The next Kentucky Life, hosted by Dave Shuffett, highlights rockabilly musician Billy Harlan, explores Bowling Green’s Shake Rag District, visits the community of Monticello, learns more about an 1800’s Lexington orphanage and meets a Lewis Countian renowned nationwide for his sports memorabilia collection. The program airs Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8/7 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 17 at 4/3 p.m. on KET.
Continuing this season’s music theme, Kentucky Life meets Billy Harlan of Muhlenberg County, a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Like his close friends The Everly Brothers, Harlan was born in Muhlenberg County, and his songwriting has always reflected his country roots. Over the course of his long career, Harlan has worked with Jim Reeves and many other Grand Ole Opry stars.
These days, Harlan lives in Greenville, where he serves on the city council and continues to play the music he has lived and loved for so many years. This segment also includes a performance from Harlan, including the song “I Ain’t Elvis But I’m Cool,” at the Merle Travis Center in Powderly.
Next, in Wayne County, Kentucky Life profiles the community of Monticello in an Our Town segment.
Then, the program travels to Bowling Green, where it explores the Shake Rag District. The neighborhood was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000, recognized for its significance to African-American history. The Shake Rag neighborhood was settled by former slaves, families and soldiers who fought for the Union Army during the Civil War and grew steadily as the home of the middle-class and professional African-American community in the early 20th century. The District’s architecture reflects the variety of businesses and social activities of the close-knit neighborhood.
Next, Kentucky Life explores a historical marker in Lexington that chronicles the Colored Orphan Industrial Home that opened in 1894. There, orphans and other African-American youth learned to read and write and acquired a trade. The building now serves as the Robert H. Williams Cultural Center.
Also in this program, Shuffett visits with John Carpenter of Lewis County, who is renowned nationwide for his sports memorabilia collection. Carpenter’s collection is officially recognized by Ripley’s Believe It or Not as the World’s Largest Private Sports Collection, and it has brought Carpenter recognition from ESPN and General Mills, who put him on their Wheaties cereal box in 2008.
Kentucky Life is a KET production, produced by Brandon Wickey. Segment producers are Tom Bickel, Rob Elliott, John Schroering, and Frank Simkonis.
More information about Kentucky Life, including streaming video, is available at ket.org/kentuckylife.