August 3, 2014 by Amy Gold
During the week of July 27, 2014, Linda Ronstadt was among those honored with the prestigious National Medal of Arts award which was presented by President Obama at the White House.
Also that week, fans mourned the passing of acclaimed guitarist and songwriter Dick Wagner best known for his work with Alice Cooper.
Heart announced a series of new U.S. show dates for this fall. Carlos Santana will also be adding some new fall show dates in support of his latest album, "Corazon," which recently became double-platinum certified. Also, the Eagles will be giving a benefit concert in Boston this September, with Robert Redford as the guest of honor, to raise money for the Walden Woods Project.
A new version of Aerosmith's classic power ballad, "Dream On," which was recorded last April with the Southern California Children's Chorus to commemorate the victims of last year's Boston Marathon bombings, is now available on iTunes. An album of some of Robin Gibb's final recordings made a few years before his passing in 2012 is scheduled for release this September. Also, a new Darlene Love album is currently being made by Steven Van Zandt and is expected to be out sometime in late 2014-early 2015.
Also that week, Kansas announced that the band will soon be adding a new keyboardist, David Manion, to its lineup. A new David Bowie documentary, "David Bowie Is," will be coming this September to 100 theaters nationwide (see preview below). Also this September, Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard will be among those to be receiving awards from the Academy of Country Music.
Finally, Dionne Warwick was named the "global ambassador of goodwill" for San Jose, CA, the city she made famous in her 1968 smash hit, "Do You Know The Way To San Jose."
(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)
July 28, 2014: Linda Ronstadt Receives National Medal of Arts Award
On July 28, 2014, Linda Ronstadt was among those honored with the prestigious 2013 National Medal of Arts award which was presented by President Obama at a ceremony that took place at the White House. While making the award presentations, the President also confessed a childhood crush on the famed pop-rock singer. Created by Congress in 1984, the National Medal of Arts is a lifetime achievement award of the highest honor given to artists, musicians, patrons of the arts, critics, and scholars.
July 29, 2014: New Darlene Love Album In The Works
A new Darlene Love album is currently being made by famed guitarist Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band. This album, which is expected to be completed by sometime in late 2014-early 2015, will include contributions from Elvis Costello and Bruce Springsteen.
July 29, 2014: Keyboardist David Manion Joins Kansas
Kansas announced that the band will be adding a new keyboardist, David Manion, to its lineup. Manion is a founding member of Seventh Key, a rock band whose co-founders also include Kansas bassist Billy Greer.
July 29, 2014: Heart Adds Show Dates
Heart announced that the band will be adding a series of new show dates for this fall. These shows, which will take place in various cities in Arizona, California, Florida, Kansas, Oregon, Texas, and Washington state, begin on September 16, 2014 in Saratoga, CA and end on November 11 in Clearwater, FL.
July 30, 2014: Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard To Received ACM Honors
Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard are among those who will be honored by the Academy of Country Music. The award ceremonies will take place on September 9, 2014 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Kristofferson and Haggard will be receiving the Poet's Award and the Crystal Milestone Award, respectively.
July 30, 2014: Album Of Robin Gibb's Final Recordings To Be Released
An album of some of Robin Gibb's final recordings, most made a few years before his passing in May, 2012, is slated to be released on September 30, 2014. Highlights from this 17-track album, titled "50 St. Catherine's Drive," include a new performance of "I Am The World," the B-side of the Bee Gees' 1966 hit, "Spicks and Specks."
July 30, 2014: Alice Cooper Bandmate Dick Wagner Passes Away
Guitarist and songwriter Dick Wagner died on July 30, 2014 in Scottsdale, AZ of respiratory failure at age 71 after undergoing a cardiac procedure earlier in July. A highly acclaimed musician who played with many top rock bands and artists throughout his long career, he is best known for his work with Alice Cooper as both lead guitarist and principle co-songwriter.
He was born Richard Allen Wagner in Oelwein, IA, and grew up in the Saginaw, MI area. During the 1960s, he formed two bands, first the Bossmen and then The Frost, both of which had amassed a large local following. In 1972, he moved to New York and formed Ursa Major, a short-lived group whose members had at one time included Billy Joel. In 1973, Wagner was recruited along with Steve Hunter to join Lou Reed's band, and both guitarists were major contributors to such albums as "Berlin" and "Rock 'n' Roll Animal."
In 1974, Wagner officially joined Alice Cooper's band and became his lead guitarist and main co-songwriter. He had also played on several earlier Alice Cooper albums, including "School's Out," "Billion Dollar Babies," and "Muscle Of Love." In 1975, Wagner and Cooper co-wrote their first concept album, "Welcome To My Nightmare," which was followed by many more albums plus a long string of hit songs that included "Only Women Bleed," "You And Me," "How You Gonna See Me Now," and "I Never Cry."
Over his long career, Wagner had also played for KISS, Rod Stewart, Aerosmith, and many other big name bands and artists. He published a memoir in 2012 titled "Not Only Women Bleed: Vignettes From the Heart of a Rock Musician."
July 30, 2014: Santana Album Double-Platinum Certified
Santana's latest album, "Corazon," which was released last May, was recently certified U.S. Latin double-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The guitar legend, who is currently on tour with Rod Stewart, has added some new fall show dates in North America in support of this album that begin on September 25, 2014 in Albuquerque, NM.
July 30, 2014: Eagles To Honor Robert Redford At Boston Benefit Concert
On September 16, 2014, the Eagles will be giving a benefit concert to raise money for the Walden Woods Project. This event will take place at the Citi Performing Arts Center/Wang Theatre in Boston, MA, and the guest of honor will be Robert Redford. The Walden Woods Project was founded in 1990 by Don Henley for the protection of the Walden Pond area in Concord, MA. Tickets go on sale starting August 4.
July 31, 2014: New Version Of 'Dream On' Available On iTunes
A new version of Aerosmith's classic 1973 hit, "Dream On," was recorded last April with the Southern California Children's Chorus to commemorate the victims of last year's Boston Marathon bombings. This new version, titled "Dream On (Boston Strong 2014)," debuted on April 15, 2014, on the ESPN special, "E:60 Presents Dream On: Stories from Boston's Strongest." "Dream On (Boston Strong 2014)" is now available as a single on iTunes.
August 1, 2014: Dionne Warwick Named Ambassador Of Goodwill For San Jose, CA
It was announced that Dionne Warwick will be named the "global ambassador of goodwill" for San Jose, CA, the city she made famous in her 1968 smash hit, "Do You Know The Way To San Jose." Warwick is scheduled to perform that song and others on August 1, 2014 at San Jose's Center for the Performing Arts. She is also scheduled to perform that song as part of a Sister Cities International conference.
August 1, 2014: David Bowie Documentary Coming To Theaters
On September 23, 2914, a new David Bowie documentary will be coming to 100 theaters nationwide. Titled "David Bowie Is," this film is about Bowie's touring exhibition which made its premiere last year in London. This exhibition, which consists of assorted David Bowie memorabilia such as photos, costumes, handwritten lyrics, and diary entries, is scheduled to open the same day as the movie premiere at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art.