Produced by Billboard-charting producer and songwriter Keath Lowry, "I.W.M.H.B." describes reminiscing about the stage of a relationship when everything seems perfect. "Appreciate what you have while you have it because once they're gone, you're probably gonna want it back," Malik explains. The latest single stands out from his typical sound; this track comes from a darker side of his persona, as he typically writes more uplifting and optimistic songs. In the early stages of writing and production, Malik created drafts of the song on his phone and used them for reference for the final product. The final track completed as Lowry and Malik re-recorded all of the vocals in the studio, bringing the pop-infused R&B track to life.
MalikOnMusik has worked on creating a platform that sets himself apart from the sea of young talented singers that saturate pop culture. He wants to make a lasting impact on music while sharing his story and supporting his loved ones, creating a sense of drive and work ethic that was formed by his childhood experiences in his hometown of Philadelphia. Inspired by the greatest of vocalists like Whitney Houston, John Legend, and Jazmyn Sullivan, he also pulls inspiration from his favorite contemporary artists like John Bellion, Kehlani, and Miguel. The young artist has acquired extensive vocal, instrumental, and dance training, to add to his roster of performance capabilities. Having shared a stage with Michelle Williams and Grammy-winning artist Tasha Cobbs, and performed for major network televised events, Malik is on track for stardom.
"I.W.M.H.B." proves that Malik is a promising new talent with a full range of musical skills deserving of attention. There's plenty of MalikOnMusik to look forward to, as he prepares to release his debut album this summer. The single is now available for streaming and download on digital platforms worldwide. Keep up with the on-the-rise artist by following @MalikOnMusik on all social platforms.
United Stations, an independent leader in content and services for radio stations is now presenting operators coast to coast with a rare opportunity to add Grammy and Emmy award-winner Kenny Loggins to their airstaff. The show, which will debut at a yet-to-be-finalized date in the Summer of 2020, will be delivered as completely flexible segments allowing stations to build their imaging and music around voice tracks supplied by Kenny Loggins. Kenny, who interestingly enough played a radio DJ in the video game Grand Theft Auto V, now brings his hosting and story-telling skills to radio stations all over the country. The show is designed to be easily ingested into any radio station automation system, and is in-keeping with United Stations’ growing menu of Dayparts on Demand. Affiliates are being secured now, and this announcement comes jointly from Andy Denemark, EVP/Programming at United Stations and the Kenny Loggins management team at Higher Vision, Inc.
United Stations will produce and distribute Kenny Loggins: The Real Thing on a market-exclusive basis. In marking the addition of the program, Andy Denemark of United Stations commented, “We have always aimed to deliver great talent to radio stations, and often that talent comes in the form of a celebrity or musician. We saw a growing need for a new type of programming for Gold-based radio stations, and given everything about Kenny Loggins we just felt he was the perfect choice. He’s got a lifetime of cool stories, he’s a rock star you’d want to have coffee with, and he’s charming, easy-going and relatable.” Kenny Loggins added, “I grew up on radio, I always loved the medium and I also love the idea of doing something new in this new decade. Music and music radio has been my life, and I’m excited about where we might go with this new endeavor.”
Over the last four decades, Kenny Loggins has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide and has won two Grammy Awards. His songs have left his musical imprint on “the soundtrack of our lives,” with chart-topping hits including “This Is It,” “I’m Alright,” “Footloose,” “Danger Zone,” and so many more. In addition to his string of successful recordings, both solo and as a member of the famed duo Loggins & Messina, Loggins became the first major rock star to dedicate himself to recording music for children and families. His album Return to Pooh Corner remains the best-selling children’s album of the last 20 years. Kenny was a recent recipient of the ASCAP Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award and the Guild of Music Supervisor’s first-ever Icon Award for his outstanding achievements in film, television, and soundtracks. Loggins regularly lends his musical talent and generous heart to support youth-based programs like Make a Wish, Toys for Tots, Notes for Notes, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, and Little Kids Rock. In 2016, he was honored with a Humanitarian of the Year Award from Little Kids Rock for his extensive commitment to children’s causes. For more information, please visit: http://www.kennyloggins.com.
United Stations Media Networks, Inc. is a division of United Stations, America’s leading independently owned and operated radio network. United Stations produces and distributes dozens of format-specific programs and services accounting for over 6000 affiliations with commercial radio stations across the country. The New York-based company maintains programming, sales and affiliation offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Washington and Nashville and was founded in 1994 by radio pioneers Dick Clark and Nick Verbitsky.
For affiliate information visit www.usrn.com/Kenny
Singer/songwriter Kelley Swindall is known for being a little bit Lucinda, perhaps a bit of Patsy, and a dash of Dolly. As she releases the title track to her upcoming album, You Can Call Me Darlin’ If You Want (Velvet Elk Records), Swindall clearly demonstrates that she’s much more than a sum of those who have come before – the self-described “country cantadora” is blazing trails all her own.
Swindall didn’t start out with plans to be a country music star. The Atlanta, Georgia native moved to the bright lights of New York City to be a stage actress. A breakup and a heartbreak led to her writing a song to get revenge (a story that’s right out of a country song, itself) – and the rest is history.
