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Rusty McNeil, the Other Half of Famed Folk-Singing Duo Dead at 81

Rusty McNeil succumbed to death due to complications of stroke on December 15, 2010. The folk-music historian was 81.

Born Joan Betty Wilmsmeier, Rusty (a name everyone tagged her with because of her red hair) and her husband Keith McNeil made news when they started touring the country on a converted school bus. Dubbed  ‘Amazing Grace’, the bus became their ‘house on wheels’ for Keith and Rusty along with their children and dogs for a span of 15 years.
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Ivory Queen of Soul Teena Marie’s Death Caused by Grand Mal Seizure

A grand mal seizure may have caused R&B singer Teena Marie’s untimely death at the age of 54.

The singer was found dead in her Pasadena home the day after Christmas. Marie was taking an afternoon nap in her bedroom where her daughter checked her twice while she was asleep. On the second time she was checked at 3 p.m., Marie was already unresponsive.

Pasadena, California police said the singer died of “natural causes” according to a TMZ report. The singer’s publicist, Lynn Jeter, said in her statement that Marie might have suffered a grand mal seizure. It was reported that the R&B artist endured the same type of seizure a month ago, but was immediately taken to the hospital, enduring another seizure while inside the ambulance.

A grand mal seizure, according to Mayo Clinic, is caused by abnormal electrical activity throughout the brain which features loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions. Most of the time, this kind is caused by epilepsy while in some cases; the seizure is triggered by extremely low blood sugar or a stroke.

The seizure was said to have caused Marie two broken ribs from a fall; injuries are common for people who suffered from a seizure this massive. Marie’s daughter, Alia Rose, called 911 when she found her mom unresponsive. Despite a very emotional disposition, Alia Rose made the report herself and told the operator that her mother “lost her color…her color is gone”.

An autopsy and toxicology will be performed later this week. By then, questions about Marie’s death will be answered fully, though even now, illegal drug intake has been ruled out as a reason for the songstress’ passing, as law enforcement officials found no traces of such drugs. Marie struggled in fighting addiction to prescription pain medication before, according to the Associated Press. She became addicted to Vicodin when her ex-lover and mentor Rick James passed away in 2004.

Later on, she dismissed taking such medication and had shifted to using herbal medicines. When her body was found, herbal medicines were recovered from her room (not marijuana, according to police).

“Lovergirl” by Teena Marie

Born Mary Christine Brockert, Teena Marie was also known by the nickname Lady T and was dubbed “The Ivory Queen of Soul”. She signed with Motown Records in 1976. The multi-instrumentalist was regarded as “one of the strongest voices in R&B and soul music”. Her hits include Lovergirl, Ooo La La La, and Square Biz. Marie was able to release 13 albums throughout her career, two of which went platinum, and the rest of which went gold. Her 1984 single “Lovergirl” was Marie’s biggest hit, reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Marie was supposed to head to Atlanta to perform a New Year’s show; Jeter shared Marie’s excitement about her scheduled performance, as it was the singer’s first after the seizure she experienced last month.

The late R&B star received four Grammy nominations. Cathy Hughes, founder of Radio One, described Teena Marie as “a black voice trapped in a white body” for the soulful artistry the late singer possessed. She had worked with big names in the music industry in her three-decade career and was regarded by Hughes as “one of the greatest vocalists of our time”.

Next Generation Android Music Player UI Revealed Through Leaked Video

In order to keep up with the competition, Google seems to be attempting to put its best foot forward, working overtime to create its next generation Android media player. Although it has not been announced yet, everyone seems very excited about the launch of this next generation music player. Through of the words of one of Google’s own Android developers, the company has given the public a fairly clear idea of its plan. page_go Continue reading Next Generation Android Music Player UI Revealed Through Leaked Video »

Lady Gaga Leaps Into the New Year With ‘Born This Way’ Announcement

Lady GagaIf you are following Lady Gaga on Twitter, then you have probably seen her tweet regarding her special announcement to make about her upcoming album entitled “Born This Way”. Behold little monsters: Mother Monster is up with a usual thrilling announcement.

