Legendary "hi-de-ho" bandleader Cab Calloway, forced by illness from the New Year's Eve limelight for the first time in memory, sent holiday greetings Saturday to his adoring fans from a hospital bed.

"I wish everyone a Happy New Year," the ailing 81-year-old musician said in a New Year's Eve message relayed by his wife, Nuffie, after a morning visit with Calloway at White Plains (N.Y.) Hospital Center.Red bow ties will be the order of the day Friday in honor of Thad Eure's 19,009th and final day as North Carolina's secretary of state.

Gov. Jim Martin has been asked to proclaim Friday "Red Bow Tie Day" in honor of Eure and the trademark tie he has worn to work every day for 52 years.

The 89-year-old Eure is the nation's longest-serving secretary of state, having taken office Dec. 21, 1936.

Martin will be among those sporting a red tie at a reception Friday sponsored by Elon College to honor Eure, who has been a member of the college's Board of Trustees since 1946.