Jim Steilberg called at the last minute to tell yer humble correspondent that Craig Wagner, who teaches at Steilberg's music store, had placed second overall at the Winfield, Kansas National Fingerpicking competition. This competition for fingerpickers was won last year by Bardstown's Pat Kirtley.
Wagner also plays jazz with the Java Men. Those who have seen and heard Wagner play know that most superlatives are completely inadquate in describing his skill. Congratulations, Craig.
Thomson Smillie, the General Manager of the Kentucky Opera for the past 15 years, has resigned and will leave the company on March 15, according to an article in the Louisville Courier-Journal. Smillie has been on the receiving end of artistic criticism for his staging of Hansel and Gretel at the Palace using a digitized score instead of a live orchestra.
Attention Music Business Students and Others. You can get the real skivvy about the business from a music industry attorney right here in Derby City. Yep, Susan Schneider, J. D., M.B.A., will be teaching a Tuesday night course this fall at Bellarmine College on the business end of the horse, er, music business. The course is on Tuesday nights over five weeks, from Oct. 8 - Nov. 5, and costs $59. Class hours are 7:15-8:45 p.m.
For more info or to register, call Linda Bailey at 452-8155.
The Louisville Fund for the Arts director Alan Cowan announced that the Fund is arranging to take the title to the Macauley Theatre from the Broadway-Brown Partnership, according to an article in the Louisville Courier-Journal. The Macauley is in the middle of a $3.5 million renovation, with about $1.6 million already raised. The Broadway-Brown Partnership will donate the theater as soon as the partnership sells the adjoining Brown office building.
The Macauley recently has been managed by the Kentucky Center for the Arts, an arrangement which will continue when the Fund assumes ownership. With increased demand on the facilities at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, the Macauley has been getting more, smaller shows.
Misha Feigin has been out and about the planet. (He says he wants to see as much of it as possible during his lifetime.) He went to the Winnepeg, Canada Music Festival, where it was three days of no sleep and constant music.
Then it was the Birmingham Festival, where there was a week of more musical excess, most of it avant garde.
Feigin has also been writing prose as well as songs. He mailed an article he had published in a magazine focused on improvisational music.
Jim Snyder, host of the Writer's Night show on TKR public access dropped a line noting that the show has a new time. that in October, the show would feature songwriter/ traditional balladeer Pete Kosky, formerly a Kentucky resident. The show was taped at the 1996 Appalachian String Band Festival at Clifftop, W. V.
Later in the fall, the show will feature footage from the Mudcat Blues Band CD Release Party at Stevie Ray's.
Doc Dockery made the trip to Rosine for Bill Monroe's funeral. It seems that Doc's dad, Herley Dockery, was an old friend of Bill's.There were some 4-5,000 people on the square in Rosine, Doc said.
But I wasn't in a helicopter, so there were probably more."
Doc said the celebrity quotient was high.
Buck White and Ricky Van Shelton were there Ricky Skaggs got all choked up singing 'Amazing Grace.' Showed he was human."
Skeeter Davis got up and spoke a few words. Vince Gill and Marty Stuart were there, too. Bill's coffin was lined with quarters. He had a habit of keeping quarters around to give to little kids, so that was kind of nice.
Art Stamper played the fiddle and a number of former Bluegrass Boys were there and said a few words.
The last song was "Blue Moon of Kentucky. It was really emotional," Doc said. "There was some raising up of hands to be saved and stuff like that."
I'm glad I went."
Former LASC member (as he invariably reminds me) Butch Williams called to say that original Moonglow member Harvey Fuqua and his wife Carolyn have put together a new version of the Moonglows called, appropriately enough, the New Moonglows. They've been doing some recording at Williams' studio and there may be a video in the works.
Going South in October? The Southern Folk Festival will be held in Chattanooga on Oct. 11-13. Offered up as a successor to the National Folk Festival that was held there from 1993-1995, it promises a amazing array of music styles. Call 423-756-2787 for more information.
The Second Annual Grammy Showcase® has been expanded to fourteen major cities. Unsigned rock bands have until October 15 to get their three original songs on a cassette or CD, along with a band photo and a band biography.
The Showcase is put on by the NARAS Foundation, the non-profit arm of the Natinal Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences®. All bands that play in the showcases will be paid and there are some way cool prizes for the final winner, including getting a track on CMJ's Certain Damage compilation CD, a week of studio time and NARAS Artist Development grant and passes to the 39th Annual Grammy Awards and VIP parties.
Interested? For more info, call (800) 544-8991.
Now Get This Straight, I Don't Want to Have to Repeat It Dept. The "Blues Chat" that has been kind of hidden away in a private chat room on America OnLine is now on AOL in the MusicSpace Channel or under the keywords "Blues Chat."
An ongoing saga of triumph and despair, the "Blues Chat" has been staged by Beverly Howell and Howell Productions, Inc. since 1994.