The result is an album that’s full of honest songwriting that’s at once a raw journey through the ups and downs of life and love as it is a wildly exuberant joyride. Timeless and classic with an edge, each song feel as comforting as a vintage T-shirt while maintaining an exciting newness. Swindall deftly brings best elements of outlaw country and seasons them with vintage jazz and blues for a true roots experience.
“Darlin’” is a standout example of Swindall’s ability to skillfully walk that line, kicking off the song with a spoken-word warning that’s so Dolly-esque, listeners will find themselves doing an audio double-take. As she moves into the chorus, the song opens up in all directions – emotional barriers dropping, Swindall’s voice soaring, and the warm embrace of instruments and harmonies swirling as the love-for-the-moment anthem unfolds.
It’s a fitting title track to a debut album that shows off the many sides to this rising star who defies genres, even if she is quite a bit country. You might call Kelley Swindall “Darlin’,” but certainly don’t try and put her in a box.
Watch the video for "You Can Call Me Darlin' If You Want To" here.
About Velvet Elk Records:
Velvet Elk is a humble and tiny independent record label, orbiting somewhere in the vicinity of the rock-history lush East Village of New York City. Originally founded by New York City Americana artist Don DiLego, he later joined forces with Jesse Malin and began signing some of the incredible acts from the East Village music scene, and beyond.
Their mission statement is: “To somehow seek and create, in the face of any use of common sense, a home for artists we love and who aren’t necessarily “definable”, and make a record label that lets them do the work that THEY want to do, at a time when NO ONE in their right mind would start a record label.
The current state of our world has opened our eyes, shifted priorities, compelled us to action and leveled society's playing field. Recent events call upon all of us to, both, embrace and acknowledge our vulnerabilities and muster our collective strength. Regardless of what race, religion, ethnicity, or socio-economic circumstances we hold, we are forever bound together by these extraordinary times we live in.
While our essential workers on the front lines keeping the nuts and bolts of society running and keeping us informed; elements like nature, family, friends, and the arts lift our spirits. Music has the power to inspire, heal, help us process our anger or heartbreak, prompt reflection, or make us grow nostalgic. Therefore, it should continue to be celebrated, even in the tensest of times. Some of my favorite interview subjects have been musicians, because of the philosophical and poetic nature many of them share.
Legendary Poison frontman, Bret Michaels, is one of those people for me. We first met in 2007 when I interviewed him about his then VH1 reality show, Rock of Love. I enjoyed Michael's company then, and thirteen years later I still do. We resumed our conversation as it pertains to his now four-decade multi-platinum-selling music career, how some much-publicized health challenges have strengthened his spirit and resolve, his love of touring and his inexhaustible energy for new projects.
Recently Bret Michael's band Poison, in a joint statement with Motley Crue, Def Leppard and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, announced that their much anticipated 2020 tour would be postponed until 2021. In light of the challenges our nation is facing on several fronts, their official statement reads:
"We wanted to continue to communicate with our fans and update you with valid information as it becomes available. The official decision has been made to move all 2020 North American Stadium Tour dates into the summer of 2021," and concludes with, "Stay tuned, be safe and we will see you next year."
In the interim, Michaels is excited to discuss the recent release of his personal scrapbook memoir, titled, Auto-Scrap-Ography. The book is an amalgamation of Michael's timestamped photographs, inspirational musings, landmark memories, and deep thoughts, penned by the singer, himself.
*Editor's Note: This interview was completed prior to the tragic death of George Floyd.
Allison Kugel: This is the first interview I am releasing since the start of this pandemic. I have been reticent about putting anything entertainment-related out there. But if I am getting back into it, you are a good person to start back up with.
Bret Michaels: We use the words "tough times," but these are also confusing times. Some people are saying "Don’t worry about it," while others like me and you are saying, "Are you and your family safe?" I’m in the highest risk category for COVID-19, being a Type 1 Diabetic since the age of six. So, my whole family have been really good about wearing masks and gloves and being safe until we get closer to the shore, if you know what I mean. I’ve also been trying to inject as much positivity into everything as I can without it sounding phony. I call myself a drealist. I dream and I dream big, but I’m also a realist.
Allison Kugel: I agree with you about injecting positivity into challenging situations. My son has been complaining that he hasn't seen his friends, and he jokes that our lives have become like the movie Groundhog Day. He'll say, "We take the same walk everyday mom!" I say to him, "Look how blue the sky is. Look at that beautiful tree. Try and find the simple things that you may have overlooked under more normal circumstances."
Bret Michaels: One thousand percent! I went out and took pictures with my kids. And recently I got a bucket of paint out because our sports court has needed painting for ten years, and I'd been avoiding it. I’ve put myself into every project I could find. It keeps you positive and it keeps your hands busy. If you are taking a walk and looking at a tree, it keeps your mind on positive stuff. It works.
Allison Kugel: Would you say that some of the things you previously took for granted or overlooked, you are now noticing or rediscovering?
