CLASSIC LENNON RECORDING REMIXED
The last recording made by John Lennon and Yoko Ono has been remixed. A Portuguese radio producer did the audio work, which is a re-doing of the Lennon song "Walking on Thin Ice." According to eonline.com, Rui Da Silva has promised to released the "new" song on a CD this coming spring. In a statement released by the record producer, he noted for reporters that he was "blown away" the first time he heard a tape of the song. It was, according to legend, the song that the couple was working on earlier in the day on which Lennon was gunned down in Manhattan in December of 1980. (Has it been that long ago?) By the way, Rui Da Silva's name is becoming increasingly known in the music world. He was recently tapped to be conductor and arranger at the Miss World pageant.
PEE-WEE HERMAN TO FIGHT CHARGES
Paul Reubens is going to fight court charges of possession of so-called "kiddie porn." He is, of course, best-known for his portrayal of the ever-childlike Pee-Wee Herman. According to court records in Los Angeles and published reports, the 50-year-old comedian sent a "not guilty" plea to the charges to a local court on Wednesday. The plea was voiced by his lawyer. Meanwhile, Reubens is out on $20,000 bail. If convicted he could face a year in a county jail and be fined $2,500. Police arrested Reubens after getting a search warrant and checking the contents of his home. At the time of his arrest, his lawyer noted that his client had no knowledge of how the items got into his house ... if they were there. Additionally, Reubens says that he is the victim of a smear campaign aimed at ruining his career.
SMILING KENNY TO BE PRESENTER
The man who made it to the "Most Sexy" list is at it again. Kenny Chesney first rocketed to the top of country music charts. Then the angel-faced singer was named to People magazine's "Sexiest Men" list. Now the Grammy people say he has been asked to help announce the nominees for this year's awards. The ceremonies will take place on Jan. 7 in New York City and other venues. In keeping with the eclectic nature of the Grammys, Chesney will be assisted by Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and Justin Timberlake. Additionally, Ashanti (who keeps taking her clothes off while singing), Cyndi Lauper, John Mayer and Nelly will be there. Some of the nominations will be announced from Los Angeles and Nashville during the televised news conference next month.
IN PRAISE OF HUMANITARIAN BONO
Few world-class entertainers are as dear to the hearts of music fans as is Bono of U2. We stood by as he kept the deathwatch for his father. He gave concerts, then flew back to Ireland repeatedly, to be at his declining dad's bedside. And he has been one of music's most-available charity singers. Now the ever-generous Bono has accepted an invitation to help Nelson Mandela put on a concert to raise money for AIDS research and assistance in Africa. Producers of the event say that Mandela will host the event sometime in February. Requests have also gone out to Sir Elton John, Bob Dylan, Sting and Michael Jackson. In a reversal of fortune, the site of the concert will be the island on which Mandela was isolated and imprisoned for two decades, according to published reports. The London Sunday Mirror reported that Bono made a previous trip to Africa during the past year. In January he traveled to a Malawi hospital to support an Irish-funded AIDS project. He visited with Irish nuns there and even joined them in a jam session.
TRACY BYRD TO DEDICATE HEALTH CLINIC
Beaumont, Texas -- Tracy Byrd's hometown -- has a new health center, named in honor of the singer. The Tracy Byrd Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Care Center is being dedicated this week. According to CMT, the center will be at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Beaumont. Much of the funding for construction of the clinic came from a variety of events sponsored by Byrd in recent years. These included fishing and golf tournaments, a concert series and participation in the Children's Miracle Network. A representative of that group says that Byrd is a real hero in Beaumont. "Tracy is our miracle come true for brain-injured children," she noted. The clinic will not actually take in its first patients until January.
PAUL ANKA COMING BACK TO LAS VEGAS
Ageless entertainer Paul Anka is headed back the lights of Las Vegas. The MGM Grand Hotel tells United Press International that the singer-songwriter will be returning to that facility's Hollywood Theatre late next month. Anka is an international star, selling of millions of records and the composer of a lot of familiar music. His list of creations includes "My Way," the Frank Sinatra evergreen, and the theme from the Johnny Carson "Tonight Show." Ticket prices are being put at $70. Performances in the 740-seat theater are set for Jan. 30 through Feb. 5. Anka has been a part of the American music scene since the 1950s. He has not only made records, but appeared in stage revues, in movies and in television. His last appearance in Las Vegas played to sold-out audiences.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 484
Today we begin a series of questions, the answers for which will be printed in the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. First: "What was the smartest thing you did during the past year?" (And you can likely guess what the next question will be!) Put SMART in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org via the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTON NO. 479 (TRINKET)
Recently we asked if there was a special bauble or trinket that had been handed down in your family for years. We took a quick dip into the inbox and found these replies: Several noted that their artificial Christmas tree had become an "heirloom" by this time. HMD says a tiny train set has been circling the family tree since the '50s. His dad first bought it. He reports that it's a tradition in the Baltimore area to have what is called a "railroad garden" at the base of the tree. KarlK says a set of china dishes is brought out only at Christmastime and only for the major meal on Christmas Day. It belonged to his great-great-great grandmother. He says he personally is afraid to touch it, but has to during the meal. He will not help wash any of the items. Finally, BWiz says that a small angel ornament sits atop his tree. It's so old that no one can remember how long it's been in the family. It was lost for several years and resurfaced in a box in the garage. Next: Of what are you afraid? GBA.