• The Toy Tiger, a fixture on the Louisville bar scene for twenty-seven years, is closing down operations as a bar and live music venue, according to manager Perry Scroggin and owner Dennis Clark. A new group of investors plans to convert the facility into an Egyptian-themed, Las Vegas style cabaret and showclub, featuring male and female exotic dancers. The new club will be named Pharoah's.
The club plans to have a final thirty-day party, giving away "pieces" of the Toy Tiger. The final month's live entertainment has not yet been announced.
Reaction from neighbors and musicians has been generally negative. Individuals and businesses in the neighborhood have expressed concern about the type of clientele the new club will attract. Musicians have been lamenting the loss of one of the premier rock clubs in the city. Heavy metal acts are particularly upset, as all of the clubs where such music has been booked have either closed or changed their format.
• The Public Radio Partnership has announced two significant gifts towards their capital campaign, which is going towards the radio stations' new facility at 619 S 4th Street.
Two gifts, from Kent Oyler, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder David Gibbs of High Speed Access Corporation (HAS), were combined to name PRP's new building, which will be known as the HAS Broadband Building.
A gift from Helen MacKinnon was made in memory of her late husband, Cyrus L. MacKinnon, a former President of the Courier-Journal and Louisville Times Company and a charter member of National Public Radio's Foundation Board of Trustess. The lobby of the new building will be named the Cyrus L. MacKinnon Lobby.
The total of the three gifts is over $750,000, exceeding the matching funds needed to receive a $400,000 Challenge Grant from the Kresge Foundation. The gifts also put Public Radio Partnership close to raising the money needed to complete the restoration of the old Electric Building.
• The Kentucky Opera has begun its 1999 "Opera-Go-Round" tour with a new production of British composer Malcolm Fox's Sid The Serpent Who Wanted to Sing. The 50-minute production is designed to introduce opera to new audiences, particularly children. It is also readily adaptable to a variety of performance spaces. For a schedule of performances or to inquire about hiring the event, contact the opera at 502-584-4500.
• Renfro Valley will be celebrating 60 years of traditional country music on October 30, 1999. The venue was founded by John Lair and was one of several "Country Oprys" broadcast nationwide during the 1930s and `40s. Pete Stamper will signing his new book, It All Happened in Renfro Valley, which is a history of Renfro Valley during Lair's hey-day.
• The 1999 Harvest Showcase at Headliners was a success, according to organizer Chaz Rough, raising an additional two tons of food for USA Harvest. The event was also webcast live by Microsoft Corporation. There were 250,125 page views from around the world and 10,193 folks tuned in for the live event.
• The Kling Chamber Orchestra is seeking string players, especially violins, but also basses, violas, and cellos. This chamber orchestra performs classical music nine times a year in nursing homes, and is conducted by Louis Moseson. Rehearsals are on Mondays from 1-3 p.m. at The Temple on Brownsboro Road. For information about joining, please call Heidi Saunders at 267-6915.
• H. Lee's in Middletown closed last month without notice.
• Freddie's The New Millenium closed quietly over the summer. No word as yet on a possible replacement.
• Peter Scott Gearhart, 68, died in Louisville on August 26. He was a musician and owner of Meadow Creek Music.
• Thomas E. Jones Jr., 80, died on September 7 in Louisville. He was a member of the American Federation of Musicians and a songwriter.
• Ralph E. Thumas, 48, died on September 10 at his home in New Albany, Ind. He was performed with the Middle Earth Band and most recently with Zen Penguin. His son Nat was until recently a member of 100 Acre Wood.
• Don G. "Stoney" Stone, 72, died on August 28 in Louisville. He was a former member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 11-637.