Allbutforgottenoldies.net Music News Digest: Week Of January 3, 2016

January 11, 2016 by Amy Gold

During the week of January 3, 2016, fans bade a final farewell to Robert Balser, Nicholas Caldwell, Otis Clay, and Robert Stigwood. Balser was one of the animation directors for the Beatles' classic 1968 film, "Yellow Submarine." Caldwell was a founding member of The Whispers, a veteran Los Angeles-based R&B group formed in the early 1960s. Clay was a Blues Hall of Famer R&B-soul singer whose many hits included "She's About A Mover" (1967) and "Tryin' To Live My Life Without You" (1972). Stigwood was best known for managing Cream and The Bee Gees and for producing the 1977 movie blockbuster, "Saturday Night Fever."

Steven Tyler announced the release of a new single titled "Red White & You" from his upcoming solo country album. Michael Jackson' 1979 album, "Off The Wall," is scheduled to be re-released this February. Also, a new limited-edition Elvis Presley box set titled "Elvis Presley -- The Album Collection" will be coming out this March.

Todd Rundgren, Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, and Robby Krieger of The Doors will all be launching U.S. tours this month. Diana Ross, Kool & The Gang, and REO Speedwagon will be performing at this year's Mardi Gras concert series at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL which begins this February. Stevie Wonder will be co-headlining this year's BottleRock Napa Valley Festival to take place this May.

Also that week, it was announced that the new Spike Lee documentary, "Michael Jackson's Journey From Motown To Off The Wall," will make its world premiere later this month at the Sundance Film Festival before debuting February 5, 2016 on Showtime. Also, "American Masters -- Carole King: Natural Woman" will be making its premiere February 19 on PBS.

(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)


Below is David Bowie's video for "Lazarus," the latest single from his new album, "Blackstar."

News flash: It was just announced all over the news today, January 11, 2016, that David Bowie died at age 69 of cancer (see, e.g., this article from rollingstone.com). We at allbutforgottenoldies.net are very saddened and stunned by this tragic and highly unexpected event.


January 4, 2016: Todd Rundgren Begins New Tour Leg, Announces Upcoming Summer Fan Camp

Todd Rundgren will soon launch a new leg of his "An Evening With Todd Rundgren" tour that will take him to various states in the U.S. This 26-date trek begins on January 6, 2016 in Beverly Hills, CA and ends on February 14 in St. Petersburg, FL, with additional stops in California and Florida, as well as in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North and South Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. Rundgren also announced the latest edition of his upcoming summer fan camp which will take place August 22-26, 2016 in Stowe, VT at the Trapp Family Lodge.

Source: Todd Rundgren to Host "Sound of Music"-Themed Fan Summer Camp; Launching US Tour This Week

January 4, 2016: Steven Tyler To Release Second Single From Upcoming Country Album

Steven Tyler announced the second single from his upcoming solo country album which is currently in progress. Titled "Red White & You" this new song will air on radio beginning January 25, 2016. The first single, titled "Love Is Your Name," was released in May 2015 with an accompanying video.

Source: Second Single from Steven Tyler's Upcoming Country Solo Album to Hit Radio This Month

January 5, 2016: Ex-Grand Funk Railroad Frontman Mark Farner To Launch Tour

Mark Farner announced a tour that will take the former Grand Funk Railroad frontman to various states in the U.S. This trek is currently set to begin on January 10, 2016 in Delray Beach, FL and end on August 13 in Little Orleans, MD, with additional stops in Florida and Maryland, as well as in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, and Utah. So far, 21 shows that include a cruise have been confirmed, some of which will take place with guest artists Micky Dolenz, Felix Cavaliere, Steve Augeri, John Cafferty, and Chuck Negron.

Source: Ex-Grand Funk Railroad Singer Mark Farner Playing Various US Events This Year

January 5, 2016: Former Bee Gees, Cream Manager Robert Stigwood Passes Away

Manager, producer, and music entrepreneur Robert Stigwood died on January 4, 2016 at age 81 in London, England. He became best known for managing Cream and The Bee Gees. Born in Port Pirie, South Australia, he began his long career in the entertainment business in the late 1950s and, in 1966, became The Who's booking agent and manager of Cream. The following year, he became the manager of The Bee Gees and was instrumental in this group's huge international success. Stigwood also branched out into stage musicals such as "Hair" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" and film productions that included "Grease," The Who's rock opera, "Tommy," "Evita," and most famously, the 1977 blockbuster, "Saturday Night Fever."

Source: Former Bee Gees, Cream Manager Robert Stigwood Dead at 81

January 5, 2016: Ex-Doors Guitarist Robby Krieger Announces 2016 Tour Dates

Robby Krieger announced a series of show dates that will take the ex-Doors guitarist and founding member to several states in the U.S. This trek is currently set to begin on January 28 in Orlando, FL and end on April 29 in Huntington, NY, with stops in Iowa, Missouri, and New Jersey. The Edgar Winter Band will be a guest artist for one of the shows.

