TNN (Wed., Aug. 10, 8 p.m. ET)
Emery, the dean of Nashville talk show hosts, plays This Is Your Life with Vince Gill, trotting out a number of surprise guests to tattle on the sweet tenor from Oklahoma.
Gill keeps his wit about him during the tribute. For instance, he tells about going out for football and having the coach ask him if can pass the ball. "I said, 'Sir, I don't even think I can swallow it,' " Gill recalls.
PBS (Mon., Aug. 15, 9:05 p.m. ET)
This haphazard special is culled from an open-air concert last summer on the UCLA campus. Some of the performers fit the bill: Arlo Guthrie, Joni Mitchell, Richie Havens and Odetta. But I have trouble buying some of these other acts as folk singers. John Prine? That's a stretch. The Cajun band Beausoleil? No way, cher. Hippie rock relics Jefferson Starship? Surely you jest. At least the latter performs a spirited version of "Volunteers," the 1969 anthem that is the highlight of the Forrest Gump soundtrack.
Showtime (Mon., Aug. 15, 10 p.m. ET)
Don't feel like braving the crowds and the weather for Woodstock '94? Then watch the frequent live on-site reports on MTV or buy the whole package for $49.95. From a spontaneous, free peace-and-love concert to a heavily merchandised pay-per-view event—what a perfect reflection of the boomer generation's curdled ethos.
Or you could wait a day and relive the original with this sequel to the Oscar-winning 1970 documentary. This three-parter (continuing on Tuesday and Thursday) is made up primarily of footage that didn't make it into the first film. Among the acts represented here that didn't initially make the cut are Janis Joplin, Mountain, Canned Heat and Johnny Winter.
This is an enchanted experience even for those who know Wavy Gravy only as an ice cream concoction from Ben & Jerry's.
>TUBE: Music fills the airwaves, with "lost" Woodstock footage, an interview with Vince Gill and even—holy retro, Batman!—a folkie special.
SCREEN: Harrison Ford presents a Clear and Present Danger to the summer's other movie stars; Whoopi finds love in Corrina, Corrina.
PAGES: Elizabeth Marshall Thomas gets catty; Thomas Flanagan finishes his Irish trilogy; the South rises (and falls again) in Cynthia Bass's Sherman's March.
SONG: Sophie B. Hawkins is at sea with Whaler; Velvet Crush's '60s rock has a touch of the divine; John Pizzarelli sets New Standards in jazz-rock; Weezer makes misfits cool.
ONE OF THE SEA CHANGES IN THE LAST quarter century of television has been the explosion of music. I was born in the Mitch Miller era and grew up in a time when you were lucky to get one music show a week that reflected popular tastes. I still remember the thrill I got from seeing Paul Revere & the Raiders in their Minutemen garb, lip-synching their hit "Kicks." (Don't laugh. The '60s were a pretty music-starved decade on TV) Today the tube is alive with the sound of all kinds of music, at all hours, a pervasiveness reflected in this week's column.