Local Current Blog

Music News: Aretha Franklin sings ‘Purple Rain’ at the White House

On Saturday, President Barack Obama invited a host of music luminaries to the White House to celebrate International Jazz Day. Among the performers — along with the likes of Herbie HancockWayne Shorter, and Sting — was Aretha Franklin, who paid tribute to Prince by singing a portion of “Purple Rain.” Watch the performance here. (Rolling Stone)

At Jazz Fest in New Orleans, My Morning Jacket joined forces with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to play “Purple Rain” and “Sign O’ the Times.” (Rolling Stone)

A piece of Prince history is going up for sale: a leather-sleeved blazer worn by the star in Purple Rain will be auctioned on June 29, with an asking price of several thousand dollars; auctioneer Joe Maddalena expects the final selling price could be much higher. (Rolling Stone)

Locally, the annual MayDay parade — known for its giant puppets created by theater company In the Heart of the Beast — featured an unmistakable Prince tribute.

Paul McCartney meets “Blackbird” inspirations

In Little Rock on Saturday night, Paul McCartney met two of the women who inspired his classic Beatles song “Blackbird.” Thelma Mothershed Wair and Elizabeth Eckford were among the “Little Rock Nine” who led the desegregation of Alabama schools in 1957. Performing the song that night, McCartney said the struggle over desegregation “made me want to write a song that, if it ever got back to the people going through those troubles, it might just help them a little bit.” (Rolling Stone)

Pearl Jam take Ten

To celebrate their tenth consecutive sell-out at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, Pearl Jam played their 1991 album Ten from front to back, which they’d never before done at a U.S. show. (Rolling Stone)

Today’s Beyoncé news

On Saturday night in Manchester, the Dixie Chicks covered “Daddy Lessons,” a country song that appears on the new Beyoncé album Lemonade. (Pitchfork)

Lemonade is poised to debut at number one, Billboard reports, moving well over a million album-equivalent units counting both sales and streaming. The album would displace the Prince greatest-hits collection that soared to the top of the charts last week. Also notable on the album chartsGraham Nash has his biggest solo album since 1974, with This Path Tonight cracking the top 100.

Charley Pride takes a victory lap

Singer-songwriter Charley Pride, celebrated as having broken through the country-music color barrier with a string of big hits in the ’60s and ’70s, has announced a tour marking his 50th anniversary as a performing artist. The tour kicks off on April 30 in Albuquerque and stops in Mahnomen, Minn. on Aug. 12. (Rolling Stone)

Styx vid raked over the coals

On Friday’s Tonight ShowJimmy Fallon and Paul Rudd presented a shot-by-shot recreation of the infamous video for the 1981 Styx hit “Too Much Time On My Hands.” (Rolling Stone)