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January 2011 Archives

What moved Thomas Hart Benton

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KANSAS CITY, Mo.---The friendly waiting area in the stable-studio of the Thomas Hart Benton Home includes a black and white photo of the artist working on a painting of a river rolling by a limestone bluff in his beloved Ozarks. Benton loved rivers.
He devoted a chapter of his autobiography "An Artist in America" (first published in 1937) to rivers. He wrote:
"...There is over these summer night waters and on the shadowed lands that border them an ineffable peace, an immense quiet, which puts all ambitious effort back in its futile place and makes of a simple drift of sense and feeling the ultimate and proper end of life..."
In his later years Benton painted from a more personal viewpoint.
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Benton died in 1975 while working on "The Sources of Country Music," a six-foot by 10-foot mural that was commissioned by the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. He was 85 years old.
Benton grew up listening to country music around the Ozarks......

Get Right with Charlie Louvin

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On a warm and generous day in the autumn of 2003 country gentleman Charlie Louvin took me on a tour of the Louvin Brothers Museum in Bell Buckle, Tenn. (pop. 1,000).

Charlie saved everything, including a miniature church that his brother Ira hand carved from plywood. The church featured a tiny pulpit and poplar figurines that depicted a five-voice African-American choir and African-American preacher. When the Tennessee light hit the church just right you could peek through a tiny window and see an open grave under the church. Charlie told me Ira made the folk art in 1950 after hearing Red Foley's "Steal Away"
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Charlie Louvin died Wednesday of complications of pancreatic cancer. He was 83.
His wife Betty was a partner in time.
She assembled a museum wall montage of more than 50 Louvin Brothers '45s as well as Charlie's singles. Betty and Charlie were married 61 years.
I bet Betty saved a song for every year of their marriage..........

Dave Hoekstra

Dave Hoekstra has been a Chicago Sun-Times staff writer since 1985. His collection of Sun-Times travel columns, "Ticket To Everywhere," was published in 2000 by Lake Claremont Press. He was lead writer for "Farm Aid: Song for America" (Rodale Press, 2005) which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Willie Nelson inspired effort.
He won a 1987 Chicago Newspaper Guild Stick O-Type Award for Column Writing. Hoekstra wrote and co-proudced the WTTW-Channel 11 PBS special: "The Staple Singers and the Civil Rights Movement," nominated for a 2001-02 Chicago Emmy for a documentary program/cultural significance.
He lives in Chicago.

RECORD ROW


Chicago's Record Row In addition to being a resource for archived stories, this is a place to share anecdotes about Chicago's Record Row, to network about Record Row developments and an opportunity for locals and tourists to comment on their experiences along Record Row.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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