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Stephen Keene Presents a Gospel Showcase at Badgett Playhouse

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Badgett Playhouse celebrates Black History Month with a Gospel Showcase starring Stephen Keene and special guests, Sunday, February 22 at 2 p.m. Keene grew up singing in churches alongside his mother, a minister of over 50 years, and speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about the concert. 

Stephen Keene says he's hoping to share with people how he began singing along with some musical history related to "slave code" in Negro spirituals. He wrote a paper while he was a music major at Murray State about how many of the early Negro spirituals featured coded language developed by slaves to plan escape routes to the underground railroad. For example, the lyric "star" would allude to the north star, and river terms like "wade in the water" would be a clue telling one to wait until there's an all clear. Keene says he'll use songs to explain some of this method.

He also plans on performing original gospel songs and give a tribute to Andrae Crouch, who died earlier this year. His special guests include friends Angela Guyton, Katrina Lee and Tonya Shelton, also the First Untied Methodist Church of Murray's Early Light Praise Team.

More about the event on Facebook

Credit Variety! Music, Memories & More in Grand Rivers, KY, Facebook
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Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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