Bret Michaels: Completely. I have a ranch in Arizona, and I went through everything that I have hoarded. I de-hoarded it (laugh). Then I went and started painting stuff. I’m a motor sports, outdoor kind of guy, so I ripped apart engines, like Go Kart engines. I also began noticing some furniture in need of a little love and TLC. I watch all these shows where they do it, and I finally decided to jump in and start restoring some furniture. And music, of course. I love listening to Bob Marley through these times. I listen to Three Little Birds and it just puts me right.
Allison Kugel: I can't speak for other journalists, but for me this work has been a giant case study in the human experience. I've learned that everybody's life has a master theme. Your Type 1 Diabetes has been well documented, as was your brain hemorrhage some years back. You also had some big accidents that required rehabilitation. I feel that your master theme in this life is overcoming limitations of the physical body.
Bret Michaels: That makes sense. When people ask me, "How do you overcome?" I say this is the card I was dealt and rather then become a victim to it and have self-pity, I chose to take the path of being spiritually and mentally positive. I want to go on record and thank my parents for that. My dad was active and a have fun, get it done kind of guy. My mom is the same. She opened the first youth diabetic camp in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania because I was the only kid in my entire class growing up who had diabetes. I send so many kids to diabetic camp so they can see what I experienced. It literally saved and changed my life. I saw other kids with diabetes, and we all learned together, brick by brick, how to find a way to enjoy sports and make it all work. That experience has been used in every application of my life, and in some ways prepared me for the entertainment business.
Allison Kugel: And that is the power of a mom's love. Your mom said, "I'm going to create a camp for my kid so he can have this positive experience." I always say that where other people see problems, I see opportunities. It sounds like your mom is the same way.
Bret Michaels: One million percent, and I hear that in your voice. In our case, diabetes was a part of our lives. My sisters also had it. And even when it comes to work and being on the road, I always say, "Ok, we've established the problem. The guitars didn't show up for our show in Lima, Peru (laugh). We can stand here and keep discussing it and yelling about it, but we have a stadium show in three hours. Let's focus on what we are going to do to solve this." I think you and me together can solve a lot of problems.
Allison Kugel: The right perspective makes all the difference in your life.
Bret Michaels: All the difference! With coronavirus, we don't know the exact date it was created or where it came from, so rather than focus on that, why don't we start focusing on the cities that are doing better, and what places like New York are doing to make it better. We have already established that it's a horrific virus. Now, what do we do to help each other get through it? And the amount of anxiety and depression this has caused, and economic turmoil; we are going to have to keep an eye on each other. We have to have each other's backs.
Allison Kugel: Let's talk about your new book, Auto-Scrap-Ography. You are a ball of kinetic energy. How did you manage to sit down and write this book?
Bret Michaels: Writing a book is one of the toughest things I've ever done, and it's one of the most fulfilling. I wanted to do something unique. I grabbed some timestamped photos. I took blank pieces of paper and I would scotch tape an image to a piece of paper and start writing the story surrounding that image, kind of like a Chicken Soup for the Soul vibe. The reason I didn't write a normal biography, and I love to read those, by the way, is because I could take a picture and write stream of consciousness about what my thoughts were in that moment, what I was going through and what happened. Every picture has a story and every story has multiple tentacles. This book is Volume 1. Over the next volumes I'm going to give you different tentacles of each story and really deep dive into it, so you are living the experience with me.
Allison Kugel: That's an interesting approach. When I wrote my book, I took a different approach. I streamlined passages to focus on one main aspect of a story for the sake of continuity. I'm curious to read your volumes to see how you went about this.
Bret Michaels: It's why yours is unique to you and mine is unique to me. If I tried to write it that way, I would have lost focus. That's why mine is written as a scrapbook. It's an autobiographical scrapbook diary. Some of it are pages of inspirational stuff; some are intense and impactful moments from my life. For example, there are five pages talking about me almost drowning in Caracas, Venezuela. I share with people what was going through my mind when I knew I was in a rip current. I had that fight or flight that happens. I thought that was it. Everyone on the beach thought I was kidding around, because I wasn't that far off the shore. I’m waving frantically and everyone on the beach is partying with their band and crew and they're just waving back at me, and I'm drowning out there.
Allison Kugel: Your life experiences are such double-edged swords. Everything is the good and the bad, or the fun and the scary at the same time.
Bret Michaels: Yes, my life, ironically, has been roses and thorns (a reference to Poison's number one hit ballad, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn"). A rose is this beautiful thing that looks amazing, it brings people life and it means love. And if you grab it the wrong way, or slide your hand down it, you have a painful thorn in your hand. My life has been a perfect balance beam in that way. I remember playing Texas Stadium in front of 83,000 people. It was completely sold out and we shot the I Won't Forget You video with Paul Stanley on stage, and Steven Tyler watching from the side. It was one of those, "This is the greatest!" moments. Life felt like a surreal dream. Two hours later we went from mega Texas Stadium rock star status to playing a small town in either in Texas or New Mexico where there weren't four people in the whole place who knew or cared who or what we were. At the time, it was exactly what I needed to happen to realize this will keep me as grounded as the person that I am today.
