By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International  |  Feb. 1, 2002 at 3:43 PM
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Grammy-winning Freddy Fender is back in his home in San Antonio after receiving a kidney transplant at a hospital there. The kidney came from his adult daughter. Fender, who is up for another Grammy this year for a collection of "roots" music from his childhood in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, is now 64 and had been on dialysis for a year, awaiting a suitable donor organ. In a statement released to the press by San Antonio University Hospital, doctors report that Fender's recovery is "textbook" and right on schedule. He spent about a week in the hospital before being released. They say it may take as long as two months, though, before he can get back to work. The Grammy Awards are slated for the 27th of this month in Los Angeles.


Country superstar Reba McEntire confirms that she has been tapped to produce a made-for-television version of the Broadway musical "Annie Get Your Gun." McEntire wowed 'em on the Great White Way with her authentic portrayal of Annie Oakley last year, then brought her talents to TV in her own sitcom -- which, by the way, has been renewed for a second season. Country Music Television reports that the film is being made in conjunction with MCA records. No air date has been announced.


The latest edition of People magazine online speculates that someday theater-goers in New York may see musical versions of great cartoon shows and TV sitcoms. The publication says the owners of the rights to the "I Dream of Jeannie" concept are talking about the possibility of the series being made into a movie. Can a musical be far behind? Columnist Stephen M. Silverman wonders if other larger-than-life characters aren't well suited to the musical stage presentation. What about Inspector Clouseau? Rocky Balboa? Rocky and Bullwinkle? By the way, the office of Minnesota Gov. Jesse "The Body" Ventura confirms that he is helping shape a script and songs for a proposed musical about his rise to power. Where's Lil' Abner when you need him?


Eighty-four-year-old Ozzie Davis, the award-winning actor-director, says he will return to his hometown, Waycross, Ga., to see a presentation of a play he wrote and directed in the early 1960s. Published reports indicate that Davis is headed back to see what local talents have done with his classic play "Purlie Victorious." The first performance will be in less than two weeks, following a reception for Davis. Over the years he has been a frequent player on Broadway, in the movies and on television. In addition to "Victorious," he also penned "Cotton Comes to Harlem" and "For Us The Living: The Story of Medgar Evers." He has also been a narrator in several classic PBS presentations, including Fourth of July celebrations.


A recording studio in Nashville that is considered by many engineers in the music business as being a "shrine," will soon be restored to its original analog glory. Music entrepreneur Mike Curb has purchased the old RCA "Studio B" facilities in Nashville from the Country Music Hall of Fame. Curb says that after the restoration the studios will be returned to the control of the group and will be used by Belmont University for educational purposes. The Hall of Fame, in making the annoucement, notes that Studio B is where Elvis recorded most of his catalog. Others who made their careers in its rooms were Jim Reeves, Don Gibson, Dolly Parton, Eddy Arnold, the Everly Brothers, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. The studios, built in 1957, became known as "The Home of a Thousand Hits."


When the World Trade Center towers were sabotaged last Sept. 11, a young carpenter died in the collapse. Matthew Diaz was only 33. He left a wife and two young children, Michael, 7, and Christopher, 4. Now, according to published reports, those two young children are orphans. Karen Diaz died this week of breast cancer. Matthew Diaz had been working on a construction project in the 105th floor offices of the Cantor Fitzgerald company. That's the group that lost over 600 of its employees on 9/11. The family says it's not sure where the boys will eventually live. There are grandparents.


Today we are asking: "If you could produce a full-scale Broadway musical using a TV or radio show or cartoon star, whom would you pick as the central character?" Put BROADWAY in the subject line and send to via the Internet.


Last week we asked if you ever worked with anyone who was such a tyrant you dreaded showing up for work. Here is a sampling of the replies: Lynne says that when she lived in California she initially thought that her newest boss was a sweetheart. That sweetheart turned out to be a "witch." Lynne reports that she finally got away by moving back to Oregon. Tina says her current boss is the worst ever! She says that he makes her feel as if she's incapable of doing anything. Sealebaby reports on a colleague who is a constant complainer who loves to hear his own voice ... and, worst of all, they work in a library. Can we have some quiet around here? Bprice is among those who mentioned a co-worker who is too sexual in the workplace. KR had a co-worker who "demanded only her soda be cold in the refrigerator; her office have a window that opened for smoking; set the thermostat at near freezing for her end of the office ... and kept four extra pairs of smelly shoes around." Wow, KR, is that a radio station you work in? Let me know. Peggy remembers a colleague who did nothing but belittle her even though Peggy had 16 years of experience more than she did. Pamela is not alone in talking about nepotism in the workplace. The sister-in-law of her company's owner is her target of disgust. If I can draw any conclusion from many of the replies, it's that there are lot of insecure managers out there who love to manipulate and walk on people and have little regard for the feelings of others. Well, you know the definition of "manager," don't you? It's someone who wants to extract the greatest amount of work from you with the least compensation while generating the fewest number of complaints so he can build his reputation to get out of that place and do the same at another location. GBA.

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