Tom Jones

HAPPY TOGETHER At Wesbury: Micky Dolenz Blazes On Stage— Review

Last night we were guests at the 2012 HAPPY TOGETHER tour; featuring The Buckinghams; The Grass Roots; Gary Puckett; Micky Dolenz; and, Flo &B Eddie aka The TurtlesThe Buckinghams (“Kind Of A Drag”)and The Grass Roots didn’t disappoint at all as they blazed through their hits, sounding like we just heard them on the radio yesterday. The Roots in particular were spectacular; their canon of hits “Let’s Live for Today,” “Temptation Eyes” and “I’d Wait A Million years” huge crowd favorites. Last year, we lost Rob Grill, the main-Root, but you’d never know it listening to them. Gary Puckett, sans his group The Union Gap, looked great and sounded terrific. One of our group said his act these days, owed more to Tom Jones, than anything, but he delighted and the crowd. After a short break, where we hung with Dolenz’s pr-man David Salidor and Q104.3’s Jim Kerr trading show biz stories, we were back inside the cavernous Westbury-stage and Dolenz and band amped up the festivities, witnessed by the opening lines of the song “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone.” We have seen Micky numerous times, but never felt the energy like it was last night. Dressed in black, topped off with a black trilby, Dolenz put 200% into his performance. His guitarist (and, musical director) Wayne Avers, stood nearby and amped up the performance delightfully well. The loss a few months back of Dolenz’s Monkee-ally Davy Jones hung heavy in the air and Dolenz addressed it emotionally and terrifically. Saying Jones was the brother he never had, he launched into “Last Train To Clarksville” and “I’m A Believer,” which the sold-out crowd went crazy for. Throughout the whole show, there were three girls, dressed to the nines, sitting in the first row, and Dolenz addressed them directly, which was a nice touch. (I actually ran into them after the show and although all were in their early-twenties, they said this was the best show they’d ever seen … take that Justin Bieber). Dolenz’s forays into the theater-world were evidence onstage as he was so strong and compelling, you couldn’t take your eyes off him. I know he wants to do more theater and after last night’s stellar performance, I bet he’ll have his share of offers come this week. Flo & Eddie were just sensational; performing their array of hits including “Happy Together” and a riveting “Elenore,” and “She’d Rather be With Me.” Though they started off described as a surf band, (CrossfiresHoward Kaylan and Mark Volman have developed into terrific performers. With the rendition of “Together,” they were joined by the performers … one by one. A terrific finale for sure. All in all, a most Happy Together evening.


