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WKMS Presents Special Programming in Honor of Women's History Month

Library of Congress
Wikimedia Commons
WKMS presents a variety of special programming honoring Women's History Month every Monday through March 29th.

In honor of Women's History Month, WKMS presents a variety of special programs honoring notable women throughout musical, social, and political history. Special programming will air every Monday through March 29th. See WKMS' Women's History Month programming below:

Monday, March 1st

• 11 am:

 Billie and Shirley
When Billie Holiday was harassed by U.S. government agents and told to stop singing Strange Fruit, she refused. When Shirley Chisholm ran for president and was ridiculed and told she shouldn't aim that high politically, she refused. On this episode of Throughline, two pioneering Black women, Billie Holiday and Shirley Chisholm, who set their own sights and never backed down from a fight.

Presented by Throughline

• 12 pm: Late Lady: Billie Holiday On Verve in the 1950s
In 1952, Billie Holiday began her last great period on record with a series of small-group sessions that capture the twilight glow of a jazz star.

Presented by WFIU Indianapolis and PRX.

Monday, March 8th

• 11 am: the 'mother of afrofuturism' writer Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler was a deep observer of the human condition, perplexed and inspired by our propensity towards self-destruction. She described herself as a pessimist, "if I'm not careful."

As an award-winning science fiction writer and 'mother of Afrofuturism,' her visionary works of alternate realities reveal striking and often devastating parallels to the world we live in today. Butler was fascinated by the cyclical nature of history and often looked to the past when writing about the future. She broke on to the science fiction scene at a time when she knew of no other Black women in the field, saying she simply had to 'write herself in.'

Presented by Throughline?. 

• 12 pm: And Nothing Less: The Untold Stories of Women's Fight for the Vote

Men their rights and nothing more; women their rights and nothing less." Written by suffragists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, women's rights activists used this rallying cry to demand voting equality. But the suffrage movement included far more voices and perspectives than these two well-known names: throughout the fight for women's right to vote, generations of diverse activists demanded full access to the ballot box. Hosts Rosario Dawson and Retta guide us through this hour-long special, bringing us the stories we didn't learn in our history books.

And Nothing Less is a production of the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission, the National Park Service, and PRX. This hour is an adaptation of the official podcast commemorating 100 years of the 19th Amendment and women's constitutional right to vote.

Monday, March 15th

• 11 am: "Lady Bird Johnson: Legacy of a First Lady"

Lady Bird Johnson was a pioneer First Lady who forged the way for this historic election. This award-winning documentary, produced by Joe Bevilacqua, chronicles her life and times. One of the 15 most licensed programs on the Public Radio Exchange, "Lady Bird Jonson: Legacy of a First Lady" is an award-winning one-hour radio documentary examining the challenges and achievements of this extraordinary woman. 

The documentary combines never-before-released archive audio, gleaned from thousands of hours of recordings housed at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, period news broadcasts, private conversations with Lyndon Baines Johnson, and the words of Lady Bird Johnson from an interview that has never before been released to the public. 

Presented by PRX.

12 pm: "Jazz Women of the 1960s"

In the 1960s, as the civil rights movement and other cultural changes gained momentum, a generation of women artists made their way through a jazz world that has long been less than hospitable to their aims. Singers such as Nina Simone and Jeanne Lee, composer Carla Bley, organist Shirley Scott, harpist Dorothy Ashby, and fellow harpist and pianist Alice Coltrane, and trumpeter Barbara Donald all left behind notable recordings from this decade as they expanded the role of women in jazz in ways both traditional and groundbreaking. 

"Jazz Women of the 1960s" offers a musical survey of these artists, including Nina Simone's civil rights anthem Young, Gifted, and Black, Alice Coltrane's Eastern-religion-inspired Huntington Ashram Monastery, Jeanne Lee's take on an Ellington classic, and an early interpretation of Carla Bley's jazz standard Ida Lupino

Presented by WIFU Indianapolis and PRX.

Monday, March 22nd

• 11 am: Witness: Women's History Month 

A special hour-long edition of Witness History from the BBC World Service. Remarkable stories of women's history, told by the women who were there. Selected from the BBC's Witness History program, we hear moving, inspiring, and even outrageous stories about a few of the most important women in living memory.

Presented by American Public Media. 

• 12 pm: Jazz Guitarist Emily Remler: A Musical Remembrance

Emily Remler was a rising-star jazz guitarist in the 1980s whose style, influenced by Wes Montgomery, fused hard swing and lyricism with Brazilian and other forms of music, making her one of the most compelling newcomers around. Remler did not let the notoriously sexist barriers of the jazz world deter her from her passion for playing music, and early on, she landed a contract with Concord Records. 

Her ultimate obstacle, however, proved to be fatal: an addition to heroin. Remler died in Australia on May 4th, 1990, at the age of 32. In this program, we'll hear music from her albums East to West, Take Two, and This Is Me, as well as collaborations with Larry Coryell, Ray Brown, and Susannah McCorkle. We also talk with drummer and Remler's friend Robert Jospe, who knew and worked with Remler in the mid-1980s while she was staying in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Presented by WFIU Indianapolis and PRX.

Monday, March 29th

• 11 am: The Emergence of Emmylou Harris

The remarkable musical journey of Emmylou Harris is explored in this two-hour version of a special from music documentarian Paul Ingles. 

Guests include musicians Rodney Crowell, Ricky Skaggs, Shawn Colvin, Bonnie Raitt, Sara Watkins, Peter Cooper, and David Gans and writers and scholars Ann Powers, Anthony DeCurtis, Holly George-Warren, Mark Kemp, and Beverly Keel. 

Presented by Paul Ingles and PRX.

You can listen to WKMS' special programming on-air or online at

Melanie Davis-McAfee graduated from Murray State University in 2018 with a BA in Music Business. She has been working for WKMS as a Music and Operations Assistant since 2017. Melanie hosts the late-night alternative show Alien Lanes, Fridays at 11 pm with co-host Tim Peyton. She also produces Rick Nance's Kitchen Sink and Datebook and writes Sounds Good stories for the web.
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