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Huey ‘Piano’ Smith, Session Man And Hit Maker, Dead At 89

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NEW YORK – Huey “Piano” Smith, a beloved New Orleans session musician who backed Little Richard, Lloyd Price, and other early rock stars and wrote the party hits “Don’t You Just Know It” and “Rockin’ Pneumonia and Boogie Woogie Flu” with his band, has died. He was 89.

Acquelyn Donsereaux, his daughter, told The Associated Press that he died in his sleep on Feb. 13 at his Baton Rouge home. She did not specify the cause.

Smith was one of the last survivors of an extraordinary scene of musicians and songwriters who helped make New Orleans a fundamental influence on rock ‘n’ roll. He was a New Orleans native who performed nationwide but always returned to Louisiana. He began playing professionally at age 15, and by his 20s had contributed to a slew of 1950s hits, including Price’s “Where You At?” and Earl King’s “Those Lonely Lonely Nights.” Among the many artists he collaborated with were Little Richard, Fats Domino, and David Bartholemew.

Huey “Piano” Smith and the Clowns charted in 1957 with “Rockin’ Pneumonia,” a mid-tempo stomp featuring John Marchin’s vocals and Smith’s buoyant keyboard playing, and the equally rowdy and good-natured “Don’t You Just Know It.” The Clowns were also known for their songs “We Like Birdland,” “Well, I’ll Be John Brown,” and “High Blood Pressure.”

One Smith composition became a major hit and rock standard for another performer. Smith and his group wrote, arranged, and recorded “Sea Cruise,” but Ace Records, as Smith learned bluntly from local record distributor Joe Caronna, thought the song would be more successful with a white singer and replaced the Clowns’ vocals with those of Frankie Ford, whose version became a million-seller.

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Piano Smith’s Popularity Waned After The Beatles Arrived

“I was crying as he (Caronna) said that,” Smith told biographer John Wirt, whose 2014 book “Huey ‘Piano’ Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia Blues” was released. “I’d had a little bit to drink. It broke my heart when he told me he was taking that.”

John Fogerty, the Beach Boys, Aerosmith, and Jerry Garcia were among the artists who covered piano “Sea Cruise” and other Smith songs. Ford later denied “stealing” the song, claiming he had written the lyrics. “Huey went through a period where he ‘forgot’ many things,” Ford explained to Offbeat Magazine.

Smith’s popularity waned after the Beatles arrived, and by 1980, he had left the music business, moved to Baton Rouge with his wife, Margrette, and converted to Jehovah’s Witnesses. He fought to be paid and credited for “Sea Cruise” and other hits, and he spent decades in legal and financial trouble, as did many other rock musicians from the 1950s. Meanwhile, local musicians continued to cite him as an inspiration.

“He was the man in New Orleans who got more out of simplicity than anyone else,” drummer Earl Palmer told Wirt.

Smith received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award in 2000, and the piano Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame honored him a year later. Admirers regard him as one of the most important performers not inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Smith Had 47 Great Grand Children

According to his daughter, he is survived by his wife, ten children, 18 grandchildren, and 47 great-grandchildren.

Smith grew up in New Orleans’ Uptown neighborhood, his father a roofer and his mother a laundry worker. Smith began playing the piano as a child, learning from his uncle, and quickly mastered the eight-bar progression that was the foundation for countless blues songs. He played obsessively, sometimes to the chagrin of his neighbors, and in high school, he helped form the Joy Jumpers band.

He was still in his teens when he met Eddie Lee Jones, a young New Orleans musician who, as “Guitar Slim,” influenced countless musicians and gave Smith his “Piano” nickname. Professor Longhair’s blues-boogie woogie influenced Lewis’s early work. But he would eventually absorb various styles, from Jelly Roll Martin’s jazz to Fats Domino’s rock rhythm and blues.

“I started trying a variety of music instead of just one individual style,” he told Wirt. “I like my style, but it’s nothing like rhythm-and-blues, calypso, or any of that. It’s just a deep funk.”

SOURCE – (AP)

 

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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15 Months After His Firing, Tucker Carlson Returns To Fox News Airwaves With A GOP Convention Speech

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NEW YORK — Tucker Carlson returned to Fox News’ airwaves 15 months after being abruptly dismissed, as witnessed Thursday during coverage of a Republican National Convention address that underscored his growing power in Donald Trump’s universe.

Carlson described the Republican nominee for president as a changed man who “became the leader of this nation” after last Saturday’s murder attempt.

His 11-minute address in Milwaukee also revealed shifts in the media personality, who had privately stated after the 2020 election that he “truly can’t wait” to ignore Trump. Before being granted the prime-time role at the convention last night, he was visible and reportedly persuaded Trump to choose Ohio Sen. JD Vance as his running mate.

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15 Months After His Firing, Tucker Carlson Returns To Fox News Airwaves With A GOP Convention Speech

Carlson’s address aired at prime time on Fox News, the same hour he was once the most popular figure on cable television. CNN and MSNBC did not cover it.

