By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International  |  Oct. 25, 2002 at 6:48 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter


It wasn't long after Sen. Paul Wellstone arrived in Washington that he was soon recognized as a real "firebrand," a fighting liberal who went to the wall for the causes in which he believed. But now his home state of Minnesota is in mourning for Wellstone and seven others -- including his wife Sheila and daughter Marcia. They died in the crash of a twin-engine turbo-prop plane. Others who died included three campaign workers and the two-man flight crew. A political progressive in the mold of Eugene McCarthy and Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic Wellstone was seeking a third term in the Senate. He won his first chance to go to Washington in an amazing come-from-behind victory over incumbent Sen. Rudy Boschwitz. He traveled his home state seeking votes in a big green bus. In Washington he crusaded for affordable health care and parental leave. Amid the grief now comes the question: "What happens on election day?" Minnesota law permits a change in the ballot if done within 16 days of election day. Wellstone's death comes within that window. Wellstone was only 58.


There's been a Hollywood Walk of Fame for a long time. But, as Don Adams would say, would you believe ... there's never been a Hollywood Motion Picture Hall of Fame. That's about to change. A group of movie legends is about to help kick off the construction of a $30 million facility in downtown Hollywood to house such a project. Promoters tell United Press International that the gregarious, ageless honorary mayor of Hollywood, former Los Angeles broadcaster Johnny Grant, will be master of ceremonies. He will introduce stars including Mickey Rooney, Martin Landau and Shirley Jones, who will officially explain construction plans. The hall, set to open sometime in 2004, will feature educational exhibits on the history of the movies and, of course, honor its major stars. It's being described as not only a museum, but a "multi-media experience." It is part of the slow-but-sure revitalization of Hollywood Boulevard as the city gets rid of the tattoo parlors and trinket boutiques in favor of a better "welcome" for the millions who come to the enclave each year. Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan once told UPI that when he first visited the intersection of Hollywood and Vine he found that "there was no 'there' there." That's all slowly changing.


Sometimes when you hear that someone is getting a special honor you say: "It's about time." Well, that's what the world of country music is saying in the wake of the Grand Ole Opry's announcement that Tim McGraw has been invited to join the hallowed ranks of its regular performers. CMT points out that despite the fact that he has won a ton of awards and has had more than two dozen Top 10 hits, he has never officially been a part of the venerable weekend songfest. That's all going to change on Nov. 30. McGraw will be inducted into the Opry at the end of a week in which he will make a slew of appearances to hype his latest album and a book he's written. McGraw says that he is additionally thrilled about going to the Opry because the induction ceremonies will take place while the performances are being held at Nashville's downtown Ryman Auditorium, the original and long-time home of the show.


The singer with one of the most distinctive voices in rock 'n' roll, Rod Stewart, is going to try his hand in a new musical genre, the world of the Broadway stage. The raspy-voiced Stewart, in an interview with "Extra," says that he is putting together a musical that will be called "Tonight's the Night." He tells the entertainment show that the project is "in the works" in London at the current time. Stewart attended the premiere this week of Billy Joel's Broadway musical "Movin' Out." He says he wanted to see what Joel had done in bringing contemporary music to the stage. Additionally, he says he wanted to lend his support to the concept of the modern-day musical. He tells "Extra" that he feels the best thing for Broadway is a combination of "ballads and up-tempo stuff." No word on when "Tonight's the Night" will have its first performance.


Adolph Green will always be remembered as a master lyricist. Over the years, during a six-decade collaboration with composer Betty Comden, he helped crank out some of the movie's and Broadway's most memorable musicals. Included among them are: "Singin' in the Rain," "On the Town" and "The Will Rogers Follies." Now comes word that Green has died in his sleep in his Manhattan home. Green's and Comden's work with Leonard Bernstein in bringing "On the Town" to Broadway signaled their first success and gave them instant international recognition. They worked on the 1954 Mary Martin vehicle "Peter Pan," with Lauren Bacall in "Applause," with long-time friend Judy Holiday in "Bells Are Ringing." Green was also an accomplished performer. He and Comden staged a two-person show on Broadway in the late 1950s, "A Party with Betty Comden and Adolph Green." It was revived several times over the years. The greatest compliment ever paid to Green may have come from legendary Hollywood musical producer Arthur Freed. He once remarked that Green (with Comden) was able to take a bunch of old, unrelated songs and turn them into a masterpiece. "Singin' in the Rain" is considered to be the high point of the American movie musical. Adolph Green was 86.


When a New York charity put together a group of Broadway and Hollywood stars to perform at a fundraiser only one pair of country artists was chosen to help. Vince Gill and wife Amy Grant were asked to participate in the event, to raise money for the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health. According to, Monahan was the late husband of NBC's Katie Couric. He died from colon cancer. The event is being held in cooperation with the Entertainment Industry Foundation. A major portion of the fundraiser will be given over to performances of the songs from "West Side Story." Gill and Grant will sing the haunting "One Hand, One Heart," the poignant finale to the musical. Others participating will be Robin Williams, Susan Sarandon, Kelsey Grammer, Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Bette Midler, Rita Moreno, Tony Danza and Chita Rivera. Should be quite a night. There is also word that several members of the cast of "The Sopranos" will made an appearance. The soiree will be held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in mid November.


Actor-singer Richard Harris has died. He was 72 and died in a London hospital after a battle with Hodgkin's disease.


Because I also have a keen interest in travel and help produce a weekly travel column for UPI, here is a travel-related question. I just might add the results to that column also: "Have you finalized your travel plans for Thanksgiving and/or the Christmas/New Year's holidays yet?" Put TRAVEL in the subject line and send to via the Internet.


Last week we asked to which social service or volunteer agency you'd turn were you down on your luck. From our usual random dip into the e-mail inbox, here is a listing of responses, by percentages:

Salvation Army ... 46 percent

Goodwill Industries ... 18 percent

Red Cross ... 11 percent

Church groups ... 10 percent

Others ... 15 percent.

NEXT: How do you like YOUR coffee? GBA.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories