Music News Digest: Week Of October 28, 2012

November 12, 2012 by Amy Gold

During the week of October 28, 2012, Paul McCartney made a statement that Yoko Ono was not to blame for the Beatles' breakup. Also, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and many others gave a benefit concert for victims of Hurricane Sandy which aired on NBC on November 2, 2012.

Also this week, Tony Bennett announced his plans for a new album, the Rolling Stones arranged with UK-based Sky Box Office to have one of their reunion concerts broadcast live for those who would not be able to attend, and Bob Morritt published a book, "Rockin' In The Desert," about the early Arizona musical scene and those bands and artists from that area who became famous.

This was also the week of Halloween 2012 (mwa ha ha ha ha ...!), and Steve Greenberg of Billboard Magazine paid tribute to the 50th anniversary of "Monster Mash" in an article that goes into the history of this song and how it got to be so popular.

On a sad note, songwriter Bill Dees, surf rock guitarist Eddie Bertrand, and jazz singer-guitarist Terry Callier all passed away during the last week of October, 2012. Although these fine musicians are no longer with us, their music will continue to live on.

October 29, 2012: Tony Bennett Makes Plans To Record New Jazz Album With Lady Gaga

Tony Bennett announced his plans to record a jazz album with Lady Gaga. This upcoming collaboration with the pop superstar is to be Bennett's next album after "Viva Duets," which was just released last month. Bennet has many projects in the works that include a book slated to be published this month, "Life Is a Gift: The Zen of Bennett," plus a movie based on this book which will also soon be released. He also has several U.S. shows scheduled through the end of this year.

Source: Lady Gaga Jazz Album Will 'Reaffirm She's One of the Best,' Says Tony Bennett | Billboard

October 29, 2012: Paul McCartney Says Yoko Ono Did Not Break Up the Beatles

Since the Beatles called it quits in 1970, some people have blamed this band's breakup on Yoko Ono, among many factors. Paul McCartney made a statement putting that rumor to rest once and for all. He stated, "I don't think you can blame her for anything." McCartney also gave credit to Ono for being a positive artistic influence on Lennon, leading him to write "Imagine" and other songs.

Source: Paul McCartney: Yoko Ono Didn't Break Up the Beatles | Music News | Rolling Stone

October 29, 2012: Rolling Stones To Broadcast One Of Their Reunion Shows On Sky Box Office

Here is some good news for Rolling Stones fans with Sky or Virgin subscriptions who will not be able to attend any of their upcoming live shows. On December 16, the Stones will be broadcasting one of their New Jersey reunion gigs live on Sky Box Office. Sky Box Office is a for-pay network based in the U.K. Sky customers can also watch this event on demand via the Sky Store.

Source: Rolling Stones To Broadcast Reunion Gig On Sky Box Office

October 29, 2012: Jazz-Folk Singer Terry Callier Passes Away

Jazz singer and guitarist Terry Callier died on October 28, 2012 at his home in Chicago at age 67. In 1979, Callier had a minor hit on the R&B charts with "Sign Of The Times," but he is best remembered for several critically-acclaimed jazz-folk albums he released in the 1970s, plus later albums from the late 1990s-2000s recorded after his career revival. Growing up in Chicago, he was friends with Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler, and he toured with George Benson and Gil Scott-Heron.

Source: Jazz-Folk Singer Terry Callier Dead at 67 | Music News | Rolling Stone

October 31, 2012: Steve Greenberg Of Billboard Magazine Discusses The History Of 'Monster Mash'

"Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett' and the Crypt-Kickers has long been a Halloween fixture since it first topped the charts in 1962. On this song's 50th anniversary, Steve Greenberg discusses the history of "Monster Mash" and how it achieved its enduring popularity.

Source: 50 Years of 'Monster Mash': The Story Behind the Halloween Hit - Chart Beat | Billboard

November 1, 2012: Bill Dees, Cowriter Of 'Oh, Pretty Woman,' Passes Away

Famed songwriter Bill Dees died on October 24, 2012 at his home in Mountain Home, AR, at age 73. Dees co-wrote with Roy Orbison the classic 1964 hit, "Oh, Pretty Woman." He penned many other songs with Orbison and also wrote songs for Loretta Lynn, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, and other top performing artists.

Source: Songwriter Bill Dees,Oh, Pretty Woman co-writer, dead at 73 | Reuters

November 1, 2012: George Jones Cancels Minnesota Concert

Legendary country singer George Jones was scheduled to give a show at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, MN, but he fell ill and had to cancel. There are no plans to reschedule this show and everyone who bought tickets will receive refunds.

