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Lynyrd Skynyrd to Perform First Two Albums at Special Hometown Concerts in February


Credit: Clay Patrick McBrideLynyrd Skynyd has scheduled a pair of special hometown shows in Jacksonville, Florida, early next year that the Southern rock legends are planning to capture for a television special and home-video release.  The concerts will take place at the Florida Theatre on February 12 and 13, and will feature the band performing, respectively, its first two albums, 1973's Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd and 1974's Second Helping.

"We've been wanting to go back and recreate these live records for a long time," Skynyrd singer Johnny Van Zant tells the Florida-Times Union.  "We decided to come back to our hometown, Jacksonville, and play at the legendary Florida Theatre.  Can't wait to rock it."

The shows also will include performances of other well-known songs from throughout the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band's career.

Tickets for both concerts will go on sale to the general public on Monday at 10 a.m. ET, and are priced at $49.50, $69.50 and $99.50.

Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd features such memorable tunes as "Tuesday's Gone," "Gimme Three Steps," "Simple Man" and "Free Bird," while Second Helping includes Lynyrd Skynyrd's biggest hit, "Sweet Home Alabama," and the band's version of J.J. Cale's "Call Me the Breeze."

In other news, Lynyrd Skynyrd will bring some Southern rock to a newly announced country festival called the Big Barrel Country Music Festival, which is scheduled to take place June 26-28, 2015, at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware.  The three-day event will be headlined by a trio of country music's biggest stars -- Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.

Other artists on the lineup include Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, The Oak Ridge Boys, Jake Owen, Chris Young, Gary Allan and Kacey Musgraves.  Visit BigBarrelFestival.com for more information.

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ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Allmans Drummer Butch Trucks to Be Honored at L.A.-Area Benefit Concert


Image Courtesy of Adopt the ArtsZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks will be honored for their contributions to American art and culture at a star-studded benefit concert scheduled for January 12 at the famous Sunset Strip venue the Roxy in West Hollywood, California.  The event will raise money for Adopt the Arts, a charity co-founded by ex-Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum that helps fund music-education programs in L.A.-area elementary schools.

Gibbons, Trucks and Sorum all are expected to perform at the concert, along with such other famous musicians such as Slash, founding Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, Edgar Winter and Conan bandleader Jimmy Vivino.  Serving as the evening's backing band will be The Disreputable Few, a group featuring a lineup of surprise rockers.

"We're starting in our own backyard here in Los Angeles, and we'll continue to adopt schools across the nation," says Sorum about the Adopt the Arts initiative.  "We believe that art is a universal and necessary language that unites us all, regardless of our backgrounds."

Tickets can be purchased now by visiting AdoptTheArts.org, and are priced at $75 for general admission, and $125 and $250 for VIP packages that offer upgraded seating, hors d'oeuvres and more.

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Jimmy Page Says His Next Musical Project Will Be "Sparkling" and "Stimulating" to the Senses


Credit: Ross HalfinIn a new video interview with the U.K.'s Classic Rock magazine, Jimmy Page gives a little insight into his upcoming musical plans for next year.  The Led Zeppelin guitarist doesn't get too specific about his new project, but he promises that it will be something "sparkling…stimulating all the senses."

He tells the magazine, "I'm playing guitar at the moment, because I'm getting ready.  I'm starting to get ready."

Page explains that his game plan was that after he finished preparing the deluxe Led Zeppelin reissues, which he's done, "at the end of that was gonna be what would manifest as me playing live."

Jimmy adds that whatever his next move is, he's planning to defy expectations.

"Whatever I do, I don't want everyone to have made up their mind what I'm doing before I've done it," he insists.  "I mean, they already have.  On the Internet, people are telling me that, 'Oh, you're doing this, and you're doing that,' and I'm [saying,] 'Am I?  Just wait and see what I do.'"

Page also reports that he's written some "new material," adding that "it will be surprising."

As for the kind of live show he intends to play, he notes, "I'd like to obviously show what I've done along the way, but I'd definitely have musical surprises for people so they wouldn't sort of start yawning."

Fans will have to stay tuned to find out exactly what Page has in store for them.

