Fine Tuning - Weekly column highlighting music on TV (April 4-10, 2005).
A SLEEPING LION: In a business that has notoriously shown little regard for artists, Solomon Linda ranks as one of the saddest stories in music. Though he was the writer of "Mbube," which became the ubiquitous song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," the Zulu musician never earned a dime from the latter's worldwide popularity and died in poverty. PBS' "Independent Lens" showcase of filmmaker Francois Verster's documentary "A Lion's Trail" on Tuesday (check local listings) will give insight into one of music's greatest mysteries.
In the film, the song is performed by musicians including the Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda's daughters, Pete Seeger and Ladysmith Black Mambazo as the story is told and compensation is sought for Linda's family, still living in poverty in South Africa.
REALITIES OF 'IDOL' AND 'STAR': Millions watch "American Idol" (Fox) and "Nashville Star" (USA Network) each week and call in, yet each time another hopeful artist's is cast aside in the quest for stardom. Last week it was decided Jessica Sierra and Tamika Tyler, respectively, who were voted off of the contests.
In Nashville, the show's most successful winner, Buddy Jewell, will return to perform on Tuesday night, which will thankfully probably prevent judge Bret Michaels from taking the stage again... phew!
And nine remain on "Idol," where last season's winner -- Fantasia Barrino -- will return to sing for the millions who crowned her the winner in 2003 on Wednesday's results show, where we'll find out who doesn't pass muster from Tuesday's vote.
And speaking of past "Idol" stars, look for winner Ruben Studdard and also ran Kimberly Caldwell to appear on "Life on a Stick," Fox's new, erm, "comedy," after Wednesday's show.
EVERY DAY... Every day, I write down the things you should watch on TV. So, follow my orders, dammit:
Monday: My Chemical Romance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (ABC).
Tuesday: Hot Hot Heat on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" (NBC).
Wednesday: Bloc Party on "The Late Show With David Letterman" (CBS).
Thursday: Tori Amos on "Last Call With Carson Daly" (NBC).
Friday: Hilary Duff co-hosting "The View" (ABC).
Saturday: Loretta Lynn on "Grand Ole Opry Live" (Great American Country).
Sunday: Blind Boys Of Alabama on "Breakfast With the Arts" (A&E).