Josh Groban

All during the pandemic and various lock downs, Josh Groban has given some performances via online.  This summer he will finally be making a tour for his “Harmony” album that was released during the pandemic in November 2020.

Groban is bringing some special guests along on the tour – the Preservation Jazz Hall Band, violinist and singer Lucia Micarelli, and Eleri Ward.

With the warm summer months, Groban has planned the tour to take place in predominantly outdoor venues.

Tickets to the general public will go on sale February 4 at 10am local time.

A number of VIP ticket packages will be available for the tour:
The Intimate Soundcheck Experience includes a spot in the first 15 rows, the souncheck with a Q&A, a group photo with Josh, autographed merchandise, access to the private pre-show lounge, early entry and access to the merch table, and a concert concierge.

The Josh Groban Harmony Pre-Show Experience includes a seat in the first 20 rows, access to the pre-show lounge, a gift, early entry and shopping, and a concert concierge.

The Josh Groban merchandise package includes a premium seat, a gift, early entry and shopping, and a concert concierge.

The On the Lawn Experience includes a seat on the lawn with access to the Happy Hour, a picnic basket, early shopping, and a concert concierge.

Josh Groban tour dates:
June 17 at the Pine Knob Music Theater in Detroit, MI
June 18 at the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, OH
June 21 at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater in Milwaukee, WI
June 23 at the Ruoff Music Center in Indianapolis, IN
June 25 at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Chicago, IL
June 26 at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis, MO
June 28 at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto, ON
June 29 at the Blossom Music Center in Cleveland, OH
July 1 at the Darien Lake Amphitheater in Darien, NY
July 2 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY
July 5 at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, NY
July 6 at the Leader Bank Pavilion in Boston, MA
July 8 at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY
July 9 at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ
July 12 at the Mann Center in Philadelphia, PA
July 13 at the Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA
July 15 at the Live Oak Bank Pavilion in Wilmington, NC
July 16 at the Cadence Bank Amphitheater in Atlanta, GA
July 18 at The Orion Amphitheater in Huntsville, AL
July 19 at the FirstBank Amphitheater in Franklin, TN
July 21 at the Walmart AMP in Rogers, AR
July 22 at the Starlight Theater in Kansas City, MO
July 24 at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO
July 27 at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, UT
July 29 at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA
July 30 at the Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 2 at The Greek Theater in Los Angeles, CA

Sir Paul Celebrates 50 Years of ‘Wild Life’

Less than a year after the breakup of The Beatles in 1970, Sir Paul McCartney, wife Linda, Denny Laine, and Denny Seiwell recorded “Wild Life”, the debut album for Wings.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of “Wild Life’s” release.

In celebration of his new rock band…and a new career…Sir Paul is releasing a limited edition half-speed mastered vinyl version of the album.

In an unheard of time span by today’s standards, the album was recorded in less than a week.  Paul and Wings recorded many of the songs on the album in a single take.

There is also a global listening party of the album on February 4 – the day of album release – beginning at noon EST or 5pm BST.  Fans can access the listening party via Apple Music or Spotify.

The album is available for pre-order on and sells for $34.98US.  The album went on to break the top 10 on the Billboard Album chart and be certified gold by the RIAA – Recording Industry Association of America.

The tracklisting for “Wild Life”:
“Bip Bop”
“Love is Strange”
“Wild Life”
“Some People Never Know”
“I Am Your Singer”
“Dear Friend”

feature photo: album art

Rock Hall Exhibit Comes to LA Convention Center

For the past several years the world of rock and roll and football have been tied together by spectacular half time performances and historic national anthem renditions.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the National Football League have created a traveling exhibit featuring “The Biggest Show on Turf: 56 Years of Halftime Shows”.

The exhibit is a part of the Super Bowl Experience being held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 5, 6, and 10-12.

The exhibit has been on display at the Hall of Fame since last April.

CEO and Rock Hall President Greg Harris spoke on the exhibit saying, “the Super Bowl has always been bigger than just the game. It’s a cultural phenomenon that brings fans together with music and football for an experience like no other.  We are thrilled to collaborate with the NFL and Pepsi to travel the exhibit to the Super Bowl and celebrate the dynamic history of the Halftime Show with fans.”

Featured in the immersive exhibit are the mirrored room that was a part of The Weeknd’s halftime show last year in Tampa, Katy Perry’s beach-ball costume complete with Left Shark from 2015, a behind the scenes look at Lady Gaga and Beyonce’s performances, stage plans from The Who’s show; plus time lapse presentations of setting up and tearing down of the performances over the years.

Also included in the exhibit are football inspired memorabilia from the Rock Hall including Roger Daltry’s football helmet and Joe Walsh’s University of Texas football jersey.

Fans can purchase tickets for the Super Bowl Experience at

The most watched television program in the world, drawing some 100 million viewers, the Super Bowl brings together sport and music like no other and sparks conversations around the “water cooler” for weeks after each airing.

When the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams meet for Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium on February 13; Rap artists Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J Blige will provide the halftime entertainment.

More Artists Join in Spotify Protest

Folk singer Neil Young started a firestorm last week when he issues an ultimatum to the streaming service Spotify demanding that either his music or podcaster Joe Rogan be removed from the service.

For many, Young’s protests are about censorship; but it has to do with the passing on of misinformation related to the cornovirus.

Spotify has granted Young’s request and will remove his music from the service while allowing Rogan to continue spreading his “alternate facts” to his eleven million followers.

In a message on his website, Young noted, “when I left Spotify, I felt better.”  He added, “private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that disseminates harmful information.  I am happy and proud to stand in solidarity with the front line health care workers who risk their lives every day to help others.”

Young is not the only old Folkie who is seeking to have their music removed from the service.  Award winning singer Joni Mitchell has also requested that Spotify remove her music as a show of solidarity with Young.

In a message posted on her website, Mitchell said, “i Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives.  I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”

The 78 year old Mitchell no longer produces hit songs, but her songs plays reach nearly four million each month.  Her songs “Big Yellow Taxi” and “A Case of You” have been streamed over 100 million times.

Guitarist for Bruce Springsteen and Crazy Horse member Nils Lofgren is joining the Spotify protest and is removing his music from the service.  Lofgren said via a statement, “we encourage all musicians, artists and music lovers everywhere to stand with us and cut ties with Spotify.”

Spotify has noted that they have removed over 20,000 podcasts from their service for false information related to the Covid-19 virus.  However, none of those removals were from “The Joe Rogan Experience”.  Recently Rogan featured Dr. Robert Malone in his podcast.  Malone has been banned from Twitter due to posting misinformation related to the coronavirus.  The podcast drew protest from scientists, professors and public health experts who were seeking to have the episode removed.

Rogan currently has a contract that could bring in over $100 million.

In an effort to be more transparent, Spotify has said that they will be adding content advisories to the beginning of any podcast related to the virus.  The advisories will link to Spotify’s fact-based COVID-19 hub.

Chief executive for Spotidy Daniel Ek responded to the controversy saying, “personally, there are plenty of individuals and views on Spotify that I disagree with strongly. It is important to me that we don’t take on the position of being content censor while also making sure that there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them.”

While saying that they intend to honour their commitment to producing numerous podcasts via their Archewell Audio platform, Prince Harry and wife Meghan have expressed concern over misinformation related to the virus.

Two in Row at Rolex 24 in Daytona

After 24 hours, 61 cars, 235 drivers, 13 manufacturers, and 15 full course cautions; the 60th Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona concluded  with five very excited teams, including one climbing the fence.

Appropriately the number 60 Meyer-Shank Racing car crossed the finish line edging out the defending champions with Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves at the wheel. 

Known as Spiderman around the racing paddock, Castroneves was joined by his team members for a celebratory climbing of the fence at Daytona International Speedway.  The Meyer-Shank drivers ran a total of 761 laps around the 3.56 mile track over the 24 hours of the endurance race for over 2,000 miles of racing.

This was a second straight win of the Rolex 24 for Castroneves who drove for Wayne Taylor Racing last season on his way to becoming the first driver to win the Rolex 24 and the Indy 500 in the same year.

Fellow IndyCar driver Colton Herta was behind the wheel of the DragonSpeed number 81 car and brought home the LMP2 win for his team.

Felipe Fraga was behind the wheel of the number 74 Riley Motorsports car to win the LMP3 class. 

In the GT classes, Felipe Nasr was the first driver to cross the finish line in the new GT Pro class; while the number 47 car won in the GTD class.

Race winners in each class receive one of the most coveted prizes in racing – a Rolex watch.

Seven time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson took the number 48 Ally car to the garage overnight with suspension issues. 

While temperatures dropped into the low 30’s during the early morning hours, it failed to reach record low numbers which was set in 1966 when the temperature dropped to 28 degrees.

Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona results:
Meyer-Shank Racing – Tom Blomqvist, Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, and Oliver Jarvis – drivers

Rick Taylor Racing – Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, Alexander Ross, and Will Stevens – drivers

JDC MotorSports – Loic Duval, Ben Keating, Tristan Vautier, and Richard Westbrook – drivers

Ally Cadillac – Pipo Derani, Tristan Nunez, and Mike Conway – drivers

DragonSpeed USA – Devlin Defrancesco, Patricio O’Ward, Colton Herta, and Eric Lux – drivers

ORECA #29 – Giedovander Garde, Dylan Mjrray, Rinus Veekay, and Van Eerd – drivers

ORECA #8 – Ferdinand Habsburg-Lothringen, John Farano, Louis Deletraz, and Rui Pintode drivers

PRI Mathiasen Motorsports – Scott Huffaker, Nicolas Lapierre, Ben Keating, and Mikkel Jensen drivers

G-Drive Racing – Rene Rast, Francois Heriau, Oliver Rasmussen, and Ed Jones drivers

ORECA #22 – Will Owens, James McGuire, Guy Smith, and Phil Hanson drivers

Ally Cadillac #48 – Kamui Kobayashi, Jimmie Johnson, Jose Maria Lopez, and Mike Rockenfeller drivers

Cadillac Racing 02 – Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, Marcus Ericsson, and Kevin Magnussen drivers

Riley Motorsports – Felipe Fraga, Kayvan Berlo, Michael Cooper, and Gar Robinson drivers

Cadillac Racing 01 – Alex Palou, Rengervander Zande, Sebastien Bourdais, and Scott Dixon drivers

Sean Creech Motorsports – Malthe Jakobsen, Seb Priaulx, Lance Wilsey, and Joao Barbosa drivers

Core Autosport – Colin Braun, George Kurtz, Nic Jonsson, and Jon Bennett drivers

Ligier #36 – Gabby Chaves, Jarett Andretti, Josh Burdon, and Rasmus Lindh drivers

Era Motorsport – Paul-Loup Chatin Merriman, Kyle Tilley, and Ryan Dalziel drivers

Porsche 911 #9 – Mathieu Jaminet, Felipe Nasr, and Matt Campbell driversRisi Competizione – Alessandro Pier Guidi  James Calado, Daniel Serra, and Davide Rigon drivers

Porsche 911 #2 – Laurens Vanthoor, Patrick Pilet, Dennis Olsen, and Alexandre Imperatori drivers

Vasser Sullivan – Jack Hawksworth, Ben Barnicoat, and Kyle Kirkwood drivers

Proton USA – Dirk Mueller, Patrick Assenheimer, and Austin Cindric drivers

Wright Motorsports – Jan Heylen, Richard Lietz, Ryan Hardwick, and Zacharie Robichon drivers

GRT Magnus – Spencer Pumpelly, Jonathan Adam, John Potter, and Andy Lally drivers

Gilbert/Korthoff Motorsports – Mike Skeen, James Davison, Stevan McAleer, and Scott Andrews drivers

AF CORSE – Nicklas Nielson, Toni Vilander, Simon Mann, and Luis Perez Companc drivers

Inception Racing – Jordan Pepper, Brendan Iribe, Frederik Schandorff, and Ollie Millroy drivers

Winward Racing – Philip Ellis, Mikael Grenier, Lucas Auer, and Russell Ward drivers

Corvette Racing #3 – Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor, and Nicky Catsburg drivers

BMW M Team #25 – Jesse Krohn, Connor De  Phillippi, John Edwards, and Augusto Farfus drivers

Team TGM – Owen Trinkler, Ted Giovanis, Hugh Plumb, and Matt Plumb drivers

AWA Duqueine – Mathew Bell, Orey Fidani, Kuno Wittner, and Lars Kern drivers

Lamborghini Huracan – Maximilian Paul, Misha Goikhberg, Franck Perera, and Mateo LLarena drivers

Heart of Racing Team #27 – Tom Gamble, Roman De Angelis, Ian James, and Darren Turner drivers

Muehlner Motorsports – Nolan Siegel, Cameron Sheilds, CR Crews, and Ugode Wilde drivers

WeatherTech Racing #79 – Matteo Cairoli, Alessio PIcariello, Cooper MacNeil, and Julien Andlauer

Porsche 911 #99 – Katherine Legge, Stefan Wilson, Nick Boulle, and Rob Ferriol drivers

TR3 Racing #19 – Giacomo Altoe, Jeff Segal, Bill Sweedler and John Megrue drivers

Northwest AMR – Charlie Eastwood, Nicki Thiim, Paul DallaLana, and David Pittard drivers

BMW M Team #24 – Philipp Eng, Marco Wittmann, Nick Yelloly, and Sheldon vander Lnde drivers

PRI Mathiasen Motorsports – Harry Tincknel, Steven Thomas, Josh Person, and Jonathan Bomarito drivers

Gradient Racing – Mario Farmbacher, Kyffin Simpson, Till Bechtolsheimer, and Marc Miller drivers

Cetilar Racing – Alessio Rovera, Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto, and Antonio Fuoco drivers

VasserSullivan – Richard Heistand, Townsend Bell, Frankie Montecalvo and Aaron Telitz drivers

Corvette Racing #4 – Marco Sorensen, Tommy Milner, and Nick Tandy drivers

Performance Tech Motorsports – Garett Grist, Nico Pino, Dan Goldburg, and Hikaru Abe drivers

G-Drive Racing – James Allen, Luca Ghiotto, Tijemvander Helm, and John Falb drivers

NTE/SSR – Markus Palttala, Don Young, Benja Hites, and Jaden Conwright drivers

WeatherTech Racing #97 – Daniel Juncadella, Maro Engel, Jules Gounon, and Cooper MacNeil drivers

Forty7 Motorsports – Trenton Estep, Antoine Doquin, Mark Kvamme, and Austin McCusker drivers

TR3 Racing #63 – Andrea Caldarelli, Mirko Bortolotti, Rolf Ineichen, and Marco Mapelli drivers

Muehlner Motorsports = Moritz Kranz, Ayrton Ori, Joel Miller, and Efrin Castro drivers

Peregrine Racing – Sandy Mitchell, Jeff Westphal, Robert Megennis, and Corey Lewis drivers

ORECA #20 – Nico Mueller, Dennis Anderen, Anders Fjordbach, and Fabio Scherer drivers

Turner Motorsports – Robby Foely, Bill Auberlen, Michael Dinan, and Jens Klingmann drivers

McLaren – Patrick Gallagher, Paul Holton, Lance Bergstein, and Jon Miller drivers

Alegra Motorsports – Michaelde Quesada, Daniel Morad, Linus Lundqvist, and Miximilian Goetz drivers

Heart of Racing Team #23 – Ross Gunn, Alex Riberas, and Masime Martin drivers

SunEnergy 1 Racing – Luca Stolz, Raffaele Marciello, Fabian Schiller, and Kenny Habul drivers

GMG Racing – James Sofranas, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Klaus Bachler, and Kyle Washington drivers


IMSA Kicks Off Season with Rolex 24 Hour Race

On January 29 a record 61 cars came to Daytona International Speedway for the annual start of the IMSA racing season.  Originally only a three hour race, the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona has become one of the biggest races of the season.  This year marks the 60th annual race.

A 24 hour endurance race, each team has three or four drivers who which off during the race.  Two hundred and thirty five drivers will take part in this year’s race from all manor of racing series.

Previously the Rolex 24 Hour Race featured four classes of cars, but this year a new class has been added – GTD Prototype – to join the DPI, GTD, LNP2, and LNP3 classes running around the 3.56 mile road course. 

A very prestigious racer, the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona brings in races from all over the world including Formula One, NASCAR, IndyCar, and IMSA.  Seven time NASCAR Cup Series champion and current IndyCar driver Jimmie Johnson is making his ninth start in the 24 Hours race.  Johnson is being joined by fellow IndyCar drivers Scott Dixon, Sebastian Bordais, Alex Palou, Helio Castroneves, Alexander Rossi, Marcus Ericsson, Simon Pagenaud, Devlin DeFrancisco, Colton Herta, Pato O’Ward, and Kyle Kirkwood.

Austin Cindric is the lone NASCAR driver entered this year.

The 2022 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona waved the green flag at 1:41pm with defending race champions Wayne Taylor Racing sitting on the pole and bringing the field to green.

By the time the checked flag drops on Sunday afternoon, the drivers would have run several hundred miles – over half of them under the lights.


The Bleachers have a new album out “Live at Electric Lady” and beginning in May the band is launching a tour. Tickets go on sale February 4 at noon.

Bleachers tour dates:
March 24 & 25 at Roadrunner in Boston, MA
May 17 at the House of Blues in Orlando, FL
May 18 at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg, FL
May 20 at The Filmore in New Orleans. LA
May 21 at Stubbs BBQ in Austin, TX
May 24 at the House of Blues in Houston, TX
May 25 at the South Side Ballroom in Dallas, TX
May 27 at the BottleRock Napa Valley in Napa County, CA
June 10 at Privavera Sound in Sant Adrià De Besòs, Spain
June 15 at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA
June 17 at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN
June 20 at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO
June 23 at The Orpheum in Vancouiver, BC
June 25 at Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA
June 26 at the McMenamins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove, OR
June 28 at the San Jose Civic Center in San Jose, CA
June 29 at The Forum in Los Angeles, CA
July 22 at the Thompson’s Point Outdoor Concerts and Events in Portland, ME
July 26 at Radio Music Hall in New York City, NY
July 27 at Artpark in Lewiston, NY
July 29 at the Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY

Xfinity Driver Harmon Makes Final Appeal

On November 22, 2021, Xfinity Series driver and team owner Mark Harmon was suspended indefinitely for violating the rules regarding testing. His original ruling also involved at $50,000 fine and six race suspension for crew chief Ryan Bell; which were later rescinded.

Harmon appealed the ruling but on his final appeal to the National Motorsports Final Appeal Officer who ruled that due to a change in the rule book Harmon can be reinstated but will begin the season minus 75 driver points and 75 owner points.

Harmon is the driver and owner of the number 74 Xfinity Series car.

Points are awarded for each finishing position with the winner earning 40 points and each successive position receives one point less than the one in front of them on the final standings.

feature photo credit: Mike harmon (47029500824).jpg

Katy Perry Extends Vegas Residency

While there are artists canceling shows in Las Vegas, Pop star Katy Perry has added some dates to her engagement.

After selling out her residency, Perry has added 16 dates to her engagement. Tickets go on sale at 10am Pacific time on January 29. The new dates begin in May and run through the summer.

