Billboard Bits: Sixpence, Beatles, Garth Brooks

News from Sixpence None The Richer, The Beatles, Todd Rundgren, Ann Wilson, Alan Parsons, John Entwistle, Garth Brooks

Sixpence None The Richer is in the studio finishing up its as-yet-untitled fourth album. The set is being produced by Paul Fox (XTC, They Might Be Giants, Phish), and is intended for fall release.

The new album will follow-up the band's 1997 self-titled Squint set, which spawned the singles "Kiss Me" and the group's cover of the La's "There She Goes," which peaked at No. 2 and No. 32 on The Billboard Hot 100, respectively. While the album only managed a No. 89 peak on The Billboard 200, it was certified platinum for U.S. sales of 1 million copies by the Recording Industry Association in February 2000.

Sixpence lead singer Leigh Nash can currently be heard on Delerium's "Innocente (Falling In Love)," which is No. 10 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The track is from Delerium's Nettwerk America album "Poem," which also features guest vocals by Sarah McLachlan and Matthew Sweet.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

A new tour, "Walk Down Abbey Road -- A Tribute To The Beatles," featuring Alan Parsons, Heart's Ann Wilson, Todd Rundgren, and the Who's John Entwistle, will kick off in June on the West Coast, playing indoor and outdoor venues, Billboard Bulletin reports.

Parsons will serve as musical director. The artists are slated to perform their own hits during the first half of the show; the second half will be all Beatles music.

-- Don Muret, Amusement Business

VFR Records will on Tuesday (April 10) release "In The Beginning - A Songwriter's Tribute To Garth Brooks." The set features eight songwriters performing versions of original songs later made famous by Brooks. The 16-track set features Pat Alger, Tony Arata, Larry Bastian, Dewayne Blackwell, Kent Blazy, Stephanie Davis, Victoria Shaw, and Kim Williams performing such songs as "The Dance," "Friends In Low Places," "If Tomorrow Never Comes," and "Papa Loved Mama."

All of the songwriters will perform together April 12 at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe to celebrate the release, with proceeds of the event benefiting the local arm of cancer charity Gilda's Club. The show will be taped for broadcast on the Turner South cable network in June. Alger, Blazy, and Shaw will also appear April 14 on the weekly Grand Ole Opry radio show, while all of the writers will tour the U.S. this summer in various combinations.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.


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