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Credit: Fabrice DemessenceRoger Daltrey has recorded a new version of his Who band mate Pete Townshend's 1980 solo hit "Let My Love Open the Door" as part of a new sponsorship agreement between the Teen Cancer America charity and the North Carolina-based First Citizens Bank.

First Citizens Bank has been named as the official corporate sponsor for Teen Cancer America in the Southeastern U.S., and will work toward raising awareness about and support for the charity, which helps fund the creation of programs and facilities focused specifically on the needs of teens and young adults battling the disease.  The song is featured in new television and radio commercials produced by the bank that began airing this past week in North Carolina and South Carolina.

"On behalf of Pete Townshend and Teen Cancer America, I'd like to thank First Citizens for the support the bank is giving us to achieve our goal -- supplying hospital spaces for adolescents and young adults with cancer," Daltrey says.  "In the States, 30 young people a day are diagnosed with cancer, and they're either put in a hospital with children or with older people.  But we're fixing it.  With First Citizens' assistance, we can bridge the gap and create places for treatment where they can be young people first and cancer patients second."

In conjunction with the "Let My Love Open the Door" initiative, First Citizens Bank will make financial contributions to Teen Cancer America and to select hospitals that agree to create units geared toward teenage and young-adult patients with cancer.  The campaign also includes the airing of the new Teen Cancer America ads in the Carolinas, as well as related social media, marketing and public relations initiatives throughout the bank's 18-state territory.

You can find out more about the campaign by visiting  You also can listen to the full-length version of Daltrey's rendition of "Let My Love Open the Door," watch the aforementioned TV commercial and check out a short documentary about initiative that features footage of Roger recording the tune at the website.

Daltrey and Townshend co-founded Teen Cancer America in 2012, basing it on the U.K.'s Teenage Cancer Trust charity of which Roger has long been a major patron.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Image Courtesy of Record Store Day The 2015 Record Store Day Black Friday celebration is here, as dozens of limited-edition vinyl discs will be released today and made available exclusively at independent record stores across the U.S.  The list of releases includes collectible records from such veteran artists as Paul McCartney, Elvis Presley, Brian Wilson, Otis Redding and The Kinks, among many others.

McCartney's contribution to the campaign is a 12-inch vinyl single featuring an exclusive 2015 remix of "Say Say Say," his hit 1983 duet with Michael Jackson.  The single's B-side boasts an instrumental version of the track.

Elvis' Black Friday release is a seven-inch single featuring the title track from the late King of Rock 'n' Roll's upcoming If I Can Dream album backed with the previously unreleased tune "Anything That's Part of You."  If I Can Dream features a selection of Presley recordings enhanced by new accompaniment from London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Wilson's offering is a two-LP version of his 1988 self-titled solo debut album, which included his memorable tune "Love and Mercy."

Redding's Record Store Day release is a seven-inch vinyl disc featuring the late soul legend's renditions of "Shake" and "Wonderful World" on side A and "I Can't Turn You Loose" and "My Girl" on Side B.

The Kinks will be reissuing a pair of long-out-of-print EPs in conjunction with the Black Friday sale -- 1965's Kwyet Kinks and 1966's Dedicated Kinks.  Each disc is pressed on seven-inch vinyl and features four songs.  Kwyet Kinks contains "Wait Till the Summer Comes Along," "Such a Shame," "A Well Respected Man" and "Don't You Fret," while Dedicated Kinks includes "Dedicated Followers of Fashion," "Till the End of the Day," "See My Friends" and "Set Me Free."

The 2015 Record Store Day Black Friday campaign also will feature releases from The Zombies, Queen, Phil Collins, Linda Ronstadt, John Mellencamp, Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jerry Lee Lewis, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Isley Brothers, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The B-52's, Jeff Beck, The Clash, B.B. King, Carl Perkins and many others.

Visit to check out the full list.

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Courtesy of HBOSet those DVRs, Bruce Springsteen fans: The new documentary The Ties That Bind, which focuses on the making of the Boss' 1980 double album The River, gets its television debut tonight at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

Directed by Thom Zimny, the 60-minute film offers an in-depth interview with Springsteen about the creation of The River, as well as segments in which Bruce plays some of the album's songs on acoustic guitar.  The documentary also includes archival concert footage and rare photos from the same period during which Springsteen and The E Street Band were recording the album.

Several encore screenings of The Ties That Bind also will be shown on HBO, as well as on HBO2, in the coming weeks.  It'll be available via HBO On Demand starting on Saturday, November 28, and later on HBO GO and HBO NOW.

