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home : news : arts & entertainment May 6, 2021

David Oyelowo fulfills new directing passion in 'Water Man'
While starring in films like “Selma” and “Lee Daniels' The Butler,” actor David Oyelowo discovered a new passion: directing.

Oyelowo was inspired to step behind-the-camera after learning different nuances of the craft from respected directors like Ava DuVernay and Will Gluck. His desire to act and direct in the same movie grew even more after seeing successful efforts from his friends Nate Parker in “The Birth of a Nation” and Joel Edgerton in “The Gift,” as well as Mel Gibson, who won an Oscar for best director for “Braveheart.”

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Review: Greta Van Fleet spread their wings gloriously
Greta Van Fleet are back and they're doubling down. The young Michigan rockers whose sound and classic look is reminiscent of Led Zeppelin have returned with "The Battle at Garden's Gate," an album not just rooted in classic 1970s rock but gloriously pounded into it.
Thursday, May 6, 2021

Actor indicted in $227M Ponzi scheme involving film rights
An aspiring actor was indicted Tuesday in Los Angeles on suspicion of running a massive Ponzi scheme that solicited hundreds of millions of dollars from investors for phony Hollywood film licensing deals, federal prosecutors said.

Zachary Joseph Horwitz, who has appeared in low-budget movies under the screen name Zach Avery, was charged by a federal grand jury with multiple counts, including securities fraud, wire fraud and identity theft, the Los Angeles Times reported.

It wasn’t immediately known if Horwitz has an attorney.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Comic strip artists band together for a silly and good cause
Fans of newspaper comics will instantly notice something missing in many of the strips this Friday — pants.

More than 25 cartoonists behind strips from “Blondie” to “Zippy the Pinhead” are celebrating the quirky holiday No Pants Day in a way that helps charities get clothing to those in need.

Participating artists are drawing their characters without trousers and urging readers to donate clothing to thrift and second-hand stores hard-hit by COVID-19.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

3 romance novels by Stacey Abrams to be reissued
Nothing like a prominent life in public service to help your other career as a romance novelist.

At least that’s the case for Stacey Abrams.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Bill and Melinda Gates announce they are getting divorced
Bill and Melinda Gates said Monday that they are divorcing but would keep working together at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest charitable foundations in the world.

In identical tweets, the Microsoft co-founder and his wife said they had made the decision to end their marriage of 27 years.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Olympia Dukakis, Oscar-winning 'Moonstruck' star, dies at 89
Olympia Dukakis, the veteran stage and screen actor whose flair for maternal roles helped her win an Oscar as Cher's mother in the romantic comedy "Moonstruck," has died. She was 89.

Dukakis died Saturday morning in her home in New York City, according to Allison Levy, her agent at Innovative Artists. A cause of death was not immediately released, but her family said in a statement that she had been in failing health for months.

Monday, May 3, 2021

LLCC Student Art Show winners announced
Lincoln Land Community College has announced the 2021 LLCC Juried Student Art Show winners. Fifty-nine art students submitted a total of 151 entries from fall 2019 to spring 2021 for consideration, representing 10 of LLCC’s studio classes. The student art exhibit is available for viewing at
Monday, May 3, 2021

Sand Creek Trail Meeting, May 12
Macon County Conservation District staff will be holding a public meeting for Sand Creek Conservation Area trail users on Wednesday, May 12, at 6pm.

The purpose of this informational meeting will be to discuss trail repairs and volunteer opportunities. There will also be time for questions and answers with staff.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Publisher's Weekly Best Sellers
Saturday, May 1, 2021

Celeb make Alabama chicken shack famous
CAMDEN, Ala. (AP) — One of the biggest celebrities ever to pass through the Wilcox County seat of Camden dropped by Jackson’s Fried Chicken for lunch.
Saturday, May 1, 2021

There is more to tuna than the mayo-based sandwich filler. In fact, if there is one fish that can handle a robust marinade and the fire of the grill, it would be tuna. Tuna is thick and dense, and it holds its shape while you take the time to sear it golden brown. The key is choosing which kind of tuna is best to use.
Saturday, May 1, 2021

Al Schmitt, Grammy winning engineer and producer, dead at 91
Twenty-time Grammy winner Al Schmitt, whose extraordinary career as a recording engineer and producer included albums by Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and many other of the top performers of the past 60 years, has died at age 91.