“That was Tucker Tucker,” his Fox replacement, Jesse Watters, explained. “You may remember him from the 8 o’clock hour here.”

How Tucker has performed in recent months
Tucker was dismissed a week after Fox agreed to pay more than $787 million to resolve a lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems over fraudulent representations made by the network after the 2020 election. The network never explained why it fired Carlson, resulting in a cottage industry of hypotheses about why the Rupert Murdoch-founded network pulled the plug.

Tucker has now launched his internet network, but he has yet to match the power he gained from five nights a week on the most popular cable network.

He has conducted a series of online interviews with prominent right individuals, including one with Trump, which was used to counterprogram a debate amongst his GOP nomination opponents. His most notable appearance was a February interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who later stated that he believed Tucker “would behave more aggressively and ask so-called sharp questions.”

Tucker has also generated money from lectures, having just finished a speaking tour of Australia. He has scheduled a September tour of arenas in the United States, with special guests including Donald Trump Jr., Roseanne Barr, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Russell Brand, Kid Rock, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Megyn Kelly, Glenn Beck, and Dan Bongino, all of whom left Fox under unpleasant circumstances.

According to Justin Wells, a longtime Tucker aide who spoke with him immediately before Carlson took the stage, his convention speech on Thursday was impromptu.

15 Months After His Firing, Tucker Carlson Returns To Fox News Airwaves With A GOP Convention Speech

Carlson praised Trump as a leader whose bravery and courage have inspired people, especially in the days following the murder attempt on the former president in western Pennsylvania last weekend. He also praised Trump for promoting unity during a time when it would have been easy to do otherwise.

“He turned down the most obvious opportunity in politics to inflame the nation after being shot,” according to Carlson. “In the moment, he did his best to bring the country together.”

He says, “people who don’t believe in God are starting to wonder — maybe there is something to this.”

Carlson avoided divisive political discourse, though he did characterize the amount of money the US has spent to assist in defending Ukraine as “a middle finger in the face of every American.”

SOURCE | AP

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American Who Made Social Media Threats Against Taylor Swift Detained Ahead Of German Concert

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BERLIN — An American man who made threats against Taylor Swift on social media was seized before her first concert in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, and will be held in custody until her gigs there end, authorities said Thursday.

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American Who Made Social Media Threats Against Taylor Swift Detained Ahead Of German Concert

According to police, the accused stalker, a 34-year-old whose name has not been disclosed, had a ticket to Taylor’s concert at Gelsenkirchen’s Veltins-Arena on Wednesday. They stated that he was detained at event admission checks because an early assessment could not completely rule out a risk.

According to police, the man threatened Taylor and her partner on social media. They say he was detained after receiving tips from the event’s organizers.

The American superstar will perform in Gelsenkirchen on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday as part of her Eras tour. According to authorities, a local court has ordered that the suspected stalker be detained until Saturday.

They went on to say that Swift and the audience were always safe. The event drew approximately 60,000 people on Wednesday evening and went off without incident.

American Who Made Social Media Threats Against Taylor Swift Detained Ahead Of German Concert

Before the concerts, Gelsenkirchen temporarily renamed the town “Swiftkirchen” and honored the singer on a “Walk of Fame” dedicated to local luminaries.

Taylor has plans to perform in two more German cities after Gelsenkirchen: Hamburg and Munich.

SOURCE | AP

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Britney Spears Has A Message For Ozzy Osbourne After He Called Her Dancing ‘Sad’

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Nobody puts Britney Spears in a corner.

The singer was highlighted on a recent episode of “The Osbournes Podcast,” in which Ozzy Osbourne stated that he was “fed up with seeing poor old Britney Spears dancing on social media.”

“You know, it’s sad,” the renowned rocker admitted. “Very, very sad.”

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Britney Spears Has A Message For Ozzy Osbourne After He Called Her Dancing ‘Sad’

His family agreed, including his wife Sharon and older children Kelly and Jack Osbourne.

Britney, who routinely posts videos of herself dancing on social media, noticed and responded with a lengthy comment.

She began her essay by mentioning Kate Beckinsale’s 2001 film Serendipity and stating that “incredibly cruel people were talking about [Beckinsale] needs more age-appropriate content.” Beckinsale, who is in her fifties (as Britney also highlighted), has been known to confront social media bullies.

Britney then reacted to the Osbournes’ complaints. She stated that she rarely dances and responded to Sharon Osbourne’s description of her as “a poor little thing” by saying, “I’m not poor at all!!!”

Britney Spears Has A Message For Ozzy Osbourne After He Called Her Dancing ‘Sad’

“I taught dance lessons to a few adolescents last week… Spears wrote, “A lot of the kids were too thin, and some were too big.” “I know what it’s like to be judged, so it’s a ridiculous and stupid subject initially, but I think it’s important to HELP EACH OTHER and invite each other to places that help our souls to grow!!!”

Spears closed her email to the Osbournes, whom she described as “the most boring family known to mankind,” by ordering them to “kindly f**k off.”

SOURCE | CNN

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