Thursday, November 19, 2015

JERRY LEE LEWIS What The Hell Else Do You Need?

JERRY LEE LEWIS
“What The Hell Else Do You Need?”
Bear Family release the complete Sun recordings & much, much more in 18 cd set + two books

Jerry Lee Lewis turned 80 and embarked on a farewell tour. Germany’s Bear Family Records marked the occasion by releasing one of its’ most incredible packages. Titled “What The Hell Else Do You Need”, it’s the complete collected works of The Killer’s time at Sun Records, not only the commercial recordings but everything else that could be found in the famed Memphis Studio’s archives – alternative cuts, false starts, studio chatter, extended masters, mono and stereo recordings and several tracks which were re-engineered after he had left the label! Plus there’s 100 previously unheard versions.

The music is spread throughout 18 cd’s and the story covered by text and photographs in two hardcover LP sized books.  During his period with Sun, November 1956 to August 1963, Jerry Lee Lewis had 23 singles (including one as “The Hawk” on Phillips International) and two LPs – “Jerry Lee Lewis” and “Jerry Lee’s Greatest” - released, with a handful more following his departure from the label. Now this collection gives the listener a massive 623 tracks, adding up to nearly 24 hours of music.

Very much a labour of love by Pierre Pennone, Vice-President of the International Jerry Lee Lewis Fan Club since 1966, and writer Andrew McRae, overviewed by Bear Family’s Richard Weize, this iconic artist’s music is complimented by the two books. Rather than retread familiar ground with biographical information, “the narrative” – writes author McRae – “is focused squarely on Jerry Lee’s musical accomplishments as an artist under contract  to the Sun Record Company .... how the story unfolds will for the most part be evident from the music itself.”

So, in the smaller paged book, the focus is squarely on his musical accomplishments, leading off with a foreword by J. M. Van Eaton, Sun session drummer, who recalls the early days in the studio and on the road, and how Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On was recorded, after being first heard at a club date and becoming the follow-up to the artist’s first single Crazy Arms  .... and, of course, launching a career that’s still in the headlines after almost 60 years!

This book accompanies the music, to quote “a straight forward, sonic encyclopaedia of every traceable note that he sang and played at SUN, just as they were etched onto magnetic tape ....” and several studio conversations including, near the beginning, reflecting upon his Southern gospel heritage “.... the legendary, emotional confrontation with Sam Phillips during which Lewis contemplates the dangers of his immortal soul having embarked upon the recording of Great Balls Of Fire”.

The complexity of the task in compiling the collection is not made easier by lax filing of session details, referencing to tracks that may never have been recorded (a cover of The Ink Spots’ We Three for instance), tracking down exact recording dates (Frankie & Johnny or a non-helpful Jerry Lee, when asked, responding “what does it matter?”) or collecting together the many versions of any particular song.

Presented in chronological order, with full discography (wherever possible) provided, the recordings commence with first session on November 14, 1956 when Crazy Arms and End Of The Road came together as the debut single, and Born To Lose alongside two versions of You’re The Only Star (In My Blue Heaven) also being recorded. This was followed, within days, by another session before the third, and ground-breaking, early 1957 session that resulted in Whole Lot Of Shakin’ Going On. Here there are five takes (including one fragment) as well as six versions of Jack Clement’s It’ll Be Me. The fourth session produced Jimmy Long’s Ole Pal Of Yesterday (4 takes), All Night Long  (2) and the first dip into gospel realms with the singer’s distinctive arrangements of Old Time Religion (2) and When The Saints Go Marching In. All sessions were produced by Jack Clement and/or Sam Phillips - once again, there’s lack of precise session details – with Bill Justis’ name also appearing on later sessions.

And so the recordings progressed over the years, with songs laid down in either one take or many. Among the former, he struck it right first time with such as Don’t Be Cruel, Honey Hush, I’m Throwing Rice, Little Queenie, Lovesick Blues, Night Train To Memphis, Turn Around and Ubangi Stomp while others were tackled many times, sometimes spread over several sessions. Among these, Baby Baby Bye Bye (13), Good Golly, Miss Molly (10), Great Balls Of Fire (16), It’ll Be Me (16), Let’s Talk About Us (19), Little Green Valley (9), and Waiting For A Train (18), as well as 25 versions of the title song for the movie High School Confidential with the versions well discussed in the book’s appropriate section.

