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Howard Carroll, lead guitarist for Dixie Hummingbirds, dies

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A lead guitarist for the influential and Grammy Award-winning gospel group the Dixie Hummingbirds has died in Philadelphia.

Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services says Howard Carroll died Tuesday at an assisted-living facility at age 92.

The Dixie Hummingbirds started as a quartet of students formed by James B. Davis in a Greenville, South Carolina, high school in 1928. The group toured widely and recorded a cappella for the Decca label in the 1930s and then relocated to Philadelphia in the 1940s.

After World War II, as the sound of gospel changed, the Hummingbirds added bass, drums and guitar supplied by Carroll.

They performed on Paul Simon's "Loves Me Like a Rock" in 1973 and won a Grammy for their own version.

The band's influence extends well beyond gospel circles to artists including James Brown and Stevie Wonder.

Top 20 Global Concert Tours from Pollstar

The Top 20 Global Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows Worldwide. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.


1. U2; $7,406,599; $113.22.

2. Coldplay; $6,275,320; $97.45.

3. Guns N' Roses; $4,823,573; $102.22.

4. Celine Dion; $3,800,791; $141.10.

5. Lady Gaga; $3,466,727; $118.04.

6. Depeche Mode; $2,675,543; $77.38.

7. Bruno Mars; $2,262,621; $115.39.

8. Roger Waters; $1,857,933; $123.70.

9. Neil Diamond; $1,499,313; $107.23.

10. Ed Sheeran; $1,380,144; $86.28.

11. Ariana Grande; $1,286,562; $78.20.

12. Queen + Adam Lambert; $1,243,344; $97.91.

13. Kendrick Lamar; $1,220,753; $89.49.

14. Tim McGraw / Faith Hill; $1,201,051; $84.84.

15. Florida Georgia Line; $1,082,649; $52.03.

16. Zac Brown Band; $1,082,026; $50.16.

17. Luke Bryan; $1,054,470; $54.57.

18. Jerry Seinfeld; $1,002,328; $124.92.

19. J. Cole; $878,994; $79.10.

20. John Mayer; $878,299; $66.14.

For free upcoming tour information, go to


Steely Dan Start Life Without Walter Becker

Months after the death of co-founder Walter Becker, surviving Steely Dan bandleader Donald Fagen has taken the group's new lineup on the road.

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20 Times Robert Plant Shot Down a Led Zeppelin Reunion

Here's how many times Robert Plant has crushed your Led Zeppelin reunion dreams.

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Rush Announce 'Farewell to Kings' 40th Anniversary Set

Rush are releasing a 40th anniversary edition of their 1977 album 'A Farewell to Kings.'

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Phil Miller, Canterbury Scene Influence, Dead at 68

Influential British prog musician Phil Miller has died at the age of 68.

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40 Years Ago: ELO's 'Out of the Blue' Marks a Turning Point

With 'Out of the Blue,' everything got more expansive for the Electric Light Orchestra – the songs, the concept, the shows and the issues.

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Ozzy Osbourne Says He's Making Progress on Next Solo Album

Ozzy Osbourne confirms that he's "about seven songs" into a new solo project, though it remains unclear when the album might arrive.

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Tom Petty Was Planning a 'Wildflowers' Tour

Tom Petty was reportedly planning a tour centered on his 1994 solo album 'Wildflowers' at the time of his death.

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Grammy museum pays homage to New Jersey musical legacy

Newark is joining Los Angeles, Nashville and Cleveland, Mississippi, as a host of a museum celebrating the Grammy music awards, a tip of the hat to the state's rich musical legacy.

The Grammy Museum Experience officially opens Thursday at Newark's Prudential Center arena. It features a trove of memorabilia from numerous artists, with a focus on new Jersey natives such as Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra and Whitney Houston. It also has interactive exhibits that let visitors get behind the mic or mixing board to make their own music.

The museum is another jewel in the revitalization of Newark's downtown, stretching back to the opening of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center 20 years ago. The Prudential Center opened in 2007 and is considered among the top concert venues in the country. Together the two have served as catalysts for new retail and residential development.

"We look forward to welcoming musicians, music lovers, students, families, and visitors of all kinds to Newark," Democratic Mayor Ras Baraka said. "The arrival of the Grammy Museum at Newark just further proves what we've been saying all along — we are America's next destination city."

