December 12, 2016 by Amy Gold
During the week of December 4, 2016, fans bade a final farewell to Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Mark Gray of Exile.
Also that week, The Rolling Stones' latest album, "Blue & Lonesome," debuted at no. 1 on the U.K.'s Official Albums Chart.
Stevie Nicks announced a new series of concerts across the U.S. beginning next February. Also that month, Yes will give several concerts in various Southern states. Peter Wolf announced a new series of shows beginning next April to take place in New England. Also that month, Steve Winwood will begin a series of concerts in the Eastern U.S. Deep Purple announced a series of shows in the U.K. to take place in November 2017 that will be part of its final trek dubbed "The Long Goodbye Tour."
Twelve Isaac Hayes albums from 1969-1976 remastered from the original tapes were recently reissued in high resolution audio formats on iTunes. Also, Deep Purple announced its upcoming new album, "Infinite," which is due out sometime in 2017.
Also that week, it was announced that James Brown will be the subject of a new episode of the TV One documentary series, "Unsung," to air on February 22, 2017.
Finally, Sweet's 1975 smash hit, "Fox On The Run," topped the iTunes' Top 40 U.S. Rock Songs chart. This song is featured in the new trailer for the upcoming movie, "Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2."
(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)
The Eagles, Mavis Staples, and James Taylor were among those commended by President Obama at this year's Kennedy Center Honors which took place on December 4, 2016. This gala will be televised December 27 on CBS.
December 5, 2016: Mark Gray Of Exile Passes Away
Famed country singer and songwriter Mark Gray died on December 2, 2016 at age 64 in Lebanon, TN. From 1979-1982, he was a member of Exile, a group that had several hits on the Pop/Rock charts in the late 1970s before going country in 1983. This band's best known pop hits include the chart-topping "Kiss You All Over" (1978).
After his time with Exile, Gray pursued a solo career and had a string of hits on the Country charts from 1983-1988 that included a duet with Tammy Wynette, "Sometimes When We Touch" (1985). In addition, he wrote many hit songs for other bands and artists, including "Take Me Down" (1982) and "The Closer You Get" (1983), both of which topped the Country charts for Alabama.
December 5, 2016: Deep Purple Announces New Album, Farewell Tour
Deep Purple announced its upcoming new album, "Infinite," which is due out sometime in 2017. The band also announced a series of shows in the U.K. to take place in late 2017 that will be part of its final trek dubbed "The Long Goodbye Tour." These shows begin on November 17, 2017 in Birmingham and end on November 23 in London, with stops in Manchester, Cardiff, and Glasgow.
December 5, 2016: Peter Wolf Announces 2017 Shows
J. Geils Band former lead singer and co-founder Peter Wolf announced a new series of show dates for 2017 to take place in New England. This 4-date trek begins on April 8, 2017 in Beverly, MA and ends on April 29 in Bristol, NH, with stops in Fall River, MA.
December 5, 2016: Stevie Nicks Announces New Show Dates For 2017
Stevie Nicks, who is currently on tour with The Pretenders, announced a new series of show dates for 2017. This 20-date trek begins on February 23, 2017 in Reno, NV and ends on April 6 in Uniondale, NY, with stops in California, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.
December 5, 2016: Sweet's 'Fox On The Run' Tops iTunes Rock Chart
Sweet's 1975 smash hit, "Fox On The Run," reached #1 on the iTunes' Top 40 U.S. Rock Songs chart. This song's resurgence in popularity is attributed to its use in the new trailer for the upcoming movie, "Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2." The trailer for the first "Guardians Of The Galaxy" movie also featured a 1970s smash hit, "Hooked On A Feeling" by Blue Swede.
December 7, 2016: Steve Winwood Announces 2017 Tour Dates
Steve Winwood announced a series of 2017 shows that will take the former Traffic and Spencer Davis Group frontman to various cities in the Eastern U.S. This 14-date trek begins on April 20, 2017 in Westbury, NY and ends on May 10 in Nashville, TN, with additional stops in New York, as well as in Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
December 7, 2016: Yes Announces New Show Dates For 2017
Yes announced a series of shows in the Southern U.S. beginning on February 3, 2017 in Cherokee, NC and ending on February 17 in Biloxi, MS, with stops in Florida and Georgia. For more info and tickets, visit YesWorld.com. As previously announced, the band will also set sail February 7-11 on its progressive rock-themed "Cruise To The Edge."
December 8, 2016: Greg Lake Passes Away
Famed singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer Greg Lake died on December 7, 2016 at age 69 after battling cancer. He was a co-founder of two seminal progressive rock bands, King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
Born Gregory Stuart Lake in Dorset, England, he began playing the guitar and wrote his first song, "Lucky Man," at age 12. At 17, he became a full time musician and played in several rock bands before joining King Crimson in the late 1960s. Lake co-produced, provided lead vocals for, and played bass on the band's first album, "In The Court Of The Crimson King: An Observation By King Crimson" (1969), which was both a critical and commercial success and today considered to be a landmark in the progressive rock genre. He also sang on the band's second album, "In the Wake Of Poseidon" (1970).
In 1970, Lake left King Crimson and co-founded Emerson, Lake & Palmer with Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer, serving as the band's lead singer, bassist/guitarist, and producer. ELP released its self-titled album that same year and, in 1971, debuted on the charts with "Lucky Man," a reworking of Lake's first song. This was followed by a string of hits through 1986 that also included "Nut Rocker" (1972) and "From The Beginning" (1972). ELP released a long string of albums through 2007 that included the critically acclaimed "Tarkus" (1971), "Pictures At An Exhibition" (1971), "Trilogy" (1972), "Brain Salad Surgery" (1973), and "Love Beach" (1978).
After ELP split for the first time in 1979, Lake played with Asia and formed the short-lived Emerson, Lake and Powell with drummer Cozy Powell. Over the years, Lake also pursued a solo career beginning in 1975 with the release of a single, "I Believe In Father Christmas," which peaked at #2 on the U.K. charts and remains a holiday favorite. The original ELP trio reformed in 1991, released two more albums, and toured through 1998 before finally disbanding. The band reunited in 2010 for one final performance to mark its 40th anniversary. Lake continued touring as a solo artist to well into the 21st century.
December 8, 2016: James Brown To Be Featured On TV One's 'Unsung'
James Brown will be the subject of a new episode of the next season of the TV One documentary series, "Unsung," which premieres on January 4, 2017. The episode featuring the late and great Godfather of Soul will be shown on February 22, with appearances by Chadwick Boseman who played Brown in the 2014 biopic, "Get On Up." Other musicians to be featured in this season of "Unsung" will include ex-Tower of Power frontman Lenny Williams.
December 9, 2016: Rolling Stones' 'Blue & Lonesome' Debuts at #1 On UK Chart
The Rolling Stones' latest album, "Blue & Lonesome," debuted at #1 on the U.K.'s Official Albums Chart, making this the band's 12th album to top that chart. Released on December 2, 2016, "Blue & Lonesome" is a covers album of blues classics penned by such greats as Buddy Johnson, Little Walter, and Howlin' Wolf.
December 9, 2016: Isaac Hayes Remastered Albums Released On iTunes
Twelve albums by the late and great Isaac Hayes from 1969-1976 were remastered from the original tapes and reissued in high resolution audio formats on iTunes December 9, 2016. Among the albums now available for download are such classics as "Hot Buttered Soul" (1969), "The Isaac Hayes Movement" (1971), "Black Moses" (1971), and the legendary "Shaft" soundtrack. Also, Hayes' catalog and a retrospective box set are expected out sometime in 2017 on 180-gram vinyl.