Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International
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The Recording Academy says it has chosen Count Basie, Perry Como, Rosemary Clooney, Al Green and Joni Mitchell to receive its 2002 Lifetime Achievement Awards.


Producer-recording engineer Tom Dowd and pioneering rock 'n' roll deejay Alan Freed will receive Trustees Awards. All of the honors will be presented in conjunction with the 44th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony on Feb. 27 in Los Angeles.

"The recipients of these awards are in a rarified league all their own," said Recording Academy president/CEO Michael Greene. "They are a prestigious group of diverse and influential creators who have given us some of the most distinctive and seminal recordings of the last century. Their work exemplifies the highest creative and technical standards by which we all measure our own personal and professional contributions."

Past winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award include Louis Armstrong, Fred Astaire, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Patsy Cline, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Barbara Streisand and Stevie Wonder.


The Lifetime Achievement Award honors "lifelong artistic contributions to the recording medium." The Trustees Award recognizes "outstanding contributions to the industry in a non-performing capacity."

(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


"Hey Mister," up-and-coming singer/songwriter Custom's debut single, is loosely based on real experience.

"I was in a bar in New York," the musician told MTV's Corey Moss, "and I looked over and someone was picking up on my 18-year-old sister. You get that big brother (impulse), like, 'Oh my God, I'm going to crush that guy.' I look over, and my other sister is getting picked up on. Then I realize I'm picking up on someone too. Then I realize we're all pigs."

The main message of the song is that a father always knows what his daughter's dates are really thinking. The tune ends with Custom repeating, "I hope I never have a daughter."

Ironically, Custom is not the kind of guy a date would fear introducing to her parents. He's good-looking (he resembles a taller Nicolas Cage), athletic (he surfs, bikes and skateboards) and hardworking (he's also a filmmaker).

On his debut album "Fast," due in stores in March, Custom wrote all of the music and lyrics, played most of the instruments (Duncan Sheik and A Perfect Circle's Billy Howerdel guest) and did all of the producing, engineering and mixing in a home studio that he built.


As for the "Hey Mister" video -- currently available on his Web site and scheduled to hit outlets in January -- he scripted and directed it himself using a handheld digital camera. The actress in the clip is Custom's girlfriend.


VH1 takes a look at superstar rapper M.C. Hammer in the original movie "Too Legit: The M.C. Hammer Story." The made-for-cable film starring Romany Malco premieres Dec. 19 (at 9 p.m. ET/PT).

"Too Legit: The M.C. Hammer Story" features original master recordings, authorized by M.C. Hammer himself, of his hit songs including "U Can't Touch This," "Too Legit to Quit" and "Pray."

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