The driving force behind the project is Bob Santelli, founding executive director of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, which opened in 2008. It didn't hurt that Santelli is a New Jersey native who grew up with members of Springsteen's E Street Band and has written two books with The Boss.

When the decision was made to put exhibits around the country, certain spots were natural choices: Nashville as the center of country music, and Mississippi as the birthplace of the blues, the precursor to rock 'n' roll.

Newark and northern New Jersey, home to the likes of Houston and Sinatra along with Queen Latifah, jazz giant Sarah Vaughan, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and numerous others, made sense as well.

"It had a tremendous musical legacy much like the Mississippi Delta, but it had been overlooked over much of the last half century," Santelli said.

The museum is equal parts traditional and hands-on. Among the exhibits are some of the more famous costumes from past Grammy ceremonies, from Ella Fitzgerald to Michael Jackson, Madonna to Beyonce and Taylor Swift.

A tuxedo worn by Sinatra is there, along with a choir robe worn by Houston when she sang at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, site of her memorial service in 2012. Springsteen's plain white t-shirt and jeans are there as well, in addition to a humorous, hand-written letter to a landlady asking for patience regarding a late rent payment.

Visitors can try their hand at making music with several interactive exhibits. One features a video drumming lesson from Max Weinberg of Springsteen's E Street Band. Another shows how to make a recording with rapper Wyclef Jean.

The museum also will host a variety of programs for students, including one that allows them to meet the artists and another that lets them watch sound checks to see what goes into putting on a concert, Santelli said.

"We're trying to make sure it's not all about the costumes and guitars and interactive," he said. "The physical space is just the tip of the iceberg — the value is in the programs, getting into the schools to bring artists in to talk to the kids."


This story has been corrected to show that the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles opened in 2008, not in 2006.


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November and December 2017 New Music Releases

Christmas is coming early, music lovers.

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Listen to Supersonic Blues Machine's 'Hard Times': Premiere

Supersonic Blues Machine aren't about to let summer come to an end.

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Tom Keifer Unveils 'The Way Life Goes' Video and Deluxe LP Art

Cinderella frontman Tom Keifer will release a deluxe edition of his 2013 solo LP 'The Way Life Goes.'

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Gord Downie, lead singer of The Tragically Hip, has died

Gord Downie, who made himself part of Canada's national identity with songs about hockey and small towns as lead singer and songwriter of iconic rock band The Tragically Hip, has died at age 53 after a battle with brain cancer.

A statement on the band's website said he died Tuesday night "with his beloved children and family close by." The statement did not give a cause of death, though he had been diagnosed earlier with brain cancer.

Since The Tragically Hip's first album in 1987, the band has provided a soundtrack for the lives of many Canadians. "Ahead by a Century" and "Bobcaygeon" are among the best known.

While Canadian musicians Drake, the Weeknd and Justin Bieber have made waves internationally, the Tragically Hip built a huge following of die-hard homegrown fans.

An emotional Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wept in Parliament while talking about Downie on national television in a statement to reporters.

"We are less as a country without Gord Downie in it. We all knew it was coming but we hoped it wasn't," said Trudeau, his voice breaking. "I thought I was going to make it through this but I'm not. It hurts. "

Trudeau also said in a written statement that "Downie uncovered and told the stories of Canada. He was the frontman of one of Canada's most iconic bands, a rock star, artist, and poet whose evocative lyrics came to define a country."

"He loved every hidden corner, every aspect of this country that he celebrated his whole life. And he wanted to make it better," Trudeau said in Ottawa.

Downie was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive and incurable brain cancer, in December 2015. When the band made the news public the following May, expressions of sorrow poured in from across the country.

That same day, the band said it would mount a Canadian tour despite Downie's cancer. Tickets for the 2016 summer tour sold out almost immediately, culminating in a national broadcast of the band's final tour stop at Kingston, Ontario. Millions tuned in.

Downie later said that he needed six teleprompters during the concert series so he would not forget lyrics. But through it all, Downie remained the consummate showman, rocking out on stage in distinctive leather suits.

