May 2, 2016 by Amy Gold
During the week of April 24, 2016, fans bade a final farewell to famed soul singer Billy Paul best known for the salacious yet heartfelt 1972 chart-topper, "Me And Mrs. Jones."
This June, Kris Kristofferson will release an album of re-recorded classics titled "The Cedar Creek Sessions." Also due out that month are a new live album by Neil Young titled "Earth" and a new box set titled "Chicago Quadio" featuring nine of the band's early albums.
Charley Pride announced a 50th anniversary North American tour beginning in late April. Kraftwerk will be launching a U.S. tour this September. Also that month, Aerosmith will be headlining this year's KAABOO Del Mar Festival in San Diego, CA. The band also announced a series of shows in Brazil for this October. Elton John added a series of new show dates to his long-running Las Vegas residency for the months of October, 2016 and February, 2017. Also, the initial lineup for the 2017 Flower Power Cruise, which sets sail next February, has been announced.
Also that week, it was announced that a new Beatles exhibit will be opening in late April at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI.
Finally, look for Alice Cooper on TV in a new commercial for Apple Watch featuring the veteran shock rocker on a golf course trying to improve his swing.
(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)
Below is the official lyric video for "She Makes Me Laugh" by The Monkees, the first single from the band's upcoming album, "Good Times!" (to be released May 27, 2016).
April 25, 2016: Billy Paul Passes Away
Famed soul singer Billy Paul died on April 24, 2016 at age 81 at his home in Blackwood, NJ after battling pancreatic cancer. He is best known for the salacious yet heartfelt "Me And Mrs. Jones" (1972) which topped both the R&B and Pop/Rock charts and won him a Grammy Award.
Born Paul Williams in Philadelphia, PA, he began his music career at age 11 performing on the local radio station, WPEN, and later studied at the West Philadelphia Music School and the Granoff School of Music. He made his first singles recordings in 1952 on Jubilee and released his first charting album in 1970 titled "Ebony Woman," but it was not until 1972 that "Me And Mrs. Jones," which catapulted him to pop music stardom, became his first charting song. His string of hits, which continued through 1980, also included "Am I Black Enough For You" (1973), "Thanks For Saving My Life" (1974), and "Let's Make A Baby" (1976).
Billy Paul was one of a number of performing artists associated with the Philadelphia Soul sound as created by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. With Cary Gilbert, they co-wrote his classic smash hit.
April 25, 2016: Kraftwerk To Launch Tour
Kraftwerk will be launching a tour this fall that will take the electronic music pioneers to various parts of the U.S. This 9-date trek begins on September 3, 2016 in North Bethesda, MD and ends on September 18 in Los Angeles, CA, with additional stops in California, as well as in Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas. Current Kraftwerk members include Ralf Hutter, one of the group's original co-founders.
April 25, 2016: Kris Kristofferson To Release New Album
To celebrate his upcoming 80th birthday, Kris Kristofferson will release an album of his classics that he re-recorded in 2014. Titled "The Cedar Creek Sessions," highlights of this 25-track collection, which is due out on June 17, 2016, include "Me And Bobby McGee," "Help Me Make It Through The Night," "Sunday Mornin' Comin’ Down," and "For The Good Times."
April 25, 2016: Elton John Extends Las Vegas Residency
Elton John announced the extension of his long-running Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace through 2017. The new show dates are set to take place October, 2016 (12, 14-15, 19, 21-22, 26, 28-30) and February, 2017 (7-8, 10-11, 14-15, 17-19). Elton John's shows feature such classics as "Your Song," "Rocket Man," "Crocodile Rock," and "Tiny Dancer."
April 26, 2016: Alice Cooper To Star In Apple Watch Commercial
Apple recently launched a new commercial for its smartwatch featuring Alice Cooper. The 15-second clip shows Cooper on a golf course trying to improve his golf swing and then calling it a day after checking his smartwatch to see that he has reached his daily calorie burning goal.
April 27, 2016: Flower Power Cruise 2017 Announces Initial Lineup
Three Dog Night, The Lovin' Spoonful, The Family Stone, The Fifth Dimension, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, and Eric Burdon and The Animals are among the many bands and artists to take part in the upcoming 2017 Flower Power Cruise. This 1960s-themed music fest will set sail February 27, 2017 from Fort Lauderdale, FL and will return on March 4. For more info and tickets, visit FlowerPowerCruise.com.
April 28, 2016: Aerosmith To Headline San Diego Festival And Perform In Brazil
Aerosmith will be headlining this year's KAABOO Del Mar Festival in San Diego, CA. This event, which takes place September 16-18, 2016, will also feature Jimmy Buffett, Hall & Oates, Gregg Allman, and many other acts, both past and present. The band also announced a series of shows in Brazil for this October starting the 11th in Porto Alegre.
April 29, 2016: Neil Young To Release New Live Album
A new live album by Neil Young titled "Earth" will be coming out on June 17, 2016. This environmentally-conscious collection, performed with Young's current backing band, Promise Of The Real, includes both new songs, including ones in which animal sounds are prominently featured, plus some earlier previously-unreleased material and old classics such as "After the Gold Rush."
April 29, 2016: New Chicago Box Set To Be Released
A new box set titled "Chicago Quadio" will be coming out on June 17, 2016. This 9-disc collection, featuring nine of the band's early albums from "Chicago Transit Authority" (1969) through "Chicago X" (1976), includes such classic hits as "Beginnings," "Make Me Smile," "25 Or 6 To 4," "Colour My World," "Feelin' Stronger Every Day," "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" and "If You Leave Me Now."
April 29, 2016: New Beatles Exhibit To Open In Michigan
A new Beatles exhibit will be opening April 30, 2016 at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. Dubbed "The Magical History Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition," this Fab Four display will run through September 18, and then reopen in 2017 in Davenport, IA. For more info, visit TheHenryFord.org.
April 29, 2016: Charley Pride Launches 50th Anniversary Tour
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of his groundbreaking song, "Just Between You And Me," which became a Top 10 hit on the Country Charts in 1966 and launched him to stardom, Charley Pride announced a tour that will take the Country Music Hall of Famer to various parts of the U.S. and Canada. This 12-date trek begins April 30, 2016 in Albuquerque, NM and ends November 18 in Wendover, NV, with additional stops in Nevada, as well as in Minnesota, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin, plus Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario, Canada.