Bob Marcucci: Pop impresario who launched the careers of Frankie Avalon and Fabian

The musical impresario Bob Marcucci discovered and launched the careers of both Frankie Avalon and Fabian.

Carl Gardner: Singer and founder-member of the Coasters, ‘the Clown Princes of Rock ’n’ Roll’

Carl Gardner was the last surviving member of the hit-making line-up of the Coasters which had success with "Searchin'", "Yakety Yak", "Poison Ivy" and many other titles in the late 1950s. The Coasters were dubbed the Clown Princes of Rock'n'Roll and the wit of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's songwriting, and the humour of their performances, made their work unique. Their records have not dated as no one made records like theirs either before or since. The Coasters made great records, and gave you a laugh as well.

Leading article: Bringing the music revolution home

The news that British artists have suffered their worst showing in the six-decade history of the UK singles chart will come as no surprise to students of post-war history. The Americans invented popular music, both as an industry and as a cultural phenomenon, but by the 1960s it had become an Anglo-American enterprise, with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and The Who among the most popular bands on the planet.

Elvis becomes a Budapest citizen

Budapest's city council has named Elvis Presley an honorary citizen of the Hungarian capital in gratitude for his support of Hungary's anti-Soviet revolution of 1956.

Vegas stripped of hotel to the stars

The venerable Sahara hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, where Elvis Presley and the Beatles stayed, has dealt to its final gamblers and checked out its last guests after six decades.

Terence Blacker: The great writers' guide to happiness

Cyril Connolly warned sternly that one should beware of "charming failures" in life

Diary: Seconds out – Brian vs Elvis

The last time Brian Wilson threw a punch, he tells GQ.com, was in 1976. "At Elvis! He knew karate, right, so as soon as I raised my hand he [chopped] it out of my way. It was in a recording studio in Los Angeles," explains the former Beach Boy, in London this week to appear on Later With Jools Holland. "He had a really long burgundy cape on and kept calling everyone 'Duke'." The memory is sweeter for the knowledge that both men were in questionable shape in 1976, thanks to hamburgers and a combined drug intake to rival any East European weightlifting team.

Inside the jumbled mind of Peter Blake

As an exhibition of his collection of curios opens in Bath, the veteran Pop Artist tells Simon Tait why this 'junk' is his inspiration

Dylan Jones: 'Bobby Darin was a sickly child, and his weak heart coloured pretty much everything that he did'

"Beyond the Sea" was the "Stairway to Heaven" of its day, beginning quietly, almost casually, and then building into something of a euphoric crescendo. Bobby Darin's swinging version was definitive – it's one of the greatest singles of its year (1959), a record that sounds as wistful today as it probably did when it was released.

Travel Agenda: The Rosewood Hotel Georgia; Isle of WIght Walking Festival; Museums at Night; The Lanesboroughhotel; National Skiathon

Today: The Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver, first opened in 1927, flings open its doors once more after an overhaul. The historic hotel, right, has in its time hosted Elvis, The Beatles and miscellaneous royals; it re-opens with a contemporary look, a spa and nightclub ( rosewoodhotelgeorgia.com). Closer to home, the Isle of WIght Walking Festival begins today, making the most of 500 miles of public rights of way (to 22 May; isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk).

Adele, Academy, Leeds<br/>Jim Jones Revue, Concorde 2, Brighton

That Adele has achieved soul diva status says more about us than it does about this 'daahn-to-erff' chart phenomenon

Bob Dylan - Ballad of a thin man, from half a century ago

As Bob Dylan approaches 70, we present an exclusive, unseen extract from Robert Shelton's definitive, newly expanded, biography. Here, he goes behind the scenes of the singer's controversial 1966 'electric' tour

A headline you can believe: The 'Sport' closes

As the Daily Sport appeared to have breathed its last yesterday, as its parent company ceased trading and called in administrators, it was still styling itself as "the world's most outrageous newspaper".

Album: Boubacar Traore, Mali Denhou (Lusafrica)

When Malian bluesmen discovered the bluesmen of America's deep South, Traore's art was one of the results. Acclaimed at 20 as Mali's answer to Elvis Presley, he had dizzy fame followed by political exile, and was only put back on his pedestal after being rediscovered in Paris as part of the army of migrant workers. This new album is vintage stuff: his voice mixes warmth with a genial toughness, while his guitar is backed by the expressive harp of Vincent Bucher.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there