Country Music Hall of Fame’ s Dean Dillon gave an exclusive, invite-only concert at Times Square’s Opry City Stage New York City (1604 Broadway, between 48 & 49 Street) on Saturday, May 12 at 7pm. This concert celebrated the launch of the new musical Tennessee Whiskey The Musical written by Dewey Moss and featuring the songs of Dean Dillon.
Written by Dewey Moss, Tennessee Whiskey The Musical tells the story of Dean Dillon, Country Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee, BMI Icon award recipient, and the writer of some of country music’s most popular songs by singers such as George Strait, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Chris Stapleton, Pam Tillis, Barbara Mandrell, Johnny Rodriguez, Gary Stewart, and many more. His music defined a generation, but it did not come without a price, personal struggles with alcoholism and drugs almost ended his life. Ultimately about redemption and success, Tennessee Whiskey The Musical is an emotional story told in a way that only country music can.
Dean Dillon started playing guitar at the age of seven and at 15 he appeared on a variety show called “Jim Clayton’s Startime” as a songwriter and performer; by the end of high school, Dean Dillon had his mind set on Nashville.
In 1976, Dillon landed the role of Hank Williams in Opryland’s Country Music Show, USA. The theme park gig indirectly helped Dillon secure his first publishing deal with Nashville producer, publisher Tom Collins. Three weeks later Barbara Mandrell recorded three of Dillon’s songs. In 1979 Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius had a number one hit with Dillon’s “Lying Here In Love with You” a song he co-wrote with fellow tunesmith Gary Harrison of “Strawberry Wine” fame. It was both writers first number one hit record.
Although it was writing songs for others where Dillon’s future lay, the young singer was hell bent on making it as a recording artist. Between 1979 and 1981 Dillon released 12 singles for RCA Records. Three of the songs reached the Top 30 on the country charts, including “Nobody in His Right Mind Would’ve Left Her,” which climbed all the way to number 25 (and later became a number 1 hit for George Strait). As an artist, Dillon charted eight times and broke the Top 30 with “I’m into the Bottle (To Get You out of My Mind).” He also wrote hits for other country stars like the 1983 George Jones number 1 hit “Tennessee Whiskey”. After “Those were the Days”, Dillon took a five-year hiatus from recording, cleaned up his personal life and concentrated on songwriting. He wrote or co-wrote a number of hits during this period and had considerable success with George Strait, who took five of his songs to the charts between 1981 & 1988. The exposure landed Dillon a new contract with Capitol Records, who released two Ricky Scruggs produced albums, Slick Nickel and I’ve Learned to Live. The later featured a Tanya Tucker duet “Don’t You Even Think About Leaving.” Dillon next signed with ATLANTIC, where he issued his most successful album. It was 1991’s Out of Your Mind which referenced the hard country of Dillon’s heroes, but it also flirted with pop. The LP was lauded as a throwback, an answer to Nashville’s penchant for vapidity.
In 2002, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (along with Bob Dylan and Shel Silverstein). Early the following year Dillon signed a songwriting contract with Sony/A TV Tree, which came after his fifteen-year relationship with Rose Acuff, a publishing company Sony acquired in July 2002.
Dillon has composed or co-written 63 songs for Strait, including 19 singles, 11 which went to number one. His other accolades include 1985 Billboard Country Music Artist of The Year Award; 1986 Nashville Song Writers Award; 1995, 1996, 1998 CMA Triple Play Award; Three Time Grammy Nominee; Lee Iacocca Award (American Automotive Division); Twenty-Six Number One Records Award; and the coveted 2013 BMI Icon Award
Tennessee Whiskey The Musical features hit songs such as “The Chair,” “Unwound,” “Marina Del Rey,” “Ocean Front Property,” “She Calls It Love,” “How Long Does It Take,” “I’m Lying In Love With You,” “I’m Into the Bottle,” “We Got ‘Em Smokin’ in the Rockies,” “Easy Come, Easy Go,” “The Road Less Traveled,” “Here for a Good Time,” “Tennessee Whiskey” and many more, along with several new songs Dillon is writing specifically for this production.
Inspired by the Grand Ole Opry, Opry City Stage presents a broad range of great country music talent. On the fourth floor, The Studio at Opry City Stage is a ticketed venue showcasing an array of music including that of hit-makers, emerging artists and songwriters. The venue’s Bluebird Cafe Songwriter Series spotlights songwriters from both Nashville and New York, as well as everywhere in between in the style of Music City’s Bluebird Cafe, a world-famous mecca both for those who pen songs and music fans who love them.
