MOVIE-TV-MUSIC PRODUCER LEW WASSERMAN DIES
The tributes are everywhere for a man who was nothing less than a legend in his own time. Over the years Lew Wasserman worked his way up from the trenches of Hollywood to be the head of one of the town's most important studios. In his later years he was the president emeritus of Vivendi Universal Entertainment. The Hollywood Reporter says that as word of Wasserman's death circulated through Tinseltown on Monday there was a true sense that an era had come to an end. Wasserman wielded the power that went with old-style Hollywood producers -- finding future stars, making careers, producing legends, and crafting some of the most important movies of four decades. As head of MCA he was a pioneer in packaging shows for television and that company's music division was a leader also. As his fortunes increased, so did his philanthropic contributions to a variety of charities and projects. Look up the phrase "Hollywood mogul" in the dictionary and you'll find Lew Wasserman's picture ... smiling. But, maybe that's an understatement. According to United Press International's veteran Hollywood correspondent Vernon Scott, Wasserman was more than a mogul ... the was about that. According to Vernon, he was the man who hired the moguls. The moviemaking giant was 89.
MANDRELL SELLS LUXURIOUS CABIN
For months country singer Barbara Mandrell had been trying to sell what can only be described as one of the country's most unusual estates, a massive log cabin and huge grounds in Tennessee. Now that estate, Fontanel -- host over the years to tons of famous people -- has been sold, all 27,000 square feet of cabin and 136 acres of grounds. Country Music Times says the chairman of the RCA records group, Dale Morris, has forked over big bucks for the unique property. Among Morris's stable of stars are Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride, Kenny Chesney, Lonestar and Alan Jackson. Meanwhile, Mandrell tells the news provider that she had some "incredible" years at Fontanel and hopes the new owner will take care of it.
ROBERT FROST GROUP BUYS HISTORIC HOME
A group dedicated to preserving the memory of the late poet Robert Frost says it's purchased the Vermont home in which Frost spent some of his early life and where he crafted many of his best-loved poems. The group Friends of Robert Frost reports on its Web site -- frostfriends.org -- that the home, in South Shaftsbury, Vt., is where Frost lived in the 1920s. The building will be turned into a museum and restored to the way it looked when Frost lived there. The home is just a few miles from the poet's final resting place in nearby Bennington. It will become the only full-time Frost museum in Vermont that will be fully open to the public. Frost's first Pulitzer Prize was awarded him for a set of poems that he crafted while living in the house. That collection included his classic "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." The Frost tribute group says it hopes to have the dwelling open for viewing by fall, just in time for the New England foliage season.
JUDGE: TAPE MUST BE RETURNED TO HAGGARD
Remember when Merle Haggard sued to get some un-released recordings back that he claimed were stolen from his tour bus last year? Well, court records in Fredericksburg, Texas, show that a judge there has ordered that the missing tape be returned to the country legend. Haggard had alleged in his suit that a music promoter had taken the tape after being angered when the singer was too ill to perform at a show she had arranged for him. The promoter even threatened to put the music on an on-line auction site. Country.com says that the missing tape featured some unique renditions of classic big band songs -- some written by Hoagy Carmichael, others performed by Nat "King" Cole -- done by Haggard in his own style.
QUEEN'S JUBILEE CONCERT QUITE A SHOW
There's nothing like a command performance. And when word got out that Buckingham Palace wanted to treat Queen Elizabeth II to a bang-up conclusion to her long-planned 50-year jubilee, some of the major stars of music signed on. With more than a million people either inside the concert venue or outside on lawn chairs and blankets, it seemed that a lot of London had shown up to say "Thanks" for 50 years of service. Among those performing were Sir Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton. The British Broadcast Corp. says that a former member of Queen, Brian May, opened the concert with a rendition of "God Save the Queen." Also livening things up were Ricky Martin, who sang his signature song "Livin' La Vida Loca." The three-hour concert included several joint performances, with Clapton, Joe Cocker and others joining in. CBS news anchor Dan Rather, in reporting on the event, said that the queen's jubilee has created a "new look" at the British royal family. "Let there always be an England," he told viewers.
JOHNNY CASH HAVING ANOTHER DAY IN THE SUN
It would seem that in the next few months tributes to "The Man in Black" -- Johnny Cash -- will be everywhere. Rolling Stone magazine says Cash's fourth album with producer Rick Rubin is in the final stages of preparation. It's called "American IV: When the Man Comes Around." At the same time Columbia says it's going to press a CD containing un-released songs from a concert that Cash did in Madison Square Garden in 1969. Additionally, two tribute albums to Cash will be released in the fall. The first, "Dressed in Black," has, according to published reports, been put together by musicians David Roe and Chuck Mead. The other set will feature the likes of Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Bruce Springsteen, Dwight Yoakam and other stellar lights. It will be released by DualTone Records. By the way, Cash turned 70 earlier this year.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 347
Today's question was suggested by IMTU. It's another one of those "what if" questions: "If you were told you had to suddenly evacuate your dwelling and would never return again and could only take three things with you, what three objects would you pick?" Put OBJECTS in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org via the Internet. (Note the new e-mail address).
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 342 (DREAMS)
Last week we asked about the kinds of dreams you have. I noted that I often dream I'm spending time with famous people I would love to have interviewed. Here are some of your replies, picked at random: MsMissew says that she is happy to know that other people also dream about dead people. She reports that a recent project, putting together a family album, has resulted in some very interesting and bittersweet dreams. Amanda says that she dreams about spending the night with friends, constantly eating pizza, but never getting full. Kathy S is a big fan of David Letterman, often dreaming that the Indiana comic and she are good friends. CMor often dreams that she's trying to catch up with someone. Roger dreams that he's lost in a "labyrinthine airport," trying to find the right gate to take an overnight flight. Many, including Peggy, note that they dream every night and often remember what they dreamed. TOMORROW: In what era would you like to have lived? GBA.