October 26, 2014 by Amy Gold
During the week of October 19, 2014, oldies fans bade a final farewell to three music icons: Paul Craft, Raphael Ravenscroft, and Jack Bruce. Craft was a songwriter whose many works included Bobby Bare's 1976 hit, "Dropkick Me, Jesus." Ravenscroft played the famous saxophone solo in Gerry Rafferty's 1978 hit, "Baker Street" (see video below). Bruce was the bassist for the legendary 1960s supergroup, Cream, and he also provided the lead vocals for many of this band's biggest hits.
Also that week, it was announced that John Fogerty and Willie Nelson are among those who will be performing at the White House as part of a tribute to members of the U.S. armed forces. Titled "A Salute To Our Troops," this show will air on November 7, 2014 at 9:00 PM EST on PBS.
This Halloween, Hall & Oates will be giving a special show to be streamed on Screen Yahoo! live online. Next May, Eric Clapton will be giving a series of concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall in celebration of his 70th birthday. Also, it was announced that Elton John will be continuing his hugely popular "Million Dollar Piano" show for another three years at Las Vegas' Caesars Palace.
This November, a box set of all of Cream's albums, titled "Cream: 1966-1972," is set for release on vinyl. Also that month, a solo album from 1977 by the late Gene Clark titled "Two Sides To Every Story" will be coming out on CD.
Also that week, it was announced that a new biography about the Piano Man titled "Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography" will be coming out later this month. Also, a new documentary about the Grateful Dead is currently in the works.
Finally, Bob Seger's latest album, "Ride Out," made its debut at #3 on the Billboard 200 the previous week, making it among his highest charting albums to date.
(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)
October 20, 2014: Famed Songwriter Paul Craft Passes Away
Famed songwriter Paul Craft died on October 18, 2014 at age 76 in St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, TN. He had a long career as a songwriter and penned many country-pop hits that included Bobby Bare's "Dropkick Me, Jesus (Through The Goalposts Of Life)" (1976). He also wrote songs for such top acts as Ray Stevens, Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles, Jerry Lee Lewis and Willie Nelson. Craft is famous for his humorous, wisecracking lyrics that poke fun at many of life's ups and downs. During the 1970s, he also had a string of hits on the Country charts: "It's Me Again, Margaret" (1974), "We Know Better" (1977), "Lean On Jesus (Before He Leans On You)" (1977), and "Teardrops In My Tequila" (1978). Shortly before his passing, Craft was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
October 20, 2014: 1977 Solo Album By Late Byrds Founder Gene Clark To Be Re-released
On November 18, 2014, a solo album from 1977 by the late Gene Clark, co-founder of the Byrds, is set to be re-released on CD. Titled "Two Sides To Every Story," this 10-track collection includes mostly Clark-penned songs. After leaving the Byrds in 1966, Clark, who wrote most of the band's songs, went on to have a long and successful solo career. He passed away in 1991 at age 46 from complications of a bleeding ulcer.
October 21, 2014: Hall & Oates To Stream Halloween Concert Live Online
This Halloween, Hall & Oates will be giving a special show to be streamed live online on Screen Yahoo! starting at 9:00PM EST. Titled "Hall-O-Ween & Oates," this show will be held at Hall's house and can be viewed on various mobile devices, PCs and some Smart TV platforms.
October 21, 2014: Saxophonist Raphael Ravenscroft Passes Away
Saxophonist and composer Raphael Ravenscroft died on October 19, 2014 at age 60 at a hospital near his home in Exeter, U.K. after a suspected heart attack. He played the famous saxophone solo in Gerry Rafferty's 1978 hit, "Baker Street." He also worked with many other bands and artists that included Pink Floyd, Abba, Marvin Gaye, America, Maxine Nightingale, Mike Oldfield, Robert Plant, and Bonnie Tyler. He wrote several books on saxophone technique and composed music for a number of films and ads. His survivors include a daughter, Scarlett Raven.
October 21, 2014: Eric Clapton To Celebrate 70th Birthday In Concert
Eric Clapton turns 70 on March 30, 2015, and he will be celebrating this milestone by giving a series of concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall on May 14, 15, 17, and 18. These shows will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of his first appearance at this venue in December, 1964, as a member of the Yardbirds.
October 22, 2014: Elton John Extends Contract At Caesars Palace
Elton John has extended his contract to continue his "Million Dollar Piano" show for another three years at Las Vegas' Caesars Palace. Tickets for this hugely popular show, which first opened in September, 2011, go on sale October 26, 2014.
October 22, 2014: Bob Seger Album Debuts At #3 On Billboard 200
Bob Seger's latest album, "Ride Out," made its debut at #3 on the Billboard 200 the previous week. This album is among his highest charting ones to date, which also include "Like A Rock," which also made its debut at #3 in 1986, and "Against The Wind," which topped this chart for six weeks in 1980.
October 23, 2014: Grateful Dead Documentary In The Works
A new documentary about the Grateful Dead is currently in the works to mark the 50th anniversary of this legendary band's first shows. Highlights of this upcoming film, to be directed by Amir Bar-Lev and produced by Martin Scorsese, will include rare archival footage, live performances, and interviews with various band members.
October 23, 2014: Cream Box Set To Be Released On Vinyl
On November 24, 2014, a box set of all of Cream's albums from the 1960s-early 1970s is set for release on 180-gram vinyl. Titled "Cream: 1966-1972," this massive collection includes "Fresh Cream" (1966), "Disraeli Gears" (1967), "Wheels Of Fire" (1968), "Goodbye" (1969), "Live Cream" (1970), and "Live Cream Volume II" (1972).
October 24, 2014: John Fogerty, Willie Nelson To Perform At White House
John Fogerty and Willie Nelson are among those who will be performing at the White House as part of a tribute to members of the U.S. armed forces. Titled "A Salute To Our Troops," this event will take place on November 6, 2014 and will air on November 7 at 9:00 PM EST on PBS. This show will also be rebroadcast on Veteran's Day (November 11) through the American Forces Network.
October 24, 2014: Billy Joel Biography To Be Published
On October 28, 2014, a new biography about Billy Joel by Fred Schruers will be coming to bookstores. Titled "Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography," this in-depth work was written after almost 100 hours of interviewing the Piano Man.
October 25, 2014: Cream Bassist Jack Bruce Passes Away
Jack Bruce died on October 25, 2014 at age 71 at his home in Suffolk, England. He was the bassist for the legendary 1960s supergroup, Cream, and he also provided the lead vocals for many of the band's biggest hits. After Cream disbanded in 1968, Bruce went on to have a long and successful solo career and recorded many albums. Over the years, he also played with a number of bands that included Blues Incorporated, the Graham Bond Organization, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Manfred Mann, Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band, and Rocket 88. His many honors and accolades include being inducted with Cream into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.