May 3, 2015 by Amy Gold
During the week of April 26, 2015, fans bade a final farewell to R&B-soul legend Ben E. King and Jack Ely of the Kingsmen famous for the garage band classic, "Louie Louie."
This May, the Steve Miller Band will be launching a tour that will take the band to various parts of North America. Paul McCartney recently added two new show dates to his 2015 U.S. itinerary. Gregg Allman will be launching the Inaugural Laid Back Festival which will take place in Wantagh, NY this August. Also, Van Morrison and Tom Jones will be headlining the 2015 Prudential Bluesfest which will take place this November at London's O2 Arena.
Pete Townshend recently released a video preview of his upcoming "Classic Quadrophenia," a remake of The Who's 1973 rock opera, "Quadrophenia." Also, The Who will be releasing videos of the band's October 13, 1982 concert at Shea Stadium in New York City which are due out this June.
Also that week, it was announced that Van Halen will be among those performing at this year's Billboard Music Awards which will be televised live on ABC May 17, 2015.
Finally, Brian Wilson's "One Kind Of Love" was named Best Original Song at the 46th Annual Nashville Film Festival. This song is featured in the upcoming Wilson biopic, "Love And Mercy."
(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)
John Fogerty performs a medley of classic Creedence Clearwater Revival hits on The Late Show With David Letterman (April 29, 2015).
April 26, 2015: Van Morrison, Tom Jones To Headline 2015 Prudential Bluesfest
Van Morrison and Tom Jones will be headlining this year's Prudential Bluesfest. This event is set to take place November 6-8, 2015 at London's O2 Arena.
April 27, 2015: Brian Wilson Receives Best Original Song Award At Nashville Film Festival
"One Kind Of Love," from Brian Wilson latest album, "No Pier Pressure," was named Best Original Song at the 46th Annual Nashville Film Festival held earlier this month. This song is featured in the upcoming Wilson biopic, "Love And Mercy," which opens June 5, 2015 at theaters across the nation.
April 27, 2015: Pete Townshend Releases Preview Of 'Classic Quadrophenia'
Pete Townshend recently released a video preview of his upcoming classical music orchestral remake of The Who's 1973 rock opera, "Quadrophenia" (titled "Classic Quadrophenia"). This video features tenor Alfie Boe, who plays Jimmy in this latest remake, performing "Love Reign O'Er Me" with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Oriana Choir. "Classic Quadrophenia" is set to be released June 9, 2015 on DVD in both standard and deluxe editions. A live performance will be held July 5 at London's Royal Albert Hall.
April 28, 2015: Jack Ely Of The Kingmen Passes Away
Jack Ely died on April 28, 2015 at age 71 at his home in Redmond, OR after a long illness. He is best remembered as the lead singer of the Kingmen's smash garage rock hit, "Louie Louie." This beloved oldies classic and long-time party favorite made pop music history due in part to its incomprehensible lyrics that prompted an investigation by the FBI as to whether or not the song contained any obscenities.
Ely was born in Portland, OR and began playing the piano as a young child. In 1959, he co-founded the Kingsmen while in high school, and the band played mainly at local events during its early years. In 1963, the Kingmen, with Ely as the lead singer, recorded what was to become the band's greatest hit, "Louie Louie." This song went on to top the charts nationwide, reaching #1 and #2 on the Cashbox and Billboard charts, respectively, and it has since then been covered by numerous bands and artists over the years and received many accolades and honors.
Shortly after recording "Louie Louie," Ely parted ways with the Kingsmen after a dispute and formed the Courtmen who recorded several singles in the mid 1960s. He later went on to become a horse trainer. In 2011, he released a Christian rock album, "Love Is All Around You Now."
April 28, 2015: Paul McCartney Adds Concert Dates To 2015 US Tour
Paul McCartney announced the most recent additions to his 2015 U.S. itinerary: his first-ever shows in Charlottesville, VA and Columbia, SC, which are set to take place, respectively, on June 23 and June 25, 2015. Tickets go on sale starting April 30. For more info, visit PaulMcCartney.com.
April 29, 2015: Gregg Allman To Launch Inaugural Laid Back Festival
A one-day music festival, dubbed "Laid Back" after Gregg Allman's 1973 solo debut album, is set to take place on August 29, 2015 at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY. Among the featured performers are the Doobie Brothers, Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers, and this event's founder, Gregg Allman. Tickets go on sale starting May 1 through Ticketmaster and laidbackfestival.com.
April 30, 2015: Who Concert Video To Be Released
On June 30, 2015, The Who will be releasing videos of the band's October 13, 1982 concert at Shea Stadium in New York City. Titled "Live At Shea Stadium 1982," this video will be available on DVD, Blu-ray, and other digital video formats. Among the highlights of this 25-song set are classic hits by The Who, selections from the band's then-new album, "It's Hard," and a cover of "Twist And Shout" in homage to the Beatles.
May 1, 2015: Ben E King Passes Away
The legendary R&B-soul singer-songwriter Ben E. King died on April 30, 2015 at age 76 at the Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ. He is famous for the oldies classic, "Stand By Me," a song he co-wrote with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, as well as a series of smash hits with The Drifters.
He was born Benjamin Earl Nelson in Henderson, NC and moved to Harlem, NY at age nine. In 1958, he joined a doo-wop group known as the Five Crowns whose members would later become The Drifters after that group's manager fired the original members. The Drifters had a long string of hits through the late 1960s; those that featured King as the lead singer included "There Goes My Baby" (1959), "This Magic Moment" (1960), and the chart-topping "Save The Last Dance For Me" (1960).
In 1960, he left The Drifters to go solo, taking the stage name Ben E. King, and made his debut with "Spanish Harlem." Shortly thereafter, King released what would come to be known as his signature song, "Stand By Me," which became a Top 10 hit. This song recharted in 1986 when it was used as the title theme of the movie released that same year starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell. Over the years, "Stand By Me" has been covered by numerous bands and artists and has received many accolades. This beloved pop standard is included in the RIAA's list of Songs of the Century and in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. Also, "Stand By Me," "Spanish Harlem," and "There Goes My Baby" are all included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, and all these songs, plus "Save The Last Dance For Me," received Grammy Hall of Fame awards.
King's many solo hits also included "Amor" (1961), "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)" (1962), "I (Who Have Nothing)" (1963), and "Supernatural Thing - Part I" (1975). He founded the Ben E King Stand By Me Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping young people further their education. His many honors and awards included being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 as a member of The Drifters.
May 1, 2015: Van Halen To Perform At 2015 Billboard Music Awards
Van Halen is among those who will be performing at this year's Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, NV. This event will be televised live on ABC May 17, 2015. The Rolling Stones and Santana are among those bands and artists nominated for awards.
May 1, 2015: Steve Miller Band To Launch Tour
The Steve Miller Band will soon be launching a tour that will take the band to various parts of North America. This trek begins on May 15, 2015 in Southaven, MS and ends on August 8 in Seattle, WA, with additional stops in Washington state, as well as in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New York, North and South Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, and Virginia, plus Ontario and Quebec, Canada.