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26 Feb 2009

Eltonites!!! I would like to present you the fantastic, unbelievable... Lee Alverston!!!!

“She packed my bags last night, pre-flight…” I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears when I heard this tune that he was not Elton. Or maybe he was… His tone is surprisingly Eltonish. He's very, very good. His name: Lee Alverson. Completed with sequined costumes, a baby grand piano, sparkly sunglasses and an incredible accent, Lee is an extraordinary entertainer who started his career in Pittsburgh, PA. He has become America's Premier Elton John Impersonator. His performance has been described as "Unbelievable!", and "So close, it's scary!" Lee has also been rated the #1 Elton John Impersonator in the world by United Tribute Artist International. To date, he has performed in 36 states.

AllSongsList is glad to welcome Lee so, please eltonites, get up, stand up and welcome a greatest performer: Lee Alverson.

Thank you very much Lee for your acceptation.

It is my pleasure.

Thanks!! When you first were interested in music and how you decided to become professional?

I discovered my mom's "Meet the Beatles" album in the 70's..when I was a kid... I was hooked and wished I was a Beatle. Moving ahead a few more years... When I was 16, my sister wanted a piano so she could take lessons... She lost interest almost as soon as my parents purchased a used piano.. I played the piano one day and found that I could play songs "by ear". I became very very good at it and Upon graduating from College with marketing skills... I decided to become a full time performer. 18 years later, I am still a full time performer.

Oh, fantastic... "by ear" reminds me something... And how it came the idea to be an Elton look-a-like impersonator? You have been an Elton John fan before, have you?

I performed only as "Lee Alverson" for the first 11 years of my career. I released several solo CDs of which consisted of original songs and was released on a national level. I had the opportunity to perform as an opening act for giants like Barry Manilow, The Beach Boys, Andy Williams, etc.. I also performed extensively as the "Phantom of the Opera" in a special Broadway revue show as well as other "Theme shows ",during the 90's. Acting and Music go hand and hand for me. I was always a huge Elton John Fan.. and as I learned to play piano-I listened to Elton's style and absorbed his technique. I also knew and played all of his songs when I was starting out in lounges in the early 90's. In 2002, I was looking on line and saw that there were thousands of Elvis impersonators and only three "Elton's" My keen capitalistic eye couldn't pass up such a huge opportunity and Since I love to act, can play piano, and love Elton John's songs and showmanship... It seemed like opportunity to do something that I knew would be fun and rewarding. To be honest, I thought that it would just be a performance here and there while I continued other entertainment endeavors. I had no idea it would snowball and get this big. Now the calls and emails constantly come in and the role has really taken over my career ...which is fine with me. I look at my tribute to Elton John as an acting role. Actor Harrison Ford is known for his role as "Indiana Jones" . Christopher Reeves is known as Superman. So far.. I am known for my role as "Elton John." and I am fine with that.

Your performance as Elton John is truly outstanding… How you prepared a “Elton's Greatest Hits” show? I mean… is there a regular band with you or always play solo? How do you manage to find such great costumes?

Thank you very much. I studied many video tapes of Elton John over and over again and listened to his live recordings over and over. I try my best to capture his mannerisms and stage the audience a realistic impersonation. I try to include the nostalgia of Elton... with a couple different looks that he had throughout his career. The show is simply a tribute to a fantastic showman. I have several established bands that I hire to do the big shows with me. The bands are well rehearsed and know the material like the back of their hands... I am very fortunate to have such talented musicians on stage with me. When a client has a smaller budget or the event is a small surprise party etc.. I am happy to perform solo with only piano. Those shows are equally rewarding. The majority of my costumes were professionally made. I give costume designers photos of Elton's costumes and they do their magic.

Nice!!! How you choose the set list and which songs become a part of the set?

I pick the songs that are most popular and of course the ones that sound best live. You cant get away without doing songs like Bennie and the Jets and Crocodile Rock.

Have you ever been mistaken for Elton? Some funny anecdote to share with us?

No. I think that everyone realizes that it is a Tribute show and I have never had a problem with mistaken identity. I also make sure that the contract states that it is a tribute act and that the client is not allowed to pretend in any way that I am the real Elton John at the event or in any promotional way.

Also you take the role of Billy Joel as you perform the “Piano Man’s Greatest Hits”…

Yes... Again another acting role. In fact, many times a client hires me to play both characters in the same show. When this occurs, I have to do a set as Billy Joel first and then break while the band plays and I become Elton Backstage. To become "Elton" I need to put on a wig to cover my hair which is short and black (like Billy Joel) . I need to do the whole make-up thing to get into character. The years of lounge work when i was young paid off..I learned Elton's songs at the same time I was learning Billy's.

Ok! You perform at festivals, casinos, fairs, and other corporate functions across the country. And what we could do if we want to hire an impersonator celebrity, like you?

Yes. I perform for huge companies like Pepsi and Intel and play great places like The Versace Mansion in Miami, El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico, and The Venetian Casino in Las Vegas. I am a full time performer and all you need to do to hire me is contact me by going to my official web site: or through my Impersonators Network site: I represent and refer a multitude of professional impersonators through this site.. I have personally worked with all of the acts and know them to be reliable and professional. I am happy to perform at large or small venues.

Also, you regularly feature in stage productions. How about these experiences and which are your future projects?

The Phantom of the Opera revue was very rewarding for me. I still play the "The Phantom" on occasion and love doing it. I am currently performing a Las Vegas Revue show called Las Vegas Then and Now which highlights the artists of VEgas' past like Sinatra and Elvis with todays Vegas stars like Manilow. I perform with a very talented singer by the name of Suzanne Lauglin. I am also producing a show called Lee Alverson's Legends of Rock n Roll which features a several other impersonators like Neil Diamond, John Lennon etc...

