A Closer Look At Music On Television This Week (Nov. 22-28)

Fine Tuning - Weekly column highlighting music on TV (Nov. 22-28, 2004).

HAPPY THANKSGIVING: Readers here in the United States know that this week is a special one. The Thanksgiving Day holiday generally means family gatherings big and small and all of the trappings that go with it. Households around the country will be filled with the smells of food, the chatter of long overdue conversations, football games on television and the sounds of bickering siblings and snoring over-indulgers.

This being my only daughter's first one, I'm rather excited for her to take part in this national pastime, or at least witness it firsthand in preparation for what will be an annual experience.

Thursday's holiday also means music. Start with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York, of which NBC is the officially sanctioned broadcaster, although you'll find coverage all about on television. And, as usual, there's a host of performers lined-up to entertain amidst the floats and enormous balloons.

Look for Barenaked Ladies, Peter Cetera, Jose Feliciano, Raven Symone, Andrea Bocelli, Bering Strait, Gavin DeGraw, Hayley Westenra, Fantasia Barrino and Ryan Cabrera, among others. There also promises to be performances from current Broadway shows, the Radio City Rockettes, marching bands and other celebrities, all leading up to the arrival of Santa Claus at the conclusion of the parade.

As has become tradition, the football games will also be ripe with hot halftime talent. On CBS, the break in the Detroit Lions vs. Indianapolis Colts" will feature John Mellencamp and Babyface, while Fox will host a true sleeper of a game with the Dallas Cowboys vs. Chicago Bears, but a halftime blowout starring Destiny's Child.

If your own gathering lacks a bit, tune into VH1 Classic to see "A Very Classic Thanksgiving" with the likes of Apollonia, M.C. Hammer, Eddie Money, Terri Nunn, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, Dee Snider and Davy Jones dining together at a rock'n'roll holiday feast.

And not to be missed is the the annual airing of "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," which is actually showing on the holiday itself this year on ABC. Snoopy's dealings with popcorn and toast never fail to make me giggle.

And if you're either still going late at night, or maybe up again with indigestion brought on by too much stuffing or Aunt Alice's turnip surprise, check out John Mayer on Letterman (CBS), the Zutons on Conan (NBC) and Auf Der Maur plus house band Blues Explosion on Carson Daly (NBC).


ALL WEEK LONG: The holiday dominates things for sure, but there are seven days in each week to get through. Here's the musical highlights that will help you survive:

Monday: Ben Harper and Blind Boys Of Alabama on CBS' "The Late Late Show," this week guest-hosted by Damien Fahey.

Tuesday: Bon Jovi wakes folks up on NBC's "Today," while ABC prime time boasts old school rappers Kool Moe Dee, M.C. Lyte, Special Ed and Flavor Flav on the sitcom "My Wife and Kids."

Wednesday: "Tim McGraw: Here and Now" is a special the country star taped in Green Bay, Wis., a few months back. Look for guest appearances by his wife Faith Hill, rapper Nelly and famed NFL quarterback Brett Favre... Want pop instead? Check out Fox's latest "American Idol" -milking special "Kelly, Ruben & Fantasia: Home for Christmas," which brings together all three winners of the competition.

Thursday: "George Jones, 50 Years of Hits: A Soundstage Special Event" on PBS celebrates one of country music's living legends. He'll be celebrated by the likes of Kenny Chesney, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, Lorrie Morgan, Aaron Neville, Randy Travis, Wynonna, Harry Connick Jr. and Trick Pony.

Friday: Lil Bow Wow and JoJo will nurse your Thanksgiving hangover on the syndicated "Live With Regis & Kelly."

Saturday: PBS' "Austin City Limits" rarely disappoints and makes for delightful Saturday night viewing... This week's episode with Chris Isaak and Norah Jones will certainly deliver.

Sunday: Following his star turn in "Ray," Jamie Foxx is twice appreciated on this day, appearing on AMC's "Sunday Morning Shootout" with the film's director, Taylor Hackford, and on Bravo's esteemed "Inside the Actors Studio."