Today in KC’s Music History: “Single White Female” Released

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Country singer Chely Wright’s fourth album, Single White Female, was released on May 18, 1999.

Single White Female is Wright’s best-selling album, and the title track was her first and only No. 1 single on the country charts.

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Eagles Receive Honorary Doctorates

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The Eagles, along with Allison Krauss (center) and Mulatu Astatke (left of Krauss), received honorary doctorates from the Berklee College of Music. Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh (far left) was born in Wichita.

The Eagles received honorary doctorates on this past weekend from the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

The current Eagles lineup of Glenn Fry, Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmidt and Wichita-born Joe Walsh were recognized for their achievements in contemporary music, for their enduring contributions to popular culture, and for the influence their careers and music have had over Berklee’s international student body.

At its commencement exercises, Berklee also conferred honorary doctorates to bluegrass musician Alison Krauss and Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke.

The Eagles have begun a late spring/summer U.S. tour. Walsh’s first solo album in 20 years, Analog Man, will be released June 5, and he has solo dates scheduled for August.

KC-Area Resident Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Niki Sullivan (far left) was the rhythm guitarist for the Crickets, Buddy Holly’s backup band. After retiring from the music business, Sullivan relocated to the Kansas City area, where he lived until he died in 2004.

The late Niki Sullivan, the original rhythm guitarist in Buddy Holly’s backup band the Crickets, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in mid-April.

The Crickets were inducted with several legendary backing bands, all of whom were excluded when their stars were inducted.

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Joyce DiDonato Voted into Gramophone Hall of Fame

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Joyce DiDonato, the Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano, was recently voted into Gramophone magazine’s Hall of Fame.

As part of the British magazine’s 90th anniversary celebration, the Hall of Fame honors artists, producers, engineers and record executives, as voted for by Gramophone’s readers and visitors to its website.

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Burt Bacharach Receives Gershwin Prize

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Burt Bacharach, right, received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from President Barack Obama. Eunice David, left, accepted the prize on behalf of her husband, lyricist Hal David.

KC-born Burt Bacharach received the 2012 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song last week in Washington, D.C.

Bacharach and his songwriting partner, lyricist Hal David, received the honor from President Barack Obama at a ceremony at the White House. David, who recently suffered a stroke, was unable to attend. His wife, Eunice David, accepted on his behalf.

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Today in KC’s Music History: 1,000 Broadway Performances

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Shannon Durig

Singer/actress Shannon Durig, who grew up in the KC suburb of Overland Park, Kan., appeared in the Broadway musical Hairspray for the thousandth time on March 13, 2008.

Durig was Tracy Turnblatt, the show’s lead, for more than three years. She first joined the show in 2003 as that role’s understudy, then took it over in July 2005.

The 1,000-performance milestone happened near the end of her run, as she left the show in mid-April 2008. Since leaving the show, she has acted and done voice work on several Disney Channel shows.

The Billboard Roll Call: The Eagles with Joe Walsh

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The Billboard Roll Call is a listing of regional artists who charted a song on the Billboard Top 40 from 1955-2009. The introduction has additional information.

Wichita-born Joe Walsh (second from left) played on the Eagles' classic recordings from the mid-1970s to early 1980s.

The Eagles were already one of the top bands to emerge from the Southern California scene in the mid-1970s when Joe Walsh replaced Bernie Leadon.

Walsh, who was born in Wichita, Kan., had been a member of the James Gang and had co-written Funk #49, a staple on FM radio. He also had a Top 20 hit with Rocky Mountain Way in 1973.

I remember reading articles in Rolling Stone and other magazines questioning whether Walsh would be a good fit. Leadon was the band’s multi-instrumentalist and contributed to much of the band’s country and bluegrass sound of their early records.

With Walsh contributing a rockier edge, the Eagles reached their commercial and creative peak with the albums Hotel California and The Long Run. On the Billboard Hot 100, they charted nine songs, equal to the number they charted before Walsh joined the band.

During this period with Wash, the Eagles had three No. 1 songs: New Kid in Town, Hotel California and Heartache Tonight.

Walsh continues to work steadily. He performed with Paul McCartney at the Grammy Awards in February. He will tour with the Eagles in April and May, and and an album of new songs has been tentatively scheduled for a May release.

DiDonato and Metheny Win Grammys

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Joyce DiDonato giving her acceptance speech for Best Classical Vocal Solo at yesterday's Grammy Awards.

KC natives Joyce DiDonato and Pat Metheny won Grammy awards Sunday afternoon. The awards were part of the Grammy Pre-Telecast, available on the web at

DiDonato won the Grammy for Best Classical Vocal Solo for her album Diva, Divo.

Metheny won his 19th Grammy (by my count, not confirmed) for his album “What’s It All About,” in the Best New Age Album category. This also is the fourth genre in which he’s won an award. The bulk of Metheny’s awards have been for jazz, but in addition to New Age, he’s won Grammys in rock and Americana.

Grammy Preview: Joyce DiDonato to Perform on Pre-Telecast

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Joyce DiDonato

The Grammy Awards have announced that KC resident Joyce DiDonato will perform on the Pre-Telecast Ceremony Sunday afternoon, which will stream live at 3 p.m. Central time at and

A mezzo-soprano, DiDonato grew up in the KC suburb of Prairie Village, Kan. and still lives in the area. She has performed in recital and in operas around the world, and has been called “perhaps the most potent female singer of her generation” by the New Yorker.

At this year’s Grammys, DiDonato was nominated for Best Classical Vocal Solo for the album Diva, Divo, her recording with Orchestre De L’Opéra National De Lyon, conducted by Kazushi Ono.

In this clip, she discusses the album, which features a mix of female and male roles from a variety of operas.

Grammy Preview: “‘Round Midnight,” by Karrin Allyson

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Jazz pianist/vocalist Karrin Allyson was born in Great Bend, Kan., about 250 miles west of Kansas City. She lived in Kansas City in the 1990s and early aughts before relocating to New York.

She’s been nominated for a Grammy four times, including a nomination at this year’s Grammy Awards. Her album ‘Round Midnight was nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

In this promotional clip from her label, Concord Records, Allyson discusses making the album.