Music News Digest: Week Of February 3, 2013

February 10, 2013 by Amy Gold

During the week of February 3, 2013, the world bade a sad farewell to four oldies music icons: The Troggs' lead singer Reg Presley, R&B singer-songwriter Cecil Womack, famed jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd, and trombonist and studio musician Paul Tanner who played the electro-theremin on the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations."

Also, Elton John, Mavis Staples, and others will honor the late Levon Helm of The Band at this year's Grammys, and Shirley Bassey will perform at this year's Oscars.

For all Paul McCartney fans, he will be taking questions and will pick the best one each month to answer on his website.

February 4, 2013: Paul McCartney To Answer Fan Questions On His Website

For all fans of Paul McCartney, he will be accepting questions on his website. Once a month, he will select the best one and post his answer. Fans can submit as many questions as they wish, and those whose questions are accepted will be notified by email.

Source: 'You Gave Me The Answer' - Submit Your Questions To Paul! - Paul McCartney Official Website

February 5, 2013: Beatles Record Player Sells For $12,000

A 1964 NEMS Beatles record player in near-mint condition recently sold for a record-breaking $12,000 on eBay. This limited edition collector's item is one of only 5,000 originally produced.

Source: Beatles Record Player Sells For $12,000

February 5, 2013: The Troggs Lead Singer Reg Presley Passes Away

The Troggs lead singer Reg Presley died on February 4, 2013 at age 71 at his home in Andover, England after battling lung cancer. He is famous for his gritty performance of "Wild Thing" which topped the charts in 1966 and is ranked at #257 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Born Reginald Maurice Ball, he co-founded the Troggs in 1964 and served as the band's frontman over the years. Presley is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.

Source: Troggs Singer Reg Presley Dead at 71 | Music News | Rolling Stone

February 5, 2013: Eric Burdon Discusses His Latest Album

Eric Burdon recently released "'Til Your River Runs Dry," his first album of new material since 2006. The 71-year-old singer discusses the making of this album in which he expresses through his music his views on various political and other issues. He is also writing a book, and he indicated that another album is in the works.

Source: Eric Burdon Speaks His Mind on New LP | Music News | Rolling Stone

February 6, 2013: Elton John And Others To Honor The Band's Levon Helm

Elton John, Mumford & Sons, Mavis Staples, T Bone Burnett, and others will be honoring Levon Helm, the late singer and drummer for The Band who passed away last year, at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards which will air live on CBS. They will be performing The Band's "The Weight."

Source: Levon Helm Grammy Tribute: Elton John, All-Star Cast Performing 'The Weight' - Spinner

February 6, 2013: Elton John To Record For Upcoming Queens Of The Stone Age Album

A new Queens Of The Stone Age album is in the works and Elton John will be one of this album's contributors. Queens of the Stone Age is a rock band from Palm Desert, CA formed in 1997 whose members include lead singer Josh Homme.

Source: STAR Magazine: Hottest Celeb website :: Breaking News :: Elton John joins star-studded Queens of the Stone Age album

February 7, 2013: R&B Singer Cecil Womack Passes Away

R&B singer, songwriter and producer Cecil Womack died on February 1, 2013 at age 65 in Africa. He is the younger brother of Bobby Womack, with whom he performed in the late 1950s (along with three other brothers) as the Womack Brothers. After being discovered by Sam Cooke, the Womack Brothers changed their name to the Valentinos and had hits in the early 1960s with "Lookin' for a Love" and "It's All Over Now" (which later also became a hit for the Rolling Stones). Womack's first wife was Motown singer Mary Wells, with whom he had three children. He later married Linda Cooke, the daughter of Sam Cooke, and they performed together over the years as Womack & Womack. The husband-wife duo recorded several albums and in 1988, one of their songs, "Teardrops," became a top hit in many countries although it did not chart in the US. After a trip to Nigeria in the 1990s, the Womacks discovered their ancestral ties to the Zekkariyas tribe and moved to Africa, where they had remained ever since.

Source: R&B singer Cecil Womack dies aged 65 - News - Music - The Independent

February 7, 2013: New David Bowie And Iggy Pop Biopic To Be Made

A biopic entitled "Lust For Life" about the artistic collaboration between David Bowie and Iggy Pop in the 1970s is in the works. During that period, Bowie and Iggy Pop released what many regard as being among their best albums. Bowie will also be releasing his 30th studio album, "The Next Day," this March.

