Music News Digest: Week Of February 12, 2017

February 19, 2017 by Amy Gold

During the week of February 12, 2017, David Bowie was honored posthumously with five Grammys for his album, "Blackstar," which also went gold.

Also that week, fans bade a final farewell to Walter "Junie" Morrison of The Ohio Players and Parliament-Funkadelic and Clyde Stubblefield who was a drummer in James Brown's band.

The Yardbirds announced a U.S. tour that begins in March. Boston announced an upcoming North American tour that starts in April. Paul Simon announced two shows at the Eaux Claires Festival in Wisconsin to take place in June. Also that month, The Moody Blues will launch a North American tour to commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the band's "Days Of Future Passed" album. In addition, Styx, REO Speedwagon, and ex-Eagles guitarist Don Felder will launch a joint U.S. tour, and Joan Baez will launch a joint North American tour with The Indigo Girls and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Also, the upcoming Southern Rock Cruise will set sail in January 2018, with Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Marshall Tucker Band, and 38 Special among the many featured performers.

Also that week, it was announced that The Rolling Stones' "Exhibitionism" exhibit will be moved from New York City to Chicago in April. Also that month, a new documentary titled "Beach Boys: Making Pet Sounds" about the creation of this classic 1966 album will premiere on Showtime.

Finally, Tommy James and Connie Francis will be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame at an awards ceremony to take place in May.

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

February 13, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles' double A-sided single, "Strawberry Fields Forever"/"Penny Lane." Below are clips from two films the Fab Four made in 1967 to promote these songs.

February 12, 2017: Grammy Awards 2017 Winners Announced

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards ceremonies took place in Los Angeles on February 12, 2017 and were televised live on CBS. Among the biggest winners was David Bowie who was honored posthumously with five Grammys for his album, "Blackstar," in every category in which it was nominated. The album won for Best Alternative Music Album, Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical), and Best Recording Package, and the album's title track received the Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance awards. Other Grammy honorees include Bob Dylan whose album, "The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series, Vol.12 (Collector's Edition)," won in the Best Historical Album category. "Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin" was named the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. Also, Ron Howard's documentary, "The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years," was named the Best Music Film.

Source: Grammy Awards 2017 list of winners - CBS News

February 13, 2017: New Beach Boys Documentary To Premiere On Showtime

A new documentary about the making of The Beach Boys' 1966 album, "Pet Sounds," will premiere on Showtime this April. Titled "Beach Boys: Making Pet Sounds," this film features new interviews with surviving band members and archival footage.

Source: New documentary about The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" album to premiere on Showtime in April

February 14, 2017: Paul Simon To Perform At Eaux Claires Festival

Paul Simon announced two upcoming shows at the Eaux Claires Festival to take place on June 16 and 17, 2017 in Eau Claire, WI. He will perform with yMusic, a neo-classical/pop collective co-founded by C.J. Camerieri who is also a member of Simon's touring band. For more info and tickets, visit

Source: Paul Simon schedules performances at Wisconsin's Eaux Claires Festival in June

February 14, 2017: Lynyrd Skynyrd & More To Take Part In 2018 Southern Rock Cruise

Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Marshall Tucker Band, and 38 Special are among the many featured acts to take part in the upcoming Southern Rock Cruise which sets sail January 20, 2018 from Tampa, FL. During the second day of the cruise, Lynyrd Skynyrd will give a special headlining concert in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Other featured bands and artists will include Atlanta Rhythm Section, The Outlaws, Wet Willie and co-founding Allman Brothers Band member Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson. For more info and tickets, visit

Source: Lynyrd Skynyrd taking part in 2018 Southern Rock Cruise along with 38 Special, Marshall Tucker Band & More

February 14, 2017: David Bowie's 'Blackstar' Album Certified Gold

David Bowie's critically acclaimed "Blackstar," which won in five categories at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, is now certified Gold in the U.S. for sales of over 500,000 copies. Released on January 8, 2016, "Blackstar" was the late singer's 28th and final studio album.

Source: David Bowie's "Blackstar" album certified gold in the US

February 15, 2017: Boston Announces North American Tour

Boston announced an upcoming trek dubbed the "Hyper Space Tour" to take place in North America. So far, 10 show dates have been scheduled in the U.S. beginning April 14, 2017 in Hollywood, CA. Formed in 1976, Boston's current lineup includes co-founder Tom Scholz who is the band's leader.

Source: Boston plotting major North American trek called the Hyper Space Tour

February 16, 2017: The Yardbirds Announce Tour

The Yardbirds announced an upcoming tour that will take the legendary British Invasion band to various states in the U.S. This 14-date trek begins on March 4, 2017 in Melbourne, FL and ends on July 7 in Atlantic City, NJ, also covering California, Nevada, Tennessee, and Washington State. Formed in 1963, The Yardbird's latest incarnation includes co-founder Jim McCarty.

