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...

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....

World renowned U.S. Navy bluegrass group featured on upcoming WoodSongs Hour

“WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour” will feature the U.S. Navy Band’s world-renowned bluegrass ensemble Country Current on Monday (U.S. Navy Photo)   A special double-broadcast production of folksinger Michael Johnathon’s “WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour,” will feature the U.S. Navy Band’s world-renowned bluegrass ensemble Country Current on Monday, Nov. 24.   The live audience program...

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 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...

Lesley Cissell: Birthday sparks reflectionson changes to music industry I approve

Igudesman and Joo perform their dancing string players with members of the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. (Photo by James L. Fausz)   Earlier this month I turned 54. The realization that I have reached the age my parents once were hasn’t escaped notice. Neither has the awareness that many things are very different now than 30 years ago. The question is: are they better, worse or just different?   I’ll...

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...