Billboard Bits: Tony Bennett, UME, All Tomorrow's Parties
The star-studded Tony Bennett special, "An American Classic," will air Nov. 21 on NBC.The star-studded Tony Bennett special, "An American Classic," will air Nov. 21 on NBC. As previously reported, the program finds Bennett performing tracks from his new duets album with Barbra Streisand, Christina Aguilera, Elton John, John Legend and Stevie Wonder, among others.
Each musical performance will be shot as a short movie about a milestone in the entertainer's career, with sets recreating such pivotal venues as the Greenwich Village club where Bennett was discovered by Bob Hope in 1949; Carnegie Hall, where he held one of his most successful concerts in 1962; and the Sahara Hotel and Casino, where he performed in the late '70s.
Movie stars Catherine Zeta-Jones, Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal will set the stage for the performances with insights about Bennett's life during the time period highlighted by the song.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Universal Music Enterprises has repackaged 60 best-of titles in its "The Millennium Collection" line, using environmentally friendly materials, which will be sold exclusively at Wal-Mart for the next three months.
The program will include artists such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Clapton, Toby Keith, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, KISS, Barry White, Four Tops, Buddy Holly, Cher, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Boyz II Men, George Strait, ABBA, Rod Stewart and Neil Diamond. The first new "The Millennium Collection" release to boast the new packaging was "The Best Of Rob Zombie," which came out on Oct. 10.
UME will supply the eco-friendly packaging, which was designed by Shorewood Packaging, to all retailers beginning in 2007.
-- Ed Christman, N.Y.
Nick Cave, Low and Magnolia Electric Company are among the first acts confirmed for All Tomorrow's Parties 2007. Curated by the Dirty Three, who will also perform, the U.K. music festival will take place April 27-29 at the Butlins in Minehead resort in Somerset, England. Other acts set to appear include Grinderman, David Pajo, the Drones, Faun Fables, Brokeback and Tara Jane O'Neill. For more information, visit the ATP Web site.
-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.