Music News Digest: Week Of January 31, 2016

February 8, 2016 by Amy Gold

During the week of January 31, 2016, fans bade a final farewell to Maurice White, the founder and co-lead singer of Earth, Wind & Fire, and Signe Anderson, the original female lead singer for Jefferson Airplane before Grace Slick came on board.

Also that week, Bill Medley announced that he will be taking on a new partner for the first time since the passing of Bobby Hatfield in 2003. The new duo, to be billed as The Righteous Brothers featuring Bill Medley with Bucky Heard, is set to begin a Las Vegas residency this March.

Foreigner will soon be launching an extended tour that will take the band to various parts of North America. Later this month, The Zombies will be starting a series of shows in the U.S. and will also be performing on The Moody Blues Cruise. Graham Nash, who is currently on tour in the U.S., announced a new set of shows to take place starting this April. This May, The Monkees will be launching their 50th anniversary tour. Also, Rod Stewart announced his upcoming tour of the U.K. to begin this November.

Foreigner just released its first-ever live acoustic album, "In Concert: Unplugged." Several David Bowie albums from 1968-1973 which are set to be reissued on vinyl are due out later this month. Also, The Monkees will be releasing a new album titled "Good Times!" this June.

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

Breaking news: In a recent episode of the British TV show, "This Morning," Steven Tyler's high-pitched vocals shattered a camera glass while his "Dream On" Skittles Super Bowl commercial (air date: February 7, 2016) was being played.

January 31, 2016: Signe Anderson Of Jefferson Airplane Passes Away

Famed singer Signe Anderson died on January 28, 2016 at age 74 at her home in Beaverton, OR after battling COPD. She was a founding member of Jefferson Airplane and the band's original female lead vocalist before Grace Slick came on board. Her passing was on the same day as that of her former Jefferson Airplane bandmate, Paul Kantner, who also died at age 74. Anderson's distinctive contralto vocals can be heard on "Jefferson Airplane Takes Off," the band's 1966 debut album, most notably in "Chauffeur Blues," the song for which she was best known.

Born Signe Toly in Seattle, WA, Anderson was raised in Portland, OR and began her music career as a jazz and folk singer. In 1965, along with Marty Balin, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen, Jerry Peloquin, and Bob Harvey, she co-founded Jefferson Airplane, a pioneering San Francisco-based psychedelic rock band that quickly rose to international prominence and soon became an important part of classic rock history. Soon after, she married Jerry Anderson of the Merry Pranksters. Anderson quit the band in late 1966 as Jefferson Airplane was touring extensively at that time and life on the road made it difficult for her to care for her newborn. Her final performance with the band took place as two sets on October 15, 1966 at San Francisco's Fillmore. The second show was officially released in 2010 as a live album titled "Jefferson Airplane: Live At The Fillmore Auditorium 10/15/66 Signe's Farewell." The following night (October 16, 1966), Grace Slick made her Jefferson Airplane debut.

After Anderson left Jefferson Airplane, she returned to Oregon where she sang with Carl Smith And The Natural Gas Company. Over the years, she made a number of guest appearances with the KBC Band and Jefferson Starship.

Source: Signe Anderson, Jefferson Airplane Singer, Dead at 74

January 31, 2016: Early David Bowie Albums To Be Reissued On Vinyl

Six David Bowie albums from 1969-1973, along with "Bowie At The Beeb," will be reissued on vinyl through Parlophone and are due out on February 26, 2016. The albums are: "Space Oddity," "The Man Who Sold The World," "Hunky Dory," "The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars," "Aladdin Sane," and "Pin Ups." "Bowie At The Beeb" is a collection of live performances by Bowie on the BBC from 1968-1972.

Source: Early David Bowie Records To Be Reissued On Vinyl

February 1, 2016: Graham Nash Adds New Show Dates

Graham Nash announced a new series of shows to take place starting April 22, 2016 in Beverly Hills, CA and ending May 14 in New York City. He is currently on tour in the U.S. in support of his latest album, "This Path Tonight."

Source: Graham Nash Schedules New US Solo Tour Dates in the Spring

February 2, 2016: Rod Stewart Announces U.K. Tour

Rod Stewart announced his upcoming tour of the U.K. with seven show dates that begin November 12, 2016 in Liverpool, England and end December 13 in Glasgow, Scotland. His concerts will feature both old classics and new songs from his latest album, "Another Country."

Source: Rod Stewart Announces U.K. Arena Tour

February 3, 2016: Foreigner To Release First Live Acoustic Album And Launch Tour

Foreigner's first live acoustic album will be coming out on February 5, 2016. Titled " In Concert: Unplugged," this collection includes such classics as "Hot Blooded" and "Double Vision." The band also announced an upcoming 39-date North American tour that begins on February 11 in Westbury, NY and ends on July 24 in Kettering, OH, with additional stops in New York and Ohio, as well as in Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas, plus Mexico and Ontario, Canada. For more info, visit

Source: Foreigner to Release First Live Acoustic Album, "In Concert. Unplugged," on Friday

February 4, 2016: Maurice White Of Earth, Wind & Fire Passes Away

Famed singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, and bandleader Maurice White died at age 74 on February 3-4, 2016 in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles after a lengthy battle with Parkinson's disease. In 1969, he founded Earth, Wind & Fire, a pioneering Ramp;B horn band with a long string of hits that include "Shining Star" (1975), "Sing A Song" (1975), and "After The Love Has Gone" (1979). For many years, he served as the band's record producer and main songwriter, and he was the co-lead singer along with Phillip Bailey. He had also worked with such top acts as The Emotions, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, and Deniece Williams. Prior to forming Earth, Wind & Fire, White had been a session drummer for Chess Records and had played with the Ramsey Lewis Trio.

White's numerous awards and accolades over the years included seven Grammys and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as a member of Earth, Wind & Fire. He was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Source: Earth, Wind & Fire's Maurice White Dead at 74

February 5, 2016: Bill Medley Reforms The Righteous Brothers With New Duet Partner

Since the passing of Bobby Hatfield in 2003, Bill Medley has decided to revive The Righteous Brothers with a new partner, Bucky Heard, for a residency at the Harrah's Showroom in Las Vegas. The new duo, to be billed as The Righteous Brothers featuring Bill Medley with Bucky Heard, will be giving over 40 shows starting March 23, 2016. For a preview, visit the official Harrah's Las Vegas Facebook page.

Source: Bill Medley Reforms The Righteous Brothers with New Duet Partner for Las Vegas Residency

February 5, 2016: The Monkees To Launch 50th Anniversary Tour And Release New Album

The Monkees will be launching their 50th anniversary tour this summer which will take the band to various parts of North America. This 35-date trek begins on May 18, 2016 in Fort Myers, FL and ends on October 29 in Shippensburg, PA, with additional stops in Florida and Pennsylvania, as well as in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Washington State, and Washington, D.C., plus Ontario, Canada. The Monkees will also be celebrating their 50th anniversary with the release of a new album titled "Good Times!" to be released June 10. Besides several new songs, this upcoming album will also include various tracks the band began working on in the 1960s but had never completed until now.

Source: The Monkees to Release New Album, "Good Times!," in June; Will Head Out on 50th Anniversary Tour in May

February 6, 2016: The Zombies To Perform In U.S.

The Zombies will be giving a series of shows in the U.S. beginning February 24, 2016 in Orlando, FL to promote their latest album, "Still Got That Hunger." To date, the band has 15 shows confirmed that run through May 29 in St. Charles, IL, with additional stops in Florida, as well as in Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The Zombies will also be performing on The Moody Blues Cruise from February 26-March 1. For more info, visit

Source: The Zombies to Play a Few Florida Concerts This Month; Schedule More US Dates in May