America's Veterans: A Musical Tribute, a star-studded program honoring America's bravest, will air on Public Television in November, 2010. The program highlights the musical talents of GRAMMY award-winning singer/songwriter Peter Cetera, "American Idol" finalist Melinda Doolittle and country rockers Lonestar, accompanied by the Air Force Orchestra. Also, joined by award-winning actor Blair Underwood, this one-hour patriotic special is a thrilling and memorable tribute to veterans of all services.
Viewers will be moved as Lonestar performs their hits "I'm Already There" and "Amazed," while Melinda Doolittle rocks the house with "I Got Rhythm" and her hit single, "Declaration of Love." Peter Cetera takes our breath away with "You're the Inspiration." The United States Air Force Band's Max Impact performs Master Sgt. Matt Ascione's original song "Free." The official chorus of the United States Air Force, the Singing Sergeants, offer an a cappella number titled "Veteran's Legacy." Finally, the chorus partners with the Air Force Orchestra to perform the patriotic medley "Let Freedom Ring." The program also features short vignettes artfully delivered by Blair Underwood honoring veteran heroes from all five branches of the military. Each featured veteran is recognized on camera after his/her segment is presented.
To see when your local Public Television station is airing this show, click here.
Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Peter Cetera has enjoyed two distinct musical careers - from 1968 thru 1986, as a singer, songwriter and bass player with the legendary rock group Chicago and since 1986, as a solo artist. In his time with the group Chicago, Cetera recorded 18 of the most memorable albums of a generation, including such hits as "If You Leave Me Now," "Hard to Say I'm Sorry," "Baby What a Big Surprise" and "You're the Inspiration." As a solo artist, Cetera has recorded 10 time-honored CD's. His #1 hits include the Academy Award-nominated song "The Glory of Love" from The Karate Kid; "The Next Time I Fall" with Amy Grant; "Feels Like Heaven" with Chaka Kahn; "After All" with Cher from the motion picture Chances Are; "No Explanation" from the mega-hit film Pretty Woman and the unforgettable "Restless Heart." Recently, Cetera has performed both his acclaimed Symphony Tour and a string quartet version of the show with his 5-piece unplugged group for audiences around the world. He has also announced the return of his classic "7 Piece Electric Band," adding another exciting performance format to the music that continues to touch the lives of so many people.
Melinda Doolittle became a household name after appearing on season six of American Idol. A worthy heir to rhythm and blues immortals Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner, Doolittle has emerged as an authentic new ambassador of R&B. Raised in St. Louis and Tulsa, Okla., Doolittle studied music at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. She perfected her craft as a back-up singer for such stars as Michael McDonald, Aaron Neville, CeCe Winans and the Gospel group, Anointed. This experience helped build the necessary vocal confidence to tackle the challenges that lay ahead. Since her time on American Idol and her transition into the spotlight, Doolittle has wowed audiences everywhere with her "big voice" and "soulful" performances--from the White House to the Musicians Hall of Fame, from the Kennedy Center to the Today Show. Only her spirit outshines her musical accomplishments, as she dedicates much of her time to numerous charities, including Malaria No More. Traveling to Africa twice on behalf of this cause--once with former First Lady Laura Bush and again as part of a Presidential Delegation-- Doolittle believes that education is the key: "Malaria has the potential to be eradicated in our lifetime. If America knew that 1 million children die every year from malaria and that one bed net costs only $10, I believe we could wipe out this preventable disease and give these children a chance at a long and happy life."
Lonestar originated in 1992 with group members Richie McDonald, John Rich, Dean Sams, Michael Britt and Keech Rainwater. Hailing from Texas, they originally decided to name the group "Texassee" for their home state, and their new home in Nashville, Tennessee, but quickly changed it to Lonestar. The group promoted itself with a six-song live CD and a string of label showcases. After some near-misses, the band was offered a recording contract on BNA Records and its self-titled debut album produced the Top 10 hit "Tequila Talkin'" in 1995. In the past two years, Lonestar has played over 500 concerts. To date, the group has sold over ten million albums, with 10 #1 country hits, as well as 9 Top 40 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 charts including "I'm Already There" and "Come Cryin' To Me." The group's hit song "Amazed" spent 8 weeks at the top of the country charts, as well as reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Essentially, after crossing over from country to pop and back again, they topped both charts at the same time. This dual win made them the first country act since Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's "Islands In the Stream" in 1983 to accomplish this career milestone.
Blair Underwood has distinguished himself as an award-winning actor, director and producer, showcasing his talents in the world of film, television, theatre and literature. In 2009, Underwood received an abundance of accolades including a Grammy award for Best Spoken Word for former Vice President Al Gore's album "An Inconvenient Truth." He was also nominated for four NAACP Image Awards, receiving his sixth overall. Underwood has appeared in numerous high-profile television projects, including roles in "Dirty Sexy Money," "In Treatment" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine." In five episodes of the final season of HBO's hit series "Sex & the City," Underwood played 'Robert Leeds' earning him two NAACP Image Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor. Underwood also starred in CBS' 1998 miniseries "Mama Flora's Family" earning him an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Television Movie/Miniseries. Underwood won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Film for his starring role in "Rules of Engagement." Underwood is involved in numerous charitable organizations. His support of The Muscular Dystrophy Association won him the 1993 Humanitarian Award, presented by the Los Angeles Chapter of MDA. He is also co-founder of Artists for a New South Africa. On Sep. 10, 2009, the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider in the U.S., AIDS Healthcare Foundation, announced the opening of the AHF Blair Underwood Clinic--their first AIDS treatment center in our nation's capitol--in recognition of his longtime advocacy.
INFORMATION FOR BROADCASTERS
America's Veterans: A Musical Tribute is distributed by Maryland Public Television and is provided free of charge to Public Television broadcasters in the United States. If you are a public television program director and wish to air this program, please contact Maryland Public Television Station Relations at (410) 356-5600. to see when your local Public Television station is airing this show.
Inside The USAF Band
The Official Web Site of The United States Air Force Band