Source: David Bowie and Iggy Pop Biopic to Focus on Berlin Years | Music News | Rolling Stone

February 7, 2013: Famed Jazz Trumpeter Donald Byrd Passes Away

Famed jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd died on February 4, 2013 at age 80 in in Delaware. Over his long and distinguished career, Byrd, who started out in bebop, played in a variety of genres that included not only jazz but also R&B, funk, soul, jazz fusion, and hip-hop. He began his career in high school playing with Lionel Hampton. After playing in a military band in the US Air Force and obtaining bachelors and masters degrees in music, he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and also played with John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, and other famous jazz musicians. In the 1970s, he formed the Blackbyrds and had a string of hits on both the R&B and pop charts that included "Black Byrd," "Walking In Rhythm," and "Happy Music." Over the years, Byrd received two more masters degrees, a doctorate, and a law degree, and he also taught at a number of universities. Byrd's survivors include nephew Alex Bugnon.

Source: Jazz Great Donald Byrd Dead, Nephew Says | Billboard

February 7, 2013: Kraftwerk Combines Art With Music In Sell-Out Shows

In 1974, Kraftwerk had a hit with the electronic music composition, "Autobahn," and after almost 40 years, this highly influential band still maintains a big following. The group recently performed a series of sold-out shows at London's Tate Modern gallery. Of the four musicians currently in Kraftwerk, only one of the original members, Ralf Hutter, is still with the group.

Source: Kraftwerk mixes art with music in sell-out shows | Reuters

February 7, 2013: David Bowie's 'Aladdin Sane' Album To Be Reissued On 40th Anniversary

In April, 1973, David Bowie's "Aladdin Sane" album was first released, and this album is slated to be reissued in a special remastered 40th anniversary edition on April 15, 2013. This reissue will be available on CD and at iTunes. "Aladdin Sane" was Bowie's 6th studio album and the follow-up to his breakthrough album, "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars."

Source: David Bowie's Aladdin Sane To Get 40th Anniversary Reissue

February 8, 2013: Olivia Newton-John To Cut Back On Touring To Devote To Cause

Olivia Newton-John announced that she will cut back on her touring to focus her efforts on a cancer facility she founded in her native Australia. A breast cancer survivor, she helped launch the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne.

Source: Olivia Newton-John | Olivia Newton-john Planning To Cut Back On Touring |

February 8, 2013: Paul Tanner Who Played In Beach Boys' 'Good Vibrations' Passes Away

Trombonist and studio musician Paul Tanner died on February 4, 2013 at age 95 in Carlsbad, CA. He is famous for playing the electro-theremin in the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations." Tanner's long career in music dates back to 1938 when he first began playing with the Glenn Miller Orchestra as a trombonist. He later worked as a studio musician in Hollywood and took up a variety of instruments that included the theremin. With inventor Bob Whitsell, he co-developed the electro-theremin, an electronic version of the theremin that is more playable. He played this new instrument for years in various movie soundtracks, TV shows, and commercials, and eventually hooked up with the Beach Boys. Tanner was also a composer and a professor at UCLA. He is survived by his wife, two stepsons, two stepgranddaughters, and two brothers.

Source: Paul Tanner, Musician With ‘Good Vibrations,’ Dies at 95 -

February 8, 2013: Shirley Bassey To Perform At The Oscars

Shirley Bassey will be singing at this year's Academy Awards ceremonies on February 24, 2013, making this her first performance at the Oscars. This year's ceremonies, which pay tribute to Agent 007, will also feature a performance by Adele of her Oscar-nominated theme from "Skyfall," the latest James Bond film.

Source: Shirley Bassey to Perform at the Oscars | Movies News | Rolling Stone

February 8, 2013: Mitch Ryder Survives Car Wreck

Mitch Ryder, famous for "Devil With A Blue Dress" and other hits, got hit by a pickup truck on his way back from giving a show at Callahan's Music Hall in Auburn Hills, MI. Ryder, his wife, and fellow passenger all survived the collision and nobody was seriously injured. The driver of the pickup truck failed sobriety tests.

Source: Mitch Ryder Survives Car Wreck Near Detroit

February 9, 2013: New CD Release: As Time Goes By: Great American Songbook Classics - Tony Bennett

This 12-track CD includes Tony Bennett's rendition of "Blue Moon," "As Time Goes By," "The Lady Is A Tramp," and other traditional pop favorites, plus a Cole Porter medley.

For more information and to purchase this CD, go to

February 9, 2013: New CD Release: Classical Barbra [Original Recording Remastered] - Barbra Streisand

This 12-track CD is a remastering of Streisand's original 1976 10-song album (plus two previously unreleased songs) in which she performs lieder by Franz Schubert, Carl Orff, Gabriel Faure, Hugo Wolf, George Frideric Handel, and other composers. "Classical Barbra" reached #46 on the Billboard 200 album charts in 1976 and became gold certified in the US.

For more information and to purchase this CD, go to