Songwriters Hall of Fame Celebrates Songwriting Legends

The 2012 Songwriters Hall of Fame 43rd Annual Induction and Awards Gala was a sparkling success, as SHOF Chairman Jimmy Webb and President/CEO Linda Moran recognized and celebrated some of the key songwriting legends of our time. Last night, icons Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Seger, Don Schlitz, Harvey Schmidt & Tom Jones and Jim Steinman were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Honored with special awards were Bette Midler who was presented with the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement AwardNe-Yo,who received the Hal David Starlight AwardLance Freed, who received the Abe Olman Publisher Award; Mike Stoller who was presented with the Towering Song Award for “Stand By Me,” Ben E. King who received theTowering Performance Award and the first ever Pioneer Award, was awarded posthumously to Woody Guthrie. His daughter Nora Guthrie accepted the award
The Songwriters Hall of Fame, year after year, is a night full of unforgettable moments with music’s greatest. Some of 2012’s most incredible moments included a powerhouse medley of “I’d Do Anything For Love” and “Bat Out Of Hell” by MeatloafConstantine Maroulis and Patti Russo, which was followed by Meatloaf’s tearful tribute to his “best friend in the entire world” and inductee, Jim Steinman; Show stopping performances by Bob Seger, Valerie SimpsonKenny Rogers, Don Schlitz, Steve Miller, Gordon Lightfoot and Cheyenne Jackson and in honor of her steadfast devotion to the craft of songwriting an emotional photo tribute was dedicated to the life of Frances Preston, who served as CEO and President of BMI for close to two decades.  Aretha Franklin and Clive Davis were also among the music legends in the audience for one of the industry’s most intimate evenings. 
Legendary multi-Grammy® award winning artist Bette Midler was this year’s recipient of the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented to her by Stevie Nicks who sang a touching rendition of “The Rose.”  Nicks called Midler “a songwriters dream” and a “fearless performer.”  Midler, who received a standing ovation, kindly thanked all of the fans, songwriters, producers and others who have supported her throughout her life.  Midler joked about her storied career saying, “first I was a tramp, then I was a visionary, then I was an icon, now I’m an institution.”
This year’s Hal David Starlight Award, which is presented to young songwriters who are making a significant impact in the music industry with their original songs, was presented to Ne-Yo by hip-hop artist and producer, Swizz Beatz.  Ne-Yo said he was humbled by the award, accepting it with “100% gratitude.”  Before an incredible performance of his hit, “So Sick,” Ne-Yo told the audience that he is so appreciative that he is able to do what he feels like he was born to do. 
This year’s Towering Song Award, presented to the creators of an individual song that has influenced our culture in a unique way over many years, was presented to Mike Stoller, Jerry Leiber and Ben E. King for “Stand By Me.” Take 6 performed a stunning a capella rendition in honor of the chart topping hit with King lending his iconic voice.  
The Abe Olman Publisher Award, named after one of the SHOF’s esteemed founders, goes to music publishers who have had a substantial number of songs that have become world-renowned and have furthered the careers and successes of many songwriters. This year’s recipient was Lance Freed, who was presented the award by A&M Records co-founder, Jerry Moss after singing sensation Emmylou Harris’ inspiring performance of “Tears In Heaven.”
L.P. and Take 6 presented and performed “This Land Is Your Land” in honor of Woody Guthrie, who would be celebrating his 100th birthday this year.  Guthrie is the first ever recipient of the Pioneer Award, which honors the career of a historic creator of a major body of musical work that has had an incredible influence on generations of songwriters.  Guthrie, who fondly refereed to her father as a pioneer, chronicled some of his more than 3,000 songs with an A-to-Z title tribute.
The 43rd Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner was truly a spectacular evening with incredible performances to remember that celebrate outstanding songwriters in the music industry. For those lucky to attend, it was a night one will never forget.

Singer Tom Jones Hit By Leaked Email Scandal

Tom Jones has been embroiled in scandal after a leaked email from a seeth ingrecord label executive described the singer’s spiritual new album as a “sick joke” and accused him of reneging on his deal with the company.
The veteran star singed a multi-million dollar contract with Island Rec ords last October (09) and is set to release his latest record, Praise an d Blame, at the end of the month (Jul10).
But a email which Island’s vice-president David Sharpe sent to his coll eagues at the company has revealed the label boss is thoroughly unimpress ed with the new tracks – he slammed Jones’ new sound and told co-workers to “pull back this project immediately or get my money back”.
The message reads, “Imagine my surprise when I walked into the office t his morning to hear hymns coming from your office – it could have been Su nday morning.
“My initial pleasure came to an abrupt halt when I realised that Tom Jones was singing the hymns! I have just listened to the album in its entir ety and want to know if this is some sick joke? “We did not invest a fortune in an established artist for him to delive r 12 tracks from the common book of prayer (sic). Having lured him from E MI, the deal was that you would deliver a record of upbeat tracks along

 he lines of Sex Bomb and Mama Told Me…
“As venerable and interesting as Tom’s story is, this is not what was a greed and certainly not what we paid for. Who put him with a ‘folk’ produ cer and who authorised that he should go off on this tangent…? “Please don’t give me the art over commerce argument, it’s run its cour se… what are you thinking when he went all spiritual?” A representative for Jones has confirmed the star was unaware of the em ail, telling Britain’s Sunday Times, “This is the first we have heard of this email. It’s certainly very direct.” When Sharpe was asked for comment, he added, “Parts of this record comp any wanted to deliver an album for the typical Tom Jones fan and I don’t know if that is what we got. Shall we say we’ve paid for a Mercedes – we’ ve got the hearse that’s arrived.”

Reloaded: Greatest Hits
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