We've lost a newsman at age 65, due to leukemia, whose personal style of delivery I have appreciated for the past twenty-six years at CBS-TV on "60 Minutes." I watched their special program which aired Sunday night in which I saw short audio and/or video clips from his stories. Some took him into the war zone of Vietnam, other stories into death, dying, and starvation in an African country, whose leader, even denying there was a problem, stood by and did nothing to help his countries people, as did the world. There were interviews of tribute from his longtime producer, often an unrecognized but vital person in the production team.
Some video clips were heartbreaking, others poignant, and some joyous. There were memorable interviews with various individuals over the years -- some figures known to us all, others met through him. One memorable interview was with an all time favorite of mine, Lena Horne.
Ed Bradley loved music, as do I. Jimmy Buffett, a personal friend of Ed's, related a humorous story about how Ed couldn't really sing very well, knew it, but loved to do sing whenever Jimmy would invite him to join the band. They clearly were having great fun in the clips that were shown. At one point they played a clip in which Ed had said "Music is my bliss."
Ed Bradley had a special love for jazz, as I do, too, so it comes as no surprise he would, many years ago, include in his musical friendships, a young teenager, Wynton Marsalis, from a New Orleans musical family. I was particularly interested in what Wynton Marsalis had to say. He shared personal stories about his friend, Ed. He also said he and Ed had discussed some issues associated with death and funerals. Ed had reportedly told him he didn't want his funeral to be just a solemn occasion, that what Ed described was music typical of a New Orleans jazz funeral parade in the city.
Wynton Marsalis said " Ed had soul ...They say soul is the ability to make others feel good despite their condition..."
Then, Marsalis played trumpet solo tributes to Ed Bradley, first "Just A Closer Walk With Thee." Then that lively tune, "Down By The Riverside."
This world could use a little more soul.
Thank you, Ed Bradley.