If you don't mind waiting, the documentary is included on a DVD that's part of the upcoming Springsteen box set The Ties That Bind: The River Collection, which will be released on December 4.  The package contains four CDs and three DVDs, including a remastered edition of The River, an early 10-song single-disc version of the album, a variety of outtakes, the aforementioned documentary, a previously unreleased 1980 concert video and more.

In related news, a newly-created lyric video for "Party Lights," one of the outtakes featured on The Ties That Bind box set, has been posted at Springsteen's official VEVO YouTube channel.  The clip also offers a montage of vintage photos, including archival pics of Bruce.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Allen Berezovsky/WireImagePalladia is serving up a heaping helping of Tom Petty for Thanksgiving. The high-def network will host a 24-hour block of programming focusing on the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer that kicks off at 7 a.m. ET.

Among the shows that will air during the Tom Petty Thanksgiving Takeover is the premiere of the concert film Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Fenway Park, at 9 p.m. ET. As its title suggests, the flick documents an August 2014 show Petty and his band played at the historic Boston ballpark.

The marathon also will feature the 2007 documentary Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream; the concert flick Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Live from Gainesville, which captures the 2006 hometown show the band played that marked its 30th anniversary; and Tom and his group's 2003 appearance on the PBS series Soundstage. In addition, a variety of Petty music videos and footage from various concert performances will be shown throughout the day.

At least one encore screening of each program will be shown during the 24-hour marathon, while select shows also will air again on Palladia through the weekend.

Here is the complete schedule for Palladia's Petty marathon; all times ET:

Thursday, November 26:
7 a.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream
11:15 a.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers videos and festival performances
12:30 p.m. -- Soundstage: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
2:30 p.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream (encore #1)
6:45 p.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Live from Gainesville
9 p.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Fenway Park
10:30 p.m. -- Soundstage: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (encore #1)
12:30 a.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Fenway Park (encore #1)
1:45 a.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Live from Gainesville (encore #1)
4 a.m. -- Soundstage: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers (encore #2)
6 a.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers videos and festival performances

Friday, November 27:
4 p.m. -- Soundstage: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (encore #3)

Saturday, November 28:
12 p.m. -- Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers: Live from Gainesville (encore #2)

Sunday, November 29:
9 p.m. -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Fenway Park (encore #2)

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Image Courtesy of Butch TrucksFounding Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks has formed a new group called Butch Trucks and the Freight Train Band, which features his son Vaylor on guitar and late Allmans bassist Berry Oakley's son, Berry Oakley Jr., on bass.  The outfit has just announced plans to close out 2015 with a six-date series of shows in Florida.

The run begins December 26 at The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton and wraps up with a New Year's Eve performance at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater.  Rounding out the Freight Train Band lineup are singer/guitarist Damon Fowler and keyboardist Bruce Katz, who's a former member of Gregg Allman's solo group.

Here are all of Butch Trucks and the Freight Train Band's upcoming confirmed shows:

12/26 -- Boca Raton, FL, The Funky Biscuit
12/27 -- Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
12/28 -- Stuart, FL, Terra Fermata
12/29 -- Bradenton, FL, Ace's Lounge
12/30 -- Orlando, FL, The Plaza Live
12/31 -- Clearwater, FL, Capitol Theatre

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Courtesy of Bonnaroo Music FestivalFor the second straight year, the organizers of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival are celebrating Thanksgiving by offering up an online special featuring select performances from the latest edition of the fest.  The show, called A Very Bonnaroo Thanksgiving, is more than an hour long and features Earth, Wind & Fire, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Tears for Fears and several other acts, all of whom hit the stage this past June.

Earth, Wind & Fire deliver a rousing rendition of their classic tune "Shining  Star" on the special, while Plant and his current backing group are shown playing a reworked version of Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" and Tears for Fears are featured performing "Shout."  There's also a star-studded jam featuring Mumford & Sons teaming up with fellow alt-rockers My Morning Jacket, Hozier, Dawes and others for a Joe Cocker-inspired cover of The Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends." 

Among the other artists appearing in the special are roots rockers Alabama Shakes, Scottish indie pop band Belle & Sebastian and R&B star D'Angelo.

The video also includes tongue-in-cheek introductory interludes hosted by comedian Jo Firestone, segments in which Bonnaroo attendees reveal what they're thankful for, mock commercials and more.  In addition, the show reminds viewers that pre-sale tickets for the 2016 Bonnaroo Festival will be available at starting this Friday, November 27, at noon ET.