Source: The Yardbirds to keep a-rollin' with new US tour

February 16, 2017: Rolling Stones Exhibit To Move To Chicago

The Rolling Stones' extensive and historic memorabilia collection dubbed "Exhibitionism" will be moved to Chicago after it ends its current run in New York City on March 12, 2017. Exhibitionism will reopen at the city's Navy Pier on April 15 where it will remain until July 30. For more info and tickets, visit

Source: The Rolling Stones' Exhibitionism exhibit moving to Chicago in April

February 16, 2017: Moody Blues To Launch North American Tour

The Moody Blues announced a North American tour to commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the band's classic concept album, "Days Of Future Passed." Originally released in November 1967, this album includes the hits, "Tuesday Afternoon" (1968) and "Nights In White Satin" (1972). The band's 28-date trek begins on June 3, 2017 in Rancho Mirage, CA and ends on July 23 in Atlanta, GA covering Ontario, Canada and many states across the U.S.

Source: Moody Blues to celebrate 50th anniversary of "Days of Future Passed" on new North American tour

February 16, 2017: Junie Morrison Of Parliament-Funkadelic And Ohio Players Passes Away

Famed R&B/funk singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Walter "Junie" Morrison was reported dead on February 16, 2017 at age 62, but the exact date of his passing has not yet been made public. He was a member of The Ohio Players in the early 1970s and later joined Parliament-Funkadelic as this collective's musical director. Morrison was largely responsible for writing and arranging The Ohio Players' smash hit, "Funky Worm," which topped the R&B charts in 1973 and is still widely sampled by hip hop artists today. He also made many songwriting and other key contributions to various Funkadelic albums, including "Gloryhallastoopid (Or Pin The Tale On The Funky)" (1979), "Motor Booty Affair" (1978), and the critically acclaimed "One Nation Under A Groove" (1978).

Morrison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 along with 15 other members of Parliament-Funkadelic. Parliament-Funkadelic mastermind George Clinton once described him as being the most phenomenal musician on the planet.

Source: Funk legend Junie Morrison, of Parliament-Funkadelic and Ohio Players, Dead at 62

February 17, 2017: Styx, REO Speedwagon & Don Felder To Launch Joint Tour

Styx, REO Speedwagon, and ex-Eagles guitarist Don Felder announced an upcoming summer joint tour. Dubbed the "United We Stand Tour," this 26-date trek begins on June 20, 2017 in Ridgefield, WA and ends on August 22 in Holmdel, NJ, with stops in many different states across the U.S. Felder will serve as the opening act for this tour, and Styx and REO Speedwagon will alternate as the headliner.

Source: Styx, REO Speedwagon and Don Felder uniting for lengthy US summer trek

February 17, 2017: Tommy James, Connie Francis To Be Inducted Into New Jersey Hall Of Fame

Tommy James and Connie Francis are among those to be inducted into this year's New Jersey Hall of Fame. The awards ceremonies will take place on May 7 in Asbury Park, NJ, and James will also perform at this event. For more info and tickets, visit

Source: Tommy James being inducted into New Jersey Hall of Fame in May; will perform at ceremony

February 17, 2017: Joan Baez To Launch Joint Tour

Joan Baez will launch a joint tour with The Indigo Girls and Mary Chapin Carpenter that will take them to various states in the U.S. and Canada. Dubbed the "Four Voices Tour," this 10-date trek begins on June 3, 2017 in Nashville, TN and ends on June 17 in Lenox, MA, with stops in Illinois, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia, plus Ontario, Canada.

Source: Joan Baez teaming up with Indigo Girls, Mary Chapin Carpenter this June for the Four Voices Tour

February 18, 2017: Clyde Stubblefield, Drummer For James Brown, Passes Away

Famed R&B/funk drummer Clyde Stubblefield died on February 18, 2017 in Madison, WI at age 73 from kidney failure. He began his music career during the early 1960s and joined James Brown's band in 1965. He can be heard on such hits as "Cold Sweat" (1967), "There Was A Time" (1968), "I Got The Feelin'" (1968), "Say It Loud I'm Black And I'm Proud" (1968), "Mother Popcorn" (1969), "Ain't It Funky Now" (1969), and "Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved" (1971). Over the years, he became famous for having created one of the most widely sampled drum breaks ever on Brown's 1970 song, "Funky Drummer."

Stubblefield was highly regarded by his fellow musicians and music critics. His many honors and accolades included being inducted into the Wisconsin Area Music Industry Hall of Fame (2000), receiving the Yamaha Legacy Award (2013), and being recognized twice by Rolling Stone Magazine, first in 1990 as drummer of the year, and in 2016 as being, along with fellow James Brown drummer John "Jabo" Starks, the sixth best drummer of all time.

Source: Clyde Stubblefield, James Brown's 'Funky' Drummer, Dies at 73 | Billboard