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Alabama is bordered by the states of Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama has coastline at the Gulf of Mexico, in the extreme southern edge of the state. Additionally, Alabama has four National Forests: Conecuh , Talladega , Tuskegee , and William B. A notable natural wonder in Alabama is "Natural Bridge" rock, the longest natural bridge east of the Rockies , located just south of Haleyville.

This is the Wetumpka crater , the site of "Alabama's greatest natural disaster. The state is classified as humid subtropical Cfa under the Koppen Climate Classification. Temperatures tend to be warmer in the southern part of the state with its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, while the northern parts of the state, especially in the Appalachian Mountains in the northeast, tend to be slightly cooler.

Summers in Alabama are among the hottest in the U. Alabama is also prone to tropical storms and even hurricanes. Areas of the state far away from the Gulf are not immune to the effects of the storms, which often dump tremendous amounts of rain as they move inland and weaken. South Alabama reports many thunderstorms. The Gulf Coast, around Mobile Bay, averages between 70 and 80 days per year with thunder reported. Occasionally, thunderstorms are severe with frequent lightning and large hail ; the central and northern parts of the state are most vulnerable to this type of storm.

Alabama ranks ninth in the number of deaths from lightning and tenth in the number of deaths from lightning strikes per capita. Alabama, along with Oklahoma , has the most reported EF5 tornadoes of any state, according to statistics from the National Climatic Data Center for the period January 1, , to June The state was affected by the Super Outbreak and was devastated tremendously by the Super Outbreak. The Super Outbreak produced a record amount of tornadoes in the state. The tally reached The peak season for tornadoes varies from the northern to southern parts of the state.

Alabama is one of the few places in the world that has a secondary tornado season in November and December, along with the spring severe weather season. The northern part of the state—along the Tennessee Valley—is one of the areas in the U. The area of Alabama and Mississippi most affected by tornadoes is sometimes referred to as Dixie Alley , as distinct from the Tornado Alley of the Southern Plains. Although snow is a rare event in much of Alabama, areas of the state north of Montgomery may receive a dusting of snow a few times every winter, with an occasional moderately heavy snowfall every few years.

In the southern Gulf coast, snowfall is less frequent, sometimes going several years without any snowfall. Alabama is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna , due largely to a variety of habitats that range from the Tennessee Valley , Appalachian Plateau , and Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians of the north to the Piedmont , Canebrake and Black Belt of the central region to the Gulf Coastal Plain and beaches along the Gulf of Mexico in the south.

The state is usually ranked among the top in nation for its range of overall biodiversity. Alabama is in the subtropical coniferous forest biome and once boasted huge expanses of pine forest, which still form the largest proportion of forests in the state.

It is home to nearly 4, pteridophyte and spermatophyte plant species. Indigenous animal species in the state include 62 mammal species , [] 93 reptile species, [] 73 amphibian species, [] roughly native freshwater fish species, [99] and bird species that spend at least part of their year within the state.

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Alabama was 4,, on July 1, , [] which represents an increase of 79,, or 1. Immigration from outside the U. The center of population of Alabama is located in Chilton County , outside the town of Jemison. According to the Census , Alabama had a population of 4,, The racial composition of the state was The largest reported ancestry groups in Alabama are: Based on historic migration and settlement patterns in the southern colonies and states, demographers estimated there are more people in Alabama of Scots-Irish origins than self-reported.

Given the long history of slavery and associated racial segregation, the Native American peoples, who have sometimes been of mixed race, have insisted on having their cultural identification respected. In the past, their self-identification was often overlooked as the state tried to impose a binary breakdown of society into white and black.

The state has officially recognized nine American Indian tribes in the state, descended mostly from the Five Civilized Tribes of the American Southeast. The state government has promoted recognition of Native American contributions to the state, including the designation in for Columbus Day to be jointly celebrated as American Indian Heritage Day. Alabama English is predominantly Southern , [] and is related to South Midland speech which was taken across the border from Tennessee.

In the northern third of the state, there is a South Midland 'arm' and 'barb' rhyming with 'form' and 'orb'. Unique words in Alabama English include: Alabama is located in the middle of the Bible Belt , a region of numerous Protestant Christians. As of [update] , the three largest denominational groups in Alabama are the Southern Baptist Convention , The United Methodist Church , and non-denominational Evangelical Protestant.

In Alabama, the Southern Baptist Convention has the highest number of adherents with 1,,; this is followed by the United Methodist Church with , adherents, non-denominational Evangelical Protestant with , adherents, and the Catholic Church with , adherents. Many Baptist and Methodist congregations became established in the Great Awakening of the early 19th century, when preachers proselytized across the South. The Assemblies of God had almost 60, members, the Churches of Christ had nearly , members.

The Presbyterian churches , strongly associated with Scots-Irish immigrants of the 18th century and their descendants, had a combined membership around 75, PCA — 28, members in congregations, PC USA — 26, members in congregations, [] the Cumberland Presbyterian Church — 6, members in 59 congregations, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America — 5, members and 50 congregations plus the EPC and Associate Reformed Presbyterians with members and 9 congregations.

Jews have been present in what is now Alabama since , during the colonial era of Mobile, when Sephardic Jews immigrated from London. It was formally recognized by the state legislature on January 25, Jewish denominations in the state include two Orthodox , four Conservative , ten Reform , and one Humanistic synagogue.

Muslims have been increasing in Alabama, with 31 mosques built by , many by African-American converts. There are six Dharma centers and organizations for Theravada Buddhists. This area has attracted an influx of refugees from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam during the s and thereafter.

Dealy, who moved from Chicago to Fairhope. The state has invested in aerospace, education, health care, banking, and various heavy industries, including automobile manufacturing, mineral extraction, steel production and fabrication.

The number of private farms has declined at a steady rate since the s, as land has been sold to developers, timber companies, and large farming conglomerates. Non-agricultural employment in was , in management occupations; 71, in business and financial operations; 36, in computer-related and mathematical occupation; 44, in architecture and engineering; 12, in life, physical, and social sciences; 32, in community and social services; 12, in legal occupations; , in education, training, and library services; 27, in art, design and media occupations; , in healthcare; 44, in fire fighting, law enforcement, and security; , in food preparation and serving; 76, in building and grounds cleaning and maintenance; 53, in personal care and services; , in sales; , in office and administration support; 20, in farming, fishing, and forestry; , in construction and mining, gas, and oil extraction; , in installation, maintenance, and repair; , in production; and , in transportation and material moving.

According to the U. Alabama's GDP increased 1. The single largest increase came in the area of information. The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.

In February , the state passed legislation that prevents Alabama municipalities from raising the minimum wage in their locality. As of , Alabama has the sixth highest poverty rate among states in the U.

The five employers that employed the most employees in Alabama in April were: The next twenty largest employers, as of [update] , included: Alabama's agricultural outputs include poultry and eggs, cattle, fish, plant nursery items, peanuts, cotton, grains such as corn and sorghum , vegetables, milk, soybeans , and peaches. Although known as " The Cotton State ", Alabama ranks between eighth and tenth in national cotton production , according to various reports, [] [] with Texas , Georgia and Mississippi comprising the top three.

Alabama's industrial outputs include iron and steel products including cast-iron and steel pipe ; paper, lumber , and wood products; mining mostly coal ; plastic products; cars and trucks; and apparel. Marshall Space Flight Center and the U. Army Materiel Command , headquartered at Redstone Arsenal.

A great deal of Alabama's economic growth since the s has been due to the state's expanding automotive manufacturing industry. International , and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama , as well as their various suppliers. Since , the automobile industry has generated more than 67, new jobs in the state. Alabama currently ranks 4th in the nation for vehicle exports. Automakers accounted for approximately a third of the industrial expansion in the state in The strongest model sales during this period were the Hyundai Elantra compact car, the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class sport utility vehicle and the Honda Ridgeline sport utility truck.

