Music News Digest: Week Of December 23, 2018

December 31, 2018 by Amy Gold

During the week of December 23, 2018, the Recording Academy announced a tribute concert in honor of the late Aretha Franklin which will take place January 13, 2019 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Hosted by Tyler Perry with featured performers to include Patti LaBelle and other previous Grammy winners, this event will be taped and aired later on CBS.

Also that week, several oldies Christmas classics made their debut on the Billboard Hot 100 due to significant sales and streams as well as new rules by Billboard for inclusion of holiday songs on this chart. These latest entries include: "(There's No Place Like) Home For The Holidays" by Perry Como (#41), "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" by Perry Como & The Fontane Sisters (#42), "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" by John & Yoko/The Plastic Ono Band With The Harlem Community Choir (#45), "Wonderful Christmastime" by Paul McCartney (#47), and "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" by Darlene Love (#50). Late crooner Andy Williams ended a 47-year gap between Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 with the 1963 Christmas classic, "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year," which rose to #10. Also, Bing Crosby's iconic "White Christmas" re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time since 1962.

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock festival, a three-day music extravaganza will be held on August 16-18, 2019 at the site of this historic event at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, NY. A full lineup and ticketing details will be announced soon. In addition to concerts, this upcoming festival will include various memorabilia exhibits at the Museum at Bethel Woods.

Bruce Springsteen recently added to his live archives series the complete set of "No Nukes" benefit concerts which took place September 21-22, 1979 at New York's Madison Square Garden. Bruce Springsteen Archives is an ongoing collection of officially released live albums by Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band that began in November 2014 with the release of the 2012 Apollo Theater concert.

Neil Young has officially launched the Neil Young Archives (NYA) website and mobile app. Created in partnership with Warner Bros. Records, this site, which was first launched in beta one year ago, includes hi-resolution streams of all available recordings and other content spanning Young's entire musical career through the present.

Also, the 2019 edition of Elvis Presley's Birthday Celebration, which is held each year at Graceland, will take place January 5-8. Activities in honor of what would have been the late King's 84th birthday will include the annual Birthday Proclamation, a memorabilia auction, an "Elvis Birthday Party on Wheels" bus trip, and various other events featuring Presley's close friend, Jerry Schilling. For more info, visit

Finally, December 26, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin's first-ever concert in the U.S. which took place in Denver, CO at the city's Auditorium Arena. In commemoration of this milestone, the Mayor's Office of the City and County of Denver proclaimed this day as "Led Zeppelin Day."

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

The Guess Who perform "In America" from the band's recently released album, "The Future IS What It Used To Be."