Source: George Jones Cancels Minnesota Concert | Music News | Rolling Stone

November 1, 2012: Robert Plant Records New Songs With Buddy Miller

Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant and Band of Joy members, Buddy Miller and Marco Giovino, got together for an impromtu recording session and ended up making about an album's worth of material. It is too soon to tell, however, whether or not these songs will ever be released.

Source: Robert Plant Records 'Rockin'' New Material With Buddy Miller | Music News | Rolling Stone

November 2, 2012: Surf Guitarist Eddie Bertrand Passes Away

Surf guitarist Eddie Bertrand died on October 27, 2012 at age 67 after battling cancer. Bertrand was a key figure in the early days of instrumental surf rock. He started out with the Bel-Airs who became famous for their 1961 regional hit, "Mr. Moto," a song that influenced other surf rock bands and artists in Southern California. Years later, "Mr. Moto" was used in the song "Seed" by the surf-punk band Sublime. In 1964, Bertrand founded Eddie and the Showmen who had regional hits with "Mr. Rebel" and "Squad Car." They performed alongside such famous acts as Duane Eddy, Sonny and Cher, Jackie DeShannon, and the Righteous Brothers.

Source: Influential surf guitarist Eddie Bertrand of the Bel-Airs dies -

November 2, 2012: Springsteen, Blige, Sting, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, And Many Others Perform At Hurricane Sandy Benefit Concert

Many big names in the music business got together and gave a concert to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy. This concert and telethon was hosted by NBC and aired on November 2, 2012. Highlights included Sting's "Message in a Bottle," Mary J. Blige's "Living Proof," and Bruce Springsteen's "The Land of Hope and Dreams."

Source: Sandy benefit concert: Springsteen, Blige, Sting close out -

November 3, 2012: New Book Release: Rockin' In The Desert - Bob Morritt

In "Rockin' In The Desert," Bob Morritt gives a history of the local music scene in Arizona and how it spawned such internationally famous performing artists as Duane Eddy, Lee Hazlewood, and Sanford Clark. Before the mid 1950s, Arizona did not have easy access to national record distribution channels, but once Floyd Ramsey and, later, Lee Hazlewood set up recording studios in the Phoenix area, things really started to rock.

For more information and to purchase this book, go to

November 3, 2012: New CD Release: Grown Folks - Bar-Kays

In 1967, the Bar-Kays debuted on both the R&B and Pop/Rock charts with the instrumental song, "Soul Finger," and their long string of hits continued to well into the 1990s. This album by the veteran R&B-funk band features the album's title song, "Grown Folks," and other material recorded during the 1980s.

For more information and to purchase this CD, go to

November 3, 2012: New CD Release: Theatre of Death - Alice Cooper

Theatre of Death was a concert tour that Alice Cooper began on July 31, 2009, which covered three continents. This CD/DVD set includes many of his hits plus footage from his live performances during this tour.

For more information and to purchase this CD, go to

November 3, 2012: New CD Release: The Velvet Underground & Nico 45th Anniversary - The Velvet Underground

This 6-CD set is a re-issue of the Velvet Underground's 1967 debut album, "The Velvet Underground & Nico," often cited as a major influence by new generations of rock bands and artists. Besides all the tracks from the original album in both mono and stereo, this box set also includes Nico's album, "Chelsea Girl," and a live concert of the Velvet Underground at the Valleydale Ballroom in Columbus, OH, from November 4, 1966.

For more information and to purchase this CD, go to

November 3, 2012: New CD Release: Merry Christmas, Baby - Rod Stewart

This highly-rated and popular CD is Rod Stewart's first Christmas album. "Merry Christmas, Baby," which starts off with "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," includes his unique renditions of many familiar Christmas favorites, some performed as duets with Mary J. Blige, Michael Buble, and others.

For more information and to purchase this CD, go to

November 3, 2012: New CD Release: James Taylor At Christmas - James Taylor

This high ranking and very popular album has some very nice pop and jazz renditions by James Taylor of many of those old holiday chestnuts we know and love, plus a few lesser-performed songs that include "Some Children See Him." and "In the Bleak Midwinter."

For more information and to purchase this CD, go to

November 3, 2012: New CD Release: Psychedelic Pill - Neil Young with Crazy Horse

This extremely popular 2-CD set is Neil Young's first and long-awaited original material in over a decade. Highlights include "Driftin' Back," "Walk Like A Giant," "Ramada Inn," and "Born in Ontario."

For more information and to purchase this DVD/Blu-ray, go to