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91.7 WVXU presents several special programs on the weekend leading up to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Joining Lee Hay for a special edition of The Blues is Dion Brown, President and Chief Operating Office of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Lee Hay also produced Odetta: The Voice of The Civil Rights Movement and welcomed several guests to Around Cincinnati in honor of the holiday.

A Visit With Dion Brown From the Freedom Center

On November 27th, 2018, we were delighted when Dion Brown, the President & Chief Operating Officer of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, dropped by the studio to talk about his blues experiences at the B.B. King Museum in Indianola, Mississippi, and setting up the National Blues Museum in St. Louis before coming to Cincinnati to run the Freedom Center.

During our conversation, Dion Brown talks about his love of smooth jazz and his journey into the world of the blues through his work at the B.B. King Museum.  He also shares a number of stories about B.B King's tours, family, and community work.

"Music brings people together...and there's so many ways to solve problems through music."

Starting the National Blues Museum in St. Louis was an intense experience since he had to call in favors from musicians for not only displays but also to perform in the venue.  Dion talks about the evolution of the museum from the ground up, and some of the musicians with St. Louis roots.

He also shared some of thoughts about their plans for events at the Freedom Center including summer camps, the teen docent program, and future concerts to embrace the community.

Music Playlist for the Program

0:00 - Ronnie Earl – “Linda” – I Like It When It Rains

1:15 - Brian Culbertson – “You’re Not Alone” – Sundown: A Windham Hill Piano Collection

4:44 – B.B. King – “Catfish Blues” – B.B. King

11:32 – Christone Kingfish Ingram – “I Put a Spell on You” – Luke Cage, Season 2: Original Soundtrack Album

19:37 – B.B. King/Eric Clapton – “Three O’Clock Blues” – Riding With the King

41:04 – W.C. Handy – “St. Louis Blues” – W.C. Handy’s Memphis Blues Band

54:24 – Mr. Sipp – “Mississippi Blues” – Funkwrench Blues

56:37 – Ronnie Earl – “Linda” – I Like It When It Rains