Music News Digest: Week Of September 27, 2020

October 4, 2020 by Amy Gold

During the week of September 27, 2020, fans bade a final farewell to two iconic 1970s hitmakers - Helen Reddy (October 25, 1941 - September 29, 2020) and Mac Davis (January 21, 1942 - September 29, 2020).

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Helen Reddy became internationally famous beginning in the early 1970s with such hits as "I Don't Know How To Love Him" (1971) and the Grammy-winning "I Am Woman" (1972), the latter of which topped the charts and became an enduring feminist anthem. Over her long and multifaceted career, she also acted on TV and in the movies and theater and later became a practicing clinical hypnotherapist and motivational speaker before returning to performing in 2012. In 2015, Reddy was diagnosed with dementia and also suffered from Addison's disease during her final years. No official cause of death has yet been reported.

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actor Mac Davis is best known for the crossover smash, "Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me (1972), which topped both the Country and Pop/Rock charts. He began his long career as a songwriter for other artists, most notably Elvis Presley, for whom he penned the hits, "A Little Less Conversation," "Don't Cry Daddy," "In The Ghetto," and "Memories." Davis hosted his own TV variety show during the mid 1970s and made numerous other TV appearances and also starred in several movies and a Broadway musical, "The Will Rogers Follies." He passed away after complications following heart surgery.

Also that week, Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" made a return of sorts to the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 after over a half century as a part of Surf Mesa's "ILY (I Love You Baby)" which samples the chorus from this oldies classic. The Surf Mesa smash went gold in the U.S. and has also become a big hit worldwide due to its popularity on TikTok.

John Kay of Steppenwolf will give a performance on November 13, 2020 at the historic Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, CA as part of a new series of shows to take place at this venue without an audience that will be available as pay-per-view livestreams. For more info and tickets, visit

Paul McCartney and The Who are among the featured attractions at this year's Teenage Cancer Trust benefit concert which normally takes place at London's Royal Albert Hall. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the U.K.-based charity has drawn from its archives to put together a streaming series titled "Teenage Cancer Trust Unseen" in which different performers will be featured on different days. Past performances by Paul McCartney and The Who will be streamed on October 11 and 17, respectively.

Finally, a pair of round glasses once worn by John Lennon sold at auction for a whopping $56,800. These iconic spectacles, which the late rock legend gave to his housekeeper in 1965, are believed to be the first pair of round eyeglasses Lennon ever owned.

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