Molly Ringwald, UNCG Theatre, MerleFest, NC Writers' Network, & The Marshall Tucker Band

Molly Ringwald, UNCG Theatre, MerleFest, NC Writers' Network, & The Marshall Tucker Band

1:24pm Apr 24, 2015

Molly Ringwald

David heard his first jazz concert when he was a little kid. The Ahmad Jamal trio opened for Dizzy Gilespie and his big band, and he was hooked. For actor, singer, author, and dancer Molly Ringwald, that early introduction to jazz came practically while she was still in the womb. Her father is a jazz pianist, and by the time Molly was three years old she was already belting out classic jazz standards and show tunes with her dad at the keyboard. Since then Molly Ringwald has enjoyed a highly successful acting career, and recently, the mother of three has come full circle and released her debut album, Except Sometimes. The CD is filled with wonderful tunes from the great American songbook like "I’ll Take Romance," "Where is Love," as well as a nice arrangement of the Simple Minds classic "Don’t You (Forget About Me)".

On Friday night, April 24th she and her pianist Peter Smith will be in concert with the UNC at Greensboro Jazz Ensemble I and strings. All proceeds go to the Greensboro Urban Ministry. The Miles Davis Festival Concert begins at 8 pm in Aycock Auditorium.

She spoke with David by phone from her home in Los Angeles.

UNCG's Production of August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone

In August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, his characters struggle openly with the intense discrimination Black Americans faced in the years following emancipation. The UNCG production will showcase Black perspectives as experienced in the year 1911 using integrated storytelling, movement choreography and song.

August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone continues through April 26th with evening shows at 7:30 and 8 and weekend matinees at 2 in Aycock Auditorium in Greensboro. 

Although Wilson’s stories reflect African American experiences, Triad Stage Artistic Associate and UNCG resident director Tamera Izlar says the themes in the play are universal.



From it’s humble beginnings playing for 800-900 folks on the back of a flat bed pickup truck, to nearly 80,000 fans of traditional plus music, and a team of more than 4,000 volunteers Merlefest has emerged as one of this country’s premier music festivals. It’s an annual homecoming for musicians and music fans alike on the scenic mountain view campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the late Eddy Merle Watson, son of American music legend Doc Watson. He called MerleFest a celebration of ‘traditional plus’ music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, and it’s expanded to include Americana, Cajun, country, blues, rock and many other styles. This year the four-day event will host nearly 120 bands performing on 13 stages.

Merlefest 2015 runs from Thursday, April 24th through Sunday the 26th on the gorgeous Wilkes Community College campus in Wilkesboro. The Avett Brothers, Dwight Yokum, North Mississippi All Stars, Steep Canyon Rangers, Robert Earl Keen are among the list of 117 bands performing the best of the best traditional plus music on 13 the different stages of Merlefest. It’s kid friendly, family fun and the right place to be this weekend.

Festival Director Ted Hagaman says the annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the Wilkes Community College Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.


Ed Southern and The North Carolina Writers' Network

In 1985, the North Carolina literary landscape was ready for a statewide organization. There was a group for published authors and the North Carolina poetry Society, but individuals decided it was time for an organization that would bring all of the state's writers together. The North Carolina Writers' Network was born. 

Today, With just under 1200 members, the Network provides resources for and opportunities to writer's of all levels, working within every genre.
Executive Director Ed Southern stopped by WFDD to share how the network approaches its mission, how that mission has evolved over the years, and why exactly North Carolina is "the writingist state."  
Executive Director of the North Carolina Writer's Network Ed Southern. Ed is the author of three books, Voices of the American Revolution in the Carolinas, The Jamestown Adventure, and Parlous Angels. He's also the most recent recipient of the Ethel N. Fortner Writer and Community Award, given for ardent supporters of the arts in communities. The North Carolina Writer's Network recently held their annual Spring conference, and they anticipate their upcoming Fall conference to be held in Asheville, where they'll celebrate their 30th anniversary.


The Marshall Tucker Band

The halls of classic rock-dom are filled with triumph & tragedy. What can often be considered a young man’s game is a career that can take a toll physically and artistically. Among the bands that have ridden out the storms of stylistic changes and the unpredictable nature of life itself is The Marshall Tucker Band.

For the past 43 years - and counting - The Marshall Tucker Band has journeyed tirelessly across the globe playing their hits like "Heard It In a Love Song," "Fire On The Mountain," and "Can't You See." They’ve also become a staple on the jam band circuit. With an energy that trumps many young bands playing today, Eddie's guest, Marshall Tucker Band lead singer and founding member Doug Gray , plays about 150 shows a year, and his favorite concerts are those that last  4 hours or more. He spoke with me from Myrtle Beach, SC.

The Marshall Tucker Band is playing this year’s Merlefest in Wilkesboro on Friday, April 24th at 6:45 pm.


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