Top Stories

Kansas News Service/File photo

After Sexual Harassment Reports In Kansas Capitol, Lawmakers Take In Training

Roughly 80 politicians gathered Wednesday for an early morning meeting at the Kansas Statehouse. The session wasn’t technically mandatory, more encouraged by legislative leaders determined to be seen as doing something in response to the recent wave of sexual harassment allegations.

Read More

The unprecedented nastiness of this season’s primary campaign seems noteworthy. Has there ever been a political atmosphere as charged with negativity as this one? Have there ever been so many candidates who’ve had so little to say about what they are actually in favor of? Okay, we did hear some platitudes about “Kansas values.” But mostly we heard negative messages telling us what they were against. They were against President Obama. They were against health care reform. They were against taxation. They were against undocumented immigrants.

Wichita Public Library

Wichita has a long and proud history as a baseball town-- from club games in the 1870s, to serving as the home of the NBC Tournament since its beginning in 1935, to the national championship success of Wichita State University. But last month marked the anniversary of a lost piece of Wichita baseball history that almost seems too strange to be true: A game in 1925 between the Wichita Monrovians-- an all African-American professional team-- and the Wichita chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.

So my family went out of town for a week and Wichita had a whole lot of rain during that time. There was the usual indicator of too much moisture in Wichita yards: a mushrooming bumper crop of political yard signs.

The recent death of Tom Leahy Jr., better known as Major Astro to Kansas baby boomers, caused my mind to rocket into the past. The good major wore his astronaut jumpsuit while hosting a daily afterschool kiddie show on local TV from 1962 to 1973. Wally Gator, Touche Turtle and Felix the Cat cartoons were beamed earthward to all the little tykes watching their rabbit-eared TV sets. Many were, no doubt, clutching their membership cards to the Major Astro Club.

Had a garage sale the other day. Swore I’d never have another one 2 sales ago. But stuff just kept piling up and something had to be done. So my wife, my daughter and I spent a long 90-degree June day saying over and over, “Yes, we’ll take 50 cents instead of 75 cents for that.”

I was going to do another commentary today about British Petroleum’s oil massacre of the Gulf of Mexico. But when I sat down to write it and began thinking about the leak which is a mile below the surface of the water, my thoughts were interrupted by a BP official who burst into my brain and quickly waved me away from the scene.

“You can’t consider this at all,” he ordered. “This entire area of thought is off-limits to anyone except employees of BP. Cease all mental cogitation on this subject immediately.”

The amazing thing about the tragic BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for me, is not that it happened. It’s not the gargantuan size of the spill itself. And it’s not that the three corporations involved are each blaming the other. What’s unbelievable about this disaster is the fact that the drilling industry had no plan for what to do in the event that such a spill took place. They seem to be scrambling and improvising in a way that reminds me of a three-year-old who shattered Mom’s favorite flower vase all over the kitchen floor while trying to get to the cookie jar.

There’s a local businessman who’s running for Representative Todd Tiahrt’s congressional seat.  This guy is apparently just nuts about me. He really really really wants to be my pal. I know this because he’s tried three times to “friend” me on Facebook. Each time I turn him down and it never hurts his feelings. He just comes back again with another request. He’s positively smitten with me, I can only surmise.

Pages

Commentary

Movie Review: 'The Post'

Steven Spielberg’s The Post seems specifically engineered to be the most Oscar bait-y of Oscar bait movies. Spielberg is arguably the most prominent director in the film industry, it features two of our biggest movie stars, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, and it deals in the grand themes that Spielberg so loves. Really, what could go wrong?

Read More

KMUW Music

Sunday, January 21

Sunday on Soulsations we remember gospel music icon Edwin Hawkins. He died Monday at the age of 74. Hawkins is widely-known for his arrangement of the hymn “Oh Happy Day.” The song, recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers, became an international hit in 1969.

“They’re all some of the most difficult pieces that I play,” says pianist Christopher O’Riley, discussing his preparation for a recital spotlighting the music of Radiohead.

The Los Angeles-based musician has been arranging/interpreting/performing Radiohead’s music since the early 2000s. “I really like to think that this is an infinitesimally slowed-down improvisation because I really am making note choices, harmony choices from one sixteenth note to the next.”

Monday 1.15.18

Night Train steps aside for two specials – from Night Lights and Blues & Beyond – featuring music in celebration of Dr. King Day.

Tuesday 1.16.18

Some legendary tenor saxophonists and classic and contemporary organists featured tonight on the Night Train. Among the highlights, a Best of 2017 pick from Pat Martino featuring organist Pat Bianchi, the latest from organists Gregory Lewis, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Organissimo, tenor men Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane (with Thelonious Monk), Stan Getz (with Charlie Byrd from the pioneering Jazz Samba album), and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (with organist Shirley Scott).

Wednesday 1.17.18

Night Train features another 2017 favorite, from the Peter Erskine Trio, for the January Best of the Year feature, and marks birthdays of singers Eartha Kitt and Cheryl Bentyne, and pianists Cyrus Chestnut and Cedar Walton, including a performance from Walton at the Savannah Music Festival in hour two of the show.

Thursday 1.18.18

Night Train marks birthdays of drummer Al Foster (with McCoy Tyner, Bobby Hutcherson, and Sonny Rollins), guitarist Bobby Broom, singer Irene Kral, and saxophonist Steve Grossman. Plus more of the Best of 2017, including show favorites from bassist Ben Allison, the Bill Charlap Trio, and guitarist Ralph Towner; new music from Julian Lage and Steve Slagle; and a preview of a new double-album from the Chick Corea + Steve Gadd Band.

A Blues Artist Tribute

Jan 15, 2018
Album Cover Art

January 19/21

This week at the Crossroads as part of the January feature looking back at the past year in blues, a tribute to artists who passed away in 2017 – including last albums from both Gregg Allman and Chuck Berry; music from Fats Domino and from a Domino tribute album that included a track from Tom Petty; also James Cotton, Lonnie Brooks, Leo ‘Bud’ Welch, soul singer Charles Bradley, and guitarist Howard Carroll of the gospel group the Dixie Hummingbirds.

We also highlight an Allman Brothers cover of an Elmore James song, as part of the January Elmore James Centennial Birthday feature; and in hour two, a special in tribute to CeDell Davis, who passed away last year, and R.L. Boyce, one of this year’s blues Grammy nominees.

Courtesy photo

Al Holliday & The Eastside Rhythm Band will perform at Barleycorn's Saturday, Jan. 13 from 7–9 p.m. The soul-inspired group features Holliday's signature blues-based vocals—which have earned him acclaim from the St. Louis-area paper, Riverfront Times—as well as plenty of southern-inflected piano and horns.

You can hear plenty of what has listeners across the region excited via the album Natural Remedies (2015) or through the collective's live shows.

Jedd Beaudoin: When was it that soul music first entered your life?

Noteworthy

Christopher O’Riley Gives The Music Of Radiohead A Lift

“They’re all some of the most difficult pieces that I play,” says pianist Christopher O’Riley, discussing his preparation for a recital spotlighting the music of Radiohead. The Los Angeles-based musician has been arranging/interpreting/performing Radiohead’s music since the early 2000s. “I really like to think that this is an infinitesimally slowed-down improvisation because I really am making note choices, harmony choices from one sixteenth note to the next.” O’Riley has issued two full...

Read More