November 16, 2014 by Amy Gold
During the week of November 9, 2014, fans bade a final farewell to Big Bank Hank who was a member of the pioneering hip hop group, the Sugarhill Gang, best known for "Rapper's Delight" which, in 1979, launched a new era in pop music when it became the first rap song to become a Top 40 hit.
Also that week, Bette Midler's latest album, "It's The Girls," made its debut on the Billboard 200 at #3, and Barbra Streisand's "Partners" re-entered the Top 10 for that chart. It was also announced that later this month, Stevie Wonder will be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Billy Joel will be awarded the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song by the Library of Congress.
Later this month, the J. Geils Band will be launching its "Houseparty" tour and will also begin an extended series of shows with Bob Seger in which the band will serve as Seger's opening act. This Thanksgiving, KISS will be performing in this year's Macy's Day Parade which will be televised live on NBC. This December, Patti Smith will be performing at the Concerto di Natale, an annual holiday concert held in Rome near the Vatican which will be televised in Italy. Beginning early next year, Kenny Rogers will be giving his final shows in Australia and New Zealand. Also, Alice Cooper, Jackson Browne, and Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band will all be starting new tours next February. These treks will take place mainly in the US except for Ringo Starr's tour which will also be covering parts of Latin America.
A new album of Paul McCartney covers titled "The Art of McCartney" will be coming out later this month. The Who just released a new 3D app to celebrate the band's 50th anniversary. Also, Dave Mason recently released a new song titled "Thank You" which pays homage to members of the US armed forces.
Finally, Seattle will soon unveil a Jimi Hendrix-themed bus shelter in honor of the late guitar legend who was born and raised in this city. This bus stop is part of a large-scale project that also includes a park which is expected to open sometime next year.
(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)
President Obama gives a rousing performance of "On The Road Again" with Willie Nelson in a rip-roaring sing-along during "A Salute To Our Troops," a show that took place at the White House on November 6, 2014.
November 10, 2014: The Who Release 50th Anniversary App
The Who just released a new 3D app to celebrate the band's 50th anniversary. This app, which can be viewed on smartphones, PCs, and tablets, includes landmark moments from the seminal rock band.
November 10, 2014: Alice Cooper Announces New 2015 Shows
Alice Cooper announced his first series of shows for 2015. These shows, which are a part of his ongoing "Raise The Dead" tour, kick off on February 7, 2015 in Tulsa, OK and end on February 18 in Hollywood, FL, just before he sets sail on the Rock Legends Cruise III which leaves on February 19 from Fort Lauderdale, FL.
November 10, 2014: Ringo Starr And All Starr Band To Tour US, Latin America
Ringo Starr will be embarking on a tour of the US and Latin America with his All Starr Band early next year. This trek, which begins on February 13, 2015 in Bossier City, LA and ends on March 15 in Las Vegas, will cover various cities in Alabama, California, Florida, South Carolina, and Texas, as well as the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, and Mexico.
November 10, 2014: Stevie Wonder To Receive Presidential Medal Of Freedom
Stevie Wonder is among those who will be honored by President Barack Obama with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The award ceremonies will take place at the White House on November 24, 2014. Established in 1963, this prestigious award recognizes those who have made
an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
November 11, 2014: Sugarhill Gang Member Big Bank Hank Passes Away
Big Bank Hank died on November 11, 2014 at age 58 at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in Englewood, NJ after battling cancer. He was a member of the Sugarhill Gang, the pioneering hip hop group best known for "Rapper's Delight" which, in 1979, launched a new era in pop music when it became the first rap song to become a Top 40 hit.
Born Henry Lee Jackson in the Bronx, he received a degree in oceanography from Bronx Community College. Afterwards, he worked as the music manager for a number of acts that included Grandmaster Caz and his group The Mighty Force MC's and the Cold Crush Brothers. He was then discovered by Sylvia Robinson who was assembling a group that would come to be known as the Sugarhill Gang. Hank was 22 years old by the time "Rapper's Delight" was released. Until this song made its big splash on the national charts, rap music was mainly a local genre that was only heard at parties and other private functions. During the 1980s, the Sugarhill Gang released "8th Wonder" and the sporting events staple, "Apache," before disbanding in 1985.