The 2015 A Very Bonnaroo Thanksgiving special is streaming on the festival's official YouTube channel from now through this Monday, November 30, at noon ET.  Once the show is removed from the site it will never be shown again, so catch it while you can.

The 2016 Bonnaroo Festival is scheduled to take place June 9-12 in Manchester, Tennessee.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Credit: Danny NorthABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! will be hosting a shopathon on World AIDS Day, December 1, in order to raise money for the AIDS charity (RED). U2 frontman Bono, who co-founded (RED), will be among the big stars who will join host Jimmy Kimmel on the episode.

Modern rockers The Killers and actresses Scarlett Johansson and Olivia Wilde also will make appearances during the special show.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weekdays at 11:35 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Alex Wong/Getty ImagesBarbra Streisand, James Taylor, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Steven Spielberg and Stephen Sondheim were among the 17 Americans who were honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a White House ceremony on Tuesday.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, is presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

President Obama spoke about each recipient, and Streisand was delighted by the remarks. She said to ABC News, "Isn't he good? He is so spontaneous and so alive and so in the moment. I just love him."

When asked how she would've felt had Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, and not Obama, presented her with her award, Streisand replied, "I probably would've choked. It's almost terrifyingly scary but it's funny."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Credit: Blain ClausenEarlier this month, ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons released his first-ever solo album, the Afro-Cuban-influenced Perfectamundo, and now the 65-year-old singer/guitarist is ready to launch a U.S. tour with his new backing band The BFG's in support of the record.  The trek kicks off Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and is broken into two fairly brief legs, with the final show scheduled for February 6 in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

Gibbons tells ABC Radio that he's thrilled about getting to perform his new material in concert, noting, "The anticipation of bringing this work to a live presentation has presented a most unexpected…wave of enthusiasm."  Billy explains that one of the things that has stirred that enthusiasm is the touring configuration of The BFG's, which includes three of the musicians who contributed to Perfectamundo -- keyboardists Mike Flanigan and Martin Guigui and multi-instrumentalist Alex "Guitarzza" Garza -- as well as a pair of Los Angeles-based female drummers, SoZo and Melanie DiLorenzo.

Gibbons says the fact that SoZo and DiLorenzo "can beat the sides off of those skins" really propels the band, while Flanigan and Guigui both will be playing Hammond B3 organs and Garza will handle various Latin percussion instruments, such as timbales.  Billy points out that The BFG's don't have a bass player, but says they don't need one.  "It's just straight ahead," he declares.  "This is gonna be a tough little combo."

Gibbons, of course, will handle lead vocal and guitar duties, but he reveals that he also is planning to add to the groove during to the show.

"The stage has been arranged and organized for plenty of room to stroll about," notes Billy, who as a teenager received lessons from famed Latin percussionist Tito Puente.  "I've made sure that I could creep back into that palace of percussion and grab a couple sticks to start banging on stuff."

Meanwhile, Gibbons says fans who come out to his solo shows also can expect to hear some ZZ Top songs in addition to the Perfectamundo material.

"Because there is such a presence of that artistic form of sonic sounds called the blues [on my new album], we might draw upon ZZ Top's extensive series of recordings," Billy reveals.  "It doesn't seem that any record went by without putting something lowdown and dirty in there.  I'd like to see it."

Speaking about ZZ Top, Gibbons says his band mates, drummer Frank Beard and bassist Dusty Hill, have been supportive of his solo project.

"Number one, they get a nice holiday while I'm out on the road, but it also stimulated their [musical] interest," Gibbons maintains.  "Frank has taken to developing some new beats as Dusty has started working on some new bass lines."

Billy adds that he expects to hit the road with ZZ Top shortly after wrapping up his tour with The BFG's.

"By the time the Billy Gibbons and the BFG's shows [pull] it to the curb, we'll hop off one tour bus and get right on the next one," he says.

