Popular Culture

Rossford presents Chautauqua’s ‘Modern Legends’

From ROSSFORD CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU If history was your favorite subject in school, or even if it wasn’t, you will be amazed and delighted when history comes to life before your very eyes in Rossford June 19-23rd.  Northwest Ohio is very fortunate to have Ohio Humanities in Columbus select Rossford as one of its four cities for the Ohio Chautauqua 2018 tour.  The theme for 2018 is “Modern Legends” featuring characters of note including politician and lawyer – Robert F. Kennedy, humorist and author – Erma Bombeck, labor leader and civil rights activist – Cesar Chavez, American writer, activist and feminist Betty Friedan and the first African-American general officer in the US Air Force – Benjamin O. Davis. Chautauqua includes daytime programs with visiting performing scholars as well as a Family Day on Saturday. Two local figures are involved in this year’s program. Robert Kennedy is being portrayed by Jeremy Meier, theater professor at Owens Community College. Baldemar Velasquez, president of the Toledo-based Farm Labor Organizing Committee, will give a presentation on Wednesday, June 20, at 4 p..m,  at the Rossford Library. He will speak about his work with Cesar Chavez an his own ground-breaking work on behalf of migrant workers.  Velásquez received the Bannerman Fellowships for helping organize people for racial, social, economic and environmental justice, was named a MacArthur Fellow (known as the “Genius Grant”), and received Mexico’s Aquila Azteca Award, the highest award Mexico can give a non-citizen.  The living history presentation of Cesar Chavez will be that evening, June 20th at 7 p.m. at Veterans Park. The El Corazon de Mexico Ballet Folklorico will perform at 6 pm. that evening. Building on the 19th-century tradition established on the shores of New York’s Chautauqua Lake, Ohio Chautauqua is a five-day community event that combines living history performances, music, education, and audience participation into a one-of-a-kind cultural event the entire community will enjoy. Each evening, family, friends and visitors gather as live music fills the air in Veterans Park at the Marina, 300 Hannum Avenue with convenient parking and buses from Eagle Point School. Then, a talented performer appears on stage, bringing a historic figure to life through personal stories and historic detail.  With its warm, nostalgic vibe, this truly unique experience is sure to open minds and start conversations. A daily schedule can be found online at www.VisitRossfordOhio.com or www.OhioHumanities.org. Sponsors of Ohio Chautauqua 2018 in Rossford, Ohio include Ohio Humanities, the Rossford Convention & Visitors Bureau, TARTA,…

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Expect the unexpected when NRBQ plays Howard’s Club H, founder Terry Adams promises

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Back in 1966, a teenage Terry Adams used to push his piano into the bedroom and jam with brother, Donn, and a few other musical friends. A half century later Adams is still pushing his keyboards across the country playing concert halls, clubs, and bars with that band born in the outskirts of Louisville. NRBQ – originally for New Rhythm and Blues Quintet, and then Quartet – purveyors of off-kilter, off-beat pop rock is heading to Howard’s Club H, Saturday, Oct. 28, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. Click to purchase. A few home recordings mark the launch of a band that has persisted over the years, reaching music lovers ears in concerts, recordings, and the soundtrack of “The Simpsons,” where their loving irreverence was a perfect fit. In a recent telephone interview, Adams said “you don’t want to lose the reason you got into it.” “Music affected me when I was a young guy. Listening to it gave me something I couldn’t get anywhere else. It showed me the world, gave me insight into living. You can have times when you need a true friend and the music really reaches you. It’s there for you.” He started “messing around” on piano around sixth grade. “I didn’t know I was going to be a musician. I just loved listening to it, and slowly I realized I was making it myself, and I never turned back.” At the beginning during those bedroom sessions, “we just started playing music. Whatever we wanted. Different guys would stop by, and we realized we kind of had something.” Louisville, he said, didn’t seem to them to have much of a music scene. They had to seek out the sounds. Back then, he said, music lovers thought nothing of liking The Beatles and Sun Ra. That openness has remained. The band’s originals and covers run the range ofAmerican music from classic country to surf pop, and everything between and way out beyond the fringe. Adams is a jujitsu master of the keyboard. He makes his home at the intersection of Little Richard and jazz icon Thelonious Monk. Given this year is the 100th anniversary of Monk’s birth, Adams said he expects the band will pay tribute. Adams’ love of Monk goes back to his early teens. He’s recorded a full album of tributes “Thelonious Talks.” Not that he can tell…


