It was quite a night at this year's Grammy Awards ... the 44th annual love-fest for the music industry. When the final list was compiled, a real cross-section of American music had been showcased and honored. United Press International's Pat Nason says that everything from the neo-soul of Alicia Keys to the sound of old-time bluegrass music to the soundtrack of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" were honored. Keys' song "Fallin'," from her debut album "Songs in A Minor," won record of the year and song of the year as well as R&B performance of the year. The soundtrack to "O Brother" picked up five awards, even though many country stations thought it was "too commercial" and didn't give it much airplay. In spite of that, the venerable, traditional sound of country was highly honored. Ralph Stanley, the 75-year-old bluegrass legend, won male country vocal performance of the year for his part in the movie's music. To the surprise of few, U-2 picked up four more awards, one more than last year. The event was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and broadcast worldwide.
WHEN JOHN HENRY WAS A LITTLE BABY ...
It's not known whether modern-day entrepreneur John Henry dreamed of being a baseball maven when he was a tyke, but this week whatever latter-day dreams he had of owning yet another team have come true. Shortly before supper, Wednesday evening, in Eastern Time, he was named the new official owner of the Boston Red Sox Major League Baseball franchise. It took 10 months for the sales process -- including the sale of two other Major League Baseball teams, the Montreal Expos and the Florida Marlins -- for the deal to finally be completed, ending seven decades of ownership by the Yawkey Trust. The haggling was often confusing and further complicated by baseball's planned downsizing. The Boston Globe says the selling price was in excess of $700 million.
TERRIBLE TROUBLE IN PARADISE
If you've ever spent any time in Key West, Fla., it's hard to conceive of anything brutal happening there. The sleepy island is so idyllic that some people don't even wear wristwatches, their sense of time is in generalities. It's never frosted there and the food and booze are served with equal generosity. But now the Citizen newspaper says tragedy has struck. A nurse, turning left from the southbound lane of U.S. 1 onto a beach road, was critically injured when a bomb ripped through the floorboards of her car. She was admitted to a local emergency unit in critical condition from the force of the explosion. Heavy damage was also done to a nearby truck from flying vehicle parts and flying pavement. The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are helping county investigators determine the details of the explosion. Evon Leach, the nurse injured in the incident, had been involved in a court battle with a former boyfriend; police had not named any suspects.
MADDEN TO JOIN 'MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL'
When the Fox Sports network reported a $397 million loss on its NFL contract, it reportedly asked John Madden to accept a substantial pay cut from his $7.5 million annual salary as part of his contract extension. But Madden declined its offer and Fox agreed to let him out of his contract, even though there is a year to run on it. He will now join Al Michaels in the ABC booth of "Monday Night Football." Word is that comedian Dennis Miller will be given much less to do, or perhaps dismissed with a year left on his contract. Meanwhile, Madden continues to commute between contests by train and in his much-publicized bus. He's still afraid of flying.
SIR PAUL ANNOUNCES MAJOR TOUR
It's been a decade since Sir Paul McCartney has staged a major, full-tilt tour of the States and Canada. Now, according to the Denver Post, the Mile High City is among several venues where McCartney and his entourage will soon perform. The so-called "Driving USA" tour will begin on April 1 in Oakland, Calif., and continue for several weeks. Among the stops on the agenda, a double dip in Las Vegas; two shows have been scheduled for the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino complex. The 21-performance tour will be staged prior to his taking the act to Europe for 20 concerts in 19 cities. By the way, Denverites are making a big deal out of the former Beatle's stop there. Denver is the only city in the Mountain West where the tour will play. It's due at the Pepsi Center on May 7.
OSCARS NEXT ON HORIZON
Now that the Grammys came off with language and civility relatively intact, the Oscars are next for worldwide viewers. And if you're old enough, you can remember several times when the traditional event had some very untraditional moments. In its latest editions, People magazine features a potpourri of photos from some of Oscar's strangest, show-stopping moments. Among the incidents remembered: 1973 when a lovely young American Indian woman stepped on stage to accept an Oscar for Marlon Brando, who boycotted the event. She used her time at the mike to talk about the "singular lack of honor" in this country, vis-a-vis native peoples. During the following presentation Clint Eastwood, a presenter, intimated that Brando was too much a coward to make the statement himself and sent a young woman to "take the boos" for him. The 1974 ceremonies were interrupted when a man streaked across the stage, behind presenter David Niven, wearing no tuxedo. Niven said something about the man "exposing his shortcomings to the public" as the man streaked by; and who could forget 1989's tasteless encounter between Rob Lowe and Snow White, without any consultation with Disney. Many parents were miffed.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 279
The other day while going through some boxes I found my grandmother's old cookie jar. It isn't fancy, but I can still taste the contents. She had a knack for making oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies that were so moist they would bend when you held them by the edge but never broke. Now the question: "What is your most cherished memento from a past generation?" Put HEIRLOOM in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org via the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 274 (CLASSMATE)
Last week I mentioned that I still keep in regular touch with a roommate from Indiana University (a full 30 years later) and wondered if you had similar experiences. Here is a sampling of the replies: The average number of people that are still on your contact list is three, for some reason. Some still live in the same hometown, so it makes having reunions and contacts an easy thing. It's the ones we went to college with who have drifted away. Jennifer reports that she's still friends with a college friend nearly 15 years later. To make the story even more interesting, the two have recently started dating -- all these years later -- and she and David plan a June wedding. Good for you guys. PS keeps in touch with one classmate whom she met in the 1960s. They are able to see each other every four years. By the way, PS is such a sweet person in her replies. Thanks, PS, keep up the good work. I love the compliments ... and GBU to you, also! Finally, April has a girlfriend with whom she stays in touch, 45 years after they met in grade school. GBA.
Exploding whale video goes viral on Internet
Benedict Cumberbatch's dramatic reading of R. Kelly lyrics is just what you need