KRCU 90.9 FM to Broadcast Landmark Blues Series

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 26, 2003 — Public radio station KRCU 90.9 FM at Southeast Missouri State University has announced plans to air “The Blues,” a landmark 13-part documentary series from Public Radio International that chronicles the blues, from its West African origins to its most contemporary sounds, styles and venues.

Produced by Robert Santelli, Experience Music Project, and Ben Manilla, Ben Manilla Productions, presented by WGBH Radio Boston, and funded in large part by Volkswagen, “The Blues” will begin airing at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, following KRCU’s “Your Folk Connection.”

“The Blues is a fabulous series,” says KRCU General Manager Danny Woods. “The programs illuminate the genre that forms the bedrock of popular American music, the wellspring of every type of dance and party music our audience grew up with. Congress has declared 2003 ‘The Year of the Blues,’ and this is a grand way to participate in the festivities, enjoy great music and experience a fascinating history.

“I’m very pleased to make ‘The Blues’ available in our area, and I know listeners will be delighted that it’s part of our broadcast schedule,” Woods added.

Hosted by two-time Grammy Award-winner Keb’ Mo’, “The Blues” is a comprehensive chronicle of America’s most enduring music form. This landmark 13-part radio series tells the full, rich story of this seminal roots music. It uses new and archival interviews, recordings and remotes from where blues history occurred as well as where the music thrives today. An incredible showcase of blues artistry, the series includes interviews with musical giants like B.B. King, Carlos Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Bonnie Raitt, as well as performances by such notables as Cephas and Wiggins, Taj Mahal, Shemekia Copeland, the Mississippi Allstars, Rory Block and many others.

The radio broadcasts are a key part of a larger multi-component Blues Project, which includes the 13-program radio series; a seven-program PBS series produced by filmmaker Martin Scorsese; a companion book published by Harper Collins; a comprehensive education program and Web site, http://www.yearoftheblues.org, created by the Seattle-based Experience Music Project (EMP); a traveling exhibit by EMP, scheduled to appear in cities all across the nation; DVDs and CD soundtracks for each PBS broadcast; and On the Road, a series of cross-country promotional events.

The Blues radio series is produced by Robert Santelli, Experience Music Project, and Ben Manilla, Ben Manilla Productions. WGBH Radio Boston is the presenting station, and the series is distributed nationally by Public Radio International.

KRCU 90.9 FM is Cape Girardeau’s local Public Radio International affiliate and a National Public Radio member station. For more information about this special series, log on to http://www.krcu.org.