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Duran Duran members, Todd Rundgren, Jane Wiedlin & more featured in new Sparks documentary

Focus Features

Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes and John Taylor, Todd Rundgren and Go-Go's guitarist Jane Wiedlin are among the many well-known artists featured in The Sparks Brothers, an upcoming documentary about Sparks, the beloved cult band led by brothers Russell and Ron Mael.

You can check out a new trailer for the film, featuring clips of various music stars talking about Sparks, at Focus Features' YouTube channel.

"It's insane, but it's fantastic," Rhodes says about Sparks' music at one point during the video promo.

"It wasn't like anything else," adds Rundgren, who produced the band's 1971 debut album.

As for Wiedlin, who collaborated with Sparks on the 1983 dance hit "Cool Places," she comments that they "were a bit much for most people."

Other artists featured in the doc include Squeeze's Chris Difford, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, Steve Jones of Sex Pistols, New Order's Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Haircut 100's Nick Heyward, Heaven 17's Martyn Ware, Beck, producers Giorgio Moroder and Tony ViscontiVince Clarke of Depeche Mode, Yaz and Erasure. Such celebs as Mike Myers, Patton Oswalt, Jason Schwartzman and Fred Armisen also appear.

The Sparks Brothers is directed by Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World filmmaker Edgar Wright. It premieres in theaters on June 18.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Grateful Dead spinoff group Dead & Company to resume long, strange trip with major 2021 US tour

Credit: Danny Clinch

The Grateful Dead spinoff group Dead & Company has announced dates for a major 2021 U.S. tour running from late summer until well into the fall.

The trek kicks off August 16 in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is mapped out through an October 29-31 stand at the famed Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

The 31-date outing also includes a number of other multiple show engagements: September 2-3 in the Boston suburb of Mansfield, Massachusetts; September 17-18 in Chicago; and October 22-23 in the Denver suburb of Greenwood Village, Colorado.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, May 21, at noon local time via Ticketmaster. Tickets will be made available through Ticketmaster's Verified Fan program, which you can register for now through Sunday, May 16, at 10 p.m. PT. A Verified Fan pre-sale will begin on Wednesday, May 19, at 10 a.m. local time.

In addition, Dead & Company is offering various enhanced experience and travel packages, which go on sale on May 19 at 10 a.m. local time. Visit CIDEntertainment.com for more details.

Also on the new trek, the band will continue its sustainability partnership with the nonprofit organization REVERB, and has committed to a comprehensive carbon offset program via the organization's unCHANGEit Climate Campaign.

Dead & Company features Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, as well as singer/guitarist John Mayer, ex-Allman Brothers Band bassist Oteil Burbridge, and RatDog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti. The band canceled its 2020 tour plans because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit DeadandCompany.com to check out the band's full list of tour dates.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jimmy Buffett has no qualms about hitting the road again at age 74

Credit: Julie Sharratt

"Margaritaville" singer Jimmy Buffett is performing live again.  With the COVID-19 pandemic shuttering venues and canceling live performances last year, the 74-year-old singer is heartened that things are now starting to re-open.

Speaking with Billboard about how he weathered lockdown, the two-time Grammy nominee confessed, "I wound up stuck. I mean, everybody's life stopped."  However, he used his down time wisely, adding, "I got little studios everywhere, so I was generating content and working on things and staying in touch with the band."

He also said the "silver lining" was being able to spend time with his adult children, Savannah, 41; Sarah, 29; and his adopted son Cameron.  "I would have never spent that much time with my grown kids for the rest of my life... Six months with them was great," he smiled.

The singer kickstarts a series of live performances today, spending the next four nights at the Delray Beach, Florida, venue The Pavilion at Old School Square.

All four shows sold out in a matter of minutes, with Buffett hailing the shows as "spring training" to whip him into shape for bigger venues with even more fans sitting in the crowd.

As for why he picked The Pavilion, explains Buffett, "I had friends that were recommending it to me" and that he had been looking into "places I knew were making a really concerted effort to make sure everybody was safe."

When asked how he feels about playing for an audience that is much smaller than he's used to, joked Buffett, "I think that you always have to look at when it wasn't like this, and when you had to play [small venues] and never forget that it can all go to h-ll in any minute, and never forget to duck."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Watch Jon Bon Jovi cover Harry Styles hit "Watermelon Sugar"

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Apollo

It's a great compliment when one artist covers another artist's song, so pop star Harry Styles must be feeling pretty good about the fact that his song has been covered -- not by just any artist -- but by a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee.

