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Taking Names

- - Monday, December 26, 2011

Memphis Horns to receive lifetime Grammy

They have graced hundreds of recordings, colored hits for artists including Elvis Presley and U2, and helped to shape the sound of Stax Records.

Now, the Memphis Horns are being recognized with a Grammy.

The Grammys' Recording Academy announced last week that the Memphis Horns — trumpeter Wayne Jackson and saxophonist Andrew Love — will be among the recipients of its annual Lifetime Achievement Award in February.

They will join a class of honorees that includes Diana Ross, the Allman Brothers Band, Glen Campbell and George Jones.

The Memphis Horns will receive the honor Feb. 11 at the Grammy Special Merit Award ceremonies in Los Angeles. They also will be recognized during the Grammy telecast the following evening.

"We got a call … from [Neil Portnow], the president of Grammys, and he told me he was really proud to be talking to me, and that we were going to be getting a Lifetime Achievement Award," Mr. Jackson said. "Man, hearing that — it rung my bell so hard I didn't sleep all night. We're so excited. It's an unbelievable honor."

The Horns came to prominence in the 1960s for their work as part of the house band at Stax Records. Their signature arrangements and style would help distinguish the songs of Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Eddie Floyd and Isaac Hayes, among others.

After leaving Stax in 1969, the pair continued to be highly sought-after players, working with Aretha Franklin, James Taylor and Rod Stewart. In the '80s and '90s they played with Sting, Peter Gabriel and Robert Cray as well as recording several albums of their own.

Over the years, the Memphis Horns have played on more than 15 Grammy-nominated tracks, "but this will be the first time we're being recognized," Mr. Jackson said.

Mr. Jackson remains an in-demand session and road player, having recorded with Neil Young in recent years. Mr. Love retired from performing in 2004 because of health problems.

Filming of Stallone movie said to have harmed bats

Bat experts have slammed the recent filming of a Sylvester Stallone movie in a Bulgarian cave, saying thousands of the mammals had suffered from the Hollywood treatment, Agence France-Presse reports.

"Several thousand bats are missing from the Devetashka cave since our latest count in January when the visible colonies numbered 33,800 bats," Boyan Petrov of the Museum of Natural History said Thursday.

A rough count after the filming of the star-studded Hollywood action blockbuster "The Expendables 2" in November found only about 8,500 bats.

"Never before have we counted less than 10,000 bats in wintertime," Mr. Petrov said, adding that he hoped the rest had just been chased away to adjacent caves.

The environment ministry, which authorized the movie shoot, said last week in a statement that it had found no problem with the bat colonies.

But the experts insisted filming inside the cave never should have been allowed.

"It is home to 15 protected species of bats, or half of all bats found in Bulgaria," Mr. Petrov said.

Researchers will perform a new count of the colonies next spring to assess the damage.

Filming in Bulgaria for "The Expendables 2," starring Mr. Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Jean-Claude Van Damme, already was marred by an accident in which one stuntman died and another was injured during a lake scene involving an explosion.

The movie is due for release in August.

Ricci to star with Neuwirth in off-Broadway show

Christina Ricci's stage debut last year apparently didn't scare her off — she's going back.

Producers said last week that the "Pan Am" star will join two-time Tony Award-winner Bebe Neuwirth in a Classic Stage Company production of William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

The off-Broadway show will begin performances March 28 and play through May 6. Ms. Neuwirth will play the role of Titania. Ms. Ricci will have the role of Hermia.

Ms. Ricci made her Broadway debut last season in Donald Margulies' "Time Stands Still," replacing Alicia Silverstone and starring opposite Laura Linney, Brian d'Arcy James and Eric Bogosian.

LaBelle among performers slated for Super Bowl shows

Patti LaBelle, Bret Michaels and En Vogue are among the artists who will perform in free concerts during the week leading up to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

The Super Bowl Host Committee made the announcement Wednesday at a news conference at Lucas Oil Stadium, site of the Feb. 5 game, the Associated Press reports.

The artists will perform on stages along Georgia Street beginning Jan. 27. A specific schedule was not announced.

Other artists scheduled to appear include Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Corey Cox, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Edwin McCain, Fitz & the Tantrums, Fuel, Here Come the Mummies, IU's Straight No Chaser, LMFAO, O.A.R, Railroad Earth, Sixpence None the Richer, Umphrey's McGee and Will Hoge. More artists are expected to be added.

Madonna will perform at halftime.

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.