Folksinger Michael Johnathon discusses the new TV show with Bluegrass Today “Mr. Rogers meets the Grand Ole Opry”
Schools, teachers, home school parents and students come FREE to the Oct. 10 taping at the Lyric Theater
LEXINGTON, Ky. (September 20, 2022) – Folksinger Michael Johnathon’s nationally syndicated radio and TV broadcast, WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, is set to begin initial pilot production for a newspin-off series called WoodSongs Kids. The upcoming October 10 taping at the Lyric Theater in Lexington, Kentucky will feature numerous kid musicians (ages 6-16). School teachers, and home school parents may bring their students for FREE to the Oct. 10 taping. WoodSongs Kids is being produced initially as a TV series for public television TV affiliates across the nation.
“We have featured young kids on every WoodSongs broadcast for years, making it a highlight of the show every week,” Johnathon said. “WoodSongs Kids will be devoted exclusively to the kids of America’s front porch. Think “Mr. Rogers meets the Grand Ole Opry” and you will have a good idea of what’s coming.”
With a global partnership with the Department of Kentucky Tourism and VisitLEX, an extended residency for the next five years at the historic Lyric Theatre and a recently installed exhibit at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, WoodSongs continues to grow its radio affiliate base, enhance its online presence, and expand its large TV audience. WoodSongs invites people from around the world to visit and experience the welcoming “front porch” of Kentucky, which is at the crossroads of America’s folk, country and bluegrass music communities.
For official show information and production updates on the new WoodSongs Kid series visit woodsongs.com/kidstv
About WoodSongs: WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour is an all-volunteer, live audience celebration of grassroots, bluegrass, country and folk music and the artists who make it. Produced 44 Mondays per year from the historic Lyric Theater in Lexington, Kentucky the show airs worldwide on 537 radio stations from Australia to Ireland and across the United States. It also airs on American Forces Radio Network twice each weekend in 177 nations, every military base and US Naval ship around the world. It is broadcast into millions of homes as a public television series on KET in Kentucky and PBS stations coast-to-coast, nationwide every Friday on RFD-TV, America’s Most Important Rural Network, and streaming on several online services including YouTube.
He is a banjo playing folksinger. His worldview is shaped from the front porch of his log cabin home outside of Lexington, Kentucky.
“Never before in the history of the world has the need to revisit the meaning and spirit of the front porch been so needed,” Johnathon says.
Indeed, war, pandemic and economic uncertainty, civil unrest and gun violence, the shattering of accepted norms and the incessant social media noise have caused many to look back to re-examine where we are heading.
“This is not a political idea. It’s not left or right, republican or democrat, black or white, liberal or conservative. It is hometowns and neighbors, families and friends. It’s America, Canada, Ireland and beyond.” says Johnathon. “It’s the poetic calmness of rural communities that built arguably the greatest nation in world history.”
There is merit in that musical message. Generations ago there was a Slavic saying that went, “if everyone in the whole world simply took care of their own homes you would not have to worry about the world anymore.” In the 1960s that was rephrased into a bumper sticker, “Think globally. Act locally.”
To that end, the community-driven Michael Johnathon is not your average folksinger. A prolific songwriter with 19 nationally released albums, six published books, he also created and hosts a mammoth all volunteer-run public radio and TV broadcast, the WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour airing on over 500 radio stations, millions of TV homes on PBS stations and the RFD TV Network, and worldwide on the American Forces Radio Network.
In fact, the WoodSongs broadcast is described on-air as a multimedia front porch.
He conceived and created the national community of SongFarmers, artists and musicians faced with the post pandemic collapse of the music world and redirecting their efforts into their home towns and communities. Already there are 89 active chapters from Australia, across America and Ireland.
“We are living among the first generation in human history that gets its music and art as a flatscreen, cell phone, digital tsunami of ones and zeros,” he says. “The real, front porch, organic world of music and art is fading away.”
Johnathon has tapped into a global need for friends, community and the genuine comfort that organic art can give in a world of incessant stress.
