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Whitney Houston and Her Comeback

Whitney Houston has certainly been around the block and back. Where is she today? Performing again and trying to get her career on track. In December of 2009 she released “I Look to You”, which has already been certified platinum by RIAA for sales that exceed one million copies in the united states. Houston also released again, her 25th anniversary edition of her debut album titled Whitney Houston – The Deluxe Anniversary Edition.

To welcome Houston back, in January of 2010, she received the BET Honors Award for Entertainer citing her lifetime achievements and comeback success. She was also nominated for two NAACP Image Awards for Best Female Artist and Best Music Videos.

Whitney Houston was born in 1963 into the music industry. Her mother, Cissy Houston and cousins Dee Dee and Dionne Warwick, as well as godmother Aretha Franklin, helped coach her along through her childhood as a singer. Houston began singing at her New Jersey church and then with her mother at nightclubs in the New York City area.

She went out on her own and released her first album Whitney Houston in 1985. It became the best selling debut album by a female artist at the time of release. People were intrigued by her voice and wanted more. In 1987 she recorded her second album Whitney, and it became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.

In 1992 she married singer Bobby Brown and simultaneously took up acting. Her first role was in The Bodyguard. The film’s soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Its lead single was the remake of Dolly Parton’s song “I Will Always Love You”.

Houston continued acting, playing roles in Waiting To Exhale and The Preachers Wife. The soundtracks for each movie contributed to furthering her success and the size of her pocketbook. Add to this the renewed contract with Arista Records in 2001 for $100 million, Houston became one of the highest earning females in the industry. And with good reason. Still, today, Houston is ranked as the fourth best-selling female artist in the United States with 55 million certified albums. Rolling Stone magazine named her as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

By the new millennium, Houston’s marriage of eight years began taking a toll on her. People close to her saw the changes in the late 90s as she began showing up late or missing appearances altogether. On January 11, 2000, when airport security discovered drugs in she and her husbands luggage while at a Hawaiian airport, rumors of serious drug use began to surface around the couple.

To top off her self-sabotaging ways, Houston didn’t renew a $100 million contract with Arista Records in 2001. Her publicist said she was under great stress due to family matters. Houston also canceled more and more performances.

In 2002 Houston granted an interview with Diane Sawyer, where she spoke about the rumored drug use and her marriage. She denied using ‘crack’ but did admit to using various substances at times, leaving the public questioning how she could let herself get so far down.

Trying to pull her career back together, she released her fifth studio album Just Whitney in December of 2002. The album received mixed reviews but her reputation carried it to #9 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart.

It wasn’t until the reality show in 2004 titled Being Bobby Brown, aired, that people saw how far she really sunk. Many wondered why she took part in the series as it portrayed her and her family in their lowest moments. The show was considered a train wreck.

Whether it was the show and seeing herself as she looked from the outside or time itself, by 2009, Houston realized she was a mess and in September 2006 she filed for a divorce with Brown. In 2009 during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, she admitted to doing drugs with Brown and how her mother wanted her in rehab.

Houston released her album I Look to You in August of 2009. The album entered the Billboard 200 at #1, marking Houston’s first number one album since The Bodyguard.

Houston has made full circle and continues to be an influence on the industry with her unique range of vocals. How long will she stay on top this time? Only time will tell.

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 http://www.977music.com.

Bands of Brothers

Boy bands have been around a while, but what makes them even more unique is when the boys in the band are brothers. Who are some of the top bands of brothers?

1. The Jackson 5- The Jackson Brothers, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and of course Michael got their start in 1964. They performed together until 1989. The group was known for their R&B, soul, pop and later disco. This band of brothers was a pop-music phenomenon in the 70s bringing to popularity the idea of family bands. Some of their top songs were “ABC”, “I’ll Be There” and “Dancing Machine.” Not only was the band a success, but the brothers also served as the first black teen idols. In 1976 the band left their label Motown and were forced to change their name. At the time Jermaine was replaced with his younger brother Randy. Later, independent careers were launched from the group, primarily by Michael Jackson, who went on to be a huge success.

