Music News Digest: Week Of November 4, 2018

November 12, 2018 by Amy Gold

During the week of November 4, 2018, the White House announced that Elvis Presley will be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom along with baseball great Babe Ruth and five others. President Donald Trump will bestow the awards at a ceremony to take place November 16, 2018.

Also that week, the Songwriters Hall of Fame announced its nominees for 2019 which include Jimmy Cliff, Tom T. Hall, Tommy James, Mike Love, Jeff Lynne, Lloyd Price, Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam), and the team of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. Eligible members will be able to cast their votes through December 17, 2018, and the winners will be inducted at a ceremony to take place June 13, 2019.

In the wake of the Halloween season, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #31. This horror pop classic, a long-time favorite which peaked at #4 upon its release in 1984, has returned to the Billboard Hot 100 several times over the years since then. Also, Queen scored its 17th Top 40 album on the Billboard 200 with "Bohemian Rhapsody," the soundtrack to the recently released movie of the same name.

Marianne Faithfull recently released a new album titled "Negative Capability" which includes updated versions of "As Tears Go By," "Witches' Song," the Bob Dylan-penned "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," and other early songs. Dionne Warwick released a Hawaiian-themed Christmas single, "Mele Kalikimaka," which is available as a digital download and via streaming. Also, Mavis Staples announced an upcoming new album, "Live In London," recorded at the city's Union Chapel and produced by Staples herself. Highlights of this recording, which is due out on February 8, 2019, include the single, "No Time For Cryin'."

The Ace Of Cups, a short-lived late 1960s all-female group from San Francisco that used to open for such top acts as The Band and Jimi Hendrix, recently reunited with four of the five original members and released its very first album. This self-titled collection, which includes original songs spanning some fifty years, features guest performances by Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna, Barry Melton of Country Joe & The Fish, and many other iconic Bay Area artists.

Bob Seger added seven new concert dates to his recently announced farewell tour which are scheduled for early next year starting January 24 in Milwaukee, WI, with stops in various cities in California, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Vancouver, Canada. A tribute concert in honor of Willie Nelson will be held on January 12, 2019 at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena with performances by many top country music artists that will also include Nelson himself. This event will be filmed for a later special on A&E. Also, Aerosmith will perform at the first-ever Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest which will take place January 31-February 2, 2019 in Atlanta, GA in advance of Super Bowl 53.

Also that week, it was announced that the Aretha Franklin concert film, "Amazing Grace," will make its debut at New York City's DOC NYC festival on November 12, 2018 and will also be screened in Los Angeles November 20-27. This movie includes footage from two gospel concerts the late Queen of Soul gave at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles for her 1972 live album, "Amazing Grace."

Finally, fans bade a final farewell to famed French composer Francis Lai (April 26, 1932 - November 7, 2018) and English musician Hugh McDowell (July 31, 1953 - November 6, 2018) of the Electric Light Orchestra. Lai was best known for the Oscar-winning theme from "Love Story" (1970), which became a Top 40 hit in 1971, as well as the theme from "A Man And A Woman" (1966). McDowell was a member of ELO during the 1970s and early 1980s and served as the band's cellist.

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

Ringo Starr and Giles Martin, the son of late Beatles producer George Martin, discuss the recent 50th anniversary reissue of The Beatles' "White Album."