"Gord knew this day was coming — his response was to spend his precious time as he always had — making music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived, often sealing it with a kiss ... on the lips," the Downie family said in a statement.

During his final show, Downie called out to Trudeau, who attended the concert, to help fix problems in Canada's aboriginal communities.

A few months after that concert, Downie released a solo album with an accompanying graphic novel and animated film inspired by the tragedy of state-funded church schools that Canadian aboriginal children were forced to attend from the 19th century until the 1970s. He said his "Secret Path" project was aimed at Canada's decades-long government policy of requiring aboriginal children to attend residential schools, where physical and sexual abuse was often rampant.

Born in Amherstview, Ontario, Downie said he "always had a keen ear for music" and while all the other kids were spending their allowance on baseball trading cards, he was buying records "from the fathers of rock 'n' roll."

While at university, he met Paul Langlois, Rob Baker, Gord Sinclair and Johnny Fray, and they formed The Tragically Hip, which started out as a cover band.

Their first self-titled EP was released in 1987 and their breakthrough debut full-length album, "Up to Here," was released in 1989. Since then they have released 14 studio albums, two live albums, one EP and 54 singles. Nine of their albums have reached No. 1 in Canada. They have received numerous Canadian music awards, including 14 Juno awards, the equivalent of the Grammy in Canada.

The band's 2012 album, "Now for Plan A," was lyrically influenced by Downie's wife and her successful battle with breast cancer.

 Downie also produced three solo albums since 2001, as well as a collaboration with fellow Canadian indie darlings The Sadies. 

In Kingston, where he grew up, fans left flowers and lined up to sign a book condolences while his music played in the town square in front of city hall.

Fan Ted Nesbitt, who lives north of Toronto, said he wanted to be in Kingston to pay tribute to him and say thank you. In the square — where thousands gathered on Aug. 20, 2016, to watch a public screening of the band's sold-out final concert — a collection of flowers and candles surrounded a commemorative stone for the band.

"He is Canada. To me it's the cottage, the camp fire. There are so many memories listening to Hip songs," Nesbitt said. "It's a piece of your life that's gone. I'm 49 and the Hip has been a part of my life since I was a teenager."

Downie is survived by his wife and four children.


Associated Press writer Rob Gillies reported this story in Kingston and AP writer Charmaine Noronha reported from Toronto.

John Lodge Talks New Moody Blues DVD and Rock Hall Nomination

The Moody Blues' ongoing 50th anniversary celebration for their landmark 'Days of Future Passed' LP will include a new live DVD of the album being performed in concert.

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50 Years Ago: 'Rolling Stone' Magazine Prints Its First Issue

In 1967, rock ’n’ roll was flourishing, the hippie movement was happening and pop sensations had gone from being perceived as teen heartthrobs to experimental artists.

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Tom Petty buried at famous cemetery in private funeral service


Family and friends gathered Monday at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades, California to bid a final farewell to legendary rocker Tom Petty, People magazine reported.

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Petty died of cardiac arrest on Oct. 2 at the age of 66.

The grounds of the shrine are just a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean on Sunset Boulevard, and includes a temple, windmill chapel and meditation garden. The sanctuary also includes a spring-fed lake, waterfalls, and wildlife. 

The funeral for George Harrison, the iconic Beatle and Petty’s Traveling Wilburys band mate,  was held at the shrine in 2001, Rolling Stone magazine reported.

There’s no word on who attended Petty’s private burial, but the musician’s daughter AnnaKim Violette Petty shared scenes from the day on Instagram.

>> Related: Rocker Tom Petty dead at 66, manager says

The music community and fans around the world were grief-stricken with word of Petty’s sudden and unexpected death. Numerous tributes have poured in and musicians have been playing Petty’s music at concerts and shows, honoring his memory. 

That Time Led Zeppelin Stole the Who's Dinner Reservations

Robert Plant said Led Zeppelin once ate for free at one of New York City's hottest spots after he was mistaken for Roger Daltrey.

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Director Bryan Singer Shares More Photos From Queen Movie

After years of delays, the Queen biopic is making serious headway these days.

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ZZ Top Cancel Remaining 2017 Tour Dates

ZZ Top have cancelled the remaining dates on their 2017 tour after bassist Dusty Hill was ordered to "lay low" by his doctors.

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