It is an unlikely career trajectory that hasn’t been seen since folksinger Pete Seeger decided to build the Clearwater sloop to help clean up the Hudson river. While musicians and songwriters reach out for a golden ring that no longer exists in a record industry that has essentially collapsed, Michael Johnathon reaches instead to a global fan base made up of neighbors, families and fellow musicians.
“I think the truth of music and art is not being told to the world of struggling songwriters,” he says. “There is an illusion that the age of million selling records and world tours are still there, but it is not. The truth is that 99% of musicians will not get a record deal, will not get a booking agent, will not become stars.”
Johnathon believes in the passion and energy of those artists, that the greatest stage in the world is literally the emotional and spiritual front porch, the brightest spotlight shines on the figurative living room couch.
“Musicians have a wonderful opportunity to follow the example of artists like Pete Seeger, Harry Chapin and others,” Jonathon continued. “In the age of YouTube, doing good work is the equivalent of having a hit record.”
Johnathon continues to tirelessly pursue the idea of good work. His latest book WoodSongs 5 is a tribute to the struggling artists of yesterday and today including Vincent van Gogh. He completed the screenplay for the pending motion picture, Caney Creek: the Legend of Alice Lloyd, described by industry producers as the Dances with Wolves of Appalachia.
Beginning in October, he is launching another volunteer run TV series dedicated to the music of youngsters called “WoodSongs Kids,” a Mr. Rogers meets the Grand Ole Opry style broadcast.
“I wish musicians understood that free is the new business model,” Johnathon explains. “Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter allows everybody in the world to use their platforms absolutely free. It is very much an incarnation of the front porch business model. Music can work that way as well and you can accomplish amazing things with it.”
WoodSongs was created and is sustained on the free business model. This past spring the folksinger reached out to the WoodSongs community and collected over 1,000 instruments and delivered them free of charge to the musicians who lost everything in the ravage destruction of tornadoes in western Kentucky.
Recently, massive floods devastated the mountain communities of Appalachia and again he is enlisting the passionate front porch spirit of his fan-base to collect another 1,000 guitars, banjos, dulcimers, pianos and more and deliver them free of charge to the musicians in the mountains.
His belief in the front porch spirit has resulted in powerful partnerships. The Commonwealth of Kentucky gave him the prestigious MILNER AWARD of the ARTS reserved for the likes of Wendell Berry, James Still, Jean Ritchie and others. The Department of Kentucky Tourism came on board as a global partner of WoodSongs.
“To me, Kentucky is like the comfortable rocking chair on America’s front porch,” Michael said.
To find out more on how you can participate in the musical efforts of America’s front porch spirit you can visit these websites:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 21, 2022) – Tennessee-based national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, Memories of Honor, is excited to announce their inaugural Music City Miles & Memories event taking place on Saturday, Aug. 6, from 7:30am – 8:45am during the Big MachineMusic City Grand Prix. In partnership with Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC), Memories of Honor’s next patriotic military tribute athletic race event to support MOH’s mission of making every day a Memorial Day, is set to be a one-of-a-kind on-track experience for all racers to bike, walk, or military ruck the Music City Grand Prix racetrack in downtown Nashville. As part of the partnership, BRCC will be providing complimentary coffee for race participants, along with sponsoring a number of registration fees for military veterans to run and participate in Music City Miles & Memories.
“We are beyond excited to team up with the Big Machine Music City GrandPrix to offer this one-of-a-kind experience to honor our fallen military and their families,” said Amy Cotta, Founder & Executive Director of Memories of Honor. “We are also honored to have veteran-founded, Black Rifle Coffee Company join our efforts in this community outreach event.”
Music City Miles & Memories is open to the public, those wishing to participate may register by clicking here or by visiting musiccitymilesandmemories.com. Registrations will close on Tuesday, August 2 at 11:59pm CT.
DATE: August 6th, 2022
TIME: 7:30 AM – 8:45 AM
LOCATION: Music City Grand Prix Racecourse –1st Ave South, Downtown Nashville
PACE: You will have up to 55 minutes to complete the two-mile course. All foot traffic must be off the racecourse by 9 AM sharp!
NO PETS are allowed on the course.