2. Menudo – This Puerto Rican teen band was formed in the 1970s initially with two groups of brothers. They included Ricky Melendez, Carlos Meledez, Oscar Melendez, Fernando Salaberry and Nefty Sallaberry. The band achieved great success during the 80s, becoming the most popular Latin American teen group of the era. Their album Quiero Ser launched the group into stardom. Members of the band began getting replaced as the years went on. The last original member Ricky Melendez was replaced in 1984 by Ricky Martin. Martin’s career began from the band as he later went on to be a huge independent success.

3. Hanson – Brothers Isaac Hanson, Jordan Hanson and Zac Hanson formed this group in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Their career hit a high in 1997 with the hit song “MMMBp” earning them three Grammy nominations. The three young boys sang a capella recording popular songs like “Rockin Robin” and even their own material. All three boys started their careers as pianists. Isaac later began playing the guitar and Zac the drums. Creating their own garage band, they recorded two independent albums in 1994 and 1996. The boys were signed by Mercury Records after performing at the Kansas State Fair.

4. The Jonas Brothers – Nick, Joe, and Kevin Jonas make up this American pop rock boy band. The Disney Channel helped bring this band to its early popularity. The boys also started in the Disney movie “Camp Rock.” The band has released four albums; It’s About Time, Jonas Brothers, A Little Bit Longer and Lines, Vines and Trying Times. In 2008 the group was nominated for the Best New Artist award at the 51st Grammy Awards. They have sold over eight million albums worldwide.

5. The Naked Brothers Band – The band consists of brothers Nat and Alex Wolff. The boys began singing in preschool with friends, calling themselves The Silver Boulders. Nat wrote his first song titled “Mama Don’t Let me Cry” at the age of five. Nat was inspired by his jazz pianist-composer father Michael Wolff and music by The Beatles. The band name was coined when the boys as toddlers used to jump out of the bathtub shouting, “We’re the naked brothers band.” The boys were part of a mock documentary, filming them as if they were huge like The Beatles. Film production took place in the family’s apartment in New York City – Nat was 9 and Alex was 6-and-a-half. The film’s notoriety got hem signed with Nickelodean who put together a TV series “The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie”.

The boys started their first national-tour around the country called Nat & Alex Wolff: Fully Clothed and On Tour, in 2008.

Boy bands most likely will be around for a long time and bands when the boys are related makes it even a more unique phenomena.

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 http://www.977music.com.

Canadian Pop Star Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne was born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada, and she is twenty five years old. Not only is she a Canadian pop star, her music has become popular in the United States and all over the world. Avril is more than just a pop star, and she also has an entrepreneurial spirit among other talents. She broke through in the competitive American entertainment industry. She is one of the top ten selling American artists and continues to top the Billboard music chart with her unique voice and music sound.

Worldwide, she has sold nearly thirty million albums and was named the number ten pop artist in the music industry. Her music is so unique that it is hard to categorize her as just a pop star. She brought a new look and sound to the entertainment industry. She incorporates punk, pop, rock, alternative rock, post-grunge, and powerpop into her albums. She hit the music scene in 2002 and records under the labels RCA and Arista. She is currently only working with RCA label.

Her first album which was released in 2002 is called Let Go, and one third of the record sales from that album were sold in the United States. She sold 16 million copies worldwide. Two years later she released her second albums called Under My Skin, and then in 2007 she released her third album called The Best Damn Thing. She is currently working on a fourth album that is due to be released sometime this summer.

She contributes a lot to her albums. She is an amazing songwriter. She not only sings, but she also plays different musical instruments. Her voice is amazing and so is her playing talent. She plays the electric guitar, drums, piano, and acoustic guitar.

In addition to selling millions of albums worldwide, she has also appeared in movie and television roles. Her most current act on television was appearing as a guest judge on the hit show American Idol. Her fame and talent made her a very qualified guest for the show. She has also appeared on episodes from shows Saturday Night Live, MadTv, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. In 2006, she played a college activist in the movie Fast Food Nation.

