News in Review: Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Lucky Dube, Kelly Groucutt

First Appeared in The Music Box, April 2009, Volume 16, #4

Written by John Metzger

Fri April 24, 2009, 06:30 AM CDT


One More Round for Simon & Garfunkel

Simon & Garfunkel - Live 1969

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel might have one more collaborative world tour left in them. The duo’s last sojourn, which took place over the course of 2003 and 2004, was supposed to be their last outing together. After performing a trio of songs at the Beacon Theatre in February to honor the venue’s grand re-opening, Simon indicated that they had left unfinished business on the table. Sure enough, Simon & Garfunkel recently announced a series of concerts in New Zealand and Australia, which will take place in June. Expectations are high that the pair will continue their excursion with additional shows in North America and possibly Europe.

The Beatles - With the Beatles

EMI to Issue Refurbished Beatles Albums in September

EMI and Apple Corps Ltd. announced that they were planning to issue digitally remastered renditions of The Beatles’ entire catalogue on September 9. All twelve of the albums that the Fab Four issued in Britain will be presented in stereo. This includes Please Please Me, With The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, and Beatles for Sale, which have never been issued in stereo in their entirety on CD. In addition, Past Masters Vol. I and II, the odds-and-sods sets that compiled important rarities and singles, will be combined into a single package, while a boxed set for collectors will contain all of The Beatles’ mono recordings. There still is no word about the band making its music available via iTunes, but many are viewing this announcement as the first step toward making it happen.

Elvis Presley - The Essential Elvis Presley

Mississippians Get Elvis-Themed License Plate

Residents of Mississippi have a unique opportunity to honor the legacy of Elvis Presley by switching to the state’s new specialty license plate. There’s only one hitch: Production won’t begin until Mississippi receives 300 completed applications. The Tupelo Elvis Presley Fan Club, which was responsible for working with the state legislature to make the plate available, is hoping to reach this goal within the next few weeks. Funds from the sale of the license plate will be used to fulfill one of Presley’s dreams: the construction of a youth center in Tupelo, his birthplace.

Lucky Dube - The Best of Lucky Dube

Lucky Dube’s Killers Get Life

On April 2, Sifiso Mhlanga, Mbuti Mabe, and Julius Gxowa were sentenced to life in prison for the shooting death of international reggae star Lucky Dube. The incident occurred during a carjacking in South Africa in October 2007. Shortly before they were convicted, Mabe and Mhlanga attempted but failed to escape from police custody. Dube recorded 22 albums in his 25-year career, which began in the 1980s. He was a regular fixture at the South African Music Awards, and he had anchored the Live 8 event that took place in Johannesburg in 2005.

Electric Light Orchestra - Out of the Blue

Kelly Groucutt Dead at 63

After suffering a heart attack, bass player Kelly Groucutt passed away on February 19 at the age of 63. Groucutt is best known for his work with Electric Light Orchestra in the 1970s. The U.K.-born musician joined the band for its 1974 tour in support of Eldorado, and he stayed with ELO throughout its heyday, appearing on the outfit’s mega-selling efforts A New World Record and Out of the Blue. Groucutt left the group in 1983, and he subsequently sued Jeff Lynne over royalty payments.


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