SUPPORTING: Funds raised support Memories of Honor
EVENT DAY SCHEDULE
Packet pickup: 6:30 AM to 7:30 AM
Race Day Registration 7:00 – 7:30 AM
On-Track Ride / Walk / Ruck from 7:30 AM – 8:45 AM
Everyone must be off the track by 9:00 AM
Racetrack Street Access (without cars): You can walk, bike, military ruck. Strollers welcome.
General Admission Ticket: to Saturday’s Music City Grand Prix event, which includes: all-day access to the festival grounds, fan zone, racing activities, and music performances
Commemorative Event T-shirt
A Fallen Hero Memorial Bib: Marathon-style bib containing the rank, name, branch, and date of passing of one of our Nation’s fallen heroes.
About Memories of Honor: Memories of Honor is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Nashville, Tennessee. Our mission is to make EVERY DAY Memorial Day. We use athletics, entertainment, special events, and social media campaigns to create living breathing memorials so that no loss of life in or due to military service is forgotten. MOH also produces other athletics events which honor military and veterans such as the Bataan Challenge, Social Distancing Challenge, Boots For Troops, 101 Heroes Ride, and others. Visit memoriesofhonor.org to learn more or to become involved.
About Black Rifle Coffee Company: Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC) is a Veteran-founded coffee company serving premium coffee to people who love America. Founded in 2014 by Green Beret Evan Hafer, Black Rifle develops their explosive roast profiles with the same mission focus they learned while serving in the military. BRCC is committed to supporting Veterans, active-duty military, first responders and the American way of life.
“Anyone Else” WAV track available to radio programmers; make request to firstname.lastname@example.org
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 23, 2022) – Teen country duo Render Sisters from Pine Bluff, Arkansashavecrafted another upbeat southern pop-rock bop “Anyone Else,” where the best friends and sisters playfully file their complaints why some guys just don’t cut it. Released today across all digital & streaming music platforms, or at linktr.ee/rendersister, it’s their 8th single they’ve co-written and recorded in Nashville with hit-making songwriter and producer Britton Cameron (Don Williams, Jon Pardi, Lonestar).
Mary-Keaton Render describes the song as “A fun, upbeat song that Stella and I wrote basically as a burn song. We wanted to compile multiple cringy things that guys have said to us over the years, so we started writing and the words just jumped out on the paper. ‘Anyone Else’ is the response that we wanted to give to these guys all this time, so they finally can hear it.”
TheArkansas Democrat Gazetteexclusively premiered the new song by way of its lyric video on March 22 as part of their local style section.
“It was an easy song for us to write because we wrote it based on our own experiences in the past.’’ Stella adds. ‘’We wanted it to be light-hearted and fun, yet reveal our feelings. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did creating it.’’
Arkansas Country Music Awards 2022: Mary-Keaton and Stella Render are also up for honors in two separate categories in the 2022 Arkansas Country Music Awards; Young Artist Of The Year and Video Of The Year for “Small Spaces” (click to watch), which was directed by country music icon Pam Tillis. The Render Sisters were also nominated in the same categories in the 2021 awards show, where they also performed.
Single Name: “Anyone Else” Release date: March 23, 2022 Label / Distribution: PCG Artist Development / Distro Kid Written by: Mary-Keaton Render, Stella Render, Britton Cameron ISRC: QZES62220504 AudioProduced by: Britton Cameron Buy/Stream/Listen at linktr.ee/rendersisters Official Lyric Video: youtu.be/FakYO6hcWaw
About Render Sisters: The Render Sisters are a young pop country duo from Pine Bluff, Arkansas who were influenced to become songwriters by their grandmother, a music teacher. Having graced many small town stages since elementary school, throughout their home state of Arkansas, these harmonious teenage southern songstresses are now ready for bigger stages. Their debut songs “Lost Boy,” & “Count On Me Count On You” premiered in 2020, with the song’s videos being featured on The Heartland Network, The Country Network, and WGN-TV. In 2021, Mary-Keaton and Stella Render were honored with their first set of major awards nominations as recording artists, earning a pair of Arkansas Country Music Awards nods in two separate categories; Young Artist Of The Year and Video Of The Year fortheir debut music video “Lost Boy,” and also becoming the first Young ArtistOf The Year nominee to be nominated in a second award category. They also released several new songs, including the fun and upbeat country bop “Black Roses,” which was accompanied by another lively and colorful video directed by country music icon Pam Tillis. They’ve also made national TV appearances on RFD-TV’s Market Day Report and the Emmy award winning TV show, Teen Kid News. Prominent Music Row Magazine journalist and country music historian Robert K. Oermann concluded in his weekly column, “Their talent is way beyond their years.”
