“I knew Michael,” Simmons tells Classic Rock. “I ran into him a few times. I met him the first time before he became the superstar, when he was sort of teenagey, when he was still a Jackson Five. This was in the Cher days, when Cher and I lived together. Read the rest of this entry →
Last weekend in Detroit, Michigan, Motown Records celebrated its 50th ANNIVERSAY with a star studded gala, attended by many of the fabled label’s most well known stars and the legendary founder of the company BERRY GORDY. The night after the Motown celebration, Michael was posthumously awarded four AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS, making him the most celebrated artist in that award’s history. To see coverage of the anniversary event as aired by WXYZ-TV in Detroit, click on the image above or CLICK HERE.
My close friend of nearly 35 years, RUSS TERRANA wasn’t invited to attend the Detroit gala, for whatever reason. But, had he been, he certainly wouldn’t have been out of place! Russ is the brilliant and gifted sound recording engineer who recorded and mixed no less than 89 number one hits for the Motown family of labels, nearly half of the label’s chart-topping singles! If that isn’t enough, he engineered hundreds more songs that made the top 40 and worked on thousands of individual album tracks during his twenty years at the storied record label. Included in the list of hits Russ touched are nearly all of the early classic recordings of the JACKSON 5 and MICHAEL JACKSON.
To say that Russ spent decades “standing in the shadows of Motown” would be a potent understatement. But, despite his immeasurable role in truly shaping the Motown sound, the modest and gifted engineer I have known for decades didn’t warrant a mention in the 2002 documentary of the same name that chronicled the core musicians behind the company’s legendary music. Russ truly is, pardon the pun, one of the real “unsung heroes” of Motown—and the pop music world!
A little over two weeks ago, Universal’s Motown Records released the first “new” Jackson 5 album in decades. I WANT YOU BACK! UNRELEASED MASTERS. The album is a collection of twelve never-before-heard recordings of the Jackson 5, recorded nearly forty years ago, that feature a young, pre-teen Michael Jackson singing the lead vocals alongside his brothers. The tracks on the new album were recorded at the same time as the early Jackson 5 smash hits and had been cast aside rather than released nearly forty years ago.
The producer of the new J5 release is HARRY WEINGER, vice president of A&R for UNIVERSAL MUSIC ENTERPRISES. It was Weinger who tapped Russ to mix down several tracks for the new J5 album. Russ was the very same recording engineer who mixed down the original Jackson 5 hit singles and albums, beginning in 1969 and up until the time the Jackson 5 departed the label for Epic Records in 1975.
Russ is a brilliant and naturally gifted sound recording engineer, whose accomplishments go way beyond Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5. He has mixed down a mind-boggling total of 93 number one singles, most of which were for the Motown family of labels, but there were others outside of the label as well, including superstar WHITNEY HOUSTON, NATALIE COLE and ISAAC HAYES. Russ’ storied career as a sound recording engineer dates back to Detroit in 1966 and runs up until 1991, when he left the music business and moved on to other endeavors. He remained with Motown until Berry Gordy sold the label to Polygram in 1988 and then closed down the Hollywood Hitsville recording studio.
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Now, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. And when it comes down do it, for me? It’s all about gratitude, family, friendship, love and of course, food. So, this week’s Top 5 Music Countdown is dedicated to this joyous holiday. And if your family happens to have a karaoke machine, this awesome list doubles as a Thanksgiving-themed karaoke playlist — so you can belt out and bond with your perfectly dysfunctional family. Fun, right?
5. “Sweet Potatoe Pie“
-DominoDo you remember this guy? Popular in the 90s – early 2000s. Shamed for sharking Snoop Doggy Dogg’s rapping style.
4. “November Rain”
-Guns N’ RosesDelightful symphonic rock ballad about the month of November. One of GNR’s longest songs and one of the most expensive music videos to make (at that time).
3. “Eat It”
-Weird Al YankovicFood is good to eat.
-Rihanna (feat. Jay-Z)Umbrellas symbolize protection, friendship and in some cultures, love.
1. “Livin’ On a Prayer“
-Bon JoviQuintessential anthem rock about hard work, love and holding onto what we’ve got!
Post your top 5 songs of thanks! Go to Heather’s blog — GirlLovesMusic.wordpress.com — or post your list below. She could really use some gratitude… and love.
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This week’s Top 5 Music Countdown is all about my favorite holiday. Halloween!!
While you’re sewing your costume together or mixing up some eyeball punch for your monster bash (see what I did there?) rock out to my play list from beyond the grave! Let’s bypass the obvious spooky tunes like “Monster Mash”, “Ghostbusters” and “Thriller”, shall we? We like to be more original on this show. Enjoy!
5. “Psycho Killer”
Psycho killers are most definitely scary. And evil. Qu’est-ce que c’est?
4. “Devil Inside”
Every single one of us has the devil inside. The devil is evil.
3. “I Put a Spell On You”
-Screaming Jay Hawkins
I’ve always thought that Jay Hawk was possessed. The dirty work of witches. Witches are ugly. And evil.
-Steve MillerMagic is evil.
1. “Somebody’s Watching Me”
-Rockwell Feat. Michael Jackson
Watching someone without them knowing it is unquestionably evil.
Now it’s your turn! I wanna know what spooky songs you listen to this time of year. Leave me your list on my blog at Girllovesmusic.wordpress.com!!