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Darlene Love to Give Final "Late Show with David Letterman" Holiday Performance Friday


John Paul Filo/CBSDarlene Love will help David Letterman usher in the holidays one final time when she makes her annual pre-Christmas appearance on CBS' Late Show Friday night.  As always, the acclaimed singer will belt out her soulful yuletide classic "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," a song she's performed on the last Late Show episode before Christmas nearly every year since the program premiered in 1993.  Letterman recently announced that he'll be retiring from the Late Show; his final broadcast will air May 20, 2015.

Love actually began the tradition back in 1986 on NBC's Late Night with David Letterman.  "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" originally appeared on producer Phil Spector's famous 1963 holiday album, A Christmas Gift for You.  In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Darlene discussed how she felt about singing the tune one last time for Letterman.

"I'm really trying not to think about it," she admitted.  "When I think about it, I really do get a little emotional.  And David always comes over and gives me the biggest hug.  People can't see what I see when he's hugging me, and looking at me in the eye, and whispering in my ear telling me thanks for coming.  That means more than anything."

In honor of Love's historic appearance on Friday, the Late Show has put together a video montage of highlights of her previous performances of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)."  You can watch the clip now on the Late Show's official YouTube channel.

Late Show with David Letterman airs at 11:35 p.m. ET/10:35 p.m. CT.

In other news, Darlene has a number of U.S. concerts on her tour schedule, including four Christmas-themed shows at B.B. King Blue Club in New York City.  Here are all of her upcoming tour dates, according to DarleneLoveWorld.com:

12/19 -- New York, NY, B.B. King Blues Club
12/20 -- Bethlehem, PA, Baker Hall of the Zoellner Arts Center
12/21 -- Red Bank, NJ, Count Basie Theatre
12/26 -- New York, NY, B.B. King Blues Club
12/27 -- New York, NY, B.B. King Blues Club
1/2/15 -- New York, NY, B.B. King Blues Club
1/24 -- West Point, NY, Eisenhower Hall Theatre at West Point
1/31 -- Boca Raton, FL, Polo Club Boca Raton
2/14 -- Englewood, NJ, Bergen Performing Arts Center
3/25 -- Lakeland, FL, Youkey Theatre at The Lakeland Center

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Elton John Fan Club Members to Receive Download of His Set at 2014 Bonnaroo Festival


Joseph Guay/Capitol RecordsIf you couldn't make it to Tennessee this past June to see Elton John and his band rock the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, you can now watch it from the comfort of your own home...if you're a member of Elton's fan club.

Platinum subscribers to John's Rocket Club will receive Elton John: Live at Bonnaroo 2014 with the Elton John Band, a 68-minute video download of his set from the festival that was recorded on June 15.  The video features 10 songs, including "Bennie and the Jets," "Levon," "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," "Crocodile Rock" and "Saturday Night's Alright (for Fighting)."  You can watch a preview on Elton's website now of "Bennie and the Jets."

The download also includes a special message from John.  If you want access to it, you need to sign up for the fan club at Elton's website by December 31.

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George Harrison, Bee Gees, Buddy Guy to Be Honored with Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards


PRNewsFoto/The Recording AcademyGeorge Harrison, The Bee Gees and blues great Buddy Guy are among the artists the Recording Academy will present with Lifetime Achievement Awards in February.  Harrison, The Bee Gees and Guy will receive the honors as part of the organization's Special Merit Awards ceremony, a special invite-only event that's held annually during Grammy Week.  The 2015 gala will take place on Saturday, February 7, the evening before the 57th annual Grammy Awards ceremony.

Others musicians who will be acknowledged by the Recording Academy with Lifetime Achievement Awards include French classical composer Pierre Boulez, renowned Tex-Mex accordion player Flaco Jiménez, influential country duo The Louvin Brothers, and jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter.

The Special Merit Awards ceremony also will feature the presentation of Trustee Awards to non-performers who have made significant contributions to the music industry.  The 2015 honorees are the songwriting team of Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, prolific record producer Richard Perry, and jazz promoter and producer George Wein.  In addition, Ray Kurzweil will receive a Technical Grammy Award for his technological innovations, including his work with synthesizers.