Steel have facilities in Alabama and employ over 10, people. The company also operates terminals in Mobile, Melvin, and Moundville. The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company operates a large plant in Gadsden that employs about 1, people. It has been in operation since Construction began in , with plans for it to become operable by and produce up to 50 aircraft per year by An estimated 20 million tourists visit the state each year.

Over , of these are from other countries, including from Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. Birmingham also serves as the headquarters for several large investment management companies, including Harbert Management Corporation. The company has over 6, employees and more than 1, contract employees. Harbert International , which all routinely are included in the Engineering News-Record lists of top design, international construction, and engineering firms. The foundational document for Alabama's government is the Alabama Constitution , which was ratified in At almost amendments and , words, it is by some accounts the world's longest constitution and is roughly forty times the length of the United States Constitution.

There has been a significant movement to rewrite and modernize Alabama's constitution. Most counties do not have home rule. Any policy changes proposed in different areas of the state must be approved by the entire Alabama legislature and, frequently, by state referendum.

One criticism of the current constitution claims that its complexity and length intentionally codify segregation and racism. Alabama's government is divided into three coequal branches. The legislative branch is the Alabama Legislature , a bicameral assembly composed of the Alabama House of Representatives , with members, and the Alabama Senate , with 35 members.

The Legislature is responsible for writing, debating, passing, or defeating state legislation. The Republican Party currently holds a majority in both houses of the Legislature. The Legislature has the power to override a gubernatorial veto by a simple majority most state Legislatures require a two-thirds majority to override a veto. Until , the state elected state senators on a geographic basis by county, with one per county.

It had not redistricted congressional districts since passage of its constitution in ; as a result, urbanized areas were grossly underrepresented. It had not changed legislative districts to reflect the decennial censuses, either.

Sims , the US Supreme Court implemented the principle of " one man, one vote ", ruling that congressional districts had to be reapportioned based on censuses as the state already included in its constitution but had not implemented.

Further, the court ruled that both houses of bicameral state legislatures had to be apportioned by population, as there was no constitutional basis for states to have geographically based systems. At that time, Alabama and many other states had to change their legislative districting, as many across the country had systems that underrepresented urban areas and districts. This had caused decades of underinvestment in such areas.

Through the legislative delegations, the Alabama legislature kept control of county governments. The executive branch is responsible for the execution and oversight of laws. It is headed by the Governor of Alabama. The current governor of the state is Republican Kay Ivey. The office of lieutenant governor is currently vacant. The members of the Legislature take office immediately after the November elections. Statewide officials, such as the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and other constitutional officers, take office the following January.

The judicial branch is responsible for interpreting the Constitution and applying the law in state criminal and civil cases. The state's highest court is the Supreme Court of Alabama. Alabama uses partisan elections to select judges. Since the s judicial campaigns have become increasingly politicized. There are two intermediate appellate courts , the Court of Civil Appeals and the Court of Criminal Appeals, and four trial courts: Some critics believe that the election of judges has contributed to an exceedingly high rate of executions.

In some years, it imposes more death sentences than does Texas , a state which has a population five times larger. Alabama levies a 2, 4, or 5 percent personal income tax , depending upon the amount earned and filing status. Taxpayers are allowed to deduct their federal income tax from their Alabama state tax, and can do so even if taking the standard deduction.

Taxpayers who file itemized deductions are also allowed to deduct the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax Social Security and Medicare tax. Most states exempt groceries from sales tax or apply a lower tax rate. Alabama's income tax on poor working families is among the highest in the United States. The corporate income tax rate is currently 6. The overall federal, state, and local tax burden in Alabama ranks the state as the second least tax-burdened state in the country.

The current state constitution requires a voter referendum to raise property taxes. Since Alabama's tax structure largely depends on consumer spending, it is subject to high variable budget structure. Alabama has 67 counties. Each county has its own elected legislative branch, usually called the county commission. It also has limited executive authority in the county.

Because of the constraints of the Alabama Constitution , which centralizes power in the state legislature, only seven counties Jefferson, Lee, Mobile, Madison, Montgomery, Shelby, and Tuscaloosa in the state have limited home rule.

Instead, most counties in the state must lobby the Local Legislation Committee of the state legislature to get simple local policies approved, ranging from waste disposal to land use zoning. The state legislature has retained power over local governments by refusing to pass a constitutional amendment establishing home rule for counties, as recommended by the Alabama Constitutional Commission.

United States Supreme Court decisions in Baker v. Carr required that both houses have districts established on the basis of population, and redistricted after each census, in order to implement the principle of "one man, one vote".

Before that, each county was represented by one state senator, leading to under-representation in the state senate for more urbanized, populous counties. The rural bias of the state legislature, which had also failed to redistrict seats in the state house, affected politics well into the 20th century, failing to recognize the rise of industrial cities and urbanized areas.

Alabama's constitution has been amended more than times, and almost one-third of the amendments are local in nature, applying to only one county or city.

A significant part of each legislative session is spent on local legislation, taking away time and attention of legislators from issues of statewide importance.

Alabama is an alcoholic beverage control state , meaning that the state government holds a monopoly on the sale of alcohol. The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board controls the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages in the state.

Twenty-five of the 67 counties are " dry counties " which ban the sale of alcohol, and there are many dry municipalities even in counties which permit alcohol sales. In , the political coalition of white Democrats known as the Redeemers took control of the state government from the Republicans, in part by suppressing the black vote through violence, fraud and intimidation.

After , a coalition of White Democratic politicians passed laws to segregate and disenfranchise African American residents, a process completed in provisions of the constitution.

Provisions which disenfranchised blacks resulted in excluding many poor Whites. By more Whites than Blacks had been disenfranchised: The total effects were greater on the black community, as almost all of its citizens were disfranchised and relegated to separate and unequal treatment under the law. From through the s, the state did not redraw election districts as population grew and shifted within the state during urbanization and industrialization of certain areas.

As counties were the basis of election districts, the result was a rural minority that dominated state politics through nearly three-quarters of the century, until a series of federal court cases required redistricting in to meet equal representation.

Alabama state politics gained nationwide and international attention in the s and s during the civil rights movement , when whites bureaucratically, and at times violently, resisted protests for electoral and social reform. Governor George Wallace , the state's only four-term governor, was a controversial figure who vowed to maintain segregation.

Only after passage of the federal Civil Rights Act of [73] and Voting Rights Act of did African Americans regain the ability to exercise suffrage, among other civil rights.

In many jurisdictions, they continued to be excluded from representation by at-large electoral systems, which allowed the majority of the population to dominate elections. Some changes at the county level have occurred following court challenges to establish single-member districts that enable a more diverse representation among county boards.

In , the Alabama Legislature passed, and Republican Governor Bob Riley signed a resolution expressing "profound regret" over slavery and its lingering impact. In , Republicans won control of both houses of the legislature for the first time in years, after a nearly complete realignment of political parties, who represent different visions in the 21st century. As of December , there are a total of 3,, registered voters, with 2,, active, and the others inactive in the state. With the disfranchisement of Blacks in , the state became part of the " Solid South ", a system in which the Democratic Party operated as effectively the only viable political party in every Southern state.

Since the mid to late 20th century, however, there has been a realignment among the two major political parties, and white conservatives started shifting to the Republican Party. In Alabama, majority-white districts are now expected to regularly elect Republican candidates to federal, state and local office. Members of the nine seats on the Supreme Court of Alabama [] and all ten seats on the state appellate courts are elected to office.

Until , no Republicans held any of the court seats. In that general election, the then-incumbent Chief Justice, Ernest C. Hornsby , refused to leave office after losing the election by approximately 3, votes to Republican Perry O. Hornsby sued Alabama and defiantly remained in office for nearly a year before finally giving up the seat after losing in court. This ultimately led to a collapse of support for Democrats at the ballot box in the next three or four election cycles.

