Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture
1:27 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Tribute Concert To Honor Everly Brothers in Cleveland

The Everly Brothers

An all-star tribute concert featuring the music of the Everly Brothers is set for Saturday night in Cleveland.  Graham Nash, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Allison Krause are among the artists set to perform.

Don Everly was born in Muhlenberg County and both brothers frequently returned to Kentucky during their childhoods and again for a series of homecoming concerts in the 1980s. 

This weekend’s concert is part of the Music Masters Series, put on in conjunction with the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. The Everly Brothers were members of the first induction class.

Arts & Culture
6:24 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Downing Museum Reopens, Extends Commitment to WKU

A water color damaged by the June 27, 2013 fire hangs in the Downing Museum in a special exhibit area on the fire.
Credit Downing Museum

A Bowling Green museum dedicated to the late renowned artist and Hart County native Joe Downing has reopened following a 2013 fire. 

Nearly all of the 1,200-piece collection was damaged, but most was salvageable.  A few of the pieces have returned to the museum, but many others face a long, arduous restoration process.

"If you took the canvass paintings to L.T. Smith Stadium, they would cover the entire grass area, so we have a lot of work to do," said Baker Foundation President Bob Hilliard.  "I've learned a lot about Joe Downing.  He was a workaholic and I think he painted everything he touched and Jerry Baker bought it from him."

Friends, family, and art enthusiasts celebrated the reopening Thursday.  Among them was Joe Downing's sister-in-law Harriett who was married to Dero Downing, the late WKU President.

"I've been so overwhelmed they were able to preserve as much," Harriet told WKU Public Radio.  "I know he and Dero both are up there in heaven looking down and saying thank you to all the people who put so much effort into making sure this was restored and saved."

The Downing Museum is located at the Baker Arboretum.  The estate is owned by Jerry Baker who has endowed the art collection, home, and grounds to WKU. 

In an announcement Thursday, officials said the estate has acquired 100 additional acres of land.  The Baker Foundation also plans to establish a collection of Downing’s work at the Kentucky Museum at WKU.

Arts & Culture
10:10 am
Thu October 16, 2014

At WKU, 30 Years of the Space Shuttle Program is Seen Through a Camera

Credit Photo courtesy of Philip Scott Andrews

When NASA called an end to the space shuttle in 2011 after 30 years, it really was "The End of an Era." That's the title of a photo and video display in the Mass Media & Technology building on WKU's campus through November 8th.

It tells the story of the shuttle through dozens of photos taken from the collection of Scott Andrews, who shot all but three of the missions, and his son Philip who worked with his father for the program's last five years.

Joe Corcoran spoke with Philip about the display and about his dad's career shooting history.

Arts & Culture
3:57 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Bowling Green Museum Dedicated to Late Artist Joe Downing Set to Reopen After Fire

The scene on June 27, 2013 at the Downing Museum at the Baker Arboretum in Bowling Green.
Credit Joe Corcoran

A year-and-a-half after being closed by a fire, the Downing Museum in Bowling Green is set to reopen Thursday. 

The museum houses numerous paintings by the late artist Joe Downing.  The Hart County native was one of few Americans to have an exhibit shown at the Louvre in Paris. 

The fire, ruled electrical in nature, damaged nearly all 1,200 pieces in the Downing collection, though most were salvageable.  Museum Director Craig Cunningham says restoration work continues, but enough pieces have been restored to reopen the attraction, which will also include a special exhibit on the fire. 

"We have water colors that have a hole burnt in them that are in a shadow box and photos of our staff pulling paintings out of the basement while the building was on fire," explains Cunningham.

The museum’s reopening will feature some artwork previously not on display, as well as photos of Downing’s time in France, where he lived for most of his adult life. 

The Downing Museum is located on the estate of Jerry Baker, who has endowed the art collection, home, and grounds to WKU.

Arts & Culture
12:37 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Homeless In Nashville, Huge In Sweden

"I was slapping myself in the face," singer Doug Seegers says of his recent success. "I kept saying, 'Am I dreaming? When am I going to wake up and go back to living under the bridge?' "
Gregg Roth Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 9:01 am

Country music fans were introduced to a new face at last month's Americana Music Awards in Nashville, when 62-year-old Doug Seegers opened the show with a song from his debut album, Going Down to the River.

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Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Muhlenberg County to Host Tribute to Everly Brothers Music

Phil and Don Everly

Muhlenberg County is hosting a show this weekend that pays tribute to the area’s most famous musical sons. The show, called “Walk Right Back”, honors the music of the Everly Brothers.