Parents, family, managers and the artist’s team are invited to observe, network and learn alongside their artist.
Artists and their teams may register now through Dec. 25 and get 50% off admission costs
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – PCG Artist Development, a world leader in artist development is excited to announce the 10th anniversary of their popular Summer Bootcamp event, which returns to an in-person event July 15 & 16, 2022 near Nashville. Event venue locations, breakout sessions, showcase performers and other agenda details will be announced at a later date, however artists and attendees may register now through Dec. 25 at PCGartistdevelopment.com/events-master-classes and receive a 50% discount on admission, using “PCG50” at checkout.
PCG Summer Bootcamp brings together some of the best and brightest minds in songwriting, production, vocal/performance coaching, and other entertainment industry professionals. In two days, under one roof, young aspiring recording and performance artists will learn from some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the industry. The PCG team will bring together an experienced group of entertainment industry thought leaders in artist management, entertainment attorneys, record production, publicity/media relations, social media, record label executives, hit songwriters, celebrities and more for a weekend the artist team’s will never forget and learn from.
“I am extremely proud of the positive impact PCG Summer Bootcamp has made in the lives of countless artists over the last ten years,” said PCG CEO, Bernard Porter. “It’s been so rewarding to see immediate results as we strengthen all elements of the artist’s mind, body and spirit. Artists will leave us fully charged and ready to take on the world!”
In addition to the basic fundamentals, the PCG Artist Development team will be focusing on the best practices for social media, tools the pros use for gaining major visibility across all socials, and how to correctly set yourself up as a music business to garner all income streams from your music.
The highlight of PCG Summer Bootcamp is the artist’s showcase event, where selected artists will have an invaluable opportunity to perform in front of, and receive honest feedback from a panel of performance and music industry experts. Whether performing or cheering on your favorite artist, everyone will have a chance to learn from some of the best and brightest minds in the music industry.
About PCG Artist Development: Using their customized, scientific approach, The Science Of Artist Development, PCG provides hands-on, real-world training and education with the best coaches and mentors in the music industry. PCG consists of a core in-office staff, and a vast network of providers who work with the most successful artists in the entertainment industry. Through years of experience and success in the industry, our staff is uniquely qualified to prescribe the services and providers you need and the wisdom to know when you need them. Our providers include award-winning producers and songwriters, social media experts and influencers, performance, vocal and instrument coaches, media trainers, publicists, hair, makeup and wardrobe stylists, photographers, videographers and so much more. With over 100 of the most sought-after coaches, mentors and service providers in the industry, PCG provides training and expertise that is second to none.
# # #
PCG Artist Development Contacts: Media & PR: JWA Media / Jason West Ashcraft | email@example.com | (615) 991-1125 President, PCG: Bernard Porter | firstname.lastname@example.org | (615) 400-8321 Registar, PCG: Chad Gentry | email@example.com | (615) 971-0704
Also featuring LIVE performances by J.D. Shelburne, a collaboration between Bryan Fox with Buffalo Stille & Ron Clutch from Nappy Roots, and Will Muse
Hosted by Outlaw Poet Ron Whitehead & Center Stage Magazine’s Missy Wolf
A portion of the proceeds to be donated to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund
Fans can watch FREE at i65LIVE.com or at more than 25 other social media channels by performing artists and their community supporters.