The Democrats lost the last of the nineteen court seats in August with the resignation of the last Democrat on the bench. In the early 21st century, Republicans hold all seven of the statewide elected executive branch offices. Republicans hold six of the eight elected seats on the Alabama State Board of Education. In , Republicans took large majorities of both chambers of the state legislature, giving them control of that body for the first time in years.

The last remaining statewide Democrat, who served on the Alabama Public Service Commission was defeated in Only two Republican Lieutenant Governors have been elected since the end of Reconstruction, when Republicans generally represented Reconstruction government, including the newly emancipated freedmen who had gained the franchise.

The two GOP Lt. Governors were Steve Windom — and Kay Ivey Many rural counties have voters who are majority Democrats, resulting in local elections being decided in the Democratic primary. Similarly many metropolitan and suburban counties are majority-Republican and elections are effectively decided in the Republican Primary, although there are exceptions.

Alabama's 67 County Sheriffs are elected in partisan, at-large races, and Democrats still retain the narrow majority of those posts. The current split is 35 Democrats , 31 Republicans , and one Independent Fayette. The state's two U. Shelby and Democrat Doug Jones. Shelby was originally elected to the Senate as a Democrat in and re-elected in , but switched parties immediately following the November general election.

House of Representatives , the state is represented by seven members, six of whom are Republicans: Bradley Byrne , Mike D. Rogers , Robert Aderholt , Morris J. Terri Sewell who represents the Black Belt as well as most of the predominantly black portions of Birmingham , Tuscaloosa and Montgomery.

Public primary and secondary education in Alabama is under the purview of the Alabama State Board of Education as well as local oversight by 67 county school boards and 60 city boards of education. Together, 1, individual schools provide education for , elementary and secondary students. Public school funding is appropriated through the Alabama Legislature through the Education Trust Fund. While Alabama's public education system has improved in recent decades, it lags behind in achievement compared to other states.

Although unusual in the West, school corporal punishment is not uncommon in Alabama, with 27, public school students paddled at least one time, according to government data for the — school year. Alabama's programs of higher education include 14 four-year public universities, two-year community colleges, and 17 private, undergraduate and graduate universities. Colleges and universities in Alabama offer degree programs from two-year associate degrees to a multitude of doctoral level programs.

The largest single campus is the University of Alabama , located in Tuscaloosa , with 37, enrolled for fall Viewers in eastern Alabama are served by stations in Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia.

In the season, Alabama averaged over , fans per game and Auburn averaged over 80, fans, both numbers among the top 20 in the nation in average attendance. Alabama has several professional and semi-professional sports teams, including three minor league baseball teams. It has a seating capacity of , and is the thirteenth largest stadium in the world and sixth largest stadium in America.

For rail transport, Amtrak schedules the Crescent , a daily passenger train, running from New York to New Orleans with station stops at Anniston , Birmingham , and Tuscaloosa.

Alabama has six major interstate roads that cross the state: I enters the state from Mississippi and connects Birmingham with Memphis, Tennessee. In addition, there are currently five auxiliary interstate routes in the state: A sixth route, I , will be formed when I is rerouted along a new southern bypass of Montgomery.

A proposed northern bypass of Birmingham will be designated as I Since a direct connection from I to I will not be possible, I has been proposed, as well. Highways also pass through the state, such as U. There are four toll roads in the state: The Port of Mobile , Alabama's only saltwater port, is a large seaport on the Gulf of Mexico with inland waterway access to the Midwest by way of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

The Port of Mobile was ranked 12th by tons of traffic in the United States during From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 28 October This article is about the U. For other uses, see Alabama disambiguation. List of Alabama counties and Geology of Alabama. List of metropolitan areas of Alabama. List of cities and towns in Alabama. Further information on Christianity in Alabama: Alabama locations by per capita income. List of counties in Alabama.

United States presidential election in Alabama, List of colleges and universities in Alabama. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. Alabama media and List of newspapers in Alabama. List of professional sports teams in Alabama. Retrieved 21 September The Battle of Gettysburg. Retrieved July 21, Retrieved June 22, Retrieved December 9, Retrieved October 20, United States Geological Survey.

Archived from the original on October 15, Retrieved October 21, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. Retrieved 21 January United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 10, Retrieved September 22, University of Alabama Press.

Alabama Department of Industrial Relations. Archived from the original PDF on January 17, Indian Place Names in Alabama. Dictionary of the Alabama Language. University of Texas Press. Archived from the original on October 24, Alabama Department of Archives and History.

Archived from the original on June 28, Retrieved August 2, A Historical Album of Alabama. A Documentary History to Atkins; Wayne Flynt Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin. Archived from the original on August 4, Retrieved October 3, Native American placenames of the United States. University of Oklahoma Press. The New York Times Almanac Archived from the original on October 16, Retrieved September 23, Hero, Hawk, and Open Hand.

Kent Reilly and James Garber, eds. Ancient Objects and Sacred Realms. Uses authors parameter link CS1 maint: Archived from the original on October 12, Archived from the original on August 25, Retrieved July 27, Archived from the original on August 22, Retrieved June 1, The Old Southwest — University of New Mexico Press.

Georgia Land Surveying History and Law. University of Georgia Press. History of Alabama and incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi, from the earliest period. Retrieved June 21, The Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved January 22, A Cahawba Advisory Committee Project.

Archived from the original on January 17, Southern Spaces Internet Journal. Archived from the original on July 16, Retrieved July 8, A Guide to the Early Architecture of the State. Abolition of Slavery ". Archived from the original on October 31, Alabama Moments in American History. The Shaping of Southern Politics: Poor Whites and Suffrage Restriction in Alabama. University of Georgia Press, , p. A Concise History 4th ed. Archived from the original on May 19, Retrieved January 31, Archived from the original on Gray, Edward Still, and Huey L.

Perry, "Alabama" in Quiet Revolution in the South , pp. University of Alabama Press, Retrieved March 10, ". Archived from the original on October 17, Retrieved October 24, Carr and Legislative Apportionments: A Problem of Standards". The Yale Law Journal.

Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement. Archived from the original on October 21, Archived from the original on February 21, Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density areas ranked by population: Geography of the States.

Archived from the original on September 17, Archived from the original on January 16, A movie based on the book was halted after a tragic railroad accident during filming. Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones underwent surgery May 25 to remove a lesion on his lung. Doictors say additional treatment will not be necessary and te surgery will not affect the upcoming Stones tour.

The Corona, California native first married at the age of 16 and was the father of actor of actor James Parks. On television he had a recurring role on "Twin Peaks". As a singer he recorded eight albums, though he never returned to the charts after his one hit single.

Barry Manilow has been forced to postpone shows in Los Angeles and Chicago May 14 and 17 to rest his strained vocal cords. Again, the dates will be made up. And Tony Bennett canceled a concert in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania scheduled for May 13 because of the flu. However, the hotel originally opened under that name in , though the name has changed several times over the years.

The suit contends that new owners went back to the name in and have tried to profit from an association with the band's tune, including the sale of memorabilia. The lawsuit is seeking an injuction, all related profits and relief. Guitarist Craig Chaquico, founding member of Jefferson Starship, filed suit in San Francisco April 27 against former bandmates David Freiberg and Donny Baldwin for using the group's name without permission.

Craig joined the offshoot of Jefferson Airplane in after having played on projects with Paul Kantner and Grace Slick and continued with them during the name change to Starship.

Craig says they agreed to retire the Starship name, though Paul was granted a temporary license that expired with his death last year. Elton John spent two days in intensive care in a Las Vegas hospital with a serious bacterial infection before being released Saturday April He has cancelled his Las Vegas engagements for the next two months as he combats the illness, which he contracted recently in South America.

