- - Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ann Romney said the election of her husband, a Mormon, would signal “that prejudices are left behind” just as the election of President Barack Obama sent that signal.

The wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno that she loves the fact the nation elected its first black president, the Associated Press reports.

Asked by Mr. Leno to reflect on the significance of the first Mormon president, Mrs. Romney said she hoped that if her husband were elected, “We would see more of the same, that prejudices are left behind.”

The Romneys met in high school. Asked whether Mr. Romney was a good dancer back then, she told Mr. Leno: “He’s gotten to be a better dancer.”

Mrs. Romney’s appearance was taped for Tuesday night’s “Tonight Show.”

Harris, Mumford & Sons team for ‘CMT Crossroads’

Emmylou Harris loves Mumford & Sons for a special reason.

“They’re making the banjo respectable, which is not an easy feat, and I’m so glad it’s finally happening,” Miss Harris joked.

Miss Harris, an iconic singer and member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, and Mumford & Sons, platinum-selling lads from London who have sparked a folk-rock resurgence, are joining together to explore their shared love of high harmony, sad songs and, yes, the oft-belittled banjo on Thursday’s episode of “CMT Crossroads,” according to the Associated Press.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based Miss Harris had met lead singer Marcus Mumford only briefly before agreeing to do the show based on the waves they created in the music world. They coordinated song choices by phone and got together to rehearse for a little more than a day before recording the show earlier this month.

It was a crash course in catalog consumption and the chance to get to know each other.

“They’re great harmony [singers] and they’ve got this great driving groove with a minimalist instrumentation,” Miss Harris said. “But they just sound good and the songs have beautiful melodies, and I love harmonizing on them.”

Miss Harris, 65, was among the gateway artists who helped Mr. Mumford and bandmates Ben Lovett, Ted Dwane and Winston Marshall discover their love for American roots music. It started with the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack. Miss Harris appeared with Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss on the memorable song “Didn’t Leave Nobody but the Baby.” That eventually led them to the Old Crow Medicine Show and then deep immersion in old-timey sounds from America’s long-neglected past.

They ran across Miss Harris‘ imprint many times along the way, and with the help of Dobro master Jerry Douglas, they help explore that legacy on the show.

“Pretty much every song that Emmylou has sung on is my favorite song of whichever artist she sang with,” Mr. Mumford said. “I’m like an obsessive Emmylou Harris freak and I’m not ashamed.”

In turn, the quartet has helped shine a light on the influence Miss Harris and the extensive roots underground still exerts. The band, which releases their new album, “Babel,” this week, were a growing success story in that community when they appeared on the 2011 Grammy Awards with Bob Dylan and the Avett Brothers, launching Mumford & Sons into the national popular consciousness.

“For us, it’s kind of a bit of a dream come true,” Mr. Dwane said. “We’d never thought we’d get to travel so extensively, meet our heroes and collaborate with so many people. … We’re just having a really nice time.”

Like the band, fans have discovered something new in those old sounds. Mumford & Sons routinely drew 10,000 and more fans on their Gentleman of the Road tour across the U.S. this summer, almost all of them dancing along to Mr. Marshall’s banjo.

“Folk music has always been there, but it’s wonderful to see the infusion of freshness and energy, but still having that passion,” Miss Harris said. “Not just mimicking what went before, but infusing it. I was joking about the banjo, but I’m serious.”

Rejected on ‘Bachelorette,’ new ‘Bachelor’ is chosen

The next star of “The Bachelor” will be Sean Lowe, who was dumped on “The Bachelorette.”

According to the Associated Press, ABC said the 28-year-old Dallas businessman will be the one doing the choosing when “The Bachelor” returns for its 17th edition.

On the eighth edition of “The Bachelorette,” Mr. Lowe confessed his love for Emily Maynard, but was eliminated just before the finale.

ABC said Mr. Lowe is ready to look for love again and confident he will find his soul mate. The 6-foot-3 Texan was a linebacker at Kansas State and worked in finance and insurance before starting a custom furniture business.

“The Bachelor” is hosted by Chris Harrison and returns in January.

‘Honey Boo Boo’ gets more episodes, specials

On the eve of what was to be its season finale, TLC has ordered more episodes of its hit reality show, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” a spinoff of “Toddlers & Tiaras.”

Though there is not yet a premiere date for the new batch of episodes, the network also announced that there will be three holiday specials timed to Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ has become a pop-culture phenomenon,” said TLC GM Amy Winter. “What you see is what you get and we are excited to share even more of Alana and her family’s unbridled hilarity, sincerity and love with our viewers.”

The series revolves around the daily lives of 7-year-old beauty pageant contestant Alana Thompson — aka “Honey Boo Boo Child” — and her family, a group of self-described rednecks from a small town in Georgia. That includes her mom, June (aka “Mama”); dad Mike (“Sugar Bear”); and sisters Lauryn, 12 (“Pumpkin”), Jessica, 15 (“Chubbs”) and Anna, 17 (“Chickadee”), who recently gave birth to her first child.

“Honey Boo Boo” is TLC’s third highest-rated series this year behind top-rated “Long Island Medium” and “Breaking Amish.”

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