Fantastic!!! You also released five albums, if I am not wrong: your favourites from seven years of work on "Now and Then"; your holiday favourites on "Winter Wonderland"; the hits from Big Band Era on "Swingtime Saturday Nite”; the italian favourites on "That's Amore" and "Matter Of Time", with some of your originals. For when your Elton John Tribute Compilation, Lee?

I have recorded quite a few. I never recorded the Elton material for sale because I wouldn't want to step over the line. Performing the material live in a theatrical setting is one thing.. But I would not want to have people buying my impersonation recordings. I leave that to the REAL Elton.

You have a highly recommended website on What could we find there?

You can find pictures and descriptions of all of my shows...Bio info.. downloads etc.. Everything from my Phantom act -Elton- Billy Joel-Jerry Lee Lewis impersonation- my recordings etc... Also other acts you can hire.

Oh, finally, your favourite top 5 Elton John songs, in running order, please, for my allsongslist?

Someone Saved my Life Tonight, "Elton's live version of Pinball Wizard (even though he did not write it) Bennie and The Jets, Your song, The Ballad of Danny Bailey.

Well eltonites, we have here a greatest performer. Don't miss the videos of him playing Elton and be aware about his albums. I listened the songs and he's a wonderful voice. Not only is elton, he's a truly professional musician and it was my pleasure to do this interview. Thank you very much, Lee, I wish you all the best in your projects and we will foloow your career, of course.

20 Feb 2009

Famous Pennsylvanian Eltonites

Sharon Stone was born on March 10th, 1958 in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Sharon was still in school when she started acting. After college she began a modeling career and was signed to represent Clairol, Diet Coke, and Revlon. Sharon's first real break was playing Arnold Schwarzenegger's kick-boxing, secret agent wife in Paul Verhoeven's sci-fi actioner Total Recall (1990). After five more forgettable thrillers and comedies, she finally achieved the proverbial overnight stardom as a sexually voracious crime writer opposite Michael Douglas in Verhoeven's controversial and popular erotic thriller, Basic Instinct (1992).

Joe Montana American professional football player and quarterback who led the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL) to four Super Bowl victories, was born Joseph Montana in Monongahela, Pennsylvania in 1956. Joe Montana joined the San Francisco 49ers in 1979 after playing college football at the University of Notre Dame. Montana played the last two years of his career with the Kansas City Chiefs, retiring in 1995. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

Daryl Hall was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania on 11th October 1946. Daryl Hall’s professional life began while he was still a student at Temple University. By the mid 1960’s he had already recorded a single with Kenny Gamble and the Romeos; a group that included Thom Bell and Leon Huff, two of the founding fathers of Philly Soul. Along with John Oates, their first efforts together were heavily folk influenced, and in no way resembled the sound that would catapult them into the pop stratosphere.

13 Feb 2009

Eltonites... Please get up, stand up and welcome the fabulous... NATALIE JACKSON!!!!!!!!!

This is the last chapter of the interviews of the three wonderful ladies series. It's the turn of Natalie Jackson. I still remember when Elton introduced the three backup singers then, in the World Tour (1988-1990) or "The One" Tour (1992). I think Elton felt comfortable with the three ladies and thought they were special, because he recreated with them as he never had done before. After every introduction, Elton kissed the girls. But when it was Natalie's turn, she was who kissed him, a big kiss in his face. Now, we have Natalie here. I am so proud she accepted the invitation too, because I always have been a fan of the three ladies. So, it's my pleasure to welcome the one and only, the fabulous... Natalie Jackson!!!!

Hello Natalie, many thanks for the acceptation. Let's start for the beginning... "Classical was the way to go" once you said. But you've got your commercial music start in jazz recordings, when you received a best jazz vocalist award. What do you remember of those beginnings, including when you starred as Madame Butterfly at thirteen years old?

I was born and raised in a classical music environment from my church and a jazz environment since my parents only had mostly jazz recordings around our house. I sang a hymn for my second grade teacher’s wedding. It was at that moment that my parents were told to put me in private lessons once I reached the age of ten years old. Any singing that I did at that time was strictly classical. I was told, that’s who I was and that is all that I could ever be. I accepted that and went on. Once I got to college, I got the nerve to try something different. Jazz was the easiest transition vocally, while I was still training in classical. I had also loved singing in private for my father and sometimes to myself. I wanted to be Sarah Vaughan or Al Jarreau at that time. I loved the challenge of scatting.

Great!!! You have been a backup singer for almost 20 years, singing with Anita Baker, Natalie Cole, Chaka Khan, Jeffrey Osborne, Sting, Joe Cocker, Ofra Haza, Bette Midler or Diana Ross, to name only a few. Have you been privileged to meet those people, have you?

Yes, I met all of them accept Diana Ross, Ofra Haza, and Bette Midler. I toured with Anita Baker, Chaka, Jeffrey, and Natalie, so I know them more on a more personal basis, since we were on the road together. I met Joe Cocker when we sang on his record. He was in the studio. It was just he, Marlena, Mortonette, and myself. I did a live performance and a television show with Sting. I met and spoke with him during the rehearsals. Great guy. Team player/musician. Treated me as I should be treated, as a fellow musician. He’s cool. I believe it was Don Was who produced the Ofra Haza. WE only worked with him. Unfortunately Ofra was not there. Arif Mardin produced the Bette Midler record. She wasn’t there for that one either. It’s like that sometimes. Sometimes it’s just the producer and the musicians, not the artists.

Right. You defined as "a rock'n'roller at heart". Who were your inspirations and influences in rock 'n' roll?