He will return to performing June 3. This was the home Elvis owned before buying Graceland. The house was unoccupied at the time. Efforts to revive the 72 year-old proved fruitless. The Detroit native was John Geils, guitarist and leader of the J. Death was believed to be from natural causes. Meanwhile, their energetic live shows opening for bands like the Byrds and the Allman Brothers Band won them a strong following. But with a more new-wave sound in the '80s they achieved their greatest success.

However, Wolf left for a solo career that year and within two years the group disbanded. They reunited several times in the 's, although John sued them at one point for touring under his name without him. John spent much of his time restoring old cars, but did record two albums with Magic Dick under the name Bluestime. The group had been nominated twice for the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, but has yet to be selected.

Stevie Wonder has announced that he will get married for the third time on June The 66 year-old will marry 42 year-old Tomeeka Bracy in Jamaica. She is the mother of his three year-old daughter. Stevie's nine children will serve as bridesmaids and groomsmen. She had suffered from fibromyalgia for many years. She was born in Klamath Falls, Oregon and grew up in Anchorage, Alaska before moving near San Diego, where she formed the Originals while still in high school.

Adding a melody, the group traveled to San Marcos, California and recorded a demo. The haunting saxophone part was actually by bassist Tony Gomez because the real sax player couldn't make the trip-- having to mow his parents' lawn!

The song was picked up by Highland records and reached 5 in Convinced that she could make it a a solo singer, Rosie listed as "formerly with The Originals" recorded "Lonely Blue Nights", which made it to 66 that year on Brunswick Records. Rosie grew weary of the recording business having seen little, if any, money for her efforts and settled down with her guitar player, Noah Tafolla to start a family in She went on to become an art teacher. She was just shy of her 71st birthday. Born in Sherman Oaks, California, her father was the leendary Carl Fischer, well-known composer and pianist and her mother was big band singer Terry Fischer.

Along with her sister Carol and neighbor Sally Gordon, they were hired by friend Mike Post to provide backup vocal on sessions he produced at Gold Star Studios.

But when the follow-up single, "Heartbreak Ahead", bubbled-under the national chart at , the group's brief career was over though Fowley released other singles under the name by other singers. Terry went on to collage and recorded with the Brazilian-themed group, the Carnival.

She also sang backup for various TV shows and in concert before reforming the group in and playing the oldies circuit. Billy, the youngest of 19 children, was born in Wilmington, South Carolina. While he charted four more times on the Hot , none of the tunes broke out of the top 90 and by he quit music, eventually opening a soul food restaurant in Harlem.

The Philadelphia native was Born in Trinidad, Clem came to England when he was 15 and became a professional boxer. He joined a local group, The Ramong Sound as a backup singer but, after many changes he emerged as the lead singer and the group was now called the Foundations.

After a solo career, he went on to perform in musicals in London's West End. Eric Clapton was forced to postpone shows at the Los Angeles Forum Saturday March 25 and Sunday because of a severe case of bronchitis. The concerts have been rescheduled for September. But Chuck's later job as overseer of "American Bandstand" for ABC-TV after the payola scandal nearly came to an end when a song he wrote, "Palisades Park" recorded by Freddy Cannon became a hit on the show and across the country.

In addition to his game shows, he also produced Bobby Vinton's syndicated variety TV show from Paramedics were called to the home and found the 90 year-old unresponsive and could not revive him. Louis not Santa Clarita, California as he said to a young lady who later became his publicist in order to impress her , he was studying to be a beautician when he traveled to Chicago and hooked up with Muddy Waters and, through him, impressed Leonard Chess of Chess Records.

An adaptation by Chuck of the country tune "Ida Red" that he called "Maybellene", became a 5 hit for him in Amazingly, his only 1 hit was the live recording in London of the risque tune, "My Ding-A-Ling" in Along the way, Chuck who was incarcerated in for armed robbery was jailed for taking an underaged girl across state lines for an immoral purpose in and income tax evasion in His recording of "Johnny B.

Goode" was included on a "golden record" sent along with the Voyager I spacecraft which is presently outside our solar system. Gerry was helped offstage after telling the audience he was scheduled to undergo knee surgery next week. He did not return and a spokesperson said only that he was "ill".

The group postponed a concert for Friday night in Weymouth. The 74 year-old underwent a heart bypass operation in and a valve replacement five years ago. No cause of death was immediately known. Joni, along with her sisters Debra, Kim and Kathy, formed the group in in Philadelphia, initially recording for Money Records. It was immediately followed by "We Are Family" But six more chart appearances yielded only one more hit, a cover of Mary Wells' "My Guy" 23 in Kathy left for a solo career in , but the remaining three sisters continued performing.

The Brooklyn native was believed to be After leaving the Fireflies in , Ritchie continued with a solo career, releasing records for the next twenty years. Petersburg, Florida after suffering a heart attack. He was also known as "The Father of Jazz Ukulele" for his work with his first love. He claims she forced him to tour despite poor health and otherwise kept him at home in moldy conditions that forced him to use oxygen.

Congratulations to the inductees into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, announced Wednesday February In addition, Jay-Z became the first rapper to be inducted.

Induction will take place June 15 in New York. David Cassidy revealed Monday February 20 that he is suffering from dementia. The 66 year-old says his grandfather and mother battled the disease as well. On Saturday, David appeared to slur his words and fall of the stage at a concert in Agoura, California. He told the concert-goers that he was retiring from performing. It's not known what role his dementia played in the performance. Dave left school to join the group-- which charted several times from to , when he left to play with a series of other northwest Ohio bands.

After retiring from music to lead a more normal life he had a long career with Libbey-Owens-Ford Company. He performed only twice more in the last fifty years. After being diagnosed with his tumor, Peter was ordained a priest by the Church of England last October, fulfilling his lifelong dream. Walter "Junie" Morrison, keyboardist with the Ohio Players from to and musical director with Parliament-Funkadelic from to , has died at the age of Details were not forthcoming.

The current members of the Three Degrees filed suit February 7 against Sony Entertainment and the widow of the manager, alleging they never received royalties for their recordings, including "When Will I See You Again".

They claim that their manager and now his widow kept the monies owed and that Sony knew about it and never informed the group of their rights. Rick Deringer was charged Friday February 10 with having a loaded gun in his carry-on bag on a flight from Cancun January 9.

The gun was discovered at a stop in Atlanta. Apparently, Rick had the gun on his flight from Sarasota, Florida through Atlanta and to Mexico, as well. The screener in Florida has been terminated. Rick, who has a Florida permit for the gun, told air marshals he travels times a year with the gun and has never been stopped. A criminal complaint has been filed. Sonny Geraci, lead singer of the Outsiders and later, Climax, died Sunday February 5 nearly four years after suffering a brain aneurysm.

The Outsiders started as a Cleveland band called the Starfires, who changed their name in when they signed with Capitol Records. Three subsequent singles only "bubbled under" the hot chart, as did another on Bell Records with Sonny and a re-formed Outsiders the original group had broken up at this point listing him as lead singer.

A legal battle over the name ensued and Sonny changed this new group now based in Los Angeles to Climax. In , they recorded "Precious And Few". But the record sat on the shelves for nearly two years before being released by Bell Records' Carousel label, thanks to airplay in Santa Barbara, California.

The song zoomed to 3 in early but the follow-up, "Life And Breath" on Rocky Road Records same label as Carousel with a different name only reached 52 that year and Sonny saw his second group disband in Sonny recorded one album as Peter Emmett before essential leaving music for 25 years.

He later returned to play the oldies circuit as both the Outsiders and Climax. He even filled at one point for Rob Grill in the Grass Roots before a aneurysm ended his career. A tribute concert was held in Streetsboro, Ohio in November of to help with his medical expenses. Born in San Francisco, Bobby began recording at the age of 14 with a doo-wop group called the Romancers, who had three releases on Dootone and Baytone Records.