Allison Kugel: I so get that. I’m not a public person, but I had gotten into this amazing groove where I was doing dream interview after dream interview, and I had just interviewed Gwen Stefani and was feeling pretty high about everything. Well, shortly thereafter, something happened, nothing terrible, but I got myself arrested and was thrown into a lockup. It was a traumatic experience. I remember being hysterical and I asked the woman if I could use the phone. I was freaking out and I started crying, and she goes, "Can you go cry over there, you're getting on my nerves (laughs).
Bret Michaels: Oh, my goodness (laughs).
Allison Kugel: Yup! I was like, "No, you don't understand I don't belong here. You don't know what I do and who I am." Well, that just made it one hundred times worse!
Bret Michaels: I'm so sorry that happened to you, but truth is stranger than fiction. As I say in my book, I did not need to make stories up for shock value. Some stories I needed to pare down because you would think I'm making it up. I was arrested and went to Walton County Prison (Walton Correctional Institution in Walton County, Florida), with the real inmates. It wasn't the nice holding cell.
Allison Kugel: (Laughs)
Bret Michaels: I had just got done playing what at the time was called Omni Basketball Arena. A guy claimed I ruined his car, that I jumped on his car and smashed his windows. All of it was false. But they didn't ask questions. They just took me in. I had just come off stage and was in a state of shock. I spent two days in there and finally it came out that the guy made the story up. For two days I sat in the corner of that jail cell with about twenty other inmates all packed into a place that only should have held about four people. I sat in a corner with my head down and I didn't say a word. Some people said, "Hey, are you who I think you are?" I was like, "Yeah, no big thing, man, thanks."
Allison Kugel: A humbling experience…
Bret Michaels: A lot of the stories in Auto-Scrap-Ography are stories of how I overcame challenges, and true stories of inspiration. But a large part of my book is, of course, what I like to call a Rock 'n' Roll Thrill Ride. I'd like to think the overriding theme of the book is inspiration; it's telling people that if I can do this you can do it, regardless of what your dream is.
Allison Kugel: Since touring is off the table right now, what other projects are you working on?
Bret Michaels: I am going to be the face of college radio. Each year they pick someone to be the face of it and this year it's me. I also got the Humanitarian of The Year Award last year at the 2019 Hollywood Christmas Parade (Michaels ongoing philanthropic efforts have included delivering needed supplies to the people of the Bahamas and Puerto Rico). Way back when, when no one would touch our records, college radio spun our album. I wanted to do something to show my appreciation. I've also contributed to a lot of school programs, donating to their music, art and athletic programs.
Allison Kugel: One passage that really struck me in your book was when you wrote, "I went from barely being able to afford to feed myself and buy my insulin to touring stadiums." What did you learn from poverty and what have you learned from wealth?
Bret Michaels: From the beginning I was always a guy who thinks positive. I find a way to get it done. When I would run out of insulin and my parents would have to help, or they couldn't send it out in time, I would literally go down to the clinics in Hollywood and they'd give me insulin. It all made me resilient and determined, and most importantly, grateful when the second half came along. Poison and I, we are one of the few bands who were an independent band. My big signing day and signing party for Look What the Cat Dragged (Poison's debut studio album, released August 2, 1986) was sitting on a floor in El Segundo, California shrink wrapping my own albums. You know those stories about private jets and limos? I'd love to tell you that happened, but none of that happened.
Allison Kugel: I think people just assume that any band that goes multiplatinum was signed to a major label. The fact that Poison was independent makes it all the more impressive.
Bret Michaels: I couldn't have been prouder of what I was doing back then. And I didn't know any better. I didn't come from money. I was excited just shrink wrapping those albums I was grateful to have a record. The next thing was college radio played it. Nobody else wanted our music at the time. No one wanted Every Rose Has Its Thorn. No one was fighting to get Talk Dirty to Me or Something to Believe In; songs that eventually became number one songs. No one originally wanted our publishing at first, so we kept our own publishing with a ten percent administration deal with what's now Universal Music Group. It ended up being a humungous blessing.
Allison Kugel: Why do you think you survived your 2010 brain hemorrhage and stroke? I'm sure you've thought about this a lot.
Bret Michaels: First of all, I'm grateful that I lived. Second, I say praise God! It wasn't my time yet. I have more to do and this is where being a diabetic and my fighting spirit came in. Dr. Joseph Zabramski, one of my doctors, said, “I've never seen anybody work as hard in physical therapy to get better.” I hope the reason I survived is so I could show people what it means to fight and not give up. I've always been a grateful guy but that took my gratitude to an unbelievable level, and it also really upped my philanthropic work with my Life Rocks Foundation.
Allison Kugel: You also say in your book that you do have a few regrets. How do you determine a regret versus a lesson, versus something you're proud of, in retrospect?