I heard Joyce Kennedy, lead singer with “Mother’s Finest” from my boyfriend when I was in high school and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I would give anything to sound like that! She was my first inspiration. After that, I was a big fan of Def Leppard, Guns N Roses, Motley Crue. Then, when Seattle’s grunge hit, I found my voice in Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarten. So many. I was also a fan of Terence Trent D’arby and Radiohead.

Fantastic!! Could you tell me how you got involved with Elton and how you ended up recording and touring with him? Also, how do you value that experience from a personal point of view and was it a good starting point for your solo career? And have you been an Elton fan before?

I knew “Bennie And The Jets” and “Someone Saved My Life Tonight”, and “Sad Songs” before I had worked with him. I love and respect his music. After having worked with him over the years, I truly respect his musicianship. He is so amazingly talented. My most valued experience with him was watching him write songs. I treasured his support of me as a songwriter. I knew that he appreciated my singing, but to have him say he liked my songs was “icing on the cake”. In saying that, it was a great boost for my confidence that I should attempt a solo career. I was at Jeffrey Osborne’s house singing on one of his recordings, telling him that I really wanted to do rock music. It was plain luck that the next day, a friend of Elton’s would come to Jeffrey’s house to drop off a song, and mention to Jeff that Elton was going back on the road and needed singers. Jeffrey Osborne suggested my name. I got the call to send in my picture, resume, and tape, in those days. Later, I was called to do a benefit concert with Elton. Little did we know that it was an audition. The rest is history.

Great history, really. "The One Tour", in my opinion one of best Elton's ever tours, found the band collaborating with the designer Gianni Versace, on the dresses, the lights, the set design... How Gianni Versace was to work with? Any anecdotes you could share with us?

He was as you would think, “fabulous”. I was a bit intimidated because I am not a model. But, he was cool. The only thing that was nuts was when he decided to suggest some dance moves. That was a bit over the top.

Oh! Years after, we could find you as Kudisan Kai, working with Pat Leonard as a producer, on Elton and Hans Zimmer's "Road To El Dorado" sessions, backing vocals on "16th century man" and on the fantastic should-had-to-be-a-single "The panic in me". On "Songs From The West Coast" session, again, you were backing vocals in "I want love" and "This train don't stop there anymore". How it was to reunite again with Elton and how it came up the idea?

That was shear luck. I had always worked as a session singer in Los Angeles and Patrick Leonard had always called me in to do many of his sessions. I think it was just ironic, I don’t know. You would have to ask Patrick about that one. I never saw Elton during the recording of those cd’s. I did see Davey Johnstone and the guys. I have always kept in contact with Davey from time to time, to check in on the family and to say hello. I think Davey may have suggested me to do “Songs From The West Coast” though. Nevertheless, it was great to stay “in touch” in some form with the band.

Sure!! Do you remember how many songs you'd been recording for those albums session? And some of the titles that didn't see the light?

It’s been too long. I’m afraid I don’t remember.

Thanks. And you decided to be Kudisan Kai. Which is the meaning of the name and why Natalie Jackson found an alter ego?

Two reasons. I wanted an African name that meant something to me. Second, I wanted to do my music that would be a separate career from my background singing career. Kudisan means “you are blessed, or holy, or lucky”. Kai means “you are loved”. The person that gave me these names told me that I am to always remember this.

I was so impressed to listen your beatiful 2004 EP "Confessions", a must to have for everyone who loves music, for those fantastic tracks, specially "Layla's Dream", my favourite. Which is the story behind this record?

Thank you. I appreciate that. “Layla’s Dream” is named after my daughter (Layla is her nickname). She used to have these dreams that she met God and spoke with God all the time. She used to tell me that she was an angel, sent from heaven. It used to unnerve me. I thought she was going to die, or that it was some sort of omen, forecasting such an event. Anyway, that is what influenced that song.

Oh!!! Your career has been an incredible journey from opera to alternative metal, really...

Yes, I know it sounds crazy. But, hey that is my life.

Hahaha amazing live, afterall... Mortonette told us that you teaches in the voice department at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. "The voice is one of the most flexible and expressive instruments" reads the statement of the College"...

Yes. I wanted to get off the road and raise my child in a reasonably normal environment. And yes, Berklee does express that one can sing any number of styles. It is one of the few places to truly acknowledge this.

You've got the pretty good idea to kicking out "Women In Rock" symposium at Berklee, as a annal event at the school. "African American women rockers do exist" you told. What do you wanted to offer with this cellebration and why do you think this is a higher mountain to climb?

Answer: African American female rockers have always existed from Betty Davis to Joyce Kennedy, to Tina Turner. I want to offer to women of color, the possibility of being whatever you want to be, and if it’s rock, there is support for you. It is a high mountain to climb. For whatever reason, this market of black female rockers rarely gets recognized. Usually, it’s a cool underground thing. I hope that the time has come that the world is ready to grasp this awesome group of women on a mainstream level. Now, cool underground things get brought into the foreground. We all have a story that needs to be told and deserves to be heard by the masses.

Ok! Could you advanced us some of your other future projects, please? Any other collaboration with Elton, in the future?

I am currently writing a new cd. Since the Women In Rock concert at Berklee, the collaboration with Cindy Blackman (former Lenny Kravitz’ drummer), Me’shell Ndegeocello, and Felicia Collins has inspired me to do some rock performances this summer. So, I’m working on booking that right now. As for EJ, I don’t know what’s happening with him these days. Since I’m in Massachusetts these days, I don’t get to see the guys as much.

Oh, could you tell me your five favourite Elton's songs in running order, for my AllSongsList? Thank you.