He later formed the West Coast Vocaleers to even less success. But it was as a solo artist that Jubilee Records heard some demos he recorded and signed Bobby, releasing a more polished version of "Do You Want To Dance". It was followed by "S-W-I-M" , but subsequent releases merely "bubbled under" the Hot charts. After graduating from Ohio State University and serving in the U. As a sideline, he recorded under the name Joey Rogers in to no success.

Joey went on to form a booking agency and worked as a music producer, winning a Dove Award in with the group Whitecross. By then he had received his divinity degree, founded a Church in Keyport, New Jersey and served as a missionary in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he started an orphanage. The Jacksonville, Florida-born Butch was 69 and had four children and four great grandchildren.

The Birmingham, England native was The glam-rock group, produced by David Bowie, charted twice more in the U. And Ronald "Bingo" Mundy, tenor singer with the Marcels on their tunes "Blue Moon" , "Summertime" and "Heartaches , died Friday January 20 of pneumonia at a Pittsburgh hospital at the age of For their part, Sony said the lawsuit was "unnecessary and premature" and said they were "disappointed" by his actions.

A statue of the late Cilla Black was unveiled Monday January 16 outside Liverpool's Cavern Club where the singer once worked in the cloakroom. The statue was funded by her three sons and donated to the city. Cilla died 17 months ago at the age of A plaque at the bottom reads "You're My World" in honor of her biggest hit.

Richie Ingui, one of the vocalists in the Soul Survivors along with his brother Charlie and Kenny Jeremiah , died on Friday January 13 of unspecified causes.

By the '70s, the group had disbanded and Richie became a house painted. He kept his hand in music, though and re-formed the group with his brother in the '90s, performing until his death. The two were walking across the train tracks en route to a concert they were performing there.

The two were said to be "responsive and being treated at a local hospital. The Owasso, Oklahoma native was Tommy was scheduled to perform again this year at the Surf Ballroom on the anniversary of Buddy's death, as he had done many times in the past. Over the years he played with many other musicians such as Roy Orbison and Willie Nelson and, at one time, had a nightclub called the "Heads Up" after the coin flip that saved his life. Armando "Buddy" Greco, the Philadelphia crooner who started out singing with Benny Goodman for four years on tunes like "It Isn't Fair", and-- as a solo artist-- was best remembered for "Ooh!

Buddy originally appeared on radio at the age of five and studied to be a pianist before stepping up as a vocalist. Lonely" , which Bobby Vinton reclaimed as a hit in He had been suffering with cancer and Alzheimer's Disease. Ray Davies of the Kinks will receive a knighthood for "services to the arts". Lest you take it all too seriously, Victoria Posh Spice Beckham of the Spice Girls will be given an Officer of the Order of the British Empire medal for "services to the fashion industry.

The class of will be chosen beginning next September. Mary Frances Debbie Reynolds was rushed to a hospital in Los Angeles Wednesday December 28 where she passed away one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, died from a heart attack suffered December Carrie was also the daughter of the late singer Eddie Fisher and ex-wife of singer Paul Simon.

As a singer, Debbie was best remembered for singing the theme song from her movie, "Tammy And The Bachelor". But it was as a stage and screen actress that the El Paso, Texas native made her mark.

On stage, she was nominated for a Tony award for her leading performance in "Irene". She was awarded two stars for theatre and for film on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He had a severe infection following a fall that injured his shoulder. Rick and Frances Rossi formed the group in and, while they had only one top 40 hit in the U. The city's mayor was on hand for the honorary dedication and presented Stevie with the key to the city. The group, known for their long, dyed-blonde hair, were originally formed as Ricky Knight and the Crusaders after their original lead singer, but changed to a play-on-words of their home town.

Produced by Americans Hugo and Luigi, they broke up in The Broadway production of "Jersey Boys: The Story of the Four Seasons", will close January 15 after 11 years and 4, performances. It's the 12th longest-running musical in Broadway history. The Springfield, Missouri-born Jim was Jim retired from broadcasting in and served on the board of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

He was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Ralph Johnson, a member of the Impressions from and died Sunday December 4 at the age of Though primarily an album-oriented band including the classics "Pictures At An Exhibition" and "Brain Salad Surgery" , they charted four times on the singles charts, as well, with staples like "Lucky Man" and and "From The Beginning" - with Greg producing most of their material. The group broke up in having sold a reported 49 million records and earning 7 gold records though Greg and Keith re-formed ELP with Cozy Powell in Mick also has five grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

The award was "created to celebrate critically acclaimed artists who have used their talents for personal artistic expression and whose bodies of work have contributed to our society in a singular manner. Mentor was in a relationship with singer Lynn Anderson from the '80s through her death last year. The Lawton, Oklahoma native was Leon learned to play piano at the age of four and while in high school in Tulsa, played in a group with David Gates of Bread and later in one with J.

As a recording artists Leon charted 11 times, including "Tight Rope" and "Lady Blue" Doug Edwards, Guitarist with the Canadian group Skylark and co-writer of their only American hit, "Wildflower" , died Friday November 11 in Vancouver at the age of He had heart bypass surgery in February and was being treated for cancer. When the group broke up in , Doug continued working as a session musician and for the last 20 years played with Chilliwack. Born in Westmount, Quebec, he sang with a folk trio in Canada before completing his education and moving to the Greek isle of Hydra, where he novels and books of poetry.

It was meeting Judy Collins in New York that got one of his poems-set-to-music, "Suzanne", recorded in That led to his own recording career. Though none of his singles ever charted and none of his four charted albums ever got any higher than 63, he was an influence on many singers and songwriters-- so much so that he was elected to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in As a recording artist himself, he charted with the TV theme "Bonanza 19 in and the movie theme "The Magnificent Seven" All told, the Jersey City, New Jersey native recorded over 50 albums.

He played on hundreds of commercial jingles and issued a series of best-selling guitar instruction books. Born Katherine Laverne Starks in Dougherty, Oklahoma, she sang on the radio as a child in Dallas and Memphis before settling in under her new name as a girl vocalist with Joe Venuti's orchestra at the age of Stints with other bands followed, including Glen Miller and Bob Crosby, before Kay signed a solo contract with Capitol Records in Hits like "Hoop-De-Doo" and "Bonaparte's Retreat" followed and in she switched to RCA Records, only to see her chart popularity wane in the face of rock 'n' roll music.

She continued to perform onstage for many years and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Billie Holiday herself once remarked that Kay Starr was "the only white woman that could sing the blues". John is still remembered for the novelty hit, "Dinner With Drac" 6. Continuing his career with his brother and friend as the Shadows he was lead singer since he knew all the words , the group even hired a young Bob Dylan calling himself Elston Gunnn to play piano.

But Bob's piano skills were limited and pianos weren't very portable in those days, so he soon left. The Shadows with Bobby getting top billing recorded a tune called "Suzie Baby" in , which was released by Soma Records in Minneapolis and picked up for national distribution by Liberty Records. Though it only reached 77, it encouraged Liberty to continue working with the group. All told, Bobby charted 38 times in 12 years.

He was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in Winners will be announced in December with induction in April. Induction will take place next June in New York City. Robert "Big Sonny" Edwards, founding member of Philadelphia's Intruders, died Saturday October 15 from a heart attack at the age of Originally formed in as a doo-wop group, the group recorded for Gowen Records before coming to the attention of producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, who signed them to their newly formed Gamble label in Big Sonny left the group in to devote himself to his religion.

Diminutive Canadian singer Pat Hervey has died of cancer. The 5'3" Pat was a protTgT of Chet Atkins and, while she never charted in the states, appeared four times on the charts in her native Toronto Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature Thursday October 13 , the first American to be honored since In announcing the prize, the committee said that, "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition Dylan has the status of an icon.

