Billboard Bits: Springsteen, Webb, VP Records

News on Springsteen, Webb, VP Records

SpringsteenThe previously reported benefit concert Bruce Springsteen will perform in Somerville, Mass., has grown. The Boss will perform a solo show Feb. 19 at the Somerville Theater in addition to the previously confirmed Feb. 20 event. An official statement announcing the concerts makes no reference to Patti Scialfa, Springsteen's wife and E Street Band singer/guitarist, who was previously thought to be participating.

Tickets for the shows, described as "intimate evenings of music and conversation," will cost $100 and $500, with proceeds benefiting not-for-profit DoubleTake Community Service Organization Corporation, publishers of DoubleTake magazine. Tickets will go on sale tomorrow (Feb. 5) through Ticketmaster's online and phone outlets only.

Springsteen is among eight artists tied with a leading five Grammy nominations. He and the E Street Band will be among the performers at the Feb. 23 ceremony in New York.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

WebbJimmy Webb will be honored with the Johnny Mercer Award at the 34th annual National Academy of Popular Music/Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) induction and awards ceremony. Webb -- whose work includes such memorable songs as "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman," "Galveston," "MacArthur Park," and "Up, Up and Away" -- is the only artist to ever receive Grammy awards for music, lyrics, and orchestration.

Set for June 12 in New York, the SHOF will induct Phil Collins, Queen, Van Morrison, and Little Richard, and will also honor BMG Music Publishing worldwide chairman Nicholas Firth with the Abe Olman Publisher of the Year Award. Ticket details have not yet been made available. More information can be found on the SHOF Web site.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

Vincent G. Chin, founder of independent reggae label and retail store VP Records, died Sunday of natural causes in his Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., home. He was 65. Vincent and wife Patricia, whose initials inspired the "VP" name, began selling discarded jukebox 45s in their native Kingston, Jamaica, in the '50s. In 1958 they opened a Kingston store and recording studio that was frequented by the likes of Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, and Gregory Isaacs.

The Chins moved to Queens, N.Y., in 1979 and opened VP, which became one of the world's largest independent reggae operations. Last year, VP formed a joint venture with Atlantic Records and had a crossover hit with Sean Paul's album "Dutty Rock," which featured the top-10 Hot 100 single "Gimme the Light."

Chin was retired at the time of his death. His sons Christopher and Randy run the VP label; grandson Joel is A&R director. Patricia continues to do work for the store.

-- Todd Martens, L.A.


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