Jazz at the Speed Museum. Those wild and crazy folks at the J. B. Speed Museum are cranking up After Hours at the Speed, a third Thursday of the month event aimed at art aficionados. The inaugural event was September 26. For the rest of 1996, the dates are Oct. 17, Nov. 21 and December 12. Smooth Jazz 103.9 WSJW is the radio promotional sponsor and there will live jazz bands from 6 to 9 p.m. There'll be free hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar and the Artview Cafe will be open for dinner. Call 636-2893 for reservations and information.
Becki Lott from Disc Jockey Records on Shelbyville Road called to say that the store will hold a Kenny G. CD release event on Tuesday, Oct. 1, from 7-9 pm. His new album is The Moment. Co-sponsored by WSJW 103.9, the new Smooth Jazz station, there will be a Kenny G look-alike contest, and a free buffet catered by Timothy's. Hmm, maybe I'll stop by there after all.
Down at the Silo Restaurant, the music has taken a definite French turn, with Riviera and Swing Time Moods performing cabaret tunes from the middle part of the century. French soprano Odile Saurat fronts Riviera, so expect Edith Piaf songs, while violinist Steve Taylor will show off his Stephane Grapelli chops. The first of three shows will have already happened by the time you read this, but you can get another chance on October 26 at 8 pm, when Swing Time Moods performs and again on November 23 when Riviera returns.
Ars Vocalis Writes. LMN got a long letter from Grace Baugh-Bennett, co-founder of Ars Vocalis detailing the ensemble's upcoming season. Ars Vocalis is dedicated to performing great art songs and vocal chamber music. Worth noting for songwriters: "A Recital of American Song" on Sunday, Oct. 20, at the U of L School of Music North Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m.
Emma Grace Howie was born on Aug. 22, 1996, to Lisa and Allen Howie. Grace's father Allen is a freelance writer for Louisville Music News. He wrote the John La Barbera story in this issue. Congrats, Lisa and Allen.
Oops and More Oops. The Dan Fogelberg show listed in the calendar at the Palace was cancelled due to an unhealed hand injury that Fogelberg sustained in a boating accident.
What's Missing, Doc? Dept. In the September Down on the Corner, I mentioned one of my favorite Bugs Bunny cartoons and then got the title wrong. It was, of course, "What's Opera, Doc?" Ten demerits and anvil drop.
But Why Would Your Wife Object? Dept. Our Bluegrass columnist Berk Bryant pointed out a little error that cropped up in his column last issue. Berk had written that when he went to Norris, Tenn., he liked to visit an old high school friend. That friend got transformed into a high school girlfriendBy a typist's errant fingers.
His wife did ask him about it. Shows she reads his column, eh?
Rest easy, Berk did not confess to philandering. Of course, if he sent his column in a digital form rather than on paper, those errors would be much less likely to occur.
I'll send along the picture of you and Ralph Stanley by way of atonement, Berk.
Jazz fans are happy that Bobby J's has moved to Bardstown Road from Frankfort Ave. Reopening in the building which housed Pasquale's Pizza, Bobby J's plans to feature live jazz at least four nights a week. They also have a cigar smokers' balcony. Wheeze.
Bobby J's is at 1314 Bardstown Road and is open Tuesday through Sunday. For information, call (502) 452-2665.
Cafe La Peche has opened in the space formerly occupied by La Peche at 1147 Bardstown. While this might seem a tiny change, in fact it's a big one, according to Will Cary, husband of Lilly's/La Peche owner Cathy Cary. Will said that the chefs at Lilly's/La Peche were burning themselves up (so to speak) trying to keep up with the La Peche takeout demand, so they changed it to an eat-in bistro. La Peche II in Holiday Manor remains open, thank goodness.
What makes this a listing for the club section is that Will Cary has begun performing on Wednesday nights. Music fans might remember that Cary was a fixture on the music scene with his band the Nightcrawlers in the '70s and '80s.
The Dundee Tavern in Douglass Loop has begun to book live music, according to solo performer Jim Snyder. He will be playing there, as will Turley Richards. Snyder says to look for an open mic/acoustic jam night starting November. If musicians come in to play and start drinking the many beers on tap, they can forget playing: Samuel Adams is the lightest beer on tap (excluding Budweiser). Whoo.
Linda Joyce Koch, 92, died on Sept. 23. Koch sang with the San Francisco and San Jose grand operas and with the Oakland (Ca.) Symphony Orchestra. She also helped develop the music program at Louisville Cerebral Palsy School and established voice, piano and violin scholarships at the University of Louisville School of Music.
Todd Charles Osbourne, 27, died on Sept. 14 at his home. Osbourne was the drummer for the band Martine and was in Common Law Cabin. Martine had done a great set on September 11, according to Elaine Ford. Osbourne was found by his father on Sept. 14.
Shaun Carlos Tique, 28, died on Sept. 16. Tique was a musician and owner of New Power Studio.
Charles R. "Butch" Troutman, 51, died on Sept. 16. Troutman played guitar with the band Nostalgia.