15 Years Ago, Little Rock gave Aretha Franklin R-E-S-P-E-C-T in her concert with ASO

On November 16, 2004, the rafters of Robinson Center Music Hall were shaken by the vocal prowess of Aretha Franklin.

She shared the Robinson stage with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  The ASO brought Miss Franklin to town as part of the festivities surrounding the opening of the presidential library.  Long a favorite of the Clintons, Miss Franklin sang at his 1993 inaugural festivities the night before he took the oath of office.

Resplendent in a series of white dresses, Miss Franklin was in top form feeding off the love from the audience.  While backstage she may have been dealing with back and knee issues (which the Culture Vulture saw first hand), when she stepped on to the stage she was giving her all as she rolled through hit after hit from her starry career.  She sang, she played the piano, she entertained!

It was a sold out house and her voice and energy reached the last row of the balcony.

Prior to her appearance, the ASO played a few selections including variations on “Hail to the Chief” and “America.”

Earlier in the day, I had the privilege of picking up several copies of Bill Clinton’s autobiography for her to get signed by him.  I delivered them to her as she was resting between rehearsals. She was preparing for an interview with Craig O’Neill, and I hated disturbing her. But I wanted to be sure she got the books.  She was gracious and very appreciative.

Final ARKANSAS GAZETTE published on October 18, 1991

Twenty-seven years ago today, on October 18, 1991, the final edition of the Arkansas Gazette was delivered.

The front page featured a story on the demise of a Gazette employee effort to buy the paper.

Max Brantley’s column on the front page of the B section also addressed the then-eminent end of the paper. However, as a newspaper all of the sections spent most of their space on the news of the day. While Gazette staffers felt the end was likely near, few felt that the paper on October 18, 1991, would be the final edition.

The back page of the last section of the Gazette featured an ad for Premiere Pontiac Nissan Audi which was throwing a “Beat Texas” party featuring Craig O’Neill.  The Arkansas Razorbacks were scheduled to play the Texas Longhorns on Saturday, October 19.

Here are the top halves of the front pages of sections B, C, D, and E for the final Arkansas Gazette.  They tell the stories of trials, football games, corporate earnings, and cultural events.

Little Rock is putting the LIT in Literary today at the 2019 Arkansas Literary Festival

Image may contain: textAll the world’s a page, or at least it may seem so as the 2019 Arkansas Literary Festival moves into full force in a variety of venues throughout Little Rock.

LIBRARY SQUARE
At the Ron Robinson Theater:
10am – Levi Agee, Mark Freeman, Mike Mueller, Sister Deborah Troillet
11:30am – Jericho Brown, Geffrey Davis
1pm – Dorie Greenspan, Elizabeth Minchilli
2:30pm – Elizabeth Eckford, Eurydice Stanley, & Grace Stanley, The Worst First Day
4pm – Chigozie Obioma, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Pitchaya Sudbanthad
7pm – Rick Bragg, The Best Cook in the World

At the CALS Main Library Darragh Center:
10am – Mitchell S. Jackson, Julie Rieger
11:30am – Rick Campbell, Alfred Gough & Miles Millar
1pm – Patrick McGilligan, Andre Millard
2:30pm – Liana Finck, Charles Forsman
4pm – Adam Smith, Mark Freeman, Esme Weijun Wang

At the Roberts Library, Room 124
10am – Book Club Panel with Christine Bonsib, Toshona Carter, Stewart Fuell, Carmen Langston, Gregory Wagnon
11:30am – Roman Muradov, Mary Laura Philpott
1pm – Nita Gould, Joe David Rice
4pm – Cherisse Jones-Branch, Erin Wood

At The Bookstore at Library Square
10am – Charles J. Shields, Brantley Hargrove
11:30am – H.K. Hummel, Short Form Creative Writing (workshop)
2:30pm – Songwriting with Bonnie Montgomery (workshop)
4pm – Andrés Cerpa, Ruben Quesada

At CALS Main Library Level 4
1pm – Emily X. R. Pan

At Nexus Nook
2:30pm – Teen Poetry Contest

At UA Little Rock Downtown
11:30am – Kevin Brockmeier, Kathyrn Davis,
1pm – Crystal C. Mercer, Randi M. Romo
2:30pm – Marina Lostetter, Arkady Martine,
4pm – Ian S. Port

Ron Robinson Theater Alley
Makers Alley 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. with Bang-Up Betty, Matthew Castellano, Control, Crying Weasel Vintage, Dower, Electric Ghost, Green Corner Store, Luna Tick Designs, Milk Dadd, Origami Heroes, Sean Sapp
5:30pm Music by DOT
6pm Music by Dazz & Brie

OTHER VENUES
Christ Episcopal Church – 1pm – Erin McGraw
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church – 2:30pm – Barkley Thompson
Allsopp & Chapple Restaurant – 2:30pm – Rhett Brinkley, Lillian Li, Vaughn Scribner
Eggshells Kitchen Co. – 4pm – Elizabeth Minchilli (fee to attend)
Sticky’s Rock & Roll Chicken Shack – 7pm – Pub or Perish