Wow. Ok. “Rocket Man” (I wouldn’t mind recording that one myself.), “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word”, “Someone Saved My Life Tonight”, “Bennie And The Jets”, “Blue Avenue” (from “The One”).

Finally, Would you want to add some observation or suggestion, or something you want to say to other eltonites?

We were given a first class ticket to see the world, meet celebrities, entertain thousands of people. It was a blast. I still speak with Marlena and Mortonette so, they already know I got nothing but love for them. I’m sure we will be doing something together in the near future.

That would be the greatest new we could receive. But hey, it results that Mortonette and Marlena said the same thing so... that's an idea it could be realized then!!! If someday that was so, I would like to be there, really. Just dreaming, excuse me. Well, I didn't want to finish without preparing you a surprise. Someone you know very well, was so kind to send me some words for you, so... I hope that make you smile. All the best, Kudisan and good luck with your projects too.

Marlon Saunders, Assistant Professor from the department's voice of the Berklee's Faculty: "I have had the pleasure of working with Kudison Kai in the voice department at Berklee College of Music. I am truly proud to call her friend and I am a big fan of her voice. Not only is Kudison an amazing musician, she is also an incredible spirit. Kudison and I both come out of the session singer world of the music industry so I certainly knew of her work with artist such as Elton John, Chaka Khan, Anita Baker and so many more. I am no longer teaching on the campus of Berklee but I smile when I think of the lunch dates Kudison and I would share over Indian food. The deep spiritual conversations followed by moments of complete hysteria because of something that one of us had to tell the other about what had happened during the week. Not to mention the numerous times one of us would knock on the other’s door when we were teaching just to get an “amen” about something we were explaining to a student. Word on campus was that Kudison makes the only gumbo and I just want to say Sistah Gyrl I still am waiting for my bowl!!! I could go on and on talking about Kudison Kai. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t experience something that makes me think of her. As a matter of fact I think I need to call her because it has been a while since Kudison and I have talked with no worry of the time, and it always seems as though we pick right up where we left off. So Kudison this is a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to let ya know that I love you very much and I miss that smile, that joy filled laugh and that warm sultry voice…not to mention them beautiful soprano high notes!!!!! Peace… Love… Marlon"

11 Feb 2009

Eltonites... Please get up, stand up and welcome the beatiful... MARLENA JETER!!!!!!!!!

Yes Eltonites. We have the priviledge to have here another girl from the backing vocalists of end 80s and 90s of Elton's band. I really love the richness and smoothness of her voice. She's so special. Marlena Jeter, aka Lena J, started an early age to sing and has worked with such great musicians. Now she has new projects to develop and we are proud to have her to explain it. Ladies and gentlemen, the open doors of AllSongsList are wide-open to receive the talented, fabulous and wonderful: Marlena Jeter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you very much for the acceptation. First, I would like to ask you at what age did you decide you wanted to become a musician? What were your musical influences, Marlena?

Age 15 was when I decided to take myself more seriously as a singer.
There were many musical influences in my life from one end of the musical spectrum to another such as: Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, as well as Barbra Streisand.

I have loved so many wonderful singers and I believe they have all had their influence in one way or another.

You'd been in a top background female R&B trio, from Los Angeles, called Silk. Silk featured you, Maxi Anderson and Gwen Machu and recorded an RCA album: 'Smooth As Silk' (1977). Did it was the only album released or were more recordings? Is that so?

Unfortunately for Maxi, Gwen & I, we were never released as a recording group. The album you are referring to was another Male group from that time. The three of us were known as “Silk” because we had such a silky sound when we were called to work as background singers on various record projects of mainstream recording artists. Producers loved our sound and as a result we became popular as a recording unit.

Oh, I see... You and Maxi Anderson also collaborated with Japanese artists like Keiko Matsui or bands like Hiroshima, in the 80s...

Yes, it’s true Maxi and I worked on many Keiko and Kazu Matsui projects as well as Hiroshima. We also worked on countless other Japanese artists projects and even traveled to Japan to do even more. It was a very exciting time.

You have been a backup singer for 30 years, singing with George Benson, Linda Ronstadt, Lionel Richie, Laura Pausini, Ricky Martin, Kenny Rogers, Jeffrey Osborne, Rod Stewart or Joe Cocker, to name only a few. Have you been privileged to meet those people, haven't you?

Yes, I have met many of the artists you have mentioned. Some I have traveled with as well.

Ok! Could you tell me how you got involved with Elton and how you ended up recording and touring with him? Also, how do you value that experience from a personal point of view and was it a good starting point for your solo career? And have you been an Elton fan before?

I received a call one day from Davey Johnstone, Elton’s Music Director who had obtained my name from a fellow musician, and he invited me to audition for him. I met with him, along with 2 other ladies, we sang through a few of Elton’s songs, and I later received a call that I had the gig, along with my dear friends Ms. Alex Brown and Ms Natalie Jackson (now known as Kudisan Kai). Shortly thereafter we began touring and in time recording as well.

In reference to me being a fan, I had always loved Elton’s music and was completely thrilled that I was fortunate enough to work with him and his band. Believe me when I say that his band is one of the best! The work ethic in that organization is one I highly respect and I learned a lot during my 7 years of being
a part of it all. The entire “Elton John” experience was life changing for me and I will always treasure those experiences from that time in my life.

Elton writes most of his songs in the studio, that's it? And how many songs you'd been recording for an albums session?
Remember some of the titles that didn't see the light, from the
Sleeping With The Past or The One sessions?

It is pretty typical that artists often record more songs than
necessary because they want to have choices. At this point in time
I cannot remember which songs didn’t make the cut. What I most
remember is that I had a great time doing it and that everyone was
so generous and accommodating.

