Previewing music-related television for the week of May 26-June 1, 2003.
Close out your U.S. Memorial Day holiday weekend celebrating Willie Nelson's 70th birthday with an amazing cast of his pals on the USA Network. A two-hour version of a marathon concert taped in April at New York's Beacon Theater, "Willie Nelson & Friends: Live & Kickin'" is chock full of amazing performances. Music guests on hand were Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello and Diana Krall, Lyle Lovett, ZZ Top, Norah Jones, Paul Simon, Shania Twain, John Mellencamp, Leon Russell, Ray Charles, Kris Krisofferson, Shery Crow, Toby Keith, Wyclef Jean, Ray Price, Kenny Chesney, Shelby Lynne, and Steven Tyler. Plus, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg, Robert DeNiro, Ethan Hawke, and Ali McGraw were also there to wish one of country music's living legends well.
All week MTV's "Total Request Live" goes on location to the beaches of the Hamptons on New York's Long Island. Among those with plans to show up on the sand are Mya, Beyonce Knowles, and Lillix on Tuesday; Ashanti, B2K, Ashanti, and Nick Cannon on Wednesday; Linkin Park, Michelle Branch, Simple Plan, and the rapper-turned-actor formerly known as Marky Mark: Mark Wahlberg on Thursday; and last, but certainly not least, Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson on Friday. That Carson Daly cat is gonna have his hands full.
New York-based network morning shows will go head-to-head with live music on Friday. ABC will put on a live concert by John Mellencamp in Times Square opposite the established summer concert series on NBC's "Today," which will present superstar Mariah Carey live in Rockefeller Center.
On Thursday night, check out the a host of stars who showed up to toast Stevie Wonder on "BET Walk of Fame." The event sees everyone from Gerald Albright and Roy Hargrove to Mariah Carey and Eric Clapton to Elton John and Ja Rule celebrating Wonder's passionate musical career.
Jazz fans will want to keep Thursday night open for PBS' "Live From Lincoln Center" episode. "Jazz at the Penthouse: The Music of James Black with Wynton and Ellis Marsalis" is a celebration of the New Orleans drummer/composer's work. "60 Minutes" host Ed Bradley hosts as trumpeter Wynton and his pianist father Ellis lead a crack band through the changes.
A mystery to some, a god to others, Tom Jones is an enigma. On Saturday night, "A&E In Concert: Tom Jones Live At Cardiff Castle" will have the international sex symbol on stage in front of thousands as he performs hits and favorites from throughout his career.
Music star in a bizarre place alert! Thursday's episode of the syndicated game show "Hollywood Squares" will put Gloria Estefan sitting in the center square! C'mon folks! That's just plain wacky.
Finally, on Sunday night, tune into MTV for the pilot episode of what is bound to be one of the illest shows ever: "Method Man & Redman: Stung." The network's description is as follows: "Ever do something really stupid and feel relief that no one saw you? Guess again! Watch when the masters of disaster, Method Man and Redman set up the unsuspecting." It'll either be genius television or a complete train wreck. Either way, you're gonna wanna see it.