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La Festa Italiana Set for Labor Day Weekend in Scranton

 SCRANTON, Pa.— Great food, live entertainment and fun for everyone are on the menu for the annual La Festa Italiana to be held Saturday-Sunday-Monday of Labor Day weekend, August 30-31, September 1, 2014, on Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton. This is La Festa’s 39th year.

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The Beatles Finish in Top Five of “Time” Magazine’s List of Ultimate Pop Stars

CBS Photography 1965While a recent Harris Poll found that The Beatles are the most popular music act in the U.S., the Fab Four weren’t quite fab enough to reach the top of a new list from Time magazine determining the ultimate pop star.

Time looked at every song that made the top 10 of Billboard‘s Hot 100 since 1960, awarding points based on the number of hits each artist scored and how long the artists’ careers have lasted, and created what it calls the “The Ultimate Ranking of Pop Stardom.” The Beatles finished at #4 on the tally with 1,537 point, although they were the highest-ranking rock band. Topping the list was Mariah Carey with 1,901 points, followed by Rihanna with 1,800 points and Usher with 1,778 points.

Other veteran rock artists who made it into the top 50 of the tally include Elton John in 11th place with 999 points, The Rolling Stones at #22 with 776 points, Elvis Presley at #26 with 727 points, Phil Collins in 38th place with 549 points and Santana at #48 with 457 points.

Visit Time.com/music-ranking to see if your favorite artist made it onto Time’s chart.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ex-Styx Singer Dennis DeYoung Releasing New Concert Video and CD in October

Frontiers RecordsIn March of this year, former Styx frontman Dennis DeYoung and his backing group rocked the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles with a set featuring many classic tunes from his old band’s catalog. The show was captured for a CD and video package titled Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx: Live in Los Angeles, which will be released on October 21.

The performance, which was filmed with eight high-def cameras, includes such memorable Styx songs as “Lady,” “Renegade,” “Blue Collar Man,” “Mr. Roboto,” “Babe,” “Best of Times” and “Come Sail Away,” as well as a rendition of DeYoung’s 1984 solo hit “Desert Moon.” Live in Los Angeles will be available as a two-CD/DVD set and a Blu-ray disc.

The show also will premiere as an AXS TV special on the same day that Live in Los Angeles is released.

“If you are a Styx fan, this DVD/CD package covers all the hits in one great concert experience,” says DeYoung. “The intimate setting of the historic El Rey Theater was the perfect venue to see me and the band up close rockin’ these tunes.”

A teaser trailer offering some highlights from the concert video, as well as some interview footage with DeYoung can be viewed now at the official Frontiers Music srl YouTube channel. In the clip, Dennis says, “I am constantly amazed…that the music has touched so many people for such a long time. It really is a testament to songs because, strip it all away, it’s the songs that matter to people.”

Here is the list of songs featured on the Live in Los Angeles two-CD/DVD set:

CD 1:
*”The Message”
“Grand Illusion”
“Lady”
“Lorelei”
“Blue Collar Man”
“Show Me the Way”
“Mr. Roboto”
“Desert Moon”
“Don’t Let It End”
“Too Much Time on My Hands”

CD 2
*”Rockin the Paradise”
“Crystal Ball”
“Babe”
“Fooling Yourself”
“Suite Madame Blue”
“Best of Times”
“Renegade”
“Come Sail Away”

* = does not appear on the DVD.

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Robert Plant Says Jimmy Page “Should Get On and Do Something”

Ed Miles/Nonesuch RecordsRobert Plant says he’s completely enthralled with the music he’s making with his latest group, The Sensational Space Shifters, with whom he collaborated him on his soon-to-be-released studio album, Lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar. He tells U.K. newspaper The Telegraph that his desire to explore new sounds is among the reasons why he isn’t interested in taking part in a Led Zeppelin reunion, and he suggests that guitarist Jimmy Page also consider looking forward rather than backward.

“He should get on and do something, he’s a superb talent,” says Plant. “That’s the sad thing for Jimmy, he knows that I’m his guy, I’m his pal, but the warmth that he needs to actually enjoy the world, it’s all there. Come on and give it to us.”

Regarding his desire to create music with musicians other than the fellow members of his famous band, Robert notes, “Why do it the way you always did it? Why think like that? You never think it could possibly work. And yet, you can take off all your trappings of 30 years of playing and step into this other world.”

Plant praises Sensational Space Shifters guitarist Justin Adams, whose playing is heavily influenced by world music, for opening him up to the blend of sounds featured on his upcoming album.

“His contribution, as a positive force in my time, has been second to none,” the singer maintains, adding that “he doesn’t think the guitar begins and ends with [Eric] Clapton, [Jeff] Beck and Page.”

Lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar offers up a blend of English folk, Americana, African, Middle Eastern, blues, hard rock and electronic music. “What we’ve done is consolidate our strengths,” Plant says of his collaboration with the Sensational Space Shifters. “[T]hey’ve gone into the cauldron, spun around and come out with absolute ease. I guess the only thing missing are the words hocus pocus.”

