Music News Digest: Week Of July 12, 2020

July 19, 2020 by Amy Gold

During the week of July 12, 2020, news about a viral video of Billy Joel playing a piano that had been abandoned on a sidewalk in Huntington, NY on Long Island helped brighten the spirits of many during the COVID-19 pandemic. An onlooker captured the Piano Man giving this impromptu roadside concert sometime late last month and uploaded the video to YouTube where it has been viewed almost 400,000 times so far.

Also that week, Queen's hugely popular 1981 "Greatest Hits" compilation became the third album ever to surpass 900 weeks on the U.K.'s Official Albums Chart Top 100 tally. Among the songs featured in this collection are "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Killer Queen," "You're My Best Friend," "Somebody To Love," "We Are The Champions," and "We Will Rock You."

SiriusXM announced a new collection of radio channels dedicated to various music icons. Launched on July 15, 2020, The Beastie Boys, Bob Marley, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, and Queen channels will be available through August 14. The channel for Prince also made a return and will be available through August 13.

The Motown Museum in Detroit reopened on July 15 after being closed for four months due to COVID-19 concerns. Visitors are required to fill out a health questionnaire and have their temperature checked. If they pass, they are given a sticker that reads as "Signed, Sealed, Delivered. I'm Good." To help maintain social distancing, record-shaped decals are scattered on the floor throughout that read as "Stop in the Name of Love. Stay 6ft Apart."

Carlos Santana and John Densmore of The Doors are among those to be featured on upcoming episodes of a new podcast series titled "People Have The Power" that premiered July 14, 2020 on the American Songwriter Podcast Network. Named after the lead single from Patti Smith's 1988 album, "Dream Of Life," this series features various performing artists discussing their favorite protest songs with music journalist Steve Baltin.

Darlene Love, Graham Nash, Steve Miller, and Jesse Colin Young of The Youngbloods are among the featured performers in an upcoming virtual benefit concert for the Little Kids Rock Foundation to be streamed on July 23, 2020. For the complete lineup and ticket information, visit

Also that week, it was announced that "The Burnt Orange Heresy," a new crime thriller that features Mick Jagger as an underhanded British art dealer, will be coming to theaters on August 7, 2020. This movie made its world premiere on September 7, 2019 at the Venice International Film Festival.

Finally, fans bade a final farewell to famed drummer/percussionist Jamie Oldaker (September 5, 1951 - July 16, 2020) and early Beatles photographer Fiona Adams (September 26, 1935 - June 26, 2020).

Oldaker, who died of cancer, played and recorded with such artists as Eric Clapton, Bob Seger, Leon Russell, and Peter Frampton. A founding member of the Tractors, the Tulsa native helped shape the "Tulsa Sound," a musical style made popular by J.J. Cale and non-Tulsan Eric Clapton.

Adams, who passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer, was best known for her early photos of The Beatles that included her famous 1963 "jumping picture." Her many other subjects included such classic rock greats as David Bowie, Bob Dylan, and Jimi Hendrix.

New & Upcoming Releases:
(Band/Artist - Title - Format - Release Date)

Canceled & Postponed Events:
(Band/Artist - Event(s) - Location - Original Dates - Rescheduled Dates)

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