Pop #1 Hits for this week
Dick Clark remains hospitalized from a stroke he suffered on December 6. But, his doctors report he is making progress with his rehabilitation. For the first time in 32 years, the 75-year-old will miss hosting the ABC-TV New Year's Rockin' Eve show, which airs live from New York's Time Square. Filling in for him will be popular talk show host Regis Philbin. NBC-TV has hired MTV's Carson Daly to host its New Year's Eve musical program. Avril Lavigne, Maroon 5 and Duran Duran are among the artists appearing on that show. NBC has also announced that it will air The Tonight Show live on New Year's Eve.
A request filed by Michael Jackson's lawyers to delay his child molestation trial has been denied. Attorney Robert Sanger asked for an additional three months to prepare for the trial, which is scheduled to begin on January 31sand last four to five months. Prosecutors are waiting to learn whether evidence from Jackson's previous child molestation allegations will be allowed in his upcoming trial. That hearing is set for January 12.
More baby chicks are on the way. Emily Robison, a member of Country trio the Dixie Chicks, recently announced that she's expecting twins. She told fans on her web site, "I'm due in April, just in time to go back to work on the next album. There will be, count 'em, seven kids under the age of four on the next tour." The twins will join brother Gus, who turned two last month. In April of this year, Emily's sister, Martie Maguire, gave birth to twin daughters Eva and Kathleen. The Dixie Chicks lead singer, Natalie Maines, has two sons, 3-year-old Slade and 5-month-old Beckett.
British rock group Queen plans to perform a European concert tour in 2005. It will mark the band's first outing since the 1991 death of lead singer Freddie Mercury. Bad Company's guitarist Paul Rodgers will join Queen on the tour. No word yet on whether the group will perform in the U.S.
CBS will air a four-hour miniseries about Elvis Presley next May. Elvis will star Irish actor Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. Camryn Manheim has been cast to play Elvis' mother and the role of Elvis' manager, Colonel Tom Parker, will be played by Randy Quaid. CBS says Elvis will tell the life story of "The King of Rock and Roll," his rise to fame and impact on popular music.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES:
New albums scheduled for release on December 28 include Get Lifted by John Legend on Columbia Records and Another Road by Kevin Chase on Dynasty Records.
BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK AND SUGGESTED MUSIC:
On December 28, Country singer Joe Diffie will celebrate his 46th birthday. During the 1980s, Diffie was a popular demo singer in Nashville. He emerged on the Country music scene in 1990 with A Thousand Winding Roads, an album that contained the hit singles "Home" and "If The Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)." His 12-song greatest hits anthology was released in 1998. That was followed by A Night To Remember in 1999 and In Another World, released in 2001. In 2002, Diffie was released from his career-long recording contract with Sony Records. He's now signed to Broken Bow Records' C4 label, which released his latest album, Tougher Than Nails, earlier this year.
Country singer Suzy Bogguss will turn 48 on December 30. After graduating from college, Boggus performed throughout the West where she gathered a large fan base. She then moved to Nashville and eventually earned her big break in 1991 with the album Aces. Her next two collections, Voices In The Wind and Something Up My Sleeve, were equally successful. Following the release of a greatest hits compilation in early 1994, Bogguss teamed with the late legendary guitarist Chet Atkins to record the album Simpatico. Her 1996 CD, Give Me Some Wheels, produced three chart singles - the title track, "She Said, He Heard" and "No Way Out." In 1999, she switched from Capitol Records to Platinum Records for the release of a self-titled CD. Two years later, Bogguss formed her own Loyal Dutchess record label and released the holiday album, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. Last year, she signed with Compadre Records for the release of Swing, a western swing album produced by Asleep At The Wheel's leader Ray Benson.
On December 30, Bo Diddley will celebrate his 76th birthday. Diddley began recording in 1955, the same year he scored a Number One hit with the eponymous song "Bo Diddley." In 1987, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ten years later, Diddley received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award. In 2000, he earned induction into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame in the rhythm-and-blues category.
Singer Donna Summer will turn 56 on December 31. Summer performed in several musicals before settling into a recording career in the mid-1970s. Her first chart hit, "Love To Love You Baby," went to Number 2 in 1975. Later that same decade, Summer's popularity continued with the Number One disco singles "Hot Stuff," "Bad Girls" and "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)." Her 1994 greatest hits compilation, Endless Summer, included many of those hits. In 1999, Epic Records released VH1 Presents Live & More Encore, which featured concert versions of her popular recordings, plus three new songs. Donna's autobiography, Ordinary Girl The Journey, was published in 2003.
December 31 marks the birth date of the late pop singer-songwriter John Denver (born 1943). Denver recorded a string of Number One hits in the 1970s, including "Sunshine On My Shoulders," "Annie's Song," "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" and "I'm Sorry." He also wrote "Leaving On A Jet Plane," which Peter, Paul & Mary took to the top of the charts in 1969. Denver was killed on October 12, 1997 when the experimental airplane he was piloting crashed off the coast of Northern California. In November of that year, CMC Records released the John Denver anthology, A Celebration of Life (1943-1997).
FACTS FROM THE PAST:
12/26/67 - The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour film premiered on the BBC.
12/27/75 - The Four Seasons' single "December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night)" was released. The song later went to Number One, where it remained for three weeks.
12/29/74 - Elton John's Greatest Hits album held the Number One spot on Billboard's pop chart. The collection contains such hits as "Crocodile Rock," "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Daniel."
12/30/70 - Following the breakup of the Beatles earlier that year, Paul McCartney sued the other members of the group to gain control of his interests. Although he claimed that his actions were strictly business, it started a bitter feud between McCartney and John Lennon.
12/31/74 - Drummer Mick Fleetwood invited Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham to join Fleetwood Mac. After the two accepted, Nicks was quoted as saying, "He called us up, sight unseen. We could have been the two biggest jerks he'd ever seen."
12/31/85 - Rick Nelson died in a plane crash in DeKalb, Texas. Nelson was one of rock music's first teen idols with songs such as "A Teenager's Romance," "Be-Bop Baby," "Poor Little Fool" and "Travelin' Man."
1/1/53 - While being driven to a concert in Canton, Ohio, 29-year-old Hank Williams, Sr. died in the back seat of the car. Some of his biggest hits included "Lovesick Blues", which topped the Country charts for 16 weeks in 1949, "Long Gone Lonesome Blues" and "Why Don't You Love Me."