Music News Digest: Week Of March 10, 2019

March 18, 2019 by Amy Gold

During the week of March 10, 2019, fans bade a final farewell to famed Wrecking Crew drummer, Hal Blaine (February 5, 1929 - March 11, 2019). A prolific session musician with over 6000 recordings from the 1960s and 1970s, he can be heard on such oldies classics as "Be My Baby" by The Ronettes as well as numerous songs by The Beach Boys, The Byrds, Neil Diamond, Elvis Presley, Simon & Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, and many other top bands and artists. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a sideman in 2000 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

A new Rolling Stones compilation titled "Honk" will be coming out on April 19, 2019 that will include classic hits and recent live performances. Also, Rick Springfield announced a new album, "Orchestrating My Life," due out on April 26 featuring orchestral versions of his greatest hits plus a new song titled "Irreplaceable."

Dave Davies of The Kinks will launch a 9-date solo tour in the U.S. beginning April 9, 2019 in Collingswood, NJ and ending April 21 in Chicago, also covering Indiana, New Hampshire, New York, and Ohio as well as other cities in Illinois and New Jersey. Alice Cooper also announced a series of six new headlining shows dubbed "Ol' Black Eyes Is Back" that will begin on July 4 in Mashantucket, CT and end on July 11 in Wabash, IN, with stops in Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Rod Stewart announced a series of eight show dates for his Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace from September 18 through October 5, 2019. John Fogerty, Hall & Oates, Robert Plant, and ZZ Top are among the headliners for the third annual Bourbon & Beyond festival, to take place September 20-22 in Louisville, KY. Also, Graham Nash announced a series of four shows in which he will perform in their entirety his first two solo albums: "Songs For Beginners" (1971) and "Wild Tales" (1973). The concerts will take place September 26 in South Orange, NJ, September 27 in New York City, September 28 in Albany, NY, and September 29 in Boston.

Elvin Bishop, Paul Rodgers, Uriah Heep, Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, Roger Hodgson of Supertramp, and Robby Krieger of The Doors are among those to take part in the 2020 edition of the Rock Legends Cruise seagoing festival, which will set sail from Fort Lauderdale, FL on February 27. Also, the lineup for the 2020 edition of the Flower Power Cruise, which will leave from Fort Lauderdale on March 28, has been announced. The Buckinghams, The Classics IV, The Grass Roots, Arlo Guthrie, Herman's Hermits, The Hollies, The Outsiders, Rare Earth, The Turtles, Vanilla Fudge, and The Zombies are among the many featured performers.

Finally, March 17, 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nat King Cole (March 17, 1919 - February 15, 1965). Born Nathaniel Adams Coles in Montgomery, AL, the legendary late crooner's fame took off during the early 1940s with such R&B chart toppers as "That Ain't Right," "All For You," and "Straighten Up And Fly Right." His many signature songs include "Mona Lisa" (1950), "Too Young" (1951), "Unforgettable" (1951), and "Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days Of Summer" (1963).

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