"This year we pay tribute to exceptional creators who have made prolific contributions to our culture and history," says Recording Academy president and CEO Neil Portnow.  "It is an honor and a privilege to recognize such a diverse group of talented trailblazers, whose incomparable bodies of work and timeless legacies will continue to be celebrated for generations to come."

All the Special Merit Awards honorees also will be acknowledged during the upcoming Grammys telecast, which CBS will air live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 8.

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Items Signed by Roger Daltrey and Other Stars Being Auctioned to Benefit Teenage Cancer Trust


Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The WhoThe Who's Roger Daltrey was a surprise performer at an all-star tribute concert to his legendary band held last month in London to support the Teenage Cancer Trust.  Now, a variety of collectibles signed by Daltrey and some of the event's other performers are being auctioned off to raise money for the charity.

Among the items up for bid are a Gibson SG guitar autographed by Daltrey and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, a Gibson Les Paul guitar signed by Roger and his recent collaborator Wilko Johnson, a Vespa helmet autographed by the aforementioned rockers and Oasis' Liam Gallagher, a tambourine signed by Vedder and a few programs autographed by various performers.

The auction, which is live now on eBay.co.uk, will end this Monday, December 22.

Daltrey sang "Substitute" and "Young Man Blues" to close out the Who tribute show, which also included performances from Rush's Geddy Lee, Def Leppard's Joe Elliott, Kaiser Chiefs' Ricky Wilson and actor Phil Daniels, star of the 1979 film adaptation of Quadrophenia.

The U.K.'s Teenage Cancer Trust, of which Daltrey has been a patron for more than 10 years, raises money to take care of the special needs of teenage and young adult cancer patients by providing special hospital units designed with them in mind.

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KC and the Sunshine Band to Release Album of Classic '60s Cover Tunes in March


Image Courtesy of Webster PRKC and the Sunshine Band were one of the pop and disco hit makers of the 1970s, but the group's upcoming album celebrates the sounds of the socially and politically charged 1960s.  Due out on March 10, 2015, Feeling You! The 60s is a covers collection that features renditions of 17 memorable songs from the era.

Among the tunes KC and the Sunshine Band recorded for the album are classics such as Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind," Ben E. King's "Stand by Me," The Kinks' "You Really Got Me," Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' "You Really Got a Hold on Me," Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now," and The Supremes' "I Hear a Symphony" and "You Keep Me Hanging On."  In addition, the record includes a version of The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" that features a guest appearance by Chicago's Jason Scheff.

"I'm excited for my fans to hear this album," says KC and the Sunshine Band frontman Harry Wayne Casey.  "I really went outside of the box vocally and creatively.  Feeling You! The 60s is autobiographical, showing how I feel about love, life and the world through the music of that era."

The record is the first in a two-part Feeling You series that the group has planned.

Here the full track list for Feeling You! The 60s:

"(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me"
"Oh How Happy"
"Dreams"
"Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu"
"Words"
"You Really Got a Hold on Me"
"Both Sides Now"
"Tell It Like It Is"
"Blowin' in the Wind" (featuring The Unity on the Bay Choir)
"You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" (featuring Jason Scheff)
"You Really Got Me"
"Sweet Soul Music"
"I Hear a Symphony"
"Stand by Me"
"You Keep Me Hanging On"
"Bring It On Home"
"Put a Little Love in Your Heart"

And here are KC and the Sunshine Band's confirmed North American concerts:

12/27 -- Marksville, LA, Paragon Casino Resort
1/22 -- Williamsport, PA, Community Arts Center
1/23 -- Westbury, NY, NYCB Theatre at Westbury
1/24 -- King of Prussia, PA, Valley Forge Casino
2/25 -- San Juan, PR, Soul Train Cruise
3/20 -- Hollywood, FL, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
8/8 -- Atlantic City, NJ, Tropicana

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Paul McCartney Admits Writing Music for Video Games Is Easier Than Playing Them


MJ KimPaul McCartney dropped by The Tonight Show Wednesday to plug his new single, "Hope for the Future," which he wrote for the popular video game Destiny. Paul also admitted to host Jimmy Fallon that while it wasn't hard for him to write the music for a video game, he's pretty clueless when it comes to playing them.

