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‘Hear Together’ Presents: Hearing Hidden Voices

Hearing Hidden Voices is a three-part Hear Together series committed to amplifying voices in our community, even when the spotlight has been turned off. Each profile highlights the work of a different Lynchburg native who made seminal strides in the fight for inclusion and equality of the Black community in our area — and beyond.

These interviews were recorded and produced in late 2019 by Desire Moses and music was provided by Richmond’s Spacebomb house band. Listen below to learn more about Tennis Hall of Famer Robert “Whirlwind” Johnson, pioneering aviator Chauncey Spencer, and ticket-taker and community icon Lottie Payne Stratton who worked for three decades at the segregated box office at the historic Academy Theatre. (more…)

2020-09-18T14:15:29-04:00September 14th, 2020|Featured, Hear Together|

Hearing Hidden Voices: Lottie Payne Stratton

Hearing Hidden Voices is a three-part Hear Together series committed to amplifying voices in our community, even when the spotlight has been turned off. Each profile highlights the work of a different Lynchburg native whose tenacity made seminal strides in the fight for inclusion and equality of the Black community in our area — and beyond.

The Academy Center of the Arts in Lynchburg recently oversaw the renovation and reopening of the Historic Academy Theatre — an entertainment venue that was segregated from 1912 until its closing in 1958. Its reopening in 2018 was monumental; It marked the first time the space was integrated.

Throughout the restoration process, the Academy was mindful of the theatre’s history, and made sure to pay tribute to a community icon and theatre mainstay: Lottie Payne Stratton. Stratton ran the venue’s segregated ticket booth, and gained notoriety for her gestures of kindness and compassion.

For this Hear Together profile, we spoke with the Academy Center’s Executive Director Geoffrey Kershner. Learn more about the Academy Center’s history spotlight here.

 

2020-09-18T11:24:55-04:00September 14th, 2020|Hear Together|

Hearing Hidden Voices: Chauncey Spencer

 

Hearing Hidden Voices is a three-part Hear Together series committed to amplifying voices in our community, even when the spotlight has been turned off. Each profile highlights the work of a different Lynchburg native whose tenacity made seminal strides in the fight for inclusion and equality of the Black community in our area — and beyond.

Located in the Pierce Street District in Lynchburg, The Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum honors the contributions of Harlem Renaissance poet Anne Spencer. But it also tells the story of another historical figure: her son, Chauncey. With an affinity for flight and a desire to serve his country, Chauncey Spencer became one of the pioneers of aviation. In 1934, he left his hometown of Lynchburg for Chicago, and joined a group of African American pilots in the National Airmen Association of America (NAAA). Inspired by a meeting with Spencer and fellow NAAA member Dale Lawrence White, President Truman signed an executive order integrating the U.S. airforce in 1948 — an action that paved the way for the Tuskegee Airmen. Spencer’s flight suit is now on display at the Smithsonian.

Recorded live from the stage of the Historic Academy of Music Theatre, we spoke with Chauncey’s daughter, Shaun Spencer Hester, for this Hear Together profile. You can learn more about Chauncey Spencer here.

 

2020-09-18T11:28:32-04:00September 14th, 2020|Hear Together|

Hearing Hidden Voices: Whirlwind Johnson

Hearing Hidden Voices is a three-part Hear Together series committed to amplifying voices in our community, even when the spotlight has been turned off. Each profile highlights the work of a different Lynchburg native whose tenacity made seminal strides in the fight for inclusion and equality of the Black community in our area — and beyond.

A member of the Tennis Hall of Fame, Dr. Robert “Whirlwind” Johnson was a guiding force in the integration of professional tennis. He ran an elite tennis camp from the court that he built in the backyard of his home in Lynchburg. Every summer, promising African American players from around the country would gather on Dr. J’s court. Two of his students — Hall of Famers Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe — would go on to become the first two African American Grand Slam Champions.

Dr. J’s court sat unused after his death in 1971. In conjunction with the United States Tennis Association, the Whirlwind Johnson Foundation restored the courts for public use a couple years ago. We spoke with Dr. J’s granddaughter, Jolynn Johnson Smith, and her son, Evan Smith, for this Hear Together profile. You can find out more information about Whirlwind Johnsonhere.