Footage of Jon Bon Jovi covering Styles' number-one hit "Watermelon Sugar" during a May 7 benefit performance is now making the rounds on social media, reports Billboard.

According to the James Lane Post, Jon donated his performance at Clubhouse in East Hampton, NY, which then gifted $50,000 to Meals on Wheels and Project Most.  The venue also invited 30 frontline workers to enjoy the concert.

Jon's appearance was a 90-minute performance that included a Q&A session, classic Bon Jovi songs, unreleased tunes and covers.

On Tuesday, "Watermelon Sugar" was named British Single of the Year at the BRIT Awards. 

As previously reported, Jon was recently announced as part of the lineup for the fifth annual Love Rocks NYC! benefit concert, which is scheduled for June 3 at the Beacon Theatre in New York. It'll be streamed live via the Fans.live platform.

The concert raises money for the God's Love We Deliver charity, which provides nutritious meals to seriously ill people in the New York City area. This year's event also will salute local frontline workers.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Pervis Staples, co-founder of The Staple Singers, dead at 85

Pervis Staples, right, with The Staple Singers, circa 1970; Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Pervis Staples, a founding member of the famous Chicago-based gospel and soul group The Staple Singers, died May 6, at his home in Dolton, Illinois, at age 85, Rolling Stone reports.

The Staple Singers were a family act formed by Pervis' father, Roebuck "Pops" Staples, and also originally featuring Pervis' sisters Mavis and Cleotha. Pervis, who sang backing vocals in the group, was replaced in 1968 by another sister, Yvonne.

Mavis paid tribute to her brother in a statement that reads, "Pervis was one of a kind -- comical and downright fly. He would want to be remembered as an upright man, always willing to help and encourage others. He was one of the good guys and will live on as a true Chicago legend."

The Staple Singers initially were a popular gospel act that took part in many civil rights rallies and protests, often with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The group eventually began recording secular soul and R&B music, and went on to score a series of major hits during the 1970s.

In journalist Greg Cot's 2014 book about Mavis and The Staple Singers, I'll Take You There, Cot noted that it was Pervis, who as a young man was friends with such soul greats as Sam Cooke and Lou Rawls, who encouraged his family group to move in a more secular direction during the 1960s.

After leaving the group, Pervis managed a Chicago act called The Hutchinson Sunbeams that later became The Emotions, and he also opened a successful Chicago nightclub.

Pervis was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with The Staple Singers in 1998, and the group was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

Pervis' death leaves Mavis as the last surviving Staple Singers member.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Girl you know it's *not* true: Milli Vanilli documentary in the works

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Disgraced pop duo Milli Vanilli -- who won the Best New Artist Grammy only to have it revoked after it was revealed that they'd lip-synced their hits -- will be the subject of a new documentary.

The doc, called Girl You Know It's True, will detail how German producer Frank Farian took two handsome guys who were great dancers but not-so-great singers -- Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan -- and turned them into chart-topping superstars.

Their 1989 album Girl You Know It's True sold six million copies and spun off three number one hits: "Blame It on the Rain," "Baby Don't Forget My Number" and "Girl I'm Gonna Miss You." However, neither Pilatus nor Morvan actually sang on the album -- session vocalists did.

The trouble started in July of 1989, after the track the duo was lip-syncing to at a concert got jammed and started to skip. Despite that, in 1990, they received the Best New Artist Grammy, only to have it revoked in November of that year, after Farian came clean and admitted the ruse.

Director Luke Korem says in a statement, "Milli Vanilli has made an indelible mark on music and pop culture history, yet the truth of what happened is more bizarre than anyone knows. There are so many layers, characters and twists that have never before been revealed."

Korem's take on the story will "come from a place of empathy and understanding for characters who were caught in a game where nobody explained the rules," according to a statement from the production company.  The documentary is being made with Fab Morvan's input; Rob Pilatus died of an overdose in 1998.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Dionne Warwick laughs off online death hoax

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Contrary to what you may have seen online, Dionne Warwick is not dead, and the legendary artist proved it as only she could.