BGSU professor Nancy Spencer was on the line at Battle of the Sexes

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Nancy Spencer was offered the chance to be a line judge at the tennis match dubbed the Battle of the Sexes, she at first demurred. Now a professor at Bowling Green State University, she was a 24-year-old at Corpus Christi, Texas, when former men’s tennis champion Bobby Riggs challenged women’s champion Billie Jean King to a match. But a few months earlier Riggs, as much as showman as an athlete, had defeated Margaret Court. Spencer said she was so “devastated” by that outcome “I had told myself I wouldn’t watch the next match.” Technically she wouldn’t be watching the match, the official said, she’d be watching the lines. He sweetened the deal by offering her a couple complementary tickets for friends and a pass that would allow her to tour the Astro Dome, then “the eighth wonder of the world,” where the match was being held. So on Sept. 20, 1973, she was at the center line making calls for a match that made history. She was one of three women officiating the match. In the wake of the release of the major motion picture “Battle of the Sexes,” starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell, Spencer will give a talk on her experience at the match Monday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. in room 111 in Olscamp Hall on the BGSU campus. The match, Spencer said, was big news. Making the four-hour drive from Corpus Christi she stopped to get gas, and the attendant asked her out of the blue who she thought would win the match. Few people followed tennis at the time. The event drew the largest crowd to watch a tennis match, 30,472. The crowd was packed with celebrities including sports figures such as Jim Brown and George Foreman and Hollywood stars such as Lee Major and Farrah Fawcett. To warm up the crowd and the line judges, the main event was preceded by a celebrity mixed doubles event pitting Andy Williams and his wife, Claudine Longet, and Merv Griffin and actress Sandra Giles, who had dated Riggs. Spencer said during the main event she was a little nervous, but ended up making only five or six calls. King and Riggs kept play on the edges of the court. The most nervous she got was when Riggs questioned a call. But she remained firm and confident of the call. Of…


BGSU Arts Events through Oct. 24

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING  & COMMUNICATIONS Oct. 11 – The Faculty Artist Series presents BGSU tuba/euphonium instructor David Saltzman. An active soloist and chamber musician, Saltzman was the winner of the 1996 Colonial Euphonium Tuba Quartet’s Tuba Solo Competition in Albany, New York. Since then, he has performed solo recitals at many regional and international festivals, and he has most recently been part of a consortium of tuba players commissioning a new concerto for tuba by Samuel Adler, currently slated to premiere in October 2018. Salzman’s performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Oct. 12 – The Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble will perform as part of a small ensemble with guest artist Matthew Murchison. Murchison is known as a varied performer, composer, arranger, educator, conductor and producer. He was a member of the River City Brass in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from 2002-15, and was the principal solo euphonium for the last nine of those years. Since then, Murchison has performed solo and chamber music concerts across the U.S. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Oct. 13 – The BGSU Concert Band will perform as part of Homecoming festivities. The band will perform traditional repertoire and new compositions by the world’s leading composers, conducted by Dr. Bruce Moss. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets in advance are $3 for students and $7 for adults and available at bgsu.edu/arts or by calling 419-372-8171. Oct. 15 – The Sunday Matinee Series presents “Bedroom, Parlor and Bath” (1931, U.S.A., 85 minutes, directed by Edward Sedwick, with Buster Keaton, Charlotte Greenwood and Reginald Denny), with an introduction by film historian Dr. Jan Wahl. It very well may be that Buster Keaton’s greatest achievements lay in the silent era when he was allowed to control the making of each film. Yet his was a genius that could not be entirely diminished, even by the bosses at MGM. Keaton was able to adapt to this new medium, so now we were able to hear the unique voice that went with the clown’s body. The screening will begin at 3 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater, located in Hanna Hall. Free Oct. 17 – Tuesdays at the Gish presents “Seconds” (1966, U.S., 106 minutes, directed by John Frankenheimer) with an introduction by William Avila, doctoral student in American culture studies. “Seconds” is about a middle-aged banker who makes…


