Charlie Brown Holiday Specials Temporarily Returning to TV

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Christmas and Thanksgiving will look quite different this year for millions of Americans across the country, but at least one tradition will make the holidays feel like normal again.

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) announced this week that the company had reached an agreement with Apple TV+ to allow broadcasts of two Charlie Brown holiday specials to air on TV in November and December. 

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Music Spotlight: Cole Bradley

Country singer and songwriter, Cole Bradley, is a rising star in the North American music scene.

Even though his parents weren’t musical, Bradley’s grandparents were and he started singing at age five. One of his first memories was singing along to Garth Brooks in the back of his Mom’s Toyota.

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Make It Up As We Go Podcast

Before COVID even hit, the multi-talented Scarlett Burke was looking for a way to distribute her music on a new platform. The producer/actress/singer/songwriter was not interested in touring but was interested in sharing her music.

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Music Spotlight: Larry Fleet

I stopped when I first heard “Where I Find God” on the radio. The words to the song were so pure and real that I wanted to hear it again and again. I wasn’t familiar with Larry Fleet but read somewhere that he was from Chattanooga. I had to find out more about this gifted singer/songwriter.

It turns out that Fleet is not from Chattanooga, but currently lives there with his wife of six years and his young son, Waylon. He is from White Bluff in Dickson County just west of Nashville.

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Television Legend Alex Trebek Remembered for Grace and Good Humor that Charmed Viewers for More than a Generation

Alex Trebek never pretended to have all the answers, but the “Jeopardy!” host became an inspiration and solace to Americans who otherwise are at odds with each other.

He looked and sounded the part of a senior statesman, impeccably suited and groomed and with an authoritative voice any politician would crave. He commanded his turf — the quiz show’s stage — but refused to overshadow its brainy contestants.

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Music Spotlight: Wino-Strut and Friends

When I saw/heard David Phillips’ (aka wino-strut) video for his newest single, “Natural Home” I knew this was someone I wanted to interview. The song had an interesting, old school sound that I wasn’t quite sure if it was Americana, Outlaw Country, or Rock’n’roll.

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Seeking Inclusion, Grammys Change Name of a Music Category

The Grammy Awards have changed the name of their best world music album category to the best global music album, an attempt to find “a more relevant, modern and inclusive term.”

The Recording Academy said in a statement that the new name “symbolizes a departure from the connotations of colonialism, folk and ‘non-American’ that the former term embodied.”

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Sean Connery, the ‘Original’ James Bond, Dies at 90

Sean Connery, the charismatic Scottish actor who rose to international superstardom as the suave secret agent James Bond and then abandoned the role to carve out an Oscar-winning career in other rugged roles, has died. He was 90.

Connery’s wife and two sons said he “died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by family” in the Bahamas, where he lived. Son Jason Connery said his father had been “unwell for some time.”

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Music Spotlight: Church of Roswell

I was intrigued when Candi Carpenter, who has one of the strongest voices in country music, announced that she, along with British rocker, Josh Doyle, were forming a new conceptual collective duet called the Church of Roswell.

I interviewed Carpenter last year right before she performed for Dolly’s 50 Year Opry Celebration. Doyle and his pop/punk band, the Dum Dums, were a recognizable force in the early 2000s when they toured England extensively. They sat down with me recently and helped me connect the dots concerning their newest endeavor.

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‘Brian’s Song,’ ‘Roots,’ ‘Purple Rain’ Screenwriter William Blinn Dies

William Blinn, a screenwriter for the landmark TV projects “Brian’s Song” and “Roots” and the Prince film “Purple Rain,” has died. He was 83.

Blinn died Thursday of natural causes at an assisted living community in Burbank, California, his daughter, Anneliese Johnson, said Saturday.

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Tanya Tucker Releases ‘Live From The Troubadour’

In 2019, Tanya Tucker released her first full-length record with new songs in twenty years. Produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings, the album While I’m Livin’, would go on to win a Grammy for Country Album of the Year, and the song, “Bring My Flowers Now,” would win Country Song of the Year in January 2020.

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Shenandoah to Release New Music November 13

 When I heard that Shenandoah was releasing a collaboration album, I thought it would be a greatest hits album. What I didn’t expect was a record with all new songs paired perfectly with a plethora of current country artists.

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Music Spotlight: Jordan Tice

What happens when you take a person who was raised in a bluegrass family and give him a degree in jazz/classical guitar? Jordan Tice, a musician’s musician, is what you get.

Tice grew up in Annapolis, Maryland where both of his parents played bluegrass. His mother played fiddle and his dad played banjo and they were involved with the local bluegrass scene.

