Music News Digest: Week Of September 15, 2019

September 22, 2019 by Amy Gold

During the week of September 15, 2019, Paul Simon was presented with the Great Americans Medal by The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. at an awards ceremony which took place on September 18. Simon is the sixth recipient of this prestigious medal which honors those who have made "lifetime contributions embodying American ideas and ideals."

Also that week, fans bade a final farewell to Ric Ocasek (March 23, 1944 - September 15, 2019), the lead singer, rhythm guitarist, and main songwriter for The Cars. This iconic new wave band made its debut in 1978 with "Just What I Needed" and "My Best Friend's Girl" before becoming one of the top acts of the 1980s. Ocasek was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Cars in 2018.

Elton John announced seven new concerts as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour which began in September 2018. The shows will take place April 6-7, 2020 at NYC's Madison Square Garden, April 10-11 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, April 17-18 at NYCB LIVE's Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY, and April 15 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

A new digital-only compilation titled "Motown Unreleased: 1969," featuring 60 rare tracks recorded 50 years ago by Stevie Wonder and other Motown artists, was recently released in commemoration of the label's 60th anniversary. Also, Hollies co-founder and former lead singer, Allan Clarke, released a new solo album titled "Resurgence." Highlights include "Long Cool Woman's Back in Town," the sequel to the 1972 Hollies smash hit, "Long Cool Woman in A Black Dress."

An archival album from 1975 by Justin Hayward and John Lodge of The Moody Blues titled "Blue Jays" will be reissued October 4, 2019 on vinyl. Also coming out that month is a new album by Van Morrison, "Three Chords & The Truth," to be released on October 25 in various formats.

"Bob Dylan (Featuring Johnny Cash) -- Travelin' Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15," the latest installment in Dylan's Bootleg Series archival collection, will be coming out November 1, 2019 on CD, vinyl, and digitally. "Bridges To Buenos Aires," a concert video that captures The Rolling Stones' sold-out series of shows in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a guest appearance by Bob Dylan, will be released on November 8 digitally and as DVD/2-CD, Blu-ray/2-CD, and 3-LP vinyl sets. Coming out on November 22 is a new album titled "You're in My Heart: Rod Stewart With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra," which features full orchestral arrangements of Stewart's greatest hits plus a new song, "Stop Loving Her Today," and a remake of the Marvin Gaye/Kim Weston duet, "It Takes Two," performed with Robbie Williams.

Also that week, it was announced that Bruce Springsteen's new "Western Stars" concert film, which recently made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, will be shown on October 19 and 23, 2019 in select theaters across North America.

Finally, Strawberry Field, the Liverpool-area children's home that inspired the classic Beatles' song, "Strawberry Fields Forever," was opened to the public as a tourist attraction. It includes the gardens in which John Lennon played as a child plus a visitor exhibition, cafe, and shop.

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