Brian Wilson Grade

Brian Wilson Gets Failing Grade Reversed To An A

Sometimes, kids are truly misunderstood. And in Brian Wilson‘s case, his high school teachers weren’t able to recognize a hit song.

Wilson revealed on his Twitter account today that back in his Hawthorne High School days (during the ’50s), he received an F on a music class composition.

That assignment? It would evolve into “Surfin'”, the song that catapulted the Beach Boys into international sensations (and what many would consider the band’s staple song.)

But Hawthorne is making amends. The school’s current principal Dr. Landesfeind greenlit a change to update Wilson’s assignment to an A grade.

Wilson stopped by the school to receive his vindication in person, and posted the news on his Twitter account:

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Marijuana

The Tragically Hip To Bank Big Off Marijuana Merger

The Tragically Hip is going to bank big on bud.

The band partnered with Canadian medical marijuana producer Newstrike last year, owning a 5.4 per cent stake. Newstrike is set to be acquired by licensed producer CanniMed Therapeutics Inc., with the band’s share worth an estimated $39 million. The members are backing the deal.

The surviving members of The Tragically Hip at the band’s premiere of Long Time Running at the Toronto International Film Festival.

In a statement to the Globe and Mail, guitarist Rob Baker said the merger “will create shareholder value and a formidable force in the Canadian cannabis market for many decades to come.”

CanniMed would own 65 per cent of the new merger, while Newstrike shareholders would own the rest. (more…)

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Going solo

Can Rock Stars Successfully Go Solo?

Going solo has to be one of popular music’s most enduring rites of passage. If you’re a key member (or even a less-key member) of a successful band, sooner or later the solo bug is going to bite. Here we salute some of the most notable artists who found life after the band, going on to greater glories as solo artists. The tradition of frontmen going solo is as old as rock’n’roll itself. Case in point: Buddy Holly, the leader of America’s first great self-contained rock band, The Crickets. As an official band with Holly upfront, The Crickets (with bassist Joe Mauldin, drummer Jerry Allison and sometime rhythm guitarist Niki Sullivan) lasted barely a year (1956-57), but it was a year that produced more than its share of rock’n’roll cornerstones.

But Holly was recording solo at the same time, and since The Crickets also played on his solo releases, the two were hard to tell apart. ‘That’ll Be the Day’ and ‘Oh Boy’ were officially Crickets records while ‘Peggy Sue’ and ‘Words Of Love’ were Buddy Holly records, and all four charted in 1957. Before his career was cut short, Holly started growing apart from the band, working with other songwriters (including Paul Anka on ‘It Doesn’t Matter Anymore’) and reaching for a grown-up, non-Crickets sound. The world never got to hear what hear what he’d do next, but the ground Holly covered – inching slowly away from his band, then finding new collaborators and branching out musically – set the template for solo careers to come.

Two other early rockers pulled off longer-running (still running, in fact) careers as solo artists. Dion DiMucci has been prolific for six decades and counting, so it’s easy to forget that he had his first hits as the frontman of a quintessential New York doo-wop group, Dion And The Belmonts. After kicking a heroin habit (yes, Dion was ahead of the curve on that one too), he released a solo single that wasn’t all that promising. ‘Lonely Teenager’ was a hit but it sounded like a typical teen-idol weepie, lacking the street swagger that was already his trademark. Then he shut everybody up with ‘The Wanderer’, a record that defined swagger for decades to come.

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Stevie Wonder Happy Birthday

Stevie Wonder Wishes Martin Luther King A Happy Birthday

Only a handful of artists have the cultural magnetism that enables their work to impact our lives, even beyond their musical comfort zone. It was Stevie Wonder‘s composition and release of ‘Happy Birthday,’ and his tireless campaigning, that led directly to the enshrinement of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, observed in the US for the first time in January 1986 and ever since.

The idea for a national holiday to mark the 15 January birthday of the great civil rights campaigner was building in momentum from soon after Dr. King’s shocking assassination in 1968. Several states enacted holidays on his birthday in the 1970s, includiing Illinois, Connecticut and Massachusetts, but Congress stopped short of passing a national day into law. In November 1979, despite the endorsement of President Jimmy Carter, the King Holiday Bill was defeated by five votes. (more…)

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Dolores O’Riordan, Lead Singer Of The Cranberries, Dies At 46

Dolores O’Riordan, the lead singer with The Cranberries, has died suddenly. O’Riordan was 46.

A statement from her publicist says:

“The lead singer with the Irish band The Cranberries was in London for a short recording session.

No further details are available at this time.

Family members are devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”

O’Riordan and The Cranberries rose to international fame in the ’90s with staple hits like “Zombie”, “Linger” and “Dreams”.

The band’s last release, compilation album Something Else, arrived in April 2017.

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