Billboard Bits: Diamond Rio, M. Jackson, J. Winter
News on Diamond Rio, M. Jackson, J. WinterCountry act Diamond Rio will host its 10th annual the Rio @ Hermitage celebrity golf tournament Sept. 11 in Old Hickory, Tenn., outside of Nashville. Among those slated to take part are fellow country artists Trace Adkins and Larry Stewart, comedian Cletus T. Judd, and actors James Sikking ("Hill Street Blues," "Doogie Howser, M.D."), Paul Logan ("Days of Our Lives," "Veronica's Closet"), Ed Marinario ("Hill Street Blues," "Sisters"), and Richard Herd ("Seinfeld," "Star Trek Voyager").
Additionally, fans can expect Diamond Rio guitarist Jimmy Olander to lead his daredevil friends in a "Skydive Bingo," where prizes are awarded for landing on corresponding markers on the golf course.
Public gallery tickets for the event are $15 in advance ($20 at the gate) and are available via the band's official Web site, or by calling 615-672-3326. Proceeds from Rio @ Hermitage will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Capitalizing on the hoopla around the Sept. 7 and 10 Michael Jackson tribute concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden, Jackson fan organization MJ News International (MJNI) will hold its own tribute Sept. 8 at the city's Webster Hall venue. The third annual "MJ Day USA: The Magic, the Music, and the 'Invincible' Michael Jackson," will feature Jackson impersonators and performers, autographed prizes, and rare Jackson merchandise.
"Everyone is excited about the tribute concerts and the release of the new album, so it is only fitting to hold our popular MJ Day to coincide with these events," said Gloria Haydock, publisher of MJNI's King magazine. "With 40,000 fans due in the Big Apple that weekend to attend the shows, we have no doubt in our minds that our party will be hugely successful."
Tickets to the five-hour event are $25. For more information, visit the official MJNI Web site.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Blues guitarist Johnny Winter pulled out of a U.K. concert last night (Aug. 28) due to illness. He went on stage to apologize to more than 5,000 fans before going to a nearby hospital. Winter, 57, was suffering from numbness on his right side, called radial nerve palsy, and was unable to perform, according to organizers of the Bishopstock Festival in Devonshire, southern England.
A festival spokesman said Winter was at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and that his condition was not considered serious.
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