For more information about the exclusive concert and the musical, please visit TennesseeWhiskeytheMusical.com
Tovah Feldshuh Joins The American Popular Song Society In Celebration of Marilyn Maye
Tovah Feldshuh – the Tony and Emmy-nominated actress currently starring on Broadway in Funny Girl – will join their “Second Annual Benefit Evening” to honor the legendary Marilyn Maye on Monday, June 12 at 6:00 PM at Theater 555 (555 West 42nd Street). A reception will follow at The Green Room 42 (570 Tenth Avenue at 42nd Street, on the 4th Floor of Yotel). Maye is being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award as she continues to celebrate her 95th Birthday. The event will feature performances by Karen Akers, Klea Blackhurst, Jim Brochu, Charles Busch, Liz Callaway, Len Cariou, Melissa Errico, Debbie Gravitte, Julie Halston, Jeff Harnar, Karen Mason, Susie Mosher, Sidney Myer, Christine Pedi, Lee Roy Reams, Jamie de Roy, Catherine Russell, Gabrielle Stravelli, Sandy Stewart with Bill Charlap, Stacy Sullivan, Mark William, and another surprise. The event will be hosted by Michael Lavine, who also serves as music director. For tickets, please visit www.apssinc.org/gala2023.html
The organization also proudly announces the new Educational Workshop giving kids a fun, hands-on learning experience about the music that’s been America’s gift to the world since the turn of the last century. The series will begin with All About Songwriting, headed by APSS Board member, esteemed songwriter Tom Toce who, along with some of today’s best new songwriters, will give kids a window into what it takes to create a song like a Max Martin, Taylor Swift, Billy Eilish, to name a few.
The American Popular Song Society was established in 1980 as The New York Sheet Music Society It began with a small but dedicated group of collectors, who, through the courtesy of the late Sammy Cahn, president of the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, met at One Times Square to exchange sheet music and stories about songwriters, singers, and songs. Now a thriving non-profit corporation, the Society has over 400 members spread across the nation. From the start, NYSMS meetings were lively affairs, and they continue to be. Celebrity drop-ins quickly became one of the Society’s attractions. Many of America’s great songwriters have discussed their careers, their collaborators, and their work methods. To hear them perform their hits and tell the stories behind the songs is spellbinding. These exciting programs are preserved on videotape in the archives.
United in a commitment to American popular song, the members represent every aspect of the music business: writing songs, publishing, promoting, and performing them and preserving both the song sheets and the history that goes with them. The Society is proud to count among their members authorities on film and show music, ragtime, ethnic songs, nineteenth century and World War I songs; and just about any category you can name. From a mere handful of collectors at the start, the organization has swelled its ranks to an enthusiastic and ever-growing membership from all over the continent.
Broadway’s Samantha Pauly and Reeve Carney Come To Chelsea Table and Stage
On May 29th catch Samantha Pauly for Memorial Day. Best known for originating the role of Katherine Howard in Broadway’s smash hit SIX the Musical, and her captivating performance as Eva Peron in Jamie Lloyd’s critically acclaimed revival of Evita on London’s West End, Samantha Pauly has carefully crafted an evening that reflects the last few years of her life. Join this Grammy nominee and Drama Desk Award winner as she revisits some career highlights, Broadway classics, pop/rock favorites, and all the fun stuff in between.
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and actor Reeve Carneyreturns to Chelsea Table + Stage June 4th to perform a night of music honoring the artistry of the legendary rock n’ roll supergroup Led Zeppelin. Carney is best known for his portrayal of Dorian Grayin on Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, Riff Raff in Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show Reimagining, as well as originating the role of Peter Parker in Julie Taymor/U2’s Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark. He is currently starring in the Broadway blockbuster, Hadestown. Reeve Carney delivers a one-man-show cabaret that feels more like an invitation-only after-party than a traditional concert performance. Don’t miss this special performance from one of Broadway’s leading actors!
The Glorious Corner
TINA TURNER — Talk about a voice of a generation … my generation for sure. I think one of the first records I ever listened too was one from Ike & Tina Turner and Tina immediately caught my ear and eye. 1973’s “Nutbush City Limits” and later “Proud Mary.” Tina was simply dazzling. She passed Wednesday in Switzerland after a lengthy illness and surviving a stroke.
12 Grammys; 3 Grammy Hall of Fame awards; a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; the first Black artist and the first female to be on the cover of Rolling Stone; and, in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. And she had her biggest hit when she was in her 40’s. Tina was a ground-breaker in every sense of the word.
From “Nutbush City Limits” to her stunning album, Private Dancer, she was a fierce innovator.
Author Mark Bego who did two tomes on Tina said: “The passing of rock legend Tina Turner is truly tragic. She was an amazing force of nature as a singer, performer, actress, and international inspiration. Having started out with ex-husband Ike Turner, as part of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue in the 1960’s, Tina broke free from an abusive marriage with Ike, and became a solo legend on her own. I was privileged to tell her story in the books Tina Turner: Break Every Rule in 2003, and a German language update in 2009 called Tina Turner: Die Biografie. Her story, her legend, and her timeless music will live on.”
For those in the know: British-singer John Miles (“Slow Down”) toured with Tina in 1987. I knew Miles … great, great talent. Here she is with WOR’s Tom Cuddy, back when he was running WPLJ.
SIMON OF THE TIMES — (Via Deadline) Singer-songwriter Paul Simon, who at 81 has just released his 15th studio album, titled Seven Psalms, has revealed a recent hearing loss in his left ear and says the condition has left him doubting he’ll tour again.
