Melber KY Native Serves Onboard Naval Combat Ship

Sep 11, 2014
Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO)

As the senior enlisted Sailor serving aboard the USS Nitze, western Kentucky native Master Chief Petty Officer Michael Apperson is responsible for the leadership and professional development of all enlisted Sailors on ship, numbering nearly 300. Commander Michelle Nakamura commands the Nitze, which is about 1.5 football fields long, 66 feet wide, and weighs in at 9,200 tons. Kate Lochte meets Master Chief Apperson on Sounds Good.

Many early Rock & Roll stars hailed from the historic Jackson Purchase, including Carl Perkins and Scotty Moore. After 1952, many of them gravitated to Memphis, Tennessee to record with Sam Phillips at Sun Records. The Sun roster reads like a who's who of Rock & Roll: Elvis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis... and a western Kentucky truck driver named Ray Smith. In 1959, Smith's Sun single "Rockin' Little Angel" hit number one, and through he never returned to the top of the U.S. charts, he continued to tour the world and record until his death in 1979. Paducah native Tommy Thompson knew and played with Ray Smith, and tonight (July 25), at the McCracken County Public Library, he presents a program on this rockabilly pioneer's life and career. Todd Hatton spoke with Thompson to get a preview.