Posts Tagged ‘Dionne Warwick’

Dionne Warwick to mark 50th anniversary with UK concerts in 2012

December 16, 2011

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Dionne Warwick is set to play five Jazz FM-hosted UK concerts in May and June 2012  as part of the celebrations to mark her 50th year in music.

Her first solo single, ‘Don’t Make Me Over’ (written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David), was released in 1962.

Jazz FM has announced that the 71-year-old Grammy Award-winning singer plans to come to the UK with her regular band and a 12-piece string section for a series of Jazz FM Live shows in Gateshead, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham and Liverpool.

Read more and get the concert dates HERE…

How important are favourite songs from your past in bringing back happy memories to cheer you up in these worrying economic times?

Vote in our latest Sh-Boom! Poll HERE…

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Dionne Warwick and The Shirelles sue Broadway show.

June 5, 2011

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The producers of Baby It’s You– a new Broadway musical about the 1960s girl group The Shirelles – are being sued by Dionne Warwick, R&B singer Chuck Jackson, and Beverly Lee, the only surviving member of The Shirelles and owner of the trademark to the group’s name.

   The estates of late Shirelles Doris Coley Jackson and Addie Harris McFadden are also involved in the lawsuit which has been filed in New York.

   Baby It’s You! is the story of Florence Greenberg, a suburban housewife from New Jersey who discovered the all-girl group and created Scepter Records in 1959.

   Dionne Warwick and Chuck Jackson were both later signed to the label and are also portrayed in the show.

The lawsuit charges the producers with “cashing in” on the names, likenesses and biographical information of The Shirelles, Dionne Warwick and Chuck Jackson, without permission.

   The Shirelles had hits in the 1960s with ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’ (1960), ‘Dedicated to the One I Love’ (1960), ‘Soldier Boy’ (1961), ‘Foolish Little Girl’ (1962), and the new musical’s title song ‘Baby It’s You’ (1961). The group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

   Attorney Oren Warshavsky, who is representing the singers, commented that, like many other recording artists in the 1960s, his clients were not treated well even as they were growing in popularity.

   “It’s unfortunate that they have to live through it again and watch their stories be told without their consent,” said Warshavsky. “These national treasures were taken advantage of at the infancy of their careers. Now they have to watch it done to them again on stage and once more not get paid.”

   Meanwhile, anyone going to see the musical Baby It’s You won’t be hearing The Shirelles’ biggest hit, ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’. Carole King, who wrote the song, refused to give the producers permission to use it because she is reportedly planning to stage her own jukebox musical.

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Telling it like it was: Clay Cole’s “Sh-Boom! – The Explosion of Rock ‘N’ Roll, 1953-1968”

August 22, 2010

The name Clay Cole may not be too familiar to some Sh-Boom! Magazine readers in the UK and Europe, but anyone who grew up loving all those great US hits of the late 1950s and early 1960s owes him a debt of gratitude.

Many early US rock and pop artists might never have been heard in Europe had they not first been popularised on Clay Cole’s TV and radio shows in New York, and then gone on to achieve huge chart success across the United States.

In his new book Sh-Boom! – The Explosion of Rock ‘N’ Roll (1953-1968), New York television personality Clay Cole gives a compelling personal account of his years spent hosting his own Saturday night pop music television show, The Clay Cole Show.

But this is no typical showbiz autobiography. In a fast-paced, conversational and witty style, Cole combines highly personal recollections with a comprehensive and detailed history of rock ‘n’ roll itself. Packed with fascinating facts and funny anecdotes, it’s a behind-the-scenes look at the shaping of an era. It’s pop music history told from the inside out, by someone who was there at the beginning.

He was only 15 – and still at high school in Ohio – when, in 1953, he began presenting his own local teenage music TV show. By 1955, the music had evolved and he recalls: “I was, without fully becoming aware, now hosting a rock ‘n’ roll show”.

In 1957, he moved to New York City to try his luck, armed with “a 10 year plan” for success. In fact, it only took a few months for him to land a Saturday evening live TV show in Providence, Rhode Island.

By 1959, at the age of 21 (although the TV channel’s publicity department claimed he was only 19), he was hosting a major TV show in New York. He was the youngest host on US TV – and already challenging for the crown held by the legendary Alan Freed and Dick Clark.

When Alan Freed’s TV career was ended by the great music industry payola scandal of 1959, it proved to be a stroke of luck for Clay Cole. After less than two months on air, he now had a “clear reign” on New York television. “I was spotless … I was never offered, nor would I accept, payola,” he says.

The Clay Cole Show attracted all the big names of the day, including Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Brenda Lee and Connie Francis (who later confessed she’d always had a secret crush on him).

With a good ear for a hit, Cole also became a champion of talented newcomers, such as Paul Anka, Neil Sedaka, Tony Orlando, Dionne Warwick, Neil Diamond, Bobby Vinton, the Four Seasons, and Dion. In 1960, he launched a nightclub tour and hired three teenage sisters as dancers. They would later become The Ronettes.

He was the first to introduce Chubby Checker performing ‘The Twist’. And the first to present the Rolling Stones in America. He also pioneered music video clips and go-go girls, and gave debuts to young stand-up comedians like Richard Pryor.

Cole also helped to break the colour barrier on US television. He was the first rock ‘n’ roll TV host to have a multi-racial audience and regularly featured soul and R&B artists such as Ray Charles, Little Anthony and The Imperials, Steve Wonder, The Supremes and Dionne Warwick – often in direct defiance of his TV bosses who warned him he was welcoming too many black artists onto the show.

A singer and dancer himself, he once sang on stage with the Four Seasons after being invited to “sing along” by his friend Frankie Valli. “I was so intimidated by their perfect harmonies,” says Cole, “I simply mouthed the words and snapped my fingers – to their great relief, I’m sure.”

Sh-Boom! – The Explosion of Rock ‘N’ Roll (1953-1968) covers Clay Cole’s “fifteen years of TV fame” – and explores every pop music phenomenon from rhythm and blues, cover records, rockabilly, folk-rock, teen idols, and girl groups … to the arrival of The Beatles, the British Invasion, the creation of the American boy band, and Flower Power.

It was the shift to acid rock and heavy metal that eventually prompted Clay Cole to walk away from his highly popular TV show in 1968, at the age of 30. He realised he’d become “a black-tie, tuxedo guy, adrift in a tie-dyed T-shirt world”. His final show featured Jerry Lewis, Paul Anka, and the Cowsills.

Over the 40 years since, he has been the writer, producer and director of over 3500 broadcast TV shows, including several award-winning programmes.

Sh-Boom!’ … great title for a song … great name (we think) for a music magazine for ‘baby boomers’ … and now a great title for an important book that doesn’t just chronicle the early beginnings of rock ‘n’ roll, it tells you how it felt to be there.

Sh-Boom! – The Explosion of Rock ‘N’ Roll (1953-1968) can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. It is also available direct from the Clay Cole website at www.claycoleshow.com

UPDATE:  We are sad to report that Clay Cole died on December 18, 2010 at his home on Oak Island, N.C. He was 72. The cause was a heart attack, his brother Richard Rucker said. In addition to his brother, he is survived by another brother, James Rucker, and a sister, Tama Rucker. 

 


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