New WBGU-TV show captures sound, atmosphere of Howard’s Club H

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Dive is a moniker that Howard’s Club H wears proudly. While owners Steve Feehan and Tony Zmarzly have made a number of cosmetic improvements to the Bowling Green establishment, the essential gritty rock ‘n’ roll essence of the place remains. Joe Goodman, of WBGU-TV, recognized that spirit as soon as he came in. The graffiti, the concrete floors and the smell of well-aged beer, he said, “reminded me of all the places I loved in New York City that I was missing. … It’s where real rock is born. This is where people cut their teeth.” So the television producer started thinking about how he could share this place viewers. Working with bands and the owners, he brought in a crew to film. The result is “Live at Howard’s.” As the posters declare “the dive comes alive on WBGU-TV” on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 11 p.m., and in that time slot every week for the next nine. The shows will then be rebroadcast early Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3 a.m. The show’s premiere will be celebrated with a party at the club where the first episode will be shown. Goodman said the aim is for “Live at Howard’s” to be “a little manic, energetic” in keeping with the vibe of the gritty club. The aim is to feature up-and-coming bands both local and regional with a mix true to the club’s usual lineups. The first show features Howard’s regulars Tree No Leaves. The band headlined a show last December, when the first taping was done. Technical difficulties marred some of the taping. When Feehan heard about it, he came in to make sure that wasn’t repeated. He wanted to show to fly. He’s impressed with Goodman’s work on the project. “This guy really has a vision for it.” The episodes were all produced locally by the WBGU-TV staff and Bowling Green State University students. Goodman said “Live at Howard’s” is meant to harken back to the late night programming he found on public TV that introduced him a new alternative bands. That’s a role public TV should play again. For Feehan, having the local PBS affiliate take notice of the venue affirms his and Zmarzly’s goal to revive the club as a top venue for music, built on area acts while casting a broader net. The premiere of “Live at Howard’s” is on Thursday…


Rockin’ prof explores ways pop music has been trashed over the decades

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Popular Culture Professor Matthew Donahue took listeners on a trip through the hit parade Thursday at Jerome Library on the Bowling Green State University campus. His hot tracks weren’t just there because they were popular, but because they were also unpopular with authorities, pastors, parents, politicians, and even white supremacists. Donahue’s presentation, “Popular Music Controversies and Banned Popular Music: The Ascent from Low Culture to High Culture,” in the Pallister Conference room was held in conjunction with Banned Books Week and to celebrate Jerome Library’s 50th anniversary. Donahue’s trip down memory lane began at the dawn of the previous century when blues was labeled devil’s music, as was its close cousin, jazz. Maybe concerns about those styles provoking illicit coupling was warranted, since they gave birth, with some country added to the gene pool, to rock ‘n’ roll. The emergence of rock ‘n’ roll opened a chasm between America’s teenagers and their parents and others. Drawing on YouTube videos, Donahue showed one Rev. Jimmy Snow declaring that young people were marching on the road to hell to the beat of rock ‘n’ roll. More sinister condemnation came from a member of the Alabama White Citizens Council, who said the music was intended to bring white children “down” to the level of African-Americans. And the sartorial style inspired by the music drew the ire of middle school administrators in a clip about the dangers of tight skirts, snug fitting sweaters, unbuttoned shirts, “dungarees,” and leather jackets. With the advent of television, the music – though critics often didn’t consider music at all – “brought rock ‘n’ roll into people’s living rooms.” That meant they witnessed the gyrations of Elvis’ pelvis. Even the title of a song could get it banned as was the case with guitarist Link Wray’s “Rumble.” And all this led to the Beatles. Donahue played clips showing the reaction to the band’s Cleveland show where 14,000 teenagers, mostly girls packed the auditorium. They were, the commentators said, intentionally whipped into a frenzy, some ripping their dresses, and some even slipping notes of an indecent nature onto the bandstand. Later when John Lennon opined that the band was more popular than Jesus, another frenzy ensued. This one, spurred on by radio stations called for people to bring in their Beatles records and memorabilia to be destroyed. Donahue said for collectors like himself and Bill…


BGSU library hosts presentation on banned music

Submitted by MATTHEW DONAHUE In recognition of Banned Books Week, Bowling Green State University’s Jerome Library will present “Popular Music Controversies and Banned Popular Music: The Ascent from Low Culture to High Culture” by Dr. Matthew Donahue, of the Department of Popular Culture, Thursday, Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. in the Pallister Conference Room. The free presentation will highlight some of the controversies surrounding rock and roll music and various subgenres from the 1950s to the present. In addition to examining some of the controversies surrounding rock and roll and its many subgenres, this presentation will also examine how certain popular music styles have gone from being labeled as “low culture” and being banned or controversial, to being celebrated and embraced by so called “high culture” institutions such as museums and universities. There will also be a brief musical performance by Dr. Matthew Donahue (guitar) and BGSU alumni Craig Dickman  (drums) and Tyler Burg (bass). Dr. Matthew Donahue is a lecturer in the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University, teaching a variety of courses related to popular music and popular culture. In addition he is a recognized musician, artist, filmmaker and writer, his academic and creative pursuits can be viewed at www.md1210.com .