Music News Digest: Week Of May 21, 2017

May 29, 2017 by Amy Gold

During the week of May 21, 2017, fans bade a final farewell to Southern rock legend Gregg Allman.

Also that week, Stevie Wonder received an honorary doctorate from Yale University.

Three Emerson, Lake & Palmer albums from the late 1970s were recently reissued: "Works Volume 1" (1977), "Works Volume 2" (1977), and "Love Beach" (1978). A new Beach Boys compilation titled "1967 -- Sunshine Tomorrow" will be coming out in June that includes the first-ever stereo mix of "Wild Honey" plus other previously unreleased material. Rhino announced a massive series of vinyl reissues of various classic albums originally released in 1967. The first batch will come out over the month of July that includes recordings by The Grateful Dead, The Monkees, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin, The Association, Judy Collins, and more. Also, a new archival album titled ""A Love So Beautiful: Roy Orbison With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" will be coming out in November.

Also that week, it was announced that AXS TV will air two specials about Queen during the coming months. "Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live In Budapest" will be shown on June 4, 2017, and an episode from AXS TV's "Classic Albums" series about the band's 1975 album, "A Night At The Opera," will air on July 7.

Finally, a diamond ring that Elvis Presley wore during his 1973 TV special, "Aloha From Hawaii," recently sold for $204,800 at a music memorabilia auction.

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

Below is Chuck Berry's "Lady B. Goode," the third single from the late rock legend's upcoming album, "Chuck."

May 22, 2017: Diamond Ring From Elvis Presley 'Aloha From Hawaii' TV Special Fetches Over $200K At Auction

A diamond ring that Elvis Presley wore during his 1973 TV special, "Aloha From Hawaii," sold for $204,800 at an auction that took place on May 20, 2017 at NYC's Hard Rock Cafe. This historic and flashy ring, which houses a whopping 12 gems, sold for more than any other item at this "Music Icons" sale which was hosted by Julien's Auctions. Among this auction's other highest-selling items were a drum kit played by Santana at Woodstock ($187,500), Presley's first piano ($112,500), and a sketch by John Lennon ($87,500). For more info, visit

Source: Diamond ring Elvis Presley wore on his "Aloha from Hawaii" special auctioned for more than $200K

May 22, 2017: Stevie Wonder Receives Honorary Doctorate From Yale

Motown legend Stevie Wonder was among those to receive an honorary doctorate (in music) from Yale University at the commencement ceremony which took place on May 22, 2017 in New Haven, CT. Other honorary Yale degree recipients included former Secretary of State John Kerry.

Source: Part-Time Doctor? Stevie Wonder receives honorary degree from Yale

May 23, 2017: Beach Boys To Release New Compilation Album

A new Beach Boys compilation titled "1967 -- Sunshine Tomorrow" will be coming out on June 30, 2017. This 2-CD collection, which will also be available as a digital download, includes the first-ever stereo mix of "Wild Honey," live performances from November 1967 in Boston and Washington, D.C., studio outtakes and alternate versions from recording sessions of both "Smiley Smile" and "Wild Honey," and various other previously unreleased material.

Source: Beach Boys releasing new compilation featuring new stereo mix of "Wild Honey" album, unreleased 1967 recordings

May 23, 2017: Emerson, Lake & Palmer Late 1970s Albums Reissued

Three late 1970s reissues by Emerson, Lake & Palmer will be coming out May 26, 2017 on CD and vinyl, and as digital downloads: "Works Volume 1" (1977), "Works Volume 2" (1977), and "Love Beach" (1978). "Works Volume 1," which reached #12 on the Billboard 200, includes ELP's version of Aaron Copeland's "Fanfare For The Common Man." "Works Volume 2" includes Lake's holiday classic, "I Believe In Father Christmas." "Love Beach" includes "Canario," a composition based on Joaquín Rodrigo's "Fantasía Para Un Gentilhombre."