The new dates are:
May 27-29
June 3,4, 8, 10 & 11
July 29 & 30
Aug 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13

The “Katy Perry PLAY” show is at the Resorts World Theatre – a 5,000 seat theatre. The intimate venue’s furthest seat is just 150 feet from the stage.

Perry will return along with Lionel Richie and Luke Perry for the 20th season of “American Idol” on February 27.

“Saturday Night Live” fans can catch Perry in a performance on January 29.

feature photo credit: Katy Perry performing Vegas residency.png

David Jameson Wanders ‘The Tall Dark Pines’

Country Noir artist David Jameson has just released his debut album “Tall Dark Pines”.

Corporate consultant turned songwriter, Jameson taps into a variety of experiences when creating the album. Those experiences include playing in some local establishments in China while on a college trip, participating in a national Chinese singing competitions where he even sang in Mandarin, coming in second on one such competition, and immersion in Malaysian culture while working as consultant; as well as Latin America, Europe, and South East Asia. Bust most of all, Jameson relished in soaking up new influences from the local cultures where ever he was.

It is these experiences and influences that can be heard in Jameson’s music with an album that mirrors his own life.

feature photo credit: courtesy of IVPR

Kanye West Has Idea to Help Homeless

Homelessness in America has reached epidemic proportions in recent years, but TMZ reports that award winning rapper Kanye West has a way to help…at least in a limited capacity.

Looking to help the homeless of Los Angeles, West is proposing a fashion show with the homeless doing the modeling.

West is teaming up with David Sebastian and Skid Row Fashion Week to provide clothing for the models and to raise funds to aid the homeless in what they are calling Yeezy X Skid Row Fashion Week.

A portion of all sales will go to aid people who live on Skid Row. The factory where the clothing for the Fashion Week is made employee the homeless. Money made from the sale of the clothes will go to hire more workers at the factory.

Sebastian is also looking for a way to incorporate items found on Skid Row into the clothing…like a jacket that includes garbage bags.

The fashion line is scheduled to be released on February 22.

West and Sebastian are currently in the early stages of creating a fashion show where factory workers will be the models.

Previously, West has met with Los Angeles city leaders to address the homeless issue and ways to solve it.

feature photo credit: Kanye West @ MoMA (F).jpg

NASCAR Announces 1st Live DJ at Event

Next weekend, NASCAR will make history when they bring the Busch Light Clash to the Los Angeles Coliseum; but that isn’t all…

NASCAR has already announced that Ice Cube and Pitbull will be performing during the event.

On January 27, NASCAR has again made a historic announcement by bringing the first live DJ to a racing event.

During the caution breaks, DJ Skee will perform to help keep the crowd energized.

NASCAR senior vice president for stratagy and innovation Ben Kennedy spoke on the historic move saying, “we’ve said from the beginning that the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum is a first-of-its-kind event, and having DJ Skee spinning during the caution breaks adds to the fresh, unique nature of this event. DJ Skee is a world-class talent who is going to create a fun and entertaining experience for everyone as our drivers prepare to take the green flag once more.”

DJ Skee has helpted introduce the world to numerous artists including Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, Post Malone, and Travis Scott.

His accolades include Mixtape and Radio DJ of the Year and on the list of Billboard and Forbes “30 Under 30”. He has two million followers and over four billion views on his network.

DJ Skee spoke on being a part of the Busch Light Clash saying, “I like the fun way that NASCAR is approaching this race, and it’s an honor to be part of that fun. I know we’re going to have a lot of it together and create lasting memories on this historic day for NASCAR.”

In the backyard of the glitz and glamour that is Hollywood, NASCAR has more surprises in store over the next week.

Original Charlie Brown Actor Dies

When the Peanuts gang premiered on television in the 1960’s, they used real children to portray the characters.

The boy who voiced Charlie Brown, Peter Robbins, died this January as a result of suicide at the age of 65. Nor further details of the death were given.

Robbins had his issues with mental illness and had been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder. His illness even resulted in a jail sentence for stalking.

Robbins’ agent Dylan Novack reported that Robbins was “ in a bad head space” and had checked himself into a mental hospital shortly after Christmas, but checked himself out on January 18 and was found dead in the days following.

He was born Louis G. Nanasi on August 10, 1956 in Los Angeles, the son of Hungarian immigrants. He began acting when he was just seven years old and became the first person to put a voice to the dour balk headed Charlie Brown for the first four years of the “Peanuts” cartoon series; but was replaced once his voice began to change.

Robbins appeared in a little over two dozen productions including seven Charlie Brown productions, his 1963 debut in “A Ticklish Affair”, “Rawhide”, “The Munsters”, “The F.B.I.”, “F Troop”, “Good Times”, “Get Smart”, “Blondie”, and “My Three Sons”.

He retired from acting in 1972, while still in his teens. He worked as a disc jockey for a time, graduated from the University of California in San Diego with degrees in psychology and communications, and worked in real estate.

Robbins named his own dog Snoopy.

No list of survivors was given.

Feature photo credit: Peter Robbins Blondie 1968 (cropped).JPG

Braves to Take Trophy on Tour

Last November the Atlanta Braves were crowned World Series champions after a six game battle with the Houston Astros.

To commemorate the 151 year history of the Braves, the team will take the World Series trophy on a 151 city tour beginning next month. With the teams still in a lockout situation, the Braves have time to take the trophy on its tour of the south including Alabama, Georgie, Tennessee, Mississippi, and North and South Carolina.

Fans will be able to take photos with the trophy, Braves alum, and more along the tour.

The tour begins February 15 at 11:30am in Colony Square.

Atlanta Braves President and CEO Derek Schiller spoke on the plans saying “we felt the tremendous support of Braves Country throughout the season and particularly in the Postseason, and we are taking this Championship on the road to fans across the Southeast so that they can share in the joy and celebration of this historic victory.”

So far the stops include Dekalb, GA; Cherokee, NC; Alpharetta, GA; and the homes of the Gwinnett Braves, Mississippi Braves, Rome Braves and Augusta GreenJackets; Mobile, AL – the home town of Hank Aaron; and the home town of Jackie Robinson in Cairo, GA.

The Braves are asking fans to help plan more of the tour and can make suggestions at

BBWAA Inducts Single Player to Hall of Fame

Of the 30 finalists eligible for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, only one earned enough votes to become the newest member in the Hall…and he did it on his first try.

Known to his fans as Big Papi, David Ortiz is the sole entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown for 2022. The Baseball Writer’s Association of America (BBWAA) elected Ortiz into the Hall with 307 of the 394 votes or 77.9 percent of the vote. The Dominican Republic native joins fellow countrymen Juan Marichal, Pedro Martinez, and Vladimir Guerrero in the Hall

A player must receive at least 75 percent of the vote in order to be elected into the Hall of Fame. Players must appear on at least five percent of the ballots in order to secure a spot on next year’s ballot.

Steroid era plays did not fair well again this year including Barry Bonds, Curt Schilling, and Roger Clements who were on the ballto for the final time.

The former Boston Red Sox player will join Golden Days nad Early Baseball era inductees Jim Kaat, Tony Olivia, Bud Fowler, GillHodges, Minnie Minoso, and Buck O’Neil.

The new inductees will be enshrined on July 24 in a ceremony at the Hall of Fame.

Complete list of HOF finalists including voting percentages:
David Ortiz – 77.9%
Barry Bonds – 66%
Roger Clements – 65.2%
Scott Roeln – 63.2%
Curt Schilling – 58.6%
Todd Helton – 52%
Billy Wagner – 51%
Andruw Jones – 41.1%
Gary Sheffield – 40.6%
Alex Rodriguez – 34.3%
Jeff Kent – 32.7%
Manny Ramirez – 28.9%
Omar Vizquel – 23.9%
Sammy Sosa – 18.5%
Andy Pettitte 10.7%
Jimmy Rollins – 9.4%
Bobby Abteu – 8.6%
Mark Buehrle – 5.8%
Torii Hunter – 5.3%
Joe Nathan – 4.3%
Tim Hudson – 3%
Tim Lincecum – 2.3%
Ryan Howard – 2%
Mark Teixeria – 1.5%
Justin Morneau – 1.3%
Jonathan Papelbon – 1.3%
Prince Fielder – 0.5%
A.J. Pierzynski – 0.5%
Car Crawford and Jake Peavy failed to earn any votes.

NASCAR Makes Penalty Changes

With a new car in the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR officials have updated the rule book and penalties for violations where the Next Gen car is concerned.

The new car was designed with keeping down some of the costs involved with running a team. But when it comes to violating the new rules, some of the fines have gone up…way up.

NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller spoke on the new rules noting that they intend to keep everything above board saying, “ there’s going to have to be a culture shift from the way that the teams and NASCAR, for that matter, have done business.” He added, “if there aren’t penalties for altering parts and pieces on the new car, then the business model with new car won’t work.”

Miller also noted, “if a regular-season violation has playoff ramifications to it, obviously I think the teams will take that much more seriously than they ever did points with the current playoffs and playoff-point format that we have.”

All throughout the history of NASCAR, teams have routinely pushed the limits of the rules and have at times gotten caught. With the new rules, it will be harder for the teams to push those limits.

NASCAR has various levels of penalties form L1 to L3 – the most serious.

L1 penalties include failures in post race inspections, use of unapproved parts, and minimum weight requirements.

Violations of an L1 penalty include points deductions beginning at 20 points, deductions of playoff points, suspension of a crew member, and fines from $25,000 to $100,000.

L2 penalty violations include part modifications, failure to make engine-seal requirements, unapproved alterations of the engine control system, and the use of the unapproved on-board electronics.

Violaton of an L2 rules begin at 75 points, playoff point deductions beginning at 10 points, suspension of crew members, and fines from $100,000 to $250,000.

L3 level penalties include modification or counterfeiting of Next Gen parts, infractions related to the engine, violations of the ECU – Engine Control Unit – or the EFI – Electronic Fuel Injections, modification of tires or fuel, and, modification of the team testing policy.

The penalties for violation of any L3 rules include points deductions beginning at 120 points, deduction of playoff points beginning at 25 points, suspension of crew members, nullifying eligibility for the post season, and in the case of a repeat offender suspension of one race for the team resulting in a DNF with no points for the driver and owner. Fines for violating an L3 penalty begin at $250,000 and can run as high as $500,000.

Thomas Rhett

Country music star Thomas Rhett will be hitting the road this summer for his “Bring the Bar to You” tour. Parker McCollum and Connor Smith will be joining Rhett on the tour.

The tour is to support Rhett’s new album “Where We Started” which is set to be released on April 1 – No Foolin’.

Tickets go on sale beginning January 28 at 10am local time. The tour includes several outdoor dates.

Rhett spoke on the upcoming tour saying, “man it feels good to share this tour news. I’ll never take for granted being able to come see y’all and I’m so fired up to play some of these new ones that were made with these nights in mind. I have a feeling things are going to get loud – I’m counting down the days already!”

Thomas Rhett’s “Bring the Bar to You” tour dates:
June 17 & 18 at the Bank of NH Pavilion in Gilford, NH
June 23 at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, NY
June 24 at the Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, PA
June 25 at the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater in Virginia Beach, VA
July 14 at The Pavilion at Star Lake in Pittsburgh, PA
July 15 at the Darien Lake Amphitheater in Darien Center, NY
July 16 at the Pine Knots Music Theatre in Detroit, MI
July 21 at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater in Tuscaloosa, AL
July 22 at the Cellairis Amphitheatre in Atlanta, GA
July 23 at the Credit One Stadium in Charleston, SC
Aug 11 at the USANA Amphitheatre in Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 12 at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO
Aug 13 at the Isleta Amphitheater in Albuquerque, NM
Aug 18 at the White River Amphitheatre in Seattle, WA
Aug 19 at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater in Bend, OR
Aug 25 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA
Aug 26 at the Toyota Amphitheatre in Wheatland, CA
Sept 22 at the Mizzou Arena in Columbia, MD
Sept 23 at the JQH Arena in Springfield, MO
Sept 24 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK
Sept 29 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, ND
Sept 30 at the Bismarck Event Center in Bismarch, ND
Oct 1 at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, SD
Oct 6 at the Ford Idaho Center Arena in Boise, ID
Oct 7at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman, MT
Oct 8 at the Adams Center in Misoula, MT
Oct 13 at the TaxSlayer Center in Moline, IL
Oct 14 at the Ford Center in Evansville, IN
Oct 15 at the Nutter Center in Dayton, OH

‘Real Dirty Dancing’ Begins in Feb.

This spring the hit singing competition “The Voice” is not airing, “Dancing with the Stars” no longer airs a spring season, and “So You Think You Can Dance” has not been heard of since the beginning of the pandemic.

But fans of competition reality shows will have a new show to watch beginning February 1 with “The Real Dirty Dancing”.

It has been 25 years since the hit film starring Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze “Dirty Dancing” aired.

Set to air on FOX, “The Real Dirty Dancing” will pair eight contestants to recreate the dances from the hit film.

Hosted by Stephen “tWitch” Boss; Corbin Bleu, Brie Bella, Tyler Cameron, Cat Cora, Howie Dorough,Antonio Gates, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, and Loni Love will pair up to compete in the month long series.

The show is set to recreate more than just the dances from the movie, it will take place at the Mountain Lake Lodge in Virginia – the site of “Kellerman’s Lodge” in “Dirty Dancing”.

Guset judges will determine who will be the next “Baby and Johnny”.

feature photo credit: Aldwych Theatre.JPG

Enter the Haggis

Like many band, Celtic rockers Enter the Haggis have had a rough past couple of months due to the omicron variant spreading all over, breakout cases among the band, and travel issues between Canada and the United States.

But all is well once again and the guys are ready to hit the road and bring their unique form of rock and roll to fans.

Enter the Haggis tour dates:
Jan. 28 at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA
Jan 29 at the Phantom Power in Millersville, PA – Covid protocols are in place – vaccine or negative test required
Jan 30 at The Tin Pan in Richmond, VA
Feb 3 at the Bank of NH Stage in Concord, NH
Feb 4 at the Waterville Opera House in Waterville, ME
Feb 5 at Putnam Place in Saratoga Springs, NY
Feb 23 at The Listening Room in Grand Rapids, MI
Feb 24 at The Ark in Ann Arbor, MI
Feb 25 at the City Winery in Chicago, IL
Feb 26 at the Kent Stage in Kent, OH
Feb 27 at Natalie’s Music Hall & Kitchen in Columbus, OHMarch 3 at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center in New Bedford, MA
March 4 at the Paramount Hudson Valley in Peekskill, NYMarch 5 at the 1894 Theater in Sellersville, PA
March 11 at the Scott Recital Hall in Omaha, NE
April 1 at the Iron Works in Buffalo, NY
April 2 at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts in York, PA
April 3 at the Thunderbird Cafe & Music Hall in Pittsburgh, PA
May 31 at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural in Old Saybrook, CT
June 1 at Daryl’s House in Pawling, NY
June 2 at the Center for Arts in Natick, MA
June 3 at the Spire Center for Performing Arts in Plymouth, MA
June 4 at the Chocolate Church Arts Center in Bath, ME
June 6 at Cafe Wha in New York City, NY

Don McLean Celebrates ‘American Pie’

Fifty years ago, Grammy Award winning artist and Songwriters Hall of Fame member Don McLean released “American Pie” – a song that brought to light the plane crash that killed three up and coming artists in 1959 to a new generation.

After its release, the song spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard hot 100 chart and has been certified triple platinum by the RIAA – Recording Industry Association of America – for selling three million copies.

In celebration of the song’s release, McLean is launching a world tour that will include North America, Europe, and the United Kingdom.  The tour, which begins in Hawaii, will include a tribute concert on February 3 to Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson) who died in the crash that became known as “the day the music died”.

McLean spoke on how the song came about saying, “I was writing songs and started singing ‘A long, long time ago’ right through ‘til the day the music died… I can still remember how that music used to make me smile…’ on and on right that day – just that whole thing right into the tape recorder. And I said, ‘Man, what is that?? That is so neat.’ I realized I’d captured the thing about Buddy and his death that I’d been feeling all those years in that one piece of music. Then I waited about three months and I figured out what I was gonna do and just wrote the whole thing in about an hour…”

Don McLean tour dates:
Jan 28-30 at the Blue Note in Honolulu, HI
Feb 3 at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, IA
Feb 5 at the Chester Fritz Auditorium in Grand Forks, ND
Feb 11 at the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center in The Villages, FL
Feb 12 at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall in Pone Vedra Beach, FL
Feb 14-18 on the Rock Legends Cruise out of Port Canaveral, FL
Feb 19 at the Biheimer Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, FL
Feb 24 at the Fox Tucson Theatre in Tucson, AZ
April 29 at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, MO
May 1 at the Clowes Memorial Hall in Indianapolis, IN
May 7 at the John W H Bassett Theatre in Toronto, ON
May 12 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN
May 13 at the Atlanta Symphony Hall in Atlanta, GA
May 19 at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center in St. Louis, MO
May 20 at the Gillioz Theatre in Springfield, MO
June 2 at The Egg in Albany, NY
June 3 at the Shubert Theatre in Boston, MA
June 4 at the Town Hall in New York City, NY
June 11 at The Lyric in Baltimore, MD
June 12 at the Capital One Hall in Tysons, VA
June 17 at the DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, MI
June 18 at The Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, WI
June 24 at the Tobin Center for Performing Arts in San Antonio, TX
June 25 at the Cullen Performance Hall in Houston, TX
June 26 at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, TX
July 7 at the Paramount Theatre in Denver, CO
July 8 at The Avalon Theatre in Grand Junction, CO
July 9 at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix, AZ
Sept 11 at St. Davids in Cardiff, UK
Sept 13 at the Ipswich Regent Theatre in Ipswich, UK
Sept 14 at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham, UK
Sept 16 at The Forum in Bath, UK
Sept 17 at the Princess Theatre in Torquay, UK
Sept 18 at the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre in Bournemouth, UK
Sept 20 at the Brighton Dome Concert Hall in Brighton, UK
Sept 21 at the Cliffs Pavilion in – Southend-on-sea, UK
Sept 23 at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, UK
Sept 24 at the Sage Gateshead in Gateshead, UK
Sept 25 at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, UK
Sept 27 at Usher Hall in Edinburgh, UK
Sept 28 at the York Barbican in York, UK
Sept 30 at the DeMontfort Hall in Leicester, UK
Oct 1 at City Hall in Sheffield, UK
Oct 2 at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool, UK
Oct 4 at the London Palladium in London, UK
Oct 7 at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland
Oct 9 at the Concertgebouw de Vereeniging in Nijmegen, Netherlands
Oct 10 at the Koninklijk Theater Carré in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Oct 14 at the Peer Gynt Salen in Bergen, Norway
Oct 15 at the Stavanger Kuppelhallen in Stavanger, Norway
Oct 16 at the Sentrum Scene in Oslo, Norway
Oct 18 at the Lorensbergsteatern in Gotteborg, Sweden
Oct 20 at the Logomo in Turku, Finland
Oct 21 at the Kultuuritalo in Helsinki, Finland
Oct 23 at the Gota Lejon in Stockholm, Sweden
Oct 24 at the Palladium in Malmo, Sweden
Oct 25 at the Portalen in Greve, Denmark
Oct 27 at the Fabrik in Hamburg, Germany
Oct 28 at the Kulturkirche in Neuruppin, Germany
Oct 29 at the Admiralspalast in Berlin, Germany
Nov 1 at the De Singel in Antwerp, Belgium
Nov 11 at the Prinzregententheater in Munich, Germany
Nov 13 at the Posthof in Linz, Austria

feature photo credit: Don McLean’s Facebook page

Lord Nelson ‘Transmits’ New Album

Rock and rollers Lord Nelson have just released their new album “Transmission”. Their third album, “Transmission” was designed to give fans a sense of being at one of their “burn down the house” live shows. Fans can purchase the album on the band’s website at

“Transmission” also marks the first time that the Jones brothers – Henry and Calloway – join Kai Crow-Getty in the songwriting and singing duties. Andrew Hollifield, Niko Cventanovich, Johnny Subblefield, and Dave Pinto round out the band.

