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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, May 09, 2019 1:00 am


Alabama adds dates to 50th anniversary tour

Associated Press

Country band Alabama is extending its 50th anniversary tour this year with 29 more shows, including a show with The Beach Boys and additional dates in Canada.

The Grammy-winning band embarked on a major arena and amphitheater tour to mark its anniversary. The second leg of the tour will continue through November and includes a concert at Bristol Dragway, a racetrack in Tennessee.

Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook formed the band in 1969 in Fort Payne, Alabama. They went on to dominate the sound of country music in the 1980s, scoring dozens of No. 1 hits.

Gibson tapped to play Santa Claus

Mel Gibson is to play Santa Claus in “Fatman,” a comedy that will be shopped at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival.

Gibson is attached as Kris Kringle in the film to be directed by Ian and Eshom Nelms and is executive produced by David Gordon Green and Danny McBride.

The filmmakers call it a “rowdy Santa tale” about an unorthodox Santa Claus who is targeted by a hitman hired by a 12-year-old after he receives coal in his stocking. Production is scheduled to begin early next year.

Arts group looking for 'Wow Child'

America's oldest performing arts group is looking for a child who was literally wowed by a recent classical music concert.

The Handel & Haydn Society was finishing a rendition of Mozart's “Masonic Funeral” at Boston's Symphony Hall when a youngster blurted out loudly: “WOW!”

Boston classical music station WCRB-FM captured the exuberance on audio. The crowd can be heard bursting into applause for the child.

Now the organization founded in 1815 has mounted a search for the kid it's calling the “Wow Child” – not to reprimand him or her, but to offer a chance to meet the conductor.

Handel & Haydn president David Snead is asking concertgoers to share the child's name. He called Sunday's experience one of the most wonderful moments he's ever had in a concert hall.

Eurovision boycott sought

Palestinian artists are calling on Eurovision song contest contestants to boycott the international music competition that Israel is hosting next week.

The Gaza Strip-based Palestinian Artists Association said Wednesday that Israel is using the event to “perpetuate oppression, promote injustice or whitewash a brutal apartheid regime.”

The artists cited the killing of over 60 Palestinians during Gaza border protests on May 14 last year, the same day Israel won the Eurovision.

Palestinian militants fired hundreds of rockets at Israel over the weekend. Israel retaliated with airstrikes. At least 25 Palestinians were killed. The renewed violence threatened to disrupt the Eurovision festivities slated to begin May 14.