And how it was touring with Elton and the band? Davey Johnstone became the musical director... How many songs were rehearsed before the tour begins and how the set list was decided?

Touring with Elton and the Band was incredible! Davey Johnstone
was the Music Director when I got in the band. He was my main contact for that gig. In reference to the amount of songs we
rehearsed… I would say that there were at least 20. Once again,
it’s all about having choices and seeing what feels right. As time
goes on with any tour, eventually songs get taken out and others
put in for many different reasons. Most of the time, however, it’s
the artist who dictates these changes.

Any anecdotes you could share with us, from touring' with Elton and the band?

Miguel, I have to say that so many wonderful things were happening for me at that time that it’s not easy to pin point one particular incident that stands out more than another. What I will say is that Elton is a very generous man, and there were times when he would do something thoughtful for one of us or all of us… and he always remembered your birthday! That always put a smile on my face!!!

Wonderful!!! You still been in touch with Kudisan and Mortonette... Would be possible doing something together in the near future? We Eltonites would love that...

I am still in touch with these wonderful singers. Mortonette and I
still do recording sessions together and Kudisan and I are in touch
as well. She however is living in Boston at this time teaching at
the prestigious Berkley School of Music and working on material
for her upcoming album. She sounds great, and I look forward to
hearing what she comes up with!

In reference to doing something together, that would be great, and
something all three of us would be willing to do if an opportunity
presented itself and we could coordinate our schedules.

Then... What about your future projects, Marlena?

Before I begin, you should know that my artist name is “LENA J”, so in searching for current music on me, that’s where you should look! NOW… I have been co-writing with some really great producers for my new album entitled “Love Stories”. So far I’ve released 4 songs from that project on sites like iTunes,, and

I have written 2 new ones to be released on iTunes in the next few
weeks, that I co-wrote with the multiplatinum producer “KIRV”
who for the past 5 years has been co-producing with Dr. Dre, and
has sold over 20 million records. I have also been working with “BEATMASTA WES” producer of the multiplatinum record selling group “UGK” out of Texas and the response has been incredible!

Most recently I participated on the Historic Dr. Martin Luther King
album project entitled “THE MESSAGE IN MUSIC”. My contribution to that project is entitled “Live The Dream”, cowritten with KIRV, and that album is currently available on iTunes.

Thank you!!! Could you tell me your five favourite Elton's songs in running order, for my AllSongsList?

“Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word”
“Sad Songs”
“Benny and the Jets”
“Rocket Man”
“I’m Still Standing”

Would you want to add some observation or suggestion, or
something you want to say to other Eltonites?

It pleases me to know that Elton’s fans are forever! He is a living
legend… and I should know because I’ve been in the Entertainment
Industry for quite some time and have worked with a lot of great
recording artists, but this man still holds a special place in my
heart. His music is eternal and in my experience, he always sounds

It also pleases me to know that you Miguel, as well as other
Eltonites remember “The Girls” as we were referred to back then.
Thank you for caring enough to want to know what we are doing at
this point in time and supporting our efforts as artists! All the best to you.

All the best to you too!!! You've been so nice with me. I really adore you and admired you as a singer. I thought about doing something for you, just to make you smile. Some people wanted to say something about you, so, with all my love, I hope you really enjoy it:

Jonathan Phillip Moffett, drummer: "Thank you for your inquiry. Thank Marlena I send my love and hope that she is well. She is a wonderful woman, person and singer. I think she's very professional and great spirited. Send her my love and best wishes in 2009. Thank you Miquel for reconnecting she and I. I wish you the best in 2009!!!

Charlie Morgan, drummer: I loved all the girls, they were so much fun. I had so much fun on the road with the three girls, especially Marlena. Quite apart from being a sensitive and caring human being (and a good friend), she made sure they put on an amazing spectacle for the fans! An audio-visual treat".

Thank you Jonathan, thank you Charlie for being here and for your words. Marlena, will never forget you!!!

Famous Tennessean Eltonites

Kenny Chesney (born March 26, 1968) is an American country music artist. Since 1993, Kenny Chesney has recorded thirteen albums, eleven of which have been certified gold or higher by the RIAA. Chesney and part of his crew took time on their night off to attend Elton John's Red Piano Show at Caesar's Palace on 5th June 2008. Chesney describes the show as "Unbelievable." He says Elton introduced him in the audience and dedicated "Tiny Dancer" to them. It's from one of Kenny's all-time favorite movies, "Almost Famous." After the show the group went backstage to say hello. Kenny says Elton knew everything that was going on. The singer says, quote, "Not only did he tell me how much he liked the Willie Nelson record ["Moment of Forever" which Chesney produced with Buddy Cannon], but he asked about my Mother... That made my Mother's entire week!"

10 Feb 2009

Eltonites... Please get up, stand up and welcome the fantastic... MORTONETTE JENKINS!!!!!

The 1989 World Tour was the first tour I went to a concert. It was in Barcelona and I was an eltonite since 1984. I had to be at school, theorically, but I arranged to get my tickets and, along with a friend, we went to Barcelona to see the show. It was fantastic. I was so surprised for the three talented backing vocalist on the band: what a powerful voices!!! Elton was in a good mood and everything was fantastic. Well, almost everything because I'd lost the train to come back home and my parent had to go to the big city for us, and it was like "What are you doing in Barcelona???"... "Oh, didn't tell ya? I went to a concert!!!" I couldn't come out for almost a month, on weekends but it was a fantastic experience (the show, obviously). When I began the "Unforgettable People" section on the blogsite, the first I thought about were Mortonette, Marlena and Natalie. Now, we have Mortonette Jenkins (now Stephens). I contacted with her and I have to say she is a fantastic woman. She accepted to be here with us and she surprised me for her energy and good feeling. Ladies & Gentlemen... AllSongsList is proud to welcome one of the fantastic girls from Elton's 1988-1992 Band.... The fabulous, unique and talented singer... MOrtonette Jenkins!!!

