Armstrong, Cline Memorabilia On The Block

The cornet on which Louis Armstrong learned to play as a child, and pieces of the airplane that crashed in 1963, killing country singer Patsy Cline and three others, are being put up for sale via sepa

The cornet on which Louis Armstrong learned to play as a child, and pieces of the airplane that crashed in 1963, killing country singer Patsy Cline and three others, are being put up for sale via separate Internet auctions.

Armstrong's horn had been on display at the Louisiana State Museum from the late 1970s until the mid-1990s, on loan from owner George Finola, a musician and jazz fan who bought the cornet from Davis' family in the early 1960s. Finola died in December, and the instrument is being sold by his estate via Southeby's, which predicts it will bring up to $100,000. The auction will run Oct. 1-15.

"It's such an important instrument, not just in Armstrong's life but in the history of jazz," said Leila Dunbar of Sotheby's in New York.

Meanwhile, brothers Eric and Scott Mills, of Jackson, Tenn., will put the belly and tail of the Piper Comanche in which Cline died up for sale Sept. 1 on eBay. The siblings say their father paid a family acquaintance $20 for the tail and "an undisclosed amount" for a portion of the belly in 1978. The Mills brothers have set the minimum bid for the pieces at $50,000. The auction will last 10 days.

Cline, famous for such hits as "Crazy," "Walkin' After Midnight," and "I Fall to Pieces," was 30 and at the height of her popularity when she died. The plane went down while flying through stormy skies March 5, 1963, near Camden, Tenn. The landing gear and a clock from the plane are housed at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.


AP LogoCopyright 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.