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Film Screening and Reception added to Arkansas Roots Anniversary Celebration


JONESBORO – KASU, the public media service of Arkansas State University, will host a film screening and a reception in conjunction with its "Arkansas Roots 10th Anniversary Concert: Celebrating Arkansas’ Musical Heritage" occurring Saturday, Dec. 2, in Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Dr.

This date is the 10th anniversary of the premiere of what has become KASU’s flagship locally-produced radio program, "Arkansas Roots." The show began as a music program featuring songs by Arkansas-connected musicians from the past and the present in virtually all musical styles and genres.

While the show still includes music, it has evolved into a magazine-type program with multiple features regarding Arkansas’ music, arts and culture. "Arkansas Roots" is heard from noon to 1 p.m. weekdays and from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays on 91.9 FM and at KASU.org

At 5 p.m., the documentary film “Jump! The Louis Jordan Story” will be screened in the Simpson Theatre of Fowler Center. Written by A-State alumnus Stephen Koch, the film features music by Jordan, who was born in 1908 in Brinkley.

Jordan had dozens of rhythm-and-blues hits in the 1940s and 50s including “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie,” “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby,” “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens,” and “Saturday Night Fish Fry.” His songs collectively spent a total of 113 weeks at #1.

Koch is an award-winning journalist, an author of a Louis Jordan biography, and the creator of “Arkansongs,” a radio feature heard as part of KASU’s "Arkansas Roots" and on other public radio stations throughout the Mid-South 

“Arkansongs” is currently celebrating 25 years on the air. Koch will be present at the screening, which will be the first time the film has been shown in Northeast Arkansas.

At 6 p.m., following the film screening, KASU will host a public reception in the Grand Hall of Fowler Center. KASU staff, volunteers, underwriters, and partners will be present, and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

At 7 p.m., a concert to celebrate the 10th anniversary of "Arkansas Roots" will feature over a dozen of Arkansas’ most talented musicians performing songs made famous by other Arkansas musicians from the past and the present.

The first half of the concert will feature vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Brad Apple, fiddler and multi-instrumentalist Tim Crouch, guitarist and vocalist Danny Dozier, bassist and vocalist Irl Hees, vocalist and guitarist Gary Rounds, and vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Pam Setser. 

This six-piece group will perform acoustic versions of songs made famous by Arkansas-connected musicians such as Johnny Cash, Lefty Frizzell, Charlie Rich, Grandpa Jones and a dozen others.

The musicians who will perform on the first half of the concert all have lengthy musical resumes with more than 200 years of collective experience as professional musicians. Members of this ensemble have performed on television programs including "The Tonight Show," "Late Night with David Letterman," "Austin City Limits," "Hee Haw," "Nashville Now," and the "Jerry Lewis Labor Day MDA Telethon." 

They have also performed on radio programs such as "The Grand Ole Opry," the "WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour," "Ozark Highlands Radio," and "At Home in the Country."

The Lockhouse Orchestra will perform in the second half of the concert. This seven-piece electric band was formed in 2006 initially to perform at the Lockhouse Restaurant in Batesville.  The group has since performed throughout the region, presenting numerous tribute concerts to musical acts including the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Fleetwood Mac, and The Rolling Stones. 

The band presented a tribute concert to the music of Levon Helm at a KASU-sponsored event in Jonesboro in 2014. They have also played at the Beatles at the Ridge festival in Walnut Ridge and at the Levon Helm Jubilee in Marvell.

The members of the Lockhouse Orchestra are bassist Jerry Bone, guitarist Danny Dozier, keyboardist Mike Foster, drummer Jason Moser, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist John T. Parks, vocalist Sarah Jo Sample, and vocalist Penny Wolfe. For this concert, the Lockhouse Orchestra will be joined by special guests, saxophonist Eric South and harmonica player Hal Vandiver.

The Lockhouse Orchestra will perform a mixture of rock-and-roll, blues, rhythm-and-blues, rockabilly and country music. The band will play well-known songs by Glen Campbell, Louis Jordan, Ashley McBryde, Conway Twitty, Evanescence, Little Big Town, The Band, Sonny Burgess, Al Green, and well over a dozen other Arkansas-connected musical acts.

Also at the concert, the musical line-up for the 2024 Arkansas Roots Music Festival will be publicly announced for the first time. This festival will be held Saturday, April 6, on the lawn of the Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, one of A-State’s Heritage Sites. The festival is a collaboration between KASU, the A-State Heritage Sites, and the Department of English, Philosophy and World Languages. 

This concert is a ticketed event, and net proceeds will go toward KASU’s ongoing fundraising efforts as a non-profit, public media service  All seating is general admission. Individual tickets are $20, plus applicable fees. 

Tickets may be purchased at the Central Box Office in First National Bank Arena or by calling 870-972-ASU1. Tickets are also available online.

For more details, one may contact Marty Scarbrough, KASU program director, at (870) 972-2367 or at mscarbro@AState.edu.

Stephen Koch