When Fallon brought up playing the popular video game Rock Band, which contains some songs from McCartney's former band The Beatles, the 72-year-old rock legend confessed he's not very good and added, "It's very hard."

"My grandkids play and they kill me every time," McCartney explained, then added, "But I say, 'I wrote it.'"

McCartney's no stranger to writing music for other projects. He also penned the theme song for the 1973 James Bond movie, Live and Let Die, and told Fallon he enjoys the challenge.

"It depends how you think of songwriting," he explained. "I kind of think of it in a way like a craft. So I like writing songs, very personal songs just for me, but I also like when someone asks me like that, you know...It's a bit of a challenge."

With Christmas right around the corner, Fallon asked Paul to name some of his favorite holiday songs.  The veteran rocker said "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole and "'Wonderful Christmastime' by Paul McCartney."

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Yes to Be Joined by Marillion, Saga & More on 2015 Cruise to the Edge


Credit: Rob ShanahanYes has revealed initial details for the 2015 edition of its Cruise to the Edge.  The prog-rock-themed seagoing event is scheduled to embark from Miami on November 15 and visit Key West, Florida, and a private island in the Bahamas before returning to port on November 19.

Joining Yes on the lineup of performers for the cruise are Marillion, Saga, guitar virtuoso Allan Holdsworth, Nektar, Caravan and more than a dozen other acts.  In addition, a special pre-cruise concert will be held in Miami on November 14 at an as-yet-unannounced location and featuring a special guest performer, as well as a late-night jam.

Most of the artists will be playing at least two sets during the cruise.  Besides the many concerts, cruise attendees will be able to enjoy the ship's 13 bars and lounges, various eateries, casino, spa, fitness center, basketball and volleyball court, bowling alley and more.  A lineup of special activities and events will be revealed soon.

The 2015 cruise is priced as low as $849 per person for double-occupancy cabins, and $575 per person for quad rooms.  Previous Cruise to the Edge passengers will be treated to a $100 discount.  Visit CruisetotheEdge.com for more information.

Yes' previous Cruise to the Edge events took place in April of this year and March 2013.

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Stevie Wonder Is a New Dad


UN Photo/JC McIlwaineCongratulations are in order for Stevie Wonder, who's become a dad for the ninth time.

A rep for Stevie tells Us Weekly that the legendary singer and his girlfriend, Tomeeka Robyn Bracy, have welcomed their second child together, a baby girl named Nia.

The rep explains the child's name in Swahili means "purpose," which is "one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa."

Stevie, 64, told ABC's The View last month that he would name his new daughter Nia.

Prior to his relationship with Bracy, Stevie was married to fashion designer Kai Millard Morris for 11 years; they have two kids.  He also has children with his exes Yolanda Simmons and Melody McCulley, but none with his previous wife, the late Motown singer and songwriter Syreeta Wright.

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2015 Wanee Festival Lineup Features Allman Brothers Members, Cheap Trick, Earth, Wind & Fire


Image Courtesy of Wanee FestivalThe Allman Brothers Band may have retired after its October 28 concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York, but nearly all the group's members will be on hand to perform at the 2015 edition of the Wanee Music Festival, scheduled for April 15-17 in Live Oak, Florida.  Listed separately on the just-announced lineup for the event are frontman Gregg Allman, drummer Butch Trucks and bassist Oteil Burbridge, as well as guitarist Warren Haynes' and drummer Jaimoe's respective bands -- Gov't Mule and Jaimoe's Jasssz Band.

Other artists on the 2015 Wanee fest bill include Cheap Trick, Earth, Wind & Fire, the "Electric" version of Hot Tuna, Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson, Widespread Panic and many more.

Tickets for the 11th annual Wanee fest are on sale now.  General admission tickets for the three-day extravaganza cost $195, plus fees, while VIP packages are priced at $499.  Visit WaneeFestival.com for more information.

The Allman Brothers Band began the festival in 2005 and always served as its headliner.  The event is held at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park.