So, thank you very much Mortonette. There are no words to tell you how excited I feel. It’s a privilege and an honour to do this interview. You have to know I’d been looking for you long time, first, trying to find information about you, then to contact you. At the end, God heard me and guided me to his angel, to you I mean.

It is also an Honor to be contacted by you. In our emails to each other I have sent you sample songs from one of my solo CD's , I hope you enjoyed the gift. (smile) Mortonette.

Oh, really I did!!! Fantastic songs, Mortonette. You have been a backup singer for 30 years, singing with Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Eric Clapton, Barbara Streisand, Tammy Wynette, Lionel Ritchie, Bruce Hornsby, Don Henley, Michael MacDonald, Frank Sinatra, to name only a few. Have you been privileged to meet those people, have you?

Yes ! I've been on stage with each one of them in performances, except Lionel I worked with him in the studio only.

Capital Records signed you for recordings under the name Jodi Mathis. You sang background for Barbara Streisand on two of her live concerts, signed on concert tours with Paul Anka for eleven years and toured with Linda Ronstadt. How was it touring with those people?

Barbara was a total perfectionist and she would receive 20 minute standing ovations. Pretty awesome ! When I was with Paul Anka we toured some very exotic places in the south of France for Billionaires Private Parties, so touring with him was very good. Linda Ronstadt is truly a love, she respects her singers as equals and we stay always in the best hotels and great travel.

As we said before, you did several tours with Elton, and you replaced Alex Brown, it was 1989. Could you tell me how you got involved with Elton and how you ended up recording and touring with him? Also, how do you value that experience from a personal point of view and was it a good starting point for your solo career? And have you been an Elton fan before?

Alex and I are like sisters, and when she left to do her solo album so got me in on the auditions, I was still with Paul Anka at that time but was ready for a change after 11 years (chuckle)2. Alex submitted my name for the audition, and lovingly supported me by driving me to the audition. I had to audition like everyone else I had to be really on to make her proud, and in the end Davey chose me. (yeah!) (smile) I Value that experience as one of the best of my life, getting an Elton John gig is one of the greatest jobs in the whole entire universe. Elton treated me soo-ooo Good! and he showed respect for my talent. He told me on several occasions what a great singer and team player I was. I just love him. He truly is a total genius in his field. And never misses a note. That's phenomenal ! ! ! It was not connected as a point for my solo career however. That came about from getting an audition with a show called "WILD WOMEN BLUES" starring Linda Hopkins, the Blues Legend and touring europe with her for five years as one of the lead singers in that show. We toured Paris, Germany, Lisbon, Monte Carlo, Solvenia, to name a few also New York, Texas, Chicago, and Los Angeles. She is who I consider my vocal and performance mentor. If you google her you'll see how incredible she is. I learned how to be out front from her. And to answer the Elton fan question of course, every since benny and the jets I feel in love with Elton's music.

The 1989 World Tour is known for two things: A) because never “Sad Songs (Say So Much)” has sounded as good as you three girls, Mortonette, Marlene Jeter and Natalie Jackson, did. B) because Elton was going through very bad personal problems, even collapsing onstage one time, during the tour’s first week. What do you remember about that period? Was it Elton's decision to use them to do vocal solos on the intro to Sad Songs?

Yes ! Elton wanted to showcase our voices, very generous don't you think. It was quite a BLAST !

I’ve always wondered what the rehearsals for Elton’s live concerts were like. We got to see a few seconds of yourself and the whole band rehearsing with Elton before the beginning of the tour in a documentary that was made during the 1992 tour. But, what was it really like? Did everyone work together and come up with the final arrangements during the sessions or did Elton walk in with an idea and tell you how he’d imagined the arrangements for every particular song?

Months of rehearsing takes place before you even hit the road, hours and hours of rehearsing takes place in order to give everyone great performances, and the arrangements are done with Elton, Davey and then the other guys play and play to the perfection. Then Davey gives us our back-ground parts to learn that go along with the arrangements they've already perfected, we then perfect our parts, then the real rehearsals begin. Elton is very exacting and does not settle for less than perfection in rehearsals or during performances.

AnnaBCN would like to ask you one question, if you don't mind: Elton has been described by most people who have worked with him as a hard working, a perfectionist and a very professional performer. Is he such a perfectionist and would you say he was difficult to please as a boss? Any anecdotes you could share with us?

Elton is a perfectionist as I mentioned above, but as long as you are a perfectionist in your position there is only mutual respect and love. He does not tolerate anything less than the best, which makes me feel good I was chosen to be one of his singers.

You have been in the studio to record the “Sleeping With The Past” album. This album marked a new union workingship with Elton and Bernie. And you have been in the 1990 Don Was sessions too. At least 8 songs remain unreleased from this session with Don Was, and 7 songs remain unreleased from “Sleeping With The Past”. Do you remember anything about these songs, any title? And was Bernie Taupin in the studio, for those sessions? Do you know why the Don Was sessions didn’t end with an album, finding only some of the songs in the “To Be Continued” compilation?

Confidential info. Sorry on that one. (smile)

I understand, of course, thank you anyway... Kudisan Kai, the artist formerly known as Natalie Jackson, has made an incredible journey from opera to alternative metal. Marlene Jeter is still backing vocals with well-known artists. Are you still in touch with them now?

