From December 1, 2005...
I'm Greg Bass, and this is Tapestry. The name may sound familiar. That's because Susan Cowsill - and her family - have a long history of playing music. Cowsill performs in Birmingham tomorrow; we talk to her tonight. A book written as a play chronicles a controversial Birmingham police shooting and we have a review...That, and the musical meanderings of Michael Warren, a sound that transcends all kinds of musical flavors. But first, arts news.
As a child in the 1960s, Susan Cowsill performed with her parents and five brothers in a family band. The Cowsills - as they were known - had four top-ten hits. In the 80's, she performed roots music with the Continental Drifters. A few years ago, she and drummer Russ Broussard left that group and got married, and they've just released a new CD called Just Believe It. They perform at the Moonlight Music Café tomorrow night. Cowsill and her husband live in New Orleans, and she says the music community is still reeling in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
The South is legendary for its storytellers, perhaps because there's so much good content down here... To celebrate our southern bards, Tapestry is launching a regular series featuring Alabama storytellers - professional and amateur. We start today with regular Tapestry contributor and novelist Dale Short, who finds many of his gems while eavesdropping. Yeah, that's right, eavesdropping. Okay - admit it, you LOVE to eavesdrop in public places. It's fun, right? But if you're somebody who writes for a living like Dale, eavesdropping is not just entertainment, it's work.
WBHM reporter AND novelist Dale Short. Do you know someone who spins a good yarn? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with details on your favorite Alabama storyteller. Perhaps we'll feature him or her in an upcoming broadcast.
WBHM's Rosemary Pennington has been doing some storytelling of her own, on paper. And she's finally produced a finished product. She's taking part in the official National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, a challenge for aspiring authors to write a 50-thousand word novel in just thirty days. And Rosemary says, a challenge it was....
That's WBHM resident "pen" Rosemary Pennington who just completed her novel. She'll be signing her new book - if it's ever published - on the corner of Dreamon and Wannabe.
In the summer of 1979, a young, unarmed African-American woman was shot by a white police officer. The incident resulted in racial tension and some say the decisions that the city's white mayor made in the case cost him his job. That city is Birmingham. The mayor? David Vann. And the tension was very real. It is the subject of the book Mayor Todd written as a play by author John Northrup. The book highlights the facts, yet changes the names of the parties involved. UAB English Professor Randy Blythe has this review.
Randy Blythe is an instructor of English at UAB. He is assistant editor for Birmingham Poetry Review and his reviews have appeared in a number of publications. Mayor Todd is published by New South Books.
What's going on in and around the Birmingham area. For additional details, go to our online version of the Community Calendar.
By blending R&B, rock, pop and funk, Hoover native Michael Warren creates his own distinct sound that continues to win new fans. Think Kenny Logins meets Lenny Kravitz. This is the song "Whenever" off his self-titled CD.
Michael Warren plays WorkPlay tomorrow night. We have more of his music inside the Tapestry section of our website, WBHM-dot-ORG.
That's Tapestry for tonight. This week's show was produced by Steve Chiotakis. Executive Producers are Tanya Ott and Michael Krall. Hunter Bell produced the music segment. There was additional reporting by Rosemary Pennington and Dale Short. Special thanks to our interns Tommy James and Jonathon Glass. I'm Greg Bass. Thanks for joining us.
Support for Tapestry comes from the Jefferson County Commission through the Jefferson County Community Arts Funds administered by the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham.