BIG Music News: The Bee Gees, The Monkees

posted by Dewayne Wells - 

BEE GEES:  Grammy Salute taped and will air as an upcoming TV special

Valentine's Day Tuesday came down with a touch of Saturday Night Fever at the Microsoft Theater in L.A.  That's where the upcoming TV special Stayin' Alive: A Grammy Salute to The Bee Gees was taped last night in front of a live and very enthusiastic audience.

Barry Gibb and his family were in the front row and the performers played to and chatted with him. So was John Travolta, who was among a handful of celebrities on hand to provide introductions. There was plenty of vintage Bee Gees video shown throughout the evening and it was a rare performance that wasn't accompanied by images of the three Brothers Gibb on a huge screen behind it. In the case of Celine Dion, Barry and the late Robin and Maurice Gibb actually acted as her backing singers on "Immortality."

The taping began with a four-artist medley, with Demi Lovato doing "Stayin' Alive," Tori Kelly singing "Tragedy," Little Big Town harmonizing on "How Deep Is Your Love," Andra Day wailing on "Night Fever" and everyone closing it with a reprise of "Stayin' Alive." It ended with every performer on stage being covered in confetti while singing that same song, which was also the last of Barry Gibb's three-song set, following "Jive Talkin'" and "You Should Be Dancing."

Barry Gibb on being a part of last night’s taping of Stayin’ Alive: A Grammy Tribute to The Bee Gees:

“I’m floating. You know, there’s many, many years of sort of being up and down and up and down and this is wonderful. And I get to be among the people I love: Ed Sheeran and Celine Dion and John Legend and Demi Lovato. That’s great. And they’re celebrating records that were real records. Whether it’s us of The Beatles or other groups, it was real. You had to play.”

Here's the complete list of performances in between:

Keith Urban - "To Love Somebody"

Ed Sheeran - "Massachusetts" (the only pre-taped number on the show)

Panic! At the Disco - "Lonely Days"

Celine Dion - "Immortality"

Katharine McPhee - "Emotion"

John Legend with Stevie Wonder on harmonica (he also introduced the segment) - "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart"

Pentatonix "Too Much Heaven" (which presenter Wilmer Valderrama noted has raised over $10 million for UNICEF since The Bee Gees pledged all its royalties to the charity when they debuted it at the U.N. General Assembly in 1979)

Tori Kelly "Tragedy" (full song)

Kelsea Ballerini and Thomas Rhett - "Islands in the Stream"

DNCE - "Night Fever"

Demi Lovato - "If I Can't Have You"

Jason Derulo and Tavares - "More Than a Woman"

Little Big Town - "How Deep Is Your Love"

Andra Day - "Love So Right"

Nick Jonas - "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" (a tribute to the other deceased Gibb brother, Andy)


Stayin' Alive: A Grammy Salute to The Bee Gees will air on Easter Sunday, April 16th on CBS.

MONKEES:  Won't work together in 2017

2017 will be a much quieter year for Monkees fans.

After Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork mounted an extensive 50th anniversary tour -- with occasional appearances from Michael Nesmith -- and released their 12th studio album Good Times!, the made-for-TV band has nothing on tap this year.

Dolenz tells Billboard, "There are no immediate plans... [But] I've learned never to say never [to] any more Monkee business."

Micky will perform solo at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida from February 20th through the 25th. A co-star on the Flower Power Cruise that leaves Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 27th, he'll be joined by Eric Burdon, Chad and Jeremy, Rare Earth, Spencer Davis, Danny Hutton of Three Dog Night and The (John Sebastian-less) Lovin' Spoonful.

Michael Nesmith's book Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff -- the writing of which prevented him from joining the 2016 tour full-time -- will be out on April 18th.

Peter Tork hasn't announced any shows with his band Shoe Suede Blues, but will be appearing at several fanfests this spring.

THE BEATLES:  Story of Ringo's fill-in drummer becoming a movie

The story of the drummer who filled in for Ringo Starr in June 1964 is one big step closer to becoming a movie.

Two sons of music legends -- Alex Orbison (the son of Roy) and Ashley Hamilton (whose father is Rod Stewart) -- partnered to obtain the film rights to the Jim Berkenstadt book The Beatle Who Vanished. Published in 2013, it's the story of Jimmy Nicol, who took Ringo Starr's place for 10 shows in Denmark, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Australia in June 1964.

Orbison told Billboard that Nicol's story fascinated him because it not only occurred during Beatlemania -- but after playing with others, such as Peter and Gordon, he dropped out of sight and avoided media contact. Hamilton added, "Everyone grows up wanting to be the president or a Beatle, but for 13 days! That has to crush one's soul. It's really the age old-question -- is it better to have never been or for 13 days?"

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