Music News Digest: Week Of December 15, 2019

December 23, 2019 by Amy Gold

During the week of December 15, 2019, Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 and set a record as the third-highest ranking holiday hit ever on that chart. Other Christmas oldies classics that made a return to the Billboard Hot 100 this season include Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock" and Burl Ives' "A Holly Jolly Christmas."

Also that week, The Who's latest album, "WHO," debuted on the Billboard 200 at #2, making this the band's third album to date to reach this chart position after "Quadrophenia" (1973) and "Who Are You" (1978). Other veteran artists that made a big splash on the charts include Judy Collins who scored her first-ever #1 album with "Winter Stories," which topped the Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart.

The Recording Academy announced its list of 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award honorees that include Chicago, Roberta Flack, and the late Isaac Hayes and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The awards ceremonies will take place April 18 in Pasadena, CA.

Elton John will be competing against himself in the upcoming Oscar for Best Original Song. Among the list of 15 songs nominated in this category are "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again" from "Rocketman" and "Never Too Late" from "The Lion King." The Academy Awards ceremonies will take place February 9, 2020 and will air live on ABC.

Also that week, it was announced that Alice Cooper will be among those to honor Aerosmith in concert at the upcoming 2020 MusiCares Person of the Year gala taking place January 24 in Los Angeles. Aerosmith is being recognized for philanthropic works that include frontman Steven Tyler's Janie's Fund for abused and neglected girls.

Finally, fans bade a final farewell to Emil Richards (September 2, 1932 - December 13, 2019), a highly acclaimed session percussionist who was a member of the renowned Wrecking Crew. He can be heard on numerous recordings by such top bands and artists as The Beach Boys, Nat "King" Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra. He also lent his chops to various TV show themes that included the one from "The Addams Family" in which he performed the famous finger snappings, and he played on the soundtracks to dozens of movies.

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