With the flood waters of Katrina yet to recede, Randy Newman sang about a long-ago hurricane in "Louisiana 1927" to open a benefit program spread across dozens of television networks Friday. Dr. John ended a show suffused with the spirit of a musical city singing a song that's only a wish now: "Walkin' to New Orleans." The hour-long appeal was an echo of a somber event held four years ago to benefit victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, with the same producer. This time, the telethon had more determination than shock and featured native jazz, gospel and swamp-rock sounds. "Tonight let's show people on the Gulf Coast that they have friends all over the world, friends who care, who understand and are there to give them shelter from the storm," said comic Ellen DeGeneres, who was raised in New Orleans.
ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, UPN and the WB _ the six biggest broadcast networks _ aired it along with several cable networks. Viewers in nearly 100 countries were able to tune in. Contributions were being solicited for the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army, reported AP.