Thank You, Mister Rogers: Music & Memories Deluxe Album Being Reissued On March 17, To Commemorate Fred Rogers 95th Birthday On March 20
Ahead of what would have been Fred Rogers 95th birthday on March 20, GRAMMY® and Emmy winning music producer Dennis Scott is preparing to reissue a special deluxe version on March 17 of the 2019 album, Thank You, Mister Rogers: Music & Memories, his second recorded collection of Fred’s original music by way of Bob Frank Distribution & The Orchard (orcd.co/ThankYouMisterRogers) and ThankYouMisterRogers.com.
Originally released in 2019, the album features recordings from music icons like Micky Dolenz, Sandi Patty, Vanessa Williams, Jim Brickman, Jon Secada, Lee Greenwood, Rita Wilson, Tom Bergeron, The Cowsills, Jaci Velasquez, Kellie Pickler, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. The new deluxe reissue will include a newly recorded version of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” by singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso Parker Hastings, along with artist interviews, and track commentary.
Thank You, Mister Rogers: Music & Memories has won several awards including the Parent’s Choice Award, National Parenting Products Award, Family Choice Award, Hot Diggity Award, and was a nominee of American Association of Independent Music’s Libera Award.
Scott also recorded and produced Songs From The Neighborhood – The Music of Mister Rogers, which won a GRAMMY® award in 2006 for Best Musical Album for Children, and featured recordings from music icons Crystal Gayle, Ricky Skaggs, Jon Secada, Amy Grant, CeCe Winans and others.
“During the making of Fred’s album I had the opportunity to speak with people from all walks of life,” Scott said. “Everyone agrees that we need Mister Rogers now more than ever. They miss him as well as his music.”
Producer Scott has almost single-handedly been the one person who has consistently raised up the music of Fred Rogers, and is responsible for spearheading such efforts as helping Fred receive the ASCAP Deems Taylor Television Broadcast Award, lobbied and succeeded in getting a special entry about Fred Rogers read into the Congressional Record, and is currently leading a grassroots effort along with Emmy® award winning American TV Personality Tom Bergeron (America’s Funniest Videos, Dancing with the Stars), and gospel singer Sandi Patty, to induct Fred Rogers into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. By way of a Change.org petition, Scott has amassed more than 2,300 signatures, and is again calling on the public and music community for more support.
“Fred Rogers composed over 200 songs, not only for his television program but also for CD’s, record albums, and video – songs that are part of the soundtrack of our lives,” said David Newell. “That’s why so many people believe that Mister Rogers belongs in The Songwriters Hall of Fame. If I know Fred Rogers, this honor would mean the world to him because it’s a recognition of his music.”
Scott will host a special invitation-only “Happy Birthday, Mister Rogers” event in Nashville for media, TV, radio and music industry professionals, with support from ASCAP. It will be held on Monday, March 20, from 5-7pm CT at Steinway Piano Gallery (Fred’s choice piano was Steinway). The event will feature special musical performances given by country singer-songwriter Teea Goans, singer-songwriter & guitar virtuoso Parker Hastings, who will put a Chet Atkins like spin on the original Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood theme song “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” and studio vocalist Gary Janney. There will be refreshments, food, and a special Mister Rogers cake to be shared. TV & media are encouraged to attend for content capturing and onsite interviews.
“After producing two albums featuring Fred Rogers’ music I have developed a deep appreciation for his songwriting skills,” said Scott. “If you look closely at his tunes you can see what a lyrical craftsman he was. And his choice of chords are more complex than one might expect to hear in any “children’s” song. That’s the magic of Mister Rogers. He never talked down to kids – musically or otherwise. His songs have messages for all ages and his composing is as sophisticated as many of our great American writers. There’s no doubt in my mind that he belongs in The Songwriters Hall of Fame.”
The Glorious Corner
TODD’S AWATS — (from World Cafe) Fifty years ago, Todd Rundgren released his album A Wizard, a True Star, and it sounded like nothing else. World Cafe correspondent John Morrison says Rundgren was pushing boundaries, both in the technical creation of the music but also on a higher level. “Really, the entire approach to sound in this record is exploration of the mind, the spirit, the nature of sound itself,” Morrison says. “Like, the whole album is a trip.” In this session, Morrison takes us on a journey through Rundgren’s A Wizard, a True Star, exploring what the album meant when it came out and how its influence continues to reverberate.