Schmitt’s family announced on Facebook that he died Monday, without identifying a specific cause. Schmitt lived in the Los Angeles area. A relative, who did not want to be identified, confirmed Schmitt’s death to The Associated Press.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Florence Welch throws her hat into the musical theater ring
Florence Welch is ditching the machine for musicals.

The Grammy-nominated leader of Florence + The Machine is supplying the lyrics and co-writing music for a stage musical adaptation of “The Great Gatsby,” it was announced Wednesday. No cast or premiere venue was announced.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

'Nomadland' wins best picture Oscar Sunday
Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland,” a wistful portrait of itinerant lives on open roads across the American West, won best picture Sunday at the 93rd Academy Awards, where the China-born Zhao became the first woman of color to win best director and a historically diverse group of winners took home awards.

In the biggest surprise of a socially distanced Oscar ceremony held during the pandemic,  best actor went to Anthony Hopkins for his performance in the dementia drama “The Father.“ The award had been widely expected to go to Chadwick Boseman for his final performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” The night’s last award, it ended the ceremony on a down note, particularly since Hopkins wasn’t in attendance.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Review: Journalist's first collection of fiction excels
A Chinese tech company recently made headlines for its use of “smart” cushions in office chairs to monitor its employees’ workplace performance. It’s the kind of creepy surveillance you’d expect in the dystopian fiction of George Saunders — and now, the blazingly talented newcomer Te-Ping Chen.
Saturday, April 24, 2021

It's grilling season! Some of the very best meals come from the grill.
 Please share with us your favorite grilling recipe by sending to letscook! or mailing to Mascoutah Herald, PO Box C, Mascoutah Ill. 62258. Be sure to tell us something about your recipe. Did you get it from a friend or did you create it? Also include where you are from, as this column runs in newspapers throughout Southern Illinois and parts of Missouri. If you prefer to not have your name included, I will leave the name off.
Saturday, April 24, 2021

Podcast serves fresh stories highlighting farms and their ingredients
In weekly episodes, the EATYALL Podcast offers noteworthy content crafted especially for chefs and food enthusiasts. The EATYALL Podcast offers candid access into the reality of food production, often in stark contrast to the flood of misinformation that has dominated media in recent years. In each episode, EATYALL Founder and Podcast Host Andy Chapman brings chefs along who serve as guest hosts of the podcast.
Saturday, April 24, 2021

A Perfect Work-From-Home Lunch
I work from home, and while it's how I've always worked, it still presents a few challenges. Namely, structure and discipline. One trick I rely on is to schedule a lunch break. Easy to say, but the ritual of leaving the desk, moving into another room, and, most important, stepping away from the screen, can be difficult.
Saturday, April 24, 2021

State of Sound: A World of Music from Illinois
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum’s latest exhibit, “State of Sound: A World of Music from Illinois,” opens Friday, April 30. Journalists can get an early look and talk to the ALPLM exhibits director during a press preview at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, April 29.
Saturday, April 24, 2021

LeVar Burton to be 'Jeopardy!' guest host; petition credited
The 200,000-plus LeVar Burton boosters who signed a petition calling for him to be the new “Jeopardy!” host will get to see him try the job on for size.

Burton is among the final group of guest hosts for the quiz show, which lost its longtime host Alex Trebek to cancer last November and has put off announcing his successor.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Burning Man mulling mandatory vaccines for August
Burning Man festival organizers have said that they are considering requiring attendees to prove they have been vaccinated for COVID-19 if the organizers move forward with plans to hold this year’s counter-culture festival in the Nevada desert.

