January 24, 2016 by Amy Gold
During the week of January 17, 2016, fans bade a final farewell to Glenn Frey of The Eagles, Mic Gillette of Tower Of Power, Dale Griffin of Mott The Hoople, Gary Loizzo of The American Breed, and famed R&B singer Clarence Reid (a.k.a. Blowfly).
Also that week, David Bowie's final album, "Blackstar," topped the Billboard 200, and "Lazarus," the latest single from "Blackstar," became a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
Black Sabbath will be releasing its final album which will be available only to those who will be attending the band's final tour concerts which begin later this month. Peter Frampton announced a new album titled "Acoustic Classics" which will be coming out this February. Also that month, Mavis Staples will be releasing a new album titled "Livin' On A High Note." "Santana IV," a new album that reunites most of the original members of the legendary Latin rock band, will be coming out this April.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," and in celebration, Blue Oyster Cult has lined up a series of concerts at NYC's B.B. King Blues Club that begins this February. The band will also be launching a U.S. tour later this month. This March, Kris Kristofferson will be honored by Willie Nelson and others in a tribute concert to take place in Nashville, TN. Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Van Morrison, and Neil Young are among the headliners for this year's New Orleans JazzFest to take place this April. Bette Midler will be starring in a revival of "Hello, Dolly!" to open April, 2017. She will also be taking part in two upcoming David Bowie tribute concerts to take place in New York City beginning in late March.
Also that week, it was announced that Steven Tyler will be appearing on an upcoming episode of the concert TV series, "Front And Center," to air February 29, 2016 on public television. A new Mavis Staples documentary titled "Mavis!" will also be making its premiere that same day on HBO.
Finally, Cher was among a growing number of celebrities to come to the aid of Flint, MI with her donation of over 180,000 bottles of water. The city is currently in a state of emergency due to lead poisoning in the local water supply.
(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)
Bernie Sanders uses Simon & Garfunkel's classic 1968 song, "America," in a new campaign ad.
January 17, 2016: David Bowie's 'Blackstar' Album Tops Billboard 200 Chart
David Bowie's final album, "Blackstar," debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart dated January 30, 2016, making it his first-ever album to top this chart. "Best Of Bowie," originally released in 2002, returned to the Billboard 200 at #4, bringing the late rock legend's total number of Top 10 albums on this chart to nine. Also in the wake of his recent passing, eight other Bowie albums returned to this chart, among them, "The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars" at #21.
January 17, 2016: Famed R&B Singer Clarence Reid Passes Away
Famed R&B/rap/hip-hip singer, songwriter, producer, and parodist Clarence Reid died on January 17, 2016 at age 76 after suffering from terminal liver cancer. Better known today by his raunchy alter ego, Blowfly, Reid began his long music career during the 1960s and released many recordings under his real name that included the hits, "Nobody But You Babe" (1969) and "Funky Party" (1974). Also as Clarence Reid, he wrote and produced for such big name bands and artists as Betty Wright, Sam & Dave, Gwen McCrae, Bobby Byrd, and KC & The Sunshine Band.
Reid began recording and performing as Blowfly in 1971 when he released "The Weird World Of Blowfly," the first of a long string of albums of comedic dirty songs that continued through 2012. He reportedly got the nickname from his grandmother who caught him as a teenager singing dirty lyrics to a well known song and declared him to be
nastier than a blowfly.
January 18, 2016: Steven Tyler To Perform On Upcoming Episode Of 'Front And Center'
Steven Tyler will be appearing on an upcoming episode of the concert TV series, "Front And Center," which will air beginning February 29, 2016 on select public television stations across the country. This show will feature the Aerosmith frontman performing countrified versions of "Sweet Emotion," "Janie's Got A Gun," and other classics accompanied by Loving Mary. Tyler will also share the story behind his recently released single, "Love Is Your Name."
January 18, 2016: Mavis Staples Documentary To Premiere On HBO, New Album To Be Released
A new Mavis Staples documentary titled "Mavis!" will be making its premiere February 29, 2016 on HBO. This film, which covers Staples' stellar career both as a solo artist and with The Staple Singers, features live performances, rare footage, and interviews with Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, and other friends and collaborators. Staples will also be releasing a new album titled "Livin' On A High Note" on February 19 featuring new songs that include "High Note" which is currently streaming on Anti.com.
January 18, 2016: Dale Griffin Of Mott The Hoople Passes Away
Famed English drummer Dale "Buffin" Griffin died on January 17 at age 67 after battling Alzheimer's disease. He co-founded Mott The Hoople, an English rock band that had its origins going back to the early 1960s as The Soulents. Griffin can be heard on all the band's recordings, including its biggest hit, "All the Young Dudes" (1972). After Mott The Hoople split up in 1974, Griffin, along with two other band members, continued under the name Mott and released two albums before disbanding in 1976. Griffin then co-founded a production company and worked for BBC Radio throughout the 1980s-1990s. In 2009, Mott The Hoople reunited for a 40th anniversary concert.
January 18, 2016: Glenn Frey Of The Eagles Passes Away
Famed singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor Glenn Frey died on January 18, 2016 at age 67 in New York City of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia after undergoing intestinal surgery. During the 1970s, he became famous as a founding member of The Eagles before embarking on a highly successful solo career. As a member of The Eagles, Frey played guitar and keyboards, served as a lead singer, and co-wrote many of the band's top hits, including "Take It Easy" (1972), "Lyin' Eyes" (1975), "New Kid In Town" (1977), and "Heartache Tonight" (1979). After The Eagles disbanded in 1980, Frey went on to record a long string of albums and songs that included the hits, "The One You Love" (1982), "The Heat Is On" (1984), and "You Belong To The City" (1985). He also launched an acting career in the 1980s, appearing on such TV shows as "Miami Vice."
