Music News: Ed King, 'Sweet Home Alabama' co-writer, dies at 68

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Lynyrd Skynyrd
1973 trade ad for Lynyrd Skynyrd's single 'Gimme Three Steps.' (Wikipedia Public Domain)
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'Sweet Home Alabama' co-writer dies; John Lennon 'Imagine' demo released; Aretha Franklin left no will
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Guitarist Ed King, a former member of Lynyrd Skynyrd who helped write some of the band's biggest songs, has died after being diagnosed with lung cancer at age 68. King, previously a member of Strawberry Alarm Clock ("Incense and Peppermints"), joined Skynyrd in 1972 and contributed to the distinctive three-guitar sound of the band's first three albums. He only stayed for a few years, but in that time he helped define the band's legacy, most famously co-writing and playing on "Sweet Home Alabama."

King rejoined the band for several years in the 1980s and '90s, before he had to leave for health reasons. In 2006 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd. (Rolling Stone)

Aretha Franklin left no will

Incredibly, Aretha Franklin died without leaving a will, according to documents filed in a Michigan court. Franklin's four sons have declared themselves "interested parties" in Franklin's estate, saying they are not aware of a will. As Franklin was unmarried at the time of her death, if no will is found her assets will be divided evenly among her children according to Michigan state law. (New York Times)

Meanwhile, an unofficial leaked lineup for next Thursday's tribute concert in Detroit includes Gladys Knight, the Four Tops, and many more. The big New York City tribute curated by Clive Davis is expected to take place on Nov. 14 at Madison Square Garden, but no further details on that have yet been announced. (Stereogum, CNN)

Opera singer accused of rape

Countertenor David Daniels, one of the biggest stars of the opera world, has been accused of rape. A baritone named Samuel Schultz says that Daniels and his partner Scott Walters drugged and raped him in 2010. Both men deny the allegations, but Daniels has taken a leave of absence from his teaching position at the University of Michigan. (New York Times)

Michael Jackson's Thriller suit reproduced for sale

If you're a music fan with a tiger cub and $1,195, your Halloween costume is all set. The design label Hugo Boss is now selling replicas of the white suit worn by Michael Jackson on the Thriller album cover. It's part of their new Boss x Michael Jackson collection, launched to mark the musician's 60th birthday on Aug. 29.

The white suit, notes Billboard, isn't an exact replica, but an updated cut "made from lightweight twill with a three-button cuff jacket in a slightly slimmer fit than the one singer wore in the height of the oversized 1980s, and pants with a few less pleats."

"Imagine" demo released, box set planned

A previously unreleased demo of John Lennon's "Imagine" has been released as a teaser for a forthcoming box set devoted to that 1971 album. Imagine: The Ultimate Collection, out Oct. 5, will contain "demos, outtakes, studio banter and 'elemental' mixes that play up certain musical flourishes in the songs across four CDs and two Blu-rays. It includes 'ultimate mixes,' raw studio mixes, songs in 5.1 surround sound and remastered quadraphonic mixes," reports Rolling Stone. The newly-released "Imagine" demo was just discovered in 2016, found in a box in the Lennon family archives.

Kristen Stewart joins Interpol (for a video)

Kristen Stewart stars in a new video for Interpol's song "If You Really Love Nothing." In the video, she plays a fashionable club-goer who pretty much has her way with an entire bar, from her date (played by La La Land’s Finn Wittrock) to the kitchen staff. "If You Really Love Nothing" is the latest single from the band's album Marauder, which comes out Friday. (Pitchfork)


Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY SA 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
Michael Jackson: "Thriller"
John Lennon: "Imagine" (demo)
Lynyrd Skynyrd: "Sweet Home Alabama"
Interpol: "If You Really Love Nothing"

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