His influence on contemporary music is profound, and he is the object of a steady stream of secondary literature. Bateman had travelled from his native Detroit to California last month when he suffered cardiac arrest and fell into a coma. Robert, who also sang in a group called the Satintones and were Motown's first group to release a single- narrowly edging the Miracles , is best remembered for discovering the Marvelettes and writing "Please Mr.

Postman", "Playboy" and "Twistin' Postman" for the group. He commented afterwards that it was a "truly monumental honour. Born in Plainfield, New Jersey, he joined a local group called the Vibratones in though some of the members had already backed him up on a solo recording the previous year. It was followed up by an ever bigger hit, "Mr. The group broke up in as Don enlisted in the Air Force, but two years after his return he was invited to join the Four Seasons and played guitar and sang on "Who Loves You" and "December," Leaving in , Don became a commercial jingle writer, toured with Tommy James as his musical director and, in later ears, re-formed the Critters.

Formed to compete in a high school talent contest in as the Mel-Tones , they caught the eye of Joe "You Talk Too Much" Jones who became their manager despite their not winning the contest. The success of "Chapel Of Love" was followed by "People Say" and "Iko Iko" but a year later Joan left to battle sickle cell anemia and devote herself to her church.

British Songwriter Rod Temperton, keyboardist with Heatwave and composer of their hits "Boogie Nights" and "Always And Forever", died of cancer Wednesday October 5 just four days shy of his 69th birthday. Loudermilk passed away Wednesday September 21 at the age of Born in Durham, North Carolina his cousins were the country singers, the Louvin Brothers , John worked as a handyman at a local TV station and convinced the owner to let him sing a song he wrote over-the-air.

Official induction will take place November 3. Both Terry and Susan Jacks-- long divorced-- are hospitalized at this time. Terry has suffered his second stroke in five months and Susan was on life support until recently with kidney problems. She underwent a kidney transplant in Our prayers go out to both halves of the Poppy Family.

Jerry Corbetta, lead singer and keyboard player with Sugarloaf, died Friday September 16 at a hospice in his home town of Denver. The 68 year-old had suffered from Pick's Disease a frontal lobe disorder for the past six-plus years. Jerry and guitarist Bob Webber had played together in Denver in a group called the Moonrakers, who recorded for Tower Records. They then formed Chocolate Hair and were signed by Liberty Records. After a last minute change to Sugarloaf a mountain outside Boulder, Colorado the group reached 3 in with "Green-Eyed Lady".

The follow-up off their second album, "Tongue In Cheek", reached only 55 and "Mother Nature's Wine" floundered at 88 the following year. It reached 9 in early , but again, its follow-ups never got any higher than 87 on the national charts.

In later years, he toured with the Classic Rock All-Stars before retiring to fight his disease in The Ron Howard-directed documentary film, "The Beatles: He is expected to resume performing October Joe, who changed his name from Joe Stafford to avoid confusion with the female Jo Stafford, was Their name came from an play about the uprising by Eastern European weavers nearly 50 years earlier. When Pete and Lee were identified as members of the Communist Party and called to testify before the House Committee on Unamerican Activities in Lee pleaded the Fifth Amendment, Pete refused to answer on First Amendment grounds though he had left the party in and was indicted for contempt of Congress , the group's success was over.

Decca had already dropped their contract in , they were blacklisted from radio and television and the group eventually split up. When the group disbanded, Fred continued working in thebusiness, playing guitar on Joan Baez' first two albums and producing Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant", among other feats. The Weavers reunited in for a documentary film, "The Weavers: Wasn't That A Time," which was released two years later.

The award is presented to television visionaries who have carried on the pioneering work of the late comedian. Michael is a Dallas native. Mark Chapman, convicted murderer of John Lennon, was denied parole for the ninth time Monday August He is currently incarcerated in western New York. He will be eligible for parole again in Cilla had a top ten British hit with the song in The Sox won the game Due to doctors' orders, Aretha Franklin has been forced to cancel upcoming concerts over the next two month.

Aretha made the announcement Monday August 22 , saying, "I decided it was time to go home and take care of myself consistent with doctors' orders. Tatia plays bass and sings in the group Belakiss. Her dad is now a drummer with the Who.

Mary Wilson of the Supremes will host. Glenn Yarbrough, founding member and tenor with the Limeliters who had a long solo career, died Thursday August 11 in Nashville after suffering with dementia. Glenn was born in Milwaukee but grew up in New York.

Jac's connection with folk artist Woody Guthrie convinced Glenn to take up guitar, as well. After serving in the Army, Glenn eventually managed a small club in Aspen, Colorado called the Limelite, where he formed a folk trio named after the establishment. In , the group charted for the only time with "A Dollar Down" While the followup, "It's Gonna Be Fine" was his last appearance on the charts, his folk performances continued to please audiences into the 21st century.

A failed surgery on his larynx in put him in cardiac arrest and left him unable to continue singing. Gregg Allman was released from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota Tuesday August 9 and has cancelled all concert dates through October 29 due to the "serious health issues" that caused his hospitalization last week.

He collaborated with Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys on an album in the '70s. Most recently, he had been performing a tribute show to his late father. His book, "That's Amore", was published in Carman Romano, baritone and co-founder of the Staten Island doo-wop group, the Elegants, died Tuesday August 2 , just short of his 77th birthday.

The ultimate one-hit wonder, their song "Little Star" reached 1 in and was the group's only chart entry. The Cubs won George passed away in Pat Upton, lead vocalist and guitarist with the Spiral Starecase, and writer of their big hit, "More Today Than Yesterday" , died Wednesday July 27 at the age of 75 after what was termed a "long illness". Pat was born in Geraldine, Alabama, but while serving in the US Air Force in Sacramento, competed in a talent contest with four other airmen. Leaving the service, the Fydallions-- as they called themselves-- came to the attention of Columbia Records, who signed them but insisted on a name change.

For their new name, the group chose the Dorothy McGuire movie, "The Spiral Staircase," but with a different spelling.

Unfortunately, internal squabbles led to their breakup in Pat worked as a backup guitarist and sang with Rick Nelson before opening his own club in Guntersville, Alabama. The club turned out to be the site of Rick's last performance in before his fatal plane crash.

Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd has undergone heart surgery to repair blockage in his arteries and the group has put its current tour on hold until August 4 at the earliest. It's been a bad health month for the group as lead singer Johnny Van Zandt was hospitalized for bronchitis on July The 64 year-old Gary suffered a heart attack last October, requiring surgery.

Lewie Steinberg, original bass player with Booker T. He had been battling cancer in recent years. Lewis was replaced by Donald "Duck" Dunn in He was 77 and suffered from Hepatitis C-- which almost took his life in Born in Coffeyville, Kansas, he was raised in Arizona where he started his first band at age 14, eventually dropping out of school to become a performer. Moving on to Country music in Bakersfield, California, he was shot three times by hit men reportedly hired by an artist he was producing dying twice, he said, on the operating table before pulling through.

He left the music business for eight years before returning to produce and perform Gospel music having converted to Christianity , winning the Best Inspirational Grammy for a album. Bonnie Brown, youngest singer with the family group, the Browns, with sister Maxine and brother Jim Ed , died of complications of lung cancer Saturday July 16 in a Franklin, Tennessee hospital. The Sparkman, Arkansas native was Jim and Maxine originally joined Ernest Tubb's radio show as a duo.

Their "Looking Back To See" was a 8 country hit in , the year before Bonnie joined to make them a trio. From to , the trio charted with 21 country tunes, 13 of which crossed over to the pop charts, including "The Three Bells" 1 pop and country , "Scarlet Ribbons" 13 pop, 7 country and "The Old Lamplighter" 5 pop, 20 country Jim began a solo career in and the trio split up two years later, with Bonnie devoting herself to her children.

