October 3, 2016 by Amy Gold
During the week of September 25, 2016, fans bade a final farewell to country star Jean Shepard best remembered by pop and country music listeners alike for her 1953 hit, "A Dear John Letter."
A new Ike & Tina Turner box set titled "The Complete Pompeii Recordings 1968-1969" was recently released. A 36-CD Bob Dylan box set titled "Highway '66 Revisited" that includes every known live recording from his 1966 world tour will be coming out in November. Also due out that month are a new career-spanning David Bowie singles compilation titled "Legacy" and DVD/Blu-ray versions of the new Rolling Stones concert film, "Havana Moon." In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of The Band's farewell concert, "The Last Waltz," various audio/video packages featuring songs and footage from this show will be released starting in November. In addition, Robbie Robertson of The Band will be coming out with a memoir titled "Testimony" and a companion album of the same title. Due out sometime later this year is a box set titled "Queen On Air: The Complete BBC Sessions" which includes live broadcasts and interviews from 1973-1977.
Also that week, it was announced that Valerie Simpson of Ashford & Simpson will be joining the lineup for Dave Koz's 2016 Christmas Tour which begins in November.
(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)
Mick Jagger asks fans what they want The Rolling Stones to play at the upcoming at Desert Trip Festival this October.
September 25, 2016: Country Star Jean Shepard Passes Away
Famed country/honky-tonk singer-songwriter Jean Shepard died on September 25, 2016 at age 82. She was a pioneering and highly influential country star with a long string of hits on the Country charts from 1953-1978. To pop and country music fans alike, she is best remembered for "A Dear John Letter," a duet with Ferlin Husky which topped the Country charts in 1953 and also became a Top 10 hit on the Pop/Rock charts that same year.
She was born Ollie Imogene "Jean" Shepard in Pauls Valley, OK and raised in Visalia, CA. While in high school, she co-founded an all-female band known as The Melody Ranch Girls in which she played bass. In 1952, she was discovered by Hank Thompson who helped sign her on to Capitol Records in an era during which there were very few solo female country music female artists. She made her chart debut in 1953 with what was to become one of her signature songs, "A Dear John Letter." This hugely successful crossover hit was followed later that year by its sequel, "Forgive Me John" (also with Ferlin Husky), which became a Top 10 country hit and also made the Top 40 on the Pop/Rock charts. Other hits included "A Satisfied Mind" (1955), "Beautiful Lies" (1955), "I Thought Of You" (1955), "Second Fiddle (To An Old Guitar)" (1964), "I'll Take The Dog" (1966, with Ray Pillow), "If Teardrops Were Silver" (1966), "Then He Touched Me" (1970), and "Slippin' Away" (1973). Shepard also recorded over 20 albums between 1956-1981, many of which dealt with such then-controversial topics as adultery and other marital issues, paving the way for such artists as Loretta Lynn.
In 1955, Shepard became a cast member of the TV show, "Ozark Jubilee," where she met her then-future husband, Hawkshaw Hawkins. The two singers toured together and, in 1960, married onstage in Wichita, KS. On March 5, 1960, Hawkins died in the same plane crash that took the lives of Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas. She gave birth to their son, Hawkshaw Jr., just one month after the crash. She later married Benny Birchfield and they remained so until her passing.
Shepard was invited to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1955, making her one of only three women who were members at that time. Her many other honors and accolades over the years included being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011. In 2014, she published a memoir, "Down Through The Years."
September 26, 2016: Valerie Simpson To Join Dave Koz's 2016 Christmas Tour
R&B singer-songwriter Valerie Simpson of Ashford & Simpson is among those to join the lineup for Dave Koz's 2016 Christmas Tour. This 24-date trek begins November 25 in Sarasota, FL and ends December 22 in San Jose, CA, with additional stops in California and Florida, as well as in Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Washington, D.C.
September 26, 2016: New Ike & Tina Turner Compilation Released
A new Ike & Tina Turner box set featuring recordings made in the late 1960s on Pompeii Records was recently released. Titled "The Complete Pompeii Recordings 1968-1969," highlights of this 3-CD collection include the albums, "So Fine," "Cussin', Cryin' And Carryin' On," and "A Black Man's Soul," plus the single, "So Fine."
September 27, 2016: Bob Dylan To Release 36-CD Box Set
A 36-CD Bob Dylan box set titled "Highway '66 Revisited" is due out on November 11, 2016. This massive collection brings together every known live recording from Dylan's 1966 world tour which includes performances in Australia, many countries in Europe, and parts of the Northeastern U.S. In conjunction with this box set, "The Real Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert," an album that captures Dylan's May 26, 1966 at the famous London venue, will be coming out on CD December 2 and on vinyl November 26.
September 27, 2016: Rolling Stones Concert Film Coming Out On DVD And Blu-ray
The new Rolling Stones concert film, "Havana Moon," will be coming out November 11, 2016 on DVD and Blu-ray, and as a deluxe package with a companion album. This movie, which recently made its theatrical debut, documents the band's historic free show in Havana, Cuba that took place on March 26, 2016.
September 28, 2016: New David Bowie Singles Compilation To Be Released
A new David Bowie singles compilation titled "Legacy" will be coming out November 11, 2016 as both single CD and 2-CD sets. The single CD set includes 20 tracks that span Bowie's first hit single, "A Space Oddity," through "Lazarus" from his final album, "Blackstar" (2016), and the 2-CD set includes an additional 20 songs. In addition, a 2-LP vinyl set featuring most of the same 20 songs on the single-CD version will be released January 7, 2017.
September 28, 2016: The Band's 'Last Waltz' Concert To Be Re-Released As Audio/Video Packages
In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of The Band's farewell concert, "The Last Waltz," three audio/video packages featuring songs and footage from this show will be coming out November 11, 2016, with a Collector's Edition due out on December 9. This historic event, which took place on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1976, at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom, was filmed by Martin Scorsese and made into a documentary of the same name that was released in 1978.
September 29, 2016: Robbie Robertson Of The Band To Release Memoir And Companion Album
On November 15, 2016, Robbie Robertson of The Band will be coming out with a memoir titled "Testimony." He will also release a companion album of the same title with classic songs by Bob Dylan and The Band, as well as others that span his career from both before and after his time with The Band. Highlights include live performances from 1971 by The Band of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "Life Is A Carnival," and "The Shape I'm In."
September 30, 2016: Queen BBC Broadcasts To Be Released
A Queen box set of BBC radio broadcasts will be coming out sometime later this year on CD and vinyl, and in various digital formats. Titled "Queen On Air: The Complete BBC Sessions," this 24-track collection includes live broadcasts and interviews from 1973-1977. For more info, visit QueenOnAir.com.