CAA bows new Nashville office

GOOD MORNING: CAA conducts its global business (very well, thank you) from its one office in BevHills–but this week the agency opened a second office, in Nashville. Ron Meyer and Tom Ross winged down for the bow of its C&W H.Q. headed by Ron Baird and John Huie. Among the agency’s music clients on hand for the occasion were Clint Black, Billy Dean, Russ Taft, Steven Curtis Chapman and D.C. Talk. … How to encourage the making of stories by African-Americans about African-Americans–“instead of just stories of violence and action,” adds Jean Firstenberg: That’s what the AFI June 20 seminar will be all about. It’s funded by Sony, WB and Paramount, from an idea by George Jackson and Doug McHenry and the Black Filmmakers Foundation–and by invitation only at the AFI. A Socratic dialogue will be led by Professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr., Harvard Law School, who was Anita Hill’s attorney and who moderates PBS’ “Ethics in America.” The participants include: Stephanie Allain (Col), Mark Canton, Suzanne de Passe, Marc Frydman (Hexagon), Barry Hirsch, Reginald and Warrington Hudlin, Bob Johnson (Black Entertainment Network), Solomon LeFiore (Entertainment Group), Arnold Rifkin, Brandon Tartikoff, etc. It’s hoped, added Firstenberg, “to bring the Afro-American community in to have a dialogue in making movies by black filmmakers.” … Peter Ford confirms he has been appointed temporary conservator for his father Glenn Ford, recuping at St. John’s Hospital. Meanwhile, young Ford also told me, “I am persona non grata–and not allowed to visit my father at the hospital.” … Montel Williams and thesp Grace Moerhloe were married last weekend in Las Vegas. He returned to tape his syndie’d Aug. 24 spec on teens, “Mountain Get Out of My Way.” … Coincidentally, “How To Be Happy” author Cynthia Richmond, guesting on Williams’ show May 25, talked about how to have a successful marriage! And immediately afterward, Richmond and Tom Chase (Chase/Rucker Prods.) eloped to Las Vegas as well. This Saturday, they renew their vows here. … Partner Steve Rucker and wife Robin brought home son Jeremy, prematurely born March 27 at Cedars-Sinai. The musical team of Chase/Rucker created the score for “Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland” as well as the new CBSeries score “Dangerous Curves.” … Patty Duke hosts the wedding for son Sean Astin to Christine Harrell July 11 at Hayden Lake, Idaho, near Patty’s Coeur d’Alene home. And two days later, Duke wings to Vancouver to start the Green/Epstein “Friends to the End” for CBS Patricia Seaton Lawford and BevHills private investigator Daniel K. Stewart will marry June 20 at Vegas’ Little Church of the West.

THE COLE DYNASTY CONTINUES with Kelly Cole (32), handsome son of Nat and Maria and brother of Natalie, in Berlin to co-star in WB’s “The Innocents” with Anthony Hopkins, Campbell Scott and Isabella Rossellini for director John Schlesinger. Kelly’s activating his Kellcole Prods. and is trying to gather all the Nat King Cole material that’s been recorded over the years. Over 70 Cole CDs were released last year–many unauthorized. … Yesterday, Natalie Cole was at Le Dome–and autographing her picture–framed as a gift Barbara Davis gave members of her Carousel of Hope committee lunching there: Eva Gabor, Wendy Goldberg, Joanna Poitier. Cole headlines the show. … Angie Dickinson stars with Jim Belushi, Robert Loggia and Kim Cattrall in Oliver Stone’s “Wild Palms” for ABC Sunday. … Rod Steiger receives the Chi Medical School’s honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts. Earlier this year, Steiger gave the keynote speech in Chi for the National Assn. of Mental Health. … Jennings Lang, recuped following hip replacement, will be on hand Monday with wife Monica Lewis to be toasted at the St. James’s Club “Classic Movie Night” hosted by Marc Courtland. Clips of Jennings’ pix will be screened plus a complete showing of Monica’s rare 1952 MGMusical “Everything I Have Is Yours.” … Tyne Daly’s off to London to record “On the Town” with the London Symphony and top British opera stars. … Steve Kanaly segues from Africa locations of “Okavango” to Paris to headline an All-American Rodeo and Wild West show June 18. They love him from “Dallas.”

“IF THERE HAD BEEN A JIM MURRAY when I was (playing football) at Eureka College,” said Ronald Reagan, “I might have had a successful career–and become famous. Instead, I ended up in Washington for eight years in public housing.” The Reagans were the surprise (final) guests at Murray’s tribute dinner by the Richstone Family Center at the BevHilton and R.R. medal’d the Pulitzer-winning Times syndie’d sports columnist celebrating his 31st anni. The event raised $150,000 and was chaired by Peter Ueberroth and Warren Cowan. The audience was a combination of sports and showbiz celebs. The latter group, also involved in sports, included John Forsythe, Dick Van Patten, Jimmy Caan, Robert Stack. Vin Scully and Sid and Jenny Craig. Merv Griffin opened the show, which included Roy Firestone and Tom Sullivan, reprising Murray’s career in song (and tapes), Tony Martin (sang parodies “There’s No Murray Like Jim Murray” and “You Are the Very Model of a Modern Major Journalist”) and award-winning sports scribe Frank DeFord.