In an interview with UK’s The Times, Simon said the hearing loss struck while he was writing the new album. “Quite suddenly, I lost most of the hearing in my left ear, and nobody has an explanation for it,” he told the publication. “So everything became more difficult.”
The Graceland singer said he was more frustrated and annoyed than angered by the hearing loss “because I thought it would pass, it would repair itself.” The condition, however, has not improved, and he now has doubts that he’ll perform live again, a decision reinforced by both a 2020 bout with Covid and his lack of enthusiasm for singing some of his old songs.
“The songs of mine that I don’t want to sing live, I don’t sing them,” he told The Times. “Sometimes there are songs that I like and then at a certain point in a tour, I’ll say, ‘What the f*ck are you doing, Paul?’ Quite often that would come during ‘You Can Call Me Al.’ I’d think, ‘What are you doing? You’re like a Paul Simon cover band. You should get off the road, go home.’”
Simon, who lives on a large Texas ranch with wife Edie Brickell, reflected on the recent losses of Gordon Lightfoot and Jeff Beck, noting, “It’s just the age we’re at…My generation’s time is up.”
SHORT TAKES — Brutal review of HBO’s The Idol in Roger Friedman’s always prescient Showbiz 411. Friedman goes to great length to say that the machinations of the music business are not accurately portrayed in the show at all. Truth be told: They’ve never been accurately portrayed. To me, the closest they even came was in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant Vinyl. Euphoria’s Sam Levinson is the force behind this one and I didn’t have any desire to watch it. After reading Roger’s take on it, I probably never will. Check it out here: https://www.showbiz411.com/2023/05/22/cannes-hbo-unveils-the-idol-starring-the-weeknd-abel-tesfaye-and-lily-rose-depp-in-vulgar-gross-outsiders-take-on-pop-life…
Q1043 in NYC giving away DVDs of the recent Neil Bogart-inspired movie Spinning Gold. Sadly, when Justin Timberlake stepped away from portraying Bogart, this movie was DOA. It came out with nary a whisper, terrible reviews and was literally over in three days. I knew Bogart and this could have been a great, great movie. Sad for sure
We wondered about Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam (seen here with Eppy from My Father’s Place and PR-pasha David Salidor) and emailed him? No response so far. We’ll keep you posted … NBC just announced that The Blacklist finale will air -two hours- on Thursday, July 13. Suffice to say, it was a sensational show …
Happy BDay to Bob Dylan; Mike Myers; Cillian Murphy; and Frank Oz.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Tony King; Mark Bego; Michael Leon; Adriana Kaegi; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Mark Knopfler; Daryl Easlea; Russ Titleman; Donnie Kehr; Cori Gardner; Benny Harrison; Steve Walter; Jeff Smith; Vinnie Zuffante; Marion Curtis; Angela Tarantino; Michael Fuchs; Sasha Prendes; and ZIGGY!
Parade, Shucked And Some Like It Hot To Perform At HAM4HAM
Ham4Ham host Lin-Manuel Miranda not-so-subtly announced the lineup for the May 26 concert on his instagram.
A New Ham4Ham show, THIS Friday at 4pm outside the Rodgers!
Who KNOWS who’ll show up?
Not THIS budding photoshop wizard!
The series, was revived in support of the Tony nominees for Best Musical and Best Revival of a Musical, will welcome Parade, Some Like It Hot, and Shucked to its lineup.
You can see Ham4Ham at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W 46th Street at 4pm on the 26th.
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: The World Says Good-Bye To Tina Turner
Tina Turner, the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll has died, after a long illness at 83. Turner was diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and underwent a kidney transplant in 2017.
Her life story was told in the 1993 smash film What’s Love Got to Do with It and in the 2019 Broadway musical Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, starring Adrienne Warren in a career-making performance.
Born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, TN, Turner became famous in the late 1960s as the singer of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Their major hits included: “River Deep – Mountain High” and “Proud Mary.”After leaving husband Ike Turner following years of physical and emotional abuse, she staged what remains one of the greatest comebacks in pop music history, scoring massive hits in the 1980s such as “What’s Love Got To Do With it”, “Private Dancer” and “The Best,” with an estimated 180 million albums sold worldwide, 12 Grammy Awards won and sold-out stadium tours around the world.
Turner scored another smash single in 1985 with “We Don’t Need Another Hero, from the Mel Gibson-George Miller threequel Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. She played the ruthless leader of Bartertown in the movie and delivered the memorable line, “Welcome to another edition of Thunderdome!”
She returned to the Top 20 later that year with “It’s Only Love,” a duet with Bryan Adams from his Reckless album, and also was part of the global smash “We Are the World.” That 1985 famine-relief single — written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, produced by Quincy Jones and credited to USA for Africa.
Turner also appeared at the intercontinental charity concert Live Aid that summer, performing a raucous, sexually charged duet with Mick Jagger in Philadelphia on a medley of his solo single “State of Shock” and the Rolling Stones’ “It’ Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It).”
Turner’s status as a musical pioneer extended to 1980s television when she became a staple of MTV.
A private funeral ceremony is expected for family and close friends and family.
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