After the album’s recording began in a converted barn; the pandemic forced the band to get creative when it came to completing the album and used blanket forts, an old farmhouse, and in various locations by friends.

The tracklisting for “Transmission”:
“Tooth and Nail”
“Hell or High Water”
“Country Desperation”
“Drag Me Down”
“Putting in the Time”
“Broken Part”
“Rolling Stoned”
“Cheap Red Wine”
“Let It Ride”
“Burn It Down”

feature photo credit: courtesy of IVPR Media

FOX Gets Hall of Famer for Broadcast Booth

Last season, NASCAR Hall of Famer, four time Cup Series champion, and FOX Sports broadcaster Jeff Gordon announced that he would be leaving the broadcast booth at the end of the seasn to return to Hendrick Motorsports as a second in command of the franchise.

The move has left an opening for a broadcaster to join former Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer and Mike Joy.

FOX Sports has announced a replacement for Gordon…at least for the first two races of the season…

NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing Tony Stewart will join Bowyer and Joy in the booth for the Busch Light Clash on February 6 and for the Daytona 500 on February 20.

FOX reporters and anylists Larry McReynolds, Jamie Little, Regan Smith, and Vince Welch will also be returning for the 2022 NASCAR season on FOX.

Stewart spoke on the opportunity via a statement saying, “to call the very first Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum AND the Daytona 500 is an opportunity you don’t pass up. The size and scope of both these races is massive, and it’s an honor to be a part of them with FOX. Anytime you get to talk racing with Clint and Mike, you’re going to have a good time.”

When the Busch Light Clash comes to the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles it will mark the first time in NASCAR’s 98 year history that such an event will take place outside of Daytona International Speedway and inside a football stadium. The drivers will race on a manufactured quarter mile track around the football field.

The star studded event will also feature musical performances by Ice Cube and Pitbull. Pitbull is also a minor owner in Trackhouse Racing.

KISS Go ‘Off the Soundboard’

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band KISS may be winding down their career as performers on the road, but they still have something new to offer their hard rocking fans.

On March 11 KISS will release “Off the Soundboard: Live in Virginia Beach” – a multi disc collection of KISS music over the years.

On January 21, the rockers gave fans a taste of what’s to come with the release of the single “Lick it Up”. Originally released in 1983, the video for the song features the band without their makeup for the first time in the group’s history.

“KISS – Off the Soundboard: Live in Virginia Beach” was originally recorded on July 25, 2004. The official bookleg album of the concert is being released as a three disc vinyl set, on two CD’s, as a limited edition three disc green vinyl set, as a download, and available for steaming.

Known for their live shows, KISS has yet to earn a Diamond Award for selling at least 10 million copies of a single or album; but the band has sold over 100 million albums around the world.

The tracklisting for “KISS – Off the Soundboard: Live in Virginia Beach:
“Love Gun”
“Makin Love”
“Christine Sixteen”
“Tears are Falling”
“Got to Choose”
“I Love it Loud”
“I Want You”
“Psycho Circus”
“King of he Nigth Tim World
“War Machine”
“100,000 Years”
“Shout it Out Loud”
“I Was Made for Lovin’ You”
“Detroit Rock City”
“God Gave Roc ‘N’ Roll to You II”
“Rock and Roll All Nite”

Rachael Sage

Award winning Independent Music artist Rachael Sage is getting ready to head back out on the road for a tour of the northeastern U.S. On many of the dates Rachael will be opening for British pop star Howard Jones.

Rachael Sage tour dates:
Feb 1 at the Dogwood in Beachon, NY
Feb 11 at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY
Feb 12 at the Universal Presentation Hall in Saratoga Springs, NY
Feb 14 at the City Winery in Boston, MA
Feb 15 at the Wall St Theater in Norwalk, CT
Feb 16 at Sony Hall in New York City, NY
Feb 17 at Daryl’s House in Pawling, NY
Feb 18 at The Paramount in Huntington, NY
Feb 20 at the 1894 Theater in Sellersville, PA
Feb 21 at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA
Feb 22 at The Tin Pan in Richmond, VA
March 1 at Joe’s Pub in New York City, NY
March 4 at the Dogwood in Beacon, NY

The Eagles

After waiting nearly two years to get back on the road, The Eagles continue to add dates to their Hotel California tour. The tour features the legendary rockers playing the entire “Hotel California” album in the first half of the show and finiishing it out with some of their many greatest hits.

The tour is scheduled to begin on February 19 and run into May.

The Eagles “Hotel California” tour dates:
Feb 19 at the Enmarket Arena in Savannah, GA
Feb 21 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC
Feb 24 at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL
Feb 25 at the FL Live Arena in Ft. Lauderdate, FL
Feb 28 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL
March 2 at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC
March 4 at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA
March 17 at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, OH
March 19 at the United Center in Chicago, IL
March 22 at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN
March 24 at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI
March 26 at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA
March 28 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA
April 19 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH
April 21 at the Key Bank Arena in Buffalo, NY
April 23 at the UBS Arena in Belmont Park, NY
April 25 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC
April 28 & 29 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN
May 14 at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX
May 16 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK
May 19 & 20 at the Moody Center in Austin, TX
May 25 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, UT

Singer Meat Loaf Dies

Rocker Meat Loaf died January 20, 2022 at the age of 74. While an official cause of death was not released, Meat Loaf has had a number of health issues in recent years. There have also been some reports that he may have died as a result of the Covid virus.

The award winning rocker only won one Grammy Award, but it was the one time he was nominated for the award. His album “Bat Out of Hell” has sold over 50 million copies around the world – 14 of them in the United States. The RIAA – Recording Industry Association of America – has certified the album with a Diamond Award for selling at least 10 million copies in the U.S. Oddly enough when the album first came out and Meat Loaf began to tour in support of the album, he had to open for Cheap Trick.

His most successful album, it also went on to become a Broadway show.

The followup album “Bat Out of Hell II: Back in Hell” went on to sell 15 million copies around the world with five million of those in the U.S. The RIAA certified the album five times platinum.

He was born Marvin Lee Aday on September 27, 1947 in Dallas, Texas to a police officer alcoholic father and a school teacher mother. The couple divorced and was raised by his mother until her death when he was still a teen. He began performing while still in high school where he cited Mick Jagger and Ethel Merman as his favourites. It is at this time that a young Marvin took the name Meat Loaf. After college at what is now North Texas University, he headed for Los Angeles where he formed his first band while splitting time between music and the stage.

He also spent a little time on the Broadway stage appearing in “Hair”, “The Rocky Horror Show” where he originated the role of Eddie, and “Rockabye Hamlet”.

He is credited with appearing in over 100 productions as an actor including numerous music videos, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, “The Equalizer”, “Wayne’s World”,

“Tales from the Crypt”, “Nash Bridges”, “South Park”, “Fight Club”, “The Outer Limits”, “House”, “Monk”, “Glee”, “Elementary”, and “Ghost Wars”.

His music has appeared in over 60 productions including “Saturday Night Live”, “Dead Ringer”, “Miami Vice”, “Leap of Faith”, “King of the Hill’, “That ’70’s Show”, “Cold Case”, numerous competition reality shows, and concerts.

Predeceased by songwriting partner Jim Steinmen, Meat Loaf is survived by his wife Deborah and children Pearl and Amanda.

Meat Loaf discography:
“Live at Father’s Place”
“Dead Ringer”
“Bat Out of Hell”
“Midnight at the Lost and Found”
“Bad Attitude”
“Blind Before I Stop”
“Live at Wembley”
“Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell”
“Welcome to the Neighborhood”
“Live Around the World”
“Couldn’t Have Said it Better”
“Bat Out of Hell: Live with the Melbourne Symphony”
“Bat Out of Hell: III The Monster is Loose”
“3 Bats Live”
“Hang Cool Teddy Bear”
Hell in a Handbasket”
“Braver Than We Are”

feature photo credit: Meatloaf Q&A at Galaxycon Raleigh 2019 15.jpg

2022 GLAAD Media Award Nominees

On January 19 GLAAD announced the nominees for their annual Media Awards. Unlike any other awards presentations, GLAAD holds multiple ceremonies in multiple cities. This year the Media Awards will be held in Los Angeles on April 2 and New York on May 6.Among this year’s nominees are three productions from Broadway; as well as, projects that originated on the Broadway stage. And while the daytime talk show “The View” has numerous detractors, the gab fest garnered a nomination.The GLAAD Media Awards made history this year when it nominated Mj Rodriguez for an award in a leading category. Mj became the first openly transgender actor to be nominated for such an award.The GLAAD Media Awards pay tribute to those outlets and productions who portray “fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community and the issues that affect their lives.”The nominees for the 33rd annual GLAAD Media Awards are: Outstanding Wide Release Film:“Eternals”“Everybody’s Talking About Jamie”“The Mitchells vs. the Machines”“tick, tick…BOOM!”“West Side Story”Outstanding Limited Release Film:“Breaking Fast”“Gossamer Folds”“The Obituary of Tunde Johnson”“Parallel Mothers”“Plan B”“Port Authority”“Shiva Baby”“Swan Song”“Tu Me Manques”“Twilight’s Kiss”Outstanding Documentary:“Changing the Game”“Cured”“Flee”“The Lady and the Dale”“The Legend of the Underground”“No Ordinary Man”“Nuclear Family”“Pier Kids”“Pray Away”“Pride”Outstanding Comedy Series:“Dickinson”“Gentefied”“Love, Victor”“The Other Two”“Saved by the Bell”“Sex Education”“Shrill”“Special”“Twenties”“Work in Progress”Outstanding Drama Series:“9-1-1: Lone Star”“Batwoman”“The Chi”“Doom Patrol”“Good Trouble”“Grey’s Anatomy”“The L Word: Generation Q”“Pose”“Star Trek: Discovery”“Supergirl”Outstanding New TV Series:“4400”“Chucky”“Hacks”“Harlem”“The Long Call”“The Sex Lives of College Girls”“Sort Of”“With Love”“Y: The Last Man”“Yellowjackets”Outstanding TV Movie:The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls”“The Fear Street Trilogy”“Nash Bridges”“Single All the Way”“Under the Christmas Tree”Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series:“Dopestick”“Halston”“It’s a Sin”“Little Birds”“Love Life”“Master of None Presents: Moments in Love”“Rurangi”“Station Eleven”“Vigil”“The White Lotus”Outstanding Reality Program:12 Dates of Christmas”Dancing with the Stars”Family Karma”I Am Jazz”Legendary”MTV’s Following: Bretman Rock”Queer Eye”RuPaul’s Drag Race”The Voice”We’re Here”Outstanding Children’s Programming:“Berry Bounty Banquet Strawberry Shortcake: Berry in the Big City”City of Ghosts”“Sesame Street – Family Day”“Muppet Babies – Gonzo-rella”“Fancy Nancy – Joie de Jonathan”“Ridley Jones”“Rugrats”“Summer Camp Island”“We the People”“ Madagascar: A Little Wild – Whatever Floats Your Float”Outstanding Kids and Family Programming:“Amphibia”“Centaurworld”“The Baby-Sitters Club – Claudia and the Sad Goodbye”“Diary of a Future President”Doogie Kamealoha, MD”High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”The Loud House”“Danger Force – Manlee Men”“The Owl House” “Power Rangers: Dino Fury” Outstanding Music Artist:Brandi Carlile for “In These Silent Days”Brockhampton for “Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine”Demi Lovato for “Dancing with the Devil…the Art of Starting Over”Sir Elton John for “The Lockdown Sessions”Halsey for “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power”Kaytranada for “Intimidated”Lis Nas X for “Nontero”Melissa Etheridge for “One Way Out”Mykki Blanco for “Broken Hearts and Beauty Sleep” St. Vincent for “Daddy’s Home”Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist:Arlo Parks for “Collapsed in Sunbeams”Asiahn for “The Interlude”girl in red for “if I could make it go quiet”Jake Wesley Rogers for “Pluto”Japanese Breakfast for “Jubilee”Joy Oladokun for “in defense of my own happiness”Lauren Jauregui for “Prelude”Lily Rose for “Stronger Than I Am”Lucy Dacus for “Home Video”Vincint for “There Wil Be Tears”Outstanding Broadway Production:“Chicken & Biscuits”“Company”“Thoughts of a Colored Man”Outstanding Video Game:Boyfriend Dungeon”Far Cry 6”The Gardener and the Wild Vines”Kena: Bridge of Spirits”Life is Strange: True Colors”Psychonauts 2”Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan”Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege”Unpacking (Witch Beam”“UNSIGHTED”

Outstanding Comic Book:Aquaman: The Becoming” Barbalien: Red Planet”Crush & Lobo”The Dreaming: Waking Hours” Guardians of the Galaxy” Harley Quinn: The Animated Series – The Eat. Bang! Kill. Tour” “Killer Queens”Star Wars: Doctor Aphra” Superman: Son of Kal-El” Wynd” ,

Outstanding Original Graphic Novel/Anthology:Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms”Eighty Days”The Girl from the Sea”Girl Haven” I Am Not Starfire” Marvel’s Voices: Pride” Renegade Rule” The Secret to Superhuman Strength” ,“Shadow Life” Outstanding Variety or Talk Show Episode:“Bisexual Superman Is Not Ruining Your Childhood, B*tch Please” from “The Amber Ruffin Show” “Culture War! Diverse Pilots and Trans Rights” from “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” “Elliot Page” from “The Oprah Conversation” “Jenny Hagel Investigates Why America’s Lesbian Bars Are Vanishing” from “Late Night With Seth Meyers “Mj Rodriguez on Historic Emmy Nomination and Hopes for Trans Community’s Future” from “The View” Outstanding TV Journalism Segment:“Capehart Condemns Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Transphobic Speech Against Equality Act” from “The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart” “Danica Roem to LGBTQ Americans: You Have to Care About Politics” from “State of the Union” “HIV/AIDS: 40 Years Later” from “TODAY”“McBride On Anti-Trans Bills: ‘This Is Legislative Bullying Plain & Simple'” from “Stephanie Ruhle Reports” “Valedictorian Says His Graduation Speech on Mental Health & LGBTQ Identity Was Cut Off” from “GMA3: What You Need to Know” Outstanding Long-Form TV Journalism:“Anderson Speaks to Legendary AIDS and Gay Rights Activist” on “Anderson Cooper Full Circle” “Gay Panic” on “This is Life with Lisa Ling” “Life After Pulse” “Mama Gloria” on “AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange” “Pride of The White House””PRIDE on ABC News Live: What’s Next for the LGBTQ+ Community””Trans in Texas” on “United Shades of America” “Trans in Trumpland” “TransAmerica””The Week in Pride” on “The Week with Joshua Johnson” Outstanding Print Article:“Billy Porter Breaks a 14-Year Silence: ‘This Is What HIV-Positive Looks Like Now’” by Billy Porter”Books Probed by a Texas Lawmaker by Women, People of Color, LGBTQ Writers. They’re Asking: ‘Really?'” by Talia Richman and Corbett Smith “Bowen Yang is Defining Funny for a New Generation” by David Canfield “Diary of an ICE Detainee” by Yariel Valdes Gonzalez “Elliot Page is Ready for This Moment” by Katy Steinmetz “The Hearts of Venezuela” by Taylor Hirschberg “Inside the Sparkling, Rainbow-Filled World of JoJo Siwa” by Jason Sheeler “Keeping Trans Kids From Medicine Doesn’t Make Them Disappear” by Jennifer Finney Boylan “Lawmakers Can’t Cite Local Examples of Trans Girls in Sports” by David Crary and Lindsay Whitehurst “The Year of the Black Queer Revolution” by Ernest Owens Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage:The Advocate”“Entertainment Weekly”“People”“POZ”“Variety” Outstanding Online Journalism Article:“Across the South, a Trans Housing Movement Grows” by Raquel Willis”As Anti-Trans Violence Surges, Advocates Demand Policy Reform” by Jo Yurcaba “Let’s Talk About (Queer) Sex: The Importance of LGBTQ-inclusive Sex Education in Schools” by David Oliver “LGBT+ Afghans Fear Being Forgotten 100 Days Since Taliban Takeover” by Hugo Greenhalgh “Megan Rohrer, the Evangelical Lutheran Church’s First Trans Bishop, Wants to Get Messy” by Nico Lang “No, DaBaby, HIV Will Not ‘Make You Die in 2 to 3 weeks.’ Here’s the Truth.” by David Artavia “‘No Time For Intolerance:’ Dr. Rachel Levine Has A Job To Do” by Dawn Ennis “T.J. Osborne is Ready to Tell His Story” by Sam Lansky”What I’ve Learned After Living with HIV in Secret for Years” by Tony Morrison “The Word Missing From the Vast Majority of Anti-Trans Legislation? Transgender” by Orion Rummler and Kate Sosin Outstanding Video or Multimedia Online Journalism:“+Talk: HIV & Faith” by Karl Schmid, Mike Spierer, Brent Zacky, and Victor Barreiro”Caretakers” by Geena Rocero, Jon Mallow, Dan Greenberg, Sheena Alexis Suarez, Erin McIntyre, Chelsea Rugg, Shant Alexander, and Victoria Malabrigo”Covid Confessions: Drag Performers Share Their Experiences Working During The Pandemic” by Alec Fischer”For Ruth Ellis Center Staff, Helping LGBTQ Homeless Youth is Personal” by Scott Gatz, John Halbach, Maria Tridas, and Emily Geraghty “How Queer Characters Have Evolved In Children’s Animation” by Chris Snyder, Kyle Desiderio, Jess Chou, A.C. Fowler, and Kuwilileni Hauwanga “Legendary” [series] by Peppermint, Matt McDonough, Jennifer Tiexiera, Michael Seligman, Julia Hoff, Ryan Murray, Ximena Sanchez, and Tom Lofthouse “Meet the Logo Legends: Brooklyn Trans Liberation” by Terron Moore, Sean Devaney, Sam Manzella, Christopher Rudolph, and Zachary O’Connor “The Power of Layshia Clarendon” by Katie Barnes, Jennifer Karson-Strauss, Andy Sharp, and Jennifer Holt “Transnational” by Eva Reign, Alyza Enriquez, Freddy McConnell, Vivek Kemp, Courtney Brooks, Sarah Burke, Hendrik Hinzel, Alyza Enriquez, Dan Ming, Trey Strange, and Daisy Wardell “Tyra Banks Interview: SI Swimsuit Cover Model Leyna Bloom” Outstanding Blog:Holy Bullies and Headless MonstersMombianMy Fabulous DiseasePittsburgh Lesbian CorrespondentsThe Reckoning Special Recognition:All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson”Alok Vaid-Menon” 4D with Demi LovatoCODED: The Hidden Love of J.C. Leyendecker”Jeopardy! Champion Amy Schneider“The Laverne Cox Show”Life Out Loud with LZ GrandersonOutsports’ Coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics

