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August 11, 1986

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. (AP) _ Country singer Merle Haggard backed out of a show today at the Universal Amphitheater, the fourth concert he’s canceled in a week.

″Merle Haggard is indisposed and is therefore unable to perform,″ a recording at the 6,200-seat Universal Amphitheater said Sunday in announcing the cancellation of his shows Sunday and today.

Universal said Haggard’s opening act, the Judds, would perform and that another act would be added but that fans could apply for refunds.

Haggard played an afternoon show Aug. 4 at the Clark County Fair in Richfield, Wash., but failed to show up for the evening performance. The next day he canceled an appearance at the Douglas County Fair in Roseburg, Ore.

Dennis Bottomley, his business manager, said then the singer had dysentery.

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BOSTON (AP) - Robert D. Ballard, who led the recent mission to explore the wreck of the Titanic, is taking time off to write a first-person story for National Geographic.

Ballard, 44, who left for Montana on Friday, also has a series of speaking appearances scheduled and is planning a book about his submarine dives to the hulk of the luxury liner that sank after striking an iceberg in 1912, killing 1,513 people.

The senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has exclusive rights for one year to the 57,000-plus photographs and more than 50 hours of videotape taken during 11 dives to the Titanic, said Gary Walker, Woods Hole assistant director for finance and administration.

Ballard said the speeches and article are ″not a blatant commercialization. ... I do not consider it unethical or unreasonable.″

He said he has turned down offers to do product endorsements and did not accept any money for a Titanic article he wrote for National Geographic last year.

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis is moving to Virginia to teach music, but says he’ll be back in New Orleans someday.

″Everything about me is New Orleans. I was educated here, I taught school here, the music I play was all developed here,″ said Marsalis, who for years has been a mainstay of New Orleans nightclubs.

Marsalis, his wife, Dolores, and his two youngest children are moving to Richmond, where he will be Commonwealth Professor of Music at Virginia Commonwealth University.

″I’m not leaving for a closed amount of time. I’m sure I’ll be back, maybe to live,″ he said.

Marsalis is the father of two of the country’s hottest young performers, Wynton and Branford Marsalis. He taught a generation of jazz musicians at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, and cites a dwindling number of students as one of his reasons for moving.

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