Billboard Bits: Train, Fuel, Earl Scruggs, Travis Tritt
News on Train, Fuel, Earl Scruggs, Travis TrittTrain and Fuel will take a break from their current tours to perform as part of the Sam Adams/VH1 World Class Summer Jam Saturday (Aug. 25) at the Fleet Pavilion in Boston. Tickets to the event are only available through radio station giveaways in cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, and Seattle. Earlier in the week, the Sam Adams Brewery will play host to live music and interactive games.
Train is currently on tour in support of matchbox twenty and will hit Washington, D.C.'s Warner Theatre tonight. The group's single, "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)" is in its sixth week at No. 1 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 chart.
Fuel is on the road with Aerosmith, a trek that visits Devore, Calif., on Friday. The group currently has two singles in the top-20 of Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, with "Bad Day" at No. 14 and "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)" at No. 16.
In other news, VH1 will spotlight both bands on Sept. 7 with the debut of "VH1 Storytellers: Train/Fuel." The show is slated to air at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Elton John, Dwight Yoakam, Travis Tritt, Sting, Melissa Etheridge, Leon Russell, Vince Gill, Rosanne Cash, John Fogerty, Don Henley, Johnny Cash, and actor Steve Martin (on banjo) are all featured on bluegrass pioneer Earl Scruggs' first album in a decade, "Earl Scruggs and Friends." The album, produced by Earl's son Randy, is due Aug. 28 on MCA Nashville.
In 1996, Earl Scruggs suffered a heart attack in the recovery room of a hospital shortly after hip-replacement surgery. "Coming out of that, all of a sudden as the recuperation started happening, I was just watching his playing grow and grow," says Randy Scruggs. "He was playing like he was in his 20s. All of a sudden, as that was happening, we wanted to do another album. We asked, 'What can we do that dad would enjoy doing?'"
Scruggs joined the late Lester Flatt in Bill Monroe's band in 1945. The combination -- including fiddler Chubby Wise and bassist Cedric Rainwater -- was so potent that it spawned imitators and launched the bluegrass movement. Flatt and Scruggs broke away from Monroe in 1948 to form Flatt & Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys. That group was also popular and influential, with Flatt & Scruggs featured periodically on the TV sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies" as well as scoring a hit with the show's theme song.
Country artist Travis Tritt today (Aug. 22) received the Veterans of Foreign Wars' (VFW) 2001 Hall of Fame Award. The honor -- given to individuals for distinguished service to the nation, the veterans, and its armed forces through outstanding contributions in the field of entertainment -- was presented this morning as part of the organization's 102nd national convention in Milwaukee.
Long a champion of U.S. veterans, Tritt was the spokesperson for the Disabled American Veterans for two years beginning in 1994. He portrayed a wheel-chaired bound Vietnam veteran struggling with disability, the loss of his wife, and the pressures of raising a young daughter alone in a series of music videos for the songs "Anymore," "Tell Me I Was Dreaming," and "If I Lost You," through the 1990s.
Tritt joins a list of sports, music, and theatre celebrities who have been bestowed with the VFW honor since 1973. Among those who have received the award are boxer George Foreman, football stars Roger Staubach, Walter Payton, and Johnny Unitas, actors Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Swit, Charles Durning, and Dennis Franz, and entertainer Wayne Newton.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
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