Outstanding Spanish-Language Scripted Television Series:#Luimelia Manual Para Galanes Maricón Perdido Pequeñas Victorias Todo lo otro Outstanding Spanish-Language TV Journalism:“Grupo Firme en Contra del Acoso” Despierta América “El Mes del Orgullo” “Impacto Positivo: Bamby Salcedo” Primer Impacto “Orgullo LGBTQ: 52 Años de Lucha y Evolución” “Preocupa Exclusión de Niñas Trans en Equipos Femeninos” Hoy Día Outstanding Spanish-Language Online Journalism Article:“Anacaona Reyes: Visibiliza a la Comunidad Trans y Educa Desde el Capitolio” por Maricarmen Rivera “Ana Macho: Sobre Hacer Música Que Rebasa Límites” por Ronald Avila “Ángel Cruz Aprendió a “Desaprender” los Credos Sociales” por José Karlo Pagán Negrón “Así Viven la Menstruación los Hombres Trans” por Miriam Martínez “Casa Frida Rescata a Pareja Gay de Homofobia en Jamaica” por Edgar Ulises “Claudia: La Enfermera Trans que Lucha Contra el Covid en Ciudad Juárez” por Louisa Reynolds “En Casa con Kany García y Jocelyn Trochez” por Carole Joseph “Oyuki, la Madre Trans de Seis Hijos que Rompe Prejuicios en México” por Eduard Ribas i Admetlla “Somos Invisibles”: La Discriminación y los Riesgos se Multiplican para los Indígenas LGBTQ+” por Albinson Linares “Una Vida Transgénero: ‘Es Momento de que nos Dejemos Ver'” por Marcos Billy Guzman Outstanding Spanish-Language Online Journalism – Video or Multimedia:“Alexa: Su Vida y la Justicia que no llega a un Año de su Asesinato” por Marcos Billy Guzmán y Adlín González “Expulsados México: Cómo la Comunidad Transgénero se Unió para Ayudar a los Migrantes” por Patricia Clarembaux, Anna Clare Spelman, y Celemente Sánchez “Marcha del Orgullo LGBTI: Día de Festejo, Pero También de Protesta” por Jair Cabrera Torres “Ser Mujer, ser Trans y ser Mapuche” por Natalia Barrera Francis, Paula Daibert, y Claudia Escobar “Vogue en el Paro Nacional y Transmilenio: ¿Qué hay detrás?” por Jahira Quintero, Laura Salomón, y Dani Jara Special Recognition (Spanish-Language):“Celebrando el Mes del Orgullo”

AARP Honours Lily Tomlin

Eighty-two year old acrtress and commedianne Lily Tomlin will be tne newest recipient of the Movies for Grownups Award from the AARP. The Lifetime Achievement Award presentation will be a part of of the Best Movies and TV for Grownups ceremony.

A virtual event, will be hosted by Alan Cumming and will be broadcast on PBS March 18 on “Great Performances”.

AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins spoke on Tomlin’s receiving the award saying, “we are thrilled to honor Lily Tomlin, a trailblazer whose six-decade career as an actress, comedian, writer and advocate continues to break through boundaries today. In her current role on ‘Grace and Frankie,’ in which she portrays issues of aging with respect, originality and hilarity, she continues to dismantle outdated stereotypes.”

Tomlin issued a statement responding to the announcement that included a phrase from Edith Ann saying,”there are so few grownups in the world. I am happy to be one. I feel I am not only a grownup, but I am mature for my age and that’s the truthhhhh!”

Tomlin burst on the television scene in the sixties as a part of the original comedy sketch program “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In” where she played the role of five year old Edith Ann who dispensed tidbits from a hug rocking chair and the telephone operator Ernastine and her signature “one ringy dingy”.

The AARP Movies for Grownups pays homage to to movies for adults over the age of 50.

Tomlin joins a long list of previous winners that include Michael Douglas, Shirley MacLaine, Morgan Freeman, George Clooney, Annette Bening, Helen Mirren, and Susan Sarandon.

This is not the first Lifetime Achievement award for Tomlin; she received the same award from the Screen Actor’s Guild and is a The Women’s Image Network Awards Lifetime Achievement Honoree. Missing only the O (Oscar) in EGOT, Tomlin has six Emmys, two Tonys, and a Grammy Award. She also is a recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for Humor and a Kennedy Center Honour.

The Michican native began her career in the fifties as a standup comic.

feature photo credit: Lily Tomlin 1977 (cropped).jpg

Carol Burnett to Receive Sondheim Award

Comedienne and actress Carol Burnett has had a career on stage and screen for over 50 years.

This spring, she will be honoured with the Stephen Sonheim Award. The May 16 presentation is a rescheduled event that was postponed twice from 2020 due to the global pandemic.

She will be the eleventh entertainer to receive the Signature’s Theatre’s award. Established in 2009, the Stephen Sonheim Award is presented for a lifetime of contributions to American Musical Theatre including works by Sondheim. Burnett will be joining previous honouress Angelia Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Harold “Hal” Prince, Jonathan Tunick, James Lapine, John Weidman, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, John Kander, and Audra McDonald.

Signature Managing Director Maggie Boland spoke on Burnett’s receiving the award saying, “with her love of musical theatre both on the stage and on her own show, it is more than fitting that Carol Burnett receive the Stephen Sondheim Award. We are grateful to have this opportunity to raise much-needed resources for Signature by bringing our community together to honor her legendary talent.”

Signature Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner also spoke on Burnett receiving the award saying, “she is the final honoree to be chosen personally by Mr. Sondheim before his passing and he greatly admired how she has brought the arts to millions of people through her comedy and artistry. We look forward to celebrating her extraordinary career this spring.”

Preceeds from the awards gala go to benefit Signature Theatre’s artistic, education, and community programs.

A 22 time Emmy Award winner, Burnett earned a special Tony Award in 1969. She has appeared in numerous Broadway productions including “Once Upon a Mattress”, Moon Over Buffalo”, “Fade Out-Fade In”, “Putting it Together”, “Hollywood Arms”, and “Love Letters”.

Often referred to as the Queen of Television Comedy, the Texas native was raised by her grandmother who took her to Hollywood when she was still a child. After getting her comedic start while still in high school, Burnett made her television debut at 22 in “The Paul Winchell Show”. She had her own variety show that ran for over a decade and earned her her 22 Emmy Awards. She is also a Kennedy Center Honour, has a Presidential Medal of Freedom, is a Mark Twain Prize for American Humor recipient, and a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.

While not seen as often, Burnett is still at it.

feature photo credit: Burnett, Carol (Whitehouse).jpg

Female Pro Sports Expanding

Thanks to Title IX female athletes in college have access to a plethora of sporting activities; but once they graduate, those opportunities for professional play dwindle considerably.

Thanks to people like Kristen Miles, female basketball players are getting another opportunity to play professional basketball with the new Ahletes Unlimited Basketball league.

So far, eleven WNBA – Women’s National Basketball Association – have signed on to join the new league and the inaugural draft is scheduled for this Sunday – January 26 – in Las Vegas.

Athletes Unlimited Director of Basketball Kristen Miles spoke on the new league saying, “we are very pleased with the diverse and dynamic Athletes Unlimited Basketball roster for our inaugural season. True to our intentions from the beginning, we are providing an additional opportunity for women to play professional basketball in the U.S., whether on a current roster or not.”

So far, the league will only play for five weeks with all of the games being played in Las Vegas.

In a new format, the players will earn points for team results and individual stats. The top four players will draft the teams for the following week.

Basketball isn’t the only sport being opened nu to more women…

The Premier Hockey Federation – a female professional hockey league – is not only raising the salary cap for each team to $750,000; but is also expanding the league next season. The PHF will be adding two new teams. The Board of Governors is set to invest over $25 million over the next three years.

PHF Commissioner Ty Tumminia spoke on the news saying, “it’s an amazing investment by the ownership, and it really reaffirms the strength of their commitment to being a difference-maker in women’s hockey.” She added, “it’s important for us to advance to our next season and be crystal clear about the direction we’re headed, and what framework will be so that all athletes can make an informed decision about their careers.”

The United States and Canada will each get a new team. The Canadian team will be in Montreal; however, the location of the American team has yet to be revealed. Currently the PHF has teams in Boston, Toronto, Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, St. Paul, Minnesota, Danbury, Connecticut, and Buffalo, New York.

feature photo credit: Minnesota Lynx vs. Dallas Wings June 2019 16 (in-game action).jpg

Academy Reschedules Grammys

Earlier this month the Recording Academy announced that the 64th annual Grammy Awards originally scheduled for January 31 were being postponed due to Covid issues.

Not only do the Grammy’s have a new date, they will also be making a road trip and are taking place in a new city.

The 2022 edition of the Grammy Awards will be held in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on A[ro; 3. CBS will still carry the live television broadcast beginning at 8pm eastern time with Emmy Award winning show host Trevor Noah hosting the event.

This marks the first time in Grammy history that the awards will be held in Las Vegas.

The new date and location of the annual Grammy Award ceremonies currently pertains to only the award ceremonies. Other events surrounding the awards ceremonies like the annual MusiCares Person of the Year events will be announced in the coming weeks.

Chili Bowl National Results in NASCAR

After 400 entrants and over a dozen heats and qualifiers, the annual Chili Bowl Nationals concluded on January 15, 2022.

Christopher Bell took advantage of the time off from NASCAR to do some dirt track racing along with several of his fellow NASCAR drivers. Bell was looking for his fourth Chili Bowl victory in the final feature event; but fell just a bit short after starting the race from the pole and leading 36 of the 50 laps. Only two other drivers have ever won the Chili Bowl four times – Kevin Swindell has four wins; while Sammy Swindell leads all drivers with five wins.

Part time Camping World Truck Series driver Tanner Throson held on to win his first ever Chili Bowl midget race. Rico Abreu, Michael “Buddy” Kofoid, and Tanner carrick rounded out the top five.

Kyle Larson in sixth and Ricky Stenhouse in ninth were the other Cup Series regulars who finished in the top 10. Kyle Larson has won the race for the past two years and was looking for three in a row.

While Christopher Bell came up a little short in his bid to make history; history was made this year when Kaylee Bryson became the first female driver to ever compete in the Chili Bowl feature race. Not since the races were created in 1987 has a female driver been a part of the main race where she finished in 18th.

Other NASCAR drivers who competed in the 2022 Chili Bowl Nationals…

Chase Elliott ended up finishing the race in 19th place in his feature race after a big crash that sent him airborne. He exited the car uninjured.

Elliott Cup Series team mate Alex Bowman did not qualify for the main event.

Rocket Man Ryan Newman did not get past his feature race. And while he doesn’t have a Cup ride for 2022, Newman is looking to do some dirt track racing…and HAVE FUN!

Chase Briscoe fell one spot short of advancing to the B-feature and; as a result, did not get to run in the main feature race. He was involved in a crash on the firstl lap that Briscoe said damaged the front axle and right front shock on his car.

NASCAR driver J.J. Yeley ended up finishing eleventh in the E-feature.

Eighteen year old Carson Hocevar failed to make it out of the I-feature in his Chili Bowl debut. Hocevar drives for Niece Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series.

Ryan Ellis failed to make it out of his feature race after fiinishing eleventh.

Making his Chili Bowl debut, Jesse Little finished ninth in his feature race and did not compete in the main event.

Not a NASCAR driver, Dillon Welch can frequently be seen at the track as one of the NBC and MRN reporters. Welch finished 22nd in the main feature race in his second career start of the Chili Bowl finals.

Levi Kreis Releases Live Music

Tony Award winning performer Levi Kreis has released a very limited edition of a double live album recorded at the Red Room in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Along with his original music; Kreis performs music from Ray Charles, Billy Joel, Elton John, Peter Allen, Carole King, Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway, Celine Dion, John Legend, Olivia Newton-John, Leonard Cohen, David Foster, Joni Mitchell, Alanis, Shania, Anne Murray, Paul Anka, and Sara McLachlan.

The double live album comes on a USB C-Drive that is compatible with the car, tablet, or phone and sells for $39.

Currently limited to just 30 copies Kreis stated that he would order more if interest warrants.

For more information or to order a copy, go to

feature photo credit: Levi Kreis’ Facebook page

Busch Clash Adds More Entertainment

On February 5 and 6, NASCAR will make history when they bring the Busch Light Clash to the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles; turning the historic football stadium into a quarter mile dirt track.

Award winning Latin music star and part owner in Trackhouse Racing Pitbull has already announced that he will be performing during the two day event.

NASCAR has just announced that actor and rapper Ice Cube will also be a part of the historic race when he performs during a race break during the main race event on February 6.

NASCAR senior vice president for strategy and innovation Ben Kennedy spoke on the addition of Ice Cube saying, “Ice Cube is more than a rapper, actor and entertainer,” said Ben Kennedy. He’s an icon who has risen to the top in all of his endeavors. We’re honored to have him perform at this first-of-its-kind event in the heart of Los Angeles.”

He added, “to call Ice Cube a game-changer in entertainment is an understatement. He rose to prominence with the groundbreaking group N.W.A. before launching a solo career that showcased his visionary talent and led to countless collaborations with some of the music industry’s biggest stars. Yet his versatility as an actor propelled him to greater heights, beginning with his screen debut in the film Boyz n the Hood and continuing through his work in the Friday and Barbershop franchises.

Ice Cube spoke on his upcoming performance during the race saying, “I’ve long been a fan of NASCAR from afar, and I’ve become an even bigger fan after seeing the action in person. And now to perform for all of the fans at the Coliseum and for the millions watching at home, I’m excited to be part of an incredible day for NASCAR and LA.”

With three weeks remaining before the big event, more performance announcements may be coming.

Controversial Officials Questionable for Future Playoffs

Hardly a sports game gets played where someone is not complaining about the officiating; but sometimes those complaints are warranted.

The NFL’s Super Wild Card weekend got off to a controversial start after a controversial call was made in the second quarter of first wild card game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Shortly before halftime, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow threw a pass to Tyler Boyd in the end zone on a third down. Burrow was near but not over the out of bounds line when he threw the pass. While the ball was still in the air, a whistle being blown could clearly be heard on the broadcast…and the field. Boyd caught the ball and the officials signaled a touchdown.

However, Raiders players stopped play upon hearing the whistle.

According to the FOX Sports officiating expert who quoted the rule book that said the play should have been called a no call and the down replayed. The officiating crew did not review the call or replay the down but kept the call of touchdown which extended the Bengals lead to 20 to six.

After the play, the officials got together to talk over the play and decided that the whistle was blown after Boyd caught the ball. Under current rules, a play involving the timing of a blown whistle is not among the plays allowed for a video review.

According to NFL senior vice president of officiating Walt Anderson the crew reported that they, “did not feel that the whistle was blown before the receiver caught the ball.”

The Bengals went on to win the game 26-19 and will advance to the next round of the playoffs. The win was the Bengals first playoff game in 31 years.

While there has been no official word from the NFL or Commissioner Roger Goodell, referee Jerome Boger reported that the crew will not be a part of any future playoff games this season.

Normally the same officiating crew works together for an entire season; but for the playoffs, the NFL has split up the crews assign different officials as a bit of a reward for doing a good job during the season. Officials and crews are graded on their officiating accuracy. Future crews for the playoffs will be determined by the grades received for the Wild Card games.

PGA to Honour Lucas and Kennedy

Despite a number of issues surrounding controversy and the Covid pandemic, award season has begun in Hollywood.

The Producer’s Guild of America is honouring George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy for “their contributions to the film industry.” The PGA will present Lucas and Kennedy with the Milestone Award as a part of their annual awards ceremony in March.

The duo will join a prestigious list of previous winners including Louis B. Mayer, Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg.

Issuing a statement, Lucas noted that the award is a “ celebration of all that goes into bringing stories to life.” Adding, “being recognized alongside my longtime friend and fellow producer Kathleen Kennedy makes this honoring of our shared and individual works even more meaningful.” Lucas has been a part of “Star Wars”, Indiana Jones, and “American Graffiti”.

Kennedy has worked on Indiana Jones, “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial,” “Schindler’s List,” “Jurassic Park”, the “Back to the Future” films, and the latest versions of the “Star Wars” franchise.

Kathleen Kennedy issued a statement on receiving the award saying, “I am very honored to share this award with George Lucas who has inspired a generation of filmmakers who were coming of age, not only through his storytelling but through technological innovation that unlocked our imagination.”

PGA presidents Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher also issued a statement on the announcement saying that Lucas and Kennedy have, “carved out a fantastic empire of entertainment that inspires and entertains billions, all with the highest levels of both creative and technical achievement.”

They continued, “what George has built through his movies and through Lucasfilm has enriched every facet of filmmaking, and his colossal creativity and technical genius amazed the world. Kathleen has ascended to the highest levels of our industry, facing ever-changing challenges each time she succeeded in producing one of the brilliant and boundary breaking films she is known for. And since joining Lucasfilm as president, she has expertly exalted its IP to be even more influential and treasured around the world…We’re very proud to honor George and Kathleen as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lucasfilm.”

The 50th annual Producer’s Guild Awards are currently scheduled for March 19, 2022.

feature photo credit: Producers Guild of America logo.svg

Christopher Bell Goes for Four

Already a Chili Bowl champion, NASCAR’s Christopher Bell takes his participation in the annual midget car race very seriously…as seriously as he does when driving his number 20 Joe Gibbs Racing car in the Cup Series.

Hailing from nearby Norman, Oklahoma; the annual race is like being home for Bell. He won his preliminary race on Thursday night, ended up coming in second in the qualifier after being held up by some slower traffic. He will go for his fourth Chili Bowl championship on January 15, the final night of the compettition.

Bell’s eighth preliminary feature race in nine years ties Bell for the most such wins in Chili Bowl history. However, he holds the record for midget car feature wins for a Toyota car driver with Cole Swindell at 58; fellow NASCAR driver Kyle Larson has 35.

Bell spoke on his tying the record saying, “it’s crazy. Everybody knows how easy it is to have something happen to take you out of it. It’s unbelievable how many things have to go right to put yourself in this position. I’m incredibly thankful that I’ve been able to do it.”

Along with his three Chili Bowl championships, Christopher Bell has a Camping World Truck Series championship.

