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In the news

Arkansas to build monument to B.B. King

By wire services
Published April 16, 2005

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Arkansas Legislature has approved a $5,000 expenditure to build a monument honoring bluesman B.B. King in the tiny Delta town of Twist.

More than 50 years ago, King's famed guitar Lucille earned its name after a dance hall brawl in Twist. King's trademark Gibson guitars have been called Lucille ever since.

"B.B. put Twist, Ark., on the map," Allan Hammons, interim director of the planned B.B. King Museum in Indianola, Miss., said Thursday. "I think it's very important that the state of Arkansas took the opportunity to memorialize that great American story."

State Sen. Steve Bryles said that he pushed the funding through for the monument because too little is known of King's connection to the state. Bryles also hopes the marker will draw tourists to the area.

The Legislature concluded its session Wednesday.

"We want to make sure we do it tastefully," said Bryles, who has some of his own ideas. "You can make it look like the Gibson Lucille model or it could be something really plain that just contains some writing that explains the story."

Hammons said the $10 million museum and Delta cultural center is set to break ground on June 10. He said Arkansas' efforts highlight another part of King's legacy.

"Fate was kind to him," Hammons said of the 79-year-old blues singer.

"The guitar got a name and Twist was known around the world. It is a piece of American history."

FSU soprano tops Pinellas Opera League

The Pinellas Opera League awarded first place and $1,500 in its eighth annual competition to soprano Claire Molloy, 24, a student at Florida State University who sang the aria No Word from Tom from Stravinsky's Rake's Progress. The second place award of $l,000 went to soprano Alana Trimmier, 25, from Frostproof, who sang the aria Deh vieni, non tardar from Mozart's Marriage of Figaro. Third place ($500) went to soprano Leila Anne Bowie, 23, a student at the University of South Florida, who sang Manon's Gavotte from Puccini's Manon Lescaut. Honorable mention awards ($100 each) went to Holly Matyas, Brenda Turner, Marissa Arzillo, Sarai Baker and Katy Coulson. Judges in the April 2 competition were Rosemarie Freni, Maria Zouves, and Clifford Snyder.

Porn star, publisher sue each other over reality show

PHOENIX - How to Make Love Like a Porn Star author Jenna Jameson has filed a federal lawsuit to bar her publisher from getting a cut of a proposed reality show featuring the adult film actor.

Jameson's lawsuit asks a judge to rule that an April 2004 development agreement signed with Regan Media doesn't apply to a deal Jameson negotiated herself with A&E for a show based on her daily life.

In the lawsuit, Jameson, who lives in the Phoenix area, claims the A&E deal was negotiated before the Regan Media agreement.

Regan Media owner Judith Regan countersued, saying the 2004 agreement with Jameson gives Regan Media the exclusive rights to negotiate with television networks for a reality show.

The countersuit says Jameson, whose real name is Jenna Massoli, violated the agreement by negotiating a contract with A&E without Regan Media.

David Bodney, an attorney representing Regan Media, declined to comment. He referred calls to Harper Collins, whose ReganBooks division published Jameson's best-selling biography in August. A spokesman for Regan Books didn't return a phone message left late Thursday.

An attorney for Jameson didn't immediately return a phone call Thursday.

Pavarotti cancels show, reschedules farewell tour

ROME - Luciano Pavarotti has canceled one performance and rescheduled three others on his farewell world tour because of a medical procedure planned for June, his manager said Friday.

The procedure is a follow-up to a March 9 operation when Pavarotti underwent successful neck surgery to repair two vertebrae.

"It's nothing serious," manager Terri Robson said, adding that doctors said the tenor recovered very quickly from his first operation.

Pavarotti is calling off a June 22 performance in Toledo, Spain, which could not be rescheduled because no alternative date was available, she said. Two dates in Britain and one in Nimes, France, are being rescheduled, she said.

The performances were part of the 69-year-old tenor's "Farewell Tour," which includes 40 performances in venues across the world.

Upcoming concerts include one in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on Saturday, and another in Prague, Czech Republic, on Wednesday.

Pavarotti is due to perform a concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Oct. 24, and a final gala concert in New York next year.

Pavarotti retired from staged opera in March 2004. He has said he will retire from singing following the farewell tour.

[Last modified April 16, 2005, 01:20:07]

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