A Twitter user on Monday shared screenshot of of a YouTube video titles "The Life and Sad Ending of Dionne Warwick."

"According to Youtube, @dionnewarwick is dead," read the caption.

Two days later, on Wednesday, the 80-year-old singer responded to the tragic news with a simple "Oh no!"

Her fans hilariously responded to the hoax as well.

"I'm sorry you had to find out this way," joked one.

"Next time you see a tweet like this just walk on by," added another, referencing Warwick's classic 1964 hit.

Yet another follower quipped, "What about a proof of life concert?"

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Bob Dylan Center to open in Tulsa, Oklahoma, next year

Courtesy of Olson Kundig

The Bob Dylan Center, a world-class facility housing and exhibiting over 100,000 exclusive original manuscripts, unreleased recordings, unseen film performances, photos and more from the folk-rock legend's seven-decade career, will open in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on May 10, 2022.

The rarities include a 1962 performance of "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" recorded at the apartment of Milton (Mell) and Lillian Bailey -- friends and early champions of Dylan -- when he was a fixture in New York's Greenwich Village folk scene.  The performance features alternate lyrics and is the earliest known recording of the song.

There's also a recently unearthed image of Dylan on stage during his 1974 tour with The Band, taken by renowned photographer Barry Feinstein.

Among the many highlights of the center are:

--An ever-evolving curated display of elements that illuminate the depth and breadth of the Bob Dylan Archive collection.

--An immersive film experience that will initiate visitors through an innovative cascade of archival music and film, directed by renowned Dylan chronicler Jennifer Lebeau.

--A recreation of an authentic studio environment where visitors will experience what it was like to be present at one of Dylan's historic recording sessions.

--The Columbia Records Gallery, which will provide an in-depth look at the creation, performance and production of timeless Dylan songs such as "Like a Rolling Stone"

--A screening room that will showcase Dylan-related scripted films, documentaries and concert performances, including never-before-seen material unearthed from the Archive.

--A multimedia timeline of Dylan's life from his early years in Minnesota through the present day, written by award-winning historian Sean Wilentz.

--The Parker Brothers Gallery, which will explore the creative process through the work of other innovative artists, in an initial exhibit curated by influential author Lewis Hyde.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Heart's Ann Wilson releasing vinyl EP featuring songs she recorded with her early band The Daybreaks

Courtesy of Ann Wilson

Ann Wilson will release a limited-edition 10-inch vinyl EP this summer featuring four songs she recorded in 1969 with her pre-Heart band The Daybreaks.

In a post on her official website, Wilson explains that in late 1968, The Daybreaks agreed to record a few tunes by a couple of country songwriters in return for some studio time.

Ann notes that on January 9, 1969, the band entered Seattle's Kearney Bartons Studio and recorded four tracks. Two of the tunes, "Standing Watching You" and "I'm Gonna' Drink My Hurt Away," were written by a songwriter named Mary Wadkins, while a third, "Wonder How I Managed," was penned by Vern Erickson. The fourth song, "Through Eyes and Glass," was written by Ann and her sister Nancy.

Recalling the session, Wilson writes, "These are my first recordings which only sold a handful of copies, but it was the start of my career. We recorded this in a tiny studio in downtown Seattle under the Monorail. It may as well have been Abbey Road because we'd never been in any recording studio before."

She adds, "The session came about because we were helping my friend Chris Blaine with a country band. That band only had a few songs, and there was a little time left in the day they'd booked, so we cut the three covers, and snuck in an original song of our own."

The tracks originally were released in 1969 on two 45-rpm singles by the Topaz Records label under the moniker Ann Wilson & The Daybreaks.

The Daybreaks EP, which is pressed on splatter vinyl, is expected to be shipped on July 21. Those who pre-order the disc will receive a digital download of the tracks within 48 hours.

Here the track list of The Daybreaks EP:

Side A
"Standing Watching You"
"I'm Gonna' Drink My Hurt Away"

Side B
"Wonder How I Managed"
"Through Eyes and Glass"

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Blondie members taking part in Q&A event as part of 2021 Tribeca Film Festival

Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Blondie's Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Burke will be on hand for a special "Storytellers" event on June 15 as part of the "Tribeca Talks" series being held in conjunction with the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Famers will be chatting with Rob Roth, director of the band's new documentary short, Blondie: Vivir en La Habana, which is getting its North American premiere at the festival. Blondie's Tribeca Talks session will take place at AT&T Terrace at 7 p.m. ET on the 15th.

