Lucasfilm has announced that the “Star Wars” films will be converted into 3-D and rereleased theatrically, according to the Associated Press.
All six films in George Lucas’ saga, beginning with episode one, “The Phantom Menace,” and concluding with episode six, “Return of the Jedi,” are expected to be released in theaters in 2012.
Lucasfilm and distributor Twentieth Century Fox have not yet set a release date, according to the AP. Industrial Light & Magic is supervising the conversion process, promising it will be “cutting edge.”
Legislation to turn down the volume on loud TV commercials that send viewers running for their remote controls apparently will soon become law, according to the Associated Press.
The Senate late Wednesday unanimously passed a bill to require TV stations and cable companies to put in place industry standards capping the volume of commercials. They also must equalize the volume between ads and other programming.
The House has passed similar legislation, but minor differences will have to be worked out when Congress returns to Washington after the Nov. 2 elections.
While loud commercials are irritating and I’m glad to hear that someone is going to take action to turn them down, doesn’t Congress have better things to do than help get TV ad volume off 11?
Rockers Hinder, who hail from Oklahoma, have released a new single, “All American Nightmare,” to radio.
The new single will be available on iTunes and Amazon.com on Tuesday, but you can hear it by clicking on the YouTube video posted above for your convenience.
Tony Curtis, the star of such films as “Sweet Smell of Success,” ”The Defiant Ones” and “Some Like It Hot,” died at age 85 Wednesday evening of cardiac arrest at his home in the Las Vegas-area city of Henderson, the Associated Press reports.
Curtis started his acting career in the 1950s with trivial movies that traded on his good looks and personality, but he began to take on meatier roles, starting in 1957 with the harrowing show business tale “Sweet Smell of Success.” In 1958, he earned an Academy Award nomination for best actor for “The Defiant Ones,” in which he played a white racist who escaped from prison handcuffed to a black man, Sidney Poitier.
In 1959, he and Jack Lemmon donned women’s clothing and starred with Marilyn Monroe in one of the most acclaimed film comedies ever, Billy Wilder’s “Some Like It Hot.”
In 2000, an American Film Institute survey of the funniest films in history ranked “Some Like It Hot” at No. 1. Curtis — famously imitating Cary Grant’s accent — and Jack Lemmon play jazz musicians who dress up as women to escape retribution after witnessing a mob hit.
In 2002, Curtis toured in “Some Like It Hot” — a revised and retitled version of the 1972 Broadway musical “Sugar,” which was based on the film. In the touring show, the actor took on the role of Osgood Fielding III, the part played in the movie by Joe E. Brown.
Other notable films in his career: Stanley Kubrick’s “Spartacus,” ”Captain Newman, M.D.,” ”The Vikings,” ”Kings Go Forth,” and ”Operation Petticoat.” He did a voice acting gig as his prehistoric lookalike, Stony Curtis, in an episode of “The Flintstones.”
His first wife was actress Janet Leigh of “Psycho” fame; actress Jamie Lee Curtis is their daughter.
“My father leaves behind a legacy of great performances in movies and in his paintings and assemblages,” Jamie Lee Curtis said in a statement Thursday. “He leaves behind children and their families who loved him and respected him and a wife and in-laws who were devoted to him. He also leaves behind fans all over the world.”
In the late 1960s, as his leading man roles dwindled, Curtis struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, but he staged a comeback in film and television as a character actor. But he did earn an Emmy nomination during this time period for his portrayal of David O. Selznick in the TV movie “The Scarlett O’Hara War,” in 1980.
He recovered from his addictions in the early ’80s after a 30-day treatment at the Betty Ford Center in
Rancho Mirage, Calif.
After his character roles began to diminished, he again reinventing himself as a writer and painter whose canvasses sold for as much as $20,000, according to the AP.
He and Jamie Lee Curtis, who also found success as an actor, were estranged for a long period, then reconciled. “I understand him better now,” she said, “perhaps not as a father but as a man.”
Curtis had five other children: Daughters Kelly, also with Leigh, and Allegra, with second wife Christine Kaufmann, also became actresses. His other wives were Leslie Allen, Lisa Deutsch and Jill VandenBerg, whom he married in 1998.
Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz in the Bronx in 1925, the son of Hungarian Jews who had emigrated to the United States after World War I. His father, Manny Schwartz, was a tailor but wanted to be an actor.
After serving in the Pacific during World War II and being wounded at Guam, he returned to New York and studied acting under the G.I. Bill.
Our thoughts are with his family, friends and fans.
Today’s featured event:
MIDWEST CITY – Spend “An Evening with Don Williams” when the Country Music Hall of Famer plays at 7:30 tonight at Rose State Performing Arts Theatre, 6420 SE 15. Joey + Rory, nominated for the Country Music Association’s top vocal duo award at the upcoming CMA Awards, will be the opening act.
For tickets and information, call 297-2264 or go to www.myticketoffice.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
The Pretty Black Chains caused quite the ruckus this weekend.
The Oklahoma City-based quartet performed to a sold out crowd at Cain’s Ballroom on Friday in support of The Smashing Pumpkins.
On Saturday, the band packed The Conservatory in Oklahoma City for its CD release.
Here are a few photos from the 20 hours I spent following the band around.
Now, to get some sleep.
The Grand Ole Opry returned home Tuesday night and invited Oklahoma country music star Blake Shelton to become its newest member.
The nation’s longest running live radio program came back to the Grand Ole Opry house nearly six months after devastating floods put the building and much of Nashville underwater.
The Opry’s stage sat under nearly 4 feet of water at the flood’s height in early May. But the radio program didn’t go silent: It move to various Music City to venues such as the Ryman Auditorium and War Memorial Auditorium while workers labored for 5 1/2 months to repair the Opry house, the show’s home since 1974.
Country legends and current stars took the stage Tuesday night for the “Country Comes Home” celebration, with Brad Paisley and Little Jimmy Dickens kicking off the festivities. The show opened with the Opry standard “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?” as the curtain went up.
The final two hours of the event were broadcast on the Great American Country cable channel and featured performances by Paisley, Keith Urban, Martina McBride, Trace Adkins and Shelton.
Shelton, an Ada native, received his surprise invitation to join the Opry near the show’s end. After singing their hit duet “Hillbilly Bone” together, Adkins seemingly began ribbing Shelton about his notorious Twitter account.
“You know Blake is famous for doing the Twitter thing; he’s always sending tweets. Well, the Grand Ole Opry sent Blake a tweet tonight,” Adkins said, handing Shelton his phone as the tweet appeared on the Opry backdrop: “Blake Shelton, you are invited to join the Grand Ole Opry! See you 10/23/10.”
The Tishomingo resident grinned widely and seemed speechless, finally taking the mike when Adkins instructed him to “Say thank you.”
“I know a lot of guys that want this as bad as I have wanted it, and forget them for now,” Shelton joked with laugh, as his fiancee, fellow country star and Tishomingo resident Miranda Lambert smiled and clapped from the audience.
“I don’t know what I ever did in the last year or so to finally turn Nashville’s head a little bit, but whatever I did, man, I’m loving this. This moment right here is hands-down the highlight of my career. Thank y’all so much; thank you Grand Ole Opry.”
It has been a year of highlights for Shelton, who made his Opry debut as a relative unknown in 2001. He and Lambert have emerged as country music’s new power couple, dominating the charts and awards shows. After five years of romance, Shelton asked Lambert to marry him in May, proposing in the woods near her Tishomingo farm.
Shelton this year has released two Six Pak albums, which feature just six tracks rather than the traditional 10 to 12, and scored two No. 1 hits with”Hillbilly Bone” and his most recent release, “All About Tonight.” The latter also debuted at No. 6 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, making it Shelton’s highest charting record to-date.
In the past nine years, he has amassed seven No. 1 hits, including his back-to-back multi-week No. 1 singles “She Wouldn’t Be Gone” and “Home,” his five-week No. 1 debut single, “Austin,” and two additional multi-week No. 1 hits with “The Baby” and “Some Beach.”
