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Sunday, August 24, 1997 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Cowboys Owner Assists Farm Aid

Dallas Morning News

PASADENA, Calif. - A grain gesture from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been accepted by Farm Aid founder Willie Nelson.

At Jones' invitation, the famed country singer's 11th concert benefiting family farmers will be held Saturday, Oct. 4, in Texas Stadium. The Nashville Network will telecast the event live from 2 to 8 p.m.

Brian Hughes, vice president of programming for the country-music channel, credited Jones with "setting the plate and working it all out."

Making a statement

"You have those people who love him and those who hate him," Hughes said. "But I think making a statement like this says an awful lot for him as a human being."

Rental fees for Texas Stadium will be waived for the event, which has raised millions of dollars for family farmers since 1985.

Hughes said he was told the Cowboys were scheduled to play at home the next day, "but Jones was instrumental in helping to move it (to a road game) because he was so committed to this."

Nelson's partners in Farm Aid, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, will perform at the concert. Other talent and ticket information will be announced soon by the Farm Aid organization.

Last year's Farm Aid benefit in Columbia, S.C., included performances by Hootie & the Blowfish, Jewel and the Beach Boys.

Nelson is scheduled to return to Texas and TNN Oct. 20 for a live prime-time concert from Luck, which he owns. Viewers will be able to request their favorite Nelson tunes via an 800 number and the Internet. Former "Northern Exposure" star Janine Turner will host the program. The new country group BR5-49 also will perform.

MTV is turning to Texas, too, but not for music. Its first "fully scripted" comedy series, "Austin Stories," will premiere Sept. 10.

Filmed entirely in Austin, the series will track the loves and longings of three young fictional characters named Chip, Laura and Howard.

Texans featured

Two of the actors are Texans. Laura House, who plays a newspaper reporter, grew up in Grand Prairie and regularly hits the road as a stand-up comic. Brad Pope, also a stand-up, is a graduate of the University of Texas.

Another Austin angle: Mike Myers has signed to host three half-hour specials for MTV under the guise of his latest movie character, Austin Powers.

Copyright (c) 1997 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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