Jody will perform a special concert in Blanchard, Oklahoma that day. Mick Jagger's 29 year-old girlfriend is pregnant with the nearly 73 year-old's child, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday July It would be ballerina Melanie Hamrick's first child-- and Mick's 8th. The two have been together since She will reportedly give up her ballet career and move to either Los Angeles or her family's home in Connecticut.

Though he suffered from Parkinson's Disease, he had written a series of books on how to spend one's final years. The song, which translates to "I look up as I walk" and was essentially a love song, was born during his frustration over continued American military presence in Japan after World War II as he returned from his daily protest a fact that Capitol Records in the U.

The song remains the only Japanese-language tune to reach 1 in America. Ei performed on his own, self-named, radio program until a week before his death once reading the Japanese constitution for two hours non-stop. Joe Perry, guitarist with Aerosmith, collapsed onstage and was hospitalized Sunday night July 10 during a performance in New York with the celebrity group Hollywood Vampires which includes Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp.

Alice tweeted later that the 65 year-old Joe was in stable condition. Smokey win be honored at a ceremony in November in Washington, DC.

It's been learned that Mike Pedicin, the Philadelphia saxophonist who led his own, self-named, quintet in the fifties, died June And Floyd Robinson, the Nashville-born singer remembered for his hit, "Makin' Love" 20 , died May 28 in his suburban Nashville home after a long illness. Though initially unsuccessful, it was an impromptu jam between Elvis and Scotty during a session break that caught Sam's attention and led to their first single, "That's Alright Mama ".

Scotty also appeared in four of the King's movies. As a producer he is best known for Thomas Wayne's version of "Tragedy" from Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley, filed for divorce from her fourth husband-- who was also her guitarist and music director- after ten years of marriage, citing "irreconcilable differences".

The 48 year-old has twin 7 year-old girls with Michael Lockwood and she is asking for sole custody with monitored visitation.

The couple have been separated since June It is scheduled to run until September 4. Contributing the book for the musical is comedy writer Bruce Villanch.

The Clarksdale, Missssippi-born Mack was Though he attempted a solo career after the Falcons disbanded and did manage to "bubble-under" the pop charts a couple of times in the '60s it was as a songwriter that he made his name. His best-known composition was "Mustang Sally" a 23 hit for fellow Falcons member Wilson Pickett in , which originally was called "Mustang Mama" until Aretha Franklin-- who played keyboard on the demo-- suggested the name change.

Bill received a real Doctorate in Education in from the University of Massachusetts. He also has honorary degrees from Wesleyan University in and Yale University in Cosby's right to a fair and public trial on the criminal charges against him. But the conduct which he admitted in his sworn testimony provides compelling reasons for the University of Connecticut to consider the revocation of his honorary degree.

The suit was brought by the trust of the late Spirit guitarist Randy California. Members of Zeppelin testified that while they performed with Spirit early in their career, they didn't remember hearing the distinctive opening passage that the suit said highlighted both songs.

The agents were looking for evidence that Gladys' son, Shanga Hankerson, had inappropriately diverted a million dollars from the business.

Gladys does not own the chain, she simply lent her name to her son's endeavor. In a statement she said, "she is sure that her son and his business partners will rectify the situation.

The "Wizard of Woo" was Bernie was also influential in shaping the sound of the Talking Heads. The Memphis native was The 68 year-old has heart problems and asthma and previously collapsed during performances in and He had already cancelled two future concerts because of ill health. Britain's Crown Prosecution Service announced Thursday June 16 that, after two years of investigating, there is insufficient evidence to move forward with sexual abuse charges against Cliff Richard.

Despite a highly-publicized raid on Cliff's home 22 months ago, a statement was issued saying, "The force apologises wholeheartedly for the additional anxiety caused by our initial handling of the media interest in this case and has implemented the learning from this Even though I was under pressure to 'speak out', other than to state my innocence, which was easy for me to do as I have never molested anyone in my life, I chose to remain silent.

This was despite the widely shared sense of injustice resulting from the high profile fumbling of my case from day one Producer and recording studio owner Lincoln "Chips" Moman died Monday June 13 in a hospice facility in his hometown of Lagrange, George. Though born in Georgia, it was in Memphis that Chips made his name. Chips was inducted into Memphis' Musicians Hall of Fame in the same year a historical plaque was placed where his recording studio stood.

England's Queen Elizabeth II announced her "birthday" honors Friday June 10 and Rod Stewart topped the list with a knighthood for his contributions to music and charity. The 71 year-old "Sir Roderick" will be knighted sometime in the coming months. Vera Lynn, already a "Dame" for her efforts supporting wartime soldiers, will be further honored with the "Order of the Companions of Honour".

Said Rod, "I've led a wonderful life and have had a tremendous career thanks to the generous support of the great British public. This monumental honour has topped it off and I couldn't ask for anything more. I thank Her Majesty and promise to 'wear it well'. Bobby Curtola-- whose "Fortuneteller" was a 41 tune in has died, according to an announcement by his family on his Facebook page Sunday June 5.

A teen idol in his native Canada, the Thunder Bay, Ontario-born Bobby reached the top 40 thirty times north of the border between and and also charted in the US with "Aladdin" Muhammad Ali-- the boxer who inspired Johnny Wakelin's hit, "Black Superman" 21 -- died Friday June 3 in a Phoenix area hospital of respiratory complications. The Louisville, Kentucky native had suffered from Parkinson's Disease for 32 years.

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, he won a gold medal in the Olympics as a light heavyweight. As a pro heavyweight, he won the championship three times, giving himself the title "The Greatest". Converting to Islam and changing his name in , he refused induction into the US Army in Stripped of his initial title, his conviction for draft evasion was overturned by the US Supreme Court in He even recording himself-- his record of "Stand By Me" and "I Am The Greatest" "bubbled under" the national charts, earning positions and respectively.

Five stamps will re-create their iconic album covers and four stamps will feature them in concert. The first day of issue was chosen because it is the 10th anniversary of guitarist Syd Barrett's death. Born in Brooklyn, Julius joined the Navy at age His Navy buddies promoted his talent to radio and TV personality Arthur Godfrey, who arranged for the crooner to appear on his TV show, then promised him a job upon his discharge.

True to his word, Julius began singing on Arthur's morning and prime-time shows beginning in However, the young singer's career on Cadence Records owned by Godfrey's bandleader, Archie Bleyer rankled Arthur and in October of he fired both men, claiming that Julius in particular lacked humility.

Julius went on to host his own TV show from to In addition to his recordings, he worked as a disk jockey and appeared on the soap opera "Another World", for which he won a daytime Emmy award. Johnny Sea nee Seay , whose patriotic answer to "Eve Of Destruction" entitled "Day For Decision" reached 35 in , died Saturday May 14 when his single-engine plane clipped a cell telephone tower wire and crashed near West, Texas.

The Gullport, Mississippi-born Seay was Johnny appeared 8 times on the country charts from to , including "Frankie's Man Johnny" and "Nobody's Darling But Mine" Ernie Isley accepted the degree on behalf of the group.

Former President Jimmy Carter bestowed the honor.. Though he appeared a total of 11 times on the country charts from to , he disliked touring because of stage fright and retired early.

The news came late but we've heard that Phil Humphrey, one-half of the Fendermen who hit 5 in with "Mule Skinner Blues," died of heart failure March 29 in a Minnesota hospital at the age of Jim Sundquist of the group passed away in They formed the duo at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and recorded for Soma records in Minneapolis. Phil started another group in Canada and moved around British Columbia and California, eventually settling in Albert Lea, Minnesota, starting a home renovation business and counseling troubled youth.

Jones" to 1 in , died Sunday April 24 at a hospital in his home town just one week after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Born Paul Williams, he began his career at the age of 11 singing on a local radio station. Soon he was performing as the opening act for some of the biggest acts in music under his new name.