In addition, Shelton will compete for four CMA Awards when the Country Music Association hosts its annual awards show Nov. 10. He is nominated for male vocalist of the year and has received three nods for “Hillbilly Bone,” featuring Trace Adkins. With “Hillbilly Bone,” Shelton and Adkins are vying for single (produced by Scott Hendricks); musical event; and music video (director Roman White).
Lambert leads the list of CMA finalists with nine nominations – the most for any female artist in the history of the CMA Awards. Lambert and Shelton were among the initial performers announced today for the CMA Awards, which will be broadcast live Nov. 10 from Nashville on ABC.
Shelton will officially become the Grand Ole Opry’s newest member Oct. 23.
Watch the video of Shelton receiving his Opry invitation:
Newcastle High School freshman and budding country singer-songwriter Kylie Morgan has released the music video of her rollicking new song “Country Girl.” The talented teen also is introducing herself and her band to music fans through a new bio video posted below. Get to know her in this week’s Wednesday Video Spotlight.
Stillwater rock quartet Taddy Porter had their song “Shake Me” featured on the new NBC series “Chase” on Monday night. The song is featured on the band’s self-titled debut album, which came out over the summer. It’s definitely worth a bit of the spotlight, so check it out.
Former Tulsan Ronnie Dunn of the recently split country music duo Brooks & Dunn already is working on a solo album that could be out early next year, reports CMT.com.
He is also producing the project, which will be released on Arista Nashville, Brooks & Dunn’s longtime label.
In addition, Dunn has recorded a solo track, a cover of “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles),” for “Country Strong,” an upcoming film starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw, according to CMT. “She’s Actin’ Single” is a Wayne Carson Thompson song that was a No. 1 hit for Gary Stewart in 1975.
The “Country Strong” soundtrack will drop Oct. 26, while the movie will hit theaters nationwide Jan. 7. The film is drama centered on a rising country-music songwriter (Garrett Hedlund) who feels sparks fly when he meets a fallen star (Paltrow), according to IMDB. Together, they mount his ascent and her comeback, which leads to romantic complications involving her husband/manager (McGraw) and a beauty queen-turned-singer (Leighton Meester).
Dunn and Louisiana native Kix Brooks ended their two-decade musical partnership after a summer tour that included shows in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Both Dunn and Brooks started out in the music industry as solo artists, though neither found success approaching the scale of what they achieved as a duo.
Brooks, who as a child was neighbor to Johnny Horton, moved to Nashville in the early ‘80s and found success as a songwriter but not a solo performer.
A Coleman, Texas native, Dunn relocated to Tulsa, where he fronted the house band at the popular nightspot Duke’s Country and then broke into the national spotlight by winning the Marlboro Talent Competition. His original songs “Neon Moon” and “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” which became No. 1 hits on the duo’s first album, got the attention of Nashville.
According to CMT, Dunn made a modest name for himself as a solo artist in the early ’80s when he recorded on the independent Churchill label. There he scored two chart singles: “It’s Written All Over Your Face” in 1983 and “She Put the Sad in All His Songs” in 1984. Neither song came from his pen, and both peaked at No. 59 on Billboard’s country chart.
Their partnership started out with the record industry equivalent of a blind date. Oklahoma native Tim DuBois, then-head of the Arista Nashville label, paired them as a duo and assigned them to write a song together. In one day, they penned “Brand New Man” and “My Next Broken Heart,” the other two chart-toppers from their 1991 debut. It was an auspicious beginning, and the partners continued to find success with a combination of rollicking honky-tonk stompers with tender power ballads.
Brooks & Dunn eventually the best-selling duo in country music history; in fact, they have sold more records than any musical duo in any genre, including Simon & Garfunkel, according to AllMusic.com. They have moved more than 30 million albums, scored 23 No. 1 hits and won more than 80 major industry awards. The pair is the most honored artist in ACM history, with 27 trophies to their name, including 16 top vocal duo titles and three entertainer of the year awards.
Dunn told the Associated Press back in spring that he and Brooks woudl be going their separate ways, but woudl continue to make music as solo artists.
“I’m going to buy a secondhand van and get a rusty old horse trailer, throw me some band equipment in it, and go find me a beer joint and keep singing,” he said.