NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Back in the day, there was a hit song named "Rocky Top" about a town in Tennessee that doesn't really exist. But some people are trying to create such a place - a move that is drawing opposition by the owner of the rights to the song. The town of Lake City wants to change its name to Rocky Top, in hopes of sparking a tourist industry. The House of Bryant, which owns the rights to the song and a number of Rocky Top trademarks had tried to get the court to block the project. But a federal judge has rejected that effort.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, Richie Furay of Buffalo Springfield, Sam Moore of Sam and Dave and Martha Reeves are among the acts who are part of an effort supporting a proposed law to pay better royalties to artists. They're part of the Project72 campaign that supports the Respect Act, a proposal to require digital radio services to pay artists who recorded before 1972. They say digital music services interpret state and federal law in a way that allows them to use pre-1972 songs without paying for them. Gene Chandler says he's seen oldies acts who need the money perform sitting on stools or in wheelchairs. Otis Redding's daughter, Carla, says her father's estate has seen a 90 percent drop in income because digital services won't pay. Other acts supporting the campaign include The Allman Brothers Band, The Beach Boys, Melissa Etheridge, Al Green, B.B. King, The Moody Blues, Cyndi Lauper, and Three Dog Night.
NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Public Library is presenting an exhibition commemorating the life of Maya Angelou. The monthlong exhibition opened Friday at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. The celebrated poet and author died Wednesday at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, at age 86. Her personal papers are housed at the Schomburg. The library acquired them in 2010. Among the exhibition highlights are her correspondence with James Baldwin and Malcolm X. Other items include a handwritten copy of her memoir "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." Also featured is the original typed copy of "On the Pulse of Morning." She read the poem at President Bill Clinton's 1993 inauguration. The exhibition runs through June 30.
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) - A Washington state judge has ordered that a daughter of ailing radio personality Casey Kasem be allowed to visit him. The ruling Friday was the latest twist in an ongoing dispute between Kasem's wife, Jean, and her stepdaughter, Kerri Kasem over the care of her father. Kerri Kasem has said in court filings that her father suffers from a form of dementia. In Kitsap County Superior Court Friday, she said her father was suffering from bedsores along with lung and bladder infections. Under the ruling, Kerri Kasem will be allowed daily visits for up to an hour and can have her father examined by a doctor. The 82-year-old Casey Kasem has been staying with family friends west of Seattle.
NEW YORK (AP) - Drawings, poems and prose created by John Lennon for his books "In His Own Write" and "A Spaniard in the Works" are coming to auction. The books' British publisher, Tom Maschler, has owned the material for a half century. Sotheby's is selling it on Wednesday. The auction house says it's the largest private collection of Lennon's work to come to the market. Among the highlights in the 89-piece collection is a cartoon of a boy with six birds. It appeared in "A Spaniard in the Works," published in 1965. The drawing was used 30 years later as the cover for the Beatles' release of "Free as a Bird," written by Lennon in 1977. It has a pre-sale estimate of $12,000 to $15,000.
NEW YORK (AP) - Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly is out after a rough year at the network, which suffered as a result of the dramatic decline of "American Idol." Fox said Thursday that Reilly will be leaving by the end of June. Reilly came from NBC in 2007 to run the network's prime-time entertainment operation, and was promoted to chairman two years ago. The network had several strong years under Reilly, with the luxury of "American Idol" dominating the TV landscape in the winter and spring. But the show's finale last week had a startling 66 percent fewer viewers than its season-ending episode three years ago. While at Fox, Reilly shepherded shows like "Glee," "Sleepy Hollow" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."
DETROIT (AP) - Sixto Rodriguez, the subject of the Oscar-winning documentary "Searching for Sugar Man," has been pulled into a lawsuit over songs on an album he released in 1970. The dispute centers on the ownership of the songs on "Cold Fact" and contracts between Rodriguez and two music companies. Gomba Music Inc. is suing Interior Music Corp. in Detroit federal court, claiming it owns the copyright to the songs penned by Rodriguez, not Interior. The lawsuit says the musician concealed his writing role to sidestep a publishing agreement he had with Gomba. Interior in response blames Rodriguez for the legal problems and named him Wednesday as a third-party defendant in the case. The Holllywood Reporter first reported the lawsuit.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - There may be something familiar about the man who allegedly rushed Brad Pitt at the premiere of the movie "Maleficent" in Los Angeles yesterday. He's the same man who grabbed the microphone from Adele at the Grammys in February. He's also the man Will Smith slapped after he tried to kiss Smith last year, and he's the man who angered Madonna by giving her hydrangeas. Most recently, he crawled under America Ferrrara's dress at the Cannes Film Festival. Police have jailed Ukrainian journalist Vitalii Sediuk on suspicion of misdemeanor battery. He's being held on $20,000 bail. He was on probation for the Adele incident. Police say Sediuk made contact with Pitt but did not give details. Pitt was not hurt.
PARIS (AP) - Pharrell Williams says he may not understand all the laws in different parts of the world. But he still says he felt in his heart it was wrong for Iran to detail the young people who recorded a video of themselves dancing to his Oscar-nominated hit "Happy." Williams says while he doesn't live in Iran and has respect for people's religious views, he feels "everybody should be able to express their happiness and their celebration of the gift of now." Williams tweeted that he was saddened by the arrests of those in the video. Iranian officials said the participants were detained in part because the women were seen dancing without a required head covering. Williams spoke in Paris, where he was on hand to unveil a collection of artwork inspired by the title of his latest album, "Girl."
WASHINGTON (AP) - "American Idol" winner Caleb Johnson has about a month to make an album. Johnson wants to get his debut record out by the time the "Idol" tour kicks off June 24 in Binghamton, New York. Johnson says he doesn't know how he'll do it. He's hoping to make an album that's rock and roll, natural and organic, and heavy. Johnson says he has to be sure to stay on the path that he's set out for himself and not let anyone turn him into something he's not. If all goes well, Johnson's record will come out August 12.