Entertainment briefs – April 30

About 300 Vulcans are thanking their lucky stars after winning a lottery for a sneak peak of the new Star Trek movie.

300 Vulcans win lottery

About 300 Vulcans are thanking their lucky stars after winning a lottery for a sneak peak of the new Star Trek movie.

The residents of the southern Alberta community of Vulcan are to be given a private screening in Calgary next Wednesday — two days before the May 8 worldwide release.

The town has built a popular tourism industry based on the fact it shares a name with the home planet of popular Star Trek character Mr. Spock.

It had made a pitch to host the latest movie’s Canadian premier, but was turned down.

Actor Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock in the original TV series and several movies, went to bat for the town, which prompted Paramount to agree to the private screening.

Dayna Dickens from Vulcan Tourism said about 1,000 people threw their names in for a chance to see the movie before anyone else.

Country singer Gosdin dies

Singer Vern Gosdin, who recorded country music hits like the award-winning Chiseled in Stone during a 30-year career, has died. He was 74.

Michael Illobre, funeral director at Mount Olivet Funeral Home in Nashville, said Gosdin was under hospice care and died late Tuesday at an area hospital.

The singer’s administrative assistant, Dawn Hall, told The Tennessean that he suffered a stroke a few weeks ago.

Chiseled in Stone was voted 1989 song of the year by the Country Music Association.”

His other hits include Set ’em Up Joe and Yesterday’s Gone, a duet with Emmylou Harris.

Bennett donates paintings

Tony Bennett donated a watercolour he made of longtime friend Duke Ellington to a Smithsonian museum on Wednesday, the 110th anniversary of the jazz great’s birth.

The painting depicts Ellington with a bouquet of pink roses in the background. The jazz musician made a habit of sending Bennett a dozen roses when he wrote a new tune in hopes that Bennett would record the piece.

“Every time the roses came, I said ‘Oh, Duke wrote another song,’ ” Bennett said.

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