Cheadle to play Davis in long-planned biopic

NEW YORK — Don Cheadle will play Miles Davis in a biopic the actor has long planned on the innovative jazz pioneer.

BiFrost Pictures told The Associated Press that it will finance and produce “Kill the Trumpet Player,” with Cheadle also making his directorial debut.

Cheadle has been trying to make the film for years, but production is finally set to begin in June.

The production company said the movie won’t be a traditional biopic, but will focus on when Davis temporarily retired from making music and then re-emerged in 1979.

The script is written by Cheadle and Steven Baigelman.

Ewan McGregor will co-star as a Rolling Stone reporter, and Zoe Saldana will play Frances Davis, the trumpet player’s former wife.

The film is being made with the collaboration of Davis’ family.

Davis collaborator Herbie Hancock also will be involved in the production.

Davis died in 1991 at age 65.

Joan Jett pick for SD float rankles farmers

PIERRE, S.D. — Some South Dakota farmers and ranchers are upset by the selection of singer-guitarist Joan Jett, a vegetarian and animal rights advocate, to perform on the state’s float in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts are scheduled to appear in New York on the float that promotes South Dakota and the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

State Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen says Macy’s selected Jett to appear on the float.

The livestock industry is a huge part of South Dakota’s economy.

Gentry gets country music trail marker

— Country singer Bobbie Gentry is being honored in her home state with a marker on the Mississippi Country Music Trail.

Gentry was born Roberta Lee Streeter in Chickasaw County in 1944. She is probably best known for her 1960’s hit “Ode to Billie Joe.” The track earned her Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1968. Her other hits include “Fancy,” “Mornin’ Glory” and “Mississippi Delta.”

The Mississippi Country Music Trail started in 2010 with a marker in Tupelo, Miss., to recognize the birthplace of Elvis Presley.

Other markers include Jimmie Rodgers, Charley Pride, Conway Twitty, Jerry Clower, Faith Hill and Tammy Wynette.

Gentry’s marker was unveiled Thursday in Greenwood, Miss.

Associated Press