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KASU Bluesday Tuesday to feature all Newport talent August 20


JONESBORO, Ark. — KASU 91.9 FM, the public radio service of Arkansas State University, will present an all-Newport talent lineup of 10 veteran musicians for its next Bluesday Tuesday concert Aug. 20 from 7- 9 p.m. at the Newport Country Club, 703 Walker Drive, in Newport. Kenni Huskey, Jeanie and the Guys, and The DCI Trio will present music including rhythm and blues, gospel, country and rockabilly.

KASU station manager Mike Doyle said, “Newport is such an important town in the history of Arkansas music, we wanted to have a night where we featured all homegrown talent for a really special night.”

Kenni Huskey, born in Newport, was singing on Eddy Bond’s “Country Shindig” television show on Memphis radio station WHBQ at the age of seven. By the time she was 13, she had recorded a two-sided single, “Mr. Future” and ”Wild Man Tamer,” on Rita Records, a label started by Billy Lee Riley and Roland Janes.

Both songs were written by her dad, Bill Huskey who, with Kenni’s mom, promoted his daughter tirelessly in Memphis, Nashville, and later in California when Bill’s company transferred him to the Los Angeles area. The Huskeys pursued an audition with Buck Owens who helped Kenni sign with Capitol Records and join his touring act and syndicated television show. Owens wrote two songs that Kenni took up the charts – “Within Your Loving Arms” and “Living Tornado.” In 2006, after Owen’s death, Kenni recorded one of the first Buck Owens tribute CDs. Kenni will sing with Jeanie and the Guys during the second set at Bluesday Tuesday.

Jeanie and the Guys perform early rock-and-roll and country classics regularly in Jackson County and northeast Arkansas. State Representative Jody Dickinson recently presented the band with a plaque from the Arkansas Legislature recognizing the many benefit concerts they have performed to help raise money for a variety of needs. The band was founded by Sonny Burgess, Doug Greeno and Jeanie Hendrix on guitar, bass and drums. Later the band added Zyndall Raney on piano and Marcus Grady on guitar. Within the last year, Doug Greeno has sung as guest vocalist while Bill Lewis provided bass guitar duties.

The DCI Trio features Derek Person, Chris Crites and Ira Crites performing soulful R&B and gospel vocals accompanied by piano, drums and saxophone. This group has performed several times at Depot Days, the annual late September festival that recognizes Newport’s musical heritage. The DCI trio will perform the first set at Bluesday Tuesday, followed by Jeanie and the Guys with special guest Kenni Huskey.

KASU Bluesday Tuesday concerts at Newport Country Club are presented monthly with underwriting support from ASU-Newport, C and C Distributors and Harris Ford.