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UPI NewsTrack Entertainment News

By United Press International   |   Aug. 9, 2011 at 2:00 PM   |   Comments

Musician Marshall Grant dead at 83

NASHVILLE, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Guitarist and bassist Marshall Grant has died at St. Bernard's Medical Center in Jonesboro, Ark., after suffering an aneurysm, his family said. He was 83.

The (Nashville) Tennessean confirmed the Sunday morning death of Grant, an original member of Johnny Cash's Tennessee Two band and longtime Cash family friend.

"I was thinking yesterday that there would be no me without Marshall," Cash's daughter, singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash, told the newspaper. "Had Dad not had Marshall, he wouldn't have had the 'Johnny Cash Sound,' and he wouldn't have become all that he was, in his fullness. And I wouldn't have become a songwriter or a musician. There's a whole lineage that wouldn't have happened."

Grant also managed The Statler Brothers until their 2004 retirement.

The musician and his wife, Etta, drove from their Hernando, Miss., home to Jonesboro, last week to take part in the Johnny Cash Festival, but he fell ill after visiting with members of the cash family Wednesday, the Tennessean reported. He had been scheduled to perform at the festival Aug. 4.


Gavin DeGraw hit by taxi after NYC attack

NEW YORK, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Recording artist Gavin DeGraw was struck by a taxi after he was assaulted by several people in Manhattan, police sources told the New York Post.

DeGraw, 34, was hospitalized with a concussion, broken nose, black eyes and facial lacerations following the attack early Monday, his representative told TMZ Tuesday.

"Police are conducting an investigation of the attack. Gavin and his family appreciate everyone's concern at this time. We have no information yet regarding his upcoming concert dates and promotion for his new album," the publicist said.

The Post reported the singer-songwriter had been drinking and had just left his friends when he was set upon by his assailants for unknown reasons.

After his attackers fled the scene, the performer stumbled and was hit by a cab, the newspaper said.

DeGraw lives in Manhattan and has been touring with Train and Maroon 5. He was scheduled to perform Tuesday night in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., but will be replaced by Nikki Jean, TMZ said.

DeGraw is known for his songs "Chariot," "Follow Through," "I Don't Want to Be" and "In Love with a Girl."


Sony warehouse burned to ground in London riots

LONDON, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- A Sony warehouse was looted of CDs and DVDs, then burned to the ground during a third day of rioting in London, a company representative said.

Police struggled to gain control of the city from groups of young people who have been vandalizing businesses and vehicles, setting fires and stealing in an episode of civil unrest not seen in England for decades. The Metropolitan Police said 525 arrests have been made in connection with the riots.

Monday night's destruction of the three-story Sony building, which is the company's only distribution center for CDs and DVDs in the United Kingdom, is expected to impact delivery of music and movies to both retailers and consumers, a Sony spokeswoman told Sky News.

The BBC said the building was home to the United Kingdom's biggest distributor of independent music, Pias, as well.

Memphis Industries, one of the labels Pias handles, said via Twitter: "All the stock we got left is sitting in our office. Devastated is the word."

"For us, it's devastating. It's a lot of labels that are distributed by Pias," Spencer Hickman from the Rough Trade East record store told the BBC. "It's complete chaos. We don't know how long it's going to take them to get back on their feet. It looks like people have lost everything that was in the warehouse. I'm sure there are labels which aren't insured. I'm sure there will be labels that will go bust."

Several movie theaters also closed their doors Monday night but were expected to reopen Tuesday if the situation allowed, The Hollywood Reporter said.


Kenny Ortega to helm 'Dancing' remake

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Kenny Ortega, the choreographer of "Dirty Dancing," is to direct a remake of the iconic 1987 romance movie, Lionsgate announced.

Ortega's credits include "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" and "This Is It," starring Michael Jackson.

The original "Dirty Dancing" was set in 1963 and featured Jennifer Grey as a teen who falls in love with a dance teacher, played by the late Patrick Swayze, while on vacation with her parents.

Plans for a "Dirty Dancing" remake, which will incorporate classic songs from the 1960s, hits from the original film and brand new compositions, were announced Monday by Joe Drake, co-chief operational officer of Lionsgate and president of the Motion Picture Group.

The studio said it is in talks with Eleanor Bergstein, the writer and co-producer of the original film, regarding her involvement in the new film in a producing capacity.

"Amazingly, it has been almost 25 years since the original film was released, but the fans remain legion, and engaged more than ever with a brand that is special and vital to them. We believe that the timing couldn't be better to modernize this story on the big screen, and we are proud to have Kenny Ortega at the helm," Drake said in a statement.

"The opportunity to direct 'Dirty Dancing' is like returning home for me," Ortega added. "Growing up in the 60s on the dance floor helped define me as a person and as an artist. I am looking forward to assembling a great creative team and an exciting cast to bring 'Dirty Dancing' to the screen for a new generation. Patrick Swayze set the bar for men dancing in the movies as Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire did before him. I believe everywhere you look there is evidence that the talent is out there and I can't wait to begin the process of discovering the next breakout triple-threats."

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