RASCAL FLATTS ANNOUNCE FAREWELL 2020 TOUR

Country group Rascal Flatts will bless the broken road this year on their farewell tour on their 20th anniversary together.

The trio of of Gary LeVox, Jay Demarcus and Joe Don Rooney announced the tour Tuesday on “CBS This Morning,” saying there were no plans for the band after this tour.

The tour will begin in Indianapolis in June and run through October.

The band formed in 2000 and has had more than a dozen No. 1 country hits, including crossover successes with songs like “Bless the Broken Road,” “Life Is A Highway” and “What Hurts The Most.”

They were among the most popular country acts in the 2000’s, releasing several multi-platinum albums and scoring 40 awards over their career.

FRED PENNER MARKS 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF ‘CAT CAME BACK’ WITH CANADIAN TOUR

Fred Penner is hitting the road to mark the 40th anniversary of his beloved album “The Cat Came Back.”

The Winnipeg children’s performer will play a 14 date Canadian tour that hits several of the country’s major cities and a few of their surrounding communities.

The tour puts a spotlight on his 1979 full-length record, which became a favourite with children its spin on folk traditional “The Cat Came Back,” and original songs “Sandwiches” and “John Russell Watkins.”

The album’s success helped Penner land his own CBC-TV series “Fred Penner’s Place,” which produced episodes throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s.

The Cat Came Back 40th Anniversary tour will play various Ontario stop, including Toronto March 3rd, Hamilton March 4th, and London, Ont. March 5th.

Penner also performs concerts in Winnipeg March 8th, Calgary March 10th, Edmonton March 12th and Victoria March 22nd.

U.S STREAMING SERVICE LAUNCHES POP-UP CHANNEL DEVOTED TO DEGRASSI

A U.S. streaming service is launching a so-called “pop-up” channel devoted to the Canadian TV series “Degrassi.” Pluto TV, which is owned by American media giant Viacom, will stream “Degrassi:The Next Generation” and the later “Degrassi” for viewers in the U.S. and U.K.

“Degrassi: The Next Generation,” the fourth iteration of the decades old franchise, aired from 2001 to 2009, and launced the careers of stars including Drake and Nina Dobrev. In its tenth season, the show rebranded as “Degrassi” and became a telenovela, producing roughly forty episodes per season from 2010 to 2015.

The Degrassi franchise is owned by WildBrain, formerly know as DHX Media, a Canadian producer and distributor of child and youth oriented programming.

BB KING’S GUITAR SELLS FOR $280 000

The guitar that Gibson Guitars gave to B.B. King for his 80th birthday has sold at auction for two hundred and eighty thousand dollars, nearly three times its pre-sale estimate. Julien’s Auctions says King used the black Gibson E-S-345 prototype onstage, and it was one of many he called Lucille. The buyer wants to stay anonymous. Gibson’s 18-karat gold ring encrusted with 22 diamonds spelling out “B-B” sold for more than 16 thousand dollars. His 78 r-p-m blues records sold for more than 51 thousand dollars, after a pre-sale estimate of 500 to 700 dollars. King died in 2015 at the age of 89.

APTN ENTERS STREAMING MARKET WITH PAID SERVICE, APTN LUMI

Canada’s national Indigenous broadcaster is entering the subscription streaming world.  APTN says its new paid service-dubbed APTN Lumi – offers an ever-expanding catalogue of programs in English, French and a variety of Indigenous languages

The service costs $4.99/month, which the non-profit broadcaster says will help support its mission to celebrate Indigenous cultures, inspire Indigenous children and honour the wisdom of its elders.

The venture comes as streaming options widen in Canada beyond Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, CBC Gem and Crave.

Apple TV Plus launches November 1st while Disney Plus is set to begin streaming mid-November.

APTN made the announcement as it revealed a fall TV slate that includes a second season of the reality series “First Contact” which started this week; a fourth and final season of the true crime documentary series “Taken,” starting October 12th; and a fifth season of the paranormal series “The Other Side,” beginning October 30th.

“FRIENDS” MARKS ANNIVERSARY WITH COLLECTIBLES

For sixty dollars, you can have your own version of the Central Perk coffee shop from the T-V comedy “Friends” in Lego form.  Beginning September 1st, Lego will sell the collectible set, complete with the six main characters and Gunther, the coffee shop manager.  It’s to mark the 25th anniversary of “Friends.”  Other items that will commemorate the anniversary are “you’re my lobster” or “how you doin” charms from jewelry maker Alex and Ani. Pottery Barn will sell “Friends” towels, doormats, wall art and the apothecary table Rachel tried to pass off as a flea-market find to Phoebe.  Fathom Events will show more than a dozen “Friends” episodes with never-before-seen extras in movie theatres on September 23rd, September 28th and October 2nd.

OBAMA’S HIGH SCHOOL JERSEY SELLS FOR $120,000

A basketball jersey believed to have been worn by former US President Barack Obama while he was at a Honolulu prep school has sold at auction for one hundred and twenty thousand dollars.

Heritage Auctions says the jersey sold Saturday night in Dallas to a collector of American and sports artifacts who didn’t wish to be identified.

The jersey was offered by Peter Noble, who was three years behind Obama at Punahou School. Noble, now 55 and living in Seattle, said the jersey was destined for the trash when he picked it up. Years later he saw an old photo of Obama wearing a No. 23 jersey while at school.

The auction house says details on the shirt match the one Obama is photographed wearing.

Noble says that a portion of the sale will go to the school.

DIXIE CHICKS SAY NEW ALBUM IS COMING

The Dixie Chicks are returning with new music soon after a thirteen year hiatus.

Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines took to Instagram recently to tease a new album.

Using a baby filter, Maines excaims “Dixie Chicks!” Bandmates Emily Robison and Martie Maguire then say “Album” and “Coming” Their producer Jack Antonoff says “Someday.”

The Dixie Chicks’ last album in 2006, “Taking the Long Way” won the Grammy award for Album of the Year.

The group received both support and severe backlash in 20113 after Maines told a London audience that they were ashamed President George W. Bush was from Texas.

WOODSTOCK 50 APPLIES FOR NEW VENUE PERMIT

The Woodstock 50th anniversary concert may still be a go, just as a smaller event. The Poughkeepsie Journal reports Woodstock 50 has applied for a permit to hold a concert on August 16th to 18th in Vernon, New York. That’s about 55 kilometres east of Syracuse and about 185 kilometres from Watkins Glen, where the anniversary concert was originally supposed to be staged. Town of Vernon Supervisor Randy Watson says the proposal calls for a capacity crowd of about 50 thousand people, while the original called for 150 thousand. The lineup includes The Killers, Miley Cyrus, Santana, Dead and Company, Chance the Rapper, Jay Z and Imagine Dragons.

WINNIPEG JETS TRADE TROUBA TO THE RANGERS

The Winnipeg Jets have traded defenceman Jacob Trouba to the New York Rangers for defenceman Neal Pionk and the 20th overall pick at the upcoming NHL draft.

Pionk went undrafted and was signed as a free agent by the Rangers in May 2017 after two seasons at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

The 23 year old from Omaha, Nebraska split the 2017-18 season between the Rangers and the American Hockey League before joining New York full time last season.

He produced six goals and 26 points in 73 games in 2018-19

Trouba was drafted ninth overall by Winnipeg in 2012 and has played 408 career games for the Jets accumulating 42 goals and 179 points.