Meanwhile, the 65-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer characterizes himself as one of a dwindling breed of singers.

“There are only three or four frontmen left, from our time, who actually just kick the mic stand up and do it, and that’s me, Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger,” he tells The Telegraph. “But the only important thing is, can you contemporize your gift? Can I knock myself out, or am I just going through the motions? Because if I’m going through the motions, I’m f***ed.”

Lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar arrives in stores on September 9.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Illustrated Book Based on Bruce Springsteen’s “Outlaw Pete” to Be Published in November

Simon & SchusterA new illustrated storybook based on Bruce Springsteen‘s 2009 song, “Outlaw Pete,” is scheduled to be published on November 4. The book was the brainchild of cartoonist and writer Frank Caruso, who decided he wanted to bring to life the Boss’ tale of a bank robber who began his life of crime when he was just a baby.

“‘Outlaw Pete’ is essentially the story of a man trying to outlive and outrun his sins,” explains Springsteen, whose lyrics serve as the book’s text.

The epic song, which appeared on Bruce’s 2009 Working on a Dream album, was inspired by a 1950 children’s book titled Brave Cowboy Bill that his mother used to read to him when he was young.

“When Bruce wrote ‘Outlaw Pete’ he didn’t just write a great song, he created a great character,” says Caruso. “The first time I heard the song this book played out in my head. Like Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Dorothy Gale and for me, even Popeye, Outlaw Pete cuts deep into the folklore of our country and weaves its way into the fabric of great American literary characters.”

Jonathan Karp, president of the Simon & Schuster publishing company, adds, “This book will be treasured by anyone who appreciates Bruce Springsteen’s unique gifts as a storyteller. Frank Caruso’s illustrations vibrantly capture the spirit of Springsteen’s work.”

Outlaw Pete is available for pre-order now via Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, and Google Play.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Mark David Chapman Says He Was “Such an Idiot” for Murdering John Lennon

NYS Department of Corrections and Community SupervisionEarlier this month, John Lennon‘s killer, Mark David Chapman, was denied parole for the eighth time since his incarceration for the December 8, 1980, crime. During his most recent parole hearing, the transcript of which was just released, we get a rare look into Chapman’s current state of mind, and his thoughts on his infamous deed.

In the August 20 interview before the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s parole board, Chapman said he was “sorry for being such an idiot and choosing the wrong way for glory.”

Chapman talked at length about what motivated to kill the Beatles legend, expressed his remorse at his actions and stressed how his life focused on religion.

“My life had sunk into a depressed state. I was drinking. I just saw that as a way out…a lazy way out of my doldrums,” Chapman explained. “It was a horrible decision, but I knew what I was doing…That’s why I pled guilty.”

Noting that he wasn’t “trying to make excuses” for his actions, Chapman admitted, “That bright light of fame, of infamy, notoriety was there. I couldn’t resist it. My self-esteem was shot, and I was looking for an easy way out.”

Chapman told the board he no longer desires the attention he once craved, pointing out that he hasn’t agreed to a media interview in 24 years. He said he’s now “interested in one thing and that’s ministering prisoners.”

The 59-year-old murderer said he was “sorry for this crime,” adding that he realized killing Lennon hurt not just the singer’s family, but people around the world who appreciated his music.

“Many, many people loved him,” he said. “He was a great and talented man, and they are still hurting.”

Chapman, who has been kept in involuntary protective custody for almost the entire time he’s been in prison, also said he realized his life might be in danger were he to be paroled. “There is some people out there that might want to harm me, but I leave it God’s hands,” Chapman said. “I trust him. If that could happen sometime in the future, I will still trust him.”

During the proceedings, Chapman made clear that he didn’t think he would be given parole. He was of course correct. In denying parole, a corrections department panel said it had determined that there was “a reasonable probability that [Chapman] would not live and remain at liberty without again violating the law and [his] release would be incompatible with the welfare of society and would so deprecate the serious nature of the crime as to undermine respect for the law.”

Chapman was sentenced in 1981 to 20 years to life for Lennon’s murder and was first eligible for parole on December 4, 2000. His next hearing is scheduled for August 2016.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Stevie Nicks Debuts Lyric Video for New Song “Lady”

Warner Bros. RecordsStevie Nicks is out with the lyric video for “Lady,” a song from her forthcoming solo album, 24 Karat Gold — Songs from the Vault.

While fans have likely never heard “Lady” before, it’s not new: Nicks says most of the songs on 24 Karat Gold were written between 1969 and 1987, with a couple written in the ’90s. The album, available for pre-order now, is out October 7. Stevie will kick off a tour with Fleetwood Mac on September 30.

Nicks previously released a lyric video for another song from the album, “The Dealer.” In addition, she’s been previewing snippets of other songs from the disc on her Instagram account.

Fans also are being invited to post their classic Stevie Nicks memorabilia on Instagram using the hashtag #24KaratStevie — the singer is featuring a new fan’s photo on her account every Thursday.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio