February 22, 2015 by Amy Gold
During the week of February 15, 2015, fans bade a final farewell to early 1960s icon Lesley Gore famous for "It's My Party," "Judy's Turn To Cry," and her tour de force, "You Don't Own Me."
Boston will be launching a North American tour that begins this April. Styx will be launching a joint North American tour with Def Leppard and Tesla which kicks off this June. Alice Cooper will be performing with Johnny Depp and Joe Perry at the upcoming Rock in Rio festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil which will take place this September.
This February, the J. Geils Band will be releasing a live performance from 1979 on German TV titled "House Party Live In Germany." An album of early recordings by Jimi Hendrix from his time with Curtis Knight and the Squires will be coming out this March. Also that month, Van Morrison will be releasing a duets album titled "Duets: Re-Working The Catalogue."
This May, Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead will be releasing a memoir titled "Deal: My Three Decades Of Drumming, Dreams, And Drugs With The Grateful Dead." This June, the new Brian Wilson biopic, "Love And Mercy," will be shown in select theaters across the country.
Also that week, it was announced that Robert Hunter and the late Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead are among those who will be inducted this year into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Also, Eric Clapton and Little Richard are among this year's inductees into the Blues Hall of Fame.
Finally, Paul McCartney scored his first Top 5 hit in 31 years with "FourFiveSeconds," a song he recently recorded with Kanye West and Rihanna which the trio performed at this year's Grammy Awards.
(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)
Bobby Vinton performs a medley of his greatest hits in "My Yearbook: 1960-1963 (My Music Presents)" which airs this March on most PBS stations.
February 15, 2015: Styx To Tour With Def Leppard, Tesla
Styx will be launching a joint North American tour this summer with Def Leppard and Tesla which kicks off on June 23, 2015 in Tampa, FL and ends on October 4 in Bismarck, ND. This 40+ show trek will cover most the states in the U.S. plus Ontario, Canada.
February 16, 2015: Lesley Gore Passes Away
Famed singer, songwriter, and early 1960s icon Lesley Gore died of lung cancer on February 16, 2015 at age 68 at the NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan. She had a long string of hits from 1963-1967 that included "It's My Party," "Judy's Turn To Cry," "and her tour de force, "You Don't Own Me."
She was born Lesley Sue Goldstein in Brooklyn and raised in Tenafly, New Jersey. In 1963, Gore was only 16 and a junior in high school when "It's My Party" soared to the top of the charts. This song, which was the first in a long series of hits produced for Gore by Quincy Jones, was later nominated for a Grammy award. It was immediately followed by the sequel, "Judy's Turn To Cry," which became a Top 10 hit. Her many other hits also included "She's A Fool," (1963), "You Don't Own Me," (1963), "That's The Way Boys Are" (1964), "Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows" (1965), and "California Nights" (1967). "You Don't Own Me," an unapologetic declaration of autonomy that anticipated the emergence of the feminist movement in the late 1960s, peaked at #2 on the charts and remained there for three weeks, eclipsed only by the Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand."
Gore was also an actress who performed in the 1965 movies, "Ski Party" and "The Girls On The Beach." She made numerous TV appearances on such shows as "The Ed Sullivan Show," "Shindig," and "Hullabaloo," and she guest starred as "Pussycat" in several episodes of the Batman TV series. After high school, she attended Sarah Lawrence College where she majored in British and American English literature and graduated in 1968.
Throughout the 1980s-1990s, Gore performed in concerts and made many TV appearances. She composed songs for the 1980 movie, "Fame," that included the Academy Award-nominated "Out Here On My Own" which she co-wrote with her brother Michael. She also co-wrote "My Secret Love" for the 1996 film, "Grace Of My Heart." In the 2000s, she hosted several episodes of the PBS television newsmagazine, "In The Life," the longest running lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) TV show in history. In 2005, she released her last album, "Ever Since."
February 17, 2015: Alice Cooper To Perform With Johnny Depp, Joe Perry At Rock In Rio Festival
Alice Cooper will be performing with Johnny Depp and Joe Perry at the upcoming Rock in Rio festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This event will take place September 18-20 and 24-27, 2015. For more info and tickets, go to RockinRio.com/Rio.
February 17, 2015: Van Morrison To Release Duets Album
On March 24, 2015, Van Morrison will be releasing a duets album titled "Duets: Re-Working The Catalogue." Featured artists include Natalie Cole, Mavis Staples, Steve Winwood, Bobby Womack, Georgie Fame, and Morrison's daughter, Shana.
February 17, 2015: J. Geils Band To Release Live 1979 Performance On CD/DVD
On February 24, 2015, the J. Geils Band will be releasing a live performance from 1979 on German TV. Titled "House Party Live In Germany," this 14-track collection will be available on CD and DVD. Highlights include the recently released music video for the song, "Teresa." The band will also be re-releasing its 1973 album, "Bloodshot," due out on March 3.
February 18, 2015: Grateful Dead Members Inducted Into Songwriters Hall Of Fame
Robert Hunter and the late Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead are among those to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The award ceremonies will take place on June 18, 2015 at the Marriott Marquis in NYC. Hunter and Garcia co-wrote such songs as "Uncle John's Band," "China Cat Sunflower," "Casey Jones," and "Touch Of Grey." Hunter also worked with Bob Dylan on his 2009 album, "Together Through Life."
February 18, 2015: Jimi Hendrix Early Recordings Album To Be Released
A new album of mostly never-before-heard early recordings by Jimi Hendrix is due out on March 24, 2015. Titled "You Canít Use My Name: Curtis Knight & The Squires (Featuring Jimi Hendrix) The RSVP/PPX Sessions," this 14-track collection consists of songs recorded by the late guitar legend between 1965-1967 when he played for Curtis Knight and the Squires before he formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
February 18, 2015: Paul McCartney Scores First Top 5 Hit In 31 Years
This week, a newly-released song by Paul McCartney, Kanye West and Rihanna titled "FourFiveSeconds" peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, making this McCartney's first Top 5 hit in 31 years. This song had been steadily climbing the charts for the past few weeks and was also performed by the trio on the Grammy Awards which was televised on February 8, 2015 on CBS.
February 19, 2015: Eric Clapton, Little Richard Inducted Into Blues Hall Of Fame
Eric Clapton and Little Richard are among those to be inducted into this year's Blues Hall of Fame. These rock icons, along with blues singer Tommy Brown, will be honored at the 36th Blues Music Awards ceremony in Memphis, TN, which will take place May 6-8, 2015.
February 19, 2015: Boston To Launch North American Tour
Boston will be launching a North American tour that begins on April 30, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, AL and ends on August 9 in Wichita, KS. This trek of some 30 shows will also make other stops in Alabama as well as in California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North and South Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin, plus Ontario, Canada. The band's last album was in 2013, "Life, Love & Hope," which it continues to support.
February 20, 2015: Brian Wilson Biopic To Be Shown In Theaters
On June 5, 2015, the new Brian Wilson biopic, "Love And Mercy," will be shown in select theaters across the country. Prior to that, this movie will make its U.S. premiere on March 15 at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, TX. "Love And Mercy" co-stars John Cusack and Paul Dano as older and younger versions of Brian Wilson, respectively.
February 20, 2015: Grateful Dead Founding Drummer To Publish Memoir
On May 5, 2015, Bill Kreutzmann, the Grateful Dead's founding drummer, will be releasing a new memoir titled "Deal: My Three Decades Of Drumming, Dreams, And Drugs With The Grateful Dead." This upcoming book chronicles his time with this legendary band through its many milestones and exploits. Kreutzmann currently has a new group, Billy & the Kids, and has several shows lined up for this year.