On Tuesday we reported that somehow the obituary for lyricist Jay Livingston had slipped through the cracks and gone unreported in this column. He was the very talented man who -- with long-time partner Ray Evans (they worked as a team for 63 years) -- wrote some of the most enduring songs of the past century. I spoke with Evans on Tuesday and was told that I had called just in time. He was preparing to attend a special tribute to Livingston at the Friars' Club in Los Angeles. He told me that he would tell the friars that his more than six decades working with Livingston was indeed like a "marriage." "We had good times and bad," he noted, "but working with Jay was a joy." Melissa Manchester and singer-pianist Michael Feinstein were tapped to perform at the tribute. Evans tells United Press International that Feinstein is working on a CD of Livingston-Evans songs that will be released next spring.
EVERLYS, RUSSELL JOIN SONGWRITERS HALL
During their long career the Everly Brothers have been given nearly every award that country and pop music has to offer, including being inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and country's similar venue. But, until this week, one accolade escaped the pair. Now Don and Phil have been honored for their country songwriting prowess by being officially brought into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Ironically, the two canceled much of their road tour this year. The Web site everly.net explains that touring was "no longer what the Everly Brothers wanted to do." Additionally, during the induction of songwriter Johnny Russell into the hall, Russell's son recounted one of country music's favorite anecdotes. He noted that once his father was playing a gig in Texas and the hometown band that was assembled to back him up was horrible. A friend asked him why he wasn't going to rehearse before doing the show. "Why screw it up twice?" he asked.
LOST HIKER SURVIVES ON MEMORIES
When 29-year-old Jason Rasmussen got lost 10 days ago in a remote area of northern Minnesota, he didn't know if he'd make it out alive. He is a fairly good hiker, but bad weather was setting in and, if he was going to be in the wild for a long time, he was carrying insufficient supplies. Well, Rasmussen did survive ... for nine days, finally being rescued. During that time, he said in a newspaper interview, he ate crackers and lived on a single can of tuna. But the creative hiker -- with lots of time on his hands -- managed to carry on by "extending" those meager meals by thinking about his favorite restaurants back home. The Wisconsin medical student also had a small bag of Tootsie Rolls. His trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was to have been a three-day affair. Had he known he was going to be there longer, he would likely have packed more Tootsie Rolls.
GRAHAM'S DAUGHTER ALSO A PREACHER
Evangelist Billy Graham once noted that his daughter Anne Graham Lotz was a much better preacher than he. "She's the best preacher in the family," he told an interviewer. This month the younger Graham will have a chance to prove her dad right during a crusade in Phoenix to be held at the America West Arena. The Arizona Republic says that the female evangelist has many of her father's manerisms, including stretching out the world "Je-zus-s." After touring with a larger group for more than a dozen years, just last year she embarked on a series of weekend meetings (Friday and Saturday) that combine old-fashioned preaching with Bible study and discussion groups. More than 100 intimate study groups are being organized; they will be conducted in both English and Spanish. Graham is making a mark for herself. The publication says she is the first female evangelist to be welcomed into many pastoral conferences around the world.
TEXAS FIDDLER CHAMP HOOD DIES
For years Champ Hood was one of the driving forces behind what is called the "Austin sound." He traveled extensively with entertainer Lyle Lovett, playing both fiddle and guitar. A native of Spartanburg, S.C., Hood moved to the Texas capital to take part in the growing country and "roots music" scene there. For several years he toured with David Bell and the late Walter Hyatt as part of Uncle Walt's Band. Most recently he was working in an aggregation fronted by singer Toni Price. Several months ago he was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. He died this past weekend. Just last year he was inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame and was working on his first solo album at the time of his death. Champ Hood was only 49.
MAGIC JOHNSON THRIVING ... IN SPITE OF HIV
It's been a decade since superstar Magic Johnson was diagnosed as having HIV. Out of sports and the limelight -- then back again -- he is now not only thriving in the sport he loves best but also is at the helm of a successful business empire. Now, in a major article on the superstar, MSNBC says Johnson keeps extremely busy and looks better than ever. His trademark smile belies his age. He often competes on the court with players half as old and outscores them. His business empire includes coffeehouses, restaurants and a small group of movie theaters. The 6-foot-9 basketball icon says he hopes that his ability to live with HIV can show others that life can go on. He is taking a prescribed "cocktail" of anti-AIDS drugs and also says he has done his part by keeping fit and active in fighting the illness.
UPI SURVEY QUESTION NO. 198
Inspired by the Magic Johnson story, here is today's question: "In what sport, if any, do you currently participate on a regular basis? Jogging, bowling, tennis?" Put SPORT in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org via the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 193 (TRICK)
Last week we asked your memories of Halloweens past. The response was huge. Here is a sampling of the replies: Shoejunkie remembers bobbing for apples. "We never really stopped to think about germs in the barrel." Peg Z, noting the current terror scare, says many people have been concerned about tainted candy for years. Rich used to love trick-or-treating until the '80s when he discovered a Halloween festival in Florida. In recent years he's had his fun there. Anne D. N. says when she grew up in Mississippi in the 1930s, people didn't trick-or-treat. They just went door-to-door yelling "BOO!" Anne, was that a Halloween version of Christmas caroling? MYDA remembers getting in hot water as a child by going out with her sister without their parents' permission. "We came back dirty and in bad trouble." Charles M. used to love to soap windows, but was told by his dad that the big windows at the local post office were off limits. His dad was postmaster. Cards used this past Halloween to reminisce with her college-age son about his childhood. Finally, DD bemoans the fact that her mother always insisted she wear her glasses -- for safety reasons -- under her mask. "It was uncomfortable and silly." GBA.