 

2020-09-18T13:42:24-04:00September 14th, 2020|Hear Together|

Fresh Roots, New Blues Playlist 4/11/20

Set 1

 

  • Tommy Castro & The Painkillers – Make It Back To Memphis     (Killin’ It – Live!)       (Alligator)      2019
  • Koko Taylor & Her Blues Machine – Let The Good Times Roll     (Live From Chicago: An Audience With The Queen)         (Alligator)            1987
  • Jack Mack & The Heart Attack – Livin’ It Up           (Live From Centennial Park – Atlanta 1996)          (SSR/Free Roll)         2019
  • Saffire – Middle Aged Blues Boogie             (Live & Uppity)          (Alligator)      1998

 

 

Set 2

 

  • Albert Castiglia – Get Your Ass In The Van             (Wild & Free)             (Gulf Coast)                2020
  • Rev. Sekou – Thank You       (When We Fight, We Win – Live In Memphis)       (Intersound)  2019
  • Watermelon Slim – Into The Sunset            (Traveling Man)        (NorthernBlues)        2020
  • Albert King & Stevie Ray Vaughan – Turn It Over / Pride & Joy   (In Session)    (Stax)  1999

 

 

Set 3

 

  • Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers – Wild Night Out! (Wild Night Out!)      (Blind Pig)      1995
  • B.B. King – You Upset Me Baby        (Live At The Regal)   (Geffen)          1965
  • Roomful Of Blues – You Don’t Know           (45 Live)        (Alligator)      2013

 

 

 

Set 4

 

  • Gary Clark Jr. – Next Door Neighbor Blues             (Warner Bros.)          2014
  • James Cotton – I Don”t Know           (Live & On The Move)           (Buddah)        1967
  • Rev. Billy C. Wirtz – 4th Wife Blues  (Pianist Envy)            (Hightone)     1994
  • Luther Allison – Everything’s Gonna Be All Right  (Live In Chicago)       (Alligator)      1999

 

 

Set 5

 

  • Rick Estrin & The Nightcats – Dump That Chump             (You Asked For It…Live!)     (Alligator)      2014
  • R.L. Burnside – He Ain’t Your Daddy / Bad Luck & Trouble         (Burnside On Burnside)       (Fat Possum)             2001
  • Mitch Woods  – Rip It Up                  (Jammin’ On The High C’s)   (VizzTone)     2015

 

 

Set 6

 

  • The Nighthawks – Tripe Face Boogie          (Live From The Psyche Delly)          (Adelphia)      1976
  • The Fabulous Thunderbirds – Look At That, Look At That           (Live From London)  2016
  • The J. Geils Band – Detroit Breakdown       (Blow Your Face Out)           (Atlantic)        1976
2020-05-07T11:30:59-04:00May 7th, 2020|Fresh Roots|

Fresh Roots, New Blues Playlist 5/2/20

Set 1

 

  • Rick Estrin & The Nightcats – The Blues Ain’t Going Nowhere    (Groovin’ In Greaseland)      (Alligator)
  • Steve Keene – Save Yourself            (single)           (self)
  • Charlie Bedford – Money Junkie      (Good To Go) (Blue Heart)
  • Liz Mandeville – Comfort Food Blues          (Playing With Fire)   (Blue Kitty)

 

 

Set 2

 

  • King Solomon Hicks – I’d Rather Be Blind  (Harlem)        (Provogue)
  • Crystal Shawanda – Evil Memory    (Church House Blues)           (True North)
  • JP Williams Blues Band – Talkin’ Coronavirus Blues         (single) (Self)
  • Steve Howell, Dan Sumner & Jason Weinheimer – Singin’ The Blues      (Long Ago)     (Out Of The Past)

 

 

Set 3

 

  • Jim Gustin & Truth Jones – Never Forget    (Lessons Learned)    (Self)
  • U.L.S. (Urban Ladder Society) – Same Ole Thing    (The Summit)            (PK)
  • BLAST – Charlie Nickerson (Memphis Jug Band) – Going Back To Memphis      (The Best Of The Memphis Jug Band)         (Yazoo)
  • The Forrest MacDonald Band – Going Back To Memphis             (Blues In A Bucket)   (WTR)

 

 

Set 4

 

  • Robert Cray – Anything You Want   (That’s What I Heard)           (Nozzle)
  • Rusty Ends & Hillbilly Hoodoo – Sinners Strut      (The Last Of The Boogiemen)          (Self)
  • Anni Piper – Pink Cadillac    (Blow Up Doll)           (Sugar Daddy)

 

 

Set 5

 

  • Joe Louis Walker – Old Time Used To Be    (single)           (Blues Comin’ On)     (Cleopatra)
  • Eliza Neals – Black Crow Moan        (Black Crow Moan)   (E-H)
  • Eric Hughes Band – Ain’t Whipped Yet       (Postcard From Beale Street)          (Self)
  • Bill Filipiak – Another Dead End     (Brand New Me)        (Vidlicity)
  • Mick Clarke – Full Circle       (Big Wheel)    (Rockfold)

 

 

Set 6

 

