News in Review: George Jones, Sly Stone, Don Henley, Richie Hayward, John Lennon
First Appeared in The Music Box, October 2010, Volume 17, #10
Written by John Metzger
Fri October 15, 2010, 06:30 AM CDT
Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Honors George Jones
On August 21, just a few weeks shy of his 79th birthday, George Jones was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. Born and raised in Texas, the singer scored his first big hit in 1959 when White Lightning topped the country charts. During the course of his 55 years in the music business, Jones has had 13 chart-topping singles, including several duets with his third wife Tammy Wynette. Ray Winkler and Al Dexter were also added to the roster of the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. Winkler is best-known for co-writing Welcome to My World with John Hatchcock, while Dexter scored a hit in 1944 with Pistol Packiní Mama. The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame is in its eighth year of operation, though it also is an expansion of the Tex Ritter Museum, which was founded in 1993.
Sly Stone Mounts Comeback...Maybe
Sly Stoneís on-again, off-again resurgence appears to be back on track, at least for the moment. The reclusive artist reportedly has been working on a new album with George Clinton. The duo previously had collaborated on Ainít But the One Way, though hopefully this time, the efforts of Clinton and Stone will bear more fruit. After it was issued in 1982, Ainít But the One Way received mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. It also was plagued by Stoneís declining health as well as Clintonís feud with Warner Bros. Records. Stoneís concert appearances with Clinton in 2008 and 2009 sparked his interest in adding to his repertoire, and not surprisingly, members of P-Funk and the Family Stone have contributed to his latest project. It remains to be seen, however, whether the song cycle will ever see the light of day. Stone frequently changes his mind about things, and Clinton has been promising to bring the recording to market for almost a year.
Don Henley Settles Lawsuit with Senate Candidate Chuck DeVore
In his fight with California Senator Barbara Boxer, Republican challenger Chuck DeVore swiped a pair of songs (The Boys of Summer, All She Wants to Do Is Dance) from Don Henley and used them to score campaign commercials that aired on YouTube. Henley, along with Mike Campbell and Danny Kortchmar, promptly slapped DeVore with a lawsuit, charging that not only had infringed upon their intellectual property rights but also was in violation of the Lanham Act. DeVore defended his position with a fair-use argument, but the court disagreed. To settle the suit, DeVore issued a public apology and paid an undisclosed amount of money to Henley, Campbell, and Kortchmar. DeVore clearly hadnít paid attention to the suit that Jackson Browne had brought against John McCain in 2008. Joe Walsh, Henleyís bandmate in the Eagles, also is embroiled in a similar suit against a Republican congressional candidate in Illinois over the use of the James Gangís Walk Away. In Florida, songwriter David Byrne is fighting with senatorial candidate Charlie Crist over the use of Talking Headsí Road to Nowhere.
Drummer Richie Hayward Dead at 64
Richie Hayward, the longtime drummer and founding member of Little Feat, passed away on August 12 at the age of 64. In August 2009, Hayward was diagnosed with liver cancer. He subsequently took a leave of absence from Little Feat in order to receive treatment. A series of benefit concerts and auctions were held to assist Hayward with his medical costs, and he was planning to rejoin Little Feat as soon as he was healthy. Hayward was on a waiting list to receive a liver transplant, but unfortunately, he developed a serious case of pneumonia. Combined with an untreated case of adult respiratory fibrosis, Haywardís illnesses ultimately took his life.
John Lennon Documentary Due in November
Had he not been fatally shot in December 1980, John Lennon would have turned 70 on October 9. To honor his birthday, his back catalogue is being reissued on October 9. Coinciding with the anniversaries of his birth and his death, PBS is planning to air LENNONYC on November 22. Part of the organizationís American Masters series, the new documentary will focus upon Lennonís life in New York City during the 1970s. The two-hour film covers Lennonís involvement in the antiwar movement, the birth of his son Sean, the estrangement from and reconciliation with his wife Yoko Ono, the battles with the United States government over his immigration status, and the making of albums such as Mind Games, Walls & Bridges, and Double Fantasy.
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