The news? Lady Gaga announced to her fans on New Year’s Eve she considers this new album to be her most innovative to date, and it will be out in record stores in May, following the release of her first single in February. Could there really still be a ‘more innovative’ album after The Fame Monster…? page_go Continue reading Lady Gaga Leaps Into the New Year With ‘Born This Way’ Announcement »

15 Great Artists You Should Hear, Part 2 (Artists 9-5)

This is the second article in a three-part series “15 Great Artists You Should Hear”. You can read Part 1 here.

Here is the second part to a list of great artist you need to hear! We all know how vast the musical spectrum can be; there is a lot of good, a lot of bad, but definitely a lot you should hear.

Serge Gainsbourg9. Serge Gainsbourg: France’s version of Sinatra is the iconic emblem of European cool. Serge was like Bob Dylan, Sid Vicious, Neil Diamond, and of course Sinatra, all rolled into one. Starting his career in the 60’s, Serge did everything, folk, pop, ballad, rock and roll, phsycadelic. His albums have been sampled time and time again. The best album to pick up is the revered “Melody Nelson” – this crowning achievement has been marked as essential by such current artists as Beck. page_go Continue reading 15 Great Artists You Should Hear, Part 2 (Artists 9-5) »

Neverland Ranch: Musical School?

Neverland RanchMichael Jackson’s “Neverland Ranch” has been notorious for many things. It was the home of one of this century’s most eccentric pop stars. Now that home may become an equal opportunity school for music.

Due to a couple of criminal investigations, Michael Jackson had not lived at Neverland for more than a couple of years at the time of his death. He had all but retreated from the public eye due to the constant barrage of paparazzi and invasion of his privacy. In the end, Jackson’s worst enemy was himself, when he lost his famed ranch due to debt. page_go Continue reading Neverland Ranch: Musical School? »

Catch me If You Can—The RIAA on MP3 Downloaders

RIAA LogoListening to music is a hobby for most people. Unlike before when you could only get music from record stores—which, unfortunately, many people would not afford— these days, it is quite easy and convenient to just download your favorites to enjoy at your leisure without the hassle of going out and buying the album. From a consumer perspective this is cool, right? But from the music industry perspective, this creates a never ending dilemma as sales continue to decline.

However, there is a legal alternative to getting free music by logging on to the Internet and finding websites that let you download your favorite hits. That alternative is streaming Internet radio. The Internet is always on and always available (well, almost always)….you will rarely find a person who does not use it, which makes Internet radio incredibly convenient. Since music files are all copyrighted materials, Internet radio providers often display ads to pay royalties to the recording companies, which in turn grant permission to play their copyrighted works. But, you say, I want the files on my computer…so what are the consequences of illegally downloading music?

Lawsuits Overview

Who hasn’t heard about the lawsuits filed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)? These case charges were filed against thousands of Internet users from all walks of life. Its goal is not only to preserve the integrity of the copyright materials but, most importantly, to augment declining music industry sales. After realizing that sales continue to drop and that the efforts made did not create significant impact Internet users whom they sued one by one, the RIAA has tweaked their complaints a bit.

A New Route

While these lawsuits are still on-going, it is geared towards a new direction. Instead of going after each Internet user that has downloaded a music file, a letter of complaint will be sent to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This made it more sensible and efficient for the RIAA. First, your ability to download music files is dependent on your Internet connection, hence once you are dropped by your ISP, you will no longer be able to download files. Second, collaborating with handful of ISPs is much easier than going to court to sue individuals. This initiative has allowed the RIAA to differentiate regular users from the list of illegal downloaders.

The Supreme Verdict

The RIAA has gone so far as to take their case to the Supreme Court, but because of the fact that the RIAA initiatives to stop music piracy and copyright infringement did not seem to work at all, the Supreme Court was compelled not to review the case. This decision has triggered another action from the RIAA. Instead of going after small-time downloaders, they will only go after those users who are uploading more than a thousand files. This means that even if you download copyright materials, you are safe from charges as long as you will not upload these files for someone else’s benefits…at least for the time being.

Illegal music downloading is no doubt hurting the music industry—many Internet users are attracted to the widespread availability of free music downloads online. The consequences, while currently being applied mainly to those that make music available for download, can be devastating. The RIAA has switched tactics before though, so we recommend sticking to streaming Internet radio in case they start targeting individuals again—it’s free, convenient and legal.

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  • About the Author:
    Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile.

    For more information please visit 977music.com.