Music News Digest: Week Of May 13, 2012

May 20, 2012 by Amy Gold

On May 17, 2012, superstar Donna Summer, the "Queen of Disco," died unexpectedly at 63. We also mourn the passing of Mort Lindsey, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Chuck Brown, and Doug Dillard this past week.

May 11, 2012: Mort Lindsey Passes Away

Composer and jazz pianist Mort Lindsey has passed away at 89. Lindsey was a music director for Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand and led Merv Griffin’s TV orchestra.

Source: Mort Lindsey, TV Bandleader and Accompanist to Stars, Dies at 89

May 13, 2012: Donald "Duck" Dunn Passes Away

Famed bass player and songwriter Donald "Duck" Dunn, who was a member of Booker T. and the MGs and the Blues Brothers band, died in Tokyo at 70 while on tour.

Source: Donald 'Duck' Dunn, 1941 - 2012 - News - Mojo

May 15, 2012: New CD Release: Heroes - Willie Nelson

This album, which was released on Willie Nelson's 79th birthday, includes 13 new songs by the famed country singer-songwriter. Many of these songs are performed with one or more guest artists that include Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, Jamey Johnston, Billy Joe Shaver, Sheryl Crow, and sons Lucas and Micah Nelson.

For more information and to purchase this CD, go to

May 15, 2012: New CD Release: Shape Shifter - Santana

This album includes 13 viruoso guitar instrumental songs from the late 1990s to the present, most of which are original compositions by Carlos Santana.

For more information and to purchase this CD, go to

May 16, 2012: Chuck Brown Passes Away

Chuck Brown, who created "go-go" music from a mixture of funk, soul and Latin party sounds, has passed away at 75. He had a hit in 1978 with "Bustin' Loose."

Source: Chuck Brown dies: King of D.C. go-go music, influential sample source -

May 16, 2012: Musical With Beach Boys Songs To Open In Las Vegas

Some of The Beach Boys' classic 1960s hits will be part of the soundtrack for the musical, "Surf The Musical," which will open this June at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.

Source: Beach Boys-inspired musical to open in Las Vegas - Yahoo! News

May 17, 2012: Queen Of Disco Donna Summer Passes Away

Famed disco diva Donna Summer died suddenly and unexpectedly at 63 following a long battle with lung cancer. (more)

May 17, 2012: Burt Bacharach And Hal David Awarded The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

Famed songwriting duo Burt Bacharach and Hal David are to be awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The ceremony is to take place at the White House and will be televised on PBS on May 21.

Source: In Performance at the White House | PBS

May 17, 2012: Famed Banjo Player Doug Dillard Passes Away

Famed banjo player Doug Dillard passed away at 75 after a lengthy illness. With his brother Rodneym they formed the Dillards musical duo and occassionally performed on "The Andy Griffith Show" as part of "the Darlings" musical mountain family. He was also one half of Dillard & Clark.

Source: Doug Dillard, Banjo Great Who Crossed Genres, Dies at 75 |

May 18, 2012: Chaka Khan To Perform A Tribute To Whitney Houston At The Apollo

Grammy award-winning singer Chaka Khan will perform at the Apollo Theater's gala and awards ceremony a tribute to her friend, the late Whitney Houston. Lionel Richie and Etta James will be inducted at the ceremonies which will take place June 4.

Source: Apollo tribute to Whitney Houston will star Chaka Khan -

May 18, 2012: Van Halen Postpones Summer Tour Dates

Van Halen decided to cancel the final 30 dates of their North American summer tour because they are pooped and need to recharge their batteries.

Source: Source: Van Halen's Scrapped Tour Dates Due To 'Fatigue,' Not In-Fighting |

May 19, 2012: Ben Sandmel Publishes The Story Of Ernie K-Doe

Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans is a detailed account of the famed singer's life in music, his chart-topping 1961 hit, "Mother In-Law," and the R&B scene of the 1960s in New Orleans of which he was a large part.

For more information and to purchase this book, go to