Then, away from his usual surrounding Sun studio surroundings, and in search for a different sound, four sessions (during 1961 and 1962) took place at the Phillips Studios in Nashville with Billy Sherrill producing with bigger instrumental and vocal backups. Among the resulting recordings were Cold, Cold Heart, C.C. Rider, I Love You Because, Save The Last Dance For Me, Ramblin’ Rose and Waiting For A Train. Obviously the listener will spend many hours in picking out differences between the songs’ various versions and deciding for him/herself which is the best.

There’s also the LP releases with full page reproductions of the front and back covers. The first, Jerry Lee Lewis, had Sam Phillips providing sleeve notes, “.... a little unusual for a record manufacturer to write his own liner notes for an artist’s album. But in this case, Jerry Lee Lewis’ first LP, I want to express personally how proud Sun Record Company is too present this fabulous showman in his interpretation of a variety of songs” while the second, Jerry Lee’s Greatest, provided brief biography albeit with a promotional slant.

The book concludes with Jerry Lee’s final session at Sun, on August 28, 1963, where he recorded One Minute Past Eternity (3), Invitation To Your Party (9), I Can’t Seem To Say Goodbye (2) and Carry Me Back to Old Virginia (7) and, like previous sessions, the discs feature false starts and moments of studio chat and, with the last named song, an extended master. And, as the author notes, it might have been the end of his association with the famed label, but he was back in Phillips’ Nashville studio a month later, this time recording for Smash Records.

Of course this only covers a small section of what’s to be discovered in the book – lots more spread over 46 pages of small text followed by a full discography, cd and cross-referenced track listings. The book is divided into two sections (named Acts) with various subdivisions (Scenes), all titled with quotations from John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, “a very much older tale about a fallen angel” writes Andrew McRae, adding that “not all readers will agree with the author’s assessment of the merit of certain recordings”.

So, as the first book fully details the recordings and the songs, the second book – titled Anecdotes and Illustrations – covers other aspects of Jerry Lee Lewis’ life and career during the Sun years, with photographs collected over 55 years by Pierre Pennone, “a sort of fan scrapbook” he says.

With over 400 pictures, combined with newspaper clippings and comments from people associated with The Killer, each year is prefixed with a timeline of events that lists such items as concerts, tour dates, tv appearances and recording sessions. It commences in 1957 and among that year’s activities were touring with Wanda Jackson, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins, appearances on the Steve Allen, Big Beat and American Bandstand tv shows, and the preview of Jamboree, the movie that also featured Fats Domino, Buddy Knox and Jimmy Bowen among the rock ‘n’ roll star line-up.

December 12, 1957 was also very noteworthy as that was the date that he wed 13 year old Myra Gale Brown – a marriage that would hit national press headlines the following year with the ill-fated UK tour. Several pages of national and music press stories are featured here – headlined with such “We Hate Jerry, Shout Ex-Fans” and “Clear Out This Gang” - accompanied with stage photos and sightseeing shots with his 13 year old bride, concluding with an open letter in Billboard from the star in which he attempted to make the best out of a bad situation.

Also, in the 1958 section, nine pages are devoted to High School Confidential, with stills and a reprint of the film’s press book while, in 1960, there an item on his ban by the Musicians Union (AFM) because of an outstanding debt of $10,000. Sam Phillips tried to get around the problem by issuing an instrumental single (In The Mood c/w I Get The Blues When It Rains) with the artist credited as “The Hawk” on Sun’s sister label, Phillips International.

Then, in 1961 and ’62, press articles heralding the comeback, with the successful US recordings opening the doorways for a return to Britain, although one writer (in November 1961) commenting on What’d I Say, critiqued “the most irritating aspect of the disc was Lewis’ untidy, inaccurate and barely rhythmic piano playing”.  One wonders how familiar this unnamed journalist actually knew about his subject. But such negative comments hardly impacted on the April-May ’62 appearances which had the fans out in force, ensuring that the past was well and truly forgotten – and they were ready for more the following year!

