Music News Digest: Week Of December 6, 2020

December 13, 2020 by Amy Gold

During the week of December 6, 2020, fans bade a final farewell to pioneering country star Charley Pride (March 18, 1934 - December 12, 2020) who died from complications related to COVID-19. Famous for such classics as "Kiss An Angel Good Morning" and "Is Anybody Goin' To San Antone," his numerous honors and accolades included three Grammys along with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2020, he became the first black performing artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Pride gave his final performance last month at the 54th Country Music Association Awards where he was honored with the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Also that week, Bob Dylan sold his entire catalog spanning his nearly 60-year career to Universal Music Group's publishing division. Although no official sales figures have yet been disclosed, this acquisition is estimated at over $300 million.

Billboard released its list of the 100 Best Songs of 2020, and among the top picks is Bob Dylan's "Murder Most Foul," a single released in March 2020 that covers the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In other Billboard news, famed holiday hitmaker Johnny Marks made a return to #1 on the Hot 100 Songwriters Chart with Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" (#4), Burl Ives' "A Holly Jolly Christmas" (#24), Gene Autry's "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" (#40), and Justin Bieber's "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" (#83). Other holiday re-entries on this chart by veteran musicians include Jose Feliciano (with "Feliz Navidad") at #6.

Gordon Lightfoot will give his first full-length livestream concert on December 18, 2020 from the El Mocambo venue in Toronto, Ontario. The Canadian folk rock legend will perform many of his classic hits as well as several lesser known songs. For more info and tickets, visit

Also that week, Neil Young announced that he will make his Archives website free for the holidays. The monthly $2 fee will be waived, and he will provide access to his entire catalog which includes Archives Volume II (1972-1976), his complete Fireside Sessions series, and his upcoming concert film, "Timeless Orpheum."

Finally, Cher stars in the recently-released "Bobbleheads: The Movie," which is currently out on DVD, On Demand, and various digital platforms and will soon be headed to Netflix. Here, she plays an animated bobbleheaded version of herself in which she offers advice to a group of bobbleheads on a mission to save one of their own.

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