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Contents:
Program 505

1. the artistic Owenses
2. songwriter/storyteller Tom T. Hall
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Rockcastle County

Producer: Charlee Heaton


Doing Things the Mountain Way

Artists Ron and Janice Owens

Mockingbird Hill, a farm in Rockcastle County, has been in Janice Owens’ family for generations. She and her husband, Ron, have raised seven children there while also surrounding themselves with hand-made beauty.

Janice is a painter in the “primitive” or untrained style, and her work is much in demand these days. Meanwhile, Ron creates furniture that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing out of willow he gathers in the area.

It’s all part of what the Owenses call “the mountain way”—doing for yourself and making whatever it is you want to have out of materials at hand and your own creativity. Kentucky Life watches Janice paint and accompanies Ron as he cuts willow and shows how he makes his settees, chairs, tables, and other pieces.

And if you look closely at Byron Crawford’s between-stories segments during this episode, you’ll see some finished examples: The “front-porch” set introduced for the fifth season of Kentucky Life features several of Ron Owens’ hand-crafted chairs.

Watch This Story (10:41)




Carter County

Producer: Ernie Lee Martin


Telling Stories

Songwriter Tom T. Hall

Next, we catch up with Grammy Award-winning country music artist Tom T. Hall after a concert back home in his native state. Hall talks with Byron about growing up in Olive Hill and how the memories of his youth have made their way into his songs.

Widely acknowledged as one of country music’s most accomplished songwriters, Hall is known as “The Storyteller” for songs like “The Day Clayton Delaney Died” and “Homecoming.” But the one that really put him on the map, in the late ’60s, was “Harper Valley PTA,” which became a huge hit for Jeannie C. Riley.

Since then, fads in country music have come and gone, and Hall has been both in and out of the mainstream. But he has remained true to his roots, continuing to spin his deceptively simple tales of rural life and rural characters. He now has more than 40 albums—and several books—to his credit.

Watch This Story (11:02)


SEASON 5 PROGRAMS: 501502503504505506507508509510
511512513514515516517518519: Road Trip I520521

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