Nearing the end of this 215 page book, a couple of comments from fellow musicians. Gene Vincent named Jerry Lee “the wildest man I know” and Chas Hodges (then a member of backing band The Outlaws) penned a lengthy article being on the road with him. “Jerry Lee taught me the piano without knowing it” he concludes. Then, talking with NME’s Chris Williams in June 1963, he revealed that he wanted to be in a Bible film though adding “it would be a little hard to imagine.”

The insightful articles and news clips are backed up with a mass of “through the years” photographs, off stage with Myra, family, friends, fans, industry folk, at home, portraits and photo sessions, and behind the scenes while, on stage, there’s numerous action shots from US and UK concerts with the wild man pumping piano, on top of the piano, heeling the keys, foot stompin’, standing on stage centre, holding, caressing and swinging microphone, and more, creating 100% excitement throughout, both for himself and his equally wild audiences. That’s what made him The Killer and many of the photos show him at his wildest!

Of course, over the years, there’s been numerous repackages of Jerry Lee’s Sun recordings but none like this, everything within the covers of a highly distinctive box set. As the title says, “what the hell else do you need?” .... and what else would you expect from the world’s most prestigious reissue record label?

Country Music News International Newsletter November 19. 2015

Country Music News International Newsletter November 19. 2015

Here is your Country Music News of the day from Country Music News International Magazine www.CountryMusicNewsInternational.blogspot.com . Your Country Music News is supported by, The Capital Hotel Downtown Nashville www.thecapitolhoteldowntownnashville.com , Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau www.visitmusiccity.com , Tennessee Tourism, www.Tennessee.de , Scott Brantley http://studiogoldnashville.com/scott-brantley , Eileen Carey www.reverbnation.com/eileencarey , Coreopsis Publications LLC www.coreopsis.gs ,Russ Marsh https://www.facebook.com/russmarsh.rmbcrecords?ref=bookmarks

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CANADIAN COUNTRY DUO TWOSHINE COUNTY RELEASE DEBUT EP WHOLE LOTTA LOVE http://countrymusicnewsinternational.blogspot.de/2015/11/canadian-country-duo-twoshine-county.html

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CANADIAN COUNTRY DUO TWOSHINE COUNTY RELEASE DEBUT EP WHOLE LOTTA LOVE




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                   November 18, 2015
    
CANADIAN COUNTRY DUO TWOSHINE COUNTY RELEASE DEBUT EP WHOLE LOTTA LOVE
  
TORONTO, ON - Canadian country duo TwoShine County are set to release their debut EP Whole Lotta Love on December 11 available on select music services including iTunes and Spotify. The Alberta-based independent act will celebrate the release with a performance at The Marquee Beer Market & Stage on December 10 in Calgary alongside special guests Wildflower. Tickets are available to purchase here
 
"As 2015 winds down we look back at everything that has happened this year, we have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to," says Daron Schofield. "We would like to thank all of our friends, family and peers but most importantly our fans. All you TwoShiners out there. Your love and support throughout this year has been amazing and we're so excited to share the results of a lot of hard work and determination. The release of our EP is the perfect way to bring this year to a close and we can't wait to share it with you." 
 
Blending the Canadian duo's love of both modern rock and traditional country with a hint of up-tempo pop, the six tracks are a collection of songs reflecting TwoShine County's unique sound. Their single "Love This Song" is a feel good song illustrating the feelings of young summer love. Tracks like "Whole Lotta Love" and "Firefly" hit harder, with a rock kick and a stomp-a-long beat that commands you to join in. In contrast, "Make It With You" highlights classic country instrumentation complimented by the powerful vocals and harmonies of front men Daron Schofield and Dennis Hann.
 
The duo burst onto the scene in 2014 with their first single "Make It With You," followed a few months later by "Whole Lotta Love." Both tracks successfully garnered enough attention to establish the duo a loyal fan base from coast to coast. TwoShine County have opened for Dean Brody, High Valley, Kip Moore, Emerson Drive and most recently shared the stage with Blue Rodeo and The Sheepdogs at the famous Cowboy Stampede Tent in Calgary, AB. After two successful songwriter showcases at Country Music Week in Halifax this year, fans are more excited than ever for the highly-anticipated EP release.
 
