May 15, 2008...
In his 1997 best-seller All Over but the Shoutin', Rick Bragg tells the story of his family's struggle to survive as his mother picked cotton and cleaned other peoples houses while his father drank himself to death. The next edition of his family trilogy, Ava's Man, recounted the life of Bragg's maternal grandfather. The last book in the series has just been published. In The Prince of Frogtown, Bragg attempts to come to terms with an important piece of his past by reconstructing his father's life. I asked Rick Bragg to explain the title of his book.
Pianist Thomas Bagwell grew up in Birmingham and studied at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, before moving to New York City. His career quickly took off, with offers to join the music staffs of both the New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. Bagwell has accompanied singers like Marilyn Horne and Denyce Graves and performed at Carnegie Hall and the Concertgebouw. This weekend, he returns to Birmingham for a concert of Kurt Weill music with singer Diane McNaron. The concert is at the Unitarian Universalist Church, but Bagwell tells WBHM's Tanya Ott the venue doesn't matter as much as the audience.
"Grandeur" is defined as the state of being impressive or awesome. "Wistfulness" is characterized by melancholy, longing and yearning. Those two words describe the Alabama Symphony Orchestra's final Masterworks concert for the 2007-08 season. This weekend's concert features works by Arvo Part, William Walton, and Jean Sibelius. WBHM's Michael Krall spoke with ASO music director Justin Brown...
What's going on around town? Activeculture.info is a one-stop source for finding out what's going on in the Birmingham metro area.
The Shame Idols have been making their version of punk and power-pop in Birmingham since the mid-nineties. They've survived changes in their membership and changes in their label. Through it all, they've stayed true to the do-it-yourself aesthetic of their many punk rock idols, in particular - The Ramones. Their most recent CD is on their own label and recorded in lead singer Tim Boykin's studio. This is the song "Ocean's Daughter".. (AUDIO MONTAGE) The Shame Idols appear Saturday at DoDahDay in Caldwell Park.
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall, with help this week from Islara Vazquez and Coleman Lipsey. On the next Tapestry, NPR's Scott Simon sets his sights on the politicians of his native Chicago. I'm Greg Bass and we'll see you next week.