"Jessie J is such a powerhouse as a performer," says Smokey. "She gave an amazing take on 'Cruisin' for Smokey & Friends, and it was an absolute pleasure to have her join me on stage to perform it live in Edinburgh.
There are many surprising elements to the story of A Hard Day's Night, however, not the least of which is that the contracts for the movie were signed before The Beatles had any hint of success in America.
"We shot this soon after signing with Blue Note earlier this year, with our friend the filmmaker William DeVizia. It's a good look at what drew us to the label and vice versa, and how that all went into the recording of Shout!"
Sid Bernstein was the man responsible for bringing the Beatles to America, which could be enough for several past and present lives. Add to that the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, Manfred Mann, and the Dave Clark Five -- pretty much the entire British Invasion.
I personally was saddened by the iconic producer/engineer/mastermind's recent passing not only because I kind of bonded with him during our two interviews together, but also because his sonic fingerprints are all over so much of the music I grew up on.
It may have been a simple twist of fate that gave us Ringo Starr, arguably the most influential rock drummer of all time. Or perhaps it was always meant to be. Either way, we almost didn't have Richard Starkey (aka Ringo Starr) with us.
Today my 63rd birthday looms and the cultural messages are mixed. It feels uncool -- bordering on shameful -- to acknowledge my age. Yet I'm told I should be thrilled because I look young, and that thanks to advances in medicine, "63 is the new 53!"
I have a huge picture in my living room of me, at around eight years old, meeting the Beatles. What I remember most about it, besides meeting these boys I was crazy about, was that I kept trying to lose my dad.
Sound designer Alan Parsons has long had a passion for the latest technologies. Alan took a moment to talk with me about his illustrious past that included his days at Abbey Road Studios through his latest technology-focused endeavor.