Here are all of Billy Gibbons and the BFG's upcoming tour dates:

11/27 -- Fort Lauderdale, FL, Parker Playhouse
11/28 -- Fort Pierce, FL, Sunrise Theatre
11/29 -- Saint Petersburg, FL, Mahaffey Theater
12/1 -- New Orleans, LA, Orpheum Theatre
12/3 -- Houston, TX, Cullen Performance Hall
12/4 -- Austin, TX, The Moody Theater
12/5 -- Lubbock, TX, City Bank Auditorium
12/7 -- Solana Beach, CA, Belly Up Tavern
12/8 -- Los Angeles, CA, Orpheum Theatre
12/9 -- San Francisco, CA, The Regency Ballroom
12/11 -- Portland, OR, Revolution Hall
12/12 -- Aberdeen, WA, D&R Theatre
12/13 -- Seattle, WA, Neptune Theatre
12/17 -- Havana, Cuba, Havana Jazz Festival
12/18 --Havana, Cuba, Havana Jazz Festival
12/20 --Havana, Cuba, Havana Jazz Festival
1/20/16 -- Washington, D.C., Lisner Auditorium
1/22 -- Lexington, KY, Lexington Center -- Lexington Opera House
1/23 -- Atlanta, GA, Variety Playhouse
1/24 -- Orlando, FL, Plaza Theatre
1/26 -- Nashville, TN, City Winery
1/27 -- Charleston, SC, Charleston Music Hall
1/29 -- St. Charles, IL, Arcada Live!
1/30 -- Milwaukee, WI, The Pabst Theater
1/31 -- Detroit, MI, The Scottish Rite Cathedral at Masonic Temple
2/2 -- New York, NY, Town Hall
2/3 -- Boston, MA, Wilbur Theatre
2/5 -- Ridgefield, CT, Ridgefield Playhouse
2/6 -- Stroudsburg, PA, Sherman Theater

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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NBCUniversalThe 2015 edition of NBC's annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center special, which celebrates the lighting of the famous New York City landmark's Christmas tree, will air on Wednesday, December 2.  As usual, the show will feature performances by some of music's brightest stars, with this year's lineup including James Taylor and Sting.

Taylor will be performing with trumpeter Chris Botti.  Other artists on the holiday extravaganza's bill include Mary J. Blige, Andrea Bocelli, The Band Perry, Andy Grammer, Carly Rae Jepsen, Pentatonix and the all-star group Band of Merrymakers, which features Natasha Bedingfield, Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath and members of Better Than Ezra, Fitz & the Tantrums and Neon Trees.

Rockefeller Center's famous high-stepping dancing troupe The Rockettes also will be on hand.

The tree this year is a 78-foot tall Norway spruce from Gardiner, New York.  The hour-long special airs on NBC at 8 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Earl Gibson III/WireImageFounding Sly and the Family Stone trumpet player and "hype woman" Cynthia Robinson passed away on Monday at age 69 from cancer.  Robinson's death was announced on her official Facebook page, along with a note asking for continued donations to a fund launched last month to help pay her medical costs.

According to Billboard, Robinson first began playing with Sly Stone in 1966 in his group Sly and the Stoners, and went on to become a member of Sly and the Family Stone when that band was formed the following year.  In addition to playing trumpet with the band, Robinson sang and was known for yelling out the phrase "get up and dance to the music" in the group's 1967 hit "Dance to the Music."

After Sly and the Family Stone broke up in 1975, Cynthia played with ex-Family Stone bassist Larry Graham's group Graham Central Station and also worked George Clinton and Prince.  She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the other original Sly and the Family Stone members in 1993.  A new version of the group called The Family Stone was launched in 2006 that features Robinson and two other founding members -- sax player Jerry Martini and drummer Gregg Errico.  The Family Stone lineup also includes singer Sylvette Phunne Stone, who is Cynthia's daughter with Sly Stone.  Robinson, who also has another daughter named Laura Marie, continued to perform and record with The Family Stone until her death.

"She covered a lot of ground," Martini tells Billboard about Robinson.  "She was the first female trumpet player and the first African-American trumpet player in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  She wasn't in the back. She was out front telling you to get up and dance to the music, and she could blow with the best of 'em, always."

Questlove, drummer of The Tonight Show's house band The Roots, has penned a heartfelt homage to Robinson that you can read on his official Instagram page.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Live Nation EntertainmentJourney and The Doobie Brothers have announced plans for an expansive 2016 co-headlining trek of North America that also will feature a very special opening act: former Traffic singer/guitarist Dave Mason.  The outing, dubbed the San Francisco Fest 2016 tour, will get underway May 12 in Irvine, California, and is mapped out all the way through an August 30 show in Chula Vista, California.

The trek currently features a total of 49 dates, and includes stops in major cities from coast to coast.  Tickets will go on sale to the general public starting Saturday, December 5, at 10 a.m. local time via  A pre-sale for select shows will begin on Thursday, December 3, at 10 a.m. local time for fans with the Live Nation mobile app.

