Thursday, September 9, 2010

Whose Celebrity Shoes?

Whose Celebrity Shoes?

Katy Perry

Pop singer Katy Perry!!
She was performing on Italy’s version of The X Factor (Sept 7th) in one of her many unique outfits.
Michael Jackson’s New Album: 

So Close And Yet, So Far Away


An album of Michael Jackson‘s unreleased music is still for a November release from Sony.
But really, among the insiders, no one knows what’s going to be on it. Or if it will be ready in time. The word is that Sony/Columbia Records chief Rob Stringer recently made a trip west to see what the heck is going on. It’s unclear what he found.
In the Jackson world, things are vaguer than ever on this subject.
My sources say there are different camps working on different tracks, and that at some point someone is going to have to make some decisions. One thing is for certain: no one is talking to Jackson’s long time engineer, Bruce Swedien, the man who actually knows what music is available from all his different sessions.
So producer Rodney Jerkins is working on a few tracks, I am told. Some of them may be from that group of songs Michael recorded with Eddie Cascio in his New Jersey home studio three summers ago.
On the other side, John McClain – Jackson’s co-executor and long time family friend– is said to be working on some songs with Michael’s brother Jackie Jackson. Jackie was recently put on the estate’s payroll as a family liaison. He’s said to be the “most reasonable” of the Jackson brothers, and the one with whom everyone gets along. Akon is also said to be working on one or two tracks.
But McClain is another issue. It was under his aegis that the unearthed song, “This Is It,” was produced and released as part of the movie and soundtrack of the same name. But the song wasn’t a hit. One listen to Paul Anka‘s version of it, live, and you see what could have been. Anka has another unreleased track in the Jackson archives.
But the clock is ticking: two months from a release date, and there’s no concept, title, artwork or marketing plan.

Elton John Petitions Rock Hall for Leon Russell Induction

Elton John plus Leon 
You may wonder, what happened to our “friends” at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
They’re meeting on September 13th to have the annual fight over who will get onto the ballot and who won’t. As usual, it will be a slugfest between Jann Wenner‘s minions and the few independent voices left on the nominating committee.
I’m told that Leon Russell‘s chances have gotten a lot better since Elton John made an album with him and went on tour together. Elton has petitioned everyone on the nominating committee for Russell. His induction is long overdue. Russell is not only a seminal influence as a rocker, but he wrote some of the best pop songs ever including “A Song for You” and “This Masquerade.”
But that leaves a lot of question marks. Sting is eligible this year as a solo artist. He’s had had too many hits and influenced so much of the music business that he’s the only cinch.
From there things look bleak. Wenner and company have made a point of skipping over some key people from the late 70s to the mid 80s. Cyndi Lauper should be in. The Cars have been overlooked. Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler, as well.
Then there’s the holdovers from the 70s. Wenner bears everyone a grudge for something, so this group is hard to navigate. Chicago, Hall & Oates, Carly Simon, Linda Ronstadt, The Moody Blues and Todd Rundgren are on that list.
Going backwards, there are a whole roster of important musicians and stars, many of whom are now gone including Billy Preston and Mary Wells Dionne Warwick, Chuck Wills, Chubby Checker. and so on. And let’s not forget Neil Diamond and Neil Sedaka.
Or, of course, the nominating committee can choose from a list of one hit wonders who first released albums in 1985. We love ‘em but still: Fine Young Cannibals, til Tuesday, and Simply Red. If they’re not available, Pet Shop Boys are ready and waiting from last year.
And PS Isn’t it time for producers to be honored? Phil Ramone, Richard Perry, Richard Gottherer, Russ Titelman, Lenny Waronker, Tommy LiPuma, and posthumously Arif Mardin and Tom Dowd are just a few that come to mind.