Source: Doors Guitarist Robby Krieger Announces First 2016 Tour Dates

January 5, 2016: Stevie Wonder To Headline 2016 BottleRock Napa Valley Festival

Stevie Wonder will be co-headlining this year's BottleRock Napa Valley Festival which is set to take place May 27-29, 2016 in Napa, CA. Featured artists will also include Buddy Guy, Lenny Kravitz, and Ziggy Marley, plus many other more contemporary acts. For more info, visit BottleRockNapaValley.com.

Source: Stevie Wonder to Headline 2016 BottleRock Napa Valley Festival in May

January 6, 2016: Diana Ross, Kool & The Gang To Play Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras Concert Series

Diana Ross, Kool & The Gang, and REO Speedwagon are among the bands and artists to be performing at this year's Mardi Gras concert series at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL. Diana Ross' performance will take place February 13, 2016, Kool & The Gang's is slated for March 5, and REO Speedwagon's is scheduled for March 26. For more info, visit UniversalOrlando.com/MardiGras.

Source: Diana Ross, Kool & the Gang Among Artists to Play Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras Concert Series

January 7, 2016: Nicholas Caldwell Of The Whispers Passes Away

R&B singer Nicholas Caldwell died on January 5, 2016 at age 71 of congestive heart failure at his home in San Francisco, CA. He was a founding member of The Whispers, a veteran Los Angeles-based R&B group formed in 1964 that has continued to perform and record to the present day. This group has a long string of hits on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts that began in 1969 with "The Time Will Come" and also includes "Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong" (1970), "Make It With You" (1977), and the chart-topping "And The Beat Goes On" (1980) and "Rock Steady" (1987). Over their long career, The Whispers released over two dozen albums, many of which charted on the Billboard 200. This group's many honors and accolades include being inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003 and receiving the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's Pioneer Award in 2008. The Whispers were later inducted into The SoulMusic Hall Of Fame at SoulMusic.com in 2012 by popular vote.

Source: Nicholas Caldwell, Cofounder of the Whispers, Dead at 71

January 7, 2016: Michael Jackson's 'Off the Wall' Album To Be Re-released And Featured In Upcoming Documentary

Michael Jackson' 1979 album, "Off The Wall," is set to be re-released February 26, 2016 on CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray. Included in these packages will be the original album plus the new Spike Lee documentary, "Michael Jackson's Journey From Motown To Off The Wall," which will make its world premiere on January 24 at the Sundance Film Festival before debuting February 5 on Showtime. "Off The Wall" includes the hits, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," "Rock With You," "She's Out Of My Life," and the title track.

Source: Michael Jackson's 1979 Album "Off the Wall" Getting Re-Release & Spike Lee Documentary

January 7, 2016: New Elvis Presley Box Set To Be Released

A new Elvis Presley box set will be coming out on March 18, 2016. Titled "Elvis Presley -- The Album Collection," this limited-edition, career-spanning 60-CD collection includes restored versions of albums beginning with Presley's 1956 self-titled debut album through his final album, "Moody Blue" (1977), three new compilations that each focus on a different decade in Presley's career, and a hardcover book with photos, illustrations, and more. For more info, visit ElvistheMusic.com.

Source: 60-CD Elvis Presley Box Set Featuring Three New Rarities Compilations Arriving in March

January 8, 2016: Carole King 'American Masters' Documentary To Premiere On PBS

A new Carole King documentary will be making its premiere February 19, 2016 on PBS as part of this network's "American Masters" series. Titled "American Masters -- Carole King: Natural Woman," this film will cover King's life and career from her childhood through the present and will also feature previously unseen footage and new interviews with friends, family, and musical collaborators as well as with King herself.

Source: Carole King "American Masters" Documentary to Premiere Next Month

January 8, 2016: Yellow Submarine Animation Director Robert Balser Passes Away

Animator Robert Balser died on January 4, 2016 at age 88 from complications of respiratory failure at Los Angeles' Cedars Sinai Hospital. He was one of the animation directors for the Beatles' 1968 film, "Yellow Submarine." Balser's many other credits also included several TV movies and the " Jackson 5ive" animated TV series from the early 1970s.

Source: Yellow Submarine Animation Director Robert Balser Dead at Age 88

January 9, 2016: Otis Clay Passes Away

R&B-soul singer Otis Clay died on January 8, 2016 at age 73 of a heart attack in Chicago, IL. Born in Bolivar County, Mississippi, Clay began his career singing with various gospel music groups before making his first solo secular recordings in 1962. He had a string of hits on the R&B charts that included "That's How It Is (When You're In Love)" (1967), "She's About A Mover" (1968), "Trying to Live My Life Without You," (1972), and "The Only Way Is Up" (1980). Over the years, Clay continued to record and perform live and in 2013, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2013.

Source: Otis Clay, Soul Singer, Dead at 73