Performing arts organizations, businesses, and supporters are encouraged to host FREE cross-post “watch parties” for your fans. For info, email Jason@i65Live.com
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Legendary comedic genius Steve Smith, better known as Red Green from the Gemini Award winning comedy series The Red Green Show, will headline the inaugural transmission of i65 LIVE, a FREE online streaming fundraiser variety show set to broadcast on Sunday,May 10 at 7p ET/6p CT at i65LIVE.com. The show will feature an array of artistic performers who either live in, originated from, or perform regularly throughout America’s Midwest and Southern communities along the Interstate 65 corridor. The debut show will also feature live musical performances and interviews with rising country star J.D. Shelburne, a collaboration between country songwriter Bryan Fox and Grammy nominated American alternative southern hip-hop effigies Buffalo Stille & RonClutch from Nappy Roots, along with prodigy teen pop songwriter Will Muse.
The show will stream LIVE from Dark Horse Recording (DarkHorseRecording.com) studio, just outside of Nashville, and La La Land studio (LaLaLandSound.com) in Louisville, with a duo of hosts including Outlaw Poet Ron Whitehead from Louisville, and Center Stage Magazine’s Missy Wolf from Nashville.
Poet Ron Whitehead will also read and perform several selections from his archive of southern-inspired, Kentucky-bred poetry, including Never Give Up, a poem he co-wrote in 2012 with his holiness, The Dalai Lama.
Steve Smith (a.k.a. Red Green) to world premiere footage from his 2019 This Could Be It Tour Comedian Steve Smith will join the show live at 8:45 pm ET from Possum Lodge to ZOOM interview with show hosts Ron Whitehead and Missy Wolf. Smith will talk about his new podcast he’ll launch this summer, along with world premiering footage of his final live performances from 2019’s This Could Be It Tour.
“If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy,” said Smith. “And if they don’t find you handy, they should at least find you at i65 LIVE.”
Artists & organizations rally to host FREE i65 LIVE fan “watch parties” via social media Thanks to its many supporters and contributors already, i65 LIVE will stream FREE to fans at i65Live.com and via more than 25 different social media channels including Facebook LIVE, YouTube LIVE, Instagram TV, and Twitch.TV. “Watch Parties” are already scheduled among various Facebook LIVE pages including Comedian Red Green (@RedGreen), RFD-TV (@officialRFDTV), Center Stage Magazine (@centerstagemag), and many others. The full list of supporters and broadcast partners can be found at i65live.com.
Performing arts organizations, other artists, businesses, and supporters are encouraged to host their own stay-at-home watch parties for your followers by cross-posting the stream. In exchange for doing so, you’ll receive your logo or photo, with hyperlink, for FREE. For more information, or to participate, please email your logo and hyperlink to Jason@i65Live.com
Why i65 LIVE formed and how funds raised are distributed With the mandatory swift American response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and current public safety concerns, performing artists, supporting organizations and events all across America have closed, cancelled or rescheduled most of their activities. The livelihoods of many performing artists and entertainment industry professionals were also cut-off or significantly reduced. Given that all live entertainment has immediately shifted to an online-streaming method of consumption for fans, artists and performers must now ask for their support by way of donations and tips, through online streamed events. i65 LIVE was created to support this new reality.
100% of all sponsorships and donations raised from i65 LIVE will directly benefit and be divided among the show’s performing artists (@50%), the production staff (@25%), the broadcast studios (@15%), and a portion also being donated to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund (@10%). All donations and tips will ONLY be accepted through the show’s website at i65Live.com/donate.
About i65 LIVE i65 LIVE is a FREE to watch live-streaming variety show featuring an array of artistic performers who either live in, originated from, or perform regularly throughout America’s Midwest and Southern communities. The show was created to raise relief funds for its performing artists, musicians, recording studios and the other entertainment industry professionals whose primary source of income has been severely reduced or shut down as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic. A portion of the proceeds will also be donated to Sweet Relief Musicians fund, a non-profit charity based out of Los Angeles.
i65 LIVE is produced in collaboration between Center Stage Magazine from Dark Horse Recording Studio in Nashville, and Darkstar TV from La La Land Studio in Louisville. The show is being executive produced by its founder, Jason Ashcraft.
The show is closed to the public, has a limited production staff, and will operate in accordance with all current CDC recommended guidelines, including social distancing, for preventing the spread of COVID-19.