(Co-Write With Joe Deninzon on Song with Muhammad Ali about Leadership and Respect)
In support of Black History Month (February 2020), D-Zone Entertainment is proudly releasing the single, “The Greatest Lives” in digital stores and streaming sites on Friday, January 31.
The song is from “The Greatest Lives Songwriter’s EP,” which will be out March 21. It is sung by Thembeka Mnguni, a finalist for South Africa’s The Voice in 2016. Her name is pronounced “Them-bek-kah Mmn-Gu-Nee.” From Durban, SA, she is signed to Universal Records. Her greatest cause is as a spokesperson for Autism. She is also a brand ambassador for MUD Designer Makeup SA and for Body Confidence International. In South Africa, Universal is releasing a new song “Stimel” from her upcoming album, which will also include “The Greatest Lives” as a bonus track. Visit her on social media at instagram.com/thembeka_thediva.
The idea for the song came to Anne in 1984 when Muhammad Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. She wrote in a newspaper article, “What would he want us to know?” and filed it in her box of song ideas. “It would have been a totally different song if I wrote it then because I was more sentimental.” Instead, she worked on the song as her first assignment for when she was offered a songwriting deal during her 60th year in 2018. South Africa’s Sheer Publishing handles one of Anne’s favorite songs, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”
She started watching South African news and discovered many women expressing hope for a kinder world. Many went through bullying and abusive situations, and the females were open enough to talk about their experiences. The lyrics for “The Greatest Lives” came from Muhammad Ali’s quotes and philosophies. They became a message about leadership and treating people right.
Joe Deninzon, who grew up in Cleveland, OH, went to college in Bloomington, IN and played throughout the Midwest, knew Muhammad Ali’s hometown of Louisville. He understood the Midwestern sound that Anne was looking for, made a demo, and then the two began to put musicians to work. Using John Mellencamp’s “Ain’t Even Done with the Night” as a role model, they asked Cactus and Vanilla Fudge’s Carmine Appice, who also played with Rod Stewart.
Thembeka loved “The Greatest Lives”’ message about having a strong character. Joe and Anne chose her because they thought she was one of the greatest singers they ever heard. Thembeka showed she was (as the song says) a master by being the runner up on “The Voice South Africa.”
After they heard Thembeka’s performance, they found inspiration from keyboards on albums from the late Oliver Mtukudzi, a Zimbabwean vocalist/guitarist/social activist. Joe knew the perfect keyboardist, Jeremy Beck, who used both acoustic piano and Hammond B3. Hence, the hashtag #BeckDeninzonAppice.
“Joy and optimism in this song, I think, comes from its mission and inspiration. Muhammad Ali dealt with obstacles with optimism and a wink and smile,” Joe says. Joe and Anne, and their musicians, know “The Greatest Lives” will make a difference, and are proud to—as their lyrics say–take a “Never say die” attitude in promoting it!
The Richland 2 School District Honors Orchestras will present one concert on Friday, January 31 in the District Auditorium, featuring electric violinist and recording artist Joe Deninzon. The district auditorium is at 7500 Brookfield Rd, Columbia, SC 29223. The District Honors concert begins at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
The program will include original songs by Joe, as well as some of his arrangements of popular songs from The Beatles, Queen, and Pink Floyd.
Joe Deninzon, the music world’s expert on alternative violin techniques, will also lead a two-day workshop with Richland Two District Honors Orchestra students, focusing on rock stylings and improvisation. A musician who transcends many genres.
Joe has also recorded and performed with a variety of artists including Renaissance, In Continuum, Thank You Scientist, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Everclear, Ritchie Blackmore, Smokey Robinson, Johnny Mathis, Les Paul, Phoebe Snow, Jane Monheit, Robert Bonfiglio, and President Bill Clinton.
An active clinician, he has taught at Mark O’Connor’s renowned String Camp and Mark Wood’s Rock Orchestra Camp. He leads the crossover prog band Stratospheerius, which was a winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition. Additionally, he was awarded the Online People’s Choice Awards in the Cornucopia Festival, and named “Best Jam Band” in Musician’s Atlas Independent Music Awards.
He is also a member of the classical Hip Hop Latin Jazz String Quartet, Sweet Plantain. Joe is the author of the Mel Bay instructional violin book, PLUGGING IN: A Guide to Gear and New Techniques for the 21st Century Violinist.
