Huey Lewis and the News didn't exactly hit a home run with John O'Connor of the "Louisville Tonight Live" show at a recent Louisville Redbirds game. Not only did Lewis snub O'Connor and the "Louisville Tonight Live" show and not appear for a live, on-camera interview from the stage, but the HL&N road crew treated O'Connor with such disrespect that he called the crew "mean and nasty and downright rude" -twice. You'd suppose that an act that hasn't had a hit for as long as HL&N haven't had one would be a bit more cooperative with one of the anchors of a hot, local, live TV entertainment program. In any case, O'Connor covered pretty well.
A note to promoters and artists: If you're coming to town, the "Louisville Tonight Live" immediately follows "Entertainment on WHAS 11, and the show likes to do live remotes, particularly from concerts, featuring a chat with the star. Their number is (502) 582-7501. Call in the afternoons, as they work nights. The show's producer is Leah Bisig Leasure, who also co-anchors the show with John O'Connor. (Leasure just announced that she would be leaving the show upon the birth of her baby.) And finally, on the same show, the TV crew had a clip from a Billy Ray Cyrus concert from the previous night in the Fort Knox area. Immediately as he came on camera, ﬂeeing to his dressing room, Cyrus thanked "Louisville Tonight Live" for coming and thanked Coyote Calhoun of WAMZ for breaking "Achy Breaky Heart" – twice.
That show was a mini-education on the finer points of stardom.
• Oneupmanship Dept. While at the Peterson-Dumesnil Fourth of July picnic, I ran into Dr. Harry Bickel, banjoist for the Buzzard Rock String Band and his wife Ann. I had last seen Harry and Ann at the Country Music Association Board of Directors meeting at Jim Porter's Goodtime Emporium, a by-invitation-only meeting that also featured acoustic performances by Don Schlitz, Richard Leigh, Thom Schuyler and Vince Gill.
"How'djya like that show by Vince Gill," I gushed. "Wasn't it great, hearing him up close and personal like that?"
"Yes," Ann answered, "it was. Vince came over to the house for a couple of hours after the show. He hasn't been over since before Harry and I got married."
I excused myself and went and bought a a slice of bird.
• Bob Ramsey continues to show up on national television, this time on the "David Letterman Show," singing backup and playing keyboards for Leon Russell. He was wearing his Louisville Redbirds shirt.
• Backyard jazz? Thanks to the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest National Jazz Network and the Kentucky Center for the Arts, some Louisville neighborhoods are getting jazz in the parks. Each ward has been getting or will get one concert. Check the calendar for the remaining events.
• The Tenth Anniversary Edition of the Mix Bookshelf Catalog, which lists over 575 new textbooks, reference manuals and instructional videos on many music-related topics is now available. For a free copy write: Mix Bookshelf, 64(X) Hollis #l2m Emeryville, CA 94608.
• The Louisville Youth Orchestra will be holding auditions during the last week of August and the first week of September for interested students, through the age of 21.
The LYO is also offering a free Audition Workshop on August 22. You can learn how to prepare for and take an audition. For information, contact Melody Welsh at 502- 582-0135.
• A benefit for the Gospel Showcase Diner is scheduled for August 9 at Uncle Pleasant's. The Diner, which was recently forced to find new quarters, serves meals that are paid for on the honor system — and if you don't have any money, you eat anyway.
Acts already lined up include danny flanigan and the rain chorus; Kelly Wilkinson; ube (formerly Serpent Wisdom); Rick Lucas; Rick Wagner; Kitty; Meet the Lawnmower and About Us.
The ticket is $3. All proceeds go to benefit the Diner. For more information about the benifit, call Uncle P's at 634-4804.