British rock group Queen in concert with singer Freddie Mercury on September 3, 1984: (Frederick Bulsara, 1946 - 1991) and guitarist Brian May.
British rock group Queen in concert with singer Freddie Mercury on September 3, 1984: (Frederick Bulsara, 1946 - 1991) and guitarist Brian May. (Photo by Rogers/Express/Getty Images)

 

Queen guitarist Brian May says that more unreleased music from the band's late frontman Freddie Mercury has been found, perhaps enough for an album, although he says he's nervous about claiming a full CD's worth of songs.

May tells Mojo Magazine: “There's more than we thought in the Queen source archives. We've found some (more) Freddie vocals, some demos.”

Drummer Roger Taylor confirmed via Classic Rock magazine that May has been working on the music, including “a couple tracks that Freddie did with Michael Jackson.” Actually, Mercury, who died of AIDS in 1991, recorded three songs with the late King of Pop in 1983. Both May and Taylor say Mercury's duets with Jackson will definitely be released, but no dates were given. THe last Queen album of original songs featuring Mercury was “Made in Heaven” that was released posthumously in 1995.

 

UPDATE ON UPCOMING PETER NOONE, CHAD & JEREMY BRITISH INVASION TOUR

A clarification has come from The Searchers regarding their participation in next summer's British Invasion tour with headliner Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits, Chad and Jeremy as well as Gerry and The Pacemakers.

Wendy Burton, The Searchers official website coordinator, says via email, “I'm sorry to disappoint you — but it is not The Searchers. It is Mike Pender (former lead singer of The Searchers who left the band 27 years ago) with a local backing band. Steps are being taken to make sure it is correctly advertised and promoted as being him, not The Searchers.”

 

The Searchers originally formed as a skiffle band in Liverpool in 1959. Skiffle was an English take on country, folk and bluegrass music using washboards, acoustic guitars and homemade instruments. The group's debut 45 in late 1963, “Sweets for My Sweet,” as well as their 1965 version of Jack Nitzsche and Sonny Bono's “Needles and Pins” were big hits in the United States. The biggest American hit came in 1964, when their version of Leiber and Stoller's “Love Potion No. 9” made it to No. 3.

Pender, who co-founded the group, was the lead singer on many Searchers hits, including “Needles and Pins.” He left the band in December 1985 after what was billed as their final concert in London. In the late 1980s he was a member of an all-star band that included singer Reg Presley of The Troggs, The Foundations' singer Clem Curtis, Tony Crane of The Merseybeats and Brian Poole, formerly of The Tremeloes that called themselves The Traveling Wrinklies, a fun homage to The Traveling Wilburys. Since leaving The Searchers, Pender has toured as Mike Pender's Searchers.

BEATLES' MUSIC AIDS FILIPINO RELIEF EFFORT

 

Two Beatles' tunes are part of a 39-song star-studded album benefitting the Philippines Red Cross and its efforts to help victims of the recent devastating Typhoon Haiyan. “Songs For The Philippines” is available on iTunes and opens with “Across the Universe” and closes with “Let It Be.”

Other artists and songs on the album include Bob Dylan's “Shelter From The Storm,” Cher's “Sirens,” U2's “In A Little While,” Michael Buble's “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You,” Madonna's “Like A Prayer,” Josh Groban's “Brave,” Enrique Iglesias' “Hero,” The Red Hot Chili Peppers' “Factory Of Faith,” Kylie Minogue's “I Believe In You” and Earth, Wind and Fire's “Sign On.”

 

The CD also includes songs by new pop sensation Lorde, Adele, James Blunt, Alicia Keys, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Bruno Mars, Muse, Kings of Leon, One Direction, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, .fun and others.

BRIAN SETZER ORCHETRA'S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TOUR

The Brian Setzer Orchestra is on the road with “Christmas Rocks,” the group's 10th annual big band rockabilly Christmas tour, according to their website. The tour includes holiday tunes such as “The Flintstones Holiday Song,” “Dig That Crazy Santa Claus” and Setzer's hit, “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus,” popular Setzer Orchestra biggies, including “Jump, Jive an' Wail,” as well as Stray Cats smashes like “Stray Cat Strut” and “Rock This Town.”

 

The tour hits SoCal with stops at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez on Dec. 19, the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach on Dec. 20, the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Dec. 21 and the Fox Theatre in Bakersfield on Dec. 23.

ERIC BURDON WINS ANIMALS RIGHTS

After an eight-year legal battle, Eric Burdon has won the right in an English court to continue to use The Animals name to sell CDs and concert tickets, reports Britain's Daily Mail. Burdon's attorney contended that he, rather than former Animals drummer John Steel, was the “living personification” of The Animals. The court agreed.

 

NEW JETHRO TULL BIO

“A Passion Play: The Story of Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull” by Canadian writer Brian Rabey is out on paperback (available on Amazon). Rabey says that an audio version is in the works.

Of the book, Rabey says, “several different descriptions have been given from ‘it's like sitting on someone's lap and listening to a great story' to ‘it's like being a fly on the wall' from 1959 when Ian moved to Blackpool and watched the group of friends through the ‘60s create a dream of being a band and fulfilling that with Ian at the helm and bringing all his school friends into the band and sharing the experience with them and it's true. It really is about high school buddies going on to be the biggest band in the world.”

 

GUESS WHO'S BURTON CUMMINGS TO HEADLINE IN VEGAS

Burton Cummings, 65-year-old former singer-songwriter-pianist for Canadian pop and rock outfit The Guess Who, will perform his first-ever headlining gig in Las Vegas. The man who sang, wrote and co-penned hits for The Guess Who such as “American Woman,” “These Eyes” and “No Time,” will star at the Orleans Hotel and Casino on Jan. 17-18.

Cummings, who co-founded The Guess Who in 1965 and led them through their most successful years, until leaving in 1975, was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. In 2009, he was named an officer of the Order of Canada, one of the country's highest civilian honors.

 

Steve Smith writes a new Classic Pop, Rock and Country Music News column every week. Like, recommend or share the column on Facebook. Contact him by email at Classicpopmusicnews@gmail.com.