Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: Natalie Cole memorial service draws Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, other greats

Natalie Cole was laid to rest on Monday with a memorial service at the Church of God in Los Angeles. Among those in attendance at the service were Smokey RobinsonStevie WonderLionel Richie, and Chaka Khan. “I feel so blessed to have called you my friend, and my buddy, and many times my confidante,” said Robinson. “You are so real and down-to-earth. Now I have to say you’re so real and up to heaven.” Cole died on Dec. 31, at age 65. (Rolling Stone)

We are remembering the life and music of David Bowie in an ongoing series of features. Find the complete list here, and share your own memory of Bowie.

Golden Globe winner Sam Smith seemed confused when a reporter asked whether he was surprised when Thom Yorke released a Spectre theme song independently. When Jimmy Napes, co-writer of Smith’s song “Writing’s On the Wall,” explained that Yorke is in Radiohead, Smith understood and admitted that he was surprised — but said, “I haven’t listened to it, personally, because I did the Spectre theme song.” (Stereogum)

First the Minnesota Orchestra, and now Major Lazer: the Diplo dancehall project will be one of the first major U.S. pop acts to play Cuba since President Barack Obama moved to ease restrictions on travel between the two countries. Major Lazer will play a free show in front of the U.S. Embassy on March 6. (Billboard)

After becoming the first country artist to win the Gershwin Award for Popular Song, Willie Nelson plans to release a George and Ira Gershwin tribute album. Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin will be released Feb. 26. (Rolling Stone)

Willie Nelson Summertime

Time to revise those Creedence Clearwater Revival lyrics guides: “Run Through the Jungle,” says John Fogerty, wasn’t actually a song about the Vietnam War, as was widely believed. “The thing I wanted to talk about,” the CCR frontman told Dan Rather, “was gun control and the proliferation of guns.” (Rolling Stone)

On Jan. 14, the Elvis Costello concert film Detour: Live at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall will show in select theaters. Costello has released a clip from the film, in which he sings his 2010 song “Jimmie Standing in the Rain.” (Billboard)

A documentary about rock executive Danny Fields is closer to hitting theaters; the film has been picked up for distribution by Magnolia Pictures. Fields managed the RamonesIggy and the Stooges, and MC5. (Billboard)

Onstage in New York, Steve Earle endorsed Bernie Sanders as he played his 2004 song “The Revolution Starts Now.” (Billboard)

James Corden has released a teaser of an upcoming segment of his popular “Carpool Karaoke” series — featuring none other than Adele. The full segment airs on Corden’s CBS show Wednesday night. (Billboard)