Of course the big music news this week was the passing of Chuck Berry at age 90. In case you weren’t already convinced of his giant influence on rock (and much more), consider how people across generations reacted to the news of his death. His own peers and Millennials alike are mourning, which is a testament to the lasting legacy Berry leaves us. He also leaves a mark across species, potentially. When NASA launched Voyagers 1 and 2 in 1977 to explore the far reaches of our solar system and beyond, the spacecraft carried gold-plated records etched with the sounds of our world. Among the Earth sounds included on the records, curated by Carl Sagan, were greetings in several languages, Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” and one rock song: “Johnny B. Goode.” When some alien race finds that, you know they’re gonna rock. [NPR]
Before he died, Chuck Berry recorded a new album — his first in 38 years — that was slated for release this Friday. [USA Today]
Earlier in the week, we also lost blues harmonica hero James Cotton. He played with Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and many others, with a sound that was all his own. [Rolling Stone]
The famed Tribeca Film Festival announced a series of “Tribeca Talks” for this year’s event, April 19-30. Among them is an “intimate conversation” between Tom Hanks and Bruce Springsteen. [Rolling Stone]
If you haven’t heard the story of Vera Lynn, who turned 100 this week, check out this column from ND’s own Anne Margaret Daniel. Two songs Lynn performed during two World Wars made her a hero on the homefront.