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‘Dune’ Ditches 2020, While AMC Commits to Staying Open

The 2020 theatrical release calendar is getting even slimmer in the wake of the announcement that Regal cinemas are temporarily closing, although AMC, North America’s largest theater chain, says it will remain open.

Warner Bros. said late Monday that its sci-fi pic “Dune” will now open in October 2021, instead of this December. The studio also pushed back “The Batman” to March 2022 and moved up its “Matrix” sequel to Dec. 2021.

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Music Legend Eddie Van Halen Dies of Cancer at 65

Eddie Van Halen, the guitar virtuoso whose blinding speed, control and innovation propelled his band Van Halen into one of hard rock’s biggest groups, fueled the unmistakable fiery solo in Michael Jackson’s hit “Beat It” and became elevated to the status of rock god, has died. He was 65.

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REVIEW: ‘Riding the Dragon’ Exposes Biden Family Connections with Corrupt Chinese Communists

A damning new documentary, “Riding the Dragon: The Bidens’ Chinese Secrets,” directed by M.A. Taylor and narrated by bestselling author Peter Schweizer, is shining sunlight on the close ties between Joe Biden’s family and the Chinese elite. Peter Schweizer, head of the Florida-based Government Accountability Institute and narrator of the film said the documentary is based on corporate records, financial documents, legal briefings and court papers.

The film features investigative journalist and author Peter Schweizer and Schweizer’s revelations of Chinese influence over the Biden family found in the 2018 book “Secret Empires” and the more recent “Profiles in Corruption” (both #1 New York Times bestsellers).

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Pandemic Chases ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ to Christmas

Following the less-than-stellar theatrical debut of Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,” Warner Bros. is delaying its next big release, “Wonder Woman 1984,” to Christmas.

The postponement Friday of the “Wonder Woman” sequel, which had been scheduled to hit theaters Oct. 2, comes on the heels of Hollywood’s boldest attempt to lure moviegoers back to theaters during the pandemic.

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Music Spotlight: Highway Women

The Highway Women is an all-female country blend (country, rock, pop) music band like no other bringing a musical movement to support other women in country music and beyond. They are comprised of singers Kristen Kae, Drew Haley, Bailey James, and Heather Harper.

The group started in 2016 and has had various members since then, but the current group has been together for about a year. They don’t have a lead singer as they try to equally share the singing responsibilities.

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After a Long Slumber, U.S. Cinemas Awaken on Pivotal Weekend

With the previews about to start, a trickle of masked moviegoers made their way into one of the first U.S. screenings of “Tenet” at the Bow Tie Majestic 6 in downtown Stamford, Connecticut. They took their seats Tuesday night, eyeing the empty seats between each other and a little giddy at being back at the movies for the first time in many months.

Philip Scarante and Andy Flores, both 25, went every Tuesday religiously before theaters closed in March. “It’s just our thing,” Scarante said. Seeing Nolan’s latest mind-bending spectacle later on a smaller screen held no appeal. They sat down in center seats, up close.

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Music Spotlight: Calvin Lee

Regardless of how famous a person may or may not be if the music can’t stand alone, there is no point in an interview. Accompanied by Trick Pony’s Heidi Newfield and Keith Burns, with his debut single, Calvin Lee sings a timeless anthem, My America, that paints a nostalgic story about pulling together through hard times, which is sure to resonate with the listeners.

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Music Spotlight: Cory Marks

As a kid from Canada who played hockey and wanted to become a pilot, Cory Marks might be the last person who you would expect to explode on the Southern Rock/Country Music scene. But after listening to his unapologetic, raw, yet real song, Outlaws and Outsiders, I wanted to find out what he was about.

Marks grew up in North Bay Ontario, Canada, about three hours north of Toronto. North Bay was a big hockey town and also a prominent military city hosting an important Air Force base in North America. Every summer Marks and his family attended the air shows in August which provided the young boy driven desire to become a pilot. Not only that, but he was also on hockey skates at age three. (His brother plays professional hockey.)

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Heidi Newfield Releases the Highly Anticipated Barfly Sessions, Vol. 1

When I interviewed Heidi Newfield in April 2020, I provided the “where she came from” story of this Northern California horsewoman and how she learned the harmonica, became part of the group Trick Pony and wrote the timeless lyrics to Johnny and June.

Now, on August 28, after releasing multiple singles, she has finally released her sophomore solo album and it is well worth the wait.

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Television Viewership Down for Democrats’ Unconventional Convention

Preliminary estimates show that viewership for the first night of the Democrats’ virtual convention was down compared with the opening of Hillary Clinton’s nominating party four years ago.

An estimated 18.7 million people watched coverage between 10 and 11 p.m. on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, the Nielsen company said. Four years ago, opening night drew just under 26 million viewers.

