October 30, 2017 by Amy Gold
During the week of October 22, 2017, fans bade a final farewell to George Young of The Easybeats and rock and roll pioneer Fats Domino.
A new album by Smokey Robinson titled "Christmas Everyday," his first solo holiday release, will be coming out in November. Also due out that month is a new Christmas album by Patti LaBelle titled "Home For The Holidays." Also, a new Otis Redding vinyl box set titled "The Definitive Studio Album Collection" will be coming out in December to commemorate the 50th anniversary of "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay."
Also that week, Harvard University announced that it would be honoring Elton John with a humanitarian award for his for his philanthropic work with the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Finally, Kenny Rogers gave his last-ever live performance at a farewell concert that marked the end of his touring career. Featured guest artists at this all-star event, which took place at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, included longtime duets partner Dolly Parton.
(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)
A new documentary about the history of doo-wop titled "Streetlight Harmonies" will premiere next month in New York City at the DOC NYC festival. Below are song clips and excerpts from interviews with original members of The Crystals, The Drifters, The Flamingos, The Orioles, and many other veteran groups.
October 23, 2017: George Young Of The Easybeats Passes Away
Famed British-Australian musician, songwriter, and record producer George Young died on October 22, 2017 at age 70. Born in Scotland, he began his career as a founding member of The Easybeats, a mid-1960s Australian pop/rock band that had a Top 20 hit in 1967 in the U.S. with "Friday On My Mind" which he co-wrote with band member Harry Vanda. He later co-founded Flash And The Pan and was one half of the duo, Vanda & Young. He went on to produce several albums for AC/DC and was the older brother of two of this band's members, Malcolm and Angus Young.
Young's many honors and accolades included being inducted into the inaugural class of the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1988 as a member of Vanda & Young. In 2001, "Friday On My Mind," which topped the Australian and Dutch charts and also became a top hit in several other countries, was named the "Best Australian Song" of all time by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). At the ARIA Music Awards of 2005, The Easybeats were inducted into the Hall of Fame.
October 24, 2017: New Otis Redding Vinyl Box Set To Be Released
A new Otis Redding vinyl box set titled "The Definitive Studio Album Collection" will be coming out on December 15, 2017 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay" released a few weeks after the soul legend's untimely death in a plane crash at age 26. This collection includes all seven studio albums spanning Redding's debut, "Pain In My Heart" (1964), through his posthumous final album, "The Dock Of The Bay" (1968).
October 24, 2017: Elton John To Be Honored By Harvard University
On November 6, 2017, Elton John will be honored by Harvard University for his philanthropic work with the Elton John AIDS Foundation. He will be presented with the Harvard Foundation's 2017 Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award at a ceremony to take place in Harvard's Sanders Theatre.
October 25, 2017: Fats Domino Passes Away
Famed and beloved rock and roll/R&B legend Fats Domino died on October 24, 2017 at age 89 at his home in Harvey, Louisiana. Born Antoine Dominique Domino Jr. in New Orleans, he began playing the piano professionally by the time he was in his teens. After he scored his first hit in 1949 with "The Fat Man," a long string of hits followed thereafter through 1968 that also included such classics as "Ain't It A Shame" (1955), "I'm Walkin'" (1957), and "Blueberry Hill" (1957).
With his signature boogie-woogie piano style and laid-back vocals, Domino influenced such top artists as Elvis Presley and The Beatles. His many awards and honors included being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. He also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987 was presented the National Medal of the Arts by President Bill Clinton in 1998.
October 26, 2017: Kenny Rogers Gives Final Concert
On October 25, 2017, Kenny Rogers gave his last-ever live performance at a farewell concert celebrating his 60 years in show business that marked his retirement from touring. This event, which took place at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, also featured such guest artists as Lionel Richie, Don Henley, Kris Kristofferson, and longtime partner Dolly Parton. The duo performed "Islands In The Stream," "You Can't Make Old Friends," and other classics.
October 27, 2017: Smokey Robinson To Release First Solo Christmas Album
A new album by Smokey Robinson titled "Christmas Everyday," his first solo holiday release, will be coming out on November 10, 2017 as an Amazon exclusive. The titled track was originally included in the 1963 album, "Christmas With The Miracles." Other highlights of this 10-track collection include such favorites as "White Christmas," "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," and "O' Holy Night."
October 27, 2017: Patti LaBelle To Release New Christmas Album
A new Christmas album by Patti LaBelle titled "Home For The Holidays" will be coming out on November 24, 2017, making this her third holiday release to date. This 14-track collection includes many contributions by guest artists such as Ruben Studdard, Tamela Mann, and Vivian Green.