Billboard Bits: 'Live Tuesdays,' Mellencamp, Dixie Chicks
News on 'Live Tuesdays,' Mellencamp, Dixie ChicksNickelback, the Donnas and 3 Doors Down are among the artists who have signed on for a new VH1 concert series, which has the working title "Live Tuesdays," Billboard.com has learned. The one hour-program will air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT, beginning Aug. 26. Other artists who will be part of the concert series include Heart, Cheap Trick, Live, Sugar Ray and the Goo Goo Dolls. A VH1 spokesperson says that admission to the shows will primarily be by invitation only.
Before the kickoff of the Tuesday night series, VH1 will air an "Inside Track" concert Aug. 20 featuring Liz Phair, Jason Mraz, the Thorns and Maroon 5. The invitation-only show will be taped Aug. 14 at New York's Roseland Ballroom. The artists are currently part of VH1's "Inside Track" promotion, which spotlights new and developing acts.
-- Carla Hay, N.Y.
John Mellencamp will perform a set at the late Elvis Presley's Memphis mansion for exclusive broadcast on AOL for Broadband. The artist's "Sessions@AOL Full Set" episode will premiere Monday (Aug. 11), and consist largely of material from his Columbia blues covers album, "Trouble No More."
Along with renditions of Robert Johnson's "Stones in My Passway" and Son House's "Death Letter," fans will hear Mellencamp's version of "That's All Right (Mama)." The Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup song was among the first Presley recorded for the Sun label.
AOL for Broadband members will have access to a full stream of the mini-concert (keyword: Elvis), while regular AOL members will also be able to access one song from the set.
On Aug. 15, AOL Music will host Vigilcast from the annual candlelight vigil at Graceland that marks Presley's death. The Webcast will feature celebrity interviews and behind-the-scenes coverage.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
As they head into the final North American dates of their Top of the World tour, the Dixie Chicks are closing in on $60 million in gross revenues, likely enough to make them the top country touring act of the year. "The bottom line is, for all the so-called controversy ... the Dixie Chicks' fans remained totally loyal throughout the tour," manager Simon Renshaw tells Billboard Bulletin.
Renshaw says that after 56 shows, the Chicks have been averaging 15,878 in paid attendance, with an average gross of $980,337; this compares to an average of 12,687 and $524,211 for their first headlining tour in 2000.
The North America dates wrap Aug. 13 in Calgary. The Chicks begin a 10-day European run Sept. 6 in Stockholm, then play six Australian dates ending Oct. 5 in Sydney.
-- Ray Waddell, Nashville