  • The B. Christopher Band – Tried To Keep You Satisfied   (Two Rivers Back)    (Guitar One)
  • The Claudettes – Declined    (High Times In The Dark)    (Forty Below)
  • Sonny Landreth – The Wilds Of Wonder    (Blacktop Run)          (Provogue)
  • Anthony Gomes – Containment Blues         (single)           (Up 2 Zero)
  • Ben Rice & RB Stone – Lobo Jam     (Out Of The Box)       (Mighty Mo)
2020-05-07T11:34:27-04:00May 2nd, 2020|Fresh Roots|

Fresh Roots, New Blues Playlist 4/25/20

Set 1

 

  • Johnny Rawls – Into Something (Can’t Shake Loose)        (Live In Europe)        (Continental)             2020
  • Brandon Santini – One More Mile    (Live & Extended)     (VizzTone)     2015
  • Corey Harris – Walking Blues          (Live At Starr Hill)     (Njumba)       2017
  • Leroy Ellington’s Sacred Hearts – Heaven Don’t Want Me            (Live & Kickin’ It!)     (Infiniti)         2020

 

 

Set 2

 

  • Johnny Burgin – You Got To Make A Change          (Live)  (Delmark)      2019
  • Nick Moss Band – I Dig         (Live & Luscious)      (Blue Bella)    2015
  • Keb’ Mo’ – Government Cheese       (Live: That Hot Pink Blues Album)  (Kind Of Blue)            2016

 

 

Set 3

 

  • Tedeschi Trucks Band – I Pity The Fool      (Live From The Fox Oakland)          (Fantasy)        2017
  • Pinetop Perkins – Chicken Shack     (Live In Chicago)       (Kingston)      2014
  • Buddy Guy – Best Damn Fool           (Live At Legends)      (Sony)             2012

 

 

Set 4

 

  • Delta Wires – Take Your Hand Outta My Pocket / Pontiac Blues            (Anthology)   (Mud Slide)    2013
  • John Hammond – Drop Down Mama           (Live)  (Rounder)      1983

 

 

Set 5

 

  • Johnny Winter – Good Morning Little Schoolgirl              (Johnny Winter And Live)    (Columbia)     1971
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – Texas Flood       (Live At Montreux 1982 & 1985)                (Epic)  2001

 

 

Set 6

 

  • Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers – Murder In The First Degree / The Stinger    (Live At B.B. Kings, Memphis)          (Big Mo)            1994
  • Delbert McClinton – Thank You Baby / B Movie Box Car Blues   (Live In Austin)         (Alligator)      1989

 

 

2020-05-07T11:33:45-04:00April 25th, 2020|Fresh Roots|

Fresh Roots, New Blues Playlist 4/18/20

Set 1

 

  • The Proven Ones – Get Love Intro / Get Love        (You Ain’t Done)        (Gulf Coast)
  • Bobby BlackHat – Home School Blues        (single)           (Self)
  • Misty Blues – Keep Rising Up           (Weed ‘Em & Reap)   (Self)
  • Charlie Bedford – Steady Driver Man          (Good To Go) (Blue Heart)

 

 

Set 2

 

  • Crystal Shawanda – Rather Be Alone          (Church House Blues)           (True North)
  • Lazer Lloyd – Tomorrow Never Comes      (Tomorrow Never Comes)   (Lots Of Love)
  • Barrelhouse – .44 (Get My Gun)       (Mainline Voodoo (A Collection Of Bluesicana)     (Self)
  • Avey Grouws Band – Come And Get This Love      (The Devil May Care)            (Self)

 

 

Set 3

 

  • Robert Cray – Hot      (That’s What I Heard)           (Nozzle)
  • Deltaphonic – If It Don’t Bleed         (The Funk, The Soul & The Holy Groove)   (Self)
  • BLAST – The Norman Jackson Band – Norman’s Blues      (It’s The Drummer’s Fault)              (Self)
  • Tom Gilberts – The North Fork        (Old School)   (Self)

 

 

Set 4

 

  • The Claudettes – 25/5         (High Times In The Dark)    (Forty Below)
  • Bluzhammer – You Got To Change  (Bluzhammer)           (Self)
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band – Keep Your Head Up            (single)           (Sub Pop)
  • Blind Lemon Pledge – Crazy Mama             (Goin’ Home) (Ofeh)

 

 

Set 5

 

  • Mavis Staples – All In This Together           (single)           (Anti/Epitaph)
  • Al Gold – Mr. Banker             (Al Gold’s Paradise)              (Goldsongs)
  • Casey Hensley – Love Will Break Your Heart         (Good As Gone)         (VizzTone)
  • Reverend Freakchild – Friend Of The Devil            (The Bodhisattva Blues)       (Treated & Released)

 

 

Set 6

 

