January 12, 2015 by Amy Gold
During the week of January 4, 2015, the world celebrated the 80th anniversary of the birth of the late and great Elvis Presley (January 8, 1935). A new website in the King's honor was launched, various rare memorabilia were sold at auction, and the first in a series of albums was reissued.
Also that week, fans bade a final farewell to bandleader, musical director and arranger Joe Guercio who led Elvis Presley's Las Vegas band from 1970-1977. Guercio had also worked with Diana Ross, Patti Page, Barbra Streisand, Gladys Knight, and many other big name artists.
Bob Seger, Steve Miller, and Heart all announced new U.S. show dates for the first half of 2015. Also, Steely Dan is among those who will be performing at Coachella 2015 which takes place this April in Indio, CA.
Kenny Rogers will be reuniting with various members of The First Edition for a panel discussion at Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame which will be streamed live at CountryMusicHallofFame.org on January 17, 2015. Also, Carlos Santana, Roger Waters, and John Mellencamp are among those to be interviewed on a new public television show, "Speakeasy," to be aired at various times and dates depending on location.
A remastered version of Led Zeppelin's 1975 album, "Physical Graffiti," is due out this February in various formats. Also, a new compilation album featuring various classic oldies and other pop tunes used in the movies, titled "NOW That's What I Call Movies," is set to be released that same month.
Also that week, it was announced that Barbra Streisand's latest album, "Partners," made the Top 10 in the list of top selling albums for 2014. After some 25 years, Paul McCartney is back in the Top 40 charts with "Only One," a song he recently recorded with rap superstar Kanye West. Also, Poco, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Firefall, and Stephen Stills/Manassas were inducted into this year's Colorado Music Hall of Fame.
Finally, Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, and Aaron Neville have been added to the list of artists who will honor Bob Dylan at this year's MusiCares Person of the Year ceremonies which take place next month. Former President Jimmy Carter will be making the awards presentations.
(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)
In this interview (Jan. 7, 2015), Neil Young discusses the founding of PonoMusic and shares his passion for high-quality audio.
January 5, 2015: Heart Adds New Summer Tour Dates To 2015 Itinerary
Heart recently added a string of tour dates from late May through July, 2015 that will take place in Washington, D.C. and various other cities in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In addition, Heart has five shows lined up for this February in the Southern U.S.
January 5, 2015: Kenny Rogers To Reunite With First Edition Members For Panel Discussion
Kenny Rogers will be reuniting with various members of his former band, The First Edition, for a panel discussion at Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame. This event, which will take place on January 17, 2015, will be streamed live at CountryMusicHallofFame.org.
January 6, 2015: Presley Bandleader Joe Guercio Passes Away
Bandleader, musical director and arranger Joe Guercio died on January 4, 2015 at age 87 in Nashville, TN. He led Elvis Presley's Las Vegas band from 1970 until the King’s death in 1977 and was the one who composed the famous six-note theme that announced his trademark onstage entrance. Born in Buffalo, NY, Guercio had also worked with many other big name artists over his long career, including Diana Ross, Patti Page, Barbra Streisand, Gladys Knight, Diahann Carroll, Jim Nabors, Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, and Florence Henderson.
January 6, 2015: Steve Miller Band Adds Show Dates
The Steve Miller Band recently expanded its 2015 itinerary with shows running through the end of June. The band will cover various cities in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas. These show dates include a series of concerts in March with Journey and Tower of Power.
January 6, 2015: Steely Dan To Perform At Coachella 2015
Steely Dan is among those who will be performing at Coachella 2015. This 2-weekend, 3-day event is scheduled to take place the weekends of April 10 and April 17, 2015 in Indio, CA at the Empire Polo Club, with the same lineups for each weekend's shows. Steely Dan is set to perform on the first night, to be headlined by AC/DC. For more info and tickets, go to coachella.com.
January 7, 2015: New Website Launched, Reissues Planned For Elvis Presley 80th Birthday Commemoration
To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the birth of Elvis Presley, various activities and festivities have been planned for 2015. A new website, ElvisTheMusic.com, was recently launched. Also, the first set of a series of remastered albums, "The Complete '60s Albums Collection Vol. 1," was released by Legacy Recordings on iTunes to kick off the New Year. This set includes the albums, "Blue Hawaii," "Elvis For Everyone," "Elvis' Golden Records Vol. 3," "Elvis Is Back," "Fun in Acapulco," "G.I. Blues," "Girls! Girls! Girls!," "Girl Happy," "Harum Scarum," "His Hand In Mine," "It Happened At The World's Fair," "Kissin' Cousins," "Pot Luck," "Roustabout," and "Something For Everybody."