In he recorded his first singles, but his early career took a detour when he was drafted by the Army, where he served with Elvis Presley in Germany. Upon his release he continued to record mostly jazz to little success.

It was in , though, that he met producer Kenny Gamble. Signed to the fledgling Gamble label, he also recorded for Kenny now with co-producer Leon Huff on their Neptune label. But success was still elusive until the producers formed Philadelphia International, which was distributed by CBS. Billy officially "retired" in but continued to perform in concert and even released a live album in It's been learned that Jimy Sohns, lead singer of the Shadows of Knight of "Gloria" fame, suffered a stroke April 12 and is currently undergoing rehabilitation.

Nevertheless, Jimmy and the Shadows have postponed several upcoming concert dates but hope to return at the end of June. Guitarist Lonnie Mack, best remembered for the instrumentals "Memphis" 5 and "Wham! Known for his pioneering style helped by the tremelo bar on his instrument , he not ony charted seven times on his own, but played on sessions for such music royalty as James Brown, Freddie King, Hank Ballard and-- most notably on the Doors' "Morrison Hotel" where Jim Morrison can be heard yelling, "Do it, Lonnie!

Details are sketchy, but the 57 year-old Minneapolis native was hospitalized the previous week in Moline, Illinois for what was reported to be the flu. Mike Lazo, lead singer with the Tempos on their original version of "See You In September" , died Tuesday April 12 at a nursing facility in Pittsburh at the age of Though it was the group's only chart record, Mike continued to perform throughout Pennsylvania as Mike Daye until emphysema forced him to finally retire.

The New Orleans native was Besides his songwriting skills, Jack was a member of the Platters at one time and recorded many solo albums he was known as the "Twistin' King" in Europe in the '60s. He also performed on Broadway in "Bubblin' Brown Sugar" in the '70s. Tom had cancelled his Asian tour on April 2 to be by her side though his management denied at the time that she was the reason.

The two were married in Wales when they were both Their son serves now as Tom's manager. He had been in poor health for quite some time. Born in Bakersfield, California, he spent three years in San Quentin California Prison for burglary, starting in Continuing his love of music upon his release, he became part of the Bakersfield sound popularized by Buck Owens. Merle was granted a full pardon for his early offenses by then-California Governor Ronald Reagan in He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in and was granted an honorary doctorate in fine arts by California State University in Bakersfield in The Houston native was Leon started playing keyboards with blues musicians in Houston and Los Angeles before joining Sam Cooke's backup band until Sam's death in Carlo Mastrangelo, founding member and lead singer of the Belmonts after the departure of Dion, died Monday April 4 near his home in Boca Raton, Florida from an undisclosed illness.

Carlo moved up to lead singer on songs like "Tell Me Why" and "Come On Little Angel" but left himself for a solo career as "Carlo" in after a dispute with the group over the finances of their self-owned label. He never charted again in the U.

He did however, work with Dion again as a backup musician and songwriting partner from to In , Dion and the Belmonts reunited at Madison Square Garden in New York for an oldies show that was recorded and released as an album.

Formed in while the founding members were still in high school Mike joined later in the decade , the group got its break opening for the Osmonds in the early '70s.

Though they had recorded in their native Cincinnati and with Family Productions where "Special Someone" as "The Heywoods" made it to 64 nationally in , it was signing with ABC Records and spotlighting keyboard player Robert "Bo" Donaldson that made them stars. But "Our Last Song Together" proved to be just that-- at least on the charts. By the '80s, they split up though they did reunite to play the oldies circuit in A 57 year-old woman who played saxophone, clarinet, and keyboards with the Monkees onstage since sued Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork Friday April 1 in Los Angeles for discrimination, claiming she was fired by them because of her age, weight and disabilities she suffers from lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

She says her replacement-- also a woman-- is "under 40 years of age". The defendants have not made a statement. Andy "Thunderclap" Newman, keyboardist with the British group that bore his name, died Wednesday March 29 in London at the age of Though they split up in , Andy re-formed the band in with a new lineup.

Oscar-winning actress Patty Duke, who starred in her own, self-named television show, died in Los Angeles Tuesday March 29 of sepsis from a ruptured intestine.

She then went on to star in the film version of the story and won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in The show ran for three years and during that time she recorded two hit records- "Don't Just Stand There" and "Say Something Funny" She was president of the Screen Actors Guild from to Her autobiography, chronicling her battle with bi-polar disorder, "Call Me Anna," was published in Married four times- including actor John Astin-- she was the mother of actor Sean Astin who, it was revealed later, was not John's biological son.

The selections were announced Tuesday March David Cassidy pleaded "no contest" Monday March 28 to reckless driving charges involving ann accident in Broward County, Florida last year. He has agreed to give up hisdrivers licence until and will be on probationforthe next two years. The officer, a medal of valor winner, worked for Elton as an off-duty security guard and claims Elton inappropriately touched him multiple times and made suggestive comments. He is seeking unspecified damages for pain and suffering, medical bills and lost income.

A spokesman for the singer said the suit is "baseless. The New York Times says it is "gentle-spirited, not gaudy, and moves with an easygoing grace where others prance and strut. And it tells a sentiment-spritzed story - of lives torn apart and made whole again - that you might be more likely to encounter in black and white, flickering from your flat-screen on Turner Classic Movies. But the sheer scale of the package overwhelms this sweet but slender homespun material.

Though the new owner is a Beatles fan and owns properties connected to John Lennon and George Harrison, she is not allowed under terms of the sale to turn the home into a tourist attraction. The two were Summer camp counselors but split up and drifted apart in real life.

The Providence, Rhode Island native was In , Pete joined the Videls while in high school, eventually joining up with songwriting partner Vinnie Poncia. When the group broke up, Pete and Vinnie continued as songwriters in New York though they still appeared from time to time with members of the Mystics under both group's names. But they kept on composing, including the theme to Elvis Presley's movie, "Harem Scarum" called "Harem Holiday"-- the movie's title in many foreign countries.

That same year the team split up. Pete dropped out of the music business for fifteen years as he underwent drug rehabilitation seven times. He also faced a battle with cancer, which he won. Born in Goldsboro, North Carolina his father had sung with the Dixie Hummingbirds , he was raised in Philadelphia, where he formed the Hearts quintet originally called the Dreams and later, the Dreamers in while still in high school.

Lee moved on to a solo career on Swan and then Cameo Records before semi-retiring and opening a local dress shop. His son, Ahmir Thompson became known as Questlove and served as drummer and producer for the Roots, who charted three times themselves in the late '90s. Death was attributed to a single gunshot wound and police have now ruled it a suicide. Trained in classical music, he played in four local groups before co-founding The Nice in Signed to Atlantic Records, they achieved ten gold albums from to Though primarily an album-oriented band, they charted four times on the singles charts, as well, with staples like "Lucky Man" and and "From The Beginning" The group broke up in but Keith and Greg re-formed with Cozy Powell.

In Keith toured with a re-formed Nice. His autobiography, "Pictures of an Exhibitionist" a take-off on the group's album, "Pictures At An Exhibition" was published in Born Myrtle Audrey Arinsberg in Philadelphia, she moved to Los Angeles with her family at age 12 and made a name for herself winning talent contests. She began to record, first as Audrey Brown, then as Audrey Grant before being named "Gogi" by a local record man. She retired from performing in The "Fifth Beatle" was Though the London native primarily created symphonic and comedy records early on in his career, it was signing the Fab Four to Parlophone Records in that launched him as one of the premiere producers in rock music.

He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in and was awarded a knighthood in Former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to a statement released Tuesday March 8. A spokesman indicated the 79 year-old was "undergoing treatment and is expected to make a full recovery as it was caught in the early stages. Earlier that afternoon police had been called by Lana Rae Meisner because Randy was waving a BB gun and "acting erratically.

Police now believe she was taking a rifle out of a bedroom case when it went off, killing her.

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