- The Washington Times - Monday, May 9, 2005

It’s now Dr. Yoakam

Country music singer and actor Dwight Yoakam wore cowboy boots with his cap and gown when he accepted an honorary doctorate from Ohio Valley College, a Christian college in Vienna, W.Va.

Mr. Yoakam was invited to give the commencement address Saturday by the Rev. Keith Stotts, chancellor and former president of the college. Mr. Stotts baptized Mr. Yoakam when he was a boy attending the Cleveland Avenue (now Northland) Church of Christ in Columbus, Ohio.

Mr. Yoakam joked his way through most of his speech, according to Associated Press. “The future will be the past catching up to you,” he said. “Avoid it. If you can’t avoid it, deny, deny, deny.”

Afterward, he spoke with each graduate and gave them autographed pictures.

Force with Cannes

The Cannes Film Festival will honor George Lucas with a trophy recognizing his cinematographic career Sunday, the same day “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” is to have its world premiere at the event.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, festival artistic director Thierry Fremaux will present the award at a special reception onboard the Queen Mary 2, the world’s largest ocean liner, which will be anchored in the bay off the French city for the event.

Rolling along

The Rolling Stones are expected to announce a new world tour today as well as perform a handful of songs at the hallowed Julliard School in Manhattan. It’s also expected the band will reveal details about a new studio album, its first in eight years.

The Stones join an already crowded concert season, with A-list draws such as Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Paul McCartney active this year.

At press time, it was unknown how the Stones would appear at Julliard, given the band’s tradition of splashy arrivals such as 2002’s blimp landing in a Bronx park.

Crash and learn

Tony Danza got quite a scare when he and NASCAR star Rusty Wallace were racing go-karts during the taping of a segment for the nationally syndicated “The Tony Danza Show.”

AP reports Mr. Danza was leading as they entered the final lap on West 66th Street yesterday morning. After Mr. Wallace gave Mr. Danza’s ride a little “bump and run,” the 54-year-old actor and talk-show host lost control of his go-kart, which flipped over.

“Although slightly worse for wear, Danza escaped with no injuries,” the show said in a statement.

Mr. Wallace, who rushed to Mr. Danza’s side after the crash, said, “I thought I killed ya,” to which Mr. Danza responded, “Yeah… just before you retire, ‘I killed Tony Danza.’”

That’s history

Historian Ron Chernow received the inaugural $50,000 George Washington Book Prize, the nation’s largest literary prize for Early American history, AP reports.

Mr. Chernow was honored Saturday for his biography “Alexander Hamilton,” a look at the nation’s first Treasury secretary and primary Federalist author.

The prize, sponsored by Washington College in Chestertown, Md., was awarded to Mr. Chernow at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. The prize recognizes books about the nation’s first president or the founding era.

Ted Widmer, director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College, said Mr. Chernow’s book brings “new life to an often-overlooked founder.”

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

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