KASU

Music & Arts

Arts and culture

Elizabeth Eckford only had one concern before her first day of school. She wanted to make sure her white dress was finished so she could wear it. The next morning she was wearing the dress as her father paced back and forth in the hallway. She took a city bus to Little Rock Central High School. It was Sept. 4, 1957.

Work is progressing ahead of a ceremonial groundbreaking on Nov. 9 for a National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC commemorating the service of Americans in the military. The memorial likely won’t be completed as initially hoped in time for 100th anniversary of the end of the war, but substantial work should be visible by then.

Delta Regional Authority

Art and culture have always been a way of life in eastern Arkansas and now at least one organization thinks both can become economic drivers in the region.

A Communications degree student due to graduate this week from Arkansas State University finished off her college journalism career with an interview with Hollywood actor and director Stephen Baldwin filmed at the university's television studio.

“I’m a little nervous,” Destiny Quinn admitted as she paced around, anxiously checking her phone every few minutes for a text from Baldwin, who was running late but had promised her an interview about politics, his acting career and life in general.

Bobby Ampezzan, Arkansas Public Media

A new book that details the history of the Rock Island Railroad in Arkansas has been released.   Learn the importance of this railroad to Arkansas and what happened to the Rock Island Railroad in the state.  KASU's News Director Johnathan Reaves interviewed KUAR's News Director and author of the book Rock Island Railroad in Arkansas, Michael Hibblen.  Listen to the interview here.  

The bad-boy of Enrico Fermi High School is less than welcome when he unexpectedly returns to school as a revenant zombie in Arkansas State University Theater’s production of Zombie Prom, which opens on Friday in the Drama Theatre at the Fowler Center.  After all, Rule Number 7, Subsection 9 of the Handbook of Student Life clearly states “no zombies,” according to the school’s principal, Miss Strict.

Still, Zombie Jonny, who died three weeks earlier when he flung himself into the cooling tower of the Francis Gary Powers nuclear plant in a fit of teenage heartbreak, is determined to graduate and win back the heart of good-girl Toffee and take her to the prom.

“I have to go back behind stage and I have a whole amazing crew that helps me get the makeup on and prepare for that, and it all has to happen in less than 10 minutes, so it’s going to be awesome to see it on stage,” said theater major Zac Passmore, who plays Jonny.  He was attracted to the role of the only actual zombie in the story because of its lead vocals — Zombie Prom is, of course, a musical — and the challenges of playing a larger-than-life character authentically.

The Little Rock-based Psych of the South record label recently released "Baby Doll," a CD featuring music by a 1960s band called the Playboys, which was a group of teenagers from Pine Bluff.  The group performed regularly in the region around Pine Bluff in the early 1960s.  Under the name The Magnificent Seven, the group released a 45 rpm single in 1962 on the Vee-Eight record label.  An unreleased, live recording of the band from 1963 was discovered, and the new CD features that recording and both sides of the 45 rpm record. 

Wikipedia

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Kings of Leon, Snoop Dogg, Soundgarden and Sturgill Simpson are among the musical acts scheduled to perform at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis in May.

Festival officials also announced Wednesday that Widespread Panic, Death Cab for Cutie, Wiz Khalifa, Booker T. Jones, Bush, Ludacris and Jill Scott also are in the lineup for the 41st installment of the annual three-day festival.

The city of Newport will host the ninth annual Delta Visual Arts Show this Saturday, February 25, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at a variety of venues in the downtown area of the city.  KASU's Marty Scarbrough spoke with Jon Chadwell, steering committee chairperson for the event, who described in detail the events which will occur in Newport on Saturday.

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Kevin Prater Band to Perform at Next Bluegrass Monday

Feb 16, 2017
Arkansas State University

JONESBORO — The Kevin Prater Band will perform a concert Monday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. at the Collins Theatre, 120 West Emerson Street, in downtown Paragould.  The concert is part of the Bluegrass Monday concert series presented by KASU 91.9 FM.  KASU will literally “pass the hat” to collect money to pay the musicians.  The suggested donation is $5 per person.

Arkansas State University

An annual music festival to celebrate the music of the Man in Black is literally being moved to the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home…or that is, next to the home.  

In 2011, Arkansas State University started the process of acquiring and restoring the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home in Dyess.  In order to raise funds for the project, the Johnny Cash Music Festival was held in Jonesboro. 

Over the years, the boyhood house, the old theatre building and the administration building have been restored under the first phase of the project, thanks to the proceeds from the music festival. 

Jekalyn Carr Official Website

The Grammy’s are right around the corner, and 4 music artists from Northeast Arkansas were nominated.  One of the nominees, Jekalyn Carr, is a Gospel music recording artist from West Memphis who had her first hit single at the age of 14.  