For the tour, Journey will welcome back drummer Steve Smith, who played in the band's classic Steve Perry-fronted lineup from 1978 to 1998.  Smith will replace Deen Castronovo, who was fired from the group this past summer after his arrest on domestic violence charges.  Smith also will be playing with Journey guitarist Neal Schon's jazz-rock side project Neal Schon's Vortex for a tour of Japan in February of next year.  Vortex will open for Journey at a May 27 concert in Indianapolis.

"I'm so looking forward to the very exciting 2016 we have planned," says Schon, "starting with my 'Neal Vortex Schon' Japan tour in February and then our major summer tour with The Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason.  We will see you all soon!!!!"

The Doobie Brothers, meanwhile, also will be adding a new member to their lineup for the trek: founding Little Feat keyboardist Bill Payne.  Over the years, Payne has lent his talents to many of The Doobies' studio albums.

"It's gonna be a great summer for fans of Bay Area music, and for guys like us who have the pleasure of teaming up with our good friends from Journey and the Dave Mason Band," The Doobie Brothers' Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons say in a joint statement.  "We look forward to taking the stage with Journey.  We love their songs, and think we will all complement each other musically."

Here are all of the confirmed dates for Journey and The Doobie Brothers' San Francisco Fest 2016 tour:

5/12 -- Irvine, CA, Irvine Meadows
5/14 -- Phoenix, AZ, Ak-Chin Pavilion
5/15 -- Albuquerque, NM, Isleta Amphitheatre
5/18 -- Austin, TX, Austin360 Amphitheatre
5/20 -- Dallas, TX, Gexa Energy Pavilion
5/21 -- Houston, TX, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
5/23 -- Wichita, KS, INTRUST Bank Arena
5/25 -- Memphis, TN, FedExForum
5/27 -- Indianapolis, IN, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
5/28 -- Kansas City, MO, Sprint Center
5/31 -- Rogers, AR, Walmart Amphitheatre
6/2 -- Birmingham, AL, Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
6/4 -- Charlotte, NC, PNC Music Pavilion
6/5 -- Raleigh, NC, Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
6/8 -- Atlanta, GA, Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood
6/10 -- Tampa, FL, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
6/11 -- West Palm Beach, FL, Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre
6/22 -- Bangor, ME, Darling's Waterfront Pavilion
6/24 -- Bethel, NY, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
6/25 -- Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center
6/27 -- Wantagh, NY, Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre
6/29 -- Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Blossom Music Center
7/1 -- Virginia Beach, VA, Farm Bureau Live
7/2 -- Bristow, VA, Jiffy Lube Live
7/5 -- Saratoga Springs, NY, Saratoga Performing Arts Center
7/7 -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
7/9 -- Darien Center, NY, Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
7/10 -- Mansfield, MA, Xfinity Center
7/13 -- Syracuse, NY, Lakeview Amphitheater
7/15 -- Camden, NJ, BB&T Pavilion
7/16 -- Burgettstown, PA, First Niagara Pavilion
7/27 -- Nashville, TN, Ascend Amphitheatre
7/29 -- Cincinnati, OH, Riverbend Music Center
7/30 -- St. Louis, MO, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
8/2 -- Grand Rapids, MI, Van Andel Arena
8/4 -- Detroit, MI, DTE Energy Music Pavilion
8/6 -- Omaha, NE, CenturyLink Center
8/7 -- Des Moines, IA, Wells Fargo Arena
8/9 -- St. Paul, MN, Xcel Energy Center
8/11 -- Sioux Falls, SD, Sioux Falls Arena
8/13 -- Tinley Park, IL, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
8/16 -- Oklahoma City, OK, Chesapeake Energy Arena
8/17 -- Little Rock, AR, Verizon Arena
8/20 -- Denver, CO, Pepsi Center
8/21 -- West Valley City, UT, USANA Amphitheatre
8/23 -- Auburn, WA, White River Amphitheatre
8/25 -- Ridgefield, WA, Sunlight Supply Amphitheatre
8/27 -- Las Vegas, NV, Mandalay Bay Events Center
8/28 -- Fresno, CA, Save Mart Center
8/30 -- Chula Vista, CA, Sleep Train Amphitheatre

= Journey with Neal Schon's Vortex only.
= Journey and Dave Mason only.

