John McCaslin

"Six nights a week he would rev up the Strayhorn, put Ellington on the wing and take the A Train straight into the Communist heartland. For the next two hours Conover would bombard Budapest with Billy Taylor, strafe Poland with Oscar Peterson and drop John Coltrane on Moscow."

The VOA recalls his interviews with Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Count Basie and "virtually the entire pantheon of jazz artists from the 1950s through the 1990s."

Tomorrow night at 7 at its headquarters on Independence Avenue, the VOA will host with the Blues Alley Jazz Society and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, a free concert in memory of the popular jazz host, with a special tribute to musical impresario Quincy Jones.

Devoted dads

Regarding our item on congressmen missing crucial votes in the House — most recently Rep. Tim Mahoney, Florida Democrat, who attended his daughter Bailey's equestrian event in Texas — Matt Dannals writes in part:

"I'm not sure if you intended to be insulting, but the words 'horsing around' had that effect. Like the congressman's daughter, I was fortunate enough to have a father who put my sporting events on his calendar. A lot of parents don't take the time or are unable to get off work to support their children.

"I think Representative Mahoney should be commended for taking the time out of his busy schedule to support his daughter, regardless of whether or not he missed a vote to do so."

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

Be the first to read John McCaslin's column. Sign up today and receive delivered each morning to your inbox.