Her entrepreneurship shows through in her clothing line and perfume line. She designs clothes for her brand called Abbey Dawn. Her fragrance is called Black Star and is sold throughout Europe and North America. She works with the Canadian Canon brand and designs cameras and is the face of their brand.

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 http://www.977music.com.

American Idol Judges

Season nine of American Idol has been going strong since the first weeks of production. The judges have narrowed down the thousands of contestants who auditioned for a spot in Hollywood. The show is now getting to the top twenty five performers. The judges have narrowed down and deliberated about the best of the best to present to the audience these top singers. The audience votes on their favorite singer to try to get them passed to the next round of competition. The judges are harsher in their evaluation and give critique and praise to contestant’s performance of the night. The judges can sway or influence how the audience will vote. Here is a look at who the American Idol judges are this season.

Simon Cowell has been with American Idol since day one. He is one of the most well known judges yet he is liked the least because of his brutal honesty and temperament. However, the man knows what he is doing and is a leader in the entertainment industry. He produces music competition shows in both the U.S. and the U.K. Simon has been in the industry for more than twenty years and has worked as an executive at Sony Records. His ear for talent has made him a pioneer in the pop industry as he has shaped and molded some of the top pop artists of our time.

Kara DioGuardi is highly qualified to a judge on the show. She is a seasoned veteran in the music industry and has her own personal success. She is a songwriter that has produced hits for top recording artists all over the world. She is part owner of Arthouse Entertainment, and it is a very successful lucrative business. She is one of the highest demanded songwriters in the industry. She has written songs that have made an artist’s career skyrocket to stardom, and her songs also appear in movies, television shows, commercials, and all over the world. She has even written award winning songs for Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. You have probably heard Kara’s songs on the Internet radio, a movie, or a traditional radio station being sung by famous singers.

A judge that everyone loves and who has also been there since day one is Randy Jackson. He is also a powerhouse in the music industry. Like Simon, he has also been in the industry for twenty years. He not only produces music, but he plays music as well. He toured with the band Journey and played bass guitar. He has been a vice president and major recording labels and has toured, produced, and worked with some of the best in the industry including Madonna. He helps the contestants of American Idol become stars and his critiques are invaluable. He not only performs in the industry, but he has shaped and produced some of the best performers and has contributed to albums that have sold millions worldwide.

The newest judge who replaced Paula Abdul is Ellen DeGeneres. Unlike the other judges, Ellen isn’t a veteran in the music industry. However, she does know a thing or two about stage presence and performance because she is an actress, comedian, and the host of an award winning talk show. Her critiques and perspective on the show offer some new light and a different perspective to the contestants and audience. She is a star in her own right as she has been a leader in the entertainment industry for acting.

*Full length bios can be found at www.americanidol.com

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 http://www.977music.com.

The Death of Disco

For those who recall the 70s, you also most likely recall the days of disco. It came, it was great and then it disappeared. What happened to disco and all the musicians who became sensations from it?

According to historians, disco died on a specific day, July 12, 1979. This was due to an anti-disco demonstration held in Chicago. During a White Sox doubleheader, disco records were blown up and riots broke out due to rock station DJs push to kill the genre. Others feel disco just fizzled out due to a bad economy and the burnout that followed the hedonistic lifestyle that went hand-in-hand with disco. Whatever it was, after the riot, the top six records on the U.S. charts which were of the disco genre fell from the top ten. Radio stations followed suit, not wanting to be associated with a genre that society was beginning to protest against, they stopped playing any disco themed music. Country music then began to come to the forefront, thanks to John Travolta’s shift from Saturday Night Fever to Urban Cowboy.

On television, a new sitcom called WKRP in Cincinnati, also promoted a disgust toward disco. Before long, the genre completely slipped away.

If you weren’t around in the 70s, you might wonder what disco was and why it was such a big sensation.

