Golden Oldies From Sha-NAA-NAA

By: Joe Strupp

If William Dean Singleton ever gets out of the newspaper business, he could very well take up a second career as a rock-concert promoter. During his yearlong reign as chairman of the Newspaper Association of America, which will end during NAA’s annual convention April 27-30, the MediaNews Group Inc. vice chairman and CEO orchestrated several appearances by well-known musicians.

A February NAA board meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., was enlivened by The Supremes, and a similar August gathering in Santa Fe, N.M., featured Michael Martin Murphey, known for the 1975 hit “Wildfire” and a childhood friend of Singleton — with both performances on the publisher’s nickel. Guests at Singleton’s 50th birthday party in 2001 might recall a double bill of the Four Tops and the Fifth Dimension, who grooved in the media mogul’s backyard. “After newspapers, music is my passion,” said Singleton, who plays the trumpet and French horn. “I know some of these people personally, and I know their agents.”

Now the Dick Clark of Denver has arranged for the Four Tops and Three Dog Night — along with a surprise guest he refuses to disclose — to perform at next week’s NAA convention. (How about Huey Lewis and the News or maybe Cat Mother and the All-Night Newsboys?) Said Singleton, “I will leave my year as chairman with the message that newspapers are fun.”

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