March 22, 2015 by Amy Gold
During the week of March 15, 2015, fans bade a final farewell to Michael Brown of The Left Banke and Andy Fraser of Free.
Later this month, a Johnny Cash box set titled "American Recordings" is set to be re-released on vinyl. This April, a new Eric Clapton compilation titled "Forever Man" spanning most of the guitar legend's solo career will be coming out. This May, America will be releasing an album titled "Lost & Found" featuring a number of previously unheard songs. The band will also be launching a U.S. tour next month.
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons have a series of shows lined up in North America for most of 2015 set to begin later this month. This June, David Crosby will be launching a solo tour across the U.S. Gregg Allman and the Doobie Brothers will be co-headlining a series of shows beginning this August. Fleetwood Mac announced that the band will be touring Australia starting in late October. Also that month, Ringo Starr will be launching a new North American leg of his ongoing tour with his All Starr Band. He will also be releasing a new album this March titled "Postcards From Paradise" and a coffee table book this September. Also, Smokey Robinson, the O'Jays, and Billy Ocean are among those to be featured on the upcoming 2016 Soul Train Cruise which will set sail next January from Fort Lauderdale, FL
Also that week, it was announced that Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder are among the presenters for this year's upcoming Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Also, various rare Grateful Dead memorabilia will be going to auction next month at Donley Auction Services in Union, IL.
Finally, on April 2, 2015, Van Halen will be making a special appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" to celebrate the band's upcoming album, "Tokyo Dome: Live In Concert."
(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)
Below is an official trailer for "Lambert & Stamp," a new documentary about the two men, both aspiring filmmakers at the time, who discovered The Who and managed this legendary rock band to international stardom. This movie opens on April 3, 2015 in New York and Los Angeles.
March 16, 2015: Grateful Dead Memorabilia To Go To Auction
Various Grateful Dead memorabilia will be going to auction on April 11 and 12, 2015 at Donley Auction Services in Union, IL. Among the items to be auctioned off are posters, photographs, rare handwritten lyrics, and all kinds of furniture.
March 17, 2015: Gregg Allman, Doobie Brothers To Co-Headline Summer Tour
Gregg Allman and the Doobie Brothers are set to co-headline a series of shows later this summer. Their trek begins on August 19, 2015 in Boston, MA and ends on September 4 in Saratoga Springs, NY, with additional stops in New York as well as in New Hampshire, New Jersey, and North Carolina.
March 17, 2015: Ringo Starr To Launch Fall Tour, Release New Album, And Publish Coffee Table Book
This fall, Ringo Starr will be launching a new North American leg of his ongoing tour with his All Starr Band. This trek begins on October 1, 2015 in San Francisco, CA and ends on October 31 in Brooklyn, NY, with additional stops in California as well as in Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, plus various Canadian provinces. Starr will also be releasing a new album on March 31, "Postcards From Paradise," and on September 21, a coffee table book of rare photos taken throughout his life, "Photograph."
March 17, 2015: Johnny Cash Box Set To Be Released
On March 24, 2015, a Johnny Cash box set titled "American Recordings" is set to be re-released on vinyl. This collection consists of six albums of recordings Cash made in the mid 1990s with producer Rick Rubin for his American Recordings label, two of which won Grammy awards.
March 18, 2015: Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder Among This Year's Rock Hall Of Fame Presenters
Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder are among the presenters for this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. McCartney will induct his former Beatles bandmate, Ringo Starr, and Wonder will induct Bill Withers. Several other presenters have also been announced, including Patti Smith for Lou Reed, Peter Wolf for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Steve Cropper for the "5" Royales.
March 18, 2015: New Eric Clapton Compilation To Be Released
On April 28, 2015, a new Eric Clapton compilation spanning most of the guitar legend's solo career is set to be released. Titled "Forever Man," this 51-track collection consists of one CD of studio recordings, a second CD of live performances, and a third CD of blues standards. This collection will also be available on vinyl and as a digital download. Fans can also purchase this collection as a bundle with a bonus t-shirt and a mug from EricClapton.com.
