Around Cincinnati

It's the end of an era on WVXU-FM. Around Cincinnati, the 7 p.m. Sunday arts and culture show, airs its final broadcast after 15 years this Sunday.

It's provided an important voice to local theaters, authors, musicians, actors and other performers, especially after the Enquirer's arts and entertainment staff was mostly disbanded in 2014, and Northern Kentucky University sold off folk-rock WNKU-FM in 2017.

John Kiesewetter

For his final segment on Around Cincinnati, John Kiesewetter pays a visit to the Rosemary Clooney House in Augusta, Kentucky. After touring the house for the first time since it opened, he speaks with one of the owners, former Miss America Heather French Henry, who opened the museum with her husband, about some of the classic pieces that are on display and how she wound up opening the museum. Lee Hay produced one of her most popular specials about the Kentucky native called Rosemary Clooney: Big Band Singer in 2013.

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One of Cincinnati Public Radio’s most ardent fans and biggest supporters is also one of the city’s most talented musicians. Michael Chertock is the pianist for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, conductor of the Blue Ash Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, and chair of the music department at the UC College-Conservatory of Music. For her final profile for Around Cincinnati, Anne Arenstein has a wide-ranging conversation with Maestro Chertock about his career and how he found his way to Cincinnati.

River City News

Around Cincinnati’s longtime theatre contributor, Rick Pender, chose one of the region’s most talented and in-demand actors for his final segment. Bruce Cromer is perhaps best-known to local audiences as either Bob Cratchit or Ebenezer Scrooge in the Playhouse in the Park’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol,” but he has performed on most of the other stages in town, plus had a key role in the locally-filmed movie “Dark Waters”; and is an esteemed professor at Wright State University. Bruce Cromer has been a previous guest on Around Cincinnati, including in 2014, talking about “The Iliad” accompanied by director Michael Haney.

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For the final segment of Around Cincinnati’s 15-year run, Brian O’Donnell is joined by musicians Karin Berquist and Linford Detweiler, also known as Over the Rhine. They talk about how they are dealing the pandemic and the shuttering of live music venues, cancelling their shows and tours; their Nowhere Else Festival that will, hopefully, happen again in 2021; and the time they’ve spent on their victory garden and renovating a barn.

Courtesy WHYY-FM

With the end of WVXU's Around Cincinnati Sunday night local arts show, and Chris Thile's national Live From Here Saturday program, weekends will sound different.

Lee Hay's Around Cincinnati ends at 7 p.m. this Sunday, after 15 years. Live From Here, which replaced Garrison Keillor's a Prairie Home Companion, ends Labor Day weekend.

Wikipedia

As Around Cincinnati winds down its 15-year run, we want to share one of our shining moments. In 2007, local theatre writer and longtime contributor Rick Pender arranged an interview with Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim. Rick has written extensively about the composer for years, including an upcoming, in-depth biography.

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For her final contribution to Around Cincinnati, our literary contributor Kelly Blewett has a conversation with her friend, former co-worker, and bestselling author, Liz Johnson. She just released A Dazzler of Diamonds, the final novel in her Georgia Coast Romance series.

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Local Latin musician and organizer Nicholas Radina is with Brian O’Donnell to talk about the pause needed for his Salsa on the Square summer concerts on Fountain Square, his current project featuring Puerto Rican Cuarto instrument, and a book about the history of Cincinnati Latin music.

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Barbara Gray concludes her Around Cincinnati book segments by interviewing bestselling author, Louise Penny. She provides a preview of her latest novel in the Inspector Gamache series, this one called All The Devils Are Here, scheduled for release on September 1.

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Lee Hay's favorite Around Cincinnati interview over the years is the acclaimed designer Todd Oldham's 2006 interview of his mentor and friend, celebrated artist Charley Harper, in our studio.

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A song from one of Around Cincinnati’s favorites, the late Katie Reider. Trusted Eyes is from her CD, Wonder.

One Man's Pandemic Reading List

Aug 7, 2020
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Our friend and contributor David Delegator shares some of his pandemic reading list. Many of the books can be found at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

The Northerner

Her voice is familiar to longtime listeners of WEBN or WNKU, and for many, was the first female rock jock most locals ever heard. She’s The Real Mary Peale and she’s with her former co-worker, Elaine Diehl, to talk about her long career and share some fun anecdotes.

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Author Julia Koets, who holds a doctorate from the University of Cincinnati, released The Rib Joint: A Memoir in Essays this past November. She joins our contributor (and former classmate) Kelly Blewitt to talk about growing up and coming of age in the South.

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted local arts organizations, big and small. The Cincinnati Arts Association, manager of Music Hall and the Aronoff Center, has been dealing with two shuttered facilities since March. The CAA’s Van Ackerman joins Jim Stump via Zoom to detail what the organization is doing to stay afloat and what the future may hold.

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Local author Sara Bennett Wealer has just released her latest YA novel, Now & When, a romantic tale featuring a mysterious website. Barbara Gray welcomes her to Around Cincinnati for a conversation about the story and the characters in her new novel.

A Poem From Pauletta Hansel

Aug 7, 2020
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A poem from Pauletta Hansel called “Our Words: Cincinnati, April 2017,” written when she was Poet Laureate for Cincinnati.

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Small businesses, like record stores, have been severely impacted by the ongoing pandemic, so how are they surviving? Darren Blase from Shake It Records in Northside joins Brian O’Donnell to talk about how his shop is doing and the changes to Record Store Day.

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Downtown’s Christ Church Cathedral dedicated a new C.B. Fisk organ in their Centennial Cathedral in 2018. To learn more about this very special instrument, our Alexander Watson recently spoke with Dr. Michael Unger, Professor of Organ and Harpsichord at UC, and David Pike, head tonalist from C. B. Fisk Organ Builders.

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