The organizers backed off an earlier statement indicating that they had already decided to make the shots mandatory. They say they won’t decide for sure until the end of the month whether the event that was canceled last year because of the pandemic will take place this summer.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Prince fans pay respects at Paisley Park 5 years after death
Paisley Park, where Prince lived and worked, welcomed back select fans Wednesday to mark the fifth anniversary of his death from inside his creative sanctuary. Some wore custom Prince clothes and shoes and left flowers and other mementos as tributes to the late superstar.

The sprawling studio’s atrium opened to 1,400 people who were able to snag free reservations, while other fans paid their respects in front of a statue erected outside the front doors in the shape of his famous purple Love Symbol.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Twisty tale at a torrid pace
"We were kind of at a point where we'll take anything." Francona said. "They ran some really good pitching at us. And we had to scratch for everything we got and it was enough today."
Saturday, April 17, 2021

Prince Philip vs Philip of 'The Crown': Fact and fiction
In “The Crown,” a dishy naval officer captures the heart of a future queen. But he chafes at playing royal second fiddle and crosses the boundaries of decorum and, maybe, fidelity. He eventually finds his way as a trusted partner and family patriarch.

How does the Netflix drama’s portrayal of Prince Philip, who died at age 99 on Friday, compare with the man himself and the life he lived with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II?

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Master class in short story telling
If you’re tired of trying to pick something to watch on one of your half a dozen streaming services, maybe it’s time to read a short story instead. They may just be the perfect antidote to binge watching.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

This week's new entertainment releases
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Kitchen Smarts: Navigating the varied world of olive oils
If you’ve been in the olive oil section of the grocery store lately, you’ve likely been confronted with a lot of choices. Possibly even a wall of olive oils, with different symbols on the bottles and a whole lot of brands to choose from.
Monday, April 12, 2021

Pandemic-weary chefs, cooks enjoy serving from home
When COVID-19 shutdowns hit in March 2020, Mike Winneker, a hotel executive sous chef, found himself without work for the first time in years. Between caring for a 6-year-old son and waiting for unemployment benefits, days now spent at home in Scottsdale were stressful.
Saturday, April 10, 2021

A not so classic Creme Brulee
Rhubarb and rosemary are surprising bedfellows in this creme brulee.

Upright stalks of brilliantly hued rhubarb are always the first to arrive in the spring produce parade. Rhubarb's natural astringency may overwhelm at first bite, but with a little sugar and fruit, its tartness is successfully tamed. For this dessert, however, I chose not to rely on rhubarb's dependable sweet partner, the strawberry, because I did not want additional sweetness or liquid in the compote, which is spooned into the bottom of the custards.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Review: 'Blood Grove' a bewildering maze of double-crosses
Walter Mosley’s Los Angeles detective, Easy Rawlins, has always invited comparisons to the original hard-boiled Southern California gumshoe, Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe— but never more so than in “Blood Grove,” Mosley’s 15th and latest installment in his series.
Saturday, April 10, 2021

Illinois music history exhibit opens April 30 at ALPLM
The next special exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will explore the amazing musical history of Illinois by putting the spotlight on legends like rockers Cheap Trick, jazz great Miles Davis, bluegrass queen Alison Krauss and “king of soul” Sam Cooke.
Thursday, April 8, 2021

Davidsen's mastery shines on new album of songs by Beethoven, Verdi, Wagner
To open her new album, the Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen revisits the role that provided her most recent operatic triumph.
Thursday, April 8, 2021

British guitarist's memoir revisits golden rock era
In 1968, the year “Hey Jude” hit the charts, Richard Thompson turned down an invitation to Paul McCartney’s birthday party.

On other occasions over the years, Thompson shared the stage with Jimi Hendrix. He also pranked Buck Owens.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Rodgers gets surprise during 'Jeopardy?' hosting
championship game as he wrote, “Who wanted to kick that field goal?”
Wednesday, April 7, 2021

This week: Kung Fu, Rebel and Thunder Force
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
Tuesday, April 6, 2021

'Godzilla vs. Kong' to pandemic-best $48.5M opening
With the help of a few old friends, the box office rekindled some of its old might over the weekend. “Godzilla vs. Kong” scored easily the best opening of the pandemic with an estimated $48.5 million since opening Wednesday, even as it was simultaneously streaming at home.
Monday, April 5, 2021

'Trial of the Chicago 7' takes top honors at SAG Awards
The starry cast of Aaron Sorkin’s 1960s courtroom drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7” took the top prize Sunday at a virtual  Screen Actors Guild Awards where actors of color, for the first time, swept the individual film awards.

