Cirque Du Soleil To Produce New Michael Jackson Show. Michael Jackson is joining the ranks of The Beatles and Elvis Presley with the debut of his own Cirque du Soleil show. In association with the Michael Jackson Estate, a Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil show is set to debut next year. Beginning with a national tour in late Fall of 2011, a live show based on the music and songs of Michael Jackson will hit arenas around the country and later overseas. In late 2012, the Michael Jackson show will receive a permanent home in one of the twelve MGM Mirage properties in Las Vegas.Along with its permanent home in Las Vegas, a Michael Jackson-themed nightclub is expected to open alongside the production. Guy Laliberté, the Founder of Cirque du Soleil, said, “Michael Jackson is the King of Pop and an all-time phenomenal artist, both timeless and contemporary. As a creative challenge, this project is the ultimate. Through the use of cutting edge technology, we will produce a Cirque du Soleil experience not only worthy of Michael but unlike any other we have created before.” “This will not just be a tribute to Michael’s musical genius, but a live entertainment experience that uses the most advanced technology to push every creative boundary as Michael always did,” said John Branca, co-executor for The Estate of Michael Jackson. “Having attended Cirque du Soleil performances with Michael, I know he was a huge fan. We are excited to be partners with Cirque du Soleil to give Michael’s fans a truly unique way to hear, see and feel Michael’s music.” The Estate of Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil will each own 50 percent of the project, which includes the cost of development and production, as well as sharing profits from the show and other specialty projects surrounding it, like the nightclub venue. The Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil show is likely to feature new versions of classic Michael Jackson songs remixed and re-interpreted for the show, like the current Beatles and Elvis tributes performing in Las Vegas. Katherine Jackson, mother of Michael Jackson said, “Our family is thrilled that Cirque du Soleil will pay tribute to my son in such an important way.”
Picture of Elvis and Nixon is worth a thousand words
Behind the famous photo is a little-known story of an unlikely meeting in which the king of rock ‘n’ roll had his wish granted by the president.The National Archives is like a safe-deposit box for America’s really important papers — the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the $7.2-million canceled check for the purchase of Alaska, the picture of Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley shaking hands in the Oval Office. Copies of that photo — the president in his charcoal suit, the king of rock ‘n’ roll in his purple velvet cape — are requested more than just about any of the archives’ treasures, including the Constitution. Yet the story that led to their improbable meeting on Dec. 21, 1970, is as little-known as the picture is famous. In honor of Elvis’ 75th birthday last week, one of the president’s men, Egil “Bud” Krogh, and one of the king’s most trusted friends, Jerry Schilling, met for the first time in almost 40 years at the National Archives to recount the day Elvis came to Washington. A crowd waited in the frigid cold for a seat. (Even in the imperious capital, Elvis can still pack a house.) It wasn’t the glitzy birthday party other cities threw, no giant birthday cards, all-night film festivals or flashy displays of the white jumpsuit called “Snowflake.” An Elvis exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery is more Washington’s speed. As was this forum, which offered an hourlong window into a simpler time, before Watergate or terrorist attacks, when the world’s most famous man asked the world’s most powerful one to grant him a wish, and got it. The story begins Dec. 19, 1970, at Schilling’s home in the Hollywood Hills. The phone rings. A voice says, “It’s me.” Elvis is at the Dallas airport on his way to Los Angeles and wants Schilling to pick him up at LAX. “Who’s with you?” Schilling asks. “Nobody,” the king says. It should be noted that Elvis was a man who almost never did anything alone. He wanted at least five guys around him just to sit and watch TV. So Schilling is understandably concerned, all the more so when Elvis proceeds to recite his flight number and arrival time, which is akin to the queen doing a load of laundry. Schilling heads to the airport and takes Elvis to the singer’s mansion on Hillcrest Drive in Beverly Hills. The next morning, it comes out that Vernon, Elvis’ father, and Priscilla, his wife, were bugging him about how he spent his money. This aggravated the king, so all by himself he got on the first plane going out, which happened to be bound for Washington. Things did not go well. For starters, a “smart aleck little steward” with a mustache discovers Elvis is carrying a gun — it was his habit to carry at