As a member of The Eagles, Frey's awards and accolades included six Grammys, five American Music Awards, and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. After his passing, numerous musicians have paid him tribute in concert and via social media.
January 18, 2016: Gary Loizzo Of The American Breed Passes Away
Famed singer, guitarist, producer, and recording engineer Gary Loizzo died on January 16, 2016 at age 70 after battling pancreatic cancer. He was best known as the lead singer of The American Breed famous for the smash hit, "Bend Me, Shape Me" (1967). In the early 1970s, Loizzo formed Pumpkin Recording Studios and received two Grammy nominations for his work as a recording engineer. Over the years, he had worked with such top bands and artists as Liza Minnelli, Bad Company, Slash, Survivor, REO Speedwagon, and, most notably, Styx.
January 19, 2016: Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Van Morrison, Neil Young To Headline 2016 New Orleans JazzFest
Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Van Morrison, and Neil Young are among the headliners for this year's New Orleans JazzFest. Among the many other featured bands and artists are The Isley Brothers, Mavis Staples, Aaron Neville, Michael McDonald, Dr. John, Arlo Guthrie, and Elvin Bishop. Highlights include tributes to the late B.B. King and Allen Toussaint, and a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the events that inspired Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant." JazzFest 2016 is set to take place April 22-24 and April 28-May 1, 2016.
January 19, 2016: David Bowie's 'Lazarus' Becomes Top 40 Hit On Billboard Hot 100
David Bowie scored a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Lazarus," the latest single from "Blackstar." Two earlier Bowie songs also re-entered the Billboard Hot 100: "Space Oddity" (1969) came in at #42, and "Under Pressure" (1982, with Queen) at #45. On the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart, Bowie's songs, both recent and past, occupied 21 of that chart's 50 slots, with "Lazarus" reaching #3.
January 19, 2016: Cher Donates Thousands Of Bottles Of Water To Flint, Michigan
Cher is among a growing number of celebrities to come to the aid of the residents of Flint, MI with her donation of 180,000+ bottles of water. The city is currently in a state of emergency due to lead poisoning in the local water supply. The residents of Flint haven't had safe drinking water since 2014.
January 19, 2016: Mic Gillette Of Tower Of Power Passes Away
Acclaimed trumpeter Mic Gillette died on January 17, 2016 at age 64 of a heart attack. He was a member of Tower Of Power, an R&B horn band with a string of hits from the 1970s that included "You're Still A Young Man" (1972) and "So Very Hard To Go" (1973). He was also a member of a number of other bands that included Cold Blood and The Sons Of Champlin. A prolific and highly respected session player, he had also toured and recorded with such top bands and artists as The Doobie Brothers, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Santana, Heart, Elton John, Rod Stewart, and The Rolling Stones.
January 19, 2016: Black Sabbath To Release Final Album To Concert Attendees Only
Later this month, Black Sabbath will be launching its farewell tour dubbed "The End," and the legendary heavy metal band will also be releasing a final album during the coming months to be sold only to those who will be attending the concerts. This limited-edition recording, to be released on CD, will consist of eight songs, four of which will be previously unreleased tracks from the band's 19th and final studio album, "13."
January 20, 2016: Willie Nelson And Others To Honor Kris Kristofferson In Concert
Kris Kristofferson will be honored in a tribute concert to take place March 16, 2016 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN. Dubbed "The Life & Songs Of Kris Kristofferson," this upcoming event will feature performances by such top artists as Willie Nelson, Rosanne Cash, and Emmylou Harris, as well as Kristofferson himself. For more info and tickets, visit SongsofKrisKristofferson.com.
January 20, 2016: Bette Midler To Return To Broadway In 2017, Joins Lineup For NYC Bowie Tribute Concerts
Bette Midler will be starring in a revival of "Hello, Dolly!" to open on April 20, 2017 in the Great White Way, with previews to begin on March 13, 2017. Midler has also joined the lineup for the two upcoming David Bowie tribute concerts to take place in NYC on March 31 and April 1, 2016 at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall, respectively. For more information, visit MusicOf.org.
January 21, 2016: Blue Oyster Cult To Celebrate '(Don't Fear) The Reaper' 40th Anniversary, Band Launches Tour
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Blue Oyster Cult hard rock classic, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper." In celebration, Blue Oyster Cult has lined up a series of concerts at NYC's B.B. King Blues Club to take place February 13, April 7 and June 17, 2016. In addition, the band will soon be launching a U.S. tour that starts on January 28 in Milwaukee, WI and ends on October 15 in Tyler, TX, with additional stops in Wisconsin, as well as in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington State. Guest artists for some of the shows will include, on different dates, Foghat, Jefferson Starship, Kansas, KC & The Sunshine Band, Orleans, Quiet Riot, Ratt, Slaughter, and Vanilla Fudge.
January 22, 2016: Santana IV To Be Released
"Santana IV," a new album that reunites most of the original members of the legendary Latin rock band, will be coming out on April 15, 2016. Highlights of this 16-track collection include two songs that feature Ronald Isley as guest vocalist. "Santana IV" will be released on CD, vinyl, and as digital downloads. "Anywhere You Want To Go," the album's lead single, will become available February 5.
January 22, 2016: Peter Frampton To Release New Album
Peter Frampton announced a new album titled "Acoustic Classics" which will be coming out on February 26, 2016. This 11-track collection includes mostly acoustic, "unplugged" renditions of such classics as "Show Me the Way," "Baby, I Love You Way," and "Do You Feel Like I Do," plus a new song titled "All Down to Me." For more info and a preview of "Do You Feel Like I Do," visit Frampton.com.