23XI Racing and Hornets Crossover

Hall of Fame football coach Joe Gibbs was the first sports legend outside of racing to own a team in NASCAR.  Then came NBA player Brad Daugherty who became a co-owner of JTG Daugherty Racing.  Last year NBA legend Michael Jordan paired up with NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin to form 23XI Racing.  Jordan also has an ownership stake in the Hornets.

On January 21, 2022 when the Oklahoma City Thunder come to Charlotte to play the Hornets in basketball, the Hornets will sponsor what is being called the first cross-over event. 

Minority owner Denny Hamlin has season tickets and will be at the game; as will 23XI drivers Bubba Wallace and Kurt Busch.  Fans will also get a look at the 23XI showcar and earn prizes throughout the night.

Hornets President and Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield spoke on the event saying, “the Hornets and 23XI Racing have much more in common than shared ownership; our principles and mission within the community are very much aligned.  Hosting 23XI Racing Crossover Night is a tremendous way to further strengthen our bond and open up future opportunities for collaboration between our organizations and leagues.”

23XI Racing President Steve Lauletta also spoke on the upcoming event saying, “we’re very excited about this unique collaboration with the Charlotte Hornets and the opportunity to bring our teams together.  Being based in the Charlotte region offers a natural ability for our two organizations to interact and work together in a variety of ways. As we enter our second year, we want to continue building the 23XI brand and fan base, and partnering with organizations like the Hornets allows us to introduce their fans to NASCAR, Bubba, Kurt and what we do both on and off the race track. Our hope is fans of both the Hornets and 23XI will attend and we can show the synergies between the organizations and create new fans for both teams.”

Tickets for the first ever Hornets/23XI Racing Crossover Night are available from or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX (462-2849).

feature photo credit: [[File:Bubba Wallace 23 Sonoma 2021.jpg|Bubba_Wallace_23_Sonoma_2021]]

Another Earnhardt Joins Xfinity Series

An Earnhardt has been a part of NASCAR for over 50 years.  Ralph was the first in the clan to make his mark on the track. 

The latest Earnhardt is Ralph’s great grandson Jeffrey who has just signed with Sam Hunt Racing to drive the number 26 car in the Xfinity Series as a part time driver for 2022.  Jeffrey is the son of Dale Earnhardt’s older half-brother Kerry.

The exact number of races and the race announcements will be released at a later date.

Earnhardt already has 131 Xfinity Series races to his credit and has one top five and three top 10’s but has yet to take the checkered flag.  He has a total of 217 race starts across all three of the NASCAR racing series – Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Trucks.

Team owner spoke on having Earnhardt as a part of the team saying, “having Jeffrey join Sam Hunt Racing is really exciting for our entire team and the Toyota Racing family.  Jeffrey is a great guy, and he’s someone I’ve always admired for how he carries himself on and off the track. He’s a great person, and his sponsors at ForeverLawn match a lot of what SHR stands for. It’s going to be a fun season with him and the ForeverLawn team, and we’re excited to get to work.”

Sam Hunt Racing made their NASCAR debut in 2019.  The 2021 racing season was the first full time season for SHR; using eight different drivers to obtain one top five and two top 10 finishes.

Earnhardt also spoke one joining Sam Hunt Racing saying,  “I’m really excited to be back in the Toyota camp. My past experience with them was incredible, and they do a great job supporting their drivers.  Sam and I formed a nice friendship over the years, and I’m impressed with what he’s achieved in a short amount of time. I feel like we share the same work ethic, and both of us are working hard to achieve our dreams. Having ForeverLawn in our corner is truly a gift. They have become my family, and our relationship extends well beyond racing. We have three like-minded parties working together towards a common goal. It’s going to be an exciting year.”

feature photo credit: Jeffrey Earnhardt Road America 2013.jpg

Field Set for Busch Clash

Throughout its history, the annual Clash race that marks the beginning of the NASCAR Cup Series the race has been held as a kickoff to Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway.  For the first time, the Busch Light Clash will not only be held on the dirt but at the historic Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.

On January 14 NASCAR released the entry list for the race.  Theree are 36 drivers entered into the initial event but only 23 of then will make it to the 150 lap main event.

The Busch Light Class consists of practice, qualifying heats, a last chance qualifier, and the main race over a two day period.

The excitement begins on February 5, 2022.

Listed according to car number, the drivers entered into the Busch Light Clash are:
Ross Chastain
Austin Cindric
Austin Dillon
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Larson
Brad Keselowski
Corey LaJoie
Tyler Reddick
Chase Elliott
Aric Almirola
Denny Hamlin
Ryan Blaney
Chase Briscoe
Ryan Preece
AJ Allmendinger
Chris Buescher
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr
Christopher Bell
Harrison Burton
Joey Logano
Bubba Wallace
William Byron
Justin Haley
Michael McDowell
Todd Gilliland
Cole Custer
Ty Dillon
Erik Jones
Kurt Busch
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Alex Bowman
Cody Ware
Landon Cassill
BJ McLeod
Daniel Suarez

Top Starts in NASCAR

Last season, Cup Series champion Kyle Larson not only participated in

Rous races across the three NASCAR racing series; he also, took to the dirt for some short track racing every chance he got.  As a result, he participated on over 100 races during 2021.

Up until a few years ago, drivers ran as many races as they wanted across all three of the series – Cup, Xfinity, and Camping World Trucks – racking up dozens of races each year.  Over the past few years, NASCAR has limited the Cup Series drivers to just five races each in the Xfinity and Truck Series.

Over the course of a career a driver runs hundreds of races, even reaching over 1,000.  Before his death in 2001, Dale Earnhardt made a total of 812 total race starts to rank 25th in the list of most race starts.  The number one driver has over 1,000!  Four of the drivers on the list are still currently driving and have a chance to move up the list.

The top 25 race starts in NASCAR history:
Dale Earnhardt – 812
Kurt Busch – 814 – current driver
Jeff Green – 815
Sterling Marlin – 825
Greg Biffle – 837
Elliott Sadler – 855
Bill Elliott – 874 – current driver
Jeff Gordon – 878
Kyle Petty – 885
Dave Marcus – 888
Kenny Wallace – 904
Ricky Rudd – 909
Darrell Waltrip – 921
Bobby Labonte – 942
Ken Schrader – 984
Matt Kenseth – 985
Dale Jarrett – 997
Jeff Burton – 1,005
Terry Labonte – 1,017
Morgan Shepherd – 1,027
Michael Waltrip – 1,072
Kyle Busch – 1,128 – current driver
Mark Martin – 1,143
Richard Petty – 1,185
Joe Nemechek – 1,197
Kevin Harvick – 1,227 – current driver

Del McCoury is “Almost Proud”

Grammy Award winning Bluegrass artist Del McCoury has enlisted a little help from his friends for his new album.  Set for a February 18 release, “Almost Proud” features some guest artists including long time friend Vince Gill.

The album of new songs comes from a variety of writers and has everything a Country and Bluegrass fan could want – drinking songs, cheatin’ songs,  love lost songs, and blue collar working anthems.  McCoury kept himself busy during the pandemic; he spent hours going through demo tapes to find just the right songs for the album.  McCoury said that he listened to over 200 songs, some of which he has not taken out of the box in over a decade.

The new single “Honky Tonk Nights” is out now and features vocals from friend Vince Gill.

The 82 year old Bluegrass legend has nine International Bluegrass Music Entertainer of the Year Awards, and is a member of the Grand Ole Opry

Currently McCoury shares the stage with his sons Ronnie and Rob; in the past he has performed with Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys, Dierks Bentley, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and was a part of the “O Brother Down from the Mountain” tour.

McCoury and his band has also planned a few concert dates for this year beginning at the end of the month.

Del McCoury tour dates:
Jan 29 at the Gordon Center for the Performing Arts in Owings Mills, MD
Feb 10-12 at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City, UT
March 5 at The Caverns in Pelham, TN
March 13 at the Southland Bluegrass and Wilderness Festival in Immokalee, FL
March 25 at the Newberry Opera House in Newberry, SC
March 26 at the Spring Bluegrass Festival in Brooksville, FL

The tracklisting for “Almost Proud”:
“Almost Proud”
“Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”
“Rainbow of My Dream”
“My Little Darlin’”
“Running Wild”
“Brown Paper Bag”
“Honky TOnk Nights”
“Once Again”
“Sid Hatfield’s”
“The Misery You’ve Earned”
“Workin’ Man’s Wage”
“Other Shore”

Feature photo credit: courtesy of IVPR

Sell Out for Daytona 500

Last season NASCAR welcomed back the fans and in some cases overwhelmingly so.  More than once or twice, track officials had to expand the lot for RV’s and campers to accommodate the crowd.

While the Busch Light Clash in Los Angeles marks the beginning of the season; the official beginning of the 2022 NASCAR racing season begins at Daytona which will feature all three racing series and the most unusual qualifying format in racing.

With over a month until the season begins, track officials at Daytona International Speedway has announced that all reserved tickets have been sold for the Daytona 500.

The 2020 season marked the fifth year in a row that the track hosted a sell out crowd for the 500.  Last year, the fans returned but in smaller numbers due to Covid restrictions.

Not only does the 2022 racing season mark a return to full capacity, NASCAR will debut the Next Gen car.

Track president at Daytona International Speedway Frank Kelleher spoke on the sell out saying, “the fans have definitely spoken.  We’re going to have a packed house for the 64th annual Daytona 500, but we are happy to showcase a multitude of other opportunities for fans to be a part of The Great American Race, in addition to all of the other racing action that makes up Speedweeks presented by AdventHealth.”

Tickets for the 500 may have sold out, but Kelleher notes that there are still plenty of opportunities to participate in events at Daytona. 

A package is available for $145 that allows a fan to see Luke Combs perform in concert and access to the UNOH Fanzone where fans can watch see into the garage; as well as, attend special VIP appearances.

Suite seating is still available; as are hospitality options, and tickets to the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series races.

While there is still much to see during Speedweeks at Daytona, one things fans will not get the chance to see is NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Junior participated in the Next Gen car testing earlier this week but has eliminated any possibility of making a full time return to racing; especially in the Cup Series.  While Junior admits that getting some seat time in the new Next Gen car will help him do a better job in the broadcast booth; he is no longer a young man who no longer takes chances.  Junior said, “you know, I think that it’s a long story, but I’m old, 47 years old, and take a guy like William Byron and he’s young, he’s a risk taker, and I’m done taking risks. You know, I’ve got two little girls that I love being around and I put my wife through a lot to race, you know, half of my career that she was with me. She put everything in her role on pause for eight or 10 years while we did all that, and I just don’t know that at 47 years old I would be willing to take the necessary risks out on the race track that a young guy like William Byron would be willing to do.”

Dale Jr fans will have to wait until the Xfinity Series race in April race at Martinsville to see him behind the wheel for his once a year race.

He does admit that he would not object to getting behind the wheel of the Next Gen car for another testing session.

A big fan of the Washington Football Team, Dale Jr compared returning to the Cup Series like a retired NFL player saying, “this is, the Cup Series is elite. You don’t just show up and think you’re just going to go out there and compete. It’d be like, you know, an old retired football player just showing up for an NFL game and thinking he’s gonna go out there and compete with those guys. You’d get destroyed. I remember when (Jamie) McMurray came back and ran a couple years ago for Spire, he got out and he told me, he said, ‘man, I don’t remember it being that hard.’ It’s tough. Not an easy thing.”

Singer Ronnie Spector Dies

Sixties pop star Ronnie Spector died January 12, 2022 as a result of cancer at the age of 78.  She was surrounded by her family at the time of her death.

The family issued a statement saying, “Ronnie lived her life with a twinkle in her eye, a spunky attitude, a wicked sense of humor and a smile on her face. She was filled with love and gratitude.”

A member of The Ronettes, Spector provided the vocals for the girl group’s  hit songs including “Be My Baby”, “Baby I Love You”, “I Can Hear the Music”, and “Walking in the Rain”.  With the help of songwriter and producer Phil Spector, Known for their short skirts, beehive hair dos, and liberal use of eye makeup The Ronettes became one of the biggest names in the sixties.  They toured England with The Rolling Stones.

The Ronettes were Ronnie, sister Estelle, and cousin Nedra.

Born Veronica Bennett on August 10, 1943 in the Spanish Harlem area of New York City, Ronnie and her bandmates grew up in Washington Heights where they began performing in clubs as Ronnie and the Relatives.  They signed their first record deal with Phil Spector in 1963 and began singing backup for other groups before making it big on their own.  They released their debut album in 1964.  Though eligible in 1989, it wasn’t until 2007 that The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The Ronettes are also members of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

The lime light was short lived when the group broke up in 1967.

In 1968, Phil Spector made Ronnie his second wife but were divorced six years later.  The couple had three children together.  According to Ronnie, Phil kept her locked up inside their Hollywood mansion.

Ronnie Spector may have had a short musical career with The Ronettes, but her influence was felt for generations to come.  Amy Winehouse cited her as an idol, Billy Joel wrote “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” in her honour, and The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson became obsessed with “Be My Baby”.

After divorcing Phil Spector, Ronnie returned to music as a  solo artist and performed with Eddie Money, Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards, and Patti Smith.  She recorded her last album in 2016.

Ronnie is survived by her husband Jonathan Greenfield and children.

The family noted that Ronnie has requested in lieu of flowers, donations be made to a local women’s shelter or to the American Indian College Fund.

Ronnie Spector discography:
“The Fabulous Ronettes featuring Veronica”
“The Ronettes featuring Veronica”
“The Ronettes Greatest His – Volume 1”
“The Ronettes Greatest His – Volume 2”
“Unfinished Business”
“The Best of The Ronettes”
“She Talks to Rainbows”
“”Something’s Gonna Happen”
“The Last of the Rock Stars”
“Ronnie Spector’s Bust Christmas Ever!”
“Be My Baby: The Very Best of the Ronettes”
“The Very Best of Ronnie Spector”
“English Heart”

Recordings with Other Artists:
“A Christmas Gift for You”
“Murray The “K” at the Brooklyn Fox”
“Memories of The Cow Palace”
“Rainbow Bridge”
“Muscle of Love”
“I Don’t Wanna Go Home”
“Just One of the Guys”
“Can’t Hold Back”
“Dirty Dancing”
“Get Down Tonight: The Best of T.K. Records”
“Street Carols”
“Back to Mono”
“Blue Coral Reef”
“Canary Island”
“A Very Special Christmas 2”
“Brace Yourself”
“Adios Amigo”
“Atomic Swing”
“The Wizard of Oz in Concert Dreams Come True”
“It Takes II”
“Shakin’ with The Money”
“Project 1950”
“Pretty in Black”

feature photo credit: Ronnie Spector.jpg

Sam Weber

On January 10, music artist Sam Weber released his new single “Get Out of the Game” from his upcoming album “Get Free”.

Set for a February 4 release of “Get Free”, Weber has planned a number of tour dates beginning around the time of the release.

Mindful of the pandemic, Weber, Mallory Hauser, and Danny Austin-Manning recorded the album in their Hollywood apartment.

Tickets for the tour can be purchased at samwebermusic,ca/shows.

Sam Weber tour dates:
Feb 5 at Amado’s in San Francisco, CA
Feb 6 at Smiley’s in Blinas,CA
Feb 7 & 8 at the Adrift Hotel in Astoria, OR
Feb 9 at the Royal Room in Seattle, WA
Feb 10 at Strum in Portland, OR
Feb 11 at Devils Brewing Company in Coos Bay, OR
Feb 12 at Sam Bond’s Garage in Eugene, OR
Feb 13 at The Lost Church in Santa Rose, CA
March 1 at xBK Live in Des Moines, IA
March 2 at Bishop Hill Creative Commons in Bishop, IL
March 3 at Bur Oak in Madison, WI
March 4 at the Turf Club in St. Paul, MN
March 6 at the Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co in Milwaukee, WI
March 9 at the Southgate House Revival in Newport, KY
March 11 at The Woodshop in Chattanooga, TN
March 13 at The Evening Muse in Charlotte, NC
March 15 at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC
March 16 at The Tin Pan in Richmond, VA
March 17 at the Pie Shop in Washington, D.C.
March 19 at the World Café Live in Philadelphia, PA
March 20 at the Sultan Room in Brooklyn, NY
March 24 at the Higher Ground Showcase Lounge in Burlington, VT
March 25 at The Word Barn in Exeter, NH
May 18-22 at the Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, MO

NASCAR Drivers Battle in Chili Bowl

For the past five years the winner of the annual Chili Bowl has been a NASCAR regular.  Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson have shared the title with Larson winning the past two years.

Bell and Larson are among the hundreds of races again this year; along with NASCAR drivers Chase Briscoe, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Jesse Little, Tanner Berryhill, Carson Hocevar, Ryan Newman,  Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Ryan Ellis.  Stenhouse is not scheduled to race until Friday and is among the drivers testing at Daytona.

So far Alex Bowman has one more chance to make the Main A feature race on Saturday.  Chase Briscoe will also race in the C Main race on Saturday for a chance to make the A race.  After sitting on the pole, Chase Elliott won his race.  He will race in the F Main on Saturday.  Running in the Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions, Kyle Larson came in second and is set to run a qualifying race on Tuesday.  Christopher Bell also ran in the Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions where he finished in third behind Larson.  Bell’s qualifying race is on Thursday.

NASCAR Set Superspeedway Rules Package

Last month NASCAR officials released the rules package for most of the tracks in the 2022 schedule at 650 horsepower.  The only exception were the Supersppedway tracks of Daytona and Talladega.

After the first day of testing the Next Gen car on the high  banks of Daytona, NASCAR has determined the rules package for the remaining tracks.  With restrictor plates no longer a part of racing, NASCAR has set the engines at 510 horsepower with a seven inch spoiler for the Superspeedway tracks.  The new paved and configured Atlanta Motor Speedway is also on the list with the big tracks.

While some of the drivers were dirt track racing in the Chili Bowl; Dale Earnhardt Jr and Jacques Villeneuve joined NASCAR regulars Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr on the track to the aerodynamic draft of the Next Generation car that will make its debut in the 2022 season.

Logano noted that he, Kurt, Denny, and Ricky, “we were out there shoving each other pretty hard.”  Logano added, “we were racing like we were coming to the end of the Daytona 500. I don’t know why we do that, but it’s a race. It’s race cars and it’s on a race track, it turns into a race and we race each other.”

Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin paired up for some side drafting and aero pushes around the 2.5 mile track.

NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Racing Innovation John Probst spoke on the testing saying, “now granted, there’s no trophy. There’s no points. There’s no money on the line. So I think the level of intensity when they come back will be ratcheted up significantly, but I think that if you look at what the cars were able to do as far as spreading out, grouping back up, moving around, definitely three-wide a couple times, I feel like we’re in a really good spot, put on a pretty good show February here in the 500.”

The drivers will return on Wednesday for more testing at Daytona.  One final test is scheduled for January 25 and 26 at Phoenix Raceway.

Broadway Extends Covid Protocols

For the past several months Broadway theatres have required patrons to be masked and fully vaccinated in order to enter one of the 40 plus theatres.

As the numbers continue to rise and some shows have had to cancel shows due to outbreaks, The Broadway League has once again extended the current Covid protocols with one new addition.

