Department of Tourism
WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour Marks 500th Broadcast
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The multi-media broadcast of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour airs on 491 radio stations worldwide, XM Satellite Radio, online and on public television stations across the nation. The show is produced every Monday evening from the historic Kentucky Theater in Lexington.
On September 15, 2008, the folk music show will celebrate its 500th broadcast, a landmark event for both WoodSongs and the amazing community that helped make the all-volunteer run show possible. It places WoodSongs in the same league as other historic broadcasts, like the Grand Ole Opry, the Louisiana Hayride, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.
Journalists are invited to be part of the landmark event by considering a feature story on WoodSongs. Writers are welcome to visit the broadcast and interview host Michael Johnathon at the theater or by phone. Visit the website, www.woodsongs.com, for complete information, and even sample some shows online.
Johnathan, often referred to as “Woody Guthrie in a Cyber World,” grew up in upstate New York, rambled to the Mexican border town of Laredo, Tex. where he worked as a late-night radio DJ, and decided to pursue a career as a folksinger. Two months later, he bought a guitar and banjo and settled into the isolated mountain hamlet of Mousie, Ky. For the next three years, he traveled throughout Appalachia to learn the music of the mountain people. Soon he began performing “Earth Concerts” at colleges, schools and fairs. Billboard magazine headlined him an “UnSung Hero.”
WoodSongs began broadcasting on one college radio station but has grown to nearly 500 radio affiliates. Johnathan’s stature in the music world has grown along with the show.
“We started this with the goal that it could be a Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage or Austin City Limits for the grass-roots music world,” says Johnathan. “WoodSongs is not meant for the caliber of artist that could fill a 1,000 seat hall, but I do that kind of artist occasionally because it validates the stage for other artists.”
Along the way, WoodSongs and Johnathan have become favorites of their host community, Lexington, and a proudly cited example of the best of Kentucky culture. At nearly every broadcast, tour buses with out-of-state plates are parked outside the Kentucky Theater. For a chance to see this phenomenon in action, contact Anna Dickens at 859-255-5700.
Editors: High-res photos of Michael Johnathan and the WoodSongs stage are available from Anna Dickens.
The Kentucky Department of Travel, an agency of the Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet, exists to promote The Commonwealth as a travel destination, generate revenue and create jobs for Kentucky’s economy.