Like a Star

Corinne Bailey Rae shined on the http://www.oprah.com/Oprah.com last week. Since her appearance on the show, Corinne Bailey Rae soared into the number 4 spot on the Billboard 200 Chart. This British artist is also up for three Grammys next week.

To the Moon!

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NASA plans to return to the moon by 2020 and hopes to build a moon base by 2024. While you are waiting for the Ares I & V to launch, take a look back at other trips to the moon: Project Apollo and Méliès.

From the Earth to the Moon a superbly done HBO series, produced by Tom Hanks, and based on the book A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin, takes you through the entire Apollo program.

Moon Shot: the inside story of America's race to the moon by astronauts Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton.

First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen.

Méliès the magician contains the 1902 "La Voyage dans la lune" along with other films by Méliès.

At Folsom Prison

On January 13, 1968, Columbia Records released At Folsom Prison by Johnny Cash. The album was recorded live at Folsom State Prison, located in Folsom, California. Cash was joined on stage by June Carter, Carl Perkins, and Cash's band, the Tennessee Three. At Folsom Prison reached #1 on the Billboard Country chart and #13 on the Pop chart. The single Folsom City Blues was a #1 Country hit. Dressed in his signature black, Cash introducted himself to the inmates saying "I'm Johnny Cash."

Slow Week for New Titles

Only one new title Into White by Carly Simon cracked the top 50 on the Billboard 200 this week. Into White entered at number 15. Moonlight Serenade was her last release in 2005.

"The fog comes on...."

January 6 is the birthday of poet, journalist, children's writer and biographer, Carl Sandburg. Born to Swedish immigrants in 1878 in a three room shack in Galeburg, Illinois, Sandburg was the quintessential Midwesterner. He stayed in the heartland, writing about his beloved Lincoln, the slaughter houses of Chicago and the whimsical characters of his Rootabaga Stories. Sandburg wrote what he knew from personal experience having dropped out of school in eighth grade, taken on odd jobs and traveled with hobos and tramps across the country.

Who can forget his wonderfully gravelly voice, shock of white hair and his image of fog in a poem of the same name:

"The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on."

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Oh man, The Chieftains are back in Ann Arbor after 5 long years of having to make due with just their CDs. They have been playing together for 43 years and have greatly contibuted to the wide appeal of Celtic music. They have received six Grammy Awards and this program will feature some of the group's greatest hits. As usual, there will be special guests appearing with them in concert. Hill Auditorium, Sunday January 21, 4pm.

Of Mice and Rats

Are you looking for a good book to listen to with your family on your next car trip? I suggest Redwall by Brian Jacques. The story is about a young mouse Matthias, who becomes the hero of Redwall Abbey when it is attacked by Cluny the Scourge.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

The Play Ground loves the funky music of the Chenille Sisters and we will be glad to ring in the new year singing along with them. Nationally renowned, our local trio of singer-songwriters Cheryl Dawdy, Connie Huber, and Grace Morand is known for its "unbeatable combination of breathtakingly precise and resonant vocal harmonies, a comic wit that's both corny and subversive, and a delightfully eclectic repertoire of original songs mixed with jazz, swing, folk, and blues standards." The Ark, 316 S. Main. Tickets $35 (includes champagne & party favors.) 10 p.m.

Eddie Murphy sings more songs than Beyonce!

Looking for something to do after opening all those gifts? Check out Dreamgirls, the story of a female singing trio modeled after the Motown girl groups of the 1960s. In Dreamgirls, The Dreamettes try to sing their way to stardom at the famous Apollo Theater.

The movie opens Monday, December 25th at the Michigan Theater. With stellar performances by Eddie Murphy, Beyonce, Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Hudson, the movie already has Oscar and Golden Globe written all over it. I for one just wanna hear Eddie sing again. (‘80s Flashback: "My girl wants to party all the time, party all the time, party all the time!”) The Michigan Theater guarantees seating and will also sponsor a special appearance by Motown legend, Martha Reeves. Reeves was lead singer of the girl group Martha and the Vandellas and also enjoyed success as a solo artist.

Ciara's The Evolution at Number One

Remember Goodies by Ciara in 2004 and how hot that was. Do you think The Evolution will be just as hot as it enters this week at number one on the Billboard 200 Chart?

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