The 27th SAG Awards, presented by the Hollywood actors’ guild SAG-Aftra, were a muted affair — and not just because the red carpet-less ceremony was condensed to a pre-recorded, Zoom-heavy, one-hour broadcast  on TBS and TNT. The perceived Academy Awards frontrunner — Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland” — wasn’t nominated for best ensemble, making this year’s postponed SAG Awards less of an Oscar preview than it is most years.

Monday, April 5, 2021

New foreword to 'The Bedside Book of Birds'
When Margaret Atwood would receive invitations over the years to literary events around the world, literature wasn’t the only factor shaping her response. She also kept in mind the interests of her longtime partner and fellow Canadian author Graeme Gibson.

“Sometimes I would accept so we could go to the place and watch birds,” she says.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

New film shows Philadelphia's Black cowboy culture
Historians estimate that 1 in 4 American cowboys were Black but you would be hard pressed to find a movie genre whiter than the Western. “Concrete Cowboy,” an urban Western about African American riders in Philadelphia starring Idris Elba, is about an often unseen — and persisting — Black cowboy culture.

“Concrete Cowboy“ is a father-son drama set around Fletcher Street Stables, one of the oldest and last-remaining of Philadelphia’s hardscrabble inner-city stables. It dates back more than 100 years to when horse-drawn wagons were used to deliver produce, laundry and milk. But through tenacity and improvisation, Fletcher Street has remained a cherished refuge and an ardent pastime for both kids and adults on the streets of Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

This week: Godzilla, Concrete Cowboy, Mahalia
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
Monday, March 29, 2021

There's much more to cacao than just chocolate
Oded Brenner is a modern-day Willy Wonka. In the 1990s, he co-created an international chocolate empire, Max Brenner Chocolate, that includes a 7,000-square-foot emporium on Broadway in New York City.

Brenner left that venture in 2012, and a few years later began exploring a different side of chocolate. A trip to Jamaica in 2015 ignited a passion for cacao, which is more than just the beans that are turned into chocolate.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Osbourne off 'The Talk' after inquiry into racism discussion
CBS says Sharon Osbourne will no longer appear on its daytime show “The Talk” after a heated on-air discussion about racism earlier this month.
Saturday, March 27, 2021

'Nice to be touched': Boutique stretching thrives amid COVID
Pandemic-weary Americans starved for human interaction and physical touch are taking advantage of a growing wellness option once reserved for Hollywood actors, rock stars and elite athletes: boutique stretching.

“It’s like a workout, but you feel way more flexible,“ a masked Kelly O’Neal, 51, said as her leg was being pulled across her body during a recent session at a newly opened StretchLab studio in Centerville. “I get plenty done after I get done here because you just feel like you’ve warmed up really well.” She said her legs and feet ache after her shift at a grocery store in southwest Ohio — often plus overtime because of COVID-19 demands.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Elton John Oscar party open to all
Attending Elton John’s long-running Oscar-night party has always been one of the hardest tickets to get. Now you can go — if you have $20.