Now that the vaccine is available for children aged five to eleven, The Broadway League is adding children to the list of vaccination requirements in order to attend a show.

The requirement for children five to eleven to be fully vaccinated; as well as, masked takes effect January 29, 2022.  Patrons must show proof of full vaccination at least 14 days prior to entering a theatre; and must continue to wear a face covering once they have entered the building and until they exit the building after the show.

Set to expire on February 28, the current protocols have been extended until at least April 30, 2022.

The Buy with Confidence policy that allows for flexible ticket exchanges and refunds will also continue until April 30 as well.

2021 Golden Globe Awards

After the abbrevited 2021 edition of the Golden Globe Awards, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association lost their slot with NBC to air the annual Golden Globe Awards due to controversial issues over membership and racism.

In 2022, the HFPA failed to secure a television network to broadcast the awards.  The January 9 ceremony went on as a live blog sans A-list celebrities as presenters.  The one constant for the 79th annual event was its location – the Beverly Hills Hilton.

The “private ceremony” did not include any of the nominees or winners.

The newest incarnation of “West Side Story” and “The Power of the Dog” were the biggest film winners of the night with three trophies each. In television, “Succession” was the big winner of the night with three awards.

And the winners are:
Best Drama Film: “The Power of the Dog”
“Best Musical or Comedy Film: “West Side Story”
Best Actress in a Drama Film: Nicole Kidman in “Being the Ricardos”
Best Actor in a Drama Film: Will Smith in “King Richard”
Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Film: Rachel Zegler in “West Side Story”
Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Film: Andrew Garfield in “tick, tick…Boom!”
Best Supporting Actress in a Film: Ariana DeBose in “West Side Story”
Best Supporting Actor in a Film: Kodi Smit-McPhee in “The Power of the Dog”
Best Animated Film: “Encanto”
Best Foreign Film: Drive My Car” from Japan
“Best Screenplay for a Film: “Belfast” by Kenneth Branagh
Best Direction of a Film: Jane Campion for “The Power of the Dog”
Best Original Song for a Film: Billie Eilish for “No Time to Die” from the James Bond film “No Time to Die”
Best Original Score: Hans Zimmer for “Dune”
Best Television Drama Series: “Succession”
Best Television Comedy Series: “Hacks”
Best Television Film or Limited Series: “The Underground Railroad”
Best Actress in a Television Film or Limited Series: Kate Winslet for ”Mare of Easttown”
Best Actor in a Television Film or Limited Series: Michael Keaton in “Dopesick”
Best Actress in a Television Drama Series: Michaela Jae Rodriguez in “Pose”
Best Actor in a Television Drama Series: Jeremy Strong in “Succession”
Best Actress in a Comedy Series: Jean Smart in “Hacks”
Best Actor in a Comedy Series: Jason Sudeikis in “Ted Lasso”
Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series: Sarah Snook in “Succession”
Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series: O Yeung-su in “Squid Game”

SHR Driver Announces Impending Retirement

Over the past few years it has become the practice among full time drivers in NASCAR to announce retirements instead of simply driving off into the sunset.

The latest driver to announce an impending retirement is Aric Almirola.

With less than a month before the start of the 2022 NASCAR season, Almirola announced that this would be his final season as a full time driver.  Almirola currently drives the number 10 Stewart-Haas Racing car.

Almirola made the announcement with a a video on YouTube.  He spoke on the decision saying, “I truly enjoy driving race cars and I’m excited to race my heart out in 2022 for Smithfield and Stewart-Haas Racing.  But to be the best in this business, you’ve got to be selfish, and for the last 37 years, my life has always revolved around me and what I needed to do.”

Noting that he has a wife and children; the Florida native added, “I want to be present. I want to be the best husband and father, and that to me means more than being a race-car driver. So, it’s one more year where I’m all-in on racing, where we’ll do whatever it takes to compete at the highest level. But when the season is over, I’ll be ready to wave goodbye. I’ve loved every minute of it, but it’s time for the next chapter of my life.”

Almirola concluded, “It’s been a great ride. I have been blessed beyond my wildest imagination and I honestly have no regrets.  Do I wish I would’ve won more races? Sure, and there’s still an opportunity this year. Do I wish I would’ve won a championship? Sure, and I’ve got a lot of drive to make that happen this year. I’m a competitive person. I want to win and I want to be a champion, but at the end of the day, I know that those things mean way less than being there for my family.”

He began with NASCAR as a part time driver in 2007 and became a full time driver in 2012 driving for Richard Petty Motorsports before moving on to SHR.

SHR co-owner Tony Stewart spoke on Almirola saying, “I’ve watched Aric develop into a really good race-car driver and it was a proud moment when we were able to bring him to Stewart-Haas Racing.  He’s really delivered for our race team and for Smithfield, always putting in maximum effort. I know he wants to go out on a high note and we’re going to give him all the resources to succeed.  Stewart added, “that being said, we also want him to enjoy this season. Aric is a great husband and father, and this year will bring a lot of cool moments that he’ll be able to share with his family. He’s earned this opportunity to go out on his terms.”

President and CEO of Smithfield Foods – Almirola’s primary sponsor – Shane Smith also spoke on Almirola saying, “it’s been an absolute pleasure to have Aric as part of our Smithfield Family for more than a decade now.  In addition to being an incredibly talented racer and devoted family man, Aric embodies Smithfield’s values and has embraced our commitment to do good for our customers, employees and communities. He will always be family. We wish him all the best in his next chapter and look forward to another great year with him and Stewart-Haas Racing.”

Almirola has won three Cup Series races – at Daytona, Talladega, and New Hampshire Motor Speedway – with six top fives and 19 top tens.

feature photo credit: Stewart-Haas Racing Shop (10516843266).jpg

Comedic Actor Bob Saget Dies

Actor Bob Saget died January 9, 2022 at the age of 65.  He was found in a Ritz Carlton hotel in Orlando.  The Orange County Sheriff’s department did not give a cause of death but did not suspect an foul play or drug use.

Saget was on a comedy tour at the time of his death.

Most recently Saget was best known for fans of the singing show “The Maked Singer” where he played the squiggly monster.  Prior to that he was the single father of three on “Full House” and later appeared in the sequel “Fuller House”.

photo credit: Bob Saget’s Facebook page

While best known for acting  on the screen, Saget appeared in two Broadway productions – the musical comedy “The Drowsy Chaperone” and the comedic play “Hand to God”

Appearing in over 60 productions, Saget made his film debut in 1980 as a therapy patient in the short “Devces”.  His first television appearance came the following year as Bob the Comic in the sitcom “Bosom Buddies”.  His other roles include “The Greatest American Hero”, “New Love, American Style”, “Quantum Leap”, “The Jeff Foxworthy Show”, “Raising Dad”, the voice of a Zoo Animval in “Madagascar”, “Law & Order”, “Surviving Suburbia”, “Entourage”, the narrator in “How I Met Your Mother”, and his final role last year in “Killing Daniel”.

As himself, Saget appeared in nearly 200 productions including talk shows, comedy shows, award shows, telethons, entertainment specials, late night talk shows, as host on “America’s Funniest Home Videos”, documentaries, game shows, and his own comedy special.

Robert Lane Saget was born on May 17, 1956 in Philadelphia where he later attended Temple University.  The family moved to Lexington, Virginia when Bob was just two years old.  He began acting in college where he won a Student Academy Award in 1977.

Predeceased by his sister Gay, Saget is survived by his second wife Kelly and children – Aubrey, Lara, and Jennifer.

Feature photo credit: Bob Saget, Behind The Velvet Rope TV 0.34.jpg

Bon Jovi

Boston rockers Bon Jovi are braving the storm that is Covid and hitting the road this spring for a tour of the south and midwestern United States.

Set to begin April 1, the announcement is no April Fool’s joke

Tickets for some of the shows go on sale beginning January 14 at 10am local time.

Bon Jovi tour dates:
April 1 at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, NE
April 3 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN
April 5 at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, WI
April 8 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC
April 9 at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC
April 11 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC
April 13 at the Enmarket Arena in Savannah, GA
April 15 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL
April 16 at the FLA Live Arena in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
April 19 at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN
April 21 at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, MO
April 23 at the Moody Center in Austin, TX
April 26 at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX
April 28 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX
April 30 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN

Miranda Lambert & Little BIg Town

Country music star Miranda Lambert is ready to get back out on the road and is joining fellow Country music artists Little Big Town this spring for the Bandwagon Tour. The Cadillac Three will be joining them on the tour.

Tickets for the Bandwagon Tour go on sale beginning January 14, 2022 at 10am local time. Tickets for The Woodlands show go on sale January 21.

But first Lambert has a few dates of her own in April.

Miranda Lamber dates:
April 27 at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater in Tuscaloosa, AL
April 28 at the FirstBank Amphitheater in Franklin, TN
April 29 at the William Green Football Stadium in Johnson City, TN

Bandwagon Tour dates:
May 6 at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands, TX
May 7 at the Dos Equis Pavilion in Dallas, TX
May 8 at the Walmart AMP in Rogers, AR
May 12 at the Credit One Stadium in Charleston, SC
May 13 at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, FL
May 14 at the iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, FL
May 20 at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis, MO
May 21 at the Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, IN
May 22 at the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, OH
June 2 at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto, ON
June 3 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Detroit, MI
June 4 at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, OH
June 9 at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY
June 10 at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ
June 11 at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, NJ

Lyricist Marilyn Bergman Dies

The year is only a week old and it is already proving to be a rough one for the entertainment world.

Lyricist Marilyn Bergman died January 8, 2022 in her Los Angeles home as a result of non-Covid related respiratory failure at the age of 93. Her husband of over 60 years was at her side at the time of her death.

Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1980, the Bergman’s have hundreds of songwriting credits to their name. Over the years the Bergman’s have collaborated with numerous entertainers and songwriters including Marvin Hamlisch, Cy Coleman, and Michel Legrand. Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Dean Martin, James Ingram, Patti Austin, Stephen Bishop, Aretha Franklin, and Michael Jackson are among the hundreds of artists who have performed their songs. Streisand recorded some 60 of the Bergman’s songs throughout her career.

Songs composed by Marilyn Bergman and her husband Alan could be heard on the radio, Broadway, in films, and as themes for television series. Bergman has penned lyrics for “In the Heat of the Night” – film and television series, “The Happy Ending”, “Bracken’s World”, “Funny Face”, “The Sandy Duncan Show”, “Harry and Walter Go to New York”, “The Nancy Walker Show”, “Sybil”, “Maude”, “Co-ed Fever”, “Good Time”, “Yentl”, “Alice”,”The Powers that Be”, “Brooklyn Bridge”, and “If You’re not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast”.

On Broadway, Marilyn Bergman is responsible for the lyrics from “Something More”, “Ballroom”, “Andre’ DeShields’ Haarlem Nocturne”, “Into the Woods”, “Street Corner Symphony”, and “Come Fly Away”.

They won their first of Academy Awards for the song “The Way We Were” from the movie by the same name. Marily and Alan Bergman have won a total of three Academy Awards, two Grammys, four Emmy Awards, and is the recipient of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Johnny Mercer Award. Marilyn was also a bit of a trailblazer – she was the first female elected to ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) where she later served as a chair and was the first female to chair the National Recorded Sound Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.

She was born Marilyn Katz to Jewish parents in Brooklyn on November 10, 1929. She studied psychology and English at New York University. Alan was born four years earlier in the same hospital and raised in the same neighbourhood, but it would be many years later before to two would meet when they worked for the same composer. They moved to Los Angeles in 1950 and were married in 1958.

Marilyn is survived by husband Alan and daughter Julie.

Some of the hundreds of lyrics penned by Marilyn Bergman include:
“Yellow Bird”
“Nice ‘n’ Easy”
“Any Wednesday”
“The Windmills of Your Mind”
Pieces of Dreams”
“Sugar in the Rain”
“What are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?”
“The Summer Knows” – theme from “Summer of ’42”
“Marmalade, Molasses and Honey”
“The Way We Were”
“Hello and Goodbye”
“You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”
“The Last Time I Felt Like This”
“It Might be You”
“How Do You Keep the Music Playing?”
“Never Say Never Again”
the music from “Yentl” including “Papa Can You Hear Me” and “The Way He Makes Me Feel”

feature photo credit: [[File:Alan and Marilyn Bergman.jpg|Alan_and_Marilyn_Bergman]]

NASCAR Drivers Enter Chili Bowl

Race car drivers love to race and there are some drivers who will climb behind the wheel of anything as log as it has four wheels and a steering wheel.  Drivers like Christopher Bell and Cup Series champion Kyle Larson are two such drivers who will run on anything from dirt to asphalt.

Last week, the annual Tulsa Shootout brought in a record of over 1,700 drivers including some of the biggest names in NASCAR.  Next week, it’s the Chili Bowl; who also is bringing in a record number of racers at around 400 drivers including eleven NASCAR drivers.

The Chili Bowl is the “Super Bowl” of midget racing and attracts some of the biggest names in all of racing.

Kyle Larson is a two time Chili Bowl champion who returns to defend his championship.  Fellow champion Christopher Bell is a three time champion who returns to try for a fourth win.

Other NASCAR drivers set to make a run for the Golden Driller trophy are Alex Bowman, Chase Briscoe, Chase Elliott, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr from the Cup Series.  Xfinity Series drivers Tanner Berryhill and Ryan Ellis have entered the race; as well as Camping World Truck Series drivers Carson Hocevar and Jesse Little.

Past  NASCAR drivers Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, and J.J. Yeley will also be a part of the 2022 field of racers.

Acting Pioneer Sidney Portier Dies

Some call him “Sir”; others call him “Mr. Tibbs”, but he is best known as pioneering actor Sidney Portier. 

Just over a month until his 95th birthday, Portier died January 7, 2022 in his Los Angeles home.

Winning an Academy Award in 1964 for his role in “Lilies of the Field”, Portier became the first man of colour to win the award in the leading role category.  He also crossed the colour line to become a box office draw.

Noting that he was the lone guy in town, Portier once said, “I made films when the only other Black on the lot was the shoeshine boy.”

Along with his 1964 Oscar, Portier has received the  Presidential Medal of Freedom  from President Barack Obama, an American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement award, a Grammy Award in the Spoken Word category for his book “Measure of a Man”, an honourary Knight Commander of the British Empire, the Chaplin Lifetime Achievement Award, and a second Academy Award – a special award in 2002.

Refusing to take on roles like cowards, Portier said that he would not play any role that did not put a positive light on his father – a Bahamian tomato farmer. 

But it was not always smooth sailing; he had to face racism from one side – even being followed around by the KKK and chants of compromise (an Uncle Tom and a “million-dollar shoeshine boy) by his own community.  In his memoir “The Measure of a Man”, he wrote, “all those who see unworthiness when they look at me and are given thereby to denying me value — to you I say, ‘I’m not talking about being as good as you. I hereby declare myself better than you.”

His memoir wasn’t the only place, Portier was quit with a sharp tongue.  Frequently asked about race and racism, snapped at a journalist during a press conference in 1967 saying, “I am an artist, man, American, contemporary. I am an awful lot of things, so I wish you would pay me the respect due.”

Not a political activist, Portier was not adverse to standing up for his own civil rights or participating in the March on Washington in 1963.  During the “red scare” during the ‘50’s he refused to sign a loyalty card.

When roles became more political, Portier turned to directing and producing.  Portier directed the films “Ghost Dad”, “Fast Forward”, “Hanky Panky”, “Stir Crazy, “A Piece of the Action”, “Uptown Saturday Night”, “A Warm December”, and “Buck and the Preacher”.   As a producer he was a part of “Free of Eden”, “Summer Knowledge”, “Buck and the Preacher”, and “Brother John”.

He was born two month premature on February 20, 1927 in Miami, Florida while on a trip selling tomatoes.  He was raised in the Bahamas on Cat Island.  He returned to Miami at age 15.  Overwhelmed by a New York winter after a move to Harlem, he joined the U.S. Army at age 16 – he lied about his age, swearing that he was 18 – where he put to work in a mental hospital.  Oddly enough, it was faking a mental illness that got him out of the Army and back to Harlem where he found a job with the American Negro Theater…as a janitor in exchange for acting lessons.  When a young Harry Belafonte could not appear for a role, Portier stood in.

After some understudy and smaller roles, he made his screen debut in 1947 in an uncredited role in “Sepia Cinderella”.  He went on to appear in a little over 50 roles including “No Way Out”, “The Defiant Ones”, the 1959 edition of “Porgy and Bess”, “A Raisin in the Sun”, “Lilies in the Field”, “A Patch of Blue”, “To Sir, with Love”, “In the Heat of the Night”, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, “They Call Me Mr. Tibbs”, “Uptown Saturday Night”, “Separate but Equal”, “Sneakers”, “The Jackal”, and his final role in 2001 as Henry Cobb in the made for TV movie “The Las Birckmaker in America”.

Predeceased by daughter Gina Portier-Gouraige, Portier is survived by his second wife of over 40 year Joanna, five daughters – Judith, Pamela, Sherri, Anika, and Sydney -, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

feature photo credit: Photograph Sidney Portier speaking at St. Sabina (14563113787).jpg

NASCAR Disapproves Team Sponsorship

NASCAR’s Xfinity Series driver Brandon Brown has been in the news a lot lately over the “Let’s Go Brandon” slogan that has taken on a life of its own as a negative connotation for President Joe Biden and the White House.

The slogan began when Brandon Brown drove his number 68 car to victory lane at Talladega Superspeedway and the NBC Sports reporter mistook the chanting of “F*** Joe Biden” for “Let”s Go Brandon”.

Brown himself has noted that he has had difficulty in securing sponsorship for his car since the slogan began.

The family owned business thought that they had secured a sponsor with LGB Coin. The LGB stands for “Let’s Go Brandon”.

Brandon and LGBCoin made the announcement of the deal last month; however, NASCAR did not approve the spokesperson deal.

A new cryptocurrency company, the stock rose around 50 percent after the announcement but once NASCAR disapproved of the deal, the stock made a significant drop.

Now Typhoon Capital Management founder and LGB Coin investor Jamed Koutoulas has said that he will sue NASCAR.

Koutoulas has posted emails that state the deal was originally approved provided a few modifications to the logo were made around the number to comply with the NASCAR rule book and said, “the Brandon Brown 68 went through proper NASCAR approval process and received formal written approval.” He added, “NASCAR did a review of the LGBcoin_io website and of me personally as a name HODLer. They were well aware of everything and we complied with their request to leave the phrase “Let’s go Brandon” off the car and they accordingly approved in writing.”

While the rule book states that there should be nothing within two inches surrounding the number; it also states that NASCAR may refuse approval of any sponsorship or logo if it “is detrimental to the sport, to NASCAR, Series Sponsor or to the promoter for any reason, including without limitation, the public image of the sport.” In addition, all “ decals, advertising slogans, paint schemes and other graphic designs and text on the vehicle” must be approved prior to use.

NASCAR has given no reason for the disapproval.

