Music News Digest: Week Of December 22, 2019

December 30, 2019 by Amy Gold

During the week of December 22, 2019, Elton John, Olivia Newton-John, and Queen drummer Roger Taylor were among those included in the 2020 New Year Honours list presented in the name of the reigning monarch of the U.K., Queen Elizabeth II. For services to music and charity, Elton John was appointed Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH). Newton-John was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to charity, cancer research, and entertainment. For services to music, Taylor was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Also, the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis was honored with a Mississippi Country Music Trail marker which was unveiled on December 19, 2019 at his ranch in Nesbit, MS. The Mississippi Country Music Trail celebrates the state's contributions to country music with markers across the state commemorating various country greats who were either born in or otherwise have some tie to Mississippi.

To celebrate the holidays, 10,000 free streams of a remastered recording of the Jerry Garcia Band performing Solomon Burke's 1964 soul classic, "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love," are being made available on various digital platforms by Jerry Garcia Music Arts, an independent label established in 2018 by Garcia's daughter Keelin and his ex-wife Manasha. This song is also included in "Electric On The Eel," an archival Jerry Garcia Band live collection released in 2019 that features performances from 1987, 1989, and 1991 at French's Camp in Piercy, CA.

Finally, fans bade a final farewell to lyricist and composer Jerry Herman (July 10, 1931 - December 26, 2019), rockabilly cult figure Sleepy LaBeef (July 20, 1935 - December 26, 2019), and hit songwriter Allee Willis (November 10, 1947 - December 24, 2019). Known primarily for his work in Broadway musical theater, Herman was a Tony Award winning composer of such pop standards as "Hello, Dolly!" and "Mame." LaBeef (born Thomas Paulsley LaBeff) was a veteran rockabilly/country singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actor whose best known songs included "Tore Up" (1963), "Every Day" (1968), and "Blackland Farmer" (1971). Willis was a Grammy-winning songwriter, artist, and art director who co-wrote such hits as Earth, Wind & Fire's "September" and "Boogie Wonderland" and The Rembrandts' "I'll Be There for You" which was used as the theme song to the long-running TV sitcom, "Friends."

Newly-Announced Tours & Shows:
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Newly-Announced Recordings:
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(For more information about the above news items, please see below for a list of sources with links.)