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Motown/Universal Music EnterprisesA previously unreleased companion album to the 1978 film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical The Wiz, featuring Wiz star Diana Ross taking on all of the production's roles, will be released as a digital download this Friday, November 27.  Diana Ross Sings Songs from The Wiz originally was scheduled to come out on Motown Records in January 1979, after the film debuted in theaters in October '78, but the label decided against issuing the record at that time.

At the request of Motown, Ross recorded the solo project at a Los Angeles studio with producer/arranger Lee Holdridge, who previously had worked with Diana on the 1975 movie Mahogany.  The record originally was meant to complement The Wiz's film soundtrack, which was produced by Quincy Jones and the famed songwriting duo of Ashford & Simpson.

For Sings Songs from The Wiz, Ross not only recreated the parts she sang as Dorothy, but those of Michael Jackson's Scarecrow, Nipsey Russell's Tin Man, Ted Ross' Cowardly Lion and more.  Among the tunes on the album are a solo version of her hit duet with Jackson, "Ease on Down the Road," and the Luther Vandross-written tune "A Brand New Day (Everybody Rejoice)."

Diana Ross Sings Songs from The Wiz also features "Wonder Wonder Why," a tune written for the original stage production but removed from the show before it opened, and "Is This What Feeling Gets?," a song penned by Ashford & Simpson and Jones that was included on the movie's soundtrack but did not appear in the film.  The only previously available track on the new album is Ross' rendition of "Home," which appeared on her 2001 Motown Anthology compilation.

The digital release of Diana Ross Sings Songs from The Wiz arrives less than a week before the premiere of a new television production of The Wiz, which NBC will air live on December 3 at 8 p.m. ET.  The event will features performances by such stars as Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Ne Yo and Common, as well as by newcomer Shanice Williams, who portrays Dorothy.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Credit: Clay Patrick McBrideAs founding Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington continues to recuperate from a heart attack he suffered in early October, the band has decided to cancel the remaining two dates on its 2015 schedule.

A message posted on the legendary Southern rockers' official Facebook page explains, "After further evaluation and continued treatment by his Doctors, Gary Rossington is taking the remainder of 2015 off from touring to concentrate on recuperating from his recent heart procedures."

The affected concerts are a December 4 gig at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado, and a December 5 performance at the Inn of Mountain Gods Casino in Mescalero, New Mexico.  Fans who purchased tickets can get a full refund at the point of purchase or through the respective venues' box offices.

The band plans to return to the road in 2016, and its next concert is scheduled to take place on January 29 at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

At the time that Lynyrd Skynyrd announced that Rossington had suffered a heart attack in October, the band postponed a few of its scheduled shows, while reporting that the guitarist was expected to make a full recovery.  According to, following the heart attack, which happened on October 8, Gary had a procedure to replace two stents.  Rossington has had a history of heart issues, and in 2003 he underwent bypass surgery.  Gary, who is the only surviving original member of Skynyrd, will turn 64 on December 4.

Meanwhile, in happier news, Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Johnny Van Zant revealed on Friday that he has a brand-new grandson.  The singer posted photos of him with the little bundle of joy on Skynyrd's Facebook page.

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Image Courtesy of Hollywood RecordsThe long-planned Freddie Mercury biopic apparently is set to move forward with a new screenwriter.  Deadline reports that GK Films, the company that's co-producing the movie, has hired Anthony McCarten, who wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay to the 2014 Steven Hawking biographical flick The Theory of Everything.

Ben Whishaw, who has played the character Q in the last two James Bond films, 2012's Skyfall and this year's Spectre, remains the front runner to portray the late Queen frontman, although he hasn't been confirmed for the role.  Sacha Baron Cohen previously had been hired to play Mercury, but by 2013 he was no longer connected to the project.

Queen guitarist Brian May posted a message on his official website,, claiming that the Deadline article got some information correct, while missing the mark on other points.  May noted that Deadline's suggestion that Cohen exited the film over creative differences was inaccurate.

"It was our decision.  We simply realized that we wouldn't get the believable portrayal of Freddie Mercury we needed from Sacha, so we, as considerately and diplomatically as we could, moved on," May wrote.

He added, "Sacha is a great comedy character creator, but we need someone who will actually 'suspend disbelief' so that we believe we are really watching Freddie on screen."

Brian went on to explain that he and the other producers are hoping Whishaw "will turn out to be the man to bring Freddie to life."

As for McCarten, May says the screenwriter "is now doing some fantastic work, collaborating closely with us."