Currently he’s touring with Daryl Hall and there’s a bunch of sessions with Hall that are on Daryl’s House. The way their two voices blend is simply amazing. One of my all-time favorite albums is War Babies, from Hall & Oates in 1974. Just amazing songs and the production, courtesy of Todd, is equally compelling. Stunning!
SHORT TAKES — Joe Pantoliano (Joey Pants) is essaying Morris Levy in the forthcoming play Rock & Roll Man about Alan Freed. Freed is played by Constantine Maroulis. Also coming is the movie Spinning Gold; the story of record exec-Neil Bogart. Both should be something to see … Am reading and reading nothing but rave reviews of Sunday’s Succession on HBO; the first of ten episodes which will wrap up the story. In all the reviews, the writing emerges the star. Jesse Armstrong, a genius for sure. Can’t wait. Check out Roger Friedman’s take from his Showbiz 411: https://www.showbiz411.com/2023/03/22/succession-returns-for-finale-season-sit-down-have-a-drink-or-two-its-intense-as-ever … 79 year old Top Gun: Maverick producer Jerry Bruckheimer: “Don Simpson (Bruckheimer’s late-producing partner) used to say we’re in the transportation business: we transport you from one place to another” …
Terrific Accused episode this week, starring Jason Ritter in Jack’s Story. Jason, John Ritter’s son was just excellent; the show was just renewed by Fox … Steve Miller, out on the road, has some interesting openers for his upcoming tour: Dave Mason and Joe Bonamassa. Mason’s book (Only You Know and I Know) is out in May … Dennis Scott hosted a special invitation-only Happy Birthday, Mister Rogers event in Nashville for media, TV, radio and music industry professionals, with support from ASCAP, this past Monday.
The event featured special musical performances given by country singer-songwriter Teea Goans, singer-songwriter & guitar virtuoso Parker Hastings, who put a Chet Atkins-like spin on the original Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood theme song “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” and studio vocalist Gary Janney. Here’s the cake prepared for the event … Happy Bday William Shatner ; Chaka Khan; Reese Witherspoon; and Anthony Pomes!
Happy Birthday To Andrew Lloyd Webber On His Opening Night
Although composer Andrew Lloyd Webber wasn’t in the house, and missed last night’s opening of his new musical, Bad Cinderella (the first time he’s ever been absent one of his Broadway opening nights), the cast and entire sold-out crowd sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to the Tony Award winning Broadway legend and wheeled out a five-foot birthday cake after the bows at the show’s final preview performance last night.
Lloyd Webber explained his absence in a statement he issued last week.
A STATEMENT FROM ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER
I am absolutely devastated to say that my eldest son Nick is critically ill.
As my friends and family know, he has been fighting gastric cancer for the last 18 months and Nick is now hospitalised.
I therefore have not been able to attend the recent previews of Bad Cinderella and as things stand, I will not be able to cheer on its wonderful cast, crew and orchestra on Opening Night this Thursday.
We are all praying that Nick will turn the corner. He is bravely fighting with his indomitable humour, but at the moment my place is with him and the family.
Bad Cinderella opened last night, Thursday, March 23, at the Imperial Theatre in front of an expected audience of film stars, stage legends, senators, media moguls, and various ‘Real Housewives.’ T2c caught a few of the attendees while we waited to review Parade.
The Glorious Corner
WOODSTOCK COVER STARS — (Via Best Classic Bands) — Bobbi Ercoline’s name may not be familiar to most, but millions own her photograph: Bobbi, whose last name at the time was Kelly, and her then-boyfriend, Nick Ercoline, were huddled together under a quilt at the 1969 Woodstock festival when photographer Burk Uzzle snapped their picture. The couple, both then 20, were unaware that their photo had even been taken until several months later, when the three-LP Woodstock soundtrack album was released. They were among friends when they first realized the couple on the album cover was them.
