When Jerry Garcia -- the driving force behind the Grateful Dead -- died, the group might as well have been buried with him. Although some of the remaining members of the group have performed on their own, the four "Dead Heads" have never sung together since Garcia's death in 1995. But that's going to change this coming fall. A spokesman for the group tells media that Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart have agreed to hold a reunion concert in -- of all places -- East Troy, Wis. The event, which will feature the quartet and several other acts, will take place in early August. Rehearsals have begun for the planned two-day reunion concert.
ESPN TO HONOR 'VOICES OF THE 500'
It was 50 years ago this month that radio listeners heard coverage of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race for the first time. From the very beginning of the broadcasts until his death in 1977, veteran announcer Sid Collins was the "voice of the 500" and anchor of the broadcast -- which ran a lot longer back when the cars ran slower. Collins, along with the others who have anchored the race since '77, are honored in a TV documentary called "Voices of the 500," to be aired on ESPN on May 25. In Indianapolis, local broadcasters will pay special tribute to their colleagues and to the groundbreaking work of Collins. Bob Jenkins of ABC sports, who for several years was in the booth for the race, will host a special showing of the documentary on station WISH-TV. The broadcast includes more than 35 "stretch calls" as presented on radio over the years. On a personal note: As a son of Indiana, knowing Jenkins and many of the others from the track and having had Sid Collins as a teacher at Indiana University, I have a great love of the race and the complexity of broadcasting it. I personally think it's a much better race on radio than it is on TV.
'SWINGIN' SONGWRITER DIES
For decades songwriter Lionel Delmore was a fixture in and around the Nashville country music scene. Now, according to Country Music Times, he has died of cancer in the little town of Celina, Tenn. Perhaps his best-known creation was the John Anderson hit "Swingin." Many of his songs were recorded by Anderson, including other hits: "Low Dog Blues," "I Wish I Could Write You a Song" and "Bend it 'Till it Breaks." Delmore was born into a music family. His father was Alton Delmore, a member of the very popular Delmore Brothers singing group that first gained national attention in the 1930s. That group was only recently inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. By the way, "Swingin" was the Country Music Association's single of the year in 1983. Lionel Delmore was only 62.
MRS. BUSH AND BARNEY TO AID ANIMALS
When country singer-become-mystery writer Kinky Friedman wanted to do something to help a local animal care organization in his native Texas, he thought he might enlist not only the aid of first lady Laura Bush, but also the family's dog, Barney. In spite of Mrs. Bush's busy schedule -- we're not sure what's on Barney's agenda -- she and the first pooch have agreed to attend a fundraiser in Austin, Texas, on May 29. A spokesman for Friedman says that event, featuring Mrs. Bush and her black Scottish terrier, will benefit the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, a group that saves stray animals of all kinds. The Austin Four Seasons Hotel will play host.
COMEDIANS HEAD BACK TO MONTREAL
Over the years the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal has been a showcase for the world's top comedians. Organizers tell the Hollywood Reporter that this time around, in celebration of the event's 20th anniversary, they are asking back some of their earlier performers who have gone on to greatness. Making return appearances at the festival -- set for July 11-21 in the Quebec city -- are Joan Rivers, Wayne Brady, Denis Leary and Howie Mandel. A spokesman for the festival noted during a Tuesday news conference that the event will not just be a retrospective, but will showcase many newer talents, some of whom have "fresh and innovate" ways of expression.
ROSIE ENDS LONG TV RUN
One of the most eclectic women to ever have her own daily TV show called it quits this week. Rosie O'Donnell's last show has aired. In a pre-taped segment, Tom Cruise appeared, claiming to be mowing Rosie's lawn and preparing lemonade for her. The comments were an obvious reference to statements made by Rosie that although she thought Cruise was sexy, she'd rather see him mowing and making lemonade than being in her bedroom. People magazine says that she's leaving the program to devote more time to her private life. After all, she has the money now to do practically anything she wants. Additionally, Calista Flockhart's long run in "Ally McBeal" also comes to an end this week. In a major column for United Press International, UPI's veteran Hollywood reporter Vernon Scott pays tribute to both women, saying that they each made unique contributions to entertainment with their shows, but the two could not be more different -- style, upbringing, personal life, size. He proposes having someone such as Jay Leno conduct a joint interview with Rosie and Calista. It might be interesting to see them together.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 238
A new survey this week shows that Americans spent more than $17 billion last year on heath supplements, many dealing with muscle tone and bodybuilding. So, today's question: "Do you take vitamins or other health supplements? What has been your experience with them?" Put VITAMINS in the subject line and send to email@example.com via the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO 233 (WORSHIP)
Last week we asked whether you often go to organized worship. Here is a sampling of the replies: About 20 percent of those responding noted that they still go to church at least three times a week. For most people that is twice on Sunday and once on a mid-week night, usually Wednesdays. Stacey K, in Washington, is a member of the United Methodist denomination. She says that after the birth of her son she started going to church more he would "not think his mother is a heathen." Chris S is among those who recently "got religion" in the sense that her family is again attending church regularly. Karen is among those who "never goes to church (and) cherish my Sunday mornings with the kids." Several noted that they have become soured on organized religion because they hear "so many different versions of salvation." Many who grew up in the Catholic tradition noted that since they had to go to mass six days a week, when they became adults they no longer felt it necessary, except on special holy days. Additionally, many -- including Jeannine -- wrote they wanted to show their support for the vast majority of "good priests out there" who have seen a cloud cast over them by the "few rotten apples." My favorite reply came from a frequent contributor who says that her e-mail name says it all: FaithWalkingWoman. Finally, I was raised in a Catholic home, but my mother had converted from a Protestant sect. I was the only kid in my grade school who could sing all the Protestant hymns to the nuns, as well as the songs for Catholic mass. I still go around singing: "And He walks with me and He talks with me ... " TOMORROW: Your thoughts on soft drinks. GBA