News on Cher, El Mocambo, Hadda Brooks
AOL and musicians network Tonos Entertainment are sponsoring a contest in which the winner will have his or her lyrics recorded by Cher. The "Write a Song for Cher Contest" is only open to AOL members, who can access the entry form and official rules starting today (Nov. 26) on AOL Music at Keywords: Musician Central, Tonos, or Cher.
The grand-prize winner will get the chance to co-write a song with Cher, producer David Foster, and songwriting legend Carole Bayer Sager. Cher will record the song and possibly release it as part of an upcoming album project. Nine runners-ups will get a free year-long subscription to Tonos' tonosPRO musicians networking service.
As previously reported, Cher will receive the Artist Achievement award during the 2002 Billboard Music Awards, set to air Dec. 9 on Fox live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.
After shutting its doors last November, Toronto's El Mocambo nightclub is set to reopen within a few weeks. According to an article today (Nov. 25) in the Toronto Star, the legendary club will be under new management and will book jazz, rock, R&B, and Latin acts. The venue's bottom floor has been renovated, while the upper level is now a dance studio.
The "El Mo" has hosted everyone from Lou Reed, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Howlin' Wolf, the Rolling Stones and Elvis Costello, who recorded his "Live at the El Mocambo" album there in 1978.
-- Jason MacNeil, Toronto
R&B singer/pianist Hadda Brooks died Nov. 21 in a Los Angeles hospital following open-heart surgery, Billboard Bulletin reports. She was 86.
In the 1940s, Brooks helped establish important L.A. indie label Modern Records with her torch songs and boogie-inflected hits; she later recorded for OKeh. She made memorable appearances in the films "The Bad and the Beautiful" and "In a Lonely Place" and had her own L.A. television show in the '50s. After retiring in 1971, Brooks returned to music in the early '90s, recording for Virgin's Pointblank imprint. She played her last L.A. show in September.
-- Chris Morris, L.A.