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Billy Joel Reportedly Looking for Pad in Palm Beach, Schedules 21st Show at MSG


Lloyd Bishop/NBCAll the cash that Billy Joel made after his home sales this year must be burning a hole in his pocket: He's reportedly looking for a new property in Palm Beach, Florida.

According to the Florida website GossipExtra, in 2014, the Piano Man unloaded his oceanfront home in New York's tony Hamptons for $19 million, and he also sold two Manhattan condos for $12 million.  Now, he's eyeing a place in Palm Beach on the ocean, and is looking to spend $15 to $20 million.  Supposedly, Joel's good pal Howard Stern, who owns a place in the area, convinced him it was the place to be.

Meanwhile, Joel has just scheduled yet another show at New York's Madison Square Garden, where he does a monthly residency.  The September 25, 2015, concert will be the 21st show in the residency, and the 67th overall of his career at that venue.  Tickets go on sale this Friday, December 19.

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Van Morrison to Release New Album in Early 2015 After Signing Deal with RCA


Exile ProductionsVan Morrison currently is finishing up a new studio album that will be released early next year, the first the acclaimed singer/songwriter will issue as part of a new deal with RCA Records.

RCA executives Tom Corson and Peter Edge said in a statement, "We are thrilled to have Van Morrison, the iconic musical visionary and legend, join the RCA roster.  He is one of the most prolific and talented songwriters and performers in music today, and we are honored to have him join us at the label and work with him on his forthcoming new album."

Added Van the Man, "I am looking forward to working with Tom, Peter and the RCA team as we plan release of the new project for next year."

Morrison most recent album, 2012's Born to Sing: No Plan B, was released on Blue Note Records, one of several labels for which the 69-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has recorded in recent years.

Meanwhile, Van will be playing three sold-out shows this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Nell's Jazz & Blues Club in London.  He also has several other tour dates, most of them in the U.K., mapped out through August 2015.  Check out his full itinerary at VanMorrison.com/Live.

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Joan Jett & the Blackhearts to Open for The Who Throughout Band's 2015 North American Tour


AEG LiveThe Who has announced that it will be joined by a newly minted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame act, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, when the British rock legends hit the road for the North American legs of their 50th anniversary next year.  Jett and her longtime backing group will be special guests for the entire stateside segment of The Who Hits 50! trek, which kicks off April 15 in Tampa, Florida.

"Having Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, a great American rock band, support us on our North American dates will ensure concertgoers a full night of entertainment," says Who frontman Roger Daltrey. "I love her."

Who guitarist/songwriter Pete Townshend adds, "We've been very close friends with Joan Jett for a long time.  She is the real deal.  This will be a great night of rock and roll for everyone."

As for Jett, she notes that after she left her first band, The Runaways, The Who and their manager, Bill Curbishley, allowed her to use their studio, which, she says, "gave me the freedom to start my label, Blackheart Records." Joan adds, "I've modeled my career and my company after their amazing organization.  I'm so happy to be part of their 50th anniversary tour.  No one personifies Rock and Roll Royalty more than The Who."

Jett & the Blackhearts are scheduled to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on April 18, which happens to be an off day on The Who's tour.

Back in July, Jett and her group joined Daltrey to perform at a benefit concert in Philadelphia that raised funds for a local hospital that, in conjunction with the Teen Cancer America organization, is building a unit geared toward the needs of teenagers and young adults fighting cancer.

The Who's 2015 North American tour includes a spring and a fall leg.  Here are all of the confirmed dates:

Leg One
4/15 -- Tampa, FL, Amalie Arena
4/17 -- Miami, FL, AmericanAirlines Arena
4/19 -- Jacksonville, FL, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
4/21 -- Raleigh, NC, PNC Arena
4/23 -- Duluth, GA, The Arena at Gwinnett Center
4/27 -- Austin, TX, Frank Erwin Center
4/29 -- Houston, TX, Toyota Center
5/2 -- Dallas, TX, American Airlines Center
5/5 -- Kansas City, MO, Sprint Center
5/7 -- St. Louis, MO, Scottrade Center
5/9 -- Louisville, KY, KFC Yum! Arena
5/11 -- Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena
5/13 -- Chicago, IL, Allstate Arena
5/15 -- Columbus, OH, Nationwide Arena
5/17 -- Philadelphia, PA, Wells Fargo Center
5/20 -- Uniondale, NY, Nassau Coliseum
5/22 -- Atlantic City, NJ, Boardwalk Hall
5/24 -- Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun Arena
5/26 -- Brooklyn, NY, Barclays Center
5/30 -- Forest Hills, NY, Forest Hills Stadium