This week, in the music department at Arkansas State University, Mr. Richard Pearson Thomas is serving as “composer in residence.”

He is working with students from the ASU Opera Theatre as they will present his comedic opera A Wake or A Wedding later this year.

The state of Arkansas may be officially recognizing more poets soon. The Arkansas House on Monday approved changes to the committee which appoints the state Poet Laureate and shortened its term. State Representative Carlton Wing of North Little Rock introduced his measure in a fitting style.

“What this house bill does is help more folks take the post.

No longer a lifetime appointment, it’s now four years at the most.

Arkansas State University

PIGGOTT, Ark. — A dinner featuring special guest Valerie Hemingway, who was Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway’s personal secretary and confidante and later the wife of his youngest son, will highlight the annual reading retreat, hosted by the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum & Educational Center (HPMEC), Saturday, April 1, at the museum, 1021 W. Cherry Street, Piggott.

Michael Hibblen, KUAR Website (kuarpublicradio.org)

JONESBORO — A call for presentations for a public symposium in conjunction with the inaugural Johnny Cash Heritage Festival has been issued by Arkansas State University. The symposium, “Johnny Cash:  Arts and Artistry from the New Deal into the 21st Century,” will be held in Dyess, Ark., Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 19-21. 

The event is co-sponsored by the Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home and the A-State Heritage Studies Ph.D. Program. 

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A new entertainment complex featuring exhibits and restaurants focused on the life and career of Elvis Presley is scheduled to open in March at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.

The 200,000-square foot complex will be located across the street from Graceland, Presley's longtime home. The house was turned into a museum after his death in 1977. It has attracted Presley fans and tourists from around the world ever since.

Wikipedia

Four Northeast Arkansas music artists have been nominated for a Grammy Award.

The Recording Academy announced Tuesday the nominees for this year's Grammy Awards ceremony.  Jonesboro natives Zach Williams and Jonathan Smith were nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for their song "Chain Breaker."  The duo co-wrote the song with Mia Fieldes who was also nominated in the category.

Arkansas State University

An exhibition of artwork by local students opens at the Bradbury Art Museum on Tuesday, Nov. 29, with a public reception, 5-6:30 p.m.

Featured in two galleries will be paintings, drawings, prints and mixed media objects by Jonesboro High School art students.  The exhibition continues through Dec. 7.

In September three JHS classes and BAM began a semester-long project.  The students first toured the museum, discussing the portrait-themed exhibitions on display. In response, they then created a portrait of their own, inspired by the work they had seen on their visit.

An Irish band known for its collaborations with Nashville musicians will perform as part of Arkansas State University’s free lecture-concert series October 16 at 3 p.m. in Riceland Hall in ASU’s Fowler Center. The Brock McGuire band’s Jonesboro appearance is underwritten by KASU, the on- air and online public media service of A-State, with additional support from Dr. James and Mary Sheridan of Campbell, Mo.; Dr. Troy Bartels, “Dentistry for the Entire Family;” Donn & Kacky Mixon of Jonesboro; and the ASU-Lecture Concert Series.
 

Instrumental music faculty expands to meet growth

Aug 17, 2016
Arkansas State University

    When the Sound of the Natural State Marching Band takes the field at Centennial Bank Stadium the first Friday in September, Dr. Polly Middleton will proudly watch the A-State students perform their first halftime show under her direction.

Middleton, who is stepping into the marching band tradition at A-State, is the new director of athletic bands and assistant director of bands in the Department of Music.

To “FIND ” KASU’s next Community Concert Event – get “LOST”!

KASU Radio’s next concert in Jonesboro will be on July 21 with Mark Currey playing at Lost Pizza Company, 906 Southwest Drive, Suite A.

Mark Currey is a Little Rock singer-songwriter whose roots run through North Texas and Southeast Arkansas. Inspired by roots rock, classic country, folk and Americana music -- as well as southern gothic literature --  Mark says “I’m a storyteller searching for an  honest expression of my own Southern voice. “

Doreen Selden, KASU

Students from the Arkansas State University Department of Art have been working on painting this mural in downtown Jonesboro.  On Friday,  the students were joined with city officials for a ribbon cutting of the unveiling of their work.  Thanks to KASU's Doreen Selden for taking the pictures of the festivities.

Pixabay

Trumpeter Wayne Jackson, one half of the musical duo "The Memphis Horns", passed away at the age of 74 on Tuesday.  Jackson was a native of West Memphis.  KASU's Mike Doyle spoke with two Arkansans who knew Jackson well.  

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