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Special Programming for 4th of July Weekend

Rick Nance Design/Illustration
Fireworks Rhythm & Blues Revue!

We're celebrating Independence Day all weekend long with special programming, including concerts, documentaries and a Fireworks Rhythm & Blues Revue produced by Dr. Bob! Here's the list of dates and times so you can mark your calendar for a fun-filled weekend.


5 - 9 am: Morning Edition

During Morning Edition, hear the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence

9 am - 11 am: The Diane Rehm Show

For Fourth of July hear a fresh reading of the Declaration of Independence with Danielle Allen and a discussion on how ideas of freedom and equality have been interpreted over the years. In the second hour, a conversation with acclaimed ballerina Misty Copeland on her remarkable career and how she challenges physical stereotypes that kept ballet stuck in the past.

11 am - Noon: Marcia Ball-Live at Murphy Auditorium

From the WNIN Regional Voices Series

Hear a performance by the legendary Marcia Ball recorded by friends at WNIN and their Regional Voices series. Singer/pianist Marcia Ball knows how to raise roofs and tear down walls with her infectious, intelligent and deeply emotional brand of southern boogie, rollicking, roadhouse blues and heartfelt ballads. Her piano playing and passionate, playful vocals fuse New Orleans and Gulf Coast R&B with Austin's deep songwriting tradition into a sound that's been described as "a little rock, a lot of roll, a pinch of rhythm and a handful of blues."

Noon - 1 pm: Western Kentucky A Birthplace of Steel

Enjoy an encore airing of Western Kentucky A Birthplace of Steel. It's about the history and mystery of western Kentucky's early 19th century iron industry and how one of the men behind it, William Kelly, developed the process of refining iron into steel. Research on this topic by WKMS was inspired by a successful nomination authored by MSU Chemistry professor Dr. Bommanna Loganathan that resulted in Kentucky's first ever National Historic Chemical Landmark designation from the American Chemical Society.

Credit Rick Nance Design/Illustration
Fireworks Rhythm & Blues Revue! Poster

7 - 11 pm: Fireworks Rhythm & Blues Revue

Sponsored by Eddy Creek Marina

It's the greatest rhythm and blues festival that never happened! The Fireworks Rhythm and Blues Revue is a virtual concert from the make-believe "Roger Reichmuth Amphitheater" on the Southwest Campus of Murray State University. John "Johnny B." Griffin and Jim "Michigan Jimmy" Carpenter are the co-hosts for the show. For many years the pair produced the popular program Stateline Blues Saturday nights on WKMS. This is their first reunion in more than 15 years.

"The Fireworks Rhythm and Blues Revue combines archival sound from live performance recordings with environmental sound effects and announcers to create an immersive experience for the listener," said producer Dr. Bob Lochte. "And it's a unique opportunity to hear so many great performers, many of them now deceased, play and react to a live audience." Featured artists include Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, James Brown, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Etta James, and many more legendary rhythm and blues stars.



7 - 9 am: Weekend Edition

During Weekend Edition, hear StoryCorps' Military Voices initiative

1 - 3 pm: Rick's Kitchen Sink 4th of July Celebration

This Saturday on Rick's Kitchen Sink... It's the 4th of July... He'll have music by Laura Nyro, James Brown, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, Janis Joplin, The Bar-Kays, CCR, CSN&Y and many many more...

3 - 4 pm: We've Never Been The Same: A War Story

To celebrate Independence Day we're honored to share this special documentary about men who served in Delta Company, a Vietnam-era paratrooper unit. At Fort Campbell before deployment, Delta was a ragtag bunch, the "leftovers" as one of their fellow soldiers put it, but on the night of March 18th, 1968, they became heroes. Their leader received the Medal of Honor and two others were awarded the nation's second highest honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, for their valor that night when the company endured a long and devastating battle-not as long or as devastating, however, as the years that followed, after the men of Delta Company came home separately to live alone with the memories.

Producer Adam Piore became dedicated to this group of guys and to their common story of trauma, guilt, courage, heartbreak, and reunion. Piore says, "These guys went to Vietnam, and in the aftermath of the Tet Offensive, they stumbled upon a North Vietnamese base camp and they were outnumbered 20 to one. They became a company of heroes."

5 - 7 pm: A Prairie Home Companion

The second annual 40th Anniversary Live Broadcast and season finale featuring JD McPherson, Joe Newberry, Jearlyn and Jevetta Steele, Butch Thompson and Tjarnblom. Plus, the tried and true traditions of Independence Day in Lake Wobegon.

8 - 11 pm: Beyond The Edge Americana Tour Edition

Tracy Ross features three hours of songs about American cities, states and places of interest in a 4th of July special edition of Beyond The Edge.

11 pm - 1 am: Weekend Energy Big Funky Breakbeat 4th of July Mix

It's big, ridiculously funky and just in time for 4th of July... an hour of the best breakbeats on Weekend Energy. Host Matt McG features music by Wes Smith, Basement Freaks, Krafty Kuts, BadBoe and many others to close out the annual festival of freedom. 


1 - 2 pm: Alzono Pennington Band Concert


Enjoy the Alonzo Pennington Band in a performance from historic Wrather Museum Auditorium at Murray State University recorded September 30 of last year. Alonzo and his band play a variety of classic songs including The Nine-Pound Hammer, St. Thomas and Stevie Wonder’s classic Superstition as well as original tracks from his album “Born With Nothing.” Thank you to Justin Patton of MSU Recording Services for providing us with this concert.

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