The Elton John AIDS Foundation is inviting everyone to an hourlong, virtual pre-show Oscar party special hosted by Neil Patrick Harris and with a performance by Dua Lipa.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

This week: Tina, Runaway Bunny, City on a Hill
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Easter centerpiece ideas to beautify the table
Easter is a springtime holiday that marks a prime opportunity to cast off the remnants of winter weather and dress a home in bright, colorful hues.
Saturday, March 20, 2021

Publisher's Weekly Best-Sellers
Saturday, March 20, 2021

In 'the Courier' Cumberbatch is an everyman spy
The new Cold War film “ The Courier ” about a Soviet whistleblower and the British businessman who helped transport information to Western intelligence agencies is both based on real events and people and also is very much the product of a screenwriter’s imagination. That’s not to criticize the film written by Tom O’Connor (“The Hitman’s Bodyguard”) and directed by Dominic Cooke (“On Chesil Beach”). It’s simply to say that it is more historical fiction than it is history. The whole truth of this extraordinary chapter has likely died with the principal characters and/or been obscured and distorted by the people who write these things down.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021

New book spotlights rogue lab and a shadow industry
Lower back pain. Spinal stenosis. Cataracts. All those conditions are treated with drugs manufactured by compounding pharmacies. And those drugs can blind or kill you, due in large part to an almost total absence of regulatory oversight.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Music: Olney's final album is a haunting collaboration

There’s a poignancy to these 11 swan songs, especially with such titles as “My Favorite Goodbye,“ “My Last Dream Of You” and “The Great Manzini (Disappearing Act).”

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

'Mank' leads Academy Awards nominations with 10 nods
Complete list of nominees for the 93rd Academy Awards:
Monday, March 15, 2021

Slow roast lamb for Easter Sunday dinner
Easter Sunday dinners are a tradition in many families. Though the COVID-19 pandemic forced families to alter that tradition in 2020, and could very well do so again in 2021, it's worth noting that Easter takes place in April this year. In many areas, April weather is warm enough to enable al fresco dining, potentially opening the door for families to celebrate together in small groups.

Though this Easter might again feel unusual, families can still lean on their favorite dishes when serving Easter dinner. Perhaps no food is more closely associated with Easter than lamb. This recipe for "Slow-roasted Shoulder of Lamb With Cumin Seeds" from Darina Allen's "Easy Entertaining" (Kyle Cathie Limited) can make for a delicious Easter dinner.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Add a little spring to your dinner plate
Spring is right around the corner, and while the weather might not look like it's received the memo in some areas, this recipe is a bit of spring inspiration that will surely lighten up your dinner plate no matter where you sit. It's a fresh and lovely pasta dish, bright with citrus and brimming with sweet and snappy peas, fresh herbs and baby arugula.
Saturday, March 13, 2021

'Grey's' most watched among young adults
Unlike lead character Meredith, “Grey’s Anatomy” is not fighting for its life.

It is the most-watched entertainment series for the season to date among young adults on Thursday night and resumes season 17 this week. It has not been announced whether there will be a season 18.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Oh, what a birthday week for Dr. Seuss books
Oh, the books that sold last week by Dr. Seuss.

More than 1.2 million copies of stories by the late children’s author sold in the first week of March — more than quadruple from the week before — following the news that his estate was pulling six books because of racial and ethnic stereotyping. For days virtually every book in the top 20 on Amazon’s bestseller list was by Dr. Seuss.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Barbie's friend Ken celebrates a milestone birthday: Sixty
Ken is turning 60, two years after his best friend Barbie did.

Mattel launched a reproduction of the original Ken doll on Thursday to commemorate his 1961 debut. That slender doll with blond felt hair wears a red bathing suit and comes with red sandals and a yellow towel. Over the years, Ken’s body type, hair textures and fashion choices have become more diverse.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Kings of Leon, like Beach Boys, a core of brothers
With the longest gap between album releases, the Nashville-based rockers Kings of Leon have returned with their eighth studio album, “When You See Yourself.”

Frontman Caleb Followill said the family-based band was firing on all cylinders in the studio. He points out “100,000 People” as one of the songs teased ahead of the new record.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Books: 'Speak, Okinawa' a masterful memoir and more
Elizabeth Miki Brina’s “Speak, Okinawa” is a masterful memoir in which Brina examines the complex relationship she has with her interracial parents. Brina’s father, white and American, met her mother, who is from the island of Okinawa, while he was stationed there on a US military base. The two settled in the United States, where Brina’s mother spent decades feeling lonely and out of place.

