smith. ∎ Record of the year: Stay With Me, Sam Smith. ∎ New artist: Sam …

Holy Grail or Just a Really Cool Guitar?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Les Paul was a musician, inventor and obsessive tinkerer. His signature six-string became the instrument of choice for a Mount Rushmore of guitar heroes: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. But there is something else Paul was …

Suge Knight Hasn’t Been Able to Shake Gangsta Rap’s Violent Origins

Thursday, February 5, 2015

In the 2½ decades since Marion “Suge” Knight founded his volatile label Death Row Records, its artists and crew have moved beyond gangsta rap and onto more peaceful projects. Andre “Dr. Dre” Young co-founded Beats Electronics, the headphone …

With ‘Empire,’ Diversity Becomes the Watchword on TV

Monday, February 2, 2015

The 2014-15 TV season was already shaping up to be a watershed year for diversity on the major networks, thanks to the success of ABC’s black-ish and How to Get Away With Murder. The most-watched new comedy and …

Picture These Bands in Their Prime

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A shirtless Mick Jagger, relaxing poolside in Clearwater, Fla., in 1965, intently studies the back cover of Bob Dylan’s then-new Bringing It All Back Home album, still in the shrink wrap. John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr gaze with delight as George Harrison tosses a yellow balloon …

Old Meets New in Planned Grammy Duets

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Young will meet old — again — at this year’s Grammy Awards. In keeping with longstanding tradition, the Recording Academy has arranged several May-December duets for the Feb. 8 ceremony, organizers announced Wednesday, including planned performances by Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Hozier and Annie Lennox, and Jessie …

‘Stay With Me’ Credits Expand

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In a surprise backstage maneuver involving British crooner Sam Smith’s Grammy-nominated breakout hit, Stay with Me, both Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne’s names have been added to the song’s writing credits. Despite never having officially collaborated, Smith, Petty and Lynne now share credit with two others due to …

Still Rockin’ the Road at 81

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Las Vegas — Another Saturday night on Earth. How is this one different? “Honestly, nothing is distinct after a while,” Willie Nelson confesses. He’s talking about life on the road at 81, when wisdom makes the totality of …