Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture
12:08 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Government Shutdown Threatens Opening of Exhibit Featuring Work by Allen County Basket Maker

The Renwick Gallery in Washington, part of the Smithsonian Institution. A basket made by Allen County artist Scott Gilbert is featured on the yellow banner.
Credit Beth Hester

Two Allen County basket makers are in Washington D.C. to see their work featured in a new exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution.

But their plans could be ruined because of the government shutdown.

Scott Gilbert and Beth Hester are a husband-and-wife basket making team from Scottsville. One of Gilbert’s baskets is part of a Smithsonian exhibit scheduled to open to the public this Friday. That opening is in jeopardy unless Congress passes a measure funding the government.

Gilbert told WKU Public Radio he and his wife walked to the exhibit gallery Tuesday morning, only to find all the doors locked.

“Well, for a little while I was really mad about it. But when you’re standing here—we’re at the corner of I and 17th Avenues—and everything is hustle and bustle, and life goes on and the city goes on. I really don’t think they care much about the government here in Washington," Gilbert said with a laugh.

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Arts & Culture
8:06 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Kentucky Supreme Court Won't Hear Case over Use of Bill Monroe's Name

Bill Monroe is credited with being the "Father of Bluegrass Music."

The Kentucky Supreme Court has denied a request to review a case over how the name of legendary bluegrass musician Bill Monroe can be used.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports that means a court of appeals ruling stands. The panel concluded that county officials meant to grant the festival the legal right to use Monroe's name but failed to formalize the agreement in writing before a falling out occurred in 2004.

The battle isn't quite over yet, though.

Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Music Foundation of Kentucky Inc. Director Campbell Mercer said the Ohio County Industrial Foundation and Bill Monroe's son, James Monroe, obtained a temporary injunction in Tennessee to prohibit him from using the name.

Mercer says he hopes the Kentucky court rulings will help his case in Tennessee.

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Arts & Culture
12:35 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Author Michael Morris Loves to Find Eccentric People in "Small Southern Towns"

Michael Morris, author of Man in the Blue Moon.
Credit Kevin Willis

Kevin's interview with Michael Morris

Michael Morris is a man with a passion for southern fiction. His latest book is called Man in the Blue Moon, and he is in Bowling Green Thursday promoting the new work, and speaking to different organizations around town.

Man in the Blue Moon was the fall selection for the SOKY Reads! program, a community "one book" reading project in southern Kentucky.

Morris stopped by the studios of WKU Public Radio to talk about writing southern fiction, and how he got into writing late in life.

Here are some excerpts of our conversation:

You're giving a writing workshop today at WKU about writing southern fiction. What's distinctive about southern fiction? What makes it stand out from other genres?

“I just think the way we speak is different, obviously. That stands out. There are other aspects to the south that you don’t find in other places in the country. A lot of it has to do with the food. You know, we plan a big celebration around our food—the Sunday dinners."

"You know, William Faulker said the difference between the north and the south is that in the north the crazy relatives are hidden in the attic. In the south, we put them on the front porch and let them wave to everybody."

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Arts & Culture
4:00 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Holt Home Event to Honor Breckinridge County Native who Presided Over Trial of Lincoln's Killers

The Holt Home in Hardinsburg, Ky.
Credit heritage.ky.gov

A Kentucky native with an important link to the Civil War era is being honored Saturday in Breckinridge County.

Joseph Holt served as Secretary of War in 1860 under President James Buchanan, and was named the country’s first Judge Advocate General by President Lincoln in 1862. Following Lincoln’s assassination, Holt served as the presiding judge in the trial of those accused of the murder.

Susan Dyer is president of the Friends of the Holt Home, which coordinates events at the house where Holt lived in Hardinsburg. She says many Kentuckians have never heard of the man who helped get the country through one of its most trying times.

“He had a lot on his shoulders because people wanted results, and they wanted somebody to pay," Dyer told WKU Public Radio. "And not only did the assassinate Lincoln, but it came close to wiping out Lincoln’s cabinet.”

The fifth annual Holt Home Community Day is being held Saturday in Hardinsburg, from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Guest speakers include Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph Minton, and two Judge Advocate General officials.

Arts & Culture
2:42 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Sedaka To Share Decades of Music With Bowling Green Audience

Neil Sedaka comes to Bowling Green this Saturday to preform with Orchestra Kentucky
Credit Neil Sedaka

Neil Sedaka talks his songs, his career and his upcoming trip to Bowling Green

To say Neil Sedaka’s musical career got off to a fast start would be an understatement.

“I started writing at 13 years old and had hit records by LaVern Baker, Clyde McPhatter and Connie Francis,” said Sedaka. “And then when I was 19, I decided, rather than give away the songs to other singers, I auditioned for RCA Victor as a singer-songwriter and they signed me to a contract.”

But as quickly as his star rose, it fizzled in the 1960s, a decade of upheaval and cultural shifts.