As previously reported, Blondie: Vivir en La Habana follows the famed New Wave band on a 2019 cultural exchange trip to Havana, Cuba, during which they played their first-ever concert in the Caribbean island nation.

The short film will get its North American premiere at the festival on June 14 at Pier 76 in Hudson River Park at 5 p.m. ET. It also will be shown on June 16 at The Battery waterfront park at 8 p.m. ET. Blondie initially was scheduled to give a live performance after the latter screening, but the group now is slated to just make "a special appearance."

Tickets to both screenings and the "Tribeca Talks" event are sold out, although people can watch the short flick at home starting on June 15 by purchasing a Tribeca at Home Shorts Pass at TribecaFilm.com.

Check out a trailer for Blondie: Vivir en La Habana at the festival's official YouTube channel.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Carole King, Tina Turner, Todd Rundgren, Go-Go's react to news of Rock Hall induction

Courtesy of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2021 class of inductees this morning, and now some of the artists chosen for the honor have issued statements regarding the big news.

Carole King was one of the six artists chosen for induction in the Performer category this year, but she was first inducted in 1990. That time, though, it was in a non-performing category: She was honored with her late ex-husband and longtime collaborator Gerry Goffin for their work as hit songwriters.

Now that she's going in for her solo work, Carole has posted a message on her socials acknowledging her second honor.

"I wanted to be a songwriter so I could meet all the great artists and they would know who I was," she writes. "I thought being inducted into the @rockhall as a songwriter with Gerry Goffin was the pinnacle. Until now. Thank you for ALSO inducting me as an artist."

Tina Turner, who was previously inducted in 1991 as one-half of Ike & Tina Turner, also is going in this year a second time, this time as a solo performer. 

"I am absolutely thrilled to be included into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame amongst such amazing artists! Thank you for all your continued love and support over the years!" Turner says in an Instagram post.

Carole and Tina will become only the second and third women ever to be inducted into the Rock Hall twice, after Stevie Nicks.

Another new inductee is Todd Rundgren, who issued a simple statement, saying, "I'm happy for my fans. They've wanted this for a long time."

Rundgren has long expressed his distaste for the Rock Hall. In a March 2019 interview with ABC Audio, not long after he was passed over for the honor after being nominated and finishing third in the official fan-voted online poll, he declared that he wouldn't take part in an induction ceremony if he were chosen.

Lastly, newly chosen inductees The Go-Go's released a joint statement from their five members reacting to the honor.

"We are overwhelmed with gratitude to be 2021 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame," the message says. "Women have always been a vital part of the ever-changing music business and The Go-Go's are so proud to have our success story honored and recognized by fans and voters."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Gloria Estefan to host Kennedy Center Honors next month

Courtesy of Gloria Estefan

Gloria Estefan is set to host the 43rd annual Kennedy Center Honors next month.

It marks her second time hosting the special, which airs Sunday, June 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and will be available to stream live and on demand on the CBS app and Paramount+. She first hosted in 2018, after being a Kennedy Center honoree the year prior.

“I can't believe it's been almost four years that I received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., and right after that I got the incredible honor of hosting the awards, which I will be doing again on June 6 on CBS,” Gloria says in a video message.

“Don't miss that amazing night where we honor Joan Baez, Midori, Debbie Allen, Dick Van Dyke and Garth Brooks,” she adds. “It’s gonna be a fantastic show and an amazing Honors.”

The Kennedy Center Honors are traditionally held in early December, but last year’s special was postponed until 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Duran Duran to debut new single in first-ever 'Billboard' Music Awards performance

Credit: Stephanie Pistel

Duran Duran will be taking the stage at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, marking the veteran group's first-ever performance on that awards show.

The British group is set to perform their new, "soon-to-be-revealed" single remotely from London, England. They'll be joined by guitarist Graham Coxon of the rock band Blur.

Duran Duran has had 21 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including "Hungry Like the Wolf," "Rio," "Ordinary World" and "I Don't Want Your Love,” as well as two number ones: "The Reflex" and the James Bond theme "A View to a Kill."  Fun fact: It's the only James Bond theme ever to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

Duran Duran have had top 20 albums on the Billboard 200 in the '80s, '90s, '00s and '10s. Their most recent album, 2015's Paper Gods, debuted in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 and was their highest-charting album since 1993.

