Longtime Capitol Hill reporter Sherman Novoson dies at 70

Friday, February 10, 2017, Vol. 41, No. 6

NASHVILLE (AP) — Sherman Novoson, a former concert cellist and longtime radio reporter specializing in sports and politics in Tennessee, has died. He was 70.

Colleagues remembered Novoson appearing at the Capitol in a tuxedo to cover legislative floor sessions before heading off to play in the Nashville Symphony. Health issues later caused Novoson to give up playing music professionally.

The St. Louis native freelanced for several outlets, including CBS Radio. His cubicle at the Legislative Plaza press suite was covered with photos of celebrities he had interviewed over the years, including George Burns, Bob Hope, Danny Thomas and Ernest Borgnine.

He was known for his entrepreneurial spirit, offering penny stock tips, satellite television subscriptions and once selling bowls of stew to protesters outside the prison where Tennessee in 2000 executed its first death row prisoner in 40 years.

"He was a colorful character in a colorful era and a fast draw with a tape recorder," said Ed Cromer, editor of the Tennessee Journal political newsletter. "He enjoyed being in the thick of things."

Jo Ann Novoson said her brother's body was found at his Nashville apartment on Monday. A cause of death had not yet been determined.

Novoson studied music at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and the Hartt School in Connecticut. He joined the Arkansas Symphony before moving to Nashville. He was preceded in death by his wife, Johnnie Rogers Novoson.