“I was out of work for 12 years.  You know, the music business is very trendy and fickle.  I had the opportunity to meet Elton John when I was living in England and he was starting a record company and signed me. The first single, after 12 years, was ‘Laughter in the Rain’ and it went to No. 1 on the charts here in America,” he said.

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Arts & Culture
9:03 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Owensboro is the Scene for a Summer Camp All About Bill Monroe's Mandolin Music

Richard Brown leads a class for intermediate players at the 8th annual Bill Monroe Style Mandolin Camp in Owensboro.
Credit Kevin Willis

Kevin's audio feature about the 8th annual Bill Monroe Style Mandolin Camp in Owensboro

On an unseasonably cool Friday afternoon in Owensboro recently, the sounds of an unusual summer camp were being heard in the city's downtown.

About 50 campers from across the country--and some from other countries--were in Daviess County to learn the finer points of one of the great instruments of bluegrass music during the eighth annual Bill Monroe Style Mandolin Camp.

Held at the International Bluegrass Music Museum, the camp is a three-day affair focusing exclusively on the instrument Bill Monroe played as he gained the reputation of being the "Father of Bluegrass Music."

"This is the only camp that I know of that specializes specifically on mandolin style. And it's no other instruments--it's all mandolin players, all Bill Monroe, all the time," says Mike Compton, the camp's director.

Compton is a Mississippi native who now lives in Nashville. He says it's an honor to be a part of a camp that pays tribute to an American musical genius.

Even those who don't consider themselves bluegrass fans are likely familiar with the name Bill Monroe. The Rosine, Kentucky, native gained acclaim for his technical wizardry on the mandolin, inspiring legions of fans throughout the U.S. and beyond.

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Arts & Culture
2:30 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Keith Emerson To Make Conducting Debut with Orchestra Kentucky

Credit Orchestra Kentucky

Keith Emerson comes to Bowling Green

An iconic musician is coming to Bowling Green for a night of firsts with Orchestra Kentucky.

In the 1970s, Keith Emerson was part of the band Emerson Lake and Palmer, a group that often combined classical music and progressive rock , catching the ear of a young Jeff Reed.

“I was a teenager and because I loved classical music and rock music, I thought it was great to hear the combination of the two styles. I think they did a lot for classical music,” said Reed.  “They took it out of the concert hall and put it through vinyl and onto young people’s turntables.  They made it a little cooler and a little bit more accessible and I’m all for that.”

Flash forward to 2013 and Reed is now musical director of Orchestra Kentucky. On Monday at SKyPAC in Bowling Green, Reed's orchestra will take the stage with Emerson.

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Arts & Culture
3:41 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Nashville Symphony Musicians Agree to Pay Cuts

The Nashville Symphony performs at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
Credit Nashville Symphony

The Nashville Symphony has reached agreement with the Nashville Musicians Association on a new one-year labor contract.

The pact reduces the pay of the musicians by 15 percent and is effective immediately.

The ratification comes after months of negotiations between the cash-strapped symphony and its performers. The pay cut is similar to that in total compensation imposed earlier upon members of the symphony administrative staff.

Violinist and union steward Laura Ross said the musicians ratified the contract because they believe their community role is important.

Symphony President & CEO Alan Valentine said the organization is grateful for what he termed the musicians' "spirit of shared sacrifice."

Arts & Culture
6:29 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Bulgarian Bluegrass Musician and Fulbright Scholar Lilly Drumeva Lands at WKU

Lilly Drumeva (center) is a bluegrass and country musician from Bulgaria who is visiting WKU as part of her Fulbright Scholarship.
Credit ebma.org

Kevin's interview with Lilly Drumeva, and some excerpts from Lilly of the West's album "Swings and Heartaches"

When you think of bluegrass and country music, places like Kentucky and Tennessee probably come to mind.

A scholar and musician who has been studying at WKU has another location for your list: Bulgaria.

Lilly Drumeva is a Bulgarian bluegrass and country musician who has been conducting research at WKU as part of her Fulbright Scholarship. During her time in Bowling Green, Lilly has worked closely with the WKU Folk Studies Department and Erika Brady, host of WKU Public Radio’s Barren River Breakdown.

Lilly will also travel to Nashville to research the business side of country and bluegrass music, as well as attend an international bluegrass conference in Raleigh, NC. She returns to Bulgaria in November, and will begin crafting her research into a Bulgarian-language book on bluegrass and country music.

She stopped by WKU Public Radio to talk to us about how she first encountered bluegrass music, and how the genre’s roots can be traced back to different part of Europe—including her native Bulgaria.

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Arts & Culture
5:38 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Marian McPartland, 'Piano Jazz' Host, Has Died

Marian McPartland.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 3:23 pm

Marian McPartland, who gave the world an intimate, insider's perspective on one of the most elusive topics in music — jazz improvisation — died of natural causes Tuesday night at her home in Long Island, N.Y. She was 95.

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