Local Current Blog

Music News: ‘Do You Want to Dance’ singer Bobby Freeman dies at 76

Detail of the 'Do You Want to Dance' cover art

Singer-songwriter Bobby Freeman has died of a heart attack at age 76. Freeman was just a teenager when he wrote and recorded “Do You Want to Dance,” a top five hit in 1958. The song became one of the era’s most iconic singles, thanks in part to later covers by artists including the Beach Boys and the Ramones, and an appearance on the American Graffiti soundtrack. Freeman had two more chart hits over the next several years, and toured on the oldies circuit thereafter. (New York Times)

New Phife Dawg verse emerges

Coincidentally, “Wanna Dance” is the title of a new Dwele song that features a verse from the late Phife Dawg. The track will appear on both Dwele’s forthcoming album Same Book…New Chapter and a posthumous Phife Dawg collection, Forever. (Okayplayer)

Don a helmet on Snapchat

Snapchat has unveiled a Daft Punk filter nationwide in honor of the duo’s Grammys appearance and Los Angeles pop-up shop. (Pitchfork)

Another difficult-to-describe new National spinoff project

Okay, this one takes some explaining. There was an evening-long stage work called Black Mountain Songs that premiered in 2014. A studio recording of the music from that show is now being released as the debut album of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus — yes, an actual youth chorus. The music, curated by Bryce Dessner (The National) and Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), features contributions from artists including Caroline Shaw and Jherek Bischoff. It’s out March 31, and you can now hear a track on Pitchfork.

Today’s political news

Lady Gaga, Tegan and Sara, Cyndi Lauper, and Alicia Keys are among the signatories of a letter protesting a proposed “bathroom bill” that would limit transgender rights in Texas — akin to a controversial bill that’s now law in North Carolina. (Rolling Stone)

Drake offers to talk suicidal man off the ledge

On Sunday in Manchester, England, Drake’s tour bus was among the vehicles held up in a traffic jam due to a suicidal man who was threatening to jump off a bridge. By way of a representative, Drake offered to talk to the man if it would help; officers declined the offer, and the man was ultimately safely removed from the bridge and taken to a local hospital for assessment. (Manchester Evening News)

Elle King thanks you for being a friend

All seven seasons of The Golden Girls are now streaming on Hulu, and people are excited — people including Elle King. She covered the show’s theme song “Thank You For Being a Friend” — written and originally recorded by Andrew Gold in 1978, then sung by Cynthia Fee for the sitcom credits — in a video commissioned by Hulu. (Billboard)