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The shuttered Kentucky Repertory Theatre in Horse Cave could be on the verge of coming back to life. 

The regional theater company Kentucky Stages has made an offer to purchase the three buildings that once housed the Horse Cave attraction. Mayor Randall Curry is thrilled at the prospects for reopening. 

"I've been in Horse Cave all my life," Curry told WKU Public Radio.  "I remember when the theater was organized back in the 70s and I'd like to get that relationship back into this community, people coming back here and sharing their talents with the people of south central Kentucky."

Once a destination for people all over Kentucky and beyond, financial problems forced the Kentucky Repertory Theatre to close last year. It was purchased at auction by Citizens First Bank in Horse Cave and has been for sale since then. 

Kentucky Stages hopes to close on the deal by the end of the year and open the theater for performances next summer.

Bill Luster

Looking back on his five decades as a newspaper photographer in Louisville, Bill Luster recalls an assignment that took him to a strip club called the Toy Tiger. 

The Toy Tiger was threatening to sue a nearby nursing home after some of its residents brought in an exotic dancer for a birthday party. So the nursing home thought a field trip was in order. The result of the assignment was a photo of three women from the nursing home and a much younger, shirtless man.

“This is my most fun assignment ever,” said Luster.  “Because, they were just having a good time.  Some of the women were a little apprehensive about it, but they enjoyed themselves.”

It’s just one of Luster’s photos currently on display at Gallery 916 in downtown Bowling Green.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Homeless In Nashville, Huge In Sweden

Oct 9, 2014

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.

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.”

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.

New Movie Marks Kentuckian's Directorial Debut

Sep 25, 2014
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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