James Prince, CEO of Houston’s Rap-A-Lot Records, has been announced as the 2nd keynote speaker at this year’s SXSW festival. Rap-A-Lot Records, which started in 1986 as an effort to keep a group of teenagers from Houston’s 5th Ward in school and off the streets, has produced dozens of gold and platinum albums from artists such as Bun B., The Geto Boys, and Big Mike. Prince is also famous for his hands-on approach towards his charitable efforts, handing out turkeys on Thanksgiving, donating back-to-school supplies, and passing out food and sleeping bags to Houston’s homeless and less fortunate. Bun B. will interview Prince during this year’s music conference on March 17th at the Austin Convention Center.
The Boston music scene has been buzzing with nostalgia this week. After disbanding in 1996, dream-pop group Belly announced on Monday that they’re not only reuniting for a summer tour across the UK and U.S., but they’ll be releasing new songs on their website one-by-one over the next few months. Pixies also seem to be cooking-up some new material. The band ended their 23-year hiatus in 2014 with the release of Indie Cindi. Now, according to a teaser trailer released two days ago, it looks like the Pixies may be working on an album coming later this year.
Back in September, a California judge ruled that American Music Publishing company Warner/Chappell had been wrongfully and unlawfully collecting licensing fees for the song “Happy Birthday To You,” saying that the copyright on the lyrics, if there ever was one, would have expired no later than 1921. What Warner/Chappell actually owns is a very specific arrangement of the ubiquitous tune. For decades the company charged anywhere from a few hundred to over a hundred thousand dollars for the use of the song in public performances and motion pictures. Yesterday, Warner/Chappell moved to end the 6-month lawsuit. Not only will “Happy Birthday To You” finally enter the public domain, but the company will pay restitution fees of $14 million to musicians and motion picture companies.
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