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Thacker Mountain Radio Returns Jan. 31

Tom Franklin
Tom Franklin

Tom Franklin, Beth Ann Fennelly, and Bill Perry among guests welcoming spring season

By Tad Wilkes, Nightlife & Lifestyles Editor


Thacker Mountain Radio returns for the 2013 spring season this Thursday, January 31st at 6 p.m. at Paris-Yates Chapel on the Ole Miss campus. The show will be a salute to the Mississippi Delta, with authors Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin and music by Bill “Howlin’ Madd” Perry and the Delta Blues Museum Band.

Admission is free and the show can be heard on Rebel Radio (92.1 FM) or online: http://myrebelradio.com/

Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly will give a preview of their new novel, The Tilted World, which is set during the flood of the Mississippi River in 1927. The novel will be published in October by William Morrow and represents the couple’s first book-length collaboration. The novel tells the story of the devastating real-life flood that destroyed 50,000 homes and was, at the time, this country’s greatest national disaster. The book is told in alternate chapters between two compelling characters, a female bootlegger and a male revenue agent. Adding to the drama is a search for dynamite (intended to blow up the Delta levee) and the discovery of a newborn baby.

Tom Franklin is the author of the acclaimed story collection Poachers, as well as the novels, Hell at the Breech, Smonk, and his latest, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. That book won the England’s prestigious Golden Dagger award for crime fiction. Previous winners of the Dagger, awarded annually since 1960, have included John LeCarre, James Lee Burke, Patricia Cornwell, and Dick Francis.

Beth Ann Fennelly
Beth Ann Fennelly

Beth Ann Fennelly is author of the poetry collections Open House, Tender Hooks, and Unmentionables, and a book of nonfiction, Great with Child. She is a contributing editor at The Oxford American, where she frequently writes essays on Southern food, music, and books. In 2011, she was named Mississippi Humanities Teacher of the Year and College of Liberal Arts Teacher of the Year.

Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry was born in Tula and was recording gospel music at legendary Chess Records as a teenager during its 1950s heyday. As a blues singer, Perry’s CDs include Jook Joint Stomp and Reason I Sing the Blues. Perry often performs with his family band, The Perrys, with daughter Shy on bass and Bill, Jr. on keyboards.

The Delta Blues Museum Band is part of the museum’s educational program in Clarksdale and teaches students the art of blues music the way the old masters learned it: from musician to musician, from one generation to the next. Instructors have included Bill Perry, Bill Abel, and the renowned Charlie Musselwhite. There is no age limit on the dozen or so member class. The Museum Band released its first CD, From Clarksdale to Kansas City, in 2011, with a second CD slated for release this spring. The Delta Blues Museum is the oldest music museum in the state, having been founded in 1979.


You can also hear the show on Mississippi Public Broadcasting (90.3 FM) every Saturday night at 7 PM immediately following A Prairie Home Companion, or listen Saturday online: (http://www.etv.state.ms.us/radio/index.html).

Thacker Mountain Radio is a live radio show broadcast weekly for 15 years from the Square in Oxford, Mississippi. You can hear the radio show locally Thursday on Rebel Radio (92.1 FM). Tune in to Mississippi Public Broadcasting every Saturday night at 7 pm for Thacker Mountain Radio immediately following A Prairie Home Companion, or listen Saturday online: (http://www.etv.state.ms.us/radio/index.html). More information at www.thackermountain.com.

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