Historic Motown piano back in Detroit
An 1877 Steinway grand piano used by Motown greats during the label’s 1960s heyday and restored thanks to Paul McCartney is back home in Detroit, officials announced Monday.
Steinway technicians delivered the 9-foot Victorian rosewood to the “Hitsville, U.S.A,” building at midday Monday, and workers set it up in a former recording studio in what’s now the Motown Historical Museum.
McCartney, a longtime fan of the Motown sound who played and recorded several of the label’s songs during the Beatles’ early days, told museum officials after a 2011 concert in Detroit that he wanted to help with the piano’s refurbishment after learning the historic instrument no longer could be played.
Work on the piano was completed last August, and the ex-Beatle and Motown founder Berry Gordy played it together during a September charitable event at Steinway Hall in New York City.
The instrument first made its way to Motown when the label acquired Golden World Records in 1967, a facility redubbed Motown Studio B and used by musicians and songwriters to create songs by Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and other Motown greats.
To celebrate the piano’s return, museum officials are inviting the public to visit Hitsville with free admission during Esther Gordy Edwards Community Day on April 25.
“This piano is part of our treasured collection of historical artifacts that tell the Motown story,” Robin Terry, the museum’s board chairwoman, said. “We are thrilled to welcome it back home to Detroit, where it will be used to educate local students about the legendary history created in their hometown and share the Motown story for generations to come.”
Grant plans 1st album of new songs in decade
Amy Grant is set to release her first full album of all new songs in 10 years.
The Grammy-winning Christian recording artist’s “How Mercy Looks From Here” will be available May 14.
The album was produced by Marshall Altman and includes guest vocalists James Taylor, Carole King, Sheryl Crow, Will Hoge and Eric Paslay, who wrote the only song on the album not penned by Grant. Grant’s husband, Vince Gill, also makes an appearance.
The Nashville-based singer-songwriter is among the most successful Christian artists with multi- platinum album sales and crossover success on the pop music charts.
YouTube bans Thicke’s video
Robin Thicke’s new music video is too hot for YouTube.
A representative for the R&B crooner said Monday that his unrated video for “Blurred Lines” was banned from the website. The clip features nude models prowling around Thicke and rappers T.I. and Pharrell.
A rep for YouTube didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment. The video is still playing on the music video website Vevo.
Thicke’s unrated clip was released last week and garnered more than 1 million views in days. It became a water-cooler topic on the blogs and entertainment websites. The original video was released a week before and has 1.3 million views.
Thicke said in an interview last week that he had sought the approval of his wife, actress Paula Patton, to shoot with nude models.