The concert and clinics are made possible through the generous support of Parents, Students, and Richland School District 2.
Starting off as the almost heavy metal Ancestors in the ’90s the band have taken all that is good in folk, country, and Americana with a twist of Pink Floyd flavouring.
The Slambovians have melded their own unique sound that is at once familiar yet almost impossible to pigeon hole. The Slambovian Circus of Dreams have such an eclectic live stage presence that once seen, always hooked. Rubbing regular shoulders with some of the icons of American music the band has got some serious endorsees. Garth Hudson of The Band is a committed Slambovian disciple and fan describing frontman Joziah Longo as “An awesome songwriter”. Writers have quoted lyrical similarities to both Bob Dylan and John Prine.
A close listen to their many albums and well attended live shows would bear out that comparison. Well known as a touring band throughout the North Eastern States, the popularity of The Slambovian Circus of Dreams have earned them a virtual residency at many of the larger folk festivals. Gary Lucas, outstanding guitarist with Jeff Buckley and early member of Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band is quoted saying “It was an honor and a privilege to play with the great psychedelic band The Slambovian Circus of Dreams“.
Had the stars aligned, Gary Lucas would have toured with the band given half a chance. Maybe next tour? Dave Pegg, renowned bassist and longtime member of Fairport Convention, co-curator of Cropredy Festival met up with Slambovian UK management, Jonti Willis recently and said we could quote him widely, “Love the band and the music (of The Slambovian Circus of Dreams)” – Dave Pegg Fairport Convention. He’s also going to endorse a recommendation for a Cropredy Festival 2020 appearance too.
The New York Times says…. “They Take The Stage By Storm” And so they do!
UK Shows Thursday, July 4th Black Dyke Mills Heritage Venue Bradford Friday, July 5th, The Greystones Sheffield Saturday, July 6th Linton Music Festival Ross-on-Wye Sunday, July 7th The Eyes Have It, Festival Duffield, Tuesday, July 9th The Platform MorecambeThursday, July 11th The Stables Milton Keynes Friday, July 12th The Fox and Firkin Lewisham Saturday, July 13th Platform Festival Pocklington Sunday, July 14th Blue Funk Rhythm & Blues Club PoyntonMonday, July 15th Cubley Hall Penistone
Elliott Murphy, legendary rock troubadour and a true pioneer of independent recording artists has finally published his long-awaited memoir, JUST A STORY FROM AMERICA. This rock and roll storyteller, who has been cited by artists as inspirational as Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and the late Lou Reed, and whose career now spans nearly five decades, was promoted by Columbia Records in 1977 with a full-page ad in Rolling Stone reading, “He could write a book, but he chose rock and roll instead.” The truth is that he has been doing both for years and in the process achieving international success and acclaim. Finally, his amazing story is told.
In 1973 posters were plastered all over New York City’s subway system proclaiming, “Elliott Murphy is going to be a monster,” when his critically-praised debut album, AQUASHOW, was first released. Perhaps his major label career didn’t take off as predicted, but his unique journey did include him becoming a rock star monster, before ultimately finding redemption in Paris, France with a thriving career, loving family and a trove of rock ‘n roll anecdotes and wisdom to fill this unforgettable and highly readable memoir.
In his honest, gripping and often humorous telling, Elliott describes a childhood of show biz affluence, the tragic loss of a famous father, a European sojourn where he encountered Federico Fellini and a love for the old world, and perhaps most provocatively, his journey through the mine-fields of rock stardom in which he fittingly calls true success in the music business as best measured in terms of survival. From the glam world of 1970’s Manhattan and fabled LA recording studios and on to what was left of swinging London before finally finding his home, love and a faithful public in Europe, Elliott Murphy’s memoir is a valuable addition to a growing essential cultural genre that now includes Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, Patti Smith’s Just Kids and Bob Dylan’s Chronicles.
JUST A STORY FROM AMERICA takes the reader on an insightful journey into the daunting world of the music business from the unique perspective of an internationally acclaimed artist you may never have heard of, even while songs such as Last of the Rock Stars, Drive all Night, and A Touch of Kindness travelled on radio-airwaves all around the world for decades. A moving and not often heard story told from the perspective of an artist who has gone from celebrity to anonymity and back again and lived to tell the tale.
Elliott Murphy has released over 35 albums of original music since his debut album AQUASHOW (1973) and continues to perform concerts in Europe, Japan, Canada and the USA. He stars in the upcoming feature film, BROKEN POET based upon his 1980’s short story which includes a rare cameo appearance by Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa. The award winning 2016 documentary, THE SECOND ACT OF ELLIOTT MURPHY was selected for the prestigious Stony Brook Film Festival and his journalism has appeared in Rolling Stone (U.S.), Vanity Fair (France), and other international publications. He is the author of three novels, two poetry books, and numerous short-story collections.
In 2015 Elliott Murphy was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture and in 2018, Billy Joel inducted Elliott into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, stating, “His songs are honest and literate and pure, and those songs have attracted audiences far beyond his country. I’ve long envied his bravery and integrity, and I’ve always admired his lyric skill.”
New Book Offers Front-Row Seat to Greatest Concert in History
STEVENS POINT, WI – The year was 1969. Richard Nixon was in the White House. Neil Armstrong was on the Moon. And revolution was in the air. In that backdrop, 500,000 young people gathered on a mid-August weekend in upstate New York for the promise of three days of peace and music. What they experienced at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was something far greater.
Celebrating “the greatest peaceful event in history,” Woodstock 50th Anniversary: Back to Yasgur’s Farm (Krause Publications) offers a dazzling and compelling front-row seat to the most important concert in rock history, an implausible happening filled with trials and triumphs that defined a generation.
Author and Woodstock attendee Mike Greenblatt brilliantly captures the power of music’s greatest performers such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Santana and the Who, while sharing stories both personal and audacious from the crowd of a half million strong who embraced not only the music but each other.
The book features a Foreword by Country Joe McDonald, whose rousing solo acoustic version of “The Fish Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag” was one of the most memorable performances at Woodstock. Readers will enjoy interviews with such rock icons as Graham Nash, Carlos Santana, Joe Cocker, Richie Havens, Country Joe McDonald, Edgar Winter, members of Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sly & The Family Stone, Canned Heat, Sha Na Na, co-host Chip Monck, fans and countless others. In addition, all 32 performances at the festival are showcased.
Equal parts circus and surreal, Woodstock 50th Anniversary: Back to Yasgur’s Farm tells a transcendent tale of a musical and mythical moment in time.
Advance Praise for Woodstock 50th Anniversary
“Straight from a long-haired hippie who experienced all that Woodstock had to offer — the beauty, the mud, the music and the cultural eccentricities — Mike Greenblatt has carried Woodstock deep within his soul ever since. Fifty years later, he writes with charming alacrity about that weekend, his memory on fire, lighting up the personal details of what occurred at this once-in-a-lifetime communal concert event.
— Pat Prince, editor, Goldmine magazine
“Mike Greenblatt’s long-awaited debut book on Woodstock— filled with his own hilarious memories and impressive interviews and research— is fascinating and dazzling. It’s definitely the definitive book on the wild festival fifty years ago that rocked America.”
— Susan Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of Lighting Up, Unhooked and The Byline Bible
About The Author
All Mike Greenblatt has done in life is listen to music and tell people about it, be it as a New York City publicist, editor or freelance journalist. It’s been five decades of chronicling rock ’n’ roll in all of its permutations. Whether sitting front row at Woodstock, flying with Hank Williams, Jr. in his private jet, driving around the Jersey Shore with Bruce Springsteen, getting angrily thrown against a backstage wall by Meat Loaf, or being locked in a dressing room with Jerry Lee Lewis threatening to kill him, Greenblatt’s voice has sung the praises of rock loud and long.
Greenblatt has interviewed Elton John, the Eagles (where he extemporaneously interviewed Joe Walsh at side-by-side urinals deep within the bowels of Giants Stadium), Ian Anderson, Paul McCartney, Blondie, The Allman Brothers, Waylon Jennings and hundreds of others.
He lives in Easton, Penn., with his music-teacher wife and their two rescue beagles
Woodstock 50th Anniversary: Back to Yasgur’s Farm
By Mike Greenblatt 8 x 8, hardcover, 224 pages 300-plus photographs ISBN-13: 9781440248900
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