Leg Two
9/14 -- San Diego, CA, Valley View Casino Center
9/16 -- Anaheim, CA, Honda Center
*9/19 -- Las Vegas, NV, Colosseum at Caesars Palace
9/21 -- Los Angeles, CA, STAPLES Center
9/23 -- Oakland, CA, Oracle Arena
9/25 -- Portland, OR, Moda Center
9/27 -- Seattle, WA, KeyArena
9/29 -- Vancouver, BC, Canada, Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
10/1 -- Calgary, AB, Canada, Scotiabank Saddledome
10/3 -- Edmonton, AB, Canada, Rexall Place
10/6 -- Saskatoon, SK, Canada, SaskTel Centre
10/8 -- Winnipeg, MB, Canada, MTS Centre
10/10 -- Minneapolis, MN, Target Center
10/13 -- Milwaukee, WI, BMO Harris Bradley Center
10/15 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
10/17 -- Detroit, MI, Joe Louis Arena
10/19 -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Air Canada Centre
10/21 -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Air Canada Centre
10/23 -- Pittsburgh, PA, CONSOL Energy Center
10/25 -- Newark, NJ, Prudential Center
10/27 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
10/29 -- Boston, MA, TD Garden
11/1 -- Washington, D.C., Verizon Center
11/4 -- Philadelphia, PA, Wells Fargo Center

* = without Jett & the Blackhearts.

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Paul McCartney to Visit "The Tonight Show" This Evening


MPL/Mary McCartneyHot on the heels of his appearance Tuesday night on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, Paul McCartney will be a guest this evening on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.  Fans can expect to hear McCartney chat about his new single, "Hope for the Future," which he wrote for the popular video game Destiny.

Sir Paul will be a guest alongside Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.  The oddball duo, who recently released the chart-topping album Cheek to Cheek, will be interviewed as well as serving as the show's musical guest.  The Tonight Show airs on NBC at 11:35 p.m. ET/10:35 p.m. CT.

In other news, the complete transcript of a recent live Q&A event McCartney took part in for U.K. model Lily Cole's website, Impossible.com, has been posted at PaulMcCartney.com.

During the interview, which focused on Paul's songwriting, he discussed such topics as creating the aforementioned "Hope for the Future" and his partnership with John Lennon.

McCartney explained that he had been collaborating with composer Marty O'Donnell on the Destiny score when he was asked to help write a regular song for the project.  He pointed out that O'Donnell told him some details about the game, which helped him come up with the lyrics.

"He told me that the idea of the game was that it's a big 'shoot-em-up' and you shoot your way, and you save humanity from all the aliens, therefore giving hope," noted McCartney.  "So I just put that idea together, that instead of a big 'shoot-em-up' I'll just make it a more general thing of 'we need some hope for the future.'  So that's what I did, and that was it!"

As for his long partnership with Lennon, Paul said, "Obviously writing with John was the ultimate collaboration.  I think we were both very lucky to find each other, because we played perfectly off each other."

He added, "One of the amazing things about me and John writing together was that -- I think we wrote just short of three hundred songs together…we never had a dry session. Every time we got together and sat down, we'd work…only for about three hours, because you start getting a bit bored after three hours, but we would always come up with a song, which is pretty cool!"

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Confirmed: Elton John Will Marry Partner David Furnish This Weekend


JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty ImagesA rep for Elton John has confirmed to ABC News Radio that he and his longtime partner David Furnish will marry this weekend.

The news that the two would take advantage of Britain's legalization of same-sex marriage, which was enacted in March, was initially reported by a British tabloid.  The wedding reportedly will be private. 

Elton and David got a civil partnership in 2005, and they'll now convert that status to marriage.  The couple, who've been together for 20 years, have two sons: three-year-old Zachary and one-year-old Elijah.

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Randy Bachman's Upcoming Studio Album Arriving in April; Features Neil Young, Peter Frampton


Credit: Mike HoughRandy Bachman has revealed full details about his upcoming solo album, which is called Heavy Blues and will be released on April 15, 2015.  The Canadian rocker, who's a founding member of both The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, will issue the new record under the name Bachman, a three-piece outfit that also features bassist Anna Ruddick and drummer Dale Anne Brendon.

As Randy Bachman told ABC News Radio earlier this year, the album will feature appearances by a variety of guest guitarists, including Neil Young, Peter Frampton and Joe Bonamassa.  In addition, lap-steel guitar whiz Robert Randolph has contributed to project, and Randy has incorporated a performance by the late Jeff Healey into a track.

Heavy Blues is a collection of original tunes penned by Bachman that's influenced his love of 1960s rock and blues.

Bachman usually produces his own albums, but for Heavy Blues he hired Kevin Shirley, who previously has worked on recordings by Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Rush and Iron Maiden.

"I've known Kevin for many years and watched his producer credits grow to include many rock legends," says Randy in a statement.  "I knew that he could push me past my limit, pull me onto new paths and direct me down new roads.  The collaboration, paired with Dale Anne and Anna's musical ferocity, has made this entire project an amazing experience for me."

When Bachman spoke with ABC News Radio in September, he had high praise for Ruddick and Brendon. "They are just amazing," he declared.  "And at times we sound like The Who and we sound like Cream live and we sound like Zeppelin.  And at times it sounds like me."

Bachman also revealed during that interview that the new album was inspired by some advice Young had given to him.  "He said…'Don't do the same old crap and call it something new…Stop, get out of the box, do something fearless, be fierce, be ferocious, reinvent yourself.'"

Although no dates have been announced, Bachman is planning to mount a major 2015 tour in support of Heavy Blues.

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Madonna Addresses Album Leak, Thanks Fans for Not Listening


Image credit: Mert & MarcusA few weeks ago, Madonna and her manager were furious when a couple of songs from her upcoming album leaked online.  Now the entire album has apparently found its way onto the Web, but some fans, aware of Madonna's feelings on the subject, have taken to Twitter to say they won't listen.  The Queen of Pop has now taken to Instagram to thank those fans, and to caution them that what's out there isn't exactly the finished product.

"Thank you for not listening! Thank you for your loyalty!" Madonna writes in her post.  "Thank you for waiting and if you have heard please know they are unfinished demos stolen long ago and not ready to be presented to the world."

The alleged album is being referred to by one of two titles: Iconic or Unapologetic B**ch, that last one being one of Madonna's frequently-used hashtags.  The alleged track listing features song titles that have already been confirmed or rumored, such as "Rebel Heart," "Make the Devil Pray," "Messiah," "Living 4 Love" and "B**ch I'm Madonna."

Madonna's new album, which includes production and songwriting collaborations from the likes of Avicii, Diplo and Ryan Tedder, has no official title or release date as of yet.

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Stevie Wonder Featured on Upcoming Mark Ronson Album, "Uptown Special"


Credit: Eddie WolflStevie Wonder appears on two tracks on Uptown Special, popular DJ and producer Mark Ronson's upcoming studio album, which will be released on January 13.  According to an official track list for the album posted on Ronson's Instagram page, the Motown legend is a featured guest on the lead track, "Uptown's First Final," as well as on the last song, "Crack in the Pearl Part II."

A new press announcement about the record reports that Wonder contributed his harmonica talents to the project.  The lead single from Uptown Special, "Uptown Funk," is a collaboration with young pop star Bruno Mars that currently is in the top five of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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The Louisiana Swamp Pop Museum operated by the City of Ville Platte is open to the public every Friday and Saturday from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Come view the amazing artifacts, photos, records, Wall of Fame and hear the music. Admission charge is $3 adults, $2 seniors and $1 for children under 12. The museum is located on Northwest Railroad Avenue.






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