Arkansas Music

A decisive early Friday vote on a GOP-led Obamacare "skinny" repeal comes up short. Why Arkansas's Senators voted for the failed measure amidst evidence that state public opinion may not be quite on their side.

Levon Helm
Kevin Kresse

A fundraising campaign has been launched to create a permanent memorial in east Arkansas for Levon Helm. The legendary drummer and singer, who was best known for his work with The Band, grew up in the Phillips County community of Turkey Scratch, helping his family pick cotton.

Plans are to finish restoring the sharecropper's house his family lived in, which has been moved to the nearby town of Marvell. A statue of Helm is also to be completed and placed downtown.

Riverfest Morris Day and the Time
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Little Rock's annual music festival, Riverfest, is suspending operations after four decades.

The Riverfest, Inc., board of directors announced Tuesday that 2017 was the last year for the music festival in downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock. The festival's executive director, DeAnna Korte, says rising costs and more competition from other festivals made it difficult for Riverfest to continue.

Korte says hot and rainy weather in May and June also affected Riverfest's ability to be successful.

The Pulaski County Quorum Court meets in a building on South Broadway.
Google Earth

A push in Pulaski County to temporarily bar certain musical performances if a city deemed its content to encourage violence fell flat in a Quorum Court meeting Tuesday night. Justice of the Peace Judy Green of central Little Rock believes going to certain rap concerts can encourage people to be violent. The proposal was a response to the shootout at Power Ultra Lounge earlier this month. 

Music historian Stephen Koch, host of the public radio music documentary program Arkansongs and author of Louis Jordan: Son of Arkansas, Father of R&B joined KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman to talk about an effort to squash rap concerts.

The Pulaski County Quorum Court meets in a building on South Broadway.
Google Earth

Local leaders are scrambling for solutions in the wake of a mass shooting at a Little Rock night club earlier this month. The Pulaski County Quorum Courts is considering during Tuesday’s meeting on a resoultion encouraging cities to place a 180 day moratorium on musical performances deemed to encourage violence.

Greasy Greens
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Ahead of their reunion performance July 28 at Little Rock's Ron Robinson Theater, members of the Greasy Greens joined Flap Jones to talk about their music over the last four decades. 

An annual music festival to celebrate the music of the Man in Black is literally being moved to the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home…or that is, next to the home.  

In 2011, Arkansas State University started the process of acquiring and restoring the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home in Dyess.  In order to raise funds for the project, the Johnny Cash Music Festival was held in Jonesboro. 

Joe Cripps
You Tube

Police in Little Rock are searching for a former drummer for the Grammy Award-winning polka-rock band Brave Combo who hasn't been seen in two weeks.

Police say Joe Cripps was last seen Oct. 19 or Oct. 20 and that his family reported him missing. Cripps previously played drums with Brave Combo, a Denton, Texas-based band that won Grammys in 1999 and 2004 for best polka album.

A&L Short: Tim Anthony

Oct 6, 2016

Arkansas musician Tim Anthony follows a rich musical heritage started by his father, Lee, who opened Little Rock's first black-owned record store.

J. Bradley Minnick of KUAR's Arts & Letters spoke with the younger Anthony about soul and funk music and its impact on his life growing up in Little Rock in the early '70s.

Pages