  • Ghost Town Blues Band – Poor Man’s Blues          (single)           (Self)
  • MaD BoJo – Serves You Right To Suffer      (MaD BoJo)    (Self)
  • Roomful Of Blues – Phone Zombies            (In A Roomful Of Blues)        (Alligator)
  • Eliza Neals – The Devil Don’t Love You       (Black Crow Moon)   (EH)
2020-05-07T11:33:08-04:00April 18th, 2020|Fresh Roots|

Fresh Roots, New Blues Playlist 4/4/20

Set 1

 

  • Mike Zito – Don’t Let The World Get You Down    (Quarantine Blues)   (Ruf)
  • Chickenbone Slim – Ride      (Sleeper)        (Lo-Fi Mob)
  • Crystal Shawanda – New Orleans Is Sinking          (Church House Blues)           (True North)
  • Tas Cru – Memphis Blue       (Drive On)      (Subcat)

 

 

Set 2

 

  • Roomful Of Blues – Phone Zombies            (In A Roomful Of Blues)        (Alligator)
  • Al Gold – That’s My Baby      (Al Gold’s Paradise)  (Goldsongs)
  • Jimmy Warren – Just My Imagination         (single)           (Self)
  • Sass Jordan – Too Much Alcohol      (Rebel Moon Blues)  (Stony Plain)

 

 

Set 3

 

POWER WOMEN OF THE BLUES BLAST SET

 

  • Helen Humes – ‘Taint Nobody’s Business If I Do   (‘Taint Nobody’s Business If I Do)   (OJC)
  • Lottie Kimbrough – Rolling Log Blues        (The Rough Guide To Blues Women)          (World Music Network)
  • Merline Johnson – Man To Man       (Merline Johnson “The Ya-Yas Girl” 1937-1941)   (Wolf Records International)
  • Madlyn Davis – It’s Red Hot             (Paramount Blues Ladies)    (Black Swan)
  • Rory Block – It’s Red Hot      (Prove It On Me)        (Stony Plain)

 

 

Set 4

 

  • Ryan Perry – Ain’t Afraid To Eat Alone       (High Risk, Low Reward)     (Ruf)
  • Casey Hensley – You Should Be So Lucky   (Good As Gone)         (VizzTone)
  • Dorothy Moore – I’m Happy With What I’ve Got Now       (I’m Happy With What I’ve Got Now)          (Farish Street)

 

 

Set 5

 

  • Ruthie Foster Big Band – Phenomenal Woman     (Live At The Paramount)      (Blue Corn)
  • The Proven Ones – Whom My Soul Loves   (You Ain’t Done)        (Gulf Coast)
  • Rev. Shawn Amos & The Brotherhood – Troubled Man    (Blue Sky)      (Self)

 

 

Set 6

 

  • Liz Mandeville – Boss Lady (The Boss Is Back)      (Playing With Fire)   (Blue Kitty)
  • John Blues Boyd – I Heard The Blues Somewhere (What My Eyes Have Seen)  (Gulf Coast)
  • David Bromberg Band – Big Road   (Big Road)      (Red House)
  • Reverend Freakchild – Yer Blues     (The Bodhisattva Blues)       (Treated & Released)
2020-05-07T11:35:06-04:00April 4th, 2020|Fresh Roots|

Community Lifeline

WNRN’s Hear Together feature and Community Connection series are dedicated to highlighting the work of our nonprofit neighbors who are making a difference in our community.

During this time, we believe in physical distancing but social connection — and our commitment to bringing you community information is stronger than ever. Some of us might be at home, but we’re all Hear Together. Explore our latest Community Connections below to learn about the nonprofits working tirelessly to provide services and resources in this time of need.

And if you’d like us to spread the word about your nonprofit, email connection@wnrn.org.

Holli Fund Emergency Grants for Food Service Workers in Richmond

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry in Charlottesville

Lynchburg Humane Society Fostering

The Bridge PAI Emergency Relief Fund for Charlottesville Artists

The Front Porch Virtual Music Lessons (Charlottesville)

Animal Connection CharlottesvilleVA Pet Community:

 

Charlottesville Community Bikes

The Doorways (Richmond)

The Innerwork Center (Richmond)

The Women’s Initiative (Charlottesville)

The Charlottesville Ballet

AHIP

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank

Enrichmond Foundation

PACEM

United Way

Virginia Discovery Museum

World Central Kitchen

Academy Center (Lynchburg)

Miriam’s House

NAACP Medicaid Registration with Downtown Family Health in Charlottesville

Art on Wheels – Healing Hearts Project

Local Food Hub

Snowing in Space Buy One Coffee/Donate One Coffee to Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital

Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation

2020-06-08T15:08:01-04:00April 2nd, 2020|Community Connection, Featured, Hear Together|