A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

‘WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour’ to tape 1000th episode on November 19 featuring Riders In The Sky

WoodSongs creator and host Michael Johnathon (middle) with Kentucky’s acclaimed McClain Family Band. (Photo from Woodsongs) It’s an old-fashioned radio show, taped for television, in front of a theatre audience. Each week, hundreds of music lovers gather at the historic Lyric Theatre in Lexington to experience the magic of “WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour.” For 17 years, this home-grown...

Woodsongs host, folksinger Michael Johnathon, releases ‘Dazed & Confuzed,’ to perform in Ohio

Michael Johnathon is heading north, to celebrate the release of his new album “Dazed & Confuzed” (PoetMan Records). The Kentucky-based folksinger, who lives in a log cabin outside of Lexington, will headline an evening of music at Leo Coffeehouse in Cincinnati on Sunday, April 14, as part of the Queen City Balladeers’ monthly concert series. Johnathon is best known as host of the internationally...

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....

WoodSongs lands national time slots on Dish’s BlueHighways, American Forces Radio

The live audience roots music program “WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour” has been added to BlueHighways on DISH TV and on American Forces Radio Network.   The Lexington-based program, already broadcast nationwide on PBS TV stations, will be airing in an additional 14 million U.S. TV homes on the BlueHighways channel 73 on DISH TV starting July 3. Air times are Friday at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., plus...

Troubadour series going down under with concerts in Highbridge Spring Water cave

Folksinger Michael Johnathon’s all-volunteer, community-run Troubadour Concert Series is introducing a new venue to the Central Kentucky music community: the massive caves of Highbridge Spring Water in Wilmore.   The first concert in the hoped-for series is Kentucky’s own legendary McLain Family Band. The concert starts at 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 8, inside the entrance of the 32-acre quarry...

Weighty Matters: When will we ever learn taking away cupcakes for many means war?

Now this is something I’d consider worth an addiction. I can feel my pheromones humming! (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)   By Lesley Cissell KyForward columnist   A packed house at Lexington’s Lyric Theater sang a famous folksong this week to more than 2 million listeners worldwide tuning in to Michael Johnathon’s tribute to the late Pete Seeger on WoodSongs.   We sang...

Michael Johnathon reflects on legend Pete Seeger, who fueled radio host’s fire for folk

Pete Seeger, an American folk legend, will be honored during a special Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour on March 31. Seeger died in January at the age of 94. (Photo from Woodsongs)   Folk singer Michael Johnathon and friends at the Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour are planning a tribute to folk icon and activist Pete Seeger on March 31 at the Lyric Theatre in Lexington.   Seeger, who revitalized...

Local musicians stage unique benefit concert to support son of late ‘Darth Fader’ Johnson

Staff report   Fans of famed WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour in Lexington knew chief sound engineer Kevin Johnson or, as host Michael Johnathon called him, “Darth Fader” Johnson who died suddenly Sept. 30. Top area bands will put on a Memorial Benefit Concert Saturday, Dec. 21, at Natasha’s Bistro and Bar to support Johnson’s surviving teenage son.   The 8 p.m. concert...

WoodSongs in Ireland scheduled for DISH broadcast on Thanksgiving weekend Sunday

  Fourteen million homes nationwide will get the chance to celebrate Kentucky and its grassroots bluegrass music tradition in a DISH TV broadcast of

WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour takes show, music back to Emerald Isle birthplace

Kentucky folksinger Michael Johnathon’s live audience celebration of grassroots music, the ‘WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour,’ travels across the pond to the National Convention center in Dublin Thursday, July 18, for a special event double-broadcast to honor the Irish birth of Bluegrass, Americana and Appalachian music.   The broadcast event is part of The Gathering – a yearlong series...

WoodSongs celebrates 700th broadcast with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy show at the Lyric

Special to KyForward   The idea was born while Michael Johnathon was listening to the radio during a long drive in the mid-west while on tour 13 years ago.   The Big Bad Voodoo Daddy show on Jan. 28 will celebrate WoodSongs' 700th broadcast. “I remember driving across Iowa that Saturday afternoon,” says Johnathon from his log cabin home outside of Lexington. “I was sort of listening...