September 13, 2007:
We've all heard the Ballad of John Henry, which tells the story of the powerful African-American spike driver who competed against a steam drill and died after winning the contest. Some folklorists believe that not only was John Henry a real person but that the contest occurred just east of Birmingham. Dr. John Garst, an emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Georgia, says he can prove the Birmingham connection.
Dr. John Garst is a featured speaker at a day long program celebrating John Henry this weekend at the Leeds Community Arts Center. The program includes a visit to one of the railroad tunnels where that contest is believed to have taken place.
Author Mary Monroe grew up in a sharecropping family in Toxie, Alabama - near the Mississippi border. From an early age, she loved to write. She loved it so much that she submitted for publishing, year after year, despite hundreds of rejections. Eventually, she found success in the 1989 novel The Upper Room. Last year's God Don't Play made it onto the New York Times bestseller list. Mary Monroe talked with WBHM's Tanya Ott about her latest novel -- Deliver Me From Evil.
This weekend marks the beginning of Justin Brown's second season as Music Director of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Titled, "Youthful Passions", this first Masterworks concert of the season, features music by Richard Strauss, Charles Ives and Mahler. Brown spoke with WBHM's Michael Krall about the concert and about taking risks in the concert hall...
There's long been a connection between the arts and mental illness...and between mental illness and the homeless. But, for one man, there's a direct link between the arts and the homeless. Philip Mangano is in charge of homeless policy for the Bush Administration, but he tells WBHM's Tanya Ott his work started in a theatre.
To hear the audio portion of the Community Calendar from Tapestry, click here.
Want to know more? Activeculture.info is a one-stop source for finding out what's going on in the Birmingham metro area.
His musical style has been described as a "marketing nightmare". Really, the music of Chad Everett Robison is hard to classify. OK, you can say it's a cacophony of top 40 and jazz and rock 'n' roll and you wouldn't be too far off. You could also point to some licks or lyrics that are reminiscent of Stevie Wonder or the Fab 4... There you go; that's the musical world of Chad Everett Robison: one without boundaries, but lots of clean sounds and melodies that jump out at you and grab your attention. Robison stopped by the Tapestry studio to talk about this odd universe he plays in. This is "Piece of Mind" off of his latest disc "Extended Play". (AUDIO MONTAGE)
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott, Michael Krall and Hunter Bell with help this week from Islara Vazquez and Steve Chiotakis. Next week on the show, a man who celebrates sobriety with poetry. I'm Greg Bass, and we'll see you next week.