January 1, 2017 by Amy Gold
During the week of December 25, 2016, fans bade a final farewell to Rick Parfitt of Status Quo, The Beatles' first manager Allan Williams, and 1980s pop sensation George Michael.
Also that week, Ray Davies was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in the U.K.'s 2017 New Year's Honors List.
The Beach Boys announced their itinerary for 2017 to date which includes tour legs in the U.S., Europe, and Australia, plus two cruise appearances. John Fogerty announced three U.S. concerts for February and two European music festival appearances for June. Dr. John, Grateful Dead co-founder Bob Weir, and various members of The Allman Brothers Band are among the featured performers at the 2017 Wanee Festival which takes place in April.
Deep Purple announced a new album titled "inFinite" which is due out in April.
Also that week, it was announced that Martha Reeves, Dave Davies, Graham Nash, and a number of other oldies music icons will appear in a new Smithsonian Channel series titled "Rock 'N' Roll Inventions" to premiere January 16, 2017. Two Rolling Stones concert movies are set to make their TV premiere on Starz that same month: "Olé! Olé! Olé!: A Trip Across Latin America" (January 15), and "Havana Moon" (January 22).
Finally, the City of Los Angeles declared January 4, 2017 as "The Day Of The Doors" in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the release of the band's self-titled debut album.
(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)
Below are highlights from the 39th Annual Kennedy Center Honors which was broadcast on CBS December 27, 2016. The Eagles, Mavis Staples, and James Taylor were among the honorees.
December 25, 2016: George Michael Passes Away
Famed singer, songwriter, and 1980s pop sensation George Michael died on December 25, 2016 at age 53 at his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. With Andrew Ridgeley, Michael formed the duo Wham! in 1981 which became famous for such hits as the chart-topping "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" (1984). After going solo in 1987, Michael went on to score a long string of hits through 1998 that included a Grammy award-winning duet with Aretha Franklin titled "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (1987), a remake of Elton John's "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" (1991), and numerous other chart-toppers.
December 26, 2016: Rick Parfitt Of Status Quo Passes Away
Famed singer, songwriter, and guitarist Rick Parfitt died on December 24, 2016 at age 68 from sepsis in a hospital in Marbella, Spain. He was a longtime member of Status Quo, a British rock band formed in 1962 with a long string of hits on the U.K. charts through 2010. This band's best known songs include the 1968 psychedelic classic, "Pictures Of Matchstick Men," which reached #12 on the U.S. Billboard charts. Parfitt joined Status Quo in 1967 and remained with the band through June, 2016 when he suffered a heart attack and was forced to retire from touring.
December 27, 2016: Rolling Stones Concert Films To Premiere On Starz
Two recent movies featuring The Rolling Stones in concert will be making their TV premiere on Starz in January. "Olé! Olé! Olé!: A Trip Across Latin America," which covers the band's early 2016 Latin America tour through 10 cities, will debut on January 15, 2017. "Havana Moon," which covers the band's historic free concert in the Cuba capital, will premiere January 22. Both films will also be available for streaming and download through the Starz app beginning January 15.
December 27, 2016: John Fogerty Announces 2017 Concerts
John Fogerty has announced three U.S. concerts for February 2017 in San Antonio, TX, Port Chester, NY, and Mashantucket, CT. He also has two European shows lined up for next June, to take place at the Azkena Rock Festival in Bizkaia, Spain and at the Rock the Ring fest in Hinwil, Switzerland.
December 28, 2016: Oldies Music Icons To Appear In 'Rock 'N' Roll Inventions' TV Series
Martha Reeves, Dave Davies, Graham Nash, and a number of other oldies music icons will appear in a new Smithsonian Channel series titled "Rock 'N' Roll Inventions" to premiere January 16, 2017. This series will kick off with "This Damn Music" which covers the history of the various equipment used over the years to play and record music, starting with the gramophone. For more info, visit SmithsonianChannel.com.
December 29, 2016: Bob Weir, Dr. John, Allman Brothers Band Members To Perform At 2017 Wanee Festival
The initial lineup for the upcoming 2017 Wanee Festival has been announced, with Grateful Dead co-founder Bob Weir to serve as one of this event's headliners. Other featured bands and artists will include various members of The Allman Brothers Band, Dr. John & The Nite Trippers, and Grateful Dead tribute group Dark Star Orchestra. Wanee Festival is an annual event held since 2005 at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL. The 2017 edition will take place April 20-22. For more info and tickets, visit WaneeFestival.com.
December 29, 2016: L.A. To Proclaim January 4 'The Day Of The Doors'
January 4, 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the release of The Doors' self-titled debut album, and in commemoration, the City of Los Angeles has declared this day as "The Day Of The Doors." The proclamation ceremony will take place in L.A.'s Venice neighborhood where the band was formed. Surviving Doors members John Densmore and Robby Krieger and family members of the late Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek will be in attendance, as well as L.A. Councilmember Mike Bonin who will make the proclamation.
December 29, 2016: Beach Boys Announce 2017 Itinerary
The Beach Boys announced their itinerary for 2017 to date which includes tour legs in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. The legendary surf rock band currently has over 30 U.S. concerts lined up from January 21 through August 28, 2017 covering California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North and South Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The Australian trek will take place in February, and the European trek will run from May-June. In addition, the band will take part in NASCAR: The Cruise and the 2017 Malt Shop Memories Cruise, which set sail on January 29 and November 5, respectively.
December 29, 2016: Deep Purple Announces Upcoming Album
Deep Purple announced a new album titled "inFinite" which is due out on April 7, 2017. Highlights include "Time For Bedlam" which fans can preview on YouTube.
December 30, 2016: Beatles' First Manager Allan Williams Passes Away
British businessman and promoter Allan Williams died on December 30, 2016 at age 86. He was the first manager of The Beatles and the band's original booking agent. Williams is also famous for having opened The Jacaranda, a landmark Liverpool club that spawned numerous top acts and gained cult status over the years.
December 31, 2016: Ray Davies Of The Kinks Is Knighted By Queen Elizabeth
On December 31, 2016, Ray Davies of The Kinks was knighted in the U.K.'s 2017 New Year Honors for services to the arts. With this honor, Davies joins such rock luminaries as Mick Jagger, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison and Rod Stewart. The Kinks frontman was also honored by Queen Elizabeth in 2004 with the CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire).