BIG Music News: Saturday Night Fever, Peter Frampton

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER turns 40 this year

2017 is the 40th anniversary of two major disco events -- the opening of Studio 54 in New York and the release of Saturday Night Fever

But the movie was actually based in the Odyssey, across the bridge in Brooklyn. Co-star Donna Pescow tells New York's Daily News, "I had no clue how serious it was." She recalls it as "a very real destination for people who lived there. It was very important for them to be there every week to improve their dancing."

John Travolta was the one star who didn't hang out there during filming. Already famous from TV's Welcome Back, Kotter, he chose to avoid crowds in his off hours.

A newly restored "director's cut" of Saturday Night Fever hits theaters May 9th.

PETER FRAMPTON:  Comes alive on Capitol Hill

Peter Frampton paid a visit to Capitol Hill today (Wednesday) where he lobbied members of Congress on behalf of performance rights organization ASCAP as part of its Stand With Songwriters Advocacy Day.

Addressing what many songwriters see as an inequitable and unjust royalty system, Frampton says, "For all the streaming companies that played 'Baby I Love Your Way' -- some 56 million times -- I got $3,000. That's not going to even cover the mortgage payment... well maybe one mortgage payment.

"The market place has changed rapidly and the work of all American songwriters is completely undervalued. We're the most regulated small business there is. 70 percent of what we earn as songwriters is regulated by the Federal Government. There isn't any other artistic industry that's regulated like that. The consent decrees are outdated, they began in 1941 and the last update was in 2001. These are the things we need changed and updated. It's not so much for me anymore. It's for new songwriters who are coming along -- otherwise who wants to be a songwriter?"

Joining Frampton were fellow songwriters Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20, Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman of The Hooters, the production and songwriting team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and Paul Williams, who is also ASCAP's chairman and president.

ARETHA FRANKLIN:  Upset with Dionne Warwick

Five years after Whitney Houston's death, a rift has erupted over what happened at her funeral.

Aretha Franklin apparently snubbed Dionne Warwick at last week's New York screening of the Clive Davis documentary.

The issue reaches back to Warwick's comments concerning Franklin's absence from the church service. Dealing with a health issue and committed to a New York concert, Aretha didn't attend. Dionne told the attendees, "[Aretha] is not here, but she is here [in spirit]. She loves Whitney as if she were born to her. She is her godmother."

Five years later, at the event honoring the man who revived both their careers, two of soul music's legendary divas still haven't smoothed things out. (Vintage Vinyl News)

MORE BIG MUSIC NEWS HEADLINES:

Paisley Park isn't on the market, but another place Prince called home is. A nearly 15,000-square-foot mansion in Toronto -- where he lived between 2001 and '06 -- is available for $13 million.

Brian Wilson, who brings his Pet Sounds tour to Newark, New Jersey Friday night, tells the Star Ledger he "wouldn't change one note" of the iconic album, if given the chance to do it again. Now nearing his his 75th birthday, Wilson has performed the album in its entirety more than 150 times over the past 13 months.

A two-page note handwritten by Paul McCartney to Prince in 1996, requesting a donation to help establish the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, sold last weekend at auction for just under $15,000. The salutation: “Dear Princely Person.”

Billy Joel will perform the first concert at Atlanta's new Sun Trust Park on Friday night. A sellout crowd of more than 40,000 is expected.

Stevie Nicks will make a guest appearance on Lana Del Rey’s upcoming Lust for Life album, according to Pitchfork.  

Kate Pierson of The B-52’s, Kathy Sledge of Sister Sledge and Paul Shaffer will be guests at Friday’s annual gala for the Nile Rodgers We Are Family Foundation. Nelson Mandela will be posthumously honored; awards will also go to basketball great Dikembe Mutombo and A Tribe Called Quest.

Shirley Alston Reeves of The Shirelles will headline this summer's Girls Night Out package tour along with the current lineups of The Crystals and The Chiffons (no original members).

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