March 20, 2017 by Amy Gold
During the week of March 12, 2017, the world bade a final farewell to famed rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry.
Also that week, Ray Davies of The Kinks was knighted by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace, and Harry Belafonte was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Jefferson Awards Foundation.
Jefferson Starship announced an upcoming U.S. tour that begins later this month. Diana Ross added two more NYC show dates to her 2017 itinerary to take place in April. Paul Simon announced an upcoming U.S. tour beginning in June. Also that month, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers will headline Day One of the inaugural Arroyo Seco Weekend festival in Pasadena, CA. The Who announced its first-ever Las Vegas residency which starts in July. Aerosmith and The Who are among the headliners of this year's Rock In Rio festival to take place in September in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Also, "Another Brick In The Wall -- The Opera" will make its U.S. premiere in July 2018 in Cincinnati, OH.
Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin announced a soon-to-be-released set of demos that he produced in 1961 for the British rock and roll group, Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds. Later this month, Blues Image will release a new album titled "Timeless." Paul McCartney announced a new recording titled "Flowers In The Dirt -- The Cassette Demos" for Record Store Day which takes place in April. Patti LaBelle announced her first-ever jazz album, titled "Bel Hommage," which will be coming out in May.
Also that week, it was announced that a TV special documenting a 2016 concert by Ringo Starr And His All-Starr Band will premiere March 26, 2017 on AXS.
Finally, Todd Rundgren and Lionel Richie will receive honorary doctorates this May from Boston's Berklee College of Music.
(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)
Below are excerpts from an interview on AXS TV of ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons in which he discusses the history of the band's 1973 hit, "La Grange" (March 14, 2017).
March 13, 2017: AXS TV Special To Feature Ringo Starr & His All Starr-Band Concert
A TV special documenting a concert by Ringo Starr And His All-Starr Band that was filmed on June 21, 2016 will premiere March 26, 2017 on AXS. This show, which took place at the Foellinger Theatre in Fort Wayne, IN, featured various Beatles classics and Starr solo hits, plus songs by Mr. Mister, Todd Rundgren, Santana, and Toto.
March 13, 2017: Paul McCartney To Release Cassette For Record Store Day
Paul McCartney announced the upcoming release of a cassette for Record Store Day which takes place April 22, 2017. Titled "Flowers In The Dirt -- The Cassette Demos," this limited-edition recording features demos of three songs McCartney wrote and recorded with Elvis Costello in 1989 during the recording sessions for the album, "Flowers In The Dirt": "I Don't Want To Confess," "Shallow Grave," and "Mistress And Maid."
March 13, 2017: The Who To Play First-Ever Las Vegas Residency
The Who announced its first-ever Las Vegas residency, to take place at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, which will begin with a series of six shows starting in late July. The band will perform songs from "My Generation," "Tommy," "Quadrophenia," and other classic albums that span the band's over-50-year career.
March 13, 2017: Todd Rundgren, Lionel Richie To Receive Honorary Doctorates From Berklee College Of Music
Todd Rundgren and Lionel Richie are among those who will receive honorary doctorates this year from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. The graduation ceremonies will take place May 13, 2017 at the Agganis Arena at Boston University where Rundgren will serve as the commencement speaker.
March 14, 2017: Jimmy Page To Issue Unreleased 1961 Chris Farlowe Demos
Former Led Zeppelin guitarist and co-founder Jimmy Page announced the upcoming release of 12 previously unreleased demos he produced in 1961 for the British rock and roll group, Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds. Titled "The Beginning ...," this rare collection offers a glimpse of the pre-Beatles London musical scene with Farlowe's renditions of such early rock and roll classics as "What'd I Say," "Kansas City," and "Money." For more info, visit JimmyPage.com.
March 14, 2017: Paul Simon To Launch Tour
Paul Simon announced an upcoming U.S. tour that will raise money for the environmentally-minded E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation. This 16-date trek begins on June 1, 2017 in St. Augustine, FL and ends on June 28 in Denver, CO, with stops in Georgia, Illinois, Montana, Nevada, North and South Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington State.
March 15, 2017: Diana Ross Adds More New York City Show Dates
Diana Ross recently added two more NYC show dates to her 2017 itinerary which are set to take place April 28 and 29 at the New York City Center. For more info and tickets, visit NYCityCenter.org.
March 15, 2017: Tom Petty To Headline Inaugural Arroyo Seco Weekend Festival
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers will headline Day One of the inaugural Arroyo Seco Weekend festival to take place June 24-25, 2017 in Pasadena, CA. Other featured performers will include William Bell, John Mayall, and veteran funk band, The Meters. For more info and tickets, visit ArroyoSecoWeekend.com.
March 16, 2017: Aerosmith, The Who & More To Headline Rock In Rio Festival
Aerosmith, The Who, Guns N' Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bon Jovi are among the headliners of this year's Rock In Rio festival to take place September 15-17 and September 21-24, 2017 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Other featured performers will include Arthur Brown, Alice Cooper, and Billy Idol. For more info and tickets, visit RockinRio.com.
March 16, 2017: U.S. Premiere Announced For Opera Version Of Pink Floyd's 'The Wall'
"Another Brick In The Wall -- The Opera" is set to make its U.S. premiere in July 2018 at the Cincinnati Opera. Based on Pink Floyd's 1979 concept album, "The Wall," this opera was composed by Julien Bilodeau and it made its world premiere on March 11, 2017 at the Opera de Montreal. For more info, visit CincinnatiOpera.org.
March 16, 2017: Patti LaBelle To Release First-Ever Jazz Album
Patti LaBelle announced her first-ever jazz album which will be coming out on May 5, 2017. Titled "Bel Hommage," this collection features covers of LaBelle's favorite standards that include "Softly as I Leave You" and "Peel Me A Grape."
March 16, 2017: Ray Davies Knighted At Buckingham Palace
On March 16, 2017, Ray Davies was knighted by Prince Charles in London at Buckingham Palace. The former Kinks frontman and co-founder was added to the Queen's 2017 New Year Honours list in recognition for his contributions to music.
March 17, 2017: Harry Belafonte Honored With Humanitarian Lifetime Achievement Award
Harry Belafonte was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Jefferson Awards Foundation, a public service-minded organization formed in 1972. The awards ceremonies took place on March 15, 2016 at New York City's Gotham Hall. The 90-year-old singer, songwriter, and actor, who took part in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, has a long and distinguished history as a social activist and humanitarian.
March 17, 2017: Blues Image To Release New Album
A new incarnation of Blues Image led by one of the band's original founding members, Mike Pinera, will release a new album titled "Timeless" which is due out on March 31, 2017. Highlights include a new version of the band's 1970 smash hit, "Ride Captain Ride," and a cover of Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida."
March 18, 2017: Chuck Berry Passes Away
Famed singer, songwriter, and guitarist Chuck Berry died on October 18, 1926 at age 90 at his home in St. Charles, MO of as-yet undetermined causes. During the late 1950s, he was a pioneer of the then-emerging musical genre, rock and roll, and his many hits included such oldies classics as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock And Roll Music" (1957), and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958). The legendary Berry influenced countless bands and artists over the years, and in 1986, he was among the first to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
March 18, 2017: Jefferson Starship To Launch U.S. Tour
Jefferson Starship announced an upcoming U.S. trek dubbed the "Carry The Fire Tour" in commemoration of the band's leader and co-founder, Paul Kantner, who passed away in January 2016. This 10-date trek begins on March 24, 2017 in Bonita Springs, FL and ends on August 26 in Billings, MT, with additional stops in Florida, as well as in California, Minnesota, and Ohio.