March 12, 2017 by Amy Gold
During the week of March 5, 2017, fans bade a final farewell to Joni Sledge of Sister Sledge famous for the 1979 smash hit, "We Are Family."
Also that week, David Cassidy announced his plans to stop touring for health reasons, and Black Sabbath officially disbanded.
Foreigner and Cheap Trick recently announced a joint U.S. summer tour, and the two bands are offering heavily discounted tickets to commemorate the 40th anniversary of their respective self-titled albums. Toto announced an upcoming North American headlining tour which begins in June. The Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles joint music festivals, dubbed Classic East and Classic West, are set to take place in July, and the lineups for both events will also include The Doobie Brothers, Earth, Wind & Fire, Journey, and Steely Dan. Foghat, Eddie Money, and The Marshall Tucker Band are among the featured performers in a new touring comedy and music festival created by Jeff Foxworthy and Larry The Cable Guy which begins in August.
Grand Funk Railroad's 1974 album titled "All The Girls In The World Beware!!!" was recently reissued as a limited-edition hybrid Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD). A pair of rare David Bowie recordings will be offered for sale at this year's Record Store Day which takes place in April. Expanded versions of two Bad Company albums, "Run With The Pack" (1976) and "Burnin' Sky" (1977), are due out in May. Also, an expanded version of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album will be coming out sometime in June to mark the 50th anniversary of its original release.
Frank Sinatra’s "Welcome Home Elvis" special, which originally aired on May 12, 1960 and was Presley's first TV appearance after returning from military service, will be coming out in May on DVD.
Also that week, it was announced that Kenny Loggins and REO Speedwagon's Kevin Cronin will appear on "The Comedy Jam," a new Comedy Central TV series which premieres March 22, 2017.
Finally, Billboard published its first-ever six decades recap of its R&B/Hip-Hop charts. As expected, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, The Temptations, and Stevie Wonder all received top rankings in various categories.
(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)
Bob Dylan performs "Stardust" from his upcoming album of pop standards covers titled "Triplicate."
March 6, 2017: David Cassidy Gives Final Concert
On March 4, 2017, David Cassidy wrapped up his final tour at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City where he gave his last-ever show. The 66-year-old former teen idol and Partridge Family frontman, who was recently diagnosed with dementia, announced that he will stop touring to concentrate on his health.
March 6, 2017: Classic Motown Acts Land On Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Chart Recap
The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and other classic Motown bands and artists are among those to receive top rankings in Billboard's first-ever six decades recap of its R&B/Hip-Hop music charts. The Temptations were named the #1 all-time artist in the R&B/Hip-Hop artists category, with Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, and Michael Jackson following at #2, #3, #4, and #5, respectively. Michael Jackson's "Thriller" (1982) was named the #1 all-time R&B/Hip-Hop album, and his "Off The Wall" (1979) album came in at #3. Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" ranked at #4 on the all-time R&B/hip-hop songs list.
March 6, 2017: Expanded Edition Of Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper' Album To Be Released
An expanded version of The Beatles' seminal "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album will be coming out sometime in June to mark the 50th anniversary of its original release. This new edition will include two classic Fab Four songs released as a two-sided single in February 1967 that did not appear on the original album: "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever." Originally released on June 1, 1967, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," which was The Beatles' eight studio album to date, topped the Billboard 200 for 15 weeks.
March 6, 2017: Foreigner, Cheap Trick Selling Discount Tickets To 40th Anniversary Tour
Foreigner and Cheap Trick recently announced a joint U.S. summer tour, and the two bands are offering heavily discounted tickets (at 1970s prices) to commemorate the 40th anniversary of their respective self-titled albums. This upcoming 37-date trek begins on July 11, 2017 in Syracuse, NY and ends on September 9 in Auburn, WA, with stops in many different states all over the country.
March 7, 2017: Toto Announces North American Tour
Toto announced an upcoming North American headlining tour in support of the band's most recent album, "XIV" (2015). Dubbed "An Evening With Toto," this trek is current set to begin on June 2, 2017 in Lake Charles, LA and end on July 1 in Salina, KS, with more show dates expected to be announced soon. For more info, visit TotoOfficial.com.
