Fans mark start of Elvis week
TUPELO, Miss. — For the 13th year in a row, Les Horne of Oxford, England, began Elvis Week in Tupelo, Miss., at the birthplace of Elvis Presley.
“Every year we come, it has gotten a little better,” Horne said.
Hundreds of fans from around the world were in Tupelo on Saturday for the 36th Fan Appreciation Day at the Elvis Presley Birthplace Park, The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported.
This year, for the first time, entertainment and food were in an amphitheater and theater opened on the grounds last August. An evening concert by an Elvis impersonator was moved to the Civic Auditorium because rain threatened. Elvis week ends with a candlelight vigil at Presley’s mansion, Graceland, to mark his death on Aug. 16, 1977. Thousands of people come to Memphis to celebrate The King’s life and career.
They include Adela Martinez and Debbie Ponce, who drove 15 hours from Albuquerque, N.M., to Tupelo.
“I’ve been an Elvis fan since I was 4,” said Ponce, 49. “Nothing was going to stop me from coming.”
Martinez, who lived in Memphis for years, is paying for both.
“This is perfect,” Ponce said. “I had a rough year last year. This is so needed. She is fulfilling one of my dreams, my only dream really.”
“The fan goes to Graceland,” said Michael Franta, 47, of Huntington Beach, Calif. “The real fan goes to Tupelo.”
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NEW YORK — Jennifer Lawrence, 22, says growing up in Kentucky she always knew she would be famous.
The Best Actress Oscar-winner for “Silver Linings Playbook” told the September issue of Vogue magazine that she used to “lie in bed and wonder” about what would make her well-known.
She says, “It wasn’t a vision. But as it’s kind of happening, you have this buried understanding: Of course.”
She also confesses her childhood was “unhappy” because she was “anxious.” Her parents even sent her to a therapist.
It was when she got cast in 2007 in the TV series “The Bill Engvall Show” that her mother realized she no longer needed counseling because when she was acting it made her happy.
Vogue’s September issue goes on sale Aug. 20.
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NEW YORK — David Baldacci has decided to enter the fantasy world.
The best-selling thriller writer has a deal with Scholastic Inc. for a young adult novel, “The Finisher.” Scholastic, a top children’s publisher, announced today that the book is scheduled to come out in March.
Baldacci’s book will feature Vega Jane, 14, and the frightening secrets of her native village of Wormwood.
Baldacci, the author of such popular thrillers as “Absolute Power,” has written for young people before.
He recently contributed the final book, “Day of Doom,” for the Scholastic multimedia series “The 39 Clues.”
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PETERBOROUGH, N.H. — Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim was awarded one of the top honors in the arts world: the Edward MacDowell Medal for lifetime achievement.
The award was presented Sunday at the MacDowell Colony, the prestigious retreat for artists, writers and composers in Peterborough, N.H.
This is the first time the medal has been awarded for achievement in musical theater. Past recipients include Robert Frost and Georgia O’Keefe.
In a statement when the award was announced, Sondheim called the medal a “sort of homecoming,” noting that as a child he used to play compositions by Edward MacDowell, for whom the prize is named.
Sondheim has won more Tony Awards than any other composer. His hit musicals include “Follies,” “A Little Night Music” and “Sweeney Todd.”