Source: Welcome Back, My Friends! Third wave of Emerson, Lake & Palmer reissues to be released Friday

May 25, 2017: AXS TV To Premiere Historic 1986 Queen Concert

A 1986 Queen concert that took place in Hungary during Freddie Mercury's final tour with the band will make its TV premiere June 4, 2017 on AXS. Dubbed "Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live In Budapest," this historic concert was the first-ever by a Western rock band in this (then) Communist country. Also, on July 7, AXS TV will air an episode of its "Classic Albums" documentary series about Queen's classic 1975 album, "A Night At The Opera," featuring archival footage and interviews.

Source: AXS TV to premiere historic 1986 Queen concert in Hungary

May 25, 2017: New Roy Orbison Archival Album To Be Released

A new archival Roy Orbison album combining original vocal performances with newly-recorded orchestral accompaniment will be coming out on November 3, 2017. Titled "A Love So Beautiful: Roy Orbison With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra," highlights of this career-spanning collection include "Oh, Pretty Woman" featuring the late legend’s 10-month-old grandson, Roy Orbison III, on tambourine and guitar.

Source: New Roy Orbison album to feature late singer's original vocals paired with new orchestral parts

May 25, 2017: Rhino To Launch Massive 1967 Albums Reissue Campaign

Rhino announced a massive series of vinyl reissues of various classic albums originally released in 1967. Dubbed the Summer of Love 50th anniversary campaign, the first batch will come out over the month of July. Among the many offerings are The Grateful Dead's "Smiling On A Cloudy Day," The Monkees' "Summer Of Love," Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks," Aretha Franklin's "Aretha Arrives," The Association's "Insight Out," and Judy Collins' "Wildflowers." In addition, Rhino has also put together a number of compilations that include "Gettin' Together: Groovy Sounds Of The Summer Of Love," featuring such artists as The Young Rascals and The Hollies, and "Transparent Days: West Coast Nuggets," featuring lesser-known garage and psychedelic rock bands.

Source: Grateful Dead, Monkees Comps Prepped For Summer of Love 50th Anniversary

May 27, 2017: Gregg Allman Passes Away

Famed singer, songwriter, and musician Gregg Allman died on May 27, 2017 at age 69 from complications of liver cancer. With Duane Allman (November 20, 1946 - October 29, 1971), he formed The Allman Brothers Band, a hugely successful rock act that became famous during the 1970s for such hits as "Ramblin' Man" (1973), "Jessica" (1973), and "Crazy Love" (1979), as well as many non-charting live concert favorites. Although he never embraced the term, Allman is considered by many to be a pioneer of what came to be known as Southern rock. The Allman Brothers became equally famous as a jam rock band, especially in concert, and their unique style also encompassed elements of blues, country, and jazz. The band toured actively over the years, amassing a loyal following.

After forming several musical groups during the 1960s, Gregg and older brother Duane co-founded The Allman Brothers Band in 1969 and released its self-titled album that same year. Gregg Allman's bluesy vocals and Hammond organ playing were key to the Allman Brothers' unique sound, and he also wrote or co-wrote most of the band's songs. The band's 1971 album, "At Fillmore East," which includes extended instrumental jams of such classics as "Whipping Post" and "Statesboro Blues," was both a critical and commercial success and is widely considered to be among the greatest live rock recordings of all time. After the untimely death of Duane Allman in 1971 in a motorcycle accident and the loss of bassist Berry Oakley about a year later, also from a fatal motorcycle accident, the band continued on and off through the years with many personnel changes.

Gregg Allman also had a successful solo career going back to 1973 with his debut album, "Laid Back." The album's lead single, "Midnight Rider," a remake of an earlier Allman Brothers Band song, became a Top 20 hit the following year and one of Allman's signature songs. His most recent albums include the highly-acclaimed "Low Country Blues" (2011), which reached #1 on the Top Blues Albums chart and #5 on the Billboard 200. At the time of his passing, he was working on a new album titled "Southern Blood."

Gregg Allman was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Allman Brothers Band in 1995. His many honors and accolades also included several Grammys and being inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2015. He is also included in Rolling Stone's list of "100 Greatest Singers Of All Time."

Source: Gregg Allman, Influential Force Behind the Allman Brothers Band, Dies at 69 - The New York Times