Hugh Anthony Cregg III, also known as Huey Lewis, is 73 today! Huey Lewis and the News brought us so many favorite songs, from “The Power of Love” to “Hip to be Square.”
These days, Lewis keeps a relatively low profile after revealing in 2018 that he has Meniere’s disease, which affects his ability to hear. He told Rolling Stone magazine in 2020 that he can still hear speech and have conversations with the help of hearing aids. But when it comes to music and singing, “music is much harder to listen to than speech because even one note occurs in all frequencies with harmonics and overtones and undertones,” he said. “I call it distortion. When I hear a bass part that goes ‘bump, bump, bump,’ I just hear [imitates the sound of loud, crunchy static]. I fight for pitch and I can’t find it. If I can’t find pitch, I can’t sing. It’s horrible.”
He said on his good days, he does sing into his computer just to keep his voice up. And, he’s not giving up hope that one day he’ll heal and be able to perform again. “The inner ear is one of the things that medical science knows the least about,” he said. “It’s cased in bone and there’s no surgery. But I’m taking stem-cell stuff and trying everything. With my hearing always fluctuating, my body is doing something itself. What I have to do is stay healthy, exercise, and hope my body will slowly take care of itself.”
We sure hope to see him back on stage someday! In the meantime, here’s 5 things you may not have known about Hugh Anthony Cregg III!
- He lives in Montana and spends time with his two kids, daughter Kelly and son Austin. He also loves to go golfing, horseback riding, and fly fishing!
- He was asked to write music for the movie “Ghostbusters” but turned it down. A fan asked him why and he replied: “It was all about timing. The Ghostbuster song was proposed right in the middle of our Sports album’s long run. We were busy on the road, and they wanted the song to be called “Ghostbusters” which I wasn’t fond of. BTTF wanted any original song with no parameters, and the timing was perfect for us. It was between albums, and bought us some time to write.”
- Lewis has also dabbled in acting, appearing in a cameo in “Back to the Future” and later in the film “Duets.” He said his favorite acting moments ended up getting cut! “Unfortunately, my favorite acting moments ended up on the cutting floor. Gwenyth Paltrow and I had 4 or 5 scenes cut from the film “Duets” because it was too long, and 2 of them were my favorite.”
- Lewis came up with the name “the News” very quickly and out of necessity. “We were calling ourselves Huey Lewis and American Express, and just before the release of our first album, the record label got worried we’d be sued over the name. We had literally 24 hours to come up with a name, and The News was as good as we could do,” he said.
- Huey Lewis and the News inspired a new musical, “The Heart of Rock & Roll.” It’s the story of a struggling rock singer who gives up on his dreams of stardom to work in a cardboard-box factory. His group eventually gets an offer to open up for a big band, and there’s a little love story thrown in. Every song is by Huey Lewis and the News and he’s trying to bring it to Broadway!
There you have it, 5 things you may not have known about Huey Lewis! Be sure to listen to Throwback Nation Radio today for Huey Lewis songs every hour!