Saturday, May 18 2013 11:31

HUEY LEWIS & THE NEWS - "Sports" Turns 30 and Brings "The Heart of Rock & Roll" to a New Generation...

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I was just a month out from my seventh birthday when HUEY LEWIS & THE NEWS released their album, SPORTS in September of 1983. As a kid growing up on this new thing called "MTV" (Music Television), a cable network that had just hit the two-year mark a month prior, Huey Lewis & The News became my first rock band. At the same time my young mind was absorbing the sonic stylings and visual accompaniments of artists like Michael Jackson and Duran Duran, Lewis and his crew became my gateway drug into a larger world filled with "The Heart of Rock & Roll" - guitar, drums, bass...

hln30For Christmas of 1983, I asked my parents for a copy of SPORTS on vinyl. When December 25th finally arrived, there was just a tiny bit of disappointment when I discovered a copy of Huey Lewis & The News' 1980 self-titled debut in my stocking instead... on cassette. I'd soon come to realize that, like SPORTS, it was also a great album... and one that I'd play often. 

I don't remember the exact dates, but at some point in 1984, my Dad picked up a copy of "The Heart of Rock & Roll" on a 7-inch 45rpm single. Soon after, I finally snagged my own copy of SPORTS, and now - nearly three decades later - SPORTS hangs framed on my office wall here at Rock Father HQ, while that single still lives within a small, DC Comics Superheroes "Record Carrying Case" that I have stored in my garage. There, "The Heart of Rock & Roll" is kept company by singles from 1986's FORE! and 1988's SMALL WORLD. After that, I quit buying vinyl for awhile... But Huey Lewis & The News stuck with me, and even snuck into my own performances as an adult.

It's May of 2013, and just five months out from my 37th birthday as I write this entry. Now, Capitol Records has released a Deluxe 30th Anniversary Edition of SPORTS, completely remastered, and partnered with choice live versions of each song - presented as an 18-track collection. While I haven't picked up the new release just yet, I knew that the anniversary was coming, and a couple of months ago, I started introducing my daughters to the sonic legacy of Huey Lewis & The News. 

While Finn isn't quite a year-old yet, Addie will be four later this year, and she gets it - dancing up a storm when the music starts playing. As a parent, I've been becoming reacquainted with much of the music that I grew up on by introducing it to my little ones. I hope that they'll become well-rounded in their musical exploration and love - as I have been - and in a world where "musical discovery" is largely taking place within the cold confines of a digital realm, devoid of the real-world record stores and weekly "Top 40" countdowns that I grew up on, I feel that it's part of my duty as a Father... as The Rock Father... to teach them about "The Heart of Rock & Roll."

Addie with Daddy's copy of SPORTS...

HUEY LEWIS & THE NEWS are currently on the road for the SPORTS 30th Anniversary Tour. For Dates, visit  http://www.hueylewisandthenews.com/ 

The 30th Anniversary Edition of SPORTS is available on iTunes:

For more rock delivered daily, including the latest in great music, cool toys, and fun for the whole family - "like" The Rock Father on Facebook.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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