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July 21, 2014 by Amy Gold

During the week of July 13, 2014, fans mourned the passing of legendary blues guitarist Johnny Winter known for his virtuosic, fiery blues-rock playing style who became famous in the late 1960s-early 1970s.

Also that week, it was announced that Ron Howard will be directing and producing a new documentary about the Beatles focused mainly on the band's earlier years, ca. 1960-1966. This upcoming film is expected to be released sometime later next year.

Later this month, Rod Stewart will be performing at the opening ceremonies of this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, the third largest multi-sporting event in the world. Ted Nugent will be launching a U.S. tour this August in support of his latest album, "ShutUp&Jam!." This September, Jackson Browne will be launching a tour in the U.S. and the U.K. in support of his upcoming album, "Standing In The Breach," which is due out this October. Neil Young announced new shows in Boston and Philadelphia for this October. Also, KISS will begin a nearly one month-long residency this November in Las Vegas, NV at the Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Paul McCartney recently re-released "McCartney," "McCartney II." "Wings Over America," "Band on the Run," and "RAM" as apps for the iPad. Also, plans are currently underway to release some early recordings made by Jimi Hendrix in 1965-1967 when he served as a backup guitarist for Curtis Knight and the Squires.

Finally, Kansas announced that Ronnie Platt will be joining the band as its new lead singer. He will perform his first concert with Kansas this September in Oklahoma City, OK.

(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)

COMING SOON: "Get On Up," the long-awaited James Brown biopic, premieres in theaters August 1, 2014.

July 14, 2014: KISS To Begin Las Vegas Residency

KISS will soon begin a residency in Las Vegas, NV. The band is set to play nine shows at the Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino starting November 5, 2014.

Source: KISS Announce Las Vegas Residency

July 14, 2014: Rod Stewart To Perform At Commonwealth Games

On July 23, 2014, Rod Stewart is slated to perform at the opening ceremonies of this year's Commonwealth Games, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland. This event, which will be televised, is held once every four years and is the largest multi-sporting event in the world next to the Olympics and the Asian Games.

Source: Rod Stewart to Perform at Commonwealth Games This Month

July 16, 2014: Ron Howard To Direct New Beatles Documentary

It was announced that Ron Howard, a longtime Beatles fan, will soon be directing and producing a new documentary about the Fab Four focused mainly on the band's earlier years, ca. 1960-1966. Scheduled for a tentative late 2015 release, this upcoming film will feature interviews with Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Olivia Harrison, and Yoko Ono.

Source: Ron Howard to Direct New Beatles Doc Focusing on Band's Early Years

July 16, 2014: Neil Young Adds Boston And Philadelphia Solo Shows

Neil Young, who is currently on tour in Europe with Crazy Horse, announced the addition of four new solo shows to his fall itinerary. Two shows will take place in Boston on October 5 and 6, 2014, and the other two will take place in Philadelphia on October 8 and 9.

Source: Neil Young Schedules October Concerts in Boston and Philadelphia

July 16, 2014: Paul McCartney Re-Releases Albums As iPad Apps

Paul McCartney has recently re-released five of his classic albums as apps for the iPad which are available at Apple's App Store. "McCartney," "McCartney II." "Wings Over America," "Band on the Run," and "RAM" have been enhanced with various features such as remastered audio, interviews, documentaries, rehearsal videos, and photos.

Source: Paul McCartney re-releases five of his classic albums as iPad apps | Technology |

July 16, 2014: Jackson Browne To Release New Album And Launch Tour

On October 7, 2014, Jackson Browne will be releasing a new album titled "Standing In The Breach." In support of this album, he will also be launching a tour in the U.S. and the U.K. which starts September 14 in Washington, D.C. and ends on November 24 in London.

Source: Jackson Browne Announces New Album And Fall Tour

July 16, 2014: Ronnie Platt Joins Kansas As New Lead Singer

Kansas announced that Ronnie Platt will be joining the band as its new lead singer following the resignation of Steve Walsh. Platt will perform his first concert with Kansas on September 12, 2014 in Oklahoma City, OK. Walsh will continue performing with the band through August 16 where his final show will take place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City, IA.

Source: Kansas Welcomes Ronnie Platt as Its New Lead Singer

July 17, 2014: Legendary Blues Guitarist Johnny Winter Passes Away

Guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and producer Johnny Winter, who had been on tour in Europe, died on July 16, 2014 at age 70 in Zurich, Switzerland. Known for his virtuosic, fiery blues-rock guitar playing style, he became famous in the late 1960s-early 1970s, and he ranks at #63 in Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

He was born John Dawson Winter III in Beaumont, TX and, along with his younger brother Edgar, got an early start in music. At 15, he released his first record with his band, Johnny and the Jammers, and in 1967, he recorded with Roy Head and the Traits. He released his first album in 1968, "The Progressive Blues Experiment," and appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine that same year. In 1969, he signed a $600,000 contract with Columbia, then reportedly the largest advance in the history of the recording industry.

Over his long career, Winter toured and performed extensively, and he recorded some 20 studio albums. His final album, "Step Back," is set to be released on September 2, 2014. He was also a producer whose credits include three Grammy Award-winning albums for his longtime idol and main artistic influence, blues legend Muddy Waters.

Johnny Winter's many honors include being inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1988. His survivors include his wife, Susan, and his brother, Edgar.

Source: Johnny Winter, Texas Blues Guitar Icon, Dead at 70

July 17, 2014: Plans To Release Jimi Hendrix's Early Recordings Underway

Before Jimi Hendrix rose to fame as one of guitar's all-time greats, he had played for such top R&B acts as Curtis Knight, Little Richard, and the Isley Brothers. Some 88 masters from 1965-1967 made with Curtis Knight and the Squires have been preserved, and plans are underway to release new editions of these recordings over the next three years.

Source: Jimi Hendrix's Early Recordings as a Sideman to Get Proper Release

July 18, 2014: Ted Nugent Releases New Album And Launches Tour

Ted Nugent just released a new album of blues-based hard rock titled "ShutUp&Jam!." Featured tracks include a duet with Sammy Hagar. Nugent is also launching a summer U.S. tour in support of this album which kicks off on August 17, 2014 concert in Midland, TX.

Source: Ted Nugent Says All His "Music Dreams Came True" with New Album, "ShutUp&Jam!"