Reporting and opinion writing from the Philadelphia Inquirer, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and other points in my career.
Saturday, September 3, 1983
The Count returns
Count Basie, the jazz legend, returned to his adopted hometown of Kansas City for a triumphal concert that was the epitome of grace. He was in poor health and showing his age. I interviewed him in his hotel room, which was equipped like a hospital room. I have a memory of a bed pan, but maybe my imagination has embellished the scene. No matter. He gave the audience every bit of energy he had. It was an inspiring thing to see. And as it turned out, he didn't have long to live.