Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Murray's Town & Gown Community Band and Chorus perform their 4th annual Freedom Fest concert Saturday night at 8 in Murray State University's Lovett Auditorium. Maestro Todd Hill says the free concert features a wide variety of patriot tunes and deep music from a community of performers diverse in age. He joins Mark Welch and Tracy Ross on Sounds Good with an overview of the music and other Freedom Fest events in Murray, and says the performance will be done in time for the fireworks.

Take a step back through time Saturday at Land Between the Lakes' Homeplace 1850's Independence Day Celebration. Experience how early Kentucky settlers celebrated this holiday with old time music, a famous statesman, the raising of a liberty pole, games and high technology: a hot air balloon. Lead Interpreter Cindy Earls speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about why this was a big holiday for families then as it is now.

J. Stephen Conn

A state park honoring confederate leader Jefferson Davis will play host to its first Independence Day celebration this weekend. The “Friends of Jefferson Davis Historic Site” suggested the Fairview park host the event. The decision comes despite national controversy over the confederate flag and its heritage.  Parks Manager Rod Syndor denies any controversy at his park and said the celebration will be focused on U.S. independence.

Facebook/Stephen Reed

Moments after the Supreme Court decision declaring all 5o states must recognize same-sex marriage, Stephen and Richard Reed of Murray filed for their license after waiting 13 years. Nicole Erwin spoke with Stephen on the historic day. 

"We had even talked about going to a state that had already made it legal," said Stephen. "But then we decided that since we lived in Kentucky we would wait until Kentucky legalized it." 

He says he was with Richard at work when the news came down. They decided then to get their marriage license paperwork sorted out with the Calloway County Clerk's Office.

On the Kentucky side of the border along Tennessee sits a little railroad town named Guthrie, the home of the nation's first poet laureate and three-time Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and poet Robert Penn Warren, known as "Red" Warren, born in 1905. During the Civil Rights Movement, Warren wrote a book titled Who Speaks for the Negro? featuring interviews with activists like Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jr. and many others. For nearly a decade, these interviews have been available online for listening. On Sounds Good, Kate Lochte learns more about the digital archive from Mona Frederick, Executive Director of the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt University.

First Major African-American Exhibit Opens at Owensboro Museum

Jun 19, 2015

For the first time, the Owensboro Museum of Science and History is mounting a major exhibit about the region’s African-American community.

The exhibit is called “A Journey Shared: African-Americans in Daviess County.” 

Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

Highway 91 goes north from Marion, Kentucky to the Ohio River, where there's a small ferry crossing to Cave-In-Rock, Illinois. That limestone cave, now a feature of a small state park along the banks of the river, was said to have harbored vicious river pirates at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, including the infamous Harpe Brothers. Dr. Mark Wagner, interim director and staff archeologist of Southern Illinois Carbondale's Center for Archeological Investigations, says that historical record only places one particular pirate there and his name was Samuel Mason. Kate Lochte speaks with Dr. Wagner on Sounds Good to learn more about the fearsome figure who prowled the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

Photo Provided


If your life flashed before your eyes, what would you see or contemplate? Maybe the last time you'd seen a certain loved one or perhaps undone items on your bucket list? Not so for a young man in Paducah. He has a passion for brewing beer. And that was the only thing on his mind after surviving a terrible car accident that left him unconscious for weeks.

Bryan Canavan, affectionately introduced himself as a boy from Vermont, “I lived there for 14 years, which I think statistically there are still more cows in that state than people.”

Photos courtesy of Jim Emison

Second Update: NPR's All Things Considered reported on this  effort. Here's the link to their story: Tennessee Community Pushes To Reopen 'Civil Rights Hero' Cold Case

Update: Part two of this conversation, which aired on Sounds Good Friday, June 19, has been added to this story, along with its narrative.  

Brownsville, Tennessee is in Haywood County mid-way northeast of Memphis and southwest of Jackson. On Saturday, the Haywood High School Gymnasium is the site of a Community Memorial Service honoring civil rights activist Elbert Williams on the 75th anniversary of his death. Alamo, Tennessee lawyer Jim Emison retired in 2011 and began a quest to understand more about the death of Elbert Williams, whose murder was never solved. Williams was the first known NAACP official to be killed for his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. Jim Emison speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about what he's learned.

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

This weekend, Metropolis, Illinois hosts its annual Superman Celebration with activities for everyone. One of the events includes a benefit for the Massac Theatre, an art-deco movie theater and stage from the 1930s. On Sounds Good, Chad Lampe speaks with Lisa Gower about the restoration, the comedy show featuring Scott Long, the auction and a breakfast with superheroes.