ENTERTAINERS RAISE MILLIONS IN CONCERTS
The venues were three: New York City, Washington and Nashville. The entertainers were varied, and their line-up was a "who's who" of American entertainment. In concerts in the Big Apple and the nation's capital, David Bowie, Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync and Eric Clapton were joined by others, donating their talents for the massive pro-America rallies. At the New York City event -- held on Saturday -- Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former Pres. Bill Clinton made surprise appearances. Also over the weekend, in Nashville, the cream of the country world showed up for a concert there that had so many stars waiting in line it went into overtime. Venerable Little Jimmy Dickens was joined by Country Hall of Famer Earl Scruggs, Diamond Rio and Montgomery Gentry, along with other top names. The CMT cable network provided live coverage. The concert was held Sunday night so as not to overlap the other two "mainstream" events. Proceeds from all three were earmarked for the relief funds of the Red Cross and Salvation Army. By the way, Westwood One broadcast the audio of the Nashville event, which was also heard in Scotland, Greece and England.
U.S. VISITORS TELL OF ISRAELI ASSASSINATION
A group of American Christian activists was just steps away from Israeli Cabinet member Rehavam Zeevi when the minister was assassinated last week. Assist News Service says a group was visiting Israel with David Hocking's "Hope for Today" radio broadcast. Many were staying on the hotel floor where the killing took place. Hocking tells the news service that he heard a thud outside his door and found Zeevi lying in the hallway, obviously shot. "Blood was everywhere," he later reported. Members of the group who were also in the hallway reported never hearing shots and assumed later that silencers had been used. Hocking and members of his group made room for security agents to help. "We didn't speak Hebrew, and knew we could be of little help."
F-F-A KIDS TO HEAR AGRICULTURE SECRETARY
For decades more than 30,000 extremely well-behaved members of the Future Farmers of America have assembled for an annual fall convention. For years it was in Kansas City. Just think of it, 30,000 plus teenagers in one city for most of a week and not an extra policeman on the street. This year Louisville plays host to the meeting. Over the years, when it's been feasible, the secretary of agriculture has addressed the group. Many years the ag-secretary could not fit the event into his schedule. This year, though, the boys and girls in blue will hear the current agency head, Sec. of Agriculture Ann Veneman, address their convention. The FFA's national headquarters tells United Press International that Veneman, the first female to be named to the post, will make a major speech on the current state of American agriculture on the 26th. By the way, this is the FFA's 74th annual national convention.
WHEN IS IT THEATER? WHEN IS IT BURLESQUE?
When a permit was granted for an Hispanic theater in the Los Angeles suburb of El Monte, many in the area praised the plan. It would be something that local students could rally around, something to do, a reason to stay off the street. But the Los Angeles Times says the theater's most-recent production is being criticized by many as being more of a "strip show" than a legitimate night in the theater. The current fare is a very adult play called "Cuatro Equis" (Four X's). In much of the play the participants, male and female, are clad only in towels. And, at one point, a man and woman take off everything and climb into bed. Producers claim the nudity is part of the plot. But a lot of people who backed the project as a way to bring the community together see it as something that is doing just the reverse.
ANTHRAX, THE BAND, KEEPS ON KEEPING ON
The rock band called Anthrax says it won't change its name in spite of cases of the real anthrax being detected around the country. ABC News says that the band instead will do all it can to raise money for the relief effort. Its first announced gig will be with Skid Row's Sebastian Bach and Ace Frehley and Friends at a concert organized by New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza to benefit Big Apple firefighters. Twisted Sister was also added to the bill. The fundraiser is now set for the 29th of next month at the Hammerstein Ballroom, a small venue that ABC says will host a Beastie Boys concert on the 28th of this month.
'POTTER' PREMIERE TICKETS NOT GOING WELL
In spite of the immense call to turn the Harry Potter books into a movie -- shades of "GWTW" -- there are reports that an on-line auction of selected opening day tickets is not going as well as expected. Tickets to the Edinburgh, Scotland, premiere, set for two weeks from Tuesday, have not been snapped up like the proverbial hot cakes. The cyber spot for making bids, qxl.com, reports that there has been no rush for the opening day tickets, despite the fact that entrance to a private party with Potter author J.K. Rowling is included. The tickets are priced at about $108. Speaking of Rowling, the British news provider Teletext reported over a year ago that Rowling had been approached by an American movie company that wanted to do as many as seven Potter films over a seven year period. Unless the producers are willing to use a series of boy actors to play Potter or to animate him, it may be impossible for any single actor to stay young enough during the seven years of production to remain true to the character.
UPI SURVEY QUESTION NO. 186
It may seem a wee bit early, but over the weekend I saw a lot of people at my local Wal-Mart shopping for holiday gifts. So here goes: "How much, if any, of your holiday shopping have you already done?" Put SHOPPING in the subject line and send to email@example.com on the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NOS. 180 AND 181
Due to a computer glitch we had to delay your replies about TWO-WAY radios until now. Here are some of the best: MALAVAR says that she met her current hubby via CB Radio more than 20 years ago. He wooed her by wireless? Sean remembers both parents being "hams" and cars full of equipment. For Sean it was a "nightmare." MTM5 swears by the new low-power family radios available at increasingly cheaper prices at places like Radio Shack and Costco. They add an additional level of security while hiking or skiing. Judith U remembers hearing about Elvis's death on CB. LB writes to say that her use of CB radio got her "rescued" and taken to the hospital in time to have a baby. One of the funnier comments came from a regular who noted that in the early days of CB, few realized how many people were listening. One woman's call via radio to her husband to "bring home some Ex-Lax" prompted many of her friends -- listening at the time -- to never forget the incident. As far as our question about LUCY, here are some of the responses: Thelma B is among many who remember Lucy's penchant for slapstick. She says she loved the reruns and used them as a night light. Debra is a genuine champion of Lucy, calling her the "greatest comedienne EVER. Period!" Several young respondents noted they were too young for the original shows, learning to love them by watching channels such as Nick at Night. Karen, who is only 41, says Lucy is as funny now as when she first saw her. " ... I enjoy the fact that I can watch good, clean humor without subjecting myself to profanity and sexual innuendoes." On a personal note, even though I used LUCY as the e-mail subject, I'm surprised so few said anything about Desi. But, in his defense, he often said -- as did George Burns -- without his wife he was not a star. GBA.