Billboard Bits: Alan Jackson, Other Ones, Josh Groban

News on Alan Jackson, Other Ones, Josh Groban

NellyWith a host of CMA Awards under his belt and his holiday album "Let It Be Christmas" (Arista) debuting this week at No. 52 on The Billboard 200, Alan Jackson is gearing up for a seasonal special of the same name. "Alan Jackson: Let It Be Christmas" is slated to air Nov. 29 on CMT at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

The special will featuring Jackson performing holiday favorites at Nashville's famed Grand Ole Opry House, backed by the Belmont University Choir. The special will also feature Jackson's wife Denise and their three daughters, both on stage with the singer and at home.

As for what he'd like to see under the tree this year, Jackson says in the special, "I don't need a thing. You know, I have more than I ever deserved, and I'd hate to even think about wanting anything. I tell people not to get me anything. You know, just peace on earth and good will toward men."

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

NellyContemporary blues singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi will join the lineup of the Other Ones -- which is comprised of surviving original members of the Grateful Dead and friends -- on the road for the majority of the band's upcoming tour. Tedeschi's first performances with the group will come Nov. 18-19 at the FleetCenter in Boston. She will remain on the road with drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, bassist Phil Lesh, and guitarist/singer Bob Weir at least through a planned Nov. 30 show in Auburn Hills, Mich.

The group -- which is rounded out by keyboardists Rob Barraco and Jeff Chimenti, and guitarist/vocalist Jimmy Herring -- will kick off their tour tomorrow (Nov. 14) in Roanoke, Va., and run through a Dec. 5-6 stand in Oakland, Calif. Last night the Other Ones appeared on NBC's "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," where they turned out a performance of the Dead staple "The Wheel."

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

NellySinger Josh Groban, who has won over fans with his blend of pop and classical music, is readying the release of a live CD/DVD package, "Josh Groban in Concert," due Dec. 3 via 143 Records/Warner Bros. The discs are culled from an appearance on PBS' "Great Performances" that will premiere Nov. 23, and find Groban performing material from his self-titled debut album, as well as new songs with such guests as producer/writer/arranger David Foster on piano, conductor John Williams, Angie Stone, Lilli Hayden, and Andrea Corr.

Along with the concert, the DVD will boast a documentary on the making of the PBS special and backstage footage shot by Josh's brother Chris. The audio CD features seven songs from the concert and a version of "O Holy Night" produced and arranged by Foster.

Released in December 2001, "Josh Groban" spawned the single "To Where You Are," which topped Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart. The album, which in May peaked at No. 8 on The Billboard 200, is currently No. 36 in its 47th week on the chart, and has sold 1.7 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.


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