As rock and roll became ‘whiter and whiter’, disco opened the door for African American performers as well as gays. In the 1960s, it was illegal for men to dance together, disco changed that. Then, in 1977, the film Saturday Night Fever was released. The main character, John Travolta, a white male, starred in the show. The release of the film broadened disco’s popularity beyond its primarily gay and black audience. The movie’s success also pushed disco worldwide.

Musicians that became sensations in the disco era included Donna Summer, The Bee Gees, KC and the Sunshine Band, Chic and The Jacksons. Summer would be the first well-known and most popular artist giving her the title “Queen of Disco.”

With the popularity of the music came clubs dedicated to disco, which were called discotheques. Almost all major US cities had thriving disco clubs. Private loft parties were also held where DJ’s would play disco hits. With disco came the added technological innovation of adding light shows. Entertainment was based on multiple and simultaneous sounds, images and lights which catered hallucinogenic states. People were experimenting more with psychedelic drugs and of course speed to keep up their energy on the dance floor. Club goers never seemed to tire but could dance all night long.

Discos seemed more like big ring circuses. Playing on that theme, one of the more popular discotheques in New York was indeed called the Electric Circus. Inside, emphasis was on charade and masquerade. One could even purchase clothes, furbelows and feathers.

If you didn’t know how to disco dance, most cities had instructors. Dances included touch dancing, the hustle and the cha cha.

Disco indeed was a phenomena and one that has seen a few small resurgences. While it might be dead, many of us can still enjoy its music with fond memories.

Top Disco Songs and Their Musicians:
ABBA – Dancing Queen
Bay City Rollers – Saturday Night
Bee Gees – Night Fever
Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive
Blondie – Heart Of Glass
Alicia Bridges – I Love The Nightlife
Chic – Le Freak
Earth, Wind & Fire – September
Yvonne Elliman – If I Can’t Have You
Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough
KC & The Sunshine Band – That’s The Way (I Like It)
Kool & The Gang – Celebration
Lipps Inc. – Funkytown
Diana Ross – Upside Down
Sister Sledge – We Are Family
Donna Summer – Hot Stuff
Donna Summer – Last Dance
Van McCoy – The Hustle
The Village People – Y.M.C.A.
The Weather Girls – It’s Raining Men

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 http://www.977music.com.

One of The Greatest Songwriters – Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell is one of those performers that seem to be relevant no matter what the decade. Just this year, during the 2010 Olympics, she was asked to perform during the opening ceremonies singing one of her songs “Both Sides Now.”

Joni Mitchell, a Canadian musician and songwriter, began performing in the mid-1960s and has never turned back. Writing songs seems to come natural to Mitchell, making her one of the most prolific writers in history. Rolling Stone magazine has gone as far to coin Mitchell as “one of the greatest songwriters ever”. Many a musician has been greatly influenced by Mitchell’s daring and innovative style. As her career has stretched from the late 60s to now, it has also varied in that timeframe, with music ranging from confessional folk-pop songs to jazz-inflected experiments and multicultural world music. Songs she has written either have become well known through her voice or through the recreation of others. Mitchell’s “Woodstock” went mainstream through the performance of it be Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Many artists have enjoyed covering Mitchell Songs. Judy Collins took “Both Sides Now” and sent it up the charts to No. 8 in 1967. Annie Lennox covered “Ladies Of The Canyon” for the B-side of her 1995 hit “No More I Love You’s”. George Michael covered “Edith And The Kingpin” in 2004. Many of Mitchell’s songs have been performed by numerous artists. Dianne Reeves, James Taylor, Allison Crowe, Rachel Yamagata, Aimee Mann and Sarah McLachlan have performed “River”. Tori Amos, Michelle Branch, Jane Monheit, Prince and Diana Krall have sung “A Case Of You”.

So how did this amazing artist first get discovered? Of course it was by starting small and singing in small nightclubs in her native Western Canada. She then began performing in the United States, becoming a critical sensation on the Detroit folk scene. In 1967 she signed with Reprise Records and in 1968 released her first album. On that album was “Both Sides Now”, one of Mitchell’s most notorious songs of her career.

