- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Mommy’s footsteps

Prince Harry is starting to sound familiar.

On a two-month working trip to Lesotho, the young, occasionally wild royal said yesterday that the tiny African kingdom needs help as it battles poverty, AIDS and a punishing drought.

“It’s not a place that everybody really knows about,” Prince Harry told Reuters News Agency at an orphanage south of the capital Maseru, one of a series of charity projects he has taken on since arriving in the landlocked country last month.

The 19-year-old prince said he hoped his visit would spur more British aid for Lesotho, where up to one-third of the people are believed to be HIV-positive and drought has caused serious food shortages.

How long before he sets his sights on land mines?

Score for war

If a sequel to “Cold Mountain” is planned, here’s a soundtrack idea.

Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs and Lee Ann Womack are among the country singers who have contributed to an upcoming album of Civil War-themed songs.

Scheduled for release in May, “America Will Always Stand” is the first album of original material ever issued by Time-Life Music, according to the Associated Press. Its 14 tracks were recorded in Nashville, Tenn., and Muscle Shoals, Ala.

Some of the tracks are based on true stories, while others were written around universal themes. The first single, “One Letter,” by the Wilsons, tells the story of a soldier gone to war, leaving only his pledge to return.

Hmmm … wonder where they got that idea. Charles Frazier, call your lawyer.

Debbie’s trove

Debbie Reynolds will open the Hollywood Motion Picture Museum in the Great Smoky Mountains resort of Pigeon Forge, Tenn., to display her extensive collection of movie memorabilia, the Associated Press reports.

“The Hollywood I remember from my early years in the business — the real ‘golden era’ — is now gone,” says Miss Reynolds, who began her film career in 1948. “What is left of it in this collection should be preserved and protected for future generations.”

Valued at more than $50 million, the collection contains about 3,500 costumes and tens of thousands of props, movie posters, still photos, lobby cards and other items, the 71-year-old actress says.

We’re assuming it doesn’t include that famous bikini that daughter Carrie Fisher wore in “The Return of the Jedi.”

Alan’s trove

Alan Lomax’s archives are coming to Washington.

The legendary folklorist’s private collection, which was housed in several large rooms at Hunter College in New York City, will find a permanent home at the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center.

It includes more than 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of motion-picture film, 2,450 videotapes, 2,000 scholarly books and journals, and much more.

“The Alan Lomax Collection contains pioneering documentation of traditional music, dance, tales and other forms of grass-roots creativity in the United States and abroad,” Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in a statement. “We are extremely pleased that this collection has come to our American national library, where its creator did such important work in the 1930s.”

To celebrate its voluminous new acquisition, the library will hold a reception March 25.

Elton stays footloose

Gentlemen, Elton John will remain on the market.

The singer says that while he supports same-sex “marriage,” reports are untrue that he plans to wed his longtime partner, David Furnish.

“David and I are in favor of gay marriage but have no plans to get married,” Mr. John said yesterday in a statement.

His non-nuptial announcement came less than a week after Rosie O’Donnell and her longtime girlfriend, Kelli Carpenter, became the most high-profile homosexual couple to tie the knot in San Francisco.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from staff, wire and Web reports.

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