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Music Spotlight: Jamie O’Neal

Those who have been following country music their whole lives know already who Jamie O’Neal is as an artist. Off her first album, Shiver, released in 2000, she had two number one hits, “There Is No Arizona,” and “When I Think About Angels.” Her next top ten hit came in 2005, “Somebody’s Hero.”

I wanted to find out more about this country star who was born in Australia. Having no Australian accent, O’Neal said, “I was born in Sydney, Australia, where my parents (Jimmy and Julie Murphy) were performers who moved to America when I was two. I always say that I am the opposite of Nicole Kidman who was born in Hawaii and was raised in Australia. It was the opposite for me, I was born there but raised in the U.S.”

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REVIEW: ‘Apocalypse Never’ Takes Direct Aim at ‘Consensus’ of Climate Alarmism

An important new book by Michael Shellenberger, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, attempts to counter the common belief that climate change poses an imminent and existential threat to humanity and the planet. At 285 pages, this is a relatively short and very readable book, but it covers a lot of ground. And with an additional 125 pages containing over 1,000 footnotes, Shellenberger’s arguments are well documented.

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Players Unite in Push to Save College Season, Create Union

Michigan defensive back Hunter Reynolds saw the tweets from Trevor Lawrence and other college football players pushing for the opportunity to play this season despite the pandemic.

Reynolds, one of the organizers behind a players’ rights movement in the Big Ten, didn’t like the way some on social media seemed to be pitting Lawrence’s message against the efforts of #BigTenUnited and #WeAreUnited.

“There was a lot of division,” Reynolds told AP early Monday morning.

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Music Spotlight: We the Kingdom

We The Kingdom is a multigenerational family of musicians, including esteemed producers and songwriters Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, NeedToBreathe, Bethel Music, Crowder), and Scott Cash, who are brothers. Ed’s daughter Franni, his son Martin and close friend Andrew Bergthold are also part of the group. Ed and Scott’s dad played guitar while their mom played piano resulting in a home filled with music. Despite there being an eleven year age gap between them, as both Ed and Scott entered their teens and early 20s, they embarked on similar individual journeys as touring artists.

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Kanye West Files to Appear on Ohio Ballot for 2020 Presidential Election

Kanye West, the popular rapper and social icon, has officially filed to appear on Ohio ballots for the 2020 presidential election, according to Fox 5.

West, who announced he would run for the presidency on July 4, submitted paperwork to the state on August 5.

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After Talk of Collaboration, College Football Conferences Go Their Own Way

Plans for the 2020 college football season — if it is played — should start coming into focus this week.

They will trickle down from the top of major college football, with Power Five conferences putting in place revised schedules they hope will make it easier to manage potential disruptions brought on by COVID-19.

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Oscar Winning Actress Olivia de Havilland Dies at 104

Olivia de Havilland, the doe-eyed actress beloved to millions as the sainted Melanie Wilkes of “Gone With the Wind,” but also a two-time Oscar winner and an off-screen fighter who challenged and unchained Hollywood’s contract system, died Sunday at her home in Paris. She was 104.

Havilland, the sister of fellow Oscar winner Joan Fontaine, died peacefully of natural causes, said New York-based publicist Lisa Goldberg.

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A&E Network’s Viewership Decimated After Police Show Canceled

A&E Network’s cancellation of its popular police show “Live PD” has backfired, big time.

Average prime-time viewership for the channel has declined by 49 percent year over year since the show’s cancellation, according to the Wall Street Journal. Prior to the show’s cancellation June 10, viewership for the channel in 2020 had been up 4 percent over 2019.

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Actress Spencer Grammer Slashed Outside Manhattan Restaurant

Actress Spencer Grammer says she was trying to calm an agitated man when he slashed her in the arm and stabbed her friend in the back Friday outside a New York City restaurant.

Grammer, 36, told US Weekly that she and her friend “did what anyone else would do in the same situation” and were “attempting to prevent the altercation from escalating” when they were attacked.

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Actor John Saxon Dies

Actor John Saxon, a versatile actor with a lengthy and prolific career who starred with Bruce Lee in “Enter the Dragon” and appeared in several “Nightmare on Elm Street” movies, has died at his home in Tennessee, according to the Hollywood Reporter. He was 83.

The entertainment news outlet quotes Saxon’s wife, Gloria, as confirming that the actor died of pneumonia on Saturday in Murfreesboro.

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Regis Philbin, Television Personality and Host, Dies at 88

Regis Philbin, the genial host who shared his life with television viewers over morning coffee for decades and helped himself and some fans strike it rich with the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” has died at 88.

Philbin died of natural causes Friday night, just over a month before his 89th birthday, according to a statement from his family provided by manager Lewis Kay.

