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Brooks says others deserve hall of fame

An emotional Garth Brooks said his addition to the Country Music Hall of Fame at 50 is probably a little premature when you look at the long list of his influences who haven’t yet been inducted.

The “Friends in Low Places” singer transformed country music, but on Tuesday he was more interested in talking about the singers who transformed him. Brooks spoke during a news conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to announce he will be inducted later this year with singer Connie Smith and keyboard player Hargus “Pig” Robbins.

“You’re excited,” Brooks said. “You feel very honored. But at the same time there’s this kind of guilt or, I don’t know what it is, a kind of embarrassment, so you feel uneasy because I wouldn’t be standing here today talking to you if it wasn’t for Randy Travis. I wouldn’t be standing here talking to you today if it wasn’t for Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Steve Wariner, these guys. … I think eventually they will get in, but it probably should’ve been before Garth Brooks came in. ”

Brooks, who is in semi-retirement in Oklahoma, took country music to a new level over a 15-year period, becoming the top-selling solo artist in the U.S. with more than 128 million albums sold.

Monkees don’t plan on going to funeral

The three surviving Monkees aren’t planning to attend Davy Jones’ funeral because it would likely bring too much unwanted attention to his family during their time of grief, the group’s Micky Dolenz said Tuesday.

He and fellow Monkees Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith have talked of attending one of the memorials that Jones’ family is planning to hold in New York and in the late singer’s native England, Dolenz said. And he added he’s considering organizing a memorial himself for Jones’ friends in Los Angeles.

A private family funeral will take place in Florida this week, Jones spokeswoman Helen Kensick said Tuesday.

Jones, who died of a heart attack last week at age 66, was pretty much the lovable character he played on TV, Dolenz said.

“What you saw is what you got,” Dolenz said. “He was very much a song-and-dance man, life of the party, always telling jokes, always on, an entertainer and just a great guy to be around.”

The birthday bunch

TV personality Willard Scott is 78. Singer Peter Wolf (The J. Geils Band) is 66. Guitarist Ernie Isley (The Isley Brothers) is 60. Actor Bryan Cranston (“Malcolm in the Middle”) is 56. Comedian Wanda Sykes is 48. Actress Rachel Weisz (“The Mummy”) is 41. Singer Sebastien Izambard (Il Divo) is 39. Actress Jenna Fisher (“The Office”) is 38. TJ Thyne (“Bones”) is 37. Actress Laura Prepon (“That 70’s Show”) is 32.


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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.