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News Ticker: Lady Gaga, Forecastle Festival, Steve Miller Band, Herb Ellis

April 1, 2010 9:02 AM ET

 

  • A pair of old songs featuring a pre-Fame Lady Gaga will appear on an upcoming childrens' audio book titled Portal in the Park. Idolator reports the tracks, recorded with Melle Mel, accompany Cricket Casey's story about a boy who has crazy adventures after falling through a portal in Central Park.

     

     

  • The Flaming Lips, Spoon and Widespread Panic are all confirmed for Louisville, Kentucky's Forecastle Festival. The ninth annual fest goes down July 9th.

     

     

  • The Steve Miller Band plan to release two new albums — both sets of covers — Billboard reports. Bingo!, due this year, includes tracks by B.B. King and Jimmie Reed that Miller calls "a party record."

     

     

  • Jazz guitarist Herb Ellis has died at 88 of complications from Alzheimer's disease, the AP reports. Ellis performed with the Oscar Peterson Trio and contributed standard "Detour Ahead" to the jazz canon with his Soft Winds trio.

 

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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