May 24, 2015 by Amy Gold
During the week of May 17, 2015, The Rolling Stones heralded the band's upcoming North American tour and re-release of "Sticky Fingers" with a Twitter Q&A and a surprise concert in Los Angeles.
Also that week, fans bade a final farewell to famed R&B bassist Louis Johnson, a founding member of The Brothers Johnson and a prolific session musician who had played and recorded with Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Aretha Franklin, and many other top bands and artists.
This June, Pete Townshend will be releasing a new compilation of his solo works titled "Truancy: The Very Best Of Pete Townshend." Also that month, Dave Edmunds will be releasing a new album titled "On Guitar...Dave Edmunds: Rags & Classics." This August, Gregg Allman will be releasing a new DVD/double-CD set titled "Gregg Allman Live: Back To Macon, GA." A massive Isley Brothers box set titled "The Isley Brothers: The RCA Victor And T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983)" is also due out that month.
Lou Gramm, the former lead singer of Foreigner, announced his upcoming North American tour that begins later this month. Stevie Wonder is among those who will be headlining this year's Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival which takes place this September in Las Vegas. Also, Yes announced the lineup for its upcoming third annual Cruise To The Edge which sets sail this November from Miami, FL.
Also that week, Alan Brackett, a founding member of the Peanut Butter Conspiracy whom we interviewed in 2005, was interviewed on May 20, 2015 by the Melbourne, Australia radio station, 88.3 Southern FM. (Listen to a podcast here.)
(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)
Bob Dylan performs "The Night We Called It A Day" from his latest album, "Shadows In The Night," on The Late Show with David Letterman (May 19, 2015). Dylan was the very last musical guest on this long-running show which made its final broadcast on May 20, 2015.
May 18, 2015: Pete Townshend To Release Solo Compilation
On June 30, Pete Townshend will be releasing a new compilation of his solo works titled "Truancy: The Very Best Of Pete Townshend." Highlights include two new songs, "Guantanamo" and "How Can I Help You," plus hits such as "Let My Love Open The Door" and "Rough Boys."
May 18, 2015: Rolling Stones Conduct First-Ever Twitter Q&A
On May 18, 2015, The Rolling Stones conducted their first-ever Twitter Q&A in which they replied to a variety of questions from fans. Among the many topics discussed were the upcoming Stones' North American tour, the band members' musical influences, and whether or not they still get nervous before a concert.
May 19, 2015: Stevie Wonder To Co-Headline Life Is Beautiful Fest
Stevie Wonder is among those who will be headlining this year's Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival, which is set to take place September 25-27, 2015 in Las Vegas. A variety of mostly contemporary bands and artists of different musical genres will be featured, along with various culinary attractions.
May 19, 2015: Yes Announces Lineup For Upcoming Cruise To The Edge
Yes announced the lineup for its upcoming third annual Cruise To The Edge. Featured entertainers for this fan cruise will include Martin Barre, longtime guitarist for Jethro Tull, who will also be giving a special pre-cruise concert on November 14, 2015. This cruise is scheduled to leave from Miami, FL on November 15 and return on November 19. For more info, go to CruisetotheEdge.com.
May 21, 2015: Rolling Stones Give Surprise Concert In LA
On May 20, 2015, the Rolling Stones gave a surprise concert at LA's Fonda Theatre. This standing-room-only event was used to launch the band's upcoming Zip Code Tour, which kicks off on May 24 in San Diego, CA, and also to celebrate the June 9 reissue of "Sticky Fingers." As part of their set, the Rolling Stones played this album in its entirety, along with other classic hits.
May 21, 2015: Dave Edmunds To Release New Album
On June 9, 2015, Dave Edmunds will be releasing a new album titled "On Guitar...Dave Edmunds: Rags & Classics." This eclectic, all-instrumental collection includes mostly oldies classics such as "A Whiter Shade Of Pale," "God Only Knows," and "Classical Gas," with some traditional ragtime songs plus Edmunds' rendition of the 1st movement of Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G Minor.
May 21, 2015: Ex-Foreigner Frontman Lou Gramm Announces 2015 North American Tour
Lou Gramm, the former lead singer of Foreigner, announced his upcoming 2015 tour that will take him to various part of North America. So far, 19 shows have been confirmed that begin on May 21, 2015 in Snoqualmie, WA and end on September 12 in Clovis, NM, with stops in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin, plus various provinces in Canada. Gramm's performances will include one in Atlanta, GA accompanied by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
May 22, 2015: Gregg Allman To Release Solo Live CD/DVD Set
On August 7, 2015, Gregg Allman will be releasing a new DVD/double-CD set titled "Gregg Allman Live: Back To Macon, GA." The concert as featured in this collection took place January, 2014 at the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA. Highlights include Allman Brothers classics such as "Melissa," "Midnight Rider," "One Way Out," "Statesboro Blues," and "Whipping Post," plus Gregg Allman's hit, "I'm No Angel."
May 22, 2015: Isley Brothers Box Set To Be Released
A 23-CD box set titled "The Isley Brothers: The RCA Victor And T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983)" which spans much of this group's long career is due out on August 21, 2015. This massive collection includes remastered versions of the 21 albums the Isleys recorded with both RCA and T-Neck, plus a previously unreleased live-in-studio album recorded in 1980. Highlights include classic hits such as "Shout," "It's Your Thing," "That Lady" and "Fight The Power," as well as songs recorded in the mid 1960s when Jimi Hendrix was a member of the Isleys' backing band.
May 22, 2015: Famed Bassist Louis Johnson Passes Away
Famed funk bassist Louis Johnson died on May 21, 2015 at age 60. He was a prolific session musician who had played and recorded with many big name bands and artists that included Paul McCartney, Aretha Franklin, Herb Alpert, Quincy Jones, and Michael Jackson. He can be heard on such top recordings as Jackson's best-selling album, "Thriller." Considered by many to be one of the greatest bass players in R&B, Johnson was nicknamed "Thunder Thumbs" for his distinctive slap bass playing style.
With his brother George, Johnson formed The Brothers Johnson and, in 1976, the group released its chart-topping debut album, "Look Out For #1." The group topped the R&B charts with the hits, "I'll Be Good To You" (1976), "Strawberry Letter 23" (1977), and "Stomp!" (1980). The group's 1980 album, "Light Up The Night," which featured a song co-written by Michael Jackson, "This Had To Be," along with his background vocals, also topped the R&B album charts.