“We were passing the jacket around when someone pointed out the staff with the orange and yellow butterfly,” Nick told AARP in 2019 for the organization’s magazine. “That belonged to Herbie, a guy from Huntington Beach, Calif. He was lost and having a bad trip, and we hooked arms with him until he was clear-headed. Then we saw the blanket. Oh my lord, that’s us!”
Bobbi and Nick only lasted one night at Woodstock, and never even got near the stage. They had given it their all trying to get to the festival, ditching their car when traffic became snarled and walking the final two miles. They spent most of their single day there on the hillside where the famous photo was taken.
Two years later, in 1971, they married. They remained together until Bobbi Ercoline’s death Saturday (March 18, 2023).
Nick posted the news on Facebook: “It’s with beyond great sadness that I tell my FB family and friends, that after 54 years of life together, of the death of my beautiful wife, Bobbi, last night surrounded by her family. She lived her life well, and left this world in a much better place. If you knew her, you loved her. She lived by her saying, ‘Be kind.’ As a School Nurse she always championed the kids … ALWAYS! As a person, she always gave. ‘How much do you really need if you have all you need or want?’ So she gave and gave and gave. She didn’t deserve this past year’s nightmare, but she isn’t suffering from the physical pain anymore and that brings some comfort to us.”
We’ve spoken much over the years about how that Woodstock event was so cataclysmic – culturally; musically; and certainly philosophically. Elliot Tiber wrote beautifully about it in his first book Taking Woodstock – a classic if you’ve never read it.
They tried to re-create it in 1994 and though it was good, it just didn’t have that magical flavor of the first one. I wasn’t at either, but as you can imagine, music from that 1969 concert still lives passionately today. I was, however, at Live Aid and that was my Woodstock for sure.
Not to get too poetic, but I came across a great quote yesterday: It’s worth being older now, to have been young then.
SHORT TAKES — Derek & The Dominoes Bobby Whitlock on Jim Gordon: “Carl Radle and Jim Gordon … Didn’t get any better than that. The only other alternative [for Derek and the Dominoes] was Jim Keltner. And that’s who should have been the guy and who was supposed to be the guy. But it didn’t turn out that way. He was busy. The rhythm section of Carl and Jim propelled the songs we put together. Jim Gordon is the most musical drummer I ever heard. All of the drums were in tune. literally tuned to a key on the piano. Big kit. But Jim had this wonderful ability to interpret the nuances you could feel but not hear. Carl was solid as a rock. A downbeat player and right on it. So, we have Carl who is solid and down and Jim who is up and on it. So, it was perpetual motion” …
Do you remember “Vehicle” by The Idea of March back in 1970? It became the fastest-selling single in Warner Brothers history. A little-known fact is that 14 seconds of the completed master of “Vehicle” was accidentally erased in the recording studio, (primarily the guitar solo), and the missing section was spliced in from a previously discarded take. The song reached #2 in Billboard, and #1 in Cashbox. The album “Vehicle” reached #55 nationally … Dolly Parton sings with Elton John on “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” on her forthcoming rock ‘n roll album. I bet it’ll sound great, but how many covers of that song has there been? Maybe they should have picked a John/Taupin deep-cut like “Come Down In Time” or “Amoreena.” Just saying … Does the phrase DLYZECOMKIN mean anything to you?
Believe it or not, in one of those crazy-jumble games online, the phrase translates into Micky Dolenz. Crazy, right? See for yourself: https://invasion24.com/2023/03/19/daily-jumble-puzzle-answers-march-19-2023/
… Speaking of Dolenz, he departs Thursday on a Flower Power Cruise; then starts his Headquarters-tour on April 1 in Orlando …
Charles F. Rosenay does the Zach Martin Big Fat American Podcast next week, for his new release, The Book of Top 10 Beatles Lists (KIWI Publishing) … HAPPY BDAY Gia Ramsey!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Carol Geiser; Bob Meyerowitz; eYada; Andy Rosen; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Paul Haig; Terry Jastrow; Anthony Pomes; Mark Bego; Charles F. Rosenay; Bill Graham; Kip Cohen; Heather Moore; Charley Crespo; [Robert Miller; John Luongo; LIME; Carl Strube; Jen Ramos; and CHIP!
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