Mitchell’s album “Blue”, released in 1971, reached platinum standings. It featured songs “Carey”, “My Old Many” and “The Last Time I Saw Richard”. Her song “Clouds” won her a first Grammy Award for Best Folk Performance.

Mitchell’s voice has been easily recognized over the years for its distinctive harmonic guitar style. Her piano arrangements grew more complex through the 1970s as she became more deeply influenced by jazz, melding with pop, folk and rock.

Between 1975 to 1980, Mitchell began experimenting with jazz pieces. The transition was at first difficult. Her album “Hejira”, written in 1976, is considered one of her most experimental albums ever. Audiences enjoyed the new sound but felt a bit confused due to the huge change in style. Her albums during this decade fell short of gold status and never reached the success that her first album had.

In 1980 she released “Shadows and Light” and her single “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” reached No. 38 on Billboard Charts.

In 1983 Mitchell began a world tour visiting Japan, Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia and then back to the United States. Throughout the 80s, Mitchell began experimenting with synthesizers, drum machines and sequencers for the release of her album “Chalk Mark In A Rain Storm”. With the album she collaborated with artists Willie Nelson, Billy Idol, Wendy and Lisa, Tom Petty, Don Henley and Peter Gabriel. Songs leaned toward more political themes. Her genre of style began to shift into world music.

By 1990, Mitchell rarely performed live anymore but continued putting out albums. In 1994 she released the Grammy winning “Turbulent Indigo”. In 1996 it was her “Hits” collection that reached No. 161 in US and No. 6 in the UK. In 1998, Mitchell’s style shifted again with the release of “Taming The Tiger”. Mitchell’s voice began to change as well. In 2002, Mitchell stated in an interview with Rolling Stone that she was retiring and that she was disgruntled with the music industry. But in 2006 she released the album “Shine”, which was inspired by the war in Iraq, political and environmental issues.

We haven’t heard the last of Joni Mitchell yet, despite her years of success, it is quite possible she still has a few good songs left to be written and performed.

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 http://www.977music.com.

Music Therapy and What It’s Used For

Music is used for more than entertainment. It is also used as a therapeutic process called music therapy. Research has been done that proves music has the ability to change one’s mood. It can put you in a better mood, can make you feel relaxed when things are stressful, or it can also make you feel romantic and loving. Music therapy does more than affect or change the way you feel. It is a scientific process to heal and improve someone’s overall wellbeing. It has the power to heal and improve both psychological and physical pain. Because it is more than entertainment, the value of music should never be underestimated.

Music therapy needs to be completed in a controlled environment by a professional doctor. Listening to music or suggesting a song to a friend will not be satisfactory for the purposes of music therapy. If you are interested in music therapy, you will need to work with someone who has been certified as an approved music therapist. Music therapy is used for these purposes: combating stress, wellness, improving memory, ability to show/communicate emotion, reduce or alleviate pain, improving results from physical rehabilitation, and improving communication.

Music therapy can include sessions that involve listening to certain types of music to performing music acts or dancing. Based on what an individual needs, the music therapy program designed needs to be custom and individualized. Music therapy is used in a number of different hospitals, nursing homes, dentist offices, psychiatric offices, and in schools. You don’t have to be sick or injured to use music therapy, and healthy people can use it to control the amount of stress they feel.

Hospitals use music for a number of different reasons. It can be used to help patients fall asleep and rest peacefully, and it can be used to calm a patient if they are feeling anxious. It is great for use with physical therapy because it motivates a patient to work harder and feel motivated. You may notice that when you listen to music while you work out, you work out harder and longer. This is the same concept.

This type of therapy is beneficial and can improve someone’s quality life. There is a lot of research on the effectiveness of it, and is even reimbursable by some insurance companies. Music should be a part of everyday life because it is so beneficial to our wellbeing. Music can be as simple as entertainment and as complex as using it for healing and therapy.

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 http://www.977music.com.

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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.