Smaller Than Life
Jody Watley has become the first major black singer to cross over that thin line between dance and aerobics. In early April, she'll release a 45-minute home-video instructional tape, Jody Watley: Dance to Fitness.
Madonna's new album, Breathless, due May 15, will include Stephen Sondheim's songs for the movie Dick Tracy, in which she plays the detective's girlfriend, Breathless Mahoney.
This One's for Roy
On May 6 Showtime will present Roy Orbison Tribute: Concert to Benefit the Homeless. The special will feature highlights from last month's show in L.A., with a Byrds reunion and songs by Bob Dylan, k.d. lang, and Bonnie Raitt. During the program, a toll-free number for donations and information will be flashed on the screen.
Whole Lotta Rappin' Goin' On
Rapmania is on its way. On April 6, some of rap's top names can be seen in a massive pay-per-view concert. Some of the 41 artists taped at the Apollo and the Hollywood Palace in March: 3rd Bass (above), Ice-T, Tone-Loc, Young MC, Kool Moe Dee, Run-D.M.C., L.L. Cool J, and Kurtis Blow. Historians someday may call this the Woodstock of hip-hop.
Never Mind the $$, Here's 3/4 of the Sex Pistols
Three original members of the ultimate punk band, the Sex Pistols, would like to slam together for a reunion tour. Guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook, and bassist Glen Matlock (later replaced by the now-dead Sid Vicious, below left) are ready to gob it up. But not singer Johnny Rotten which leaves the lead-singer slot pretty vacant.
Following in Dad's Footsteps
Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers will perform in Zimbabwe on April 21 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of that country's independence. Back in 1980 Ziggy's father, Bob, headlined a massive outdoor show honoring Zimbabwe's new freedom. ''It's always been Ziggy's dream to play Africa,'' a Marley spokeswoman says.
A Moonwalk Through the '80s
Coming this fall to stereos everywhere: Michael Jackson's Decade 1980-90. In addition to his greatest hits, the two-CD (or two-cassette or three-LP) set will include five new songs, which, Jackson says, are ''some of the best things I ever recorded.''
Loved Him, Hated Him
Next month, RCA Victor will release an album of songs from the forthcoming musical Jekyll and Hyde. Colm Wilkinson, of Les Miz fame, sings the album's title role(s), though he's not in the stage production. The musical, with book and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and music by Frank Wildhorn, opens in late May in Houston.
Not Standing Pat
Guitarist Pat Metheny will be nearly unavoidable over the next six months. He can be heard on the just-released Reunion, under vibist Gary Burton's leadership. He's also on drummer Jack DeJohnette's album, coming this spring, along with Herbie Hancock on keyboards. In late summer, Metheny will release a trio album of his own, with drummer Roy Haynes and bassist Dave Holland. Meanwhile, he's been working on his next solo album in Brazil. And over the next five months, he'll be touring with his own group, with Burton's group, and with DeJohnette, Hancock, and Holland.
Baker Still Cooks
Until recently, R&B great LaVern Baker (''Tweedle Dee'' and ''Jim Dandy'') had performed only once in the U.S. in the past 20 years. In late April the NPR Bluesstage program will broadcast Baker performances from February dates at the Lone Star Roadhouse in New York City.