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KASU Profiles African American Arkansas Musicians During Black History Month


JONESBORO – In commemoration of Black History Month, KASU-FM, the public media service of Arkansas State University, is broadcasting profiles of African American musicians from Arkansas.  These features are included throughout February on KASU’s Arkansas Roots radio program which is heard weekdays from noon to 1 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 2 p.m.

KASU received permission from the online Encyclopedia of Arkansas to convert articles from that free resource into radio features.  The narrators for these features include KASU’s Morning Edition host Brandon Tabor along with community volunteers Dr. Loretta Neal McGregor, Sandra Combs, Larz Roberts and Anthony Holmes.  Members of the KASU staff prepared the features for broadcast.

Subjects of these profiles include rhythm and blues singers Al Green, Ne-Yo, Johnnie Taylor, Little Willie John and Anita Pointer of the Pointer Sisters.  Classical composers and performers William Grant Still, William Warfield, Florence Price and Barbara Hendricks are profiled along with blues musicians Albert King, Robert Junior Lockwood, Luther Allison, Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin’ Wolf. 

Other profiled musicians in the series include ragtime music pioneer Scott Joplin, jazz musicians Pharaoh Sanders and Art Porter Jr., recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Louis Jordan, who was an early influence on rock and roll music.

Hosted by Mike Doyle and Marty Scarbrough, Arkansas Roots is KASU’s program which features songs in many styles by musicians with connections to the state of Arkansas.  The show is currently celebrating its fifth anniversary on the air.  More information about the program is available on the Arkansas Roots Facebook page.

KASU broadcasts to listeners in Northeast Arkansas, Southeast Missouri and West Tennessee at 91.9 FM.  The station also streams its signal online at kasu.org, and KASU is available on smart speakers by asking “Play KASU.”

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