Music News Digest: Week Of March 29, 2020

April 6, 2020 by Amy Gold

During the week of March 29, 2020, fans bade a final farewell to soul legend Bill Withers (July 4, 1938 - March 30, 2020) who died from heart complications. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer became famous during the early 1970s for such era-defining classics as "Ain't No Sunshine" (1971) and "Lean On Me" (1972).

Also that week, the Songwriters Hall of Fame announced that this year's induction ceremonies, originally scheduled to take place on June 11 in New York City, will be postponed to June 10, 2021. Among the 2020 honorees are Steve Miller, The Isley Brothers, and songwriters Rick Nowels and Willams "Mickey" Stevenson.

Rick Springfield is among the featured performers in an upcoming Facebook Live benefit concert to raise money for COVID-19 relief. Dubbed "Human To Human," this 12-hour event will stream live on April 11, 2020 starting at noon ET.

"Laurel Canyon," a new two-part documentary about the music scene that emerged in this historic Los Angeles neighborhood during the late 1960s, will premiere May 31 and June 7 on Epix. This series will feature rare film footage and audio, new interviews, and music by such pop culture icons as Jackson Browne, Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Doors, The Eagles, The Mamas & The Papas, Joni Mitchell, The Monkees, Linda Ronstadt, and The Turtles.

Also that week, CMT announced an upcoming TV special in honor of late country star Kenny Rogers to premiere on April 8, 2020. Titled "CMT GIANTS Kenny Rogers: A Benefit For MusiCares," this tribute show and fundraiser will feature interviews and performances by Lionel Richie, Michael McDonald, Dolly Parton, and others. Encore presentations will air on April 10 on MTV Live and again on CMT on April 11.

Finally, Elton John, Billy Joel, and Dolly Parton became among the latest veteran artists to aid in the battle against the raging COVID-19 pandemic. Elton John joined Mariah Carey and other music stars for the "Fox Presents The iHeart Living Room Concert For America," which took place March 29, 2020 and raised almost $8 million. Billy Joel and wife Alexis donated $500,000, the first of what will be several major donations, to various New York-area hospitals and charities. Also, Dolly Parton will be donating $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to fund research towards finding a cure for COVID-19.

Newly-Announced Recordings:
(Band/Artist - Title - Format - Release Date)

Cancelled & 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.)