Yes ! Kudisan got married, and is teaching in Boston at a University there. Marlena is doing an incredible solo career composing, singing and getting ready to release a great project she did in her own studio. Marlena and I see each other all the time, she lives 3 minutes from me, literally right down the street, we just love each other, and Alex and I see and talk with each other all the time as well, though she lives in Los Angeles, I go to LA a lot.

When I posted that an interview with you was gonna come, I received a lot of mails with questions for you. It’s difficult to choose among all the great questions, but it’s an ending list of. For example: Matt Wilkinson from Middlesbrough, England would like to ask you if you still keep in touch with Elton John?

Marlena and my Daughter went to see him at Ceasar's here in Vegas, I couldn't go I had out of town quest, I talk to Davey from time to time, but Haven't talk to Elton personally, Bob Haley and I email each other a lot, he had been with Elton for maybe 30 years up until recently.

Oh, could you tell me your five favourite Elton's songs in running order, for my AllSongsList? Thank you.

Benny and the jets, Blue Avenue. I'm still standing, Norma Jean, Club at the end of the street, The one.

Mortonette, you recently released a new project, “Moods of Life”. This album is a mix of standards performed with your trademark soul stirring style... a mix of spirit, jazz, and blues, with your powerful mezzo-soprano voice. Your cover of George Michael “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, it’s so powerful and beatiful. How you chose these songs?

”I can't make you love me” was one of the solo number's I did in the Wild Women Blues Show. And the other songs are songs that I love. I love some many different songs, and styles of music it's always hard to pick what to do. I just got my own studio and I will be writing and recording originals right from my own studio, I put you on my list as one of the first to receive what I come up with. Only if you promise to help promote it, no matter how it sounds.(chuckle)2 just kidding. I will sound great.

Wow, my God!!! I will!!! In fact, recorded at InnerSound Studios, this album project was produced and arranged by genius composer, producer and musician, John Barnes. Price: $15.00. Recomendable of course, a must to have album!!

Finally, would you want to add some observation or suggestion, or something you want to say to the eltonites?

It's all about the love, respect and appreciation , I have only love, gratitude, and thankfulness in my Heart.

Thanks!!! You have a great website. That’s We could read your biography; we could purchase the 3 CD’s you have recorded, even have a test listen set up; we could buy your meditation CD’s; we could see an extensive photo gallery (yes, with a picture with Elton, fans); and we could read an interesting section called “Let’s Talk”: that’s a series of questions and answers about the spirit of and in all things. In what we have to believe, Mortonette?

Yes ! Please, I will be updating the Let's talk section with a new book I just finished writing , Let me know if any of you are interested ? It's the completed Let's Talk series in book form. So many of my friends and fans asked for it so I finally did it. It' will be available for sell soon. Maybe by April, 2009.

Good new, really!!! Thank you. Fans outhere!! We should take a look to her website and we should buy her records, some of them self-produced. They are very enjoyable!! Let’s recommend you to read the dialog sequence between the physicist Mr. Goofy and the mathematician Homey Brother on the website’s section called “EXTREME THOUGHT” . They conceive the complex force of Universal Gravitational Flux as the real physical Creator in all existence of the universe, including matter from atomic particle to galactic, all biological activities from cellular to organic species of plants and animals, and all natural and man-made chemical activities occurring in all time. They perceive their debates as meriting the nomination for a Nobel Prize. Very very interesting!!

Well, that’s the end. You have been very kind to us, you should know how much eltonites we love you and remember you. You are a sweet and lovely person, Mortonette. We’ll never forget you. God Bless You and good luck in your projects!! Oh, before you go, I would like to surprise you and I will try to make you smile... I thought about inviting some people you love, to give me their quotes on you, if you don't mind...

Kudisan Kai (formerly Natalie Jackson), singer: If I were to make a statement about Mortonette that would sum up my feelings about our time with Elton, I would say that she was the spiritual glue that held us all together. She is amazing. She comes to the world with a wealth of experience and is open, loving, and graciously willing to share. Our time together was fun, a learning experience, and most of all, a healing experience. I will always treasure that time spent with her. I don't get to see or speak with her as much as I would like. But she knows that she always holds a special place in my heart".

Paul Buckmaster, arranger and composer: "It is one of the sweet and beautiful blessings in my life to have met, and gotten to know Mortonette Jenkins, not only as a supremely talented, experienced, and professionally competent vocalist, who has been endowed by heaven with a most richly beautiful singing voice, but also as one of my dearest and special friends. Mortonette has also been somewhat of a spiritual guide for me, a friendly help, who, because of her commitment to truth, beauty, and intelligence, has and continues to be one of those friends who helps us on life's path, to a deeper understanding and experience of freedom and precious liberty. There's a line from one of Sting's songs with which I cannot but agree: "If you love someone, set them free ..." But then, on the other hand, what sweeter bonds can there be than true friendship, or true love ... Or better still, that transcending devotion to the cultivation of a redeeming good will, for all mankind? Is this not a sublime paradox: the bonds of true friendship and true love, especially transcendent good-will for all mankind, which are in essence the liberating expression of freedom? In short, I love Mortonette!"

Marlena Jeter, singer: "In reference to Mortonette, she is one of the most incredible people I have ever known! Not only is she a gifted singer, she is one of the most powerful Beings on the planet! She has a way of touching a person's life and making it better in the process. The best way to sum it up would be to say that she really is one of those Rare and Special people few of us have an opportunity to know up close and personal."

Thank you Kudisan, Paul and Marlena!!! Eltonites... there will be another surprise this week....

(sources from Mortonette's official website).

7 Feb 2009

Elton Tourin' Japan: The Statistics

Elton John has done 38 concerts live in Japan while on Tour.

