March 6, 2008...
The Blind Boys of Alabama have had an amazing career. They first got together in 1939, as classmates at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind in Talledega. Five years later, they hit the road as professional gospel singers...and in 60 years they've earned four Grammies, a Broadway play and fans spanning many generations. Their new CD, called Down in New Orleans, features Crescent City artists like Allen Toussaint, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Hot 8 Brass Band. Birmingham native Jimmy Carter is the last of the original Blind Boys still touring with the group. He's in his 8th decade and radiates the kind of peace and self-assurance rarely experienced in a performer of any age. I asked Carter why they chose to record the latest project in New Orleans.
George Lindsey started his acting career by going to school on a sports scholarship. But he knew the competition was equally tough in the land of entertainment. Best known for his role as "Goober" on TV's The Andy Griffith Show, the Alabama native is taking his collection of scripts and television highlights to his alma mater during the University of North Alabama'sGeorge Lindsey Film Festival. WBHM's Steve Chiotakis spoke with Lindsey about his effort to cultivate new talent and give a little something back to a place he called home for so long.
The University of North Alabama's George Lindsey Film Festival runs now through Sunday with special guest, actor and musician Billy Bob Thornton making some appearances.
They may just be the most popular band you've never heard of. For more than 25 years, John Linnell and John Flansburgh have been making their own unique brand of rock music in the band They Might Be Giants. They've sold over four million albums and even won a Grammy Award in 2002 for the theme song to the TV show Malcolm in the Middle. Sunday night, They Might Be Giants appear at WorkPlay. Linnell and Flansburgh spoke with WBHM's Michael Krall about the band and talked about their earliest memory of music...
What's going on around town?
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Jessica Rieke Heine has been involved in both music and ministry from an early age. She plays for both church youth groups and coffee house crowds. If you must use a label, call her style Christian-influenced alt-country. But she doesn't want her sound or approach to songwriting to be pigeon-holed. Elements of folk, Americana, gospel and rock guitar riffs all blend on her latest CD Finding A Fugitive. This is the song Shine (AUDIO MONTAGE)
Jessica Rieke Heine appears at Java and Jams on March 21st.
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall with help this week from Steve Chiotakis, Coleman Lipsey and Islara Vazquez. Next week, a dance program that's doing more than just moving their feet -- we'll profile the Alabama Academy of Irish Dance. I'm Greg Bass, and we'll see you next week.