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Nelson makes donation

Willie Nelson’s stash is going to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas.

The center announced Thursday that the Texas music icon, road warrior and activist has donated “major portions” of his correspondence, records, awards and more, adding significant heft to an enviable Texas-centric music collection that already includes the family papers of pioneering folklorist and musicologist John A. Lomax and the archives from the Armadillo World Headquarters, where hippies and rednecks peaceably mingled and where progressive country music was born.

The papers (not the rolling kind) in the collection alone will likely have scholars and researchers eager to start digging. They include letters and photos from fans, fellow musicians Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash and dignitaries such as Bill Clinton and the late Ann Richards. The material also includes platinum records and other awards, posters from Nelson’s Fourth of July picnics, portraits, screenplays, books and personal items.

“The Briscoe people are incredibly good,” said Jan Reid, a longtime Austinite and author of, among other books, “The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock.” “People are going to be beating down the doors.”

HGTV move disappoints twins

Two brothers shown the door by HGTV before their upcoming real estate show made it on the air say that if their Christian faith cost them a shot at TV fame, “then so be it.”

David and Jason Benham said Thursday they were disappointed that HGTV pulled the plug on “Flip it Forward,” due to debut in October.

After the network announced the show was upcoming, the lobbying group Right Wing Watch labeled David Benham an “anti-gay extremist” and reported on statements he made against homosexuality and gay marriage.

HGTV spokeswoman Audrey Adlam refused to say why the show was canceled.

“With all of the grotesque things that can be seen and heard on television today you would think there would be room for two twin brothers who are faithful to our families, committed to biblical principles and dedicated professionals,” the brothers said in a statement.

“If our faith costs us a television show, then so be it.”

PBS to air Burns documentary

PBS said Thursday its fall season will open with a binge-viewing opportunity: a seven-part Ken Burns documentary on the Roosevelt political dynasty.

“The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” will air as two-hour episodes over seven nights, beginning Sept. 14. Each episode will be repeated nightly, said Beth Hoppe, PBS chief programming executive.

“I think it’s the best thing Ken’s done since ‘The Civil War,’ ” Hoppe said.

“The viewer experience is changing and we’re trying to dish this up as an epic binge,” Hoppe said of the series about U.S. presidents and cousins Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt and FDR’s wife, Eleanor.

– From News and wire reports

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