Whole Lotta Love Tracklisting
1. Make It With You
2. Firefly
3. Whole Lotta love
4. Sunday Morning
5. Love This Song
6. Memory

STEVE WARINER CHRISTMAS SHOW

 
STEVE WARINER WILL PERFORM CHRISTMAS SHOW AT CITY WINERY NASHVILLE ON DECEMBER 7


NASHVILLE, TENN. – (Nov. 18, 2015) – Country music legend Steve Wariner will return to the City Winery Nashville on Monday, December 7 to perform a special show just in time for the holidays.

“Christmas is my favorite time of year,” said the four-time GRAMMY Award winner who was also born on Dec. 25.  “I’m looking forward to doing this unique show which will feature many of my hits, but will also conclude with several of my favorite Christmas songs. It’s a great way for me to celebrate the season.”

As part of the holiday segment of the show, Wariner will perform his self-penned “Feels Like Christmas Time.” Although he released it as a Christmas single in 2009, the four-time CMA Award winner has never performed it live...until this show. The single can be previewed and purchased on iTunes.

Tickets for the City Winery show can be purchased here. Doors open at 6:00 PM and showtime is at 8:00 PM.

An acclaimed painter, Wariner currently has some of his artwork on display, along with a variety of other artists, in the “Friends and Angels” exhibition at the Tennessee Art League Gallery (219 Fifth Ave. North, Nashville, TN). The exhibit is open to the public through Nov. 29. For more information, visit www.161art.com.

Steve Wariner has achieved 14 No. 1 songs and more than 30 Top Ten hits, including such classics as “Holes in the Floor of Heaven,” “Life’s Highway,” “The Weekend,” “I’m Already Taken,” “I Got Dreams,” “Small Town Girl,” “Two Teardrops,” “Some Fools Never Learn,” “Lynda,” and more. An award-winning songwriter, Wariner has also composed songs for Clint Black (“Nothin’ But the Taillights”), Garth Brooks (“Longneck Bottle”), Bryan White (“One Small Miracle”), and Keith Urban (“Where the Blacktop Ends”), as well as artists such as Country Music Hall of Fame members Alabama, Kenny Rogers, The Statler Brothers, Conway Twitty, and Don Williams; pop music icon Peter Tork (of The Monkees); R&B singer Ruben Studdard; bluegrass music’s revered Del McCoury Band, and many more. Revered for his guitar talent, he was given the rare status of C.G. P. (Certified Guitar Player) by his mentor Chet Atkins. Recently, he played steel guitar with iconic metal band Megadeth for their next album. A member of the Grand Ole Opry, Wariner’s current album is It Ain’t All Bad.

 Photo Credit: Joe Hardwick

SNEAK PEEK OF "DOLLY PARTON'S COAT OF MANY COLORS"

 
SNEAK PEEK OF "DOLLY PARTON'S COAT OF MANY COLORS" REVEALS HEART-RENDING STORY BEHIND ICON'S CHILDHOOD

"Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors" Airs December 10 at 8 p.m. CST / 9 p.m. ET on NBC
 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (November 18, 2015) – There won't be a dry eye around the television when "Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors" airs December 10 on NBC. Parton and NBC released a three-minute preview of the upcoming TV-movie based on the Country Music Hall of Famer's 1971 hit "Coat of Many Colors."
 
Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors
 

“My favorite song that I’ve ever written tells a true story from my childhood about a little coat that my mama made for me,” Parton said while introducing the clip. Parton’s mother initially sewed the the jacket as a blanket for her unborn baby, but she reworked the piece for her youngest daughter.

The upcoming primetime special, which showcases Jennifer Nettles in the role of Parton's mother, Avie, was inspired by a series of events Parton endured when she was 9 years old growing up in East Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains.

The family-oriented, faith-based movie profiles the loss of Parton’s unborn sibling, the family struggles to keep it together while grieving and the bullying the 9-year-old endured when other children criticized the quilted coated.

As one of the executive producers, Parton herself was very hands on in the making of the film – especially when it came to casting her family members.

"She told me, 'I loved your little eyes," says Lind of auditioning in front of Parton.

Jennifer Nettles plays Parton's mom, Avie Lee Parton, and Ricky Schroder plays her dad, Robert Lee Parton.

“Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” is the first in a series of television movies developed by Parton that are expected to be released through 2016.

“Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” airs Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. CST / 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

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