Sound Bites: ZZ Top, REO Speedwagon, Musicmaker.com

ZZ Top to Play for Fellow Texan Bush President-elect George W. Bush finally found some pop artists to let him use their music. After artists such as Tom Petty, Sting, and John Mellencamp asked Bush's team to stop using their music during the election campaign, Bush resorted to country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. But fellow Texans ZZ Top have stepped up to serenade the new president Jan. 18 at a 1,000-guest party in Washington, D.C., according to The Associated Press. The trio hasen't forgotten the respect Bush gave them while he was governor: He declared May 15, 1997, to be "ZZ Top Day." The bluesy rockers have hits such as "Legs," "Sharp Dressed Man," and "Gimme All Your Lovin'" to choose from for the event.

Main Street Becomes REO Speedwagon Way City officials in Champaign, Ill., can't fight this feeling anymore — they've decided they have to honor local heroes REO Speedwagon. Part of the college town's Main Street will be renamed "REO Speedwagon Way," with a sign put in place in time for the band's Jan. 19 concert, according to The Associated Press. Keyboardist Neal Doughty and drummer Alan Gratzer co-founded the band while attending the University of Illinois in Champaign in the late '60s. As the band evolved from hard rockers to slick balladeers, they reached the height of their success in the '80s, scoring No. 1 hits with 1980's "Keep on Lovin' You" and 1985's "Can't Fight This Feeling." Though no longer hit-makers, the band is touring this year with fellow '80s acts Survivor and Styx.

Musicmaker.com Liquidates Musicmaker.com, which offered custom-made compilations, announced its liquidation Wednesday, 18 months after its initial public offering of shares. The company had kept a brave face until the end: The latest issues of numerous magazines feature large advertisements — in the style of BMG Music Service and Columbia House — offering its custom CDs. "Musicmaker was essentially caught behind the times," Forrester Research analyst Eric Scheirer told Reuters. "Several years ago, the custom CD market may have been a good idea. But they underestimated how popular portable MP3 players, Napster, and recordable CDs would become." The company had sought to work with record labels but failed to reach licensing agreements with enough of them to offer a comprehensive list of titles.

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