Brandonbilt Motorsports – the owners of the 68 car – spoke on the decision saying, “NASCAR did not speak with Brandonbilt Motorsports prior to making their decision to rescind the approval and multiple attempts to setup a conversation to address this matter went unacknowledged. The bottom line is that Brandonbilt Motorsports followed the standard process for sponsor and paint scheme approval and received approval from a NASCAR official empowered to make those decisions, and who makes those decisions on a regular basis.” The team noted in a statement, “unfortunately, NASCAR leadership’s handling of this situation now threatens to strain our relationships and places us in an incredibly awkward position, yet again.”

Ryan Preece, Matty Di Find Rides for ’22

The 2022 NASCAR season begins in just one month, but there are still drivers hoping to get a ride.

When JTG Daugherty reduced their team to just one car for the 2022 season, Ryan Preece lost his ride. But he has found another…at least part time…

Stewart-Haas Racing has signed Preece as a reserve driver which means while he will get a few races during the season across the three NASCAR Series – Camping World Truck, Xfinity, and Cup – he will also be on standby in case injury or illness prohibits one of the current full time Stewart-Haas drivers from running.

SHR vice president of competition Greg Zipadelli spoke on the signing of Preece saying, “Ryan is a versatile wheelman with a racer’s mentality who fits extremely well within our culture at Stewart-Haas Racing. Between the amount of testing and development work we’re doing with the NextGen car this year, his added insights and time in the simulator will make us better by allowing us to learn faster.” Zipadelli also noted, “plus we’re still dealing with COVID. As much as we all want it to be over, it’s not. We needed a more robust plan in the event COVID sidelines one of our drivers. We have that now with Ryan.”

Preece is scheduled to run two Cup races, three Xfinity races, and seven Truck races in the ’22 season. Preece spoke on his new opportunity saying, “this is a unique setup, but I feel like it provides me with the best opportunity to win races and contribute to a championship-caliber team while expanding my racing experience. I’m a racer, and Stewart-Haas Racing is a team built by racers. They measure success by wins. Whether I’m in the simulator, in one of their cars, or in a Ford Mustang or Ford F-150 for another team, I’m here to help SHR and Ford win.”

His first race will of the 2022 racing season will be at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 4 in the Truck Series.

Matt DiBenedetto learned early in the 2021 NASCAR season that he would be out of his ride driving the number 21 car for the Wood Brothers come the end of the season.

With just a month before the start of the new season, Matty Di has found a ride…in the Camping World Turck Series.

DiBenedetto has spent 12 years in NASCAR driving in the Cup Series and the Xfinity Series; this will mark the first time that he will drive in the Truck Series.

He will be drving the number 25 Rackley W.A.R. truck.

Matty Di spoke on his new ride saying, “I can honestly say that, at this time in my career, I am truly excited. I feel like I’m going back to my roots in a lot of ways. I love the feeling you immediately get when you talk to Curtis, Willie, Chad; all the guys around this organization. They are all hard-core racers and everyone is extremely dedicated.”

He continued, “this opportunity is a blessing to me and I’m really excited to do my part in taking this team to the next level.”

Rackely W.A.R.’s Curtis Sutton spoke on the signing of DiBenedetto saying, “we are honored to have Matt DiBenedetto join Rackley W.A.R. full-time for the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season.” He added, “we feel that by teaming Matt up with experienced crew chief Chad Kendrick, we will be competing for multiple wins and be competitive at all race tracks. I truly believe that the NASCAR Truck Series is the most exciting, and I am looking forward to getting the season started.”

Fellow owner Willie Allen added, “we have a lot of great folks around this race shop and in a lot of other places. This will be our second year having an alliance with GMS Racing and we’re really appreciative of all they do for us. We will continue our manufacturer alliance with GM and Chevrolet, and we’re super-thankful for the resources they make available to us. This series is for sure the most competitive out there right now, and we are really fortunate to have excellent partners. We anticipate a big year as we look forward to our first win.”

Grammys Postpone Awards

When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in March 2020, many places shut down; while events were postponed and even cancelled.  Last summer the country began to open up once again with concerts and award shows.  But a new variant of the virus has arisen and the numbers are rising once again.

As a result, bands are postponing tours and events are going from live to virtual.

On January 5, 2022, the Recording Academy announced that the 64th annual Grammy Awards scheduled for January 31 has been postponed due to, “too many risks”.  The Academy stated, “after careful consideration and analysis with city and state officials, health and safety experts, the artist community and our many partners.”

The Academy had originally scheduled an awards presentation on pre-pandemic plans with live performances and a live audience.

A new date has not yet been announced.  The Academy must work around two professional basketball teams, a hockey team, the Sundance Film Festival, the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and other awards shows.

In other changes due to the continued pandemic, the Sundance Film Festival announced that the annual festival et to begin in Park City, Utah on January 20 will now be a virtual event.

The Festival will still begin on January 20, but will have no live events, only online again this year.

Festival organizer stated, “with case numbers forecasted to peak in our host community the week of the festival we cannot knowingly put our staff and community at risk. The undue stress to Summit County’s health services and our more than 1,500 staff and volunteers would be irresponsible in this climate.”  The Festival noted that they waited as long as possible before making the decision.

The organizers added, “we do not believe it is safe nor feasible to gather thousands of artists, audiences, employees, volunteers, and partners from around the world for an 11-day festival while overwhelmed communities are already struggling to provide essential services.”

The 2022 Sunday Film Festival runs from January 20 to 30 and has 82 feature films scheduled.

More Trouble for Golden Globes

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association continues to see fall out from controversy over a lack of diversity in the Gold Globe Awards.

Last year the HFPA lost their long time network slot on NBC and with just three days until the presentation of the 2022 awards, still has not announced a venue for this year’s awards.  However, the email revealed that “the event will have limited guests and with strict COVID protocols that include not only proof of full vaccination, but also a booster shot and a negative PCR test.”

After a lackluster reveal of the 2022 nominees, the HFPA has failed to sign on any celebrities to serve as presenters for their annual Golden Globe Awards.

In an email the HFPA sent out seeking presenters, the organization promised the 2022 awards would “celebrate and honor a variety of diverse, community-based programs that empower inclusive filmmakers and journalists to pursue their storytelling passions.”

Il Divo

While on tour in the UK, the international popera group Il Divo lost one of its members when Spaniard Carlos Marin died as a result of the Covid virus.

In tribute to Carlos, the reamaining group members David Miller of the United States, Sebastien Izambart of France, and Urs Buhler of Switzerland have decided to continue on with the tour. Previously titled the “For Once in My Life Tour”, the guys have renamed it their “Greatest Hits Tour”. Mexican American Steven LaBrie has been invited to join the group as a special guest vocalist.

Any tickets previously purchased for the tour will be honoured.

Il Divo tour dates:
Feb 2 at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts in San Jose, CA
Feb 5 aat Fantasy Springs in Indio, CA
Feb 6 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, CA
Feb 9 at the Bellco Theatre in Denver, CO
Feb 12 at the McAllen Performing Arts Center in McAllen, TX
Feb 13 at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park in Austin, TX
Feb 14 at the Tobin Center in San Antonio, TX
Feb 16 at the Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas, TX
Feb 17 at the Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land, TX
Feb 19 at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago, IL
Feb 20 at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, MI
Feb 22 at the Wang Theatre in Boston, MA
Feb 25 at the Mahaffey Theater in Tampa, FL
Feb 26 at Steinmetz Hall in Orlando, FL
Feb 27 at the James L Knight Center in Miami, FL
March 2 at the Peace Center in Greenville, SC
March 4 at the NYCB Theater in Westbury, NY
March 5 at The Hershey Theatre in Hershey, PA
March 6 at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, NJ

April 22 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, FL
April 28 at the Arena Sabiazinho in Uberlandia, Brazil
April 30 at the Centro de Convencoes Ulysses Guimaraes in Brasilia, Brazil
May 1 at the Espaco das Americas in Sao Paulo, Brazil
May 7 at Monticello in Santiago, Chile
May 8 at Luna Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina
June 25 at the Plaza de Toros in Valencia, Spain
June 29 at the Weiner Stadthalle in Vienna, Austria
July 1 at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes in Granada, Spain
July 2 at the Polideportivo Guillermo Amor in Benidorm, Spain
July 3 at the Jardins Pedralbes Festival in Barcelona, Spain
July 8 at the Starlite Marbella in Marbella, Spain
July 9 at the Sancti Petri in Cadiz, Spain
July 15 at the Coliseum in Coruña, Spain
July 23 at the Multiusos de Gondomar in Porto, Portugal
July 24 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal
Sept 30 at the Centro Hípico – Mairena del Aljarafe in Seville, Spain
Oct 4 at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Russia
Oct 6 at the BKZ Oktyabrisky in St. Petersbur, Russia
Oct 8 at the Palace Ukraine in Kiev, Ukraine
Oct 19 at the Zalgirio Arena in Kaunas, Lithuania
Oct 21 at the Incheba Expo Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia
Oct 28 at the Budapest Arena in Budapest, Hungary
Oct 30 at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium
Nov 1 at the Jahrhundtert Halle in Frankfurt, Germany
Nov 5 at the Velodrom in Berlin, Germany
Nov 6 at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nov 7 at the Mitsubishi Electric Halle in Dusseldorf, Germany
Nov 9 at the KB Hallen in Copenhagen, Denmark
Nov 12 at the Tauron Arena in Krakow, Poland
Dec 3 at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, UK
Dec 8 at the Birmingham Arena in Birmingham, UK
Dec 9 at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham, UK
Dec 10 at the Convention Centre in Harrogate, UK
Dec 12 at the Bonus Arena in Hull, UK
Dec 14 at Usher Hall in Edinburgh, UK
Dec 16 at the SSE Arena in London, UK

NASCAR Partners with CLGBTCC for Diversity

In recent years NASCAR has made some major efforts and strides toward making the sport a more diverse one that is no longer a “good ole’ boys club”.

The Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s in the Charlotte area. On January 5, 2022 they announced a partnership with NASCAR as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion partner for the 2022.

The marks the first time that NASCAR has partnered with an LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

The vice chair of the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce Tiffany Keaton spoke on the partnership saying, “NASCAR has a rich history in our region and continues to be one of the most popular sports in the nation. The intentionality of their partnership will allow the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber to leverage relationships and increase our work in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. The distinct brand that NASCAR brings to the chamber validates their commitment to equality and non-discrimination both on and off the track. It is an honor to name the league our ‘DE&I Partner’ for 2022, and I look forward to developing this amazing relationship.”

The Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce mission is to foster equity, inclusion and economic prosperity for the LGBTQ community through strategic policy, professional enrichment, ally partnerships and economic development.

NASCAR’s vice president of diversity and inclusion Brandon Thompson also spoke on the partnership saying,
“NASCAR is excited to partner with the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce. With NASCAR offices and much of our industry based in the Carolinas, we look forward to working with CLGBTCC in support of its mission to foster equity, inclusion and economic prosperity for the LGBTQ community.”

While NASCAR has yet to sign a driver who identifies as a member of the LGBT+ community, there has been some strides toward diversity with the signing of Mexican driver Daniel Suarez, bi-racial driver Bubba Wallace, and numerous non-white crew members.

Ed Sheeran Makes History

British pop singer Ed Sheeran has amassed some musical records that have only been seen by long time artists.  In less than a dozen years he has reached 150 million in album sales and has earned a total of 29 platinum certifications by the RIAA – Recording Industry Association of America – 19 of which are multi-platinum awards.

Sheeran’s latest accomplishment is ending 2021 as the first artist to reach three billion streams on a single song when his smash hit “Shape of You” topped three billion – that’s billion with a B – streams on Spotify alone!  “Shape of You” has been awarded Diamond status by the RIAA for selling at least 10 million copies in the United States alone.  The album “Divide” has been certified five time platinum for selling five million copies.

The singles “Perfect” and “Thinking Out Loud” have also earned Diamond status from the RIAA.

Sheeran has planned some tour dates in the UK and Europe beginning in the spring and running into the fall with many outdoor performances.

Ed Sheeran tour dates:
April 23 & 24 at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland
April 28 & 29 at Pairc Ui Chaoimh in Cork, Ireland
May 5 & 6 at Thomond Park in Limerick, Ireland
May 12 & 13 at the Boucher Road Playing Fields in Belfast, UK
May 26-28 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, UK
June 2-4 at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, UK
June 9-12 at Etihad Stadium in Manchester, UK
June 16 & 17 at Hampden Park in Glasgow, UK
June 24, 25, 29, 30 & July 1 at Wembley Stadium in London, UK
July 7-9 at Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen,Germany
July 14 & 15 at Johan Cruifff ArenA in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
July 22 & 23 at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, Belgium
July 29 & 30 at Stade De France in Paris, France
Aug 3-6 at Øresundsparken in Copenhagen, Denmark
Aug 10 at Ullevi in Gothenburg, Sweden
Aug 20 & 21 at Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, Finland
Aug 25 & 26 at PGE Narodowy in Warsaw, Poland
Sept 1 & 2 at Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria
Sept 10-12 at Olympiastadion in Munich, Germany
Sept 16 & 17 at Letzigrund Stadion in Zurich, Switzerland
Sept 23-25 at Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt, GermanyBottom of Form

David Lee Roth Cancels Shows

In recent years more and more artists are foregoing massive tours for a one stop performance venue in Las Vegas.

Rocker David Lee Roth is using the entertainment mecca for his retirement performances.  But with the newest rise of Covid cases, Roth is among the latest artists to postpone or cancel dates.  Roth cancelled his New Year’s performances at Mandalay Bay and has now cancelled the remainder of his farewell performance dates.

The 67 year old rocker cited the coronavirus as the reason the cancellations.  Roth has also said that those were to be his final performance dates; saying that he is “throwing in the shoes.”

Roth had revealed in October that he was going to retire after the House of Blues shows.  Reflecting on the death of fellow rocker Eddie Van Halen, Roth noted, “I am encouraged and compelled to really come to grips with how short time is and my time is probably even shorter.”

New Music from BJ Thomas

Seventies pop artist BJ Thomas died last year as a result of cancer, but thanks to music vaults and master tapes Thomas fans will be able to hear new music on February 4.

“In Remembrance – Love Songs & Lost Treasures” is currently available for pre-order from in the store.  The album features 18 songs including 13 previously unreleased songs and some outtakes. 

Over the course of his six decade career, Thomas earned five Grammy Awards and should over 70 million albums.  Thomas began his musical career with The Triumphs and the release of the Hank Williams song “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”.  He became” an overnight success” when he sang the Academy Award winning song “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” from the movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”.  Other hits include “Hooked on a Feeling”, “The Eyes of a New York Woman,” “I Just Can’t Help Believing”, “(Hey, Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song”.

“In Remembrance – Love Songs & Lost Treasures” tracklisting:
“Expression of Faith”
“Meet at My Heart”
“I Like Livin’”
“When the Hero Dies”
“The Best Things in Life”
“Rock and Roll Lullaby”
“Hands on Me Again”
“This Ain’t a Song (It’s a Prayer)”
“Think About Me”
“No One Else on Earth”
“Our Younger Hearts”
“That’s the Thing About Love”
“Red Letter Days”
“When a Woman Talks”
“Love by any Name”
“Memory in the Making”
“Wings of a Dove”
“America the Beautiful”

feature photo credit: courtesy of 2911 Media

Some B’way Shows Closing Soon

In recent weeks a number of Broadway shows have had to cancel some dates due to the Covid virus and outbreaks among the cast. The Rockettes and “The Nutcracker” ended up canceling the remainder of their shows due to the virus.

There are also several shows that are set to close their shows in the coming weeks…

“Caroline, or Change” is set to close January 9, 2022
“Trouble in Mind” is set to close January 9, 2022
“Ain’t Too Proud – The life and Times of the Temptations” is set to close January 16, 2022
“Clyde’s” is set to close January 16, 2022
“Rescue Rue” is set to close January 16, 2022
“Slave Play” is set to close January 23, 2022
“Assassins” is set to close January 29, 2022
“The Streets of New York” is set to close January 30, 2022
“Flying Over Sunset” is set to close February 6, 2022
“Whisper House” is set to close February 6, 2022
“Shhhh” is set to close February 13, 2022
“Skeleton Crew” is set to close February 20, 2022
“Space Dogs” is set to close February 20, 2022
“Tambo & Bones” is set to close February 20, 2022
“The Importance of Being Ernestly LGBTQ+” is set to close February 22, 2022
“Prayer for the French Republic” is set to close February 27, 2022
“Intimate Apparel” is set to close March 6, 2022
“David Byrne’s American Utopia” is set to close April 3, 2022

But there are still plenty of shows on Broadway and Off-Broadway to see:

“American Buffalo” – previews begin on March 22, 2022”
“Beetlejuice” – previews begin April 8, 2022
“Birthday Candles” – previews begin March 18, 2022
“The Book of Mormon”
“Come from Away”
“Dear Evan Hansen”
“Flying Over Sunset”
“for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf” – previews begin March 4, 2022
“Funny Girl” – previews begin March 26, 2022
“Girl from the North Country”
“Harry Ptter and the Cursed Child”
“How I Learned to Drive” – previews begin March 29, 2022
“The Lion King”
“The Little Prince” – previews begin March 4, 2022
“Macbeth” – previews begin March 29, 2022
“The Minutes” – currently in previews – opens April 7, 2022
“MJ The Musical” currently in previews – opens February 1, 2022
“Moulin Rouge! The Musical”
“Mr. Saturday Night” – previews begin March 1, 2022
“Mrs Doubtfire”
“The Music Man” – currently in previews – opens February 10, 2022
“Paradise Square” – previews begin February 22, 2022
“The Phantom of the Opera”
“Plaza Suite” – previews begin February 25, 2022
“Sing Street” – previews begin later this year
“SIX: The Musical”
“The Skin of Our Teeth” – previews begin March 31, 2022
“Some Like it Hot” – currently in previews – opens December 1, 2022
“A Strange Loop” – previews begin later in 2022
“Take Me Out” – previews begin March 10, 2022
“Tina: The Tina Turner Musical”
“To Kill a Mockingbird”

Nick Mason Postpones Dates

As the Covid virus continues to mutate and spread, musicians are finding that booking and keeping a tour are becoming increasingly difficult.

The latest casualty of the touring merry-go-round is Nick Mason formerly of Pink Floyd.

Mason was set to bring his band to North America later this month as a part of his “Saucerful of Secrets” tour. But Mason has announced that the North American dates have been postponed to some time later this year.

In a statement via social media Mason said, “it is with great regret that due to the uncertainty surrounding the Covid pandemic, it has been decided to postpone the North American tour until later in the year. Apologies for any inconvenience or disappointment due to this. We are working on rescheduling the dates and will announce them as soon as we can.”

Fans who have already purchased tickets for the postponed dates are encouraged to hold on to them until after the dates have been rescheduled.

Rachael Sage

Despite a year marred by the continued Covid pandemic, award winning independent music artist Rachael Sage had a very busy 2021 and has no plans of slowing down in 2022.

Rachael is also celebrating 25 years since her first album release – the same amount of time needed for an artist to be eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – “Morbid Romantic”.

