Trini Lopez in London in 1965
Photo: Stanley Bielecki/ASP/Getty Images
Trini Lopez, Who Revitalized American & Mexican Folk Classics, Has Died From COVID-19 At 83
The GRAMMY-nominated singer/guitarist's biggest global hits were lively covers of folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary's "If I Had a Hammer" and "Lemon Tree"
GRAMMY-nominated singer, guitarist and actor Trini Lopez, whose lively blend of American and Mexican folk songs with rockabilly flair earned him worldwide fame in the '60s, has died at 83. The Mexican-American artist died from COVID-19 at a hospital in Rancho Mirage, Calif. yesterday, Aug. 11.
Beginning with his 1963 debut studio album, Trini Lopez At PJ's, Lopez found success bringing new life—and a raucous, danceable beat and vocal delivery—to other artists' songs, including folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary's hits "If I Had a Hammer" and "Lemon Tree." Both songs would be his biggest, with his versions out-charting theirs both on the Billboard Hot 100 and international charts.
Back at the 6th GRAMMY Awards in 1964, following his epic breakout year, Lopez was nominated for Best New Artist.
His rocked-up rendition of "I Had a Hammer," released in 1963 on his live debut album, hit No. 3 on the Hot 100 and No. 1 in 36 countries. The song was originally written by political activist/folk icon Pete Seeger and Lee Hays and recorded as a protest song by their band The Weavers in 1950, reemerging as a GRAMMY-winning No. 10 hit from Peter, Paul and Mary in 1962, the year prior to Lopez's breakout success with the classic song.
Popular '60s West Hollywood star-studded venue P.J.'s, where the Dallas-born singer recorded his first two albums (which also put the club on the map outside of Los Angeles), was where he got his big break, from none other than Frank Sinatra. After catching a few of his shows, the Rat Pack leader signed him to his Reprise label.
"I remember reading in the trades that Frank Sinatra frequented P.J.’s a lot so I moved over there so I could meet him," Lopez said. "I was hired for three weeks and I stayed a year and a half. I played four or five shows every single night and I never repeated a song. I just kept waiting to meet Frank Sinatra, and within a month he came with an entourage and to my surprise he offered me an eight-year record contract on his label. I put P.J.'s on the map with my live albums since they were recorded for Sinatra's record company."
A self-proclaimed "proud" Mexican-American born to immigrant parents in Dallas in 1937, Lopez also performed and recorded many songs in Spanish at a time when artists, including himself, were asked by labels to hide or Whitewash their Latin identity. Trini Lopez At PJ's included a rendition of traditional Mexican folk song "Cielito Lindo" and in 1964, he released The Latin Album, filled with of Spanish language classics. His father, Trinidad Lopez II, was a ranchera singer who made his living as manual laborer.
As The Guardian notes, "in the mid-'60s he was releasing as many as five albums a year, though that slowed in the late '70s. While he continued performing, he released very little music until 2000, when he began recording again and released a further six albums." His final album, released in 2011 and titled Into the Future, was a nod to Sinatra, featuring songs from his catalog.
Save Our Venues: Capturing Los Angeles' COVID-Closed Venues
At the peak of his musical fame in the '60s and '70s, he also found moderate success in film and TV, with roles in films The Dirty Dozen (1967) and Antonio (1973) and a variety show special on NBC in 1969, "The Trini Lopez Show."
A talented guitar player—he started playing at age 11—Gibson Guitars had him design two instruments in 1964, which remain highly sought after to this day. Dave Grohl and Noel Gallagher are both fans of the vintage models. Grohl paid tribute to Lopez on Twitter today, underscoring that he's used his on every Foo Fighters album ever recorded.
His electric live performances and hit records made him an in-demand artist in the Las Vegas circuit, as well as around the globe, including one jaunt he found most memorable—stealing the show as the Beatles' opener in Paris in 1964.
"I used to steal the show from them every night!" he said in a 2014 interview. "The French newspapers would say, 'Bravo, Trini Lopez! Who are the Beatles?'"
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors
Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it
Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.
McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award.
The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.
"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."
With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.
Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show
Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion
There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.
The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.
This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.
"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."
Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.
Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes
GRAMMY winner pledges support for those impacted by hurricanes this year through Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program
On Oct. 10 Lady Gaga announced she is devoting her $1 million donation in support of those impacted by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico, to a specific cause — the mental and emotional well being of children and youth.
Gaga announced on her Born This Way Foundation website she will support Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program, which uses a variety of tools to help young people deal with trauma in the wake of natural disasters.
"Through a curriculum that includes cooperative play, discussion, art, meditation, and mindfulness practices, young people learn to recognize and understand their emotions and develop healthy coping skills," Gaga wrote. "Tens of thousands of youth have benefited from the program since it’s development in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Save the Children is working to bring it to hundreds of thousands more in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico."
The announcement came on World Mental Health Day, and the Fame Monster has invited all of us to step up and consider making a contribution to the Journey of Hope program to support to mental and emotional needs of children.
"Mental health is just as vital to our wellbeing as physical health. That’s true for each of us, everyday, but it’s especially important for those coping with disaster and recovering from trauma," wrote Lady Gaga. "We must do everything within our power to support the full, vibrant recovery of these communities, from meeting their immediate needs to helping them to rebuild sustainably."
Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards
Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category
The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.
Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville
Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.
Championships – Meek Mill
In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.
i am > i was – 21 Savage
Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.
IGOR – Tyler, The Creator
The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.
The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae
Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.