The guitar legend finishes by pointing out, "There are some radical new developments in ideas, and at this moment I'm more excited than I've ever been about the film's potential."  He adds that with regard to official confirmed details about the movie, "We'll make an announcement when we're ready.  It may be soon."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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PRNewsFoto/Universal Music EnterprisesA new two-CD compilation celebrating the long career of the late Joe Cocker will be released on December 11.  The Life of a Man: The Ultimate Hits 1968-2013 features 36 tracks, including the soulful British rock singer's best-known studio and select live performances.

Among the memorable tunes featured on The Life of a Man are Cocker's classic covers of Traffic's "Feelin' Alright," Leon Russell's "Delta Lady," Randy Newman's "You Can Leave Your Hat On" and The Beatles' "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" and "With a Little Help from My Friends."  The anthology also includes Cocker's chart-topping and Grammy-winning duet with Jennifer Warnes, "Up Where We Belong," from the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman, and his top five 1975 hit "You Are So Beautiful."

In addition, The Life of a Man features Cocker's hit 1970 live renditions of The Box Tops' "The Letter" and the 1950s jazz-blues ballad "Cry Me a River" recorded at the Fillmore East in New York City.  It also includes an in-concert performance of "You Are So Beautiful" recorded in February 2013 in Cologne, Germany.

In related news, two of Cocker's most recent albums, 2007's Hymn for My Soul and 2012's Fire It Up, Joe's final studio effort, have been reissued on CD in the U.S.  Hymn for My Soul was produced by recent Paul McCartney collaborator Ethan Johns and features Cocker's interpretations of George Harrison's "Beware of Darkness," Bob Dylan's "Ring Them Bells," John Fogerty's "Long as I Can See the Light" and Stevie Wonder's "You Haven't Done Nothin'."  Fire It Up, which hadn't previously been released in the U.S., includes covers of tunes by Marc Cohn, Keith Urban and Joss Stone, and features three extra tracks that didn't appear on the 2012 version issued in Europe.

Cocker released 22 studio albums and 10 live records during his lifetime.  He died of lung cancer in December 2014 at the age of 70.

Here is the full track list of The Life of a Man: The Ultimate Hits 1968-2013:

Disc 1:
"Feelin' Alright"
"High Time We Went"
"She Came In Through the Bathroom Window"
"I Can Stand a Little Rain"
"Many Rivers to Cross"
"Shelter Me"
"You Can Leave Your Hat On"
"Can't Find My Way Home"
"Darling Be Home Soon"
"My Father's Son"
"Fire It Up"
"Unchain My Heart"
"Delta Lady"
"Cry Me a River" (Live at the Fillmore East)
"The Letter" (Live at the Fillmore East)
"With a Little Help from My Friends"
"You Are So Beautiful" (Live at the Lanxess Arena)

Disc 2:
"When the Night Comes"
"Come Together"
"First We Take Manhattan"
"Summer in the City"
"Up Where We Belong"
"Don't You Love Me Anymore"
"Have a Little Faith in Me"
"You Are So Beautiful"
"Woman to Woman"
"The Simple Things"
"N'Oubliez Jamais"
"Night Calls"
"Hard Knocks"
"I Come in Peace"

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Sam Jones/HBOU2 has announced makeup dates for the band's two concerts at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris that were postponed in the wake of the  terrorist attacks that took place in the city November 13.  The shows, which had been scheduled for November 14 and 15, now will be held  December 6 and 7.

"So much that was taken from Paris on the tragic night of November 13th is irreplaceable," says U2 singer Bono in a statement.  "For one night, the killers took lives, took music, took peace of mind -- but they couldn't steal the spirit of that city.  It's a spirit our band knows well and will try to serve when we return for the postponed shows on December 6th and 7th.  We're going to put on our best for Paris."

Adds U2 tour promoter and producer Arthur Fogel, "The band wanted us to reschedule as soon as possible so that they could honor the commitment to their audience."

Meanwhile, the canceled television broadcast of U2's Paris concert that was to have taken place November 14 on HBO now is scheduled for December 7.  The special, titled U2: iNNOCENCE eXPERIENCE Live in Paris, will be filmed live that day and will premiere at 9 p.m. ET.

Tickets for the November 14 and 15 concerts will be honored for the December 6 and 7 shows, respectively.  Ticket holders who are unable to attend the rescheduled performances may receive refunds at their point of purchase through Monday, November 30.