Bret Michaels: One regret is that I couldn't be there for some of the events my children had at school. I've been to everything I could physically get to, but if it's when you have to play a show and it's also the night my kids are doing a recital, those are the things that I regret. I've never missed a birthday or a Christmas, but some of the other things you do miss. Another regret is a huge fist fight I had with C.C. [DeVille], my guitar player, and he's one of my best friends. It was a lot of time on the road, a lot of heated discussions about what songs we wanted in the set, and little things that fester and turned into a knockdown, drag out, nose breaking, teeth missing fist fight. We are like brothers, and I regret the physical end of it. It didn't need to go there, and it's one of my biggest regrets, especially because it happened twice in the same week, once in New Orleans and once backstage at the MTV Awards.
Allison Kugel: You have an ageless look about you. How do you feel about aging? Are you okay with the aging process?
Bret Michaels: I'm either an aging rocker or a dead rocker (laugh). We are aging from the moment we're born. Aging gracefully, I'll take that any day of the week because it's better than the alternative. I've been aging since we put out Look What the Cat Dragged In. By the time we did Open Up and Say… Ahh! I’d already aged from the first record. As you go along things happen to you, medically. You will not find me being one of those guys saying, "This sucks." I'm just glad I got the chance to age, because a lot of my buddies didn't.
Allison Kugel: Here are the questions I ask everyone and my favorite part of the interview. What do you think you came into this life as Bret Michaels to learn? And what do you think you came here to teach?
Bret Michaels: To learn, I'm going to say something very bold here. I came here to learn as much as I can about everything. One of the things I teach my kids is, "Take it all in, and learn from everybody." I've done that. I go out on my mountain bike and drive around while the road crew is setting stuff up, and I talk to them and find out what they are doing and learn from that. Whether or not I can apply that knowledge right then and there is one thing, but I learn a lot and I enjoy people. As far as teaching, I think if I was to have one other career, and I hope I can segue from what I'm doing now into this, I do these inspirational seminars where I talk about everything under the sun. I talk about what I've gone through and what I go through. With everything I have been through, that is the one thing I can give back and what I want to be able to do. It's what I would have done had this music thing not worked out the way it has. If my life had gone another way and I was just playing music on the weekends, I would have been a teacher of some kind… or a truck driver. I know that sounds crazy, but I love the open road.
Allison Kugel: What do you think your spiritual mission is in this lifetime?
Bret Michaels: I think it's to bring to people as much realistic positivity to people as possible. If you came to a party I'm hosting, as you have been, when you come to my house to a party, I don't want to be the life of the party. I want you to have the time of your life at my party. I think one of the reasons I'm a singer or frontman of a band is I'm a good host to people. I like when people feel good. It makes me feel good.
By Allison Kugel
Photos courtesy of Michaels Entertainment Group
Bret Michael's memoir, Bret Michaels: Auto-Scrap-Ography, is out now and available exclusively at ShopBretMichaels.com. Follow on Instagram @bretmichaelsofficial. Information on Poison's postponed tour dates.
Allison Kugel is a syndicated entertainment columnist and author of the memoir, Journaling Fame: A memoir of a life unhinged and on the record. Follow on Instagram @theallisonkugel and at AllisonKugel.com.
Powerful and petite country-pop artist Andrea Vasquez decided early on that her 2020 vision would be to release empowering and relatable music to her fans. With the release of her new EP titled Love Don’t Live Here, it is clear Andrea is continuing to move forward and deliver on that vision. The EP is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and all other digital retailers now.
Her three previous singles, Sugar Coat It, Runnin’ Wild, and most recent single Now I’m Gone have racked up a combined 170k streams on Spotify and Runnin’ Wild achieved major success by receiving placement on Spotify’s New Music Nashville playlist last year. All three singles will appear on the new EP in addition to a brand-new bonus track Andrea has been looking forward to releasing for her fans called Lesson Learned.
While the main theme of the record is moving on from heartbreak, hence the name Love Don’t Live Here, don’t misinterpret these heartbreak songs for sad songs. In true Andrea Vasquez fashion, the EP is full of sass and powerful vocals as her goal has always been to inspire others through her stories and songs. “When one door closes another one opens, and while I love these songs, I’m excited to put them out there and move forward onto a new chapter in my life,” Andrea says of the record and its theme. She admits she hopes that by releasing this EP into the world, her fans can relate and feel empowered to move on from their own chapters in life that might not be serving them anymore. “Sometimes we tend to stay in these situations in life that don’t help us grow until one day we finally say, ‘I’ve had enough’ and I hope this EP can give listeners the strength to get through those situations.”
Visit Andrea Vasquez at her website and follow along with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Get front row seats to see Kenny — Live and Unplugged – as he performs an intimate, LIVE pay-per-view concert from the historic stage of The Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, CA on Sunday, June 28, 2020 at 7 PM PST / 10PM EST.
A Pay-Per-View live performance benefiting the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, CA.
Enjoy an evening of songs, and the stories behind them while benefiting one of the country’s oldest theatres. A portion of the proceeds will also go to helping support NIVA -The National Independent Venue Association.
Continuing the 50th anniversary of America’s all-time greatest rock ‘n’ roll band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Craft Recordings is honored to unveil a special fan-generated video for the beloved Cosmo’s Factory closer, “Long as I Can See the Light.” In the lead-up to Father’s Day 2020, Creedence fans worldwide were encouraged to submit videos and photos documenting cherished memories with their fathers, grandfathers or other guiding lights in their life.