November 12, 2014: Kenny Rogers To Give Farewell Tours In Australia And New Zealand
Although Kenny Rogers has yet to retire altogether, the legendary singer will be giving his final shows in Australia and New Zealand. His final tour in that part of the world is set to begin on January 23, 2015 in Sydney, Australia, followed by more shows in several other cities. Afterwards, he will perform in two cities in New Zealand. Over the years, Rogers has toured seven times in Australia and New Zealand. These treks included two joint tours with Dolly Parton during the 1980s.
November 12, 2014: J. Geils Band To Launch 'Houseparty' Tour And Open For Bob Seger
The J. Geils Band will be launching its "Houseparty" tour on November 14-15, 2014 in Detroit and, on November 22, will begin an extended series of shows with Bob Seger in which the band will serve as Seger's opening act. The band's itinerary, which currently runs through January 31, 2015 in Duluth, GA, will include various cities in Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, as well as Ontario, Canada.
November 12, 2014: Bette Midler Album Debuts At #3 On Billboard 200, Barbra Streisand Album Returns To Top 10
Based on sales during the previous week, Bette Midler's latest album, "It's The Girls," made its debut on the Billboard 200 this week at #3, making this Midler's highest charting debut album to date. That same week, Barbra Streisand's duets album, "Partners," re-entered the Billboard 200 Top 10 (at #7) where it had spent consecutive six weeks before dropping to #11 last week. This album made its debut on this chart at #1 last September.
November 12, 2014: Dave Mason Releases New Veteran's Day Song
Dave Mason just released a new song on this year's Veteran's Day titled "Thank You" which pays homage to members of the US armed forces. This song can be downloaded for free at DaveMasonMusic.com. The veteran rocker who co-founded Traffic in 1967 is currently touring the US in support of his latest album, "Future's Past."
November 13, 2014: Paul McCartney Tribute Album To Be Released
A new album of Paul McCartney covers approximately ten years in the making is set to be released on November 18, 2014. Titled "The Art of McCartney," this 42-track album, which includes songs from McCartney?s years with the Beatles and Wings, features such big name artists as Willie Nelson, Brian Wilson, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, and Chrissie Hynde.
November 13, 2014: Jackson Browne To Launch Florida 2015 Tour
Jackson Browne announced his first tour dates for 2015 in support of his latest album, "Standing In The Breach." This upcoming trek will take place this February in Florida, covering Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville, Clearwater, Ft. Myers, and Melbourne. Browne, who is currently touring the U.K., will also be touring Japan this March and Italy this May.
November 13, 2014: Seattle To Unveil Jimi Hendrix-Themed Bus Shelter
On November 19, 2014, the city of Seattle will unveil a Jimi Hendrix-themed bus shelter in honor of the late guitar legend. This bus stop is part of a large-scale project that also includes a park which is expected to open sometime next year. Seattle is the city in which Hendrix was born and raised.
November 13, 2014: Billy Joel To Receive Library Of Congress Honors
On November 19, 2014, Billy Joel will be awarded the prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song by the Library of Congress. This event, which will be attended by many top performers who will be paying tribute to the Piano Man, will air on PBS January 2, 2015. US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will be presenting the award along with several members of Congress.
November 14, 2014E: Patti Smith To Perform Christmas Concert At The Vatican
Patti Smith is among those who will be performing at the Concerto di Natale, an annual holiday concert held in Rome near the Vatican. This year's concert will take place on December 13, 2014 and will be broadcast on Christmas Eve in Italy. Smith also has other show dates scheduled for late December through January, 2015 which will take place in New York and various cities along the West Coast.
November 14, 2014: KISS To Perform At Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
On November 27, 2014 (Thanksgiving Day), KISS will be performing in this year's Macy's Day Parade. This event will be televised live on NBC, and the band will be surrounded with 600 cheerleaders while performing.