Menuhin's violin sells for record priceAn 18th-century...

People And Places

November 02, 1999

Menuhin's violin sells for record price

An 18th-century violin owned by the late Yehudi Menuhin sold for a record price to an unidentified collector in Zurich, Switzerland. Swiss dealer Musik Hug would not disclose the price yesterday, but he said it was about "$1.25 million above what had ever been paid for a violin." The violin was made in Cremona, Italy, in 1742 by Guarneri del Gesu. Last year Christie's in London said it sold a Stradivarius for a then-record $1.58 million. Menuhin, 82, died in March.

Police won't welcome Sting

Sting, the former lead singer of The Police, won't be welcomed by the cops when he comes to suburban Philadelphia for a concert this month. The reason? Sting supports Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is on Death Row for the slaying of a Philadelphia police officer. Abu-Jamal's supporters say he didn't get a fair trial. The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 27, representing at least 900 retired and active Delaware County police officers, plans to urge officers from around southeastern Pennsylvania to protest the singer's Nov. 14 concert in Upper Darby, said lodge president Joseph Fitzgerald.

Stories led to writing

Storytelling comes easy to Walter Mosley. The mystery writer was born in Los Angeles, the son of a black school custodian from Louisiana and his Russian-Jewish wife. "I grew up hearing stories from both sides of the family," Mosley said in yesterday's New York Daily News. "They were all mixed up, czars and old Jewish tales and stories about drinking and parties." Mosley made the rounds last week to promote his latest book, a short story collection called "Walkin' the Dog." It's his second featuring ghetto philosopher Socrates Fortlow.

Austen desk given to library

Jane Austen's writing desk, on which the author of classics such as "Pride and Prejudice," "Emma" and "Persuasion" created many of her memorable characters, was given to the British Library Friday. The library said the desk would be part of its millennium exhibition, which will celebrate 1,000 years of English literature and then become a permanent exhibit in one of its galleries. The desk is thought to have been bought by Austen's father in December 1794, possibly for her birthday.

To be rich, make this call

If you want to be a millionaire, ABC has a new number for you to call. The phone number to try and qualify for Regis Philbin's "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" is 877-258-5808. The summertime quiz hit returns Sunday night at 9 for a 16-night run during the November sweeps ratings period.

Callers will be asked three questions. Those who answer all three correctly will be eligible for a random drawing that could advance them to a second round and ultimately to becoming a contestant on the show. The phone number will be available from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. until Nov. 18.

Cash out of hospital

Country music legend Johnny Cash has recovered from a bout with pneumonia and returned home, a spokesman for a Nashville hospital said yesterday. The 67-year-old Cash, who suffers from a degenerative nerve disease called Shy-Drager syndrome, was treated for two weeks at Baptist Hospital, then went home late Sunday.

Today's birthdays

Country singer Charlie Walker is 73.

Rhythm-and-blues singer Earl "Speedo" Carroll (the Cadillacs; the Coasters) is 62.

Political commentator and presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan is 61.

Actress Stefanie Powers is 57.

Author Shere Hite is 57.

Rock musician Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) is 55.

Singer-songwriter k.d. lang is 38.

Rock musician Bobby Dall (Poison) is 36.

Rhythm-and-blues singer Alvin Chea (Take 6) is 32.

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