wing man

laurence juber

Even if you don’t recognize the name of Laurence Juber, you have undoubtedly heard his music. He has scored numerous television documentaries and has had his music featured in nearly three decades worth of film soundtracks, from Dirty Dancing to Good Will Hunting to The Muppets.

But here is the resume buster. Juber has also been in the service of a Beatle. He was guitarist in Paul McCartney’s final lineup of Wings and is featured on what is perhaps the band’s most underappreciated album, 1979’s Back to the Egg.

A masterful finger style guitarist, Juber has recorded over 20 solo albums while moonlighting as a studio musician on recordings by such disparate artists as Seal, Dan Hicks and Barry Manilow. He also interpreted a solo guitar version of Henry Mancini’s immortal Pink Panther Theme for the Grammy winning Mancini tribute album, Pink Guitar.

The former Wing-man will land in Central Kentucky twice in the days head. He headlines a Wednesday performance at the Kentucky Coffeetree Café, 235 W. Broadway in Frankfort (7 p.m., $20). He swings back through Lexington next week for Monday’s taping of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour (7 p.m., $10).

Expect Juber’s performance focus to be on his new Soul of Light album, which offers newly recorded solo guitar readings of songs from throughout his solo career. While Juber has devoted entire albums to the music of artists ranging from The Beatles to Harold Arlen, Soul of Light’s retrospective repertoire sticks exclusively to original compositions.

Call (502) 875-3009 for ticket information on tonight’s Frankfort performance. Call (859) 252-8888 for WoodSongs reservations.

Sears department heads shown the exit

Chicago Sun-Times March 29, 2005 | Sandra Guy Four top Sears Roebuck and Co. executives were let go and a fifth will retire in the first wave of top-level job cuts after Kmart Corp.’s $12.3 billion takeover of Sears was approved last week.

The heads of Sears Roebuck’s human resources, public relations, information technology and customer direct (Sears’ catalog and online sales) will be replaced in the hierarchy of the new Sears Holdings Corp., according to an internal memo released Monday.

Two will be replaced by Kmart executives.

Bill Bass, who worked as both senior vice president of e-commerce at Lands’ End and as head of Sears’ online and catalog operations, will be replaced by Kmart’s Chris Shimojima, who becomes general manager of online and catalog sales for Sears Holdings.

Garry Kelly, who became Sears Roebuck’s chief information technology officer in October 2002, will be replaced by Kmart’s Karen Austin as CIO.

Two others will be replaced by their former employees at Sears Roebuck.

Bob O’Leary, who became head of public relations and government affairs in July 2003, will be replaced by Edgar “Ted” McDougal. here sears coupon code

Greg Lee, who left Whirlpool to become head of Sears’ human resources in December 2000, will be replaced by Bob Luse.

A fifth executive, William White III, executive vice president of store operations and a 34-year Sears veteran, will retire. White was general manager of Sears Roebuck’s specialty stores, including appliance and hardware stores and the Orchard Supply chain.

The duties of White and Jerry Post, who also is retiring and who led Sears’ move to build standalone stores away from malls, have been parceled out to others.

Catherine David, whom Sears named to lead its Great Indoors home- decor chain last July, will take over Sears’ two other stand-alone formats, Sears Essentials and Sears Grand.

Rob Lynch, who previously reported to White, will become general manager of the Orchard Supply hardware chain.

One key executive will report to a new boss. Luis Padilla, whom Sears hired from Marshall Field’s to fill the crucial role of merchandising guru, will now report to Aylwin Lewis, Kmart’s former CEO who is now president of Sears Holdings and CEO of Kmart and Sears Retail. web site sears coupon code

Padilla previously reported to Sears CEO Alan Lacy, who is now the CEO of Sears Holdings.

Separately, the Fitch debt-ratings agency on Monday downgraded to junk the new Sears Holdings Corp.’s $2.7 billion in domestic, unsecured debt.

The operations of Kmart Corp. and Sears Roebuck and Co. are the only assets supporting the debt; no physical assets back it up.

The two-notch downgrade was caused by several factors, including Sears’ and Kmart’s inability to stem falling sales, the tough competition they face from fast-growing rivals such as Target and Wal- Mart, and the risks that Kmart’s $12.3 billion takeover of Sears will be so distracting that it will worsen the two retailers’ store operations and customer service, said Fitch analyst Philip Zahn.

“It reflects there’s more risk inherent in the new Sears Holdings Corp. than was previously the case at Sears Roebuck and Co. [alone],” Zahn said.

Sears Holdings aims to convert 400 Kmart stores in the next three years to Sears Essentials, a new convenience format that will combine the top-selling brands of Sears Roebuck and Kmart.

Executives believe their strategy can increase sales by $200 million while cutting costs by $300 million.

Also Monday, Sears Holdings announced preliminary results showing that about 95 percent of Sears Roebuck shareholders chose to hold shares in the new company, which will remain headquartered in Hoffman Estates. The rest chose cash.

Sears retirees and shareholder dissidents who opposed Kmart’s takeover of the 119-year-old Sears Roebuck said last week that they wanted to keep some stock in the new company so they could continue to air their grievances at shareholder meetings.

Sandra Guy

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