Less than a year ago, most people expected Britney Spears would ultimately wind up the target of a massive, overly televised police-car chase that would, we all secretly hoped, end with her driving her SUV off some overpass Thelma & Louise-style. The quickie marriage and annulment, second quickie marriage and subsequent divorce and child-custody high jinks, crotch shots, more crotch shots, the shaved head — she was suffering, we now know, a literal mental breakdown on camera.
Today, thanks to the intervention of Daddy Spears, this all seems like a bad memory. Britney, the Pop Princess, has returned from worse than death, just like Christ and Spock, to sell out arenas nationwide (including Toyota Center Monday) on her "Circus" tour. To commemorate this impressive feat, here are a few other memorable musical resurrections.
Elvis Presley, 1968: After years of steady career decline, Presley returned to the limelight with a hit NBC-TV special known today as the "'68 Comeback Special." Without it, Presley would've died as the punch line to a bad joke. Instead, he OD'd on a toilet but is still hailed in perpetuity as the King of Rock and Roll.
Johnny Cash, 1994: By the '90s, Cash's hard living had cost him a viable career. Then along came Rick Rubin, who helped him record a bare-bones collection of originals and fascinating covers of songs by the likes of Glenn Danzig and Leonard Cohen. Cash won the Contemporary Folk Album Grammy, saw his celebrity return and became the subject of the Oscar-winning 2005 biopic Walk the Line.
Tina Turner, 1984: After divorcing violent hubby Ike Turner in the '70s, Turner struggled to return to her former rock-star success. That is, until 1984's "What's Love Got to Do With It" was dropped on radio stations that had long since dismissed her. The song skyrocketed to the top slot on the Billboard Hot 100, giving the 44-year-old singer her first No. 1 single and still her biggest hit to date.
AC/DC, 1980: AC/DC had released six studio albums when lead singer Bon Scott died of, let's say, complications from a night of heavy drinking. Fans fully expected the remaining members to throw in the towel, but five months later they returned to the studio with new lead singer Brian Johnson to record Back in Black — believed by some numbers crunchers to be the second-best-selling album of all time, with a staggering 42 million copies sold.
The final attendance figures from this year's Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo were released Monday. The total 2009 paid rodeo attendance – those entering the turnstiles of Reliant Stadium, in other words – was 1,182,129, down slightly from 2008's 1,206,551 but up from 2007's 1,176,436. (The record is 2003's 1,215,913.) Concert crowds topped 60,000 for Trace Adkins, the Jonas Brothers (sellout), Brad Paisley, Ramon Ayala and Alacranes Musical (sellout), Keith Urban, Gary Allan, Taylor Swift (sellout), Brooks & Dunn (sellout) and ZZ Top.
If you weren't able to participate in last week's March Madness in Austin, also known as SXSW, block out a few hours and head over to blogs.houstonpress.com/rocks/sxsw.
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1. Little Joe Washington, Texas Fire Line
2. Black Joe Lewis, Tell 'Em What Your Name Is
3. Various Artists, Houston Post Presents the Now Sounds Groove-In LP
4. Lightnin' Hopkins, Blues from Dowling
5 Little Joe Washington, Blues Reality
6. Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion LP
7. Various Artists, New Orleans Funk: The Original Sound of Funk 1960-75
8. Born Liars, Ragged Island LP
9. Nep-tones, Planet of Surf
10. Young Mammals, Carrots
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Selections from Tobias P's March 20 playlist (7-9 a.m.)
1. Die Krupps, "The Unforgiven"
2. Golden Cities, "The Intruder"
3. The Levellers, "Carry Me"
4. St. Etienne, "We're in the City"
5. 777, "Mysterious Traveler"
6. Eliza Gilkyson, "The Party's Over"
7. Aidin Ashoori, "Red Apocalypse"
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8. Human Bell, "Splendor and Concealment"
9. 23 Skidoo, "Vegas El Bandito"
10. Don Cherry, "Complete Communion"
(lists compiled by Chris Gray)