March 18, 2015: Andy Fraser Of Free Passes Away
Bass guitarist and songwriter Andy Fraser died on March 16, 2015 at age 62 at his home in Temecula, CA after battling Kaposi's sarcoma and AIDS. He was a founding member of the early 1970s rock band, Free. Born in London, Fraser played with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers as a teen before forming Free in 1968. He co-wrote the band's biggest hit, "All Right Now," as well as other hit singles, before leaving Free in 1972. Afterwards, he co-founded Sharks, a critically acclaimed British rock band, and left after the band released its debut album in 1973, "First Water." Fraser eventually relocated to California to concentrate on songwriting and, over the years, penned hit songs for such big name artists as Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, Robert Palmer, Chaka Khan, and Paul Young.
March 18, 2015: David Crosby To Launch Solo Tour
This June, David Crosby will be launching a solo tour across the U.S. This trek kicks off on June 6, 2015 in Kerrville, TX and ends on July 6 in New Bedford, MA, with stops in Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Crosby will also be performing throughout the year with Crosby, Stills & Nash and also as a duo with Graham Nash in early April.
March 19, 2015: Frankie Valli To Continue Touring With Four Seasons
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, who, over the years, have maintained an active touring and performing schedule, have a series of shows lined up in North America for this year, starting March 19 in New York City through December 5 in Phoenix, AZ, with additional shows in New York and Arizona as well as in California, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, plus Ontario and British Columbia, Canada. Valli also has a series of symphonic concerts lined up for this June in London, England and also for this September in Nashville, TN.
March 19, 2015: 2016 Soul Train Cruise To Feature Smokey Robinson, The O'Jays
Smokey Robinson, the O'Jays, and Billy Ocean are among the many big name R&B bands and artists to be featured on the upcoming 2016 Soul Train Cruise which will set sail on January 30, 2016 from Fort Lauderdale, FL and return on February 6. This week-long event will be co-hosted by Tony Cornelius, son of the late Soul Train creator, Don Cornelius. For more info and tickets, visit SoulTrainCruise.com or call 800-758-SOUL.
March 20, 2015: America To Release Album Of Rare Recordings And Launch Tour
This May, America will be releasing an album titled "Lost & Found" featuring a number of previously unheard songs. The band will also be launching a tour in the U.S next month. This upcoming trek kicks off on April 18, 2015 in Atlantic City, NJ and ends on August 23 in Rochester, MN, with additional stops in New Jersey and Minnesota as well as in Alabama, California, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia. Some of the band's April shows will be co-headlined with the Beach Boys.
March 20, 2015: Michael Brown Of The Left Banke Passes Away
Keyboardist and songwriter Michael Brown died on March 19, 2015 of heart failure at age 65 in Englewood, NJ. He was a founding member of the highly acclaimed late 1960s Baroque pop group, The Left Banke, famous for its hauntingly beautiful songs and lush, classically-influenced musical arrangements.
He was born Michael David Lookofsky in New York, the son of violinist and arranger Harry Lookofsky, and studied classical music as a child. In 1965, he co-founded The Left Bank with George Cameron, Tom Finn, Warren David-Schierhorst, and Steve Martin Caro. Brown wrote "Pretty Ballerina" and co-wrote "Walk Away Renee," the group's two best known songs which became hits in 1967 and 1966, respectively. The latter song, which later also became a hit for The Four Tops, was named one of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Brown left The Left Bank in 1967 and then became involved in the band, Montage. He then joined the early 1970s pop group, Stories, which topped the charts in 1973 with "Brother Louie." Brown also co-wrote "And Suddenly" which became a hit in 1968 for The Cherry People.
The Left Banke, which disbanded in 1969, was reformed in 2011 by two of its original members, Tom Finn and George Cameron. In April, 2012, Brown reunited with the group at B.B. King's in New York City for a version of "Pretty Ballerina," which was met with a standing ovation.
March 20, 2015: Fleetwood Mac Announces Australian Fall Tour
Fleetwood Mac announced that the band will be touring Australia this fall. This trek kicks off on October 22, 2015 in Sydney and ends on November 21 in Auckland, with stops in Brisbane, Dunedin, Hunter Valley, Melbourne, and Perth.
March 21, 2015: Van Halen To Perform On 'Ellen'
On April 2, 2015, Van Halen will be making a special appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" to celebrate the band's upcoming album, "Tokyo Dome: Live In Concert." Recorded in June, 2013, this album is due out on March 31.