Frank Sinatra, Fats Waller and Master P made news the week of March 19, 1999

By Tom Sinclair
March 19, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Buddha-ful Noise
As a VP of marketing and promotion for Sony Classical, Alex Miller helped steer the Titanic soundtrack into more than 10 million homes. But, like the song says, the heart (and body) will go on. Miller — who confesses he never felt like ”a classical-music guy” — is now helming a new label, Buddha, for BMG’s special products division, and he intends to give such Reissues ”R” Us powerhouses as Sony Legacy and Rhino some stiff competition. ”I feel like a kid let loose in some giant record superstore,” says Miller, who now has access to BMG’s vast storehouse of old recordings (which includes the catalogs of RCA, Arista, and Buddah/Kama Sutra, among others). On April 27, the label will kick off with two discs (culled from never-before-released radio broadcasts) of Frank Sinatra singing with Tommy Dorsey’s band in the early ’40s, and a single disc of a rare Fats Waller live recording from 1938. On tap for 1999 are bonus-track-laden reissues of early albums from cult faves Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band and the Flamin’ Groovies, as well as a 25th-anniversary edition of Harry Nilsson’s John Lennon-produced Pussy Cats with four newly discovered songs. Miller says he revived the name of the defunct Buddah label (with its spelling corrected) because ”it’s appropriate for a label that reincarnates music.” First, though, he called several Buddhist monasteries to find out if it was kosher to use their deity’s name. They gave their blessings: ”It was very Zen.”

Shoe Business
No Limit Records chief Master P’s dreams of an NBA career may have been deferred when he was rejected by the Charlotte Hornets last month, but he has managed to slam-dunk a potentially lucrative deal with Converse to market a line of Converse/No Limit footwear. Beginning May 1, fans can purchase the first in ”a series of Master P basketball shoes adorned with the ‘MP’ logo” at Foot Lockers and other outlets nationwide, according to a No Limit spokesperson; an exclusive Master P CD single will be included with the purchase of each pair of sneakers. A Converse press release gushes that ”the agreement will further the synergistic relationship between sports and music,” but stops short of drawing any unkind connections between gangsta rap and the footwear euphemistically known as ”felony shoes.”