Don Everly was born in Muhlenberg County in 1937, and during 15 years beginning in 1988, he and his brother Phil performed an annual “homecoming” concert in Central City.

Joe Hudson, the executive director of the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame and the organizer of Saturday’s concert says the influential harmonies that the Everly Brothers sang in the late 1950s and 60s played a major role on future musical acts.

“The significant impact that the Everly’s harmonies had on other bands, even The Beatles, is really humbling when you look at the fact that it all roots back here to a small town in the middle of Muhlenberg County," Hudson told WKU Public Radio. "They had that family harmony that you just cannot reproduce, and their harmonies are still known as some of the best and tightest harmonies that have ever been recorded.”

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Arts & Culture
3:04 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

A New Museum To Celebrate Southern Food (And You Can Eat The Exhibits)

Eat, Drink And Be Scholarly: The Southern Food and Beverage Museum's new, permanent home in New Orleans is designed to help answer many questions — including "How does it taste?"
Stephen Binns Courtesy of SoFAB

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 5:59 pm

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum. Of course. It sounds so inevitable, you might assume it's existed since time immemorial: a museum to celebrate the food and drink of the American South, to enshrine barbecue and grits, showcase the heritage of Louisiana shrimpers and Kentucky bourbon.

But no.

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Arts & Culture
3:56 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

New Movie Marks Kentuckian's Directorial Debut

From left: Caitlin Nicol-Thomas, writer/director Richie Ramsey, Alan Powell, Ali Faulkner
City on a Hill

A new movie called The Song comes out in theaters Friday. The film is the first full-length feature directed by Bowling Green native Richie Ramsey.

The Song is said to be inspired by the Song of Solomon, so it's no surprise the film about a singer-songwriter is heavy with religious imagery. One of the first conversations between main characters Jed King and Rose Jordan involves a debate over a popular song from the 1960s that's based on biblical text.

Jed: I love that song too, it’s just not the Beatles.
Rose: Yeah it is.
Jed: No it’s the Byrds, you’re thinking of the Byrds.
Rose: No. Agree to disagree.
Jed: No, you’d still be wrong.
Rose: The lyrics are in the Bible. Can we agree that God wrote them?

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Arts & Culture
3:04 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

A Bit Road Weary But Still In Good Humor, Australian Bluegrass Band Winds Down American Tour

Nick Keeling (right), Josh Bridges (center) and Paddy Montgomery (left), three members of Mustered Courage perform in the WKU Public Radio studio. Guitarist Julian Abrahams is playing just out of the shot
Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

For the last 10 weeks, Mustered Courage, a bluegrass quartet from Melbourne, Australia has been zigzagging across America in a white conversion van that, according to the band, hasn’t always been the most dependable.

“When we’re traveling down the road, it’s a lot better than when we’re on the side of the road, I’ll tell you that much,” said banjo player and lead singer Nick Keeling.

“We’ve had a couple of van breakdowns,” added guitarist Julian Abrahams.

They've also been crammed into small hotel rooms, eaten food of varying quality and had to dodge cars in some larger northeast cities while trying to cross the street.

Keeling is originally from Austin, Texas, Abrahams is a native Australian. The two met at school where they were studying jazz.  Later they would play together in a hip-hop band.

“Jazz actually has a lot of similarities to bluegrass the improvisation is such a key element to bluegrass music. Jazz is all about soloing and playing as many notes as you can, or as little notes as you can,” said Abrahams.

“Nick and I played too many notes in jazz, so we got ousted and banned from playing jazz; blacklisted and banished to the wasteland of bluegrass music,” said Abrahams with a grin. “Hip-hop? Well, we just didn’t want to be mid-30 year-old white rappers from Australia, so we thought we might be more suited to playing bluegrass in our 30s.”

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Arts & Culture
6:41 am
Tue September 16, 2014

"Outlander" Author Featured at Southern Kentucky Book Fest

Credit Southern Kentucky Book Fest

Author Diana Gabaldon, known for her "outlander" series of books, is coming to Kentucky in the spring. She'll be featured at the 17th annual Southern Kentucky Book Fest scheduled for April 18th at WKU's Knicely Conference Center.

Gabaldon is not a stranger to college campuses. She has three science degrees and spent a dozen years as a university professor with an expertise in scientific computation before she started writing fiction.

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