Brina grew up feeling close to her father and resenting her mother. Desperate to feel wholly American, she pushed her mother away, embarrassed of her accent and overall inability to truly assimilate.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Film: In 'Yes Day,' kids get their way for 24 hours
Like an innocuous kid version of “The Purge,” Miguel Arteta’s “Yes Day” imagines an annual 24-hour holiday of lawlessness.

The concept comes from Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s 2009 picture book, which suggested a day when parents — regularly such fonts of “No!” — have to answer in the positive to their children’s demands. For some, the idea had real appeal not just for giving kids a shot at decision-making freedom but for momentarily relieving parents of the burden of constant disapproval.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

TV: 'America's Most Wanted' returns with new ways to fight crime
In a clip from the premiere of Fox’s fresh take on “ America’s Most Wanted,” a series where viewers are told about crimes in the hope of leading to an arrest, new host Elizabeth Vargas examines a 3D avatar of a suspect who appears to be standing next to her on set.

“Standing next to him you can learn a lot,” said Vargas, circling the likeness of a male. “One of the first things, he’s on the tall side.“

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Music: You really need to make this band a part of your life
Lake Street Dive’s seventh studio album takes its name from the first word in the first song — “Obviously.” Here’s another thing that’s obvious: You need to make this band part of your life.

Call them what you like — alt-country, indie-pop, pop-folk — the hard-to-classify Late Street Dive offer top-notch songwriting with progressive lyrics and one of the most underrated vocalist in music today.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

ISO presents virtual concert Saturday
The Illinois Symphony Orchestra's Piano Quintet performs Franz Schubert's famous Trout Quintet on Saturday, March 13, 2021, at 7:00 p.m., broadcast live from the UIS-PAC's Studio Theater. The ensemble features Concertmaster Roy Meyer, Principal Viola Erin Rafferty, Principal Cello Nomin Zolzaya, Principal Bass Nicholas Adams, and Pianist Ilia Radoslavov. Go to for a direct link to the performance. The performance is co-presented by the UIS- Performing Arts Center.

Link to virtual performance broadcast at

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Publisher's Weekly Best Sellers
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Upping your mash game
What could be better than a rich and creamy bowl of mashed potatoes? How about a bowl of mashed potatoes infused with celery and horseradish?
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Music: Mavis Staples' guitarist opts for garage band basics in new release
Mask up, plug in and rock out to a stripped-down sound. That’s the recipe for success on “See That Light,” the new solo album by Rick Holmstrom, who has been Mavis Staples’ guitarist and bandleader for the past 13 years.
Monday, March 1, 2021

Books: King's new 'Later' is much more than a crime story
Stephen King gets a lot of credit for creating the monsters under kids’ beds (here’s looking at you, Pennywise), but not enough for this simple fact: The guy gets kids. Their fears, certainly, but also their voices, the way they see the world differently than adults.
Monday, March 1, 2021

A simple stew with big flavor
Here is something for your winter dinner rotation: chunky vegetables and slow-cooked beef swimming in a stock of beef and beer. This hearty no-nonsense beef stew is a must-have for a dreary winter night, and with St. Patrick's Day around the corner, you can dump a bottle of Guinness into the stock and call it Irish. And, while this stew is indeed simple and humble in ingredients, there are a couple of important steps you can take when making this recipe that will reward you with deep flavor.
Saturday, February 27, 2021

Man who played Duke Chapel bells for 50 years dies
When J. Samuel Hammond arrived as a freshman at Duke University in 1964, he knew nothing about the musical instrument that allowed a player to send melodies ringing across campus from the bells in the school’s iconic chapel tower. A demonstration from a fellow student introduced him to the 50-bell carillon that would become his life’s work as he played music that marked the end of the academic day for countless students.

Hammond, who retired as university carillonneur in 2018 after playing the bells at Duke Chapel for five decades, died Thursday at age 73 in Durham, the university said in a news release.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Hasbro creates confusion with Potato Head brand
Hasbro created confusion Thursday when it announced that it would drop the “Mr.” from the brand’s name in order to be more inclusive and so all could feel “welcome in the Potato Head world.” It also said it would sell a new playset this fall without the Mr. and Mrs. designations that will let kids create their own type of potato families, including two moms or two dads.