January 7, 2015: Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Aaron Neville, Jimmy Carter Among Those To Honor Bob Dylan As MusiCares Person of the Year
Bob Dylan was named as this year's MusiCares Person of the Year, and Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, and Aaron Neville are among the most recently added bands and artists who will be paying tribute to the folk-rock legend. The award ceremonies are set to take place on February 6, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Former President Jimmy Carter will be making the awards presentations.
January 8, 2015: Led Zeppelin's 'Physical Graffiti' To Be Reissued
A new, remastered version of Led Zeppelin's classic album, "Physical Graffiti," is due out on February 24, 2015, which is the 40th anniversary of this album's original release. This album, which includes a bonus disc of early takes, alternate mixes, and other as-yet unheard material, will be available as a double CD, a double LP, a digital download, and other formats. Also included are a booklet and rare photos.
January 8, 2015: Bob Seger Announces New Show Dates For 2015
Bob Seger recently added some new show dates for this spring starting March 13, 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT through March 26 in Auburn Hills, MI. While on tour, he has been promoting his latest album, "Ride Out," which was released last October. His first show for the New Year will take place on January 20, 2015 in Toledo, OH.
January 8, 2015: Barbra Streisand's 'Partners' In 2014 Top 10 Best-Selling Albums
Barbra Streisand's latest album, "Partners," came in at #7 in the list of top selling albums for 2014. For top selling vinyl LPs, the Beatles had two albums listed in the top 10; "Abbey Road" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" came in at #4 and #7, respectively. Another oldies artist to make the Top 10 in this list was Bob Marley with his classic compilation album, "Legend."
January 8, 2015: Carlos Santana, Roger Waters To Be Interviewed On New Public Television Show
Carlos Santana, Roger Waters, and John Mellencamp are among those to be interviewed on a new public television show, "Speakeasy." The interviews will be filmed in New York City before a live audience, typical interview Q&A formats will not be used, and each interviewee will get to select his/her interviewer. Showtimes and dates vary with location; for more information, visit American Public Television.
January 9, 2015: Elvis Presley's First Recording Sells For $300,000 At Auction
An auction was held at Graceland on the 80th anniversary of Elvis Presley's birthday, January 8, 2015. Among the memorabilia on the auction block that day was Presley's first recording which sold for $300,000. Recorded on July 18, 1953 at Sam Phillips' Memphis Recording Service, this rare item is an acetate disc of the song, "My Happiness," b/w "That's When Your Heartaches Begin." Other items to be auctioned off this year include two private planes named "Lisa Marie" and Hound Dog II."
January 9, 2015: Poco, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Firefall, Stephen Stills Inducted Into Colorado Music Hall Of Fame
Poco, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Firefall, and Stephen Stills (with his band Manassas) are this year's latest inductees into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. The award ceremonies are set to take place on January 9, 2015 at the Paramount Theater in Denver, CO. All four acts became famous in the 1970s, and their chart hits have become oldies staples. Surviving members of Poco, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Firefall are set to perform at this event.
January 9, 2015: Paul McCartney Back In Top 40 After 25 Years
Paul McCartney and rap superstar Kanye West recently released a single titled "Only One," the first of what is expected to be more to come. This song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #35, making it the highest charting song for McCartney since 1989.
January 9, 2015: New Pop Movie Theme Compilation Album To Be Released
On February 3, 2015, a new compilation album featuring various classic oldies and other pop tunes used in the movies is set to be released. Titled "NOW That's What I Call Movies," highlights include
- The Beach Boys - "God Only Knows" (from "Love Actually")
- Bee Gees - "How Deep Is Your Love" (from "Saturday Night Fever")
- Blue Swede - "Hooked On A Feeling" (from "Guardians Of The Galaxy")
- Elton John - "Tiny Dancer" (from "Almost Famous")
- Van Morrison - "Brown Eyed Girl" (from "Born On The Fourth Of July")
- Queen - "Bohemian Rhapsody" (from "Wayne's World")