COLTRANE LEGACY KEPT ALIVE
When jazz great John Coltrane died in 1967 fellow musicians were determined that the "Coltrane sound" would live on. So, the John Coltrane Memorial Concert Ensemble was born. Its latest stop -- and it's still going strong -- was the historic Gem Theater in Kansas City, Mo., just a few days ago. The Kansas City Star says that traditionally Coltrane concerts have been presented in Boston each fall. The Kansas City event was arranged to honor the impact that the "Kansas City Sound" had on the development of the legendary saxophonist's style. Coltrane would have been 75 this year.
TERKEL LOOKS TO THE INEVITABLE
Venerable American author Studs Terkel is taking on what is likely the hardest writing assignment of his life -- writing about his own final years. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author tells feature writer Martin Miller -- writing in the Los Angeles Times -- that his first image of death was a newspaper photo that he saw nearly 80 years ago in which Pope Benedict XV was shown lying in state, his hands crossed on his chest. Terkel says that to this day, as he dozes off to sleep, he consciously takes his hands out of that position. His most-recent book, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken? Reflections on Death, Rebirth, and Hunger for Faith," was written after the death of his wife of 60 years in 1999. Terkel is still speaking at venues around the country and still does radio commentary.
KING HEIRS WANT SHARE OF MEMORIAL PROFITS
The on-going fundraising to build a national memorial to the memory of the late civil rights champion Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have hit a snag. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that the King family is demanding a licensing fee to use King's name and likeness in any marketing campaigns in the effort to get corporate sponsorships. The organization that is trying to raise as much as $100 million to construct the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial -- possibly on the National Mall in Washington -- tells the publication that the request made by the family will slow its fundraising efforts. One official tells the publication that companies will likely be slow to jump on the bandwagon if they are not sure how their monies will be used.
DYLAN STARTS HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY
It's safe to say that folk-rock icon Bob Dylan has told us a lot about himself and his psyche through his songs over the years. Now published reports indicate that the musician is going an additional step, starting to work on his autobiography. Officials for the publishing house Simon & Schuster say that Dylan, who turned 60 this year -- where have the years gone? -- wants to produce a major work in print. In fact, reports say that it could be a multi-volume affair. Publication, if that is the case, could come in stages, with "book one" out as early as next year.
PAISLEY SONG TO BECOME PLOT FOR MOVIE
In 1999 country's Brad Paisley scored a No. 1 hit with his song "He Didn't Have to Be." Now, according to country. com, the TBS Superstation says it will produce a made-for-cable movie based on the plot of the ballad. Paisley will appear in the movie, in a supporting role. Additionally, he will write the music for the soundtrack. The song, for those who missed it, is a tribute to stepfathers from the perspective of a stepchild. By the way, Paisley and the song's co-author, Kelley Lovelace, recently turned the song into a book.
COLUMNIST ASKS FEDS TO HELP 'ROCKY'
Rocky is in trouble. And not the character portrayed in film by Sylvester Stallone. This Rocky is Hiroaki "Rocky" Aoki, best known as the founder of the Benihana restaurant chain. In her most recent column, Liz Smith uses her ink in the New York Post to ask the Immigration and Naturalization Service to "cut a deal" for the troubled entrepreneur. She points out that even though Hiroaki strayed from the straight and narrow and was convicted of stock fraud nearly a decade ago, he has more than made up for his crimes. He and his family have become major philanthropists, contributing to cancer research, juvenile diabetes, liver research and the NYC Fire Department. Along the way, his daughter Devon has become an internationally known supermodel. Now, however, Rocky faces deportation. "He loves his country," Smith writes.
UPI SURVEY QUESTION NUMBER 189
How about this: "When was the last time you laughed until you actually cried?" Put CRIED in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org on the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 184 (FRIEND)
Last week we asked you if there is anyone from your past who has "slipped through the cracks" whom you have not been able to contact recently. Lord, did we get a ton of replies. Here are a few of them: Many, including Peggy S, would like to find a former college roommate. Pethrohd is also among those who let a college friend slip away. In his case, it was a coed whom he might have married, had he been less timid. Lynne S has been searching for 16 years to find a friend from high school. She says by using the Web site classmates.com she was able to finally find her. Many of you, including Kathy P, took "sentimental journeys" back home to find old friends. Finally, several told stories of regret, shunning people in their childhood and regretting it later. One woman says she would have nothing to do with a classmate in high school, fearing the girl was gay. Now, nearly 40 years later, she would like to apologize to the girl for her stupidity and explain that she realized later she was gay also. GBA.