But in a tweet later that afternoon, Hasbro clarified that while the brand is changing, the actual Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters will still live on and be sold in stores. In a picture posted on Twitter, the “Mr.” and “Mrs.” names are less prominently displayed at the bottom of the box, instead of the top.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Film: Daniels, Day take on Billie Holiday's legacy
Lee Daniels didn’t want to touch the story of Billie Holiday. “Lady Sings the Blues” already existed after all. The 1972 film with Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams showed him Black romance and a Harlem like he’d never seen on screen before. It was the film that made him want to be a director.
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Books: A look behind the scenes at '60 Minutes'
Long-time multi-award winning producer Ira Rosen has written a sometimes sad, often funny, always revealing portrait of American television's most famous and successful news show, "60 Minutes."
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Music: Cooper's 'Detroit Stories' a masterpiece
Who says you can’t go home? Alice Cooper, one of Detroit’s most famous sons, does it on new album “Detroit Stories,” producing a masterpiece of classic rock, soul and R&B in homage to the city that produced him.
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Lucky to be alive, Woods faces a difficult recovery
In a career filled with remarkable comebacks, Tiger Woods faces perhaps his toughest recovery of all.

Woods was driving alone through a sweeping, downhill stretch of road through coastal suburbs of Los Angeles when his SUV struck a sign, crossed over a raised median and two oncoming lanes flipped several times before coming to rest on its side. Its airbags deployed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Paul McCartney memoir is due out in November
Paul McCartney is finally ready to write his memoirs, and will use music — and a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet — to help guide him.

“The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present” will be released Nov. 2, according to a joint announcement Wednesday from the British publisher Allen Lane and from Liveright in the United States.

McCartney, 78, will trace his life through 154 songs, from his teens and early partnership with fellow Beatle John Lennon to his solo work over the past half century. Irish poet Paul Muldoon is editing and will contribute an introduction.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Drunken driving charge against Springsteen dropped
The government dropped drunken driving and reckless driving charges against Bruce Springsteen on Wednesday stemming from an incident in November, admitting that the rocker’s blood-alcohol level was so low that it didn’t warrant the charges.

Springsteen pleaded guilty to a third charge, consuming alcohol in a closed area, the Gateway National Recreation Area. Better known as Sandy Hook, it is an Atlantic Ocean peninsula with views of the New York City skyline.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Betty White, furry friends star in 50-year-old 'Pet Set'
On a TV show Betty White hosted 50 years ago, the perpetual charmer flirts with James Brolin, teases Della Reese and trades quips with Carol Burnett.

But White appears most delighted in the company of the real stars of “Betty White’s Pet Set,“ among them elephants, lions and snakes. And dogs, lots of dogs.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Entertainment this week: 2 Billies and Superman
Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Publishers Weekly Best-Sellers
Saturday, February 20, 2021

Music: Arlo Parks goes deep
(AP) — The first full-length album by Arlo Parks delivers on the promise of the intriguing pieces that have led some to tag her already as the voice of a generation, riding a gentle R&B retro-soul groove that soars with cinematic imagery.
Saturday, February 20, 2021

Documentary tells stories of black enslaved women
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Playing a banjo as a Black female artist is a form of activism for the four members of Our Native Daughters.
Saturday, February 20, 2021

Danish writer's collection of stories mesmerizing
(AP) — “Hygge” is the Danish word for a sense of coziness and comfort that is supposedly characteristic of that Scandinavian country. In her latest collection of short stories, “Wild Swims,” the Danish writer Dorthe Nors puts to rest any notion that her compatriots are happier or more content than the rest of us.
Saturday, February 20, 2021

Sangria is a versatile beverage
Everyone should have a go-to sangria recipe in his or her cocktail repertoire. Sangria, when done right, can be a highly refreshing punch that is at home any time of the year.
Saturday, February 20, 2021

