Music News Digest: Week Of April 7, 2013

April 14, 2013 by Amy Gold

During the week of April 7, 2013, the world bade a sad farewell to singer, actress, ex-Mouseketeer, and beloved cultural icon Annette Funicello. She was a warm and familiar presence for many of us Baby Boomers growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, and her passing represents the end of an era.

Fans also mourned the passing of famed recording engineer Andy Johns. During his long career, he produced many classic rock albums and worked with such luminaries as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and the Rolling Stones.

Also this week, the Rolling Stones announced their 2013 tour kick-off date, Kenny Rogers and Bobby Bare are among the latest inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame, a new Gregg Allman biopic is in the works, and a concert at the White House featuring Sam Moore (of Sam and Dave), Mavis Staples, William Bell, and other Memphis soul musicians will air on PBS on April 16, 2013.

April 8, 2013: Beloved Cultural Icon Annette Funicello Passes Away

Annette Funicello died on April 8, 2013 at age 70 in Bakersfield, CA from complications of multiple sclerosis, a disease she had been battling for over 20 years. Funicello launched her career as a child by becoming a Mouseketeer on Disney's "Mickey Mouse Club." She also starred in several Disney productions that included "Adventure in Dairyland, Walt Disney Presents: Annette" and two "Spin and Marty" serials. From the late 1950s-early 1960s, she recorded many albums and singles and had a long string of chart hits, five of which made the Billboard Top 40: "Tall Paul," "First Name Initial," "O Dio Mio," "Train Of Love," and "Pineapple Princess." She also co-starred with Frankie Avalon in a series of beach movies from the early-mid 1960s beginning with "Beach Party" in 1963. She reunited with Avalon in 1987 for the beach movie spoof, "Back to the Beach," and the two toured the US as a singing duo. In 1992, Funicello was inducted as a Disney Legend, and she announced that same year that she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis after several years of keeping her disease a secret. Shortly thereafter, she founded the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases. A biopic starring Eva La Rue in the title role, "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Story," aired on TV in 1995, and Funicello made a cameo appearance in the final scene. Her survivors include three children from her first marriage and three grandchildren.

Source: Beloved Disney Mouseketeer and Iconic Teen Star Annette Funicello Dies at Age 70 | Official Disney Blog

April 9, 2013: Ex-Jefferson Airplane Guitarist Jorma Kaukonen Opens Museum

Another roadside attraction will be opening up this June. Dubbed the 'Psylodelic Museum,' this monument will be housed in a ranch in southeast owned by Jorma Kaukonen, former Jefferson Airplane guitarist. It will exhibit mostly Haight-Ashbury memorabilia and other 1960s artifacts donated by Kaukonen and other musicians from the San Francisco area.

Source: 'Psylodelic' Museum Unearths Hippie Artifacts From Woodstock Era | Music News | Rolling Stone

April 9, 2013: Rolling Stones Announce Tour Kick-Off Date

The Rolling Stones announced that they will be kicking off their "50 And Counting" tour at the Staples Centerin in Los Angeles on May 2, 2013. This first leg of their tour will consist of nine shows in nine US cities. Tickets for these shows are currently on sale.

Source: Rolling Stones Set Date for Los Angeles Tour Kickoff | Music News | Rolling Stone

April 10, 2013: Recording Engineer Andy Johns Passes Away

British recording engineer and record producer Andy Johns died on April 7, 2013 at age 61 in Los Angeles after being hospitalized for complications from a stomach ulcer. Born in Surrey, England, he began his career at Olympic Studios in London where he helped produce albums by Jimi Hendrix and others. His career spanned over four decades, and his many credits include albums by the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Free, Jimi Hendrix, Blind Faith, Ten Years After, Jethro Tull, Humble Pie, Van Halen, and many other classic rock luminaries. Johns is survived by his wife Annette, three sons, four grandchildren, a sister, and a brother.

Source: LOS ANGELES: Led Zeppelin, Van Halen producer Andy Johns dies - People Wires -

April 10, 2013: White House Pays Tribute To Memphis Soul Artists

Various Memphis soul musicians, both past and present, were honored by the Obamas at a concert that took place on April 9, 2013 at the White House. Guest artists included Sam Moore (of Sam and Dave), Mavis Staples, and William Bell, with Queen Latifah serving as host. Al Green was also slated to perform but had to cancel due to a back injury. This event, which is a part of the series, "In Performance at the White House," will be televised on PBS on April 16.

Source: Memphis Soul Tribute at the White House | Music News | Rolling Stone

April 10, 2013: Gregg Allman Biopic In The Works

A new biopic about famed rocker Gregg Allman will be made by Randall Miller and Jody Savin. This upcoming film will be based on Allman's recent autobiography, "My Cross to Bear," and will feature both original music by the Allman Brothers and songs performed by the actors and musicians in the cast.

Source: Gregg Allman Music Biopic in the Works From 'CBGB' Filmmakers

April 10, 2013: Kenny Rogers, Bobby Bare, And Others To Be Inducted Into The Country Music Hall Of Fame

Kenny Rogers, Bobby Bare, and Cowboy Jack Clement are among the most recent inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Formal induction ceremonies will take place sometime later this year.

Source: Kenny Rogers, others joining Country Music Hall of Fame

April 13, 2013: New DVD Release: Through The Looking Glass - Stevie Nicks

"Through The Looking Glass" is a documentary about singer, songwriter, and longtime Fleetwood Mac member Stevie Nicks. It includes rare footage, interviews, and other archival materials.

For more information and to purchase this DVD, go to

April 13, 2013: Duets - Paul Anka

This album is comprised of duets by famed singer-songwriter Paul Anka who performs with a host of other big name artists, both past and present, including Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, Dolly Parton, Patti LaBelle, Michael Jackson, Leon Russell, Willie Nelson, Peter Cetera, Celine Dion, Chris Botti, and Michael Buble.

For more information and to purchase this CD, go to

April 13, 2013: New CD Release: State - Todd Rundgren

"State" is the latest studio album by the innovative Todd Rundgren, a longtime singer, songwriter, and producer with hits from the 1960s and 1970s who is also a computer programmer. Highlights of this self-produced art rock album include the opening track, "Imagination," an ethereal eight minute long composition that makes use of various electronic effects.

For more information and to purchase this CD, go to

April 13, 2013: New CD Release: Vol. 2 Live - Butterfield Blues Band

The Butterfield Blues Band was a highly acclaimed blues rock group that was one of a number of featured acts at the historic Monterey and Woodstock festivals. This album is a CD remastering of a live concert from ca. 1969-1971 by this band at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Originally issued on vinyl in 1971, this CD includes an additional eight songs that were missed the first time around.

For more information and to purchase this CD, go to