March 7, 2017: Foghat & More To Join Jeff Foxworthy Touring Festival
Foghat, Eddie Money, and The Marshall Tucker Band are among the featured performers in a new touring comedy and music festival created by Jeff Foxworthy and Larry The Cable Guy. Dubbed "Jeff & Larry's Backyard BBQ Festival," this touring fest, which features both musical performances and stand-up comedy, is current set to begin on August 25, 2017 in Clarkston, MI and end on September 15 in Charlotte, NC, with more shows expected to be announced. For more info, visit JeffandLarryBBQ.com.
March 8, 2017: Bad Company To Release Expanded Reissues Of Two Late 1970s Albums
Expanded versions of two Bad Company albums, "Run With The Pack" (1976) and "Burnin' Sky" (1977), will be coming out May 26, 2017 on both CD and vinyl. The "Run With The Pack" reissue bonus disc includes two alternate versions of the hit, "Young Blood," and a studio jam on The Temptations' "(I Know) I'm Losing You." The "Burnin' Sky" reissue bonus disc includes a previously unreleased song titled "Unfinished Story," plus early versions of "Too Bad" and "Man Needs Woman."
March 8, 2017: Frank Sinatra TV Special DVD To Be Released
Frank Sinatra’s "Welcome Home Elvis" TV special, which originally aired May 12, 1960 on ABC, will be coming out May 19, 2017 on DVD. During this show, which was Presley's first TV appearance after returning from military service, he performed "Fame And Fortune" and "Stuck On You" before joining Sinatra for two duets. Other featured performers included Nancy Sinatra and Rat Pack members Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford.
March 8, 2017: Black Sabbath Officially Disbanded
On February 4, 2017, Black Sabbath gave their final concert in Birmingham, England where they were founded 49 years ago. The pioneering heavy metal band made an official announcement on Facebook that they are calling it quits, and this time for good. Black Sabbath's final lineup included founding members Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, and Tony Iommi, with Tommy Clufetos replacing the original drummer, Bill Ward. The band launched its farewell trek, dubbed "The End Tour," in January 2016.
March 9, 2017: Grand Funk Railroad 1974 Album Reissued
Grand Funk Railroad's 1974 album titled "All The Girls In The World Beware!!!" was recently reissued as a limited-edition hybrid Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD). The album includes such hits as "Bad Time" and "Some Kind Of Wonderful." For more info, visit grandfunkrailroad.com.
March 9, 2017: Kenny Loggins & More To Appear On New Comedy Central Series
Kenny Loggins and REO Speedwagon's Kevin Cronin are among those to appear on a new Comedy Central TV series titled "The Comedy Jam" which premieres March 22, 2017 and features various actors and comedians performing their favorite songs with guest musicians. Loggins will appear on the May 10th show to perform "Footloose" with former SNL member Jon Rudnitsky. Cronin will appear on the April 12th show to perform REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight This Feeling" with actor Mark Duplass.
March 10, 2017: Rare David Bowie Recordings To Be Offered On Record Store Day
A pair of rare David Bowie recordings will be offered for sale at this year's Record Store Day which takes place on April 22. The first recording is a never-before-released live album from Bowie's 1974 Philly Dogs Tour titled "Cracked Actor (Live In Los Angeles 1974)." The second recording is a re-issue of a set of alternate mixes of seven songs from "Hunky Dory" titled "Bowpromo" originally released in 1971 as a promotional item. For more information about these releases, visit DavidBowie.com.
March 11, 2017: Classic East, Classic West Festivals Lineups Announced
The dates for the Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles joint music festivals, dubbed Classic East and Classic West, have been finalized and the lineups have also been announced. Classic East will take place July 29-30, 2017 at New York City's Citi Field, and Classic West will take place July 15-16 at Dodger Stadium in L.A. Each event will take place over a two-day period, with the first night to feature The Eagles, Steely Dan, and The Doobie Brothers. The second night will feature Fleetwood Mac, Journey, and Earth, Wind & Fire.
March 11, 2017: Joni Sledge Passes Away
Famed R&B singer Joni Sledge died unexpectedly at age 60 at her home in Phoenix, AZ on March 10, 2017 from as-yet known unknown causes. She was a member of the family group, Sister Sledge, famous for the 1979 smash hit, "We Are Family." The group's other hits on both the R&B and Pop/Rock charts also included "He's The Greatest Dancer" (1979) and a cover of the Mary Wells' hit, "My Guy" (1982). Formed in 1971, Sister Sledge's founding members consisted of sisters Debbie, Joni, Kim and Kathy Sledge, and the group achieved international fame at the height of the disco era. After Kathy left Sister Sledge in 1989, the group continued on as a trio up to Joni's untimely passing.