Much of 2021 was lost for many due to the pandemic; despite the restrictions, Rachael had a very busy year that saw her write her first forward for “How to Be Successful in Independent Music” by Jane Ireland, a nomination for the Pop Awards Icon of the Year; along with Jason Mraz and Shemekia Copeland, performing a limited tour including release parties for her album “Poetica”, an art show at the Think Gallery, the 2021 Platinum Winner by the LIT Talent Awards, and the release of the remixes for “Blue Sky Days” and “Cave”; and the release of the singles “Thanksgiving”, “Passenger”, “Magenta & Blue”, and “Unconditional”.

Rachael has planned a number of tour dates for 2022 including some dates where she will be opening for Howard Jones and his Trio.

Rachael Sage tour dates:
Feb 10 at The Dogwood in Beacon, NY
Feb 11 at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY
Feb 12 at the Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga, NY
Feb 14 at the City Winery in Boston, MA
Feb 15 at the Wall Street Theater in Norwalk, CT
Feb 16 at Sony Hall in New York City, NY
Feb 17 at Daryl’s House in Pawling, NY
Feb 18 at The Paramount in Huntington, NY
Feb 20 at the Sellersville Theater in Sellersville, PA
Feb 21 at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA
Feb 22 at The Tin Pan in Richmond, VA
March 1 at Joe’s Pub in New York City, NY

Queen Honours Bond in New Year’s List

Covid and it various versions ravages the world but one thing is as sure as if it were carved in stone…the annual New Year’s Honour’s List presented by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Among those honoured this year was a break from tradition when Her Majesty presented the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George – an award reserved for foreign diplomats and spies – to an actor…one who portrays the world’s most famous spy – James Bond.

The latest actor to portray Bond is Daniel Craig who just completed his fifth film as the famous spy.  Craig was among the real life spies and diplomats who were named as recipients of the Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George. For his contributions to film and theatre.

Bond creator Ian Fleming had James Bond also holding the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in his books; most especially “You Only Live Twice” as a part of Bond’s obituary.

Craig wasn’t the only person affiliated with the Bond films to be named; producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson each received a CBE – Commander of the Order of the British Empire for their service to film, drama, and philanthropy.

Other recipients of Honours from The Queen include knighthoods – Dames for women – to actors Joanna Lumley and Vanessa Redgrave for the service to drama, entertainment, and charity.

Actors June Brown and Bill Roache have earned an OBE – Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Actress Cherylee Houstin received an MBE – Member of the Order of the British Empire for her acting and service to people with disabilities.

In the world of music Spice Girl Mel B. and Diversity member Ashley Banjo have earned an MBE.  Comedian Adam Hills, “Good Morning Britain” star Kate Garraway, and Olympic diver Tom Daley also earned MBE’s.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke on the Honours recipients saying, “these recipients have inspired and entertained us and given so much to their communities in the UK or in many cases around the world. The honours are an opportunity for us to thank them, as a country, for their dedication and outstanding contribution.”

feature photo credit: Elizabeth II greets NASA GSFC employees, May 8, 2007 edit.jpg

Drivers, Teams Make Changes for ’22 NASCAR Season

While there is still time for teams to bring in more members, the 2022 NASCAR season begins in just over a month with the Bud Light Clash at the Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.

The 2021 season saw many changes including a return of the fans, the closing of an iconic team, new racing teams, and plenty of driver changes.

Below is a list of drivers on the move for the 2022 season:

Harrison Burton is moving up from the Xfinity Series to drive the Wood Brothers Racing number 21 car in the Cup Series.

After Chip Ganassi Racing shut down its NASCAR teams, Kurt Busch and Ross Chastain found themselves out of a ride.  Both drivers are moving to new teams for the 2022 season with Busch heading for 23XI Racing who is fielding a second team.  Busch will drive the number 45 car.

Ros Chastain is moving to Trackhouse Racing and the number one car.  Trackhouse bought the facility previous held by Chip Ganassi.

Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric moves up from the Xfinity Series to take over driving duties of the number two car after Brad Keselowski leaves Penske Racing.

Brad Keselowski has moved over to Roush Fenway Racing where is becomes a part owner and driver of the number six car.  The team has been renamed Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing or RFK Racing.

Ty Dillon spent the 2021 season as a part time driver in the Xfinity and Cup Series.  For 2022 he will be a full time driver for Petty GMS Racing in the number 42 car.

Camping World Truck Series driver Todd Gilliland is skipping over the Xfinity Series and moving up to the Cup Series as a full time driver in the Front Row Motorsports number 38 car.

Former Xfinity Series driver Justin Haley is moving up to the Cup Series to drive the Kaulig Racing number 31 car.

After losing his ride with Front Row Motorsports in the Cup Series, Anthony Alfredo will move to the Xfinity Series and drive for Our Motorsports joining Brett Moffitt and Jeb Burton.

Jeb Burton moves to Our Motorsports in the Xfinity Series.

Josh Berry goes from a part time driver for JR Motorsports to a full time driver in the number eight car.

Landon Cassill moves to the number 10 Kaulig Racing car in the Xfinity Series.

Camping World Truck Series driver Sheldon Creed moves up to the Xfinity Series to driver the Richard Childress Racing number two car.

Part time driver Bayley Currey gets a full time ride JD Motorsports.

Daniel Hemric moves to Kaulig Racing to drive the number eleven car in the Xfinity Series.

Camping World Truck Series driver Austin Hill moves up to the Xfinity Series to drive for Richard Childress Racing.

Part time driver and naval commander Jesse Iwuji will field his own car in the Xfinity Series.

Stefan Parsons moves from a part time driver for BJ McLeod Motorsports to a full time ride in the Xfinity Series.

Myatt Snider moves to Jordan Anderson Racing to take over the driving duties of the number 31 car in the Xfinity Series.

Josh Williams comes to BJ McLeod Motorsports to driver the number 78 car.

Lawless Alan joins Neice Motorsports to drive the number 45 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Tyler Ankrum moves over to Hattori Racing Enterprises and the number 16 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Grant Enfinger moves over to GMS Racing to driver the  number 23 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Tate Fogleman comes to On Point Motorsport to drive the number 30 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Timmy Hill goes from a part time to a full time driver with Hill Motorsports in the number 56 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Colby Howard moves from the Xfinity Series to McAnally-Hilgemann in the Camping World Truck Series.

Blaine Perkins goes from a part time driver to drive the number nine truck for CR7 Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series.

Chase Purdy moves to Hattori Racing Enterprises to drive the number 61 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Zane Smith moves over to Front Row Motorsports to drive the number 38 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Dean Thompson gets a full time ride with Niece Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series.

Jack Woods goes from a part time driver to a full time driver with GMS Racing with the number 24 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Part time driver Kris Wright gets a full time ride with Niece Motorsports to drive the number 44 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Newman, and Ryan Preece have yet to find a ride for the 2022 season.

Bootie Barker takes over the crew chief duties for the number 23 car driven by Bubba Wallace for 23XI Racing.

Jerame Donley comes to Petty GMS Racing to serve as crew chief for Ty Dillon in the number 42 car.

Dave Elenz comes to Petty GMS Racing to serve as crew chief for the number 43 car driven by Erik Jones.

Scott Graves moves over in RFK Racing to take over the crew chief duties for the number 17 car driven by Chris Buescher.

Jonathan Hassler comes to Team Penske to take over the crew chiefing duties for the number 12 car driven by Ryan Blaney.

Matt McCall comes to RFK Racing to take over as crew chief for Brad Keselowski in the number six car.

Billy Scott comes to 23XI Racing to serve as crew chief for Kurt Busch in the number 45 car.

Phil Surgen follows Ross Chastain to take over as crew chief of the number one car with Trackhouse Racing.

Brian Wilson moves over to Wood Brothers Racing to take over as crew chief for the number 21 car driven by Harrison Burton.

With a new car in the Cup Series – the Next Gen car – comes a new rules package that will include a four inch spoiler and 670 horsepower on most tracks.  The super speedway tracks will have a different package which is yet to be determined.  A test is scheduled in the coming days to determine that rules package.

The Next Gen car has been designed to more closely resemble the street cars driven by racing fans.

The Camping World Truck Series teams will be updating the noses on their trucks for the new season to more reflect the trucks driven by fans.

Richard Petty has sold a majority stake in his team to GMS Racing and is now known as Petty GMS Racing.

Chip Ganassi has shuttered the NASCAR side of his racing empire with Trackhouse Racing purchasing the team and taking over the facilities.

The Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin owned team of 23XI Racing has expanded to two cars for the 2022 season.

JTG Daugherty Racing has cut back and is fielding a single car for the 2022 season instead of the two cars in previous seasons.

Kaulig Racing is known for fielding teams in the Xfinity Series.  They are moving up to the Cup Series in the 2022 season with one full time driver and a second car with three part time drivers.

With Brad Keselowski coming over to Roush Fenway Racing as a owner/driver, the team has been renamed RFK Racing for Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing.

Rick Ware Racing has changed car manufacturers to Ford and has formed an alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing and Roush Yates engines.

As of the end of the 2021 racing season, StarCom Racing has ceased operations.

Team Hezeberg is fielding a part time team for 2022 with Loris Hezemans and Jacques Villeneuve serving as drivers on the road courses and some select other races.

Tommy Joe Martins and Caesar Bacarella have paired up to form Alpha Prime Racing.  The two drivers plan on running a part time schedule; along with Rajah Caruth, Andy Lally, and Ryan Ellis.

Big Machine Racing has joined with Richard Childress Racing for a partnership with support for chassis and engineering.

Joey Gase and Patrick Emerling are forming Emerling-Gase Motorsports and will field one full time and one part time car with Emerling, Gase, Shane Lee among those scheduled to drive the number 35 car.

Our Motorsports has increased their team from two to three full time cars.

Xfinity Racing team RSS Racing has joined with Stewart-Haas Racing for an alliance.  Ryan Sieg will continue as the team’s full time driver.

Hattori Racing Enterprises is fielding two full time teams in the Camping World Truck Series.

Hill Motorsports is fielding two teams in the Camping World Truck Series.

McAnally-Hilgemann Racing is moving to Chevrolet for the 2022 season.  They have formed an alliance with GMS Racing.

Spire Motorsports is expanding in the 2022 season and adding a team in the Camping World Truck Series.  While a driver has yet to be named, Kevin “Bono” Manion will serve as crew chief.

Bucs’ Brown Leaves Game in Dramatic Fashion

It was a bizarre incident on January 2, 2022 when wide receiver Antonio Brown began disrobing on the field at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey while the Buccaneers were playing the New York Jets during the third quarter of the game.  After removing his shirt and shoulder pads, Brown tossed the shirt and gloves into the stands, did a few jumping jacks in the end zone, flashed a peach sign, and jogged off of the field toward the tunnel and locker room.  The Bucs offense was on the field at the time of the incident.

Reportedly Brown had been told to get into the game…twice…and refused prior to walking off the field.

Brown’s team mates Mike Evans and O.J. Howard tried to talk with the player as he was removing his shirt, but to no avail.

The Bucs were trailing the Jets 24-10 at the time but came back to win the game 28-24.

After the game, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians simply stated that Brown was no longer a part of the team.  In fact, he was not invited to return to Tampa with the rest of the team; saying, “that’s the end of the story. Let’s talk about the guys that went out there and won the game.”

Sideline reporter TJ Rives reported that Arians had benched Brown prior to the incident.

Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady spoke on Brown after the game noting that it was a “difficult situation” and saying, “we all want him to get help in ways that he needs it.  We all love him deeply. Unfortunately he won’t be with our team.”  He added that, “people should be compassionate and empathetic with things that are happening.”

This was Brown’s second game back after being off the field for the past few weeks after a three game suspension for violation of Covid protocols – he had a fake vaccination card.  Prior to that return, Brown took to Twitter to rant about the media and their “creating drama”.

Antonio Brown has been a part of the NFL for eleven seasons – eight with the Pittsburgh Steelers, one with the New England Patriots, and the past two with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  He was signed to the Bucs after an eight game suspension for multiple allegations of sexual assault and a burglary conveyance charge which led to a plea of no contest.  At that time, Arians noted that if Brown “screws up one time, he’s gone.”

Celtics Legend Sam Jones Dies

Former Boston Celtic and Basketball Hall of Famer Sam Jones died December 30, 2021 in Florida after being hospitalized for what is being termed “failing health”.  He was 88.

Known as “Mr. Clutch”, Jones helped the Celtics to a dynasty.  Jones was on 10 NBA title winning teams.

In a statement released by the Celtics, they called Jones, “one of the most talented, versatile, and clutch shooters for the most successful and dominant teams in NBA history.”  Adding, “his “His scoring ability was so prolific, and his form so pure, that he earned the simple nickname, ‘The Shooter’.”

The Celtics retired Jones’ number 24 jersey in 1969…while he was still an active player.  Jones averaged 17.7 points per game over his 12 year career; and come post season time, that number went up to 18.9.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke on Jones saying, Jones was, “one of the most prolific champions in all of professional sports.”  Adding, “his selfless style, clutch performances and signature bank shot were hallmarks of an incredible career.  Sam was a beloved teammate and respected competitor who played the game with dignity and class.

In 1964, amidst Jim Crowe lases and racial strife, Jones joined Bill Russell, Tom “Satch” Sanders, K.C. Jones, and Willie Naulls as the first starting lineup featuring all men of colour; despite an unwritten law requiring at least one white player in the lineup.

At the time of his retirement in 1969, Jones had led the Celtics in scoring five times, was a five time All Star, held eleven Celtic records, and was the only player in the franchise to score over 50 points in a single game.  In 1984 he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  During his 12 year career, Jones had 15,411 points and an 80 percent success from the free throw line.

He was born Wilmington, North Carolina where he attended the HBCU North Carolina Central.  He was drafted number eight in the first round of the 1957 NBA draft.  Prior to becoming a professional basketball player, Jones spent two years in the United States Army. 

No information about survivors was given.

feature photo credit: [[File:Sam Jones, Boston Celtics, 1969.jpg|Sam_Jones,_Boston_Celtics,_1969]]

2022 Walter Payton Man of the Year Nominees

Known to many as “Sweetness”, former Chicago Bears player Walter Payton was known as much for his contributions off of the field as he was for his prowess on the football field.

In 1999, the annual award that honoured a player for his philanthropic work; as well as, his contributions on the field was renamed the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.  The award was first rewarded in 1970 with quarterback Johnny Unitas as the recipient.

Payton himself received the award in 1977.

Each year one member from each of the 32 teams in the NFL is nominated for the award.  The winner is announced as a part of the annual NFL Honours in the days before the Super Bowl.

To date 29 former Man of the Year award winners, including Payton, have gone on to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Kurt Warner was the last player to do so in 2008.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke on the Man of the Year Award saying, “the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is the League’s most prestigious honor, and these 32 men represent their many teammates who do incredible things in their communities.  Their unwavering commitment to their hometowns and team communities embodies Walter’s spirit of giving back in a way that makes us all incredibly proud of the work they are doing every day.”

Each player nominated receives a donation in their name to the charity of their choice.  The winner receives a donation of $250,000 to the charity of their choice.  Many of the players have their own foundations that focus on their local communities.

The 2022 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominees are:
Kelvin Beachum from the Arizona Cardinals
Mike Davis from the Atlanta Falcons
Bradley Bozeman from the Baltimore Ravens
Harrison Phillips from the Buffalo Bills
DJ Moore from the Carolina Panthers
Jimmy Graham from the Chicago Bears
Sam Hubbard from the Cincinnati Bengals
Denzel Ward from the Cleveland Browns
Dak Prescott from the Dallas Cowboys
Justin Simmons from the Denver Broncos
Jason Cabinda from the Detroit Lions
Aaron Jones from the Green Bay Packers
Justin Reid from the Houston Texans
Kenny Moore II from the Indianapolis Colts
Myles Jack from the Jacksonville Jaguars
Tyrann Mathieu from the Kansas City Chiefs
Darren Waller from the Las Vegas Raiders
Corey Linsley from the Los Angeles Chargers
Andrew Whitworth from the Los Angels Rams
Jerome Baker from the Miami Dolphins
Anthony Barr from the Minnesota Vikings
Lawrence Guy from the New England Patriots
Cameron Jordan from the New Orleans Saints
Logan Ryan from the New York Giants
Quinnes Williams from the New York Jets
Jason Kelce from the Philadelphia Eagles
Cameron Heyward from the Pittsburgh Steelers
Arik Armstead from the San Francisco 49ers
Tyler Lockett from the Seattle Seahawks
Mike Evans from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Derrick Henry from the Tennessee Titans
Jonathan Allen from the Washington Football Team

feature photo credit: 1986 Jeno’s Pizza – 12 – Walter Payton (Walter Payton crop).jpg

NFL Coach Dan Reeves Dies

Former NFL player and head coach Dan Reeves died January 1, 2022 as a result of complications form dementia in his Atlanta home at the age of 77.  A statement issued by the Falcons noted that Reeves died, “peacefully and surrounded by his loving family,” at the time of his death.  He was only three weeks away from turning 78.

Reeves coached for the Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons, and the New York Giants where he has a winning record of 190 games.  Counting regular season and playoff games, Reeves has a record of 201 wins, 174 loses, and two ties.  Despite his winning record, Reeves has yet to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Prior to trolling the sidelines, Reeves played for the Dallas Cowboys as a running back when then Cowboys head coach Tom Landry made Reeves a player/coach; launching a coaching career that would span over two decades.

Reeves was 37 when he took over the head coaching duties for the Denver Broncos.  One of the biggest moves Reeves made after coming to Denver was to trade for quarterback John Elway.  The Broncos made it to the Super Bowl three times in a four year period but unfortunately were beaten soundly in all three games.  He also led the Atlanta Falcons to a Super Bowl, losing to the Broncos.  He joins Marv Levy and Bud Grant, Reeves is known as a coach who went zero and four in Super Bowl games. 

Over the course of his career in the NFL as a player and coach, Reeves was a part of nine Super Bowl games; he won two – one as a player and one as an assistant coach.

He also earned a Super Bowl ring while playing for the Dallas Cowboys.  He is the only person in the NFL to have gone to the Super Bowl as a player and as a coach.

He is a two time AP NFL Coach of the Year and is a part of the Ring of Fame in Denver.

Former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway spoke on his former coach saying, “the football world lost a heckuva coach and man.  I owe a lot to him — he was instrumental in my career and growth as a quarterback. We were able to win a lot of football games together.”

Elway added, “when you look at all Dan did in this league with all the success, all the Super Bowls and all the wins, I don’t think there is any question he belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”

He was born Daniel Edward Reeves on January 19, 1944 in Rome, Georgia but grew up in the town of Americus.  He played quarterback for three years at South Carolina.  A two sport player, Reeves was also a part of the Gamecock baseball team.  Undrafted, Reeves signed with the Cowboys who made him a running/half back.  When a knee injury limited his playing time, Coach Landry added him to the coaching staff.

Reeves is survived by his former high school sweetheart and wife of over 55 years Pam; children Dana, Lee, and Laura; grandchildren; and great grandchildren.

feature photo credit: [[File:Dan Reeves.JPG|Dan_Reeves]]