Thousands of lucky idiots are expected to descend upon the Staples center in Los Angeles today to pay their respects to the self proclaimed King of Pop today. According to sources close to the Jackson family, Michael Jackson’s body will be brought to the memorial service at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles today. A long motorcade of black vehicles left the home of Jackson’s mother, Katherine, a short while ago and drove through the gates of Forest Lawn cemetery. Jackson’s family and friends are attending a private gathering at the cemetery before the public memorial.
Parking lots in the area of the Staples center have reportedly raised their prices today as high as $30. Bootleg t-shirt vendors are also expected to be out in full force as well to try and capitalize on Michael Jackson’s tragic passing. Tickets to the event are reportedly selling on Craigslist for $1000
Airports in Southern California saw a spike in bookings. And several movie theaters in the area announced special screenings of the event, which also will be carried live by some television networks and Web sites.
Watch live coverage of the event right here
Get 35 Michael Jackson Songs for free right here!
UPDATE! MICHAEL JACKSON TO BE BURIED WITHOUT HIS BRAIN!
According to the Daily Mirror
Michael Jackson will be buried this week– without his brain. As his family tries to finalise details for the King of Pop’s funeral on Tuesday they have been told it will be held back for tests.
They faced the grim choice of waiting up to three weeks for Jackson’s brain to be returned to them or go ahead and bury him without it – which they have decided to do.
Los Angeles Coroner’s spokesman Craig Harvey confirmed that neuropathology tests will be carried out to see if it holds any clues to the exact cause of his death.
But the examination cannot begin until at least two weeks after the death when the brain has hardened sufficiently to slice it open.
Jackson died from a cardiac arrest at his Beverly Hills mansion on June 25 after a suspected overdose of painkillers.
Sources at the coroner’s office revealed that his brain was removed before his body was released to relatives the next day.
A forensic neuropathologist will test Jackson’s brain for, among other things, past drug use and whether he has suffered overdoses in the past.
The brain can also show any past abuse of alcohol or if the deceased had suffered from any one of a number of diseases. The source said that removing the brain is the “only way to carry out the tests”.
“The tissue has to be examined,” he said. “I can’t tell you how long that is going to take.”
One expert explained that the Jackson family could decide to wait and bury the brain with the rest of the body. But it is far more common for the lab to burn the remains once they’ve been examined or for them to be placed into the grave at a later date.
“It’s up to the family. They can bury him and then bury the brain later on,” said Dr Cyril Wecht, a former coroner and one of America’s foremost forensic pathologists.
But he added: “It’s rare for the body to be held back for two weeks or more.”
Jackson’s body was handed over to his family soon after the three-hour autopsy was completed and the Jacksons went on to order a second forensic examination.
But Dr Wecht said: “The brain cannot be properly examined at the time of the autopsy. You cannot test it while it is in the body. So it is cut off at the spinal cord and removed.”
The brain would usually be placed in a plastic bucket, suspended in formaldehyde fluid, and put in a refridgerator at 4C to preserve it.
Dr Wecht went on: “People don’t realise how soft the brain is. To do the type of detailed examination required you need to have the brain much harder – and for that you have to wait for at least 10 days to two weeks.”
Dr Wecht, who was not involved in the Jackson autopsies, has reviewed and been consulted on many high-profile deaths, including John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley and Anna Nicole Smith.
“In Los Angeles they have a neuropathologist they work with, and he will be looking at the brain,” he said.
It is cut into sections of less than half-an-inch thick and reviewed first by the naked eye and then through a microscopic. “That all takes 17 to 18 days,” Dr Wecht added in an exclusive interview.
Dr Wecht, who chronicles his career dissecting more than 16,000 bodies in his best- selling memoir A Question Of Murder, added: “In the 47 years I have been doing this I reckon only about one per cent of families say they want the brain back so they can bury it. In most cases it is incinerated.”
The autopsy is expected to show that the 50-year-old singer had drugs in his system when he died.
At various times, he is said to have been taking Demerol and Oxycontin for pain from old back and leg injuries and Diprivan, a hospital anaesthetic, to help him sleep.
- MICHAEL Jackson starred as the Scarecrow in The Wiz, the 1978 musical version of The Wizard of Oz – playing the character without a brain opposite Diana Ross as Dorothy.
MEVIO sources have received a copy of the audio of the 911 call from Jackon’s home and live streamed the conversation between the caller and the emergency services operator. In a calm voice, the person requested help as there was a person who wasn’t breathing and needed an ambulance immediately. Other details gleaned are that Jackson was unconscious in his bed, and his personal doctor was by his side, but the caller said “he’s not responding to anything.”
Listen to the 911 call here.
When the operator asks if there were any witnesses, the phone caller says that only the doctor was present with the victim.
Los Angeles police say they have towed the car of a doctor from Michael Jackson’s home because it could contain drugs or other evidence offering clues in the pop star’s death.
Los Angeles police spokeswoman Karen Rayner said coroner’s investigators want to interview the doctor but said she did not know the doctor’s identity. She stressed the doctor was not under criminal investigation.
“His car was impounded because it may contain medications or other evidence that may assist the coroner in determining the cause of death,” Rayner said.
Houston television station KHOU has identified Jackson’s personal doctor as Dr. Conrad Robert Murray, a cardiologist licensed to practice in Texas, who was living at the pop star’s mansion.
An autopsy has been performed by the Los Angeles County coroner, but it may be several weeks before all the results are in.
L.A. County Coroner Investigator Jerry McKibben said results of the autopsy would be announced if the cause of death can be determined, The Associated Press reports.
MEMORIES OF MICHAEL JACKSON