The tradition of musical inheritance is strong among CCR appreciators: The band’s timeless albums have been proudly passed down from generation to generation. Music’s capacity to draw people together is more important now than ever, so while many may be unable to be physically near their loved ones this Father’s Day, the hope is that this “Long as I Can See the Light” video will help remind families just how deeply they’re connected. Click here to watch the official video now.
One of many hits on Creedence’s legendary fifth studio album, "Long as I Can See the Light" was released in 1970 as part of a double A-side single with "Lookin’ out My Back Door.” Both songs peaked at number two in the U.S., and despite Creedence having never played “Long as I Can See the Light” live, it became a fan favorite. Over the years, the song has taken on different meanings, but John Fogerty has stated that the song is "about the loner in me. Wanting to feel understood, needing those at home to shine a light so that I can make my way back."
Starting in the spring of 1969, Fantasy Records released a prolific string of double A-side CCR singles: The band’s U.S. number two hit “Bad Moon Rising” was accompanied by “Lodi;” “Green River,” which also reached number two, was backed by “Commotion;” the number three hit “Down on the Corner” featured “Fortunate Son” on the flip; and, from Cosmo’s Factory, “Travelin’ Band” was paired with “Who’ll Stop the Rain” and “Up Around the Bend” with “Run Through the Jungle.”
Commemorating the 50th anniversary of Cosmo’s Factory this summer, Craft Recordings is issuing a half-speed master edition of the album, pressed on 180-gram vinyl and set for release on August 14th. The album was mastered at half speed by the award-winning engineer Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios. Available for pre-order now, this audiophile edition of Cosmo’s Factory comes housed in a tip-on jacket, replicating the original packaging.
Released on July 16, 1970, Cosmo’s Factory remarkably stood as Creedence Clearwater Revival’s fifth full-length in two-years. The album, which borrowed its name from drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford (who often referred to the band’s practice space as “The Factory”), followed a highly prolific year for CCR, in which the Berkeley, CA band released three Billboard Top Ten albums in 12 months. Cosmo’s Factory would continue the group’s momentum, taking Clifford, frontman John Fogerty, guitarist Tom Fogerty, and bassist Stu Cook to the height of their success. For the second time, Creedence topped the album chart in the US, while they scored their first No. 1 in the UK, Canada, and Australia, among other territories, firmly cementing their status as international rock stars.
The album also found CCR expanding their sonic territory, with tracks like the seven minute-long psychedelic jam, “Ramble Tamble,” a gritty, 11 minute-long rendition of Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” and the twangy “Lookin’ out My Back Door,” which was a nod to the “Bakersfield Sound” of West Coast country artists like Buck Owens. The folk-tinged “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” meanwhile, harkens back to the era of the Vietnam War, as does the blues-rocker “Run Through the Jungle,” which has been used in a myriad of films, TV, and video games.
Now, a half-century after its release, Cosmo’s Factory will gain a new vibrancy, thanks to the exacting process of half-speed mastering. Using high-res transfers from the original analog tapes, the mastering process involves playing back the audio at half its recorded speed, while the cutting lathe is turned at half the desired playback speed. The technique allows more time to cut a micro-precise groove, resulting in more accuracy with frequency extremes and dynamic contrasts. The result on the turntables is an exceptional level of sonic clarity and punch. This special pressing was previously available only as part of CCR’s collectible, seven-LP Studio Albums Collection box set.
Click here to stream Cosmo’s Factory or pre-order the half-speed mastered vinyl. Special bundles, including an exclusive cover art t-shirt, are available through the Craft Recordings store.
Track list - Cosmo’s Factory:
GRAMMY® winning, Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry members The Oak Ridge Boys are set to host TBN’s July 4th weekend special performing multiple songs, along with guests two time Grammy nominated and GMA Dove award winner Nicole C. Mullen, Grammy award winner Lee Greenwood and joined by co-host Gov. Mike Huckabee. TBN’s Independence Day Weekend Celebration will premiere Saturday, July 3 at 8, 9, 10 and 11pm ET, July 4th at 1pm ET / 10am PT and July 5th at 11pm ET / 8pm PT. In addition, the special will be available to stream on Facebook LIVE on TBN, Gov. Mike Huckabee, The Oak Ridge Boys, Lee Greenwood and Nicole C. Mullen pages. Fans can also look forward to timeless hits performed for all in true social distancing, patriotic style.
“We are looking forward to celebrating our country’s Independence weekend,” says Duane Allen. “The Oak Ridge Boys and Mike Huckabee are co-hosting this special on TBN with very special musical guests!”
“During these times of virus and unrest how cool it will be to gather with The Governor and celebrate America ... on July 4th weekend,” says Joe Bonsall of The Oak Ridge Boys.
“This is such a great opportunity to reach out to America on Independence Day,” says Lee Greenwood. “Thank you Governor Huckabee and The Oak Ridge Boys for allowing me to be on this 4th of July special with you.”
