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From a single college station, to over 500 stations worldwide, WoodSongs celebrates 900th broadcast

It started as a small broadcast on a little college radio station with 12 people in the audience. Today it is the biggest roots music broadcast in the world and will make history on Monday July 24 when the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour presents its 900th broadcast taping at the historic Lyric Theatre in Lexington, KY.

WoodSongs airs on over 500 radio stations from Australia to New York to Ireland. It broadcast each week as a TV series on PBS stations coast-to-coast. The show airs twice each weekend on American Forces Radio Network from South Korea to Kuwait plus every military base and US Naval ship in the world.

Now it airs as a weekly TV series nationwide each Friday evening on the RFD-TV Network.

The “historic” part about WoodSongs is that it began, and continues to be, all volunteer run.

“Love is the greatest transaction of the arts,” says folk singer and WoodSongs founder Michael Johnathon. “And I wanted to prove it with WoodSongs.”

Indeed, Michael Johnathon, the artists who appear on the broadcast, the 32 member crew, TV editors, audio engineers and all others associated with show are volunteers. Local hotels put the artists up for free, local restaurants provide meals for the artists and the entire crew the day of the show. WoodSongs goes to public radio for free, public television for free, American Forces Radio for free. Even its massive classroom project in partnership with the University of Kentucky is available free to all teachers and home school families.

“And now you know why Folk rhymes with Broke,” jokes Johnathon from his log cabin home outside of Lexington. “Kentucky is one of the few communities in America with people so generous of spirit that a show like this could even be conceived, no less produce 900 broadcasts.”

To celebrate the 900th show taping, WoodSongs is producing three different broadcasts in one week:

Roger McGuinn

Monday, July 19, show 898, International Guitar Masters with England’s Mike Dawes and Australia’s Anthony Snape

Thursday, July 20, show 899, Kentucky’s own mandolin legend SAM BUSH with the entire Sam Bush Band

Monday, July 24, show 900, with founding member of The Byrds and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ROGER McGUINN with special guest JOHN LOMAX

“WoodSongs is celebrating not just the music of Kentucky, but the people and artists who make it.” says President of VisitLEX Mary Quinn Ramer. Lexington has been home to Jerry Douglass, Bela Fleck, JD Crowe and so many others. Like Michael describes us in the show, Lexington is the crossroads of America’s folks and bluegrass music, and we couldn’t be more excited that WoodSongs is showing this spirit. ”

“Kentucky has one of the most important musical legacies in America,” says Kristen Branscum, Commissioner of Kentucky Tourism. “Just look at all the artists from here that fit the image and spirit of WoodSongs: Bill Monroe, Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs and so many others. From the hollers of Appalachia to the mountains of western Kentucky, this music mirrors the American spirit nationwide.”

From Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour

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