FAMILY EVENTS AT THE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON CHILDREN’S LIBRARY

  • Pose Like a Prince/Princess – 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Classroom
  • Take Home Free Tales: Book Fair; Books provide by the Junior League of Little Rock and CALS – 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Store
  • Create a Crown: Crafts You Can Wear; Build one in preparation for The Emperor’s New Clothes, or simply to feel royal all day. – 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m
  • The Kinders, a rollicking, good-time concert for kids – 9 a.m., Theater
  • Meet the Billy Goats Gruff (Provided by Heifer Village Urban Farm) – 10 a.m. to Noon, Front lawn
  • StoryTime with Nancy Pruitt, Winston the Pony Goes to a Party. – 10 a.m., Art Gallery
  • Making Merry Music: Drum Circle, Searcy Ewell, Jr. helps kids explore the power of percussion – 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Amphitheatre
  • Hot Dogs for Hansel and Gretel, Free lunches are provided for hungry tots – 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Back patio
  • Grow Your Own Bean Stalk, Plant some magic beans with Drew Bradbury and carry home your new stalk-to-be – 10:30-11 a.m., 11:30 to 12:30 p.m., Greenhouse
  • StoryTime with Craig O’Neill, the lively KTHV anchor shares a bit of Jack & the Beanstalk, and encourages kids to create their own stories – 11 a.m., Theater
  • StoryTime with Higgins Bond, Lorraine: The Girl Who Sang the Storm Away, 11:30 a.m., Theater
  • StoryTime with Jeff Henderson, Stone Soup – Noon, Kitchen
  • Breathe & Believe: Children’s Yoga, Tanesha Forrest is back with her terrific animal yoga workshop – 12:30 p.m., Back patio
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes, enjoy a live stage play about a vain emperor and his “special clothes” that are visible only to the smartest people. What could go wrong? Sponsored by Rebsamen Fund – 1 p.m., Theater

Little Rock Look Back: Final ARKANSAS GAZETTE Published

Twenty-seven years ago today, on October 18, 1991, the final edition of the Arkansas Gazette was delivered.

The front page featured a story on the demise of a Gazette employee effort to buy the paper.

Max Brantley’s column on the front page of the B section also addressed the then-eminent end of the paper. However, as a newspaper all of the sections spent most of their space on the news of the day. While Gazette staffers felt the end was likely near, few felt that the paper on October 18, 1991, would be the final edition.

The back page of the last section of the Gazette featured an ad for Premiere Pontiac Nissan Audi which was throwing a “Beat Texas” party featuring Craig O’Neill.  The Arkansas Razorbacks were scheduled to play the Texas Longhorns on Saturday, October 19.

Here are the top halves of the front pages of sections B, C, D, and E for the final Arkansas Gazette.  They tell the stories of trials, football games, corporate earnings, and cultural events.

Remembering Aretha Franklin at Robinson Center with the ASO

On Tuesday, November 16, 2004, Aretha Franklin showed why she was an unparalleled entertainer.

She shared the Robinson stage with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  The ASO brought Miss Franklin to town as part of the festivities surrounding the opening of the presidential library.  Long a favorite of the Clintons, Miss Franklin sang at his 1993 inaugural festivities the night before he took the oath of office.

Resplendent in a series of white dresses, Miss Franklin was in top form feeding off the love from the audience.  While backstage she may have been dealing with back and knee issues (which I saw first hand), when she stepped on to the stage she was giving her all as she rolled through hit after hit from her starry career.  She sang, she played the piano, she entertained!

It was a sold out house and her voice and energy reached the last row of the balcony.

Prior to her appearance, the ASO played a few selections including variations on “Hail to the Chief” and “America.”

Earlier in the day, I had the chance to meet her.  The ASO had contacted me to see if I could pick up three copies of Bill Clinton’s autobiography for her to have him sign.  I was out and about on Clinton Library-related errands that day, so I happily obliged.  I picked up three copies and delivered them to Robinson Center.  Miss Franklin was on a break in between rehearsals and was about to be interviewed by Craig O’Neill for KTHV.  I only got to shake her hand and briefly say hello, but I could tell she was thrilled to receive the books.

I obviously did not ask to be reimbursed for the expense. The chance to spend a few seconds with her was payment enough.

Little Rock Look Back: Final ARKANSAS GAZETTE

Twenty-five years ago today, on October 18, 1991, the final edition of the Arkansas Gazette was delivered. 

The front page featured a story on the demise of a Gazette employee effort to buy the paper. 

Max Brantley’s column on the front page of the B section also addressed the then-eminent end of the paper. However, as a newspaper all of the sections spent most of their space on the news of the day. While Gazette staffers felt the end was likely near, few felt that the paper on October 18, 1991, would be the final edition.  

The back page of the last section of the Gazette featured an ad for Premiere Pontiac Nissan Audi which was throwing a “Beat Texas” party featuring Craig O’Neill.  The Arkansas Razorbacks were scheduled to play the Texas Longhorns on Saturday, October 19. 

Here are the top halves of the front pages of sections B, C, D, and E for the final Atkansas Gazette.  They tell the storie of trials, football games, corporate earnings, and cultural events.