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Movie Theater Owners to Studios: Release the Blockbusters!

by Jack Coyle   NEW YORK, New York (AP) — A long time ago in a pre-COVID universe far, far away, blockbusters opened around the globe simultaneously or nearly so. In 1975, “Jaws” set the blueprint. Concentrate marketing. Open wide. Pack them in. Since then, Hollywood has turned opening weekends into…

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Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Delayed Indefinitely by Virus

Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,” which had hoped to herald Hollywood’s return to big theatrical releases, has yet again postponed its release due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Warner Bros. said Monday that “Tenet” will not make its August 12 release date. Unlike previous delays, the studio this time didn’t announce a new target for the release of Nolan’s much-anticipated $200 million thriller.

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Alex Trebek Expects to Mark Two-Year Cancer Survival in 2021

Alex Trebek says he’s responding exceptionally well to treatment for pancreatic cancer and expects to mark his two-year survival next February.

His doctor has said he’s counting on that milestone, the “Jeopardy!” host said, “so I expect to be around ‘cause he said I will be around. And I expect to be hosting the show if I am around.”

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Guest Lineups for the Sunday News Shows

Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows:

ABC’s “This Week” — Govs. Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark., and Jared Polis, D-Colo.; Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla.; Grenita Lathan, interim superintendent of the Houston Independent School District.
NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Polis; Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.; Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health; Gov. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio; Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Gov. Larry Hogan, R-Md.; Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta; Dr. Michael Drake, incoming president of the University of California.
CNN’s “State of the Union” — Clyburn; Mayors Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles and Ted Wheeler of Portland, Oregon; Gov. Tate Reeves, R-Miss.; Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.
“Fox News Sunday” — President Donald Trump.

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Guest Lineups for the Sunday News Shows

Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows:

ABC’s “This Week” — Adm. Brett Giroir, the Health and Human Services Department official overseeing the nation’s coronavirus testing efforts; Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Giroir; Gov. Larry Hogan, R-Md.; Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Florida’s Miami-Dade County Public Schools district.
CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Dr. Jerome Adams, U.S. surgeon general; Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix; Terry Shaw, president and CEO, AdventHealth; Tom Wyatt, CEO of KinderCare.
CNN’s “State of the Union” — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Education Secretary Betsy DeVos; Mayor Carlos Gimenez of Miami-Dade County, Florida.
“Fox News Sunday” — DeVos; Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University.

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Music Spotlight: Derek Jones

Even though Derek Jones’ dad was a drummer and his grandmother played piano, he never played music until later in life.

“We always had music going on at the house at our supper table. If Dad was in charge of the music, we listened to Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker, Grand Funk Railroad but if Mom was in control [of the music], we listened to Lionel Richie, Jim Croce, stuff like that,” he said.

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Carl Reiner, Beloved Creator of ‘Dick Van Dyke Show,’ Dies

Carl Reiner, the ingenious and versatile writer, actor and director who broke through as a “second banana” to Sid Caesar and rose to comedy’s front ranks as creator of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and straight man to Mel Brooks’ “2000 Year Old Man,” has died. He was 98.

Reiner’s assistant Judy Nagy said he died Monday night of natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills, California.

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Music Spotlight: Tyler Rich

Tyler Rich grew up in Northern California in the small town of Yuba City. He grew up listening to country music with his mom and rock n roll with his dad.

“My Uncle [Tim] always had his guitar at every family function. He was always playing. He didn’t know genres, he just knew good music,” he said. “He would play, Tom Petty, Credence Clearwater, George Strait, Brooks, and Dunn or Garth Brooks. He even played Michael Jackson and the Beatles as long as it was good music.”

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REVIEW: A Bestseller in 1971, ‘None Dare Call It Conspiracy’ Lends Insight to the Events of Today

Does anyone still believe what they read in the New York Times or watch on any major television network news broadcast? Because for millions of Americans, the credibility of those news sources is at an all-time low. The internet hive mind, even in the face of blatant censorship by search engines and social media monopolies, simply offers too many verifiable, alternative facts for establishment media to get away with the kind of lying they do, and yet they persist. Exposed and discredited, they keep on lying, betting that an exhausted populace simply will not verify every single thing they report.

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‘Jaws,’ ‘Black Panther,’ and More Coming Back to the Drive-In, with a Percentage of the Proceeds Going to Black Lives Matter

Jaws,” “Black Panther” and “Back to the Future” are just a few of the modern popcorn classics coming to the drive-in this summer.

Tribeca Enterprises, IMAX and AT&T on Monday announced the initial lineup for its summer series of films, comedy and football, running every weekend from July 2 through Aug. 2 in cities like Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Miami and Seattle.

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