“The Fourth of July reminds me that freedom is never free. It will always cost someone, somewhere a great price,” says Nicole C. Mullen. “Another truth that I have realized is; sometimes you must celebrate the freedom of others, while you press towards your own. Most Americans can trace their liberty back to 1776. As an African American, mine was granted in 1865. As believers in Christ, the price was paid 2,000 years ago, for the greatest eternal emancipation of all...for all who receive it! This year, let’s work towards and celebrate liberty and justice for everyone. He whom the Son sets free, is Free indeed! Tune into TBN as we work towards and Celebrate Freedom for All!”
Tune-in for free on TBN or live stream on TBN.org. TBN is also available on iOS, android, AppleTV, amazon fireTV, Roku or download the TBN app on Google Play or the iOS App Store. For more information, visit tbn.org.
The Oak Ridge Boys on The Grand Ole Opry July 4th
As previously announced, The Grand Ole Opry will celebrate Independence Day as Opry members The Oak Ridge Boys, Sara Evans and Mark Wills step into the circle for the 4,931st consecutive Saturday night broadcast on July 4. The Opry performance is part of America’s Birthday Bash on Circle Network.
The Opry presents the best in country music live every week from Nashville, Tenn. The Opry can be heard at opry.com and wsmonline.com, Opry and WSM mobile apps, SiriusXM, and its flagship home, 650 AM-WSM. The Grand Ole Opry is owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties (NYSE: RHP). For more information, visit opry.com.
About The Oak Ridge Boys:
The Oak Ridge Boys have sold over 41 million units worldwide and are synonymous with “America, apple pie, baseball, and country music.” In addition to their awards and accolades in the country music field, the Oaks have garnered five GRAMMY® Awards, nine GMA DOVE Awards, and two American Music Awards. The group—Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, and Richard Sterban, members of the prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame (2015 Inductees) and the Grand Ole Opry (since 2011)—is known worldwide as one of recording history’s most extraordinary musical successes. They have charted single after single and album after album, celebrating two double-platinum albums and more than 30 Top 10 hits, including No. 1 chart-toppers “Elvira,” “Bobbie Sue,” “Thank God For Kids,” “American Made,” and “Y’All Come Back Saloon,” among dozens more. For more information and to view upcoming tour dates for The Oak Ridge Boys, please visit oakridgeboys.com.
About Lee Greenwood:
Throughout his expansive career, international country music icon Lee Greenwood has earned multiple CMA and ACM Awards, a Grammy Award for Top Male Vocal Performance on “I.O.U,” in 1985, and a multitude of other prestigious award nominations. His discography includes twenty-two studio albums, seven compilation albums, seven No. 1 hits and thirty-eight singles including songs like “It Turns Me Inside Out,” “Ring On Her Finger Time on Her Hands,” “She’s Lyin’,” “I Don’t Mind the Thorns if You’re the Rose,” “Dixie Road,” “Somebody’s Gonna Love You,” “Going Going Gone,” “You Got A Good Love Comin’,” among others.
His stand-out hit “God Bless the U.S.A.” has been in the top five on the country singles charts three times (1991, 2001 and 2003), giving it the distinction of being the only song in any genre of music to achieve that feat. It reached the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart shortly after 9/11. Known for his stand-out patriotism and support of the U.S. Military, Greenwood has been honored with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s National Patriot’s Award, and entertained troops on more than 30 USO Tours. Greenwood was appointed to the council of the National Endowment for the Arts in 2008 by President George W. Bush, confirmed by the United States Senate, and continues to serve on the NEA at the pleasure of the President. His latest book release is a children’s book called Proud To Be An American, which is currently available in stores, on Amazon and leegreenwood.com.
About Nicole C. Mullen:
Nicole C. Mullen has long been known as an undeniably talented artist who is unafraid to be vulnerable and transparent with her audience. She continues a legacy of sincerity and artistic integrity that in the past has been recognized with two Grammy® Award nominations and nine Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, including two Female Vocalist of the Year honors, Song of Year for “Redeemer, and On My Knees”, the Urban Album of the Year for “Everyday People ”, Contemporary Song of the year (Call on Jesus), and the ﬁrst African American female to win Songwriter of the Year for Redeemer. Earlier this year, former Host of Regis and Lee and NBC’s The Today Show, Kathie Lee Gifford along with Nicole C. Mullen, recorded a song they had written together, entitled “The God Who Sees.” Mullen continues to tour around the globe, becoming a highly sought after speaker and singer. Her ministry and travels include France, Belize, England, Jamaica, many nations on the continent of Africa and throughout the USA.
About Gov. Mike Huckabee:
Mike Huckabee is the host of the TV show “Huckabee” on TBN each weekend and is a Fox News contributor, NY Times best selling author of 12 books, and a frequent speaker for corporate, civic, and non-profit groups all over the world. He was the 44th Governor of Arkansas from 1996 until 2007, becoming one of the longest serving Governors in his state’s history. He left a legacy of tax cuts, job creation, the reconstruction of his state’s road system, K-16 education reform, and a nationally heralded and duplicated health initiative that focused on prevention. His administration fought long-standing corruption in the state’s political machine, resulting in numerous indictments and convictions of powerful legislators and other elected officials. He ran in 2008 and 2016 for President, finishing 2nd in the Republican primary in 2008.