least three — and informs him he cannot bring a firearm on the airplane. Elvis, unaccustomed to being told what to do, storms off and is chased down by the pilot: “I’m sorry, Mr. Presley, of course you can keep your gun.” Elvis and his firearm reboard. Upon arriving in the nation’s capital, Elvis decides he wants a doughnut. While waiting for his order, he encounters some unsavory types who notice his five big gold rings and three necklaces. “That’s some nice jewelry,” one thug says. “Yeah, and I aim to keep it,” says Elvis, raising one leg of his bell bottoms to reveal a snub-nosed revolver strapped to his right ankle. At some point, Elvis has enough of this traveling alone stuff and heads to Los Angeles, intent on returning to Washington with one of his Memphis Mafia, namely Schilling. Schilling, who first met Elvis playing football when he was 12, is accustomed to odd requests from the king. But this one is particularly weird because Elvis is bent on going to Washington but won’t say why. Still, because “you don’t say no to Elvis,” Schilling agrees to go, even though it means missing a day at his new job as an assistant editor at Paramount, which took him a year to get. They book two first-class seats, but still need cash, and it’s a Sunday night in 1970. No ATMs. Elvis’ limousine driver, Sir Gerald, arranges for a check to be cashed at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Schilling writes one for $500, which Elvis signs. Before they leave the house,Elvis, a history buff, takes his commemorative World War II Colt 45 revolver off the wall, bullets included, and stows it in his bag. They cash the check and head for the airport. A small group of soldiers on leave from Vietnam for Christmas are on the same flight, and Elvis wanders back to coach to talk with one of them. Soon he is back up in first class, nudging Schilling, “Hey man, where’s the $500?”Schilling knows what’s coming. Elvis is an unusually generous man. After learning that Schilling was a year old when his mother died, Elvis bought him the house in Hollywood so he would “always have a home.” He still lives there today.
Epilogue: Nixon resigned from office under threat of impeachment 3 1/2 years later, on Aug. 9, 1974. When he was subsequently hospitalized with phlebitis, Elvis called to wish him well.
Elvis died at age 42 on Aug. 16, 1977, of a heart attack; 14 prescription drugs were found in his system. Nixon later noted in his friend’s defense that those were not illegal drugs.
Schilling wrote a book, “Me and a Guy Named Elvis.”
Krogh wrote one too, but “The Day Elvis Met Nixon” is mostly pictures. He also spent four months in prison for his role in the White House plumbers scandal.
Chapin served nearly eight months and Haldeman 18 months for their part in the Watergate coverup.
The commemorative gun is on display at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda.
The badge, specially prepared by the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs with Elvis’ name on it, hangs in his home in Graceland, on the Wall of Gold.
Elvis Presley’s teenage grandson has landed a record deal worth $5 million. Benjamin Presley has landed a five-album contract with Universal, and has already started work on his first LP, which he hopes to release next year. However, Benjamin – the 16-year-old son of Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie Presley – won’t be copying his grandfather’s defining rock ‘n’ roll sound. He said: “The Continue reading →
Barbra Streisand is world renowned for thrilling audiences with her magical performances, her supreme vocal talent and setting box office records. Now fans can get front row seats to the best of Barbra Streisand captured in Streisand The Concerts, a new 3-disc DVD showcasing some of her most memorable concerts, special exclusives including 17 tracks never-before released on DVD and behind-the-scenes moments with one of the most beloved artists of all time. This highly anticipated triple-DVD set will be released on March 16th through Universal arriving just in time for Mother’s Day.
The 3-Disc DVD set offers fans an all access pass to two of her most memorable concerts in their entirety.
Disc #1- captures the record-breaking 2006 North American tour from the sold-out Ft. Lauderdale show, with special guest multi-platinum recording artist, IL Divo. Fans will get a chance to see nine songs never-before-seen on DVD, including ‘Unusual Way,’ ‘A Cockeyed Optimist’ and ‘My Shining Hour,’ all of which are the first time Streisand has ever performed them either in the studio or live. Bonus features include six additional songs as well as interviews with the behind-the-scenes team who create and execute this musical and visually unique experience.
Disc #2- 1993 concert Live at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, CA that documents the magic of her first concert tour in 28 years. For the first time on DVD, this special concert includes the first-ever live performance of ‘Lazy Afternoon’ and ‘Yentl Medley.’
