Bruce (middle) discussing protocol with Rob James-Collier (Tomas, left) and Kevin Doyle (Mr. Mosley, right).
Courtesy of Masterpiece
January 04, 2016

Downton Abbey Historical Adviser On Season Six, Filming And More

Downton Abbey season six, the final season, premiered in the U.S. yesterday to great acclaim. It wouldn’t look the way it does or be so historically accurate, however, if it weren’t for Alastair Bruce. The cast and crew of Downton Abbey, Masterpiece’s smash hit about the Crawley family and their servants call Bruce, the show’s historical advisor, “The Oracle” because he knows everything about the customs and protocols of the time period. 


Some of the homes on Fairlawn Drive in Urbana, part of Candlestick Lane.
Darrell Hoemann/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
December 24, 2015

The History Of Urbana’s Candlestick Lane

Candlestick Lane, a holiday tradition of lights and decorated lawns for 52 years in Urbana, was started after a utility company's decorating contest.  Three of the families who started the tradition in 1963 are still in the neighborhood.  Participating homes on Grant Place, Eastern Drive, and Fairlawn Drive are expected to keep up their displays through New Year's Eve.


Courtesy of Masterpiece
December 14, 2015

Downton Abbey Historical Adviser Alastair Bruce On Filming, Manners Special

The cast and crew of Downton Abbey, Masterpiece’s smash hit about the Crawley family and their servants call Historical Advisor Alistair Bruce “The Oracle” because he knows everything about the customs and protocols of the time period. Bruce is in town to share some of that knowledge and secrets about filming the show at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts tonight.


Front cover photo for "Songs of the Night."
Archeophone Records
December 07, 2015

Another Grammy Nomination For Champaign’s Archeophone Records

Archeophone Records, which re-issues recordings from the acoustic era, has picked up a Best Album Notes nomination for 'Songs of The Night: Dance Recordings 1916-1925.'  Ryan Barma's accompaying booklet discussses band leader Joseph C. Smith's life and contributions to early 20th Century dance music.


Still picture from "The Bathrooms are Coming", the 1969 American-Standard Musical.
Steve Young
December 04, 2015

Night Of ‘Corporate Musicals’ Coming To Champaign

Veteran David Letterman late night writer Steve Young has compiled dozens of recordings from trade shows and conventions, songs from companies ranging from car manufacturers to beer breweries to General Electric.  "The Lost World of Industrial Musicals" comes to the Art Theater Co-op in Champaign Friday night.


Fireman statue in West Side Park wearing one of Gretchen's scarves
Amanda Honigfort/WILL
November 27, 2015

Scarves For Champaign-Urbana’s Residents - And Statues

Scarves are showing up on statues around Champaign-Urbana with a message to take one if you need it. It’s the work of Gretchen Warner. She wanted to find a way to help people stay warm this winter, so she started crocheting. 


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