Rich Kienzle

Rich Kienzle

Joe Negri: Last Call At The Omni?

Friday, 28 August 2015 10:10

While it's not 100% certain, it appears Joe Negri may have played his last gig at the Omni William Penn.  Last spring, the hotel had ended his residency, and that of piano master Frank Cunimondo. Both played (separately) in the lobby. An outcry, much of it on Facebook, led them to offer Negri three additional shows in the Terrace Room in June, July and August. Whether it was astute to book him there in summer, when the crowds would likely be better in fall and winter remains open to question.

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Elvis Presley Gets A Stamp--Rock Haters Get...

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 09:02

 

elvis forever stamp 2015

In honor of Elvis Presley's 80th Birthday, the US Postal Service released a "Forever" stamp on August 12, the portrait taken in 1955, when he was still a rising star in the South. He'd change everything, everywhere within a year. 

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bennett-kern

Tony Bennett's next album due September 25th, is another "songbook" recording paying homage to a single composer. The Silver Lining: The Songs Of Jerome Kern, a collaboration with jazz piano great Bill Charlap, will explore the ouevre of Kern, a pillar of the Great American Songbook known for tunes like "The Way You Look Tonight," "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes," and "Long Ago And Far Away," a tiny sample of the 700 songs he wrote or co-composed.

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Monroeville Jazz 2015: A Solid Lineup

Friday, 21 August 2015 09:38

 

Saturday's Monroeville Jazz Festival, featured in a PG story yesterday, is to be commended for doubling down on the music that defines its mission. Former Pittsburgher Lisa Ferraro is headlining, with one out of towner, saxophonist Houston Person, who's played here in the past, his music frequently heard on the online Pittsburgh Jazz Channel. Rounding it out is outstanding local Hard Bop group Firm Roots. It's a fine lineup.

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Washington PA native Bud Yorkin, who died Tuesday at age 89, is a major figure in the history of network TV for his work with Norman Lear (still active at 93) on iconic 1970's sitcoms like All In the Family, Sanford And Son (and its ill-fated spinoff, The Sanford Arms, The Jeffersons and What's Happening!.  This is the PG's news obituary.

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Record producer Bob Johnston, who died Friday of heart failure at 83, shortly after the passing of his colleague, Epic Records Nashville producer Billy Sherrill, produced all but one track of Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited, and went on to oversee his late 60's-early 70's output: Blonde On Blonde, John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline, Self Portrait and New Morning. Two of Simon & Garfunkel's most important albums, Sounds of Silence and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme were Johnston productions, though his predecessor Tom Wilson produced the "Sounds of Silence" track. 

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TV's 'Man From UNCLE':Eight Facts

Friday, 14 August 2015 18:23

UNCLE

 

A few interesting facts regarding the history of The Man From UNCLE, which began as an NBC TV series that ran from 1964 to 1968 and starred Robert Vaughn as Agent Napoleon Solo, future NCIS star David McCallum as Russian-born Agent Illya Kuryakin and veteran British actor Leo G. Carroll as UNCLE head Alexander Waverly.

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Buddy Guy, whose album Born To Play Guitar, debuted at # 1 on Billboard's, Top Blues Albums chart this week, and whose use of the F-bomb at the Pittsburgh Blues Festival a few weeks ago, has issued an apology. Bear in mind, Festival organizer Ron "Moondog" Esser and followup statement on his Facebook page, as follows:

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Comedian-actor-author and banjoist Steve Martin is to receive the International Bluegrass Music Association's Distinguished Achievement Award on October 1 in Raleigh, North Carolina. An accomplished five-string banjoist who initially used the instrument as a comedic device, over time Martin began to incorporate his longstanding love for bluegrass and his considerable skills on the instrument into his show, playing on other artists' albums, recording himself and touring with the highly regarded Steep Canyon Rangers and Edie Brickell.

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