The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour celebrates its 25th anniversary on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. at the Powerhouse Arts Center.
Admission is free and the public is invited. Guests for the show will include the 2022-23 Grisham-Writer-in-Residence, Deesha Philyaw, Oxford synth-pop duo, And the Echo and the Southern Komfort Brass Band.
The program will be hosted by Jim Dees and an expanded Yalobushwhacker Big Band featuring the Thacker Horns and guest vocalist Mary Frances Massey. Dees promises a “big brass blowout.”
“Like any good party we’ll have great music and maybe a surprise or two,” he hints.
An after-party with food and refreshments featuring the Southern Komfort Brass Band will follow the radio show at 7 pm.
The Powerhouse is located at 413 S. 14th Street.
Philyaw is the author of the short-story collection “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies” (West Virginia University Press, 2020), which won the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. It was also a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction.
And the Echo is an electronica-pop duo made up of longtime Oxford favorites, Morgan Pennington and Winn McElroy.
The Southern Komfort Brass Band are from Jackson and bring high energy – and half dozen horns, plus drums – to their funky take on blues, jazz, R&B and gospel as well as Komfort originals.
The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour was founded on October 15, 1997, by former Oxford musicians Caroline Herring and Bryan Ledford, and Square Books co-owner Richard Howorth who also named the show.
Guests on the inaugural show were author John Bentley Mays and musician Tony Furtado. Early shows featured an author reading and music by a visiting band as well as songs by the house band, a format that continues today.
The show now broadcasts some 30 shows a year, 12 in the spring and 12 in the fall as well as a half-dozen road shows in various cities across the Southeast US.
The show can be heard Thursdays at 6 p.m. on WUMS (92.1 FM) – University of Mississippi. It can also be heard every Saturday at 7 p.m. on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and 9 p.m. on Alabama Public Radio; 3 p.m. (ET) on WUTC – the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Fridays at 6 a.m. on WYXR – Memphis Public Radio.
In 2005, Thacker Mountain Radio Hour received the Mississippi Governor’s Award for Broadcast Excellence. In 2017, the show was awarded a “Citation of Merit” from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters.