Oct. 9 marks the 80th anniversary of John Lennon’s birth, and the New Jersey-based Jem label will release, on that day, a Lennon tribute album featuring The Weeklings, Richard Barone, The Grip Weeds and other Jem artists. It will be titled Jem Records Celebrates John Lennon.
Jem president Marty Scott produced the album, which featured a cover drawing by the late Al Hirschfeld, and author and Monmouth University professor Kenneth Womack — whose next book, “John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life,” comes out Sept. 15 — wrote the liner notes.
Womack writes: “Jem Records Celebrates John Lennon provides music lovers with an inventive take on the work of John Lennon, ranging from his early Beatles days through his final recordings in 1980.
“As the twenty-first century snakes its uneasy course into an increasingly complex and unknowable future, we need Lennon’s thoughtful and inspiring songs more than ever. Jem Records Celebrates John Lennon offers the panacea that we need in these challenging times.”
The songs will range from signature Lennon songs such as “Strawberry Fields Forever” (by the Grip Weeds) and “Revolution” (performed in a medley with “Power to the People” by Barone) to the White Album outtakes “What’s the New Mary Jane” (performed by the Weeklings) and “Child of Nature” (by The Midnight Callers, who also perform “Jealous Guys,” the song “Child of Nature” evolved into).
“I was delighted to be asked to be a part of of this very special JEM project, celebrating my all-time hero John Lennon on what would have been his 80th Birthday,” wrote Barone today on Facebook, “Celebrate greatness with us!”
Here is a complete list of songs on the album:
“The Word,” The Weeklings
“Child of Nature,” The Midnight Callers
“Jealous Guy,” The Midnight Callers
“You Can’t Do That,” The Grip Weeds
“(Just Like) Starting Over,” Johnathan Pushkar
“No Reply,” The Gold Needles
“Revolution”/”Power to the People,” Richard Barone
“Strawberry Fields Forever,” The Grip Weeds
“It Won’t Be Long,” The Midnight Callers
“I Found Out,” The Anderson Council
“Cold Turkey”/”Hey Bulldog,” The Gold Needles
“I Call Your Name,” Johnathan Pushkar
“What’s the New Mary Jane,” The Weeklings
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I am really pumped up about the “Jem Records Celebrates John Lennon” release coming soon! Great article covering this album. Some of my favorite bands are on it, like the Grip Weeds, the Weeklings, and The Midnight Callers. Absolutely amazing bands, Amazing Music, and amazing John Lennon! How can you beat it! Take care, Matt Street