News on Michelle Branch, Elvis, Brian Setzer

NellyUp-and-coming pop artist Michelle Branch is due to guest star on NBC's new nostalgic drama "American Dreams." Executive produced by Dick Clark and Jonathan Prince, the show is set in the early-1960s and will utilize vintage footage of Clark's long-running music and dance series "American Bandstand."

In the episode, Branch will play singer Lesley Gore and perform her hit "You Don't Own Me," which held the No. 2 spot on Billboard's Hot 100 for three weeks in 1964. The episode will feature character Meg Pryor, a "Bandstand" dancer played by Brittany Snow, meeting Gore as she rehearses for that day's broadcast. Branch's previous television experience includes a guest appearance on the WB's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." She'll also be seen next year in the Adam Sandler film "The Hot Chick."

The Philadelphia-based "American Dreams" will air Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET on NBC beginning Sept. 29. The cast also includes Gail O'Grady ("NYPD Blue"), Tom Verica ("Providence"), Will Estes ("7th Heaven"), Ethan Danpf ("Collateral Damage"), and Vanessa Lengies ("Popular Mechanics for Kids").


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







NellyThursday night's (Aug. 15) candlelight vigil at Graceland in Memphis, Tenn., to mark the 25th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death will be Webcast to fans online via AOL's High Speed Broadband service. The "VigilCast" will begin at 9:30 PM ET, and will be available for viewing on demand from Elvis.com immediately following the three-hour event's completion, and the next day on AOL (Keyword: Elvis) and Netscape Music.

A torch will be lit from the eternal flame in Graceland's Meditation Garden to light the individual candles of thousands of fans as they walk through the gates of the estate to Presley's gravesite, and back. In addition to showing the procession, VigilCast will feature behind-the-scenes footage, celebrity appearances, and interviews with some of Presley's friends and associates.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







The Brian Setzer Orchestra will swing into the upcoming winter holiday season with the fall release of "Boogie Woogie Christmas." Due Oct. 8 via Surfdog Records, the 12-track collection features an eclectic mix of holiday fare, as well as the newly penned original "So They Say It's Christmas."

Highlights of the set include Setzer dueting with Ann-Margret on "Baby It's Cold Outside," and a take on Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas" recorded by the former Stray Cats leader's trio. Setzer plans to take the Orchestra and the trio out on the road after Thanksgiving in support of the release.

Here is the full "Boogie Woogie Christmas" track listing:

"Jingle Bells"
"Boogie Woogie Santa Claus"
"Winter Wonderland"
"Blue Christmas"
"Santa Claus is Back in Town"
"Baby It's Cold Outside"
"Nutcracker Suite"
"(Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man With the Bag"
"Sleigh Ride"
"So They Say It's Christmas"
"O Holy Night"
"The Amens"


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

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