He has been in Tokyo (19 times), Osaka (10), Nagoya (4), Fukuoka (3), Hiroshima (1) and Kyoto (1).

Elton's favourite place is Budokhan Theatre, Tokyo (11 concerts on), Kohsei Nenkin Hall, Osaka (6), Dome, Tokyo (3), Shinjuku Kohsei Nenkin Hall, Tokyo (3), Shibuya Kohkaido, Tokyo (2) and finally: Castle Hall, Osaka (1), Century Hall, Nagoya (1), Civic Hall, Nagoya (1), Dome, Fukuoka (1), Dome, Nagoya (1), Dome, Osaka (1), Festival Hall, Osaka (1), Kokusai Hall, Fukuoka (1), Kyoto Kaikan, Kyoto (1), Kyuden Kinen Taiikukan, Fukuoka (1), Rainbow Hall, Nagoya (1), The Stadium, Osaka (1), Yubin Chokin Hall, Hiroshima (1).

First time he played in Japan was on October 1971 on "Madman Across The Water Tour" (6 shows). Then it was 1973-74 Yellow Brick Road Tour (12); as a member of 1988 Eric Clapton Band, along with Mark Knofler (4); 1995 "An Evening With Elton John And Ray Cooper" (7); Face To Face 1998 Tour with Billy Joel (5), 2001 "Songs From The West Coast Tour" (3) and finally 2007 "Elton John Solo Tour" (2).

The largest set list was on "An Evening With Elton John And Ray Cooper Tour", with 29 songs and the shortest the 12/11/2001, "Songs From The West Coast" Osaka Castle Hall concert, with only 21 songs on the set list.

He has played 86 different songs in Japan while on Tour.

The songs most played are Your song (34 times), Daniel (32), Bennie and the jets (28), Don't let the sun go down on me (27), Candle in the wind (26), Saturday night's alright (23), Take me to the pilot (23) and Funeral for a friend (21).

Then it comes: Honky cat (18), Goodbye yellow brick road (16), I don't wanna go on with you like that (16), Rocket man (16), Crocodile rock (14), Love lies bleeding (14), I guess that's why they call it the blues (14), Indian sunset (13), Skyline pigeon (13), Can you feel the love tonight (12), Madman across the water (12), Mona lisas and mad hatters (12), The one (12), All the girls love Alice (11), Elderberry wine (11), Hercules (11), Levon (11), Oh Susannah! (11), Step into Xmas (11), The Ballad of Danny Bailey (1909-34) (11), This song has no title (11), Philadelphia freedom (10).

Follows: I need you to turn to (9), I'm still standing (9), Sacrifice (9), Sixty years on (9), Sorry seems to be the hardest word (9), The greatest discovery (9), Ticking (9), Tonight (9), Border song (8), Country comfort (8), Holiday inn (8), The bitch is back (8), Believe (7), Better off dead (7), I think I'm going to kill myself (7), Idol (7), Live like horses (7), Talking old soldiers (7), The last song (7), Where to now St. Peter? (7), Amoreena (6), Ballad of a well known gun (6), Can I put you on (6), Come down in time (6), Friends (6), Honky tonk women (6), It's me that you need (a Top 13 hit in the country, 6), My baby left me (6), Rock me when he's gone (6), Rotten peaches (6), The king must die (6), Whole lotta shakin' (6), Ballad of the boy in the red shoes (5), Great balls of fire (5), Grey seal (5), Honesty (5), Lucy in the sky with diamonds (5), My life (5), Piano man (5), Simple life (5), Something about the way you look tonight (5), Tiny dancer (5), Uptown girl (5), You may be right (5).

And the rest: Birds, I want love, Original sin, Someone saved my life tonight, The wasteland, This train don't stop there anymore, (Gotta get) A meal ticket, American triangle, Blue Eyes, Carla/Etude, Circle of Life, Electricity, Nikita, Roy Rogers.

4 Feb 2009

Famous Japanese Eltonites

Yoko Ono (whose first name translates to "ocean child") was born on February 18, 1933 in Tokyo. Attending the prestigious Sarah Lawrence College in New York, Yoko dropped out to elope with her first husband, Toshi Ichiyanagi. It was while living in New York's artsy Greenwich Village that Yoko discovered the world of avant-garde artists. The she married American jazz musician/film producer Anthony Cox. By this time, Yoko was heavily influenced by the extended and repeated image work of Andy Warhol, Dali inspired surrealism and Dadaesque absurdity. The notoriety of Yoko's events, as well as her involvement with the radical 60's avant garde art collective Fluxus created an interest of her works in the United Kingdom. This interest precipitated her visit to England in 1967. Yoko's life forever changed when she met Beatle John Lennon at an exhibit of her work at the Indica gallery in London. Since John's death, Yoko has remained active, releasing three music albums, engaging in two concert tours and composing two off-Broadway musicals.

Nobuo Uematsu is a Japanese video game music composer. Uematsu was born on March 21, 1959 in Kochi, Japan. After graduating from Kanagawa University, he composed music for commercials before joining Square Co., Ltd. (now Square Enix Co., Ltd.) in 1986. Since 1987, Uematsu has composed music for every Final Fantasy game, incorporating electronic, rock, and classical elements to each installment. In February 2003, Uematsu formed a group called "The Black Mages," producing a self-titled album composed of FINAL FANTASY battle music arranged in rock style. Uematsu performs as the keyboardist himself. The music from the game series has grown to such notoriety, Nobuo Uematsu was named as one of the "Innovators" in Time Magazine's "Time 100: The Next Wave - Music" feature. He declares musical influenced by Elton John.