Time for a dip
Let's be honest. Life has been a little stressful of late. In times of anxiety and uncertainty, some self-care is warranted. I am not talking cleanses and fasts, folks, I am talking indulgences, because, well, we deserve it.
Saturday, February 20, 2021

Muted Mardi Gras: Closed bars, barricaded Bourbon Street
Coronavirus-related limits on access to Bourbon Street, shuttered bars and frigid weather all prevented what New Orleans usually craves at the end of Mardi Gras season — streets and businesses jam-packed with revelers.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021

James Brown's emcee gets funeral sendoff with shiny cape
Danny Ray spent years as the emcee for James Brown, and part of his job during performances was draping capes on the Godfather of Soul.

Ray was 85 when he died Feb. 2 in Augusta, Georgia. During his funeral in that city Saturday, Brown’s daughter, Deanna Brown-Thomas, draped a shiny silver cape over Ray’s casket — just as Ray had draped a shiny red cape over Brown’s casket in 2006.

Monday, February 15, 2021

A very Swiss good morning
I had my first bircher muesli in Switzerland, where it's a breakfast staple. I was at a breakfast buffet, and a large bowl of what appeared to be a thick and chunky porridge was presented in the center of the table. At first glance, I was unimpressed, but at the prompting of my Swiss friend, I gave it a try. It was fresh, bright and creamy, chock-full of fruit and nuts, and not at all stodgy. Not only did it feel healthy to eat, but it was downright delicious.
Saturday, February 13, 2021

Review: Schaffhausen spins a twisty tale at a torrid pace
Every Waking Hour,” by Joanna Schaffhausen (Minotaur)

The push-pull relationship between Boston police detective Ellery Hathaway and FBI Agent Reed Markham took a big leap last year in “All the Best Lies,” the third book in Joanna Schaffhausen’s compelling series of crime novels. Now, in “Every Waking Hour,” the world seems determined to pull the new lovers apart.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

As suicides rise, young survivors make case for hope in film
"Each and Every Day" represents studies in courage, both in life and in the MTV documentary about young people and suicide.

In frank and revelatory conversations, nine survivors recount what took them to the brink and how they fought, and continue to fight, to keep claim on themselves and their right to live.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Longest-reigning Supreme dies at 76
Mary Wilson, the longest-reigning original Supreme, has died at 76 years old.

Wilson died Monday night at her home in Las Vegas and the cause was not immediately clear, said publicist Jay Schwartz.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Writer Mick Herron's 'Slow Horses' are spies for our times
Like a spy in the night, writer Mick Herron’s success has been stealthy. It took a while for the world to catch up with him.

A decade after he introduced a crew of flawed secret agents caught between sinister plotters and cynical spymasters in the novel “Slow Horses,” Herron is a best-selling, award-winning writer who has been called the heir to master of espionage John le Carre.

Monday, February 8, 2021

A Sandwich With French Sensibilities
The humble and satisfying sandwich can be found in nearly every culture. From classic American PB&Js to hoagies and burgers, wraps and clubs, pockets and panini, and an international smattering of open-face toasts and tartines, there is a version of a sandwich for every cuisine and appetite. In honor of the sandwich and its universal appeal, I submit to you a delectable recipe for banh mi, which is guaranteed to whisk you away from the daily humdrum of sheltering, ZOOM meetings, discordant news and the winter blues -- at least for lunch.
Saturday, February 6, 2021

A look back at the life of 'Sound of Music' star Christopher Plummer
(AP) — It’s one of the great Hollywood ironies that Christopher Plummer didn’t like the film that made him a legend. He was an actor’s actor and had cut his teeth doing Shakespeare. “The Sound of Music,” he thought, was sentimental shlock. And he wasn’t alone — reviews at the time were famously terrible. Then, like a personal curse, it would go on to become a universally beloved classic. He’d played Henry V and Hamlet and yet Captain von Trapp, he said in 1982, followed him around “like an albatross.”
Saturday, February 6, 2021

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