This week marks the anniversary of one of the largest efforts to raise money for the nation's farmers, who in 1985 were battling lower land values and higher interest rates. Illinois Public Media's Sean Powers looks at how this benefit concert has helped small family farms in the last 25 years.
(Photo by Sean Powers/WILL)
Twenty five years ago this week, the Champaign area was all about Farm Aid. The 12-hour event in Champaign, Illinois featured more than 40 acts, including organizers Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young. It drew in more than $9 million dollars to help the nation's struggling farmers. But beyond raising money, Illinois Public Media's Sean Powers reports that the concert helped shed light on the challenges facing farmers in the 1980s.
Dan Fogelberg will long be remembered for songs like 'Longer' and 'Same Old Lang Syne', but a few years before he wrote and recorded those hits, he was a student at the University of Illinois, attracting crowds to a local coffeehouse. The Peoria native died Sunday at the age of 56. AM 580's Jeff Bossert talked with one of Fogelberg's earliest collaborators.
A century-old barn in Allerton Park will be the home of a new sonic experience for central Illinois. The Allerton Music Barn festival opens for the very first time in Monticello. The festival will feature five performances ranging from American classical to Balinese gamelan. AM 580's Michael Koliska has the first sound check of the new venue.
The death from suicide of tenor Jerry Hadley (left, in 2000's The Song and the Slogan) touched many people in Illinois. Hadley died July 18, two days after he was taken off life support. While his singing career took him around the world, Hadley was an Illinois native who studied music at Bradley University and the University of Illinois. He often returned home to visit, perform and teach. AM 580's Jim Meadows talked with some of Hadley's Illinois friends to gather their memories.
Come Labor Day, Central Illinois will be one sonic experience richer. The Allerton Music Barn Festival will kick off for the first time in Monticello August 31. The festival will feature a wide range of musical genres, from American classical and Latin jazz to zydeco to Balinese gamelan. University of Illinois School of Music director Karl Kramer has been working toward this new music event since he came to Urbana Champaign five years ago. AM 580's Michael Koliska talked to him.
A record label in Champaign is making a name for itself by selling old recordings... really old ones... some of them originally on wax cylinder. Archeophone Records specializes in music made between the late 1800's and the early 1920's - music that is virtually ignored by the big labels in this era of the iPod. Archeophone has been praised by scholars, and won a Grammy for its efforts. In a new version of a story first aired on March 5, AM 580's Jeff Bossert reports.
For more than 100 years, people have had a means to record music. But much of what was produced in the earliest years of the recording era isn't readily available,. The motto of Archeophone Records is "songs you thought were lost forever." The idea recently struck gold for the Champaign couple who conceived of the label a few years ago. AM 580's Jeff Bossert visited with the founders of the Grammy-winning label.