Downtown Birmingham and some nearby neighborhoods are seeing an influx of new residents, mainly young professionals and retired baby boomers. It’s a national trend — the Census Bureau reports millions of Americans have migrated from the suburbs to the cities since 2010. Experts like Bruce Katz,a Vice President of the Brookings Institution and co-author of “The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy,” think this is a good thing. Katz believes cities like Birmingham are the new economic engines in post-recession America. Katz spoke with WBHM’s Greg Bass about his visit to Birmingham last year, and the central idea behind what he calls “The Metropolitan Revolution.”
Alabama has a rich folk history, full of songs, stories and primitive arts and crafts. For years, the Alabama Folk School has brought them to life through a year-round teaching program at Camp McDowell, the camp and conference center for the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. The Alabama Folk School recently appointed a new director, and Camp McDowell itself has seen some major changes and renovations in the past year.
“Faith, as St. Paul said in his letter to the Galatians, is a fruit of the spirit, and a fruit is something tangible, life sustaining, a gift.” Dennis Covington.
Sam Bush, considered by many to be the father of newgrass, the more progressive form of bluegrass music, brings his band to the Lyric Theatre Saturday night, February 13. Like the founding father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe, Bush grew up on a farm in Kentucky surrounded by a family of musicians. Both fell in love with the mandolin and with traditional music. There the comparison ends. Monroe grew up in the 1920s, while Sam Bush came of age in the era of television that brought the stars of country music right into his home.
Almost 150 people crowd around a statue in Linn Park last Friday, waiting to dedicate a statue honoring Nina Miglionico, the first woman to serve on the Birmingham City Council. Mayor William Bell and Birmingham City Council members past and present mingle with members of the Miglionico family and friends.
Max Cooper, a Broadway producer and Alabama’s largest McDonald’s franchisee, died Sunday at his Birmingham home. He was just shy of 100-years-old. Max Cooper was many things; fast food tycoon, sports impresario, advertising guy, entrepreneur and someone with a lifelong desire to be in show business. Greg Bass spoke with Cooper for WBHM in December of 2010.
In 1957, on the heals of his successful lawsuit that ended the Montgomery Bus Boycott, civil rights attorney Fred Gray represented a group of African American voters from Tuskegee who were shut out of voting in local elections when the Alabama Legislature re-drew the city limits in such a way as to remove them from the city. Gray sued the State in Federal Court. Almost four years later, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that race-based gerrymandering was unconstitutional.
Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the law that abolished literacy tests and other tools designed to keep black people from voting. The momentum for Selma and the civil rights victories of 1965 started ten years earlier with the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955. Tuskegee civil rights lawyer Fred Gray was one of the forces behind that boycott. For WBHM, Greg Bass recently spoke with Gray about the bus boycott, and his extraordinary career. Gray went on to represent the Selma Marchers, Martin Luther King and a seamstress named Rosa Parks.
Supporters of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s recently canceled football program have vowed to protest when the UA System Board of Trustees meets in Birmingham later this week. WBHM contributor Greg Bass spoke with Board of Trustees member Finis St. John of Cullman about the controversy surrounding UAB football and the role of the Board of Trustees in the governance of UAB.
Jerry Lee Lewis is one of the founding fathers of rock and roll. Nicknamed The Killer because of his wild energetic piano playing, Lewis soared to fame in the 1950’s only to be brought down by scandal when he married his 13-year old cousin. Lewis then turned to country music where he churned out a string of hits in the 60’s and 70’s. Author Rick Bragg spent two summers listening to Lewis recollect the triumphs and tragedies of his six decade career and the result is the book Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story. Bragg tells Greg Bass about Lewis’ first encounter with a piano in Ferriday, Louisiana…
The bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church occurred on Sept. 15, 1963, but it took decades to put the perpetrators on trial. Why did it take so long? Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church — The Case for Justice, a special documentary produced by Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM, offers some answers.
Gospel music has long been a fixture in African American churches around Birmingham. A new documentary film looks at the revolution of a style of gospel music called the Jefferson County Sound. Greg Bass takes a closer look for WBHM’s Tapestry.
Fans remember Alabama bluesman Willie King, who died of a heart attack at his home in Pickens County on Sunday. Before his death, King talked with WBHM’s Greg Bass about his life and music.