Disc #3- Putting It Together: The Making of the Broadway Album gives fans the ultimate insider’s look at Streisand like you’ve never seen her before. Included in the DVD is vintage performance footage from the ’60s and ’70s, video clips from her childhood, extensive one-on-one interviews and a montage of the numerous awards she’s received throughout the years. Bonus features include video performances of hits such as ‘Yesterdays’ from Color Me Barbra 1966, ‘I’m Always Chasing Rainbows’ from The Belle of 14th Street 1967 and ‘Cryin’ Time (with Ray Charles)’ from Barbra Streisand,And Other Musical Instruments 1973. Disc #3, Putting It Together, is jam-packed with exclusive, behind-the-scenes footage including the making of the Broadway album with guest appearances from Sydney Pollack, David Geffen and Ken Silk.
Streisand The Concerts is an extraordinary collection of the very best moments and highlights from Barbra Streisand’s legendary career and includes more than 60 songs spanning classics such as ‘Funny Girl,’ ‘The Way We Were,’ and ‘People,’ as well as never before recorded ‘The Music of the Night,’ and ‘Somewhere’ with Il Divo.
Barbra Streisand is the music industry’s #1 best-selling female artist with 50 Gold, 30 Platinum and 13 Multi-Platinum albums to her credit. She is second in the all-time charts, ahead of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, exceeded only by Elvis. She continues to be the highest-selling female recording artist ever. Streisand remains the only artist to receive Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, Cable Ace, and Peabody Awards, and the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award. Streisand The Concerts is distributed worldwide by Live Nation and S2BN Entertainment.
Bassist Adam Yauch said the rappers have been experimenting with sampling new stuff for their eighth studio album.
He said: “It’s a combination of playing and sampling stuff as we’re playing, and also sampling pretty obscure records.”
Speaking to BBC Five Live, Yauch said the trio, due to tour this summer, are currently putting the finishing touches to their new album.
He said: “We’re tweaking some mixes and we’re going to master it in the next couple of weeks.
“There are a lot of songs on the record and there are a lot of short songs and they kind of all run into each other.”
The record, which hasn’t yet been given a release date, comes nearly two years after their Grammy Award-winning instrumental LP The Mix-Up.
Yauch added that they had tentatively named the album “Tadlock’s Glasses”, after a former tour bus driver, who was once given a pair of glasses by Elvis.
He explained: “We had a bus driver years ago who used to drive Elvis’ back up singers.
“His name was Tadlock and Elvis gave him a pair of glasses which he was very proud of. So for some reason that title – Tadlock’s Glasses – has just been bouncing around.”
The Big Bopper (J. P. Richardson, Jr.), a music visionary and the gifted songwriter/singer of CHANTILLY LACE, died at 28 in a plane crash on February 3, 1959, with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.
His son Jay P. Richardson was born 84 days later.
“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lists CHANTILLY LACE as one of the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll,” says Jay, “but Dad hasn’t been inducted with Buddy and Ritchie.”
“Dad deserves this recognition not because of his death or because he wrote three songs that topped the charts but because he is now recognized as the innovator of the music video.”
Bopper’s music or persona have also been a staple in films from “American Graffiti” to “Happy Feet” to “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.”
“As the anniversaries fly by, I worry about keeping his music alive. I need all his fans, young and old, to write the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame requesting his induction.”
“Elvis has Priscilla and Buddy has Maria Elena to carry on their legacies. My mother was so devastated by Dad’s death, decades passed before she could speak about him. I need to make up for lost time.”
Jay (Bopper, Jr.) tours with the Winter Dance Party tribute show (www.winterdanceparty.com) so he meets many of the original fans…and their children…and grandchildren.
“Emails from teenagers in places like Holland or Australia arrive weekly, saying their parents or grandparents loved the music and passed that love to them. These young fans will keep Dad’s memory alive – his music cuts across age and cultural boundaries.”
RUNNING BEAR, WHITE LIGHTNIN’ and BEGGAR TO A KING are his best-known compositions – listen to a mix on www.chantillylacethemusical.com. A prolific songwriter, The Big Bopper recorded many of his own songs (a greatest hit compilation of 19 is available at Amazon.)
The Big Bopper’s own story remains untold – a slight Jay hopes to rectify with planned film and stage projects THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED (www.bigboppermovie.com) and the stage musical CHANTILLY LACE.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (www.rockhall.com) is at 1100 Rock and Roll Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44114.