The 2021 Billboard Music Awards, hosted by Nick Jonas, airs May 23 on NBC at 8 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


The Go-Go's are "really, really, really excit[ed]" about being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Courtesy of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

As reported earlier today, The Go-Go's will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year, making them the first all-female band who play their own instruments to be recognized by the Rock Hall.

Four of the group's members -- Charlotte Caffey, Jane Wiedlin, Gina Schock and Kathy Valentine -- chatted via Zoom with ABC Audio after the big announcement.

"It's really, really, really exciting," Caffey said. "[W]hen it happened, we were just jumping up and down with joy."

Added Schock, "And we're just starting a party, and it won't end until the end of the year."

As for Wiedlin, she noted, "We've always felt kind of like outsiders…[R]ock 'n' roll was a boys club for so long, and we just always…had fun and did our own thing. And I kind of feel like the Rock Hall…if you get in that club, you're really in. And that feels really good."

The Go-Go's will be inducted alongside two other female artists, Tina Turner and Carole King, marking the first time three women or women-fronted acts will be honored in the Performer category in one year.

Valentine said of the milestone, "I think people see women being honored and being recognized for their roles [in] this whole big rock 'n' roll thing…and I think it represents something really, really good and positive for the future. Standard bearers!"

The Go-Go's have broken up multiple times, and have experienced plenty of intra-band drama, but the group's classic lineup remains intact.

As Wiedlin pointed out, "How many bands have been together 41 years and still have the original members? It's really unheard of, that we're still together and alive, still making music."

The Rock Hall Induction Ceremony takes place October 30 in Cleveland.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Gibbons among stars set to perform at 2021 Love Rocks NYC! benefit concert

Courtesy of God's Love We Deliver

Jon Bon Jovi and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons are part of the star-studded lineup of artists performing at the fifth annual Love Rocks NYC! benefit concert. It's set for June 3 at the Beacon Theatre in New York and will be streamed live via the Fans.live platform.

The concert raises money for the God's Love We Deliver charity, which provides nutritious meals to seriously ill people in the New York City area. This year's event will salute local frontline workers, who've played a vital role in helping New Yorkers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 Love Rocks NYC! bill also includes Warren Haynes, Nathaniel Rateliff, Gary Clark Jr., Joe Bonamassa, Sara Bareilles, Ivan Neville, Robert Randolph, Jimmy Vivino and many others. More stars will be added to the lineup.

In addition, the event will feature comedian Jeff Garlin, actor Michael Imperioli and former New York Yankee Bernie Williams  as celebrity hosts, while Tina Fey will appear as a special guest.

The show's house band will be led by longtime CBS Orchestra bassist Will Lee, and will include one-time Bob Dylan and Levon Helm touring guitarist Larry Campbell, Eric Clapton touring drummer Steve Gadd and Fleetwood Mac touring keyboardist Ricky Peterson.

You can sign up for a free livestream of the event at LoveRocksNYC.com, but you're encouraged to donate $20 via the website to God's Love We Deliver. That amount pays for two meals for those in need.

Since 2017, the Love Rocks NYC! shows have raised $13 million, which has helped pay for over 1.3 million meals.  You can check out a video featuring highlights from past Love Rocks NYC! concerts at God's Love We Deliver's YouTube channel.

For more details visit LoveRocksNYC.com and GLWD.org.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


KVPI Video Of the Week

"Nick Lick and the Hickies tribute to the city of Swamp Pop and Floyd Soileau, the father of Swamp Pop, from this point on to be known as "Swamp Pa Pa". Ville Platte is one of the backbones of Cajun culture as it has provided seasonings and sauces we all have used in our foods as well as much of the background music we've loved to listen to. In a sense, if we made a cake out of our Cajun culture, Ville Platte would be part of the icing on that cake! Such a special place needed a tribute and we used a parody of the Beatles "Get Back" to do the job. Special thanks to our guest accordionist, Joe Rogers."


 

 

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Proud supporter of our own

Swamp Pop music

The Louisana Swamp Pop Museum is operated by the City of Ville  Platte is open to the public every Friday and

Saturday from 10:00a.m. to 3:00p.m. 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.