Prior to the Paris shows, which now will close out U2's 2015 iNNOCENCE eXPERIENCE tour, the band will play four concerts at the 3Arena in its hometown of Dublin, Ireland -- tonight, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

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Yann Charles; SaiichiPeter Frampton and Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke are among the music stars who have lent their talents to an upcoming album to benefit the Road Recovery charity, which supports music programs and projects aimed at helping at-risk youth.  The record, titled Don't Give Up, features songs written and recorded by young people involved with Road Recovery's Trax program, along with contributions from the aforementioned artists and some other well-known musicians.

Other artists who took part in the recording of Don't Give Up include B-52's singer Fred Schneider, ex-Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash, The MC5's Wayne Kramer, pop singer/songwriter Jill Sobule and Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello.

To promote the album and raise funds for Road Recovery's programs, the organization has launched a PledgeMusic crowd-funding campaign.  In conjunction with the initiative, a variety of unique and interesting items and experiences are being offered for people interested in contributing money, including a signed and numbered copy of the Don't Give Up CD; a guitar, songwriting or drumming lesson from Kirke; a Neil Young Archives box set; and many more.

Road Recovery is a nonprofit organization that seeks to aid young people battling addiction and other issues with help from musicians and other celebrities who have gone through similar struggles.  For more information, visit

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Mascot Label GroupFamed Mountain singer/guitarist Leslie West has just released a new solo album called Soundcheck, his third studio album in the last four years.  Like his previous two records, 2011's Unusual Suspects and 2013's Still Climbing, Soundcheck features a mix of original tunes and select covers, along with contributions from some very cool guest musicians.

Among the well-known artists who appear on various tracks on Soundcheck are Peter Frampton, late Cream bassist Jack Bruce and Queen's Brian May.

Frampton lent his talents to a minor-key reworking of the familiar standard "You Are My Sunshine."  Leslie tells ABC Radio that he's known Frampton for 46 years, and had long wanted to record with him, so after the British guitar whiz agreed to contribute to his new album, Leslie decided that "You Are My Sunshine" was just the track.

"He knew exactly where to play on it," West gushes about the solos Frampton added to the song.  "I was amazed…that I knew a guy that long and I knew what I knew, that it would work, but I didn't think it was gonna work that good."

Bruce, who was a close friend and one-time band mate of West, appears on a live version of the Willie Dixon classic "Spoonful" that was recorded at a one-off concert Leslie and Jack played together in 1988 in Poughkeepsie, New York.  West decided to edit down the performance and use it to close out Soundcheck as a tribute to Bruce, who died of liver disease in October 2014.

"He sounds so fiery and alive on it," Leslie tells ABC Radio, while noting how frail Jack looked before he died.  "So when I listen to that track, I get warm and fuzzy, but I also get tears in my eyes, 'cause he sang so good on it…and played so good on it.  And so, I'm thrilled we were able to put it on the album."

May's contribution to Soundcheck comes on a rendition of Don Nix's late-'60s blues-rock classic "Going Down."  The basic track actually was recorded for Nix's star-studded 2002 studio album, Goin' Down.  Other well-known musicians featured on the tune include Bonnie Bramlett on backing vocals, ex-Jeff Beck keyboardist Max Middleton, Derek and the Dominos keyboardist Bobby Whitlock and journeyman session bassist David Hood.

The album also includes an instrumental version of the Beatles classic "Eleanor Rigby" performed solo by West's bass player, Rev Jones.  Leslie says he's "amazed by watching" Jones' performance of the tune, which was captured in one take for the album.

Among the original tunes on Soundcheck is lead track "Left by the Roadside to Die," which features lyrics penned by West's wife, Jenni.  Leslie, who had his right leg amputated in 2011 due to complications from diabetes, says the heavy blues-rock song's title reflects "the way I felt when I lost my leg."  

West tells ABC Radio that the loss of his leg has made it more difficult to tour, but he does currently have a couple of dates lined up in support of Soundcheck -- a December 11 show at Daryl's House in Pawling, New York, and a December 13 concert at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, Maryland.

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Credit: Clay Patrick McBrideBob Seger may have turned 70 this past May but he apparently isn't quite ready for retirement.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer recently told Billboard that he's planning to put out a new album next year called I Knew You When, a collection of updated versions of previously unreleased tunes.

The record also will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the start of Seger's music career.  To support the album and mark the milestone, the Michigan rocker revealed that he intends to hit the road for what he describes as a "bucket-list tour," during which he will perform at venues and events he always has wanted to play.  Among these are the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the Hollywood Bowl.

I Knew You When will be a follow-up to Seger's 2014 studio effort, Ride Out, which debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 chart.

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