Zoot Jackson, legendary jazz musician, was being honored
at Carnegie Hall. .He was older than Yubie Blake, more
beloved than Louie Armstong . . . a true American legend.
The hall was packed with musicians, fans and his family.
The top musicians of today told warm, touching stories of
how Zoot had got them started and inspired them ever since.
At the end of the program, Zoot himself stood and thanked
everyone for this memorable evening. Then he took out his
battered, tarnished saxophone and began his theme song:
"Some-where over the rainbow . . ."
People were clapping and cheering, jumping up and down,
laughing and crying.
When Zoot got the bridge, he suddenly stopped. The crowd
was stunned. The hall was filled with a dreadful silence.
This was impossible! .After playing that song thousands
of times during his career, he had forgotten the bridge!
Zoot made a few lame toots and honks, but no luck.
Ever the trouper, Zoot started over: "Somewhere ..."
The crowd cheered and applauded. . Good old Zoot!
But when he got the bridge, he stopped again. .He
gave it another try: "Somewhere ..." .The crowd
cheered and clapped even louder.
When he got the bridge, he failed again and, clutching
his chest, fell to the floor.
His family and friends rushed to him. .Someone said,
"Call 911!" .They lowered a microphone to Zoot.
He haltingly thanked everyone for coming and for
this great honor. He smiled at his loved ones and
peacefully closed his eyes.
And the last thing he heard was the sound of the
approaching ambulance: "Ta-da, ta-da, ta-da . . ."