About TBN Network:
Trinity Broadcasting Network is the world’s largest and most watched faith-and-family broadcaster, reaching over 175 nations across the earth with inspirational and entertaining programming 24 hours a day in 14 languages and on 32 global networks. As the world’s most influential non-profit religious broadcaster, TBN has led the way in expanding the impact of faith-based television across the earth through the creation of innovative content designed to reach every viewer demographic with the life-changing message of hope and grace. For more information about Trinity Broadcasting Network, visit www.tbn.org.
Multi-platinum selling ICY/Artistry Records/Warner Records rapper Saweetie releases a hot new single and accompanying music video for “Tap In,” a track inspired by fellow Bay Area artist Too Short’s smash “Blow The Whistle.” In the new visual, Saweetie flaunts her Pretty B*tch style and delivers high energy choreography on an iced-out basketball court. Listen to “Tap In” HERE and watch the video HERE.
Saweetie’s forthcoming project Pretty B*tch Music, featuring production by Timbaland and Danja, is slated for release this summer. Pretty B*tch Music is a movement encouraging all women to define their own Pretty; Saweetie’s empowered meaning of B*tch = Boss. Independent. Tough. CEO. Hyphy. Saweetie also continues to expand her Pretty B*tch empire, recently teaming up with PrettyLittleThing for a second collection with the brand titled “At Home With,” and is donating all proceeds to Black Lives Matter.
“Tap In” marks Saweetie’s first record since her 2019 anthem and hit single “My Type,” which took on a life of its own by amassing nearly 5 billion streams. The RIAA double platinum smash hit #1 at Urban and Rhythmic radio, and Top 10 at Pop. Lil Jon and Petey Pablo also joined Saweetie for a stellar performance of the breakout single at the 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards. On Monday, BET announced Saweetie’s nomination for a BET Award in the "Best Female Hip Hop Artist" category.
History in the making as Warner Records announces that one of the most influential and exalted rappers of this era, Freddie Gibbs, partners with its renowned label. The critically acclaimed storyteller will unveil his first release under the newly minted deal very soon.
About his signing, Warner Records SVP of A&R, Norva Denton, commented, “Freddie’s lyricism is unmatched. He operates at an unparalleled prolific pace by consistently dropping quality projects with intensity and intention. He has indisputably become one of the most talked-about and respected artists of his generation. Our team, Aaron Bay-Schuck, and I have the utmost respect for Freddie and his artistry. We’re honored to partner with him for this next chapter and provide a platform for the incredible music to come.”
Freddie shared, “I’m really looking forward to partnering with Warner and working with Aaron. He’s a young progressive label head I can openly share ideas with. It was love and respect from the first meeting and always felt right. We’re working together to take everything to another level for my day one fans as well as the people just now discovering me.”
His manager, Ben "Lambo" Lambert, also adds, “Teaming up with Aaron, Tom Corson, Norva Denton, Julian Petty, Chris Atlas, and the rest of the Warner staff puts us in a strong position to build upon the work we’ve been putting in independently over the past decade or so. We’re excited for the next chapter in our journey.”
This news arrives on the heels of Freddie’s recent collaboration with The Alchemist, Alfredo, which dropped last month. Bestowing a 9.5-out-of-10 score on the project, The Line of Best Fit declared it “a masterpiece” and wrote, “Responsible for some of the greatest hip-hop albums of the early millennium, Freddie Gibbs can do no wrong." NPR raved, “Together, they do in ten tracks what most rappers fail to do in twenty, leave you wishing for leftovers.” Pitchfork awarded it an 8.0 and observed, “Gibbs has been sharpening his raps to the point where it seems like he can slice through any beat." Already, it has garnered 20 million-plus streams and counting.
ABOUT FREDDIE GIBBS:
Freddie Gibbs has carved out a place among hip-hop’s most important, inimitable, and influential voices via quotable wordplay, versatile songs, and unflinching honesty. Since 2004, he has built a diehard global fan base and regularly attracted tastemaker adoration by never compromising. His discography includes 20-plus mixtapes, eight EPs, four official solo albums, and four top-billed collaborative records. 2019's Bandana with Madlib represented a new critical high watermark. After bowing at #21 on the Billboard Top 200, it closed 2019 on year-end lists by Vulture, Vibe, UPROXX, Stereogum, Noisey, SPIN, Complex, and more. GQ called it “one of the best albums of the year” and promised, "Freddie Gibbs will rap circles around anybody.” His momentum only accelerated six months later as Alfredo with The Alchemist drew the same enthusiasm, hitting #4 on the Billboard Top Album Sales chart. He has collaborated with everyone from Pusha T, Killer Mike, Anderson .Paak, and Yasiin Bey to Tyler, The Creator, Gucci Mane, A$AP Ferg, Jay Rock, and Young Thug, in addition to contributing music to blockbuster video game franchises such as Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne, and NBA2K. Teaming up with Warner Records in 2020, he makes another power move on his own terms and launches a bold new chapter.