Music News Digest: Week Of June 28, 2020

July 6, 2020 by Amy Gold

During the week of June 28, 2020, Bob Dylan's latest album, "Rough And Rowdy Ways," debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, making him the first-ever artist to have at least one Top 40 album on this chart in every decade from the 1960s to the 2020s. "Rough And Rowdy Ways" is Dylan's 23rd album to date to break into the Billboard 200 Top 10 and his 50th to make the Top 40.

Also that week, Ringo Starr announced his upcoming 80th birthday benefit concert special, "Ringo's Big Birthday Show," to take place July 7, 2020. Featured performers will include Joe Walsh and ex Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney. Proceeds will go to the Black Lives Matter Global Network, the David Lynch Foundation, MusiCares, and WaterAid. Starr also gave an in-depth interview in Rolling Stone magazine in which he discussed such topics as the secrets to his eternally youthful appearance, life in isolation during the COVID-19 crisis, the launching of his solo career, and his memories of George Harrison and John Lennon.

Elton John launched a new classic concert series on YouTube which kicked off on July 3, 2020 with "Live At The Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh," a 1976 performance made available digitally for the first time. A new concert will premiere every Saturday thereafter for six weeks, and various limited-edition merchandise will be offered. Fans will be asked to donate to Elton John's AIDS Foundation in support of its COVID-19 relief efforts.

July 4, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of "American Top 40," a song countdown radio program co-founded by Casey Kasem, the show's original and longtime host. This hugely popular program featured top hits from across the country spanning all the main popular music genres from pop/rock to country to R&B/soul. "American Top 40" is currently hosted by Ryan Seacrest who took over in 1998 after Kasem stepped down. This show is broadcast as an adjunct to his weekly radio program, "On Air With Ryan Seacrest."

Also that week, it was announced that "The Rolling Stones: Havana Moon" will premiere July 10, 2020 in drive-in theaters across the U.S. and Canada. This movie captures a free concert given by the legendary rock band in the Cuban capital on March 25, 2016. "Havana Moon" originally debuted on September 23, 2016 in over one thousand theaters worldwide and was first shown on TV January 22, 2017 on Starz. It was later released on DVD, Blu-ray, and various other formats.

Finally, fans bade a final farewell to Tom Finn (November 21, 1948 - June 27, 2020), a founding member of The Left Banke who served as bassist and backing singer. This highly acclaimed late 1960s baroque pop group is best known for the smash hits, "Walk Away Renee" (1966) and "Pretty Ballerina" (1967). Finn later went on to become a club and party DJ.

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