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Playlist: December Holiday Specials

Compiled By: KMUN Programming

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Here We Come A-Caroling (hour)

From With Good Reason | Part of the Holiday Specials series | 53:58

A cappela group Note-Riety on challenging social pressures - Flory Jagoda on keeping Sephardic singing alive - A big night for bagpipes and a military marching band - A poet, a historian, a conductor, and a vocalist share their favorite Christmas classics


A music video by the all female a cappela group Note-Reity went viral and amplified their efforts to challenge the social pressures that were crippling their classmates. Also: Singer and accordionist Flory Jagoda is known as “the keeper of the flame” of the once rich Sephardic Jewish song tradition.  Flory sings songs she learned from her Nona -- or, grandmother -- as a child in pre-WWII Sarajevo. Her accordion also helped her escape the holocaust as a young girl.  And:  John Brodie is working tirelessly with the VMI Regimental Band and Pipes for their appearance in the Tournament of the Roses. The moment of truth will come:  can this band with bagpipes make the 110-degree wheel turn on the field? 


Later in the show: Whether it’s a traditional hymn or a rock and roll Christmas song, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without the music that marks this season.  The sense of joy, comfort, or spiritual uplift comes in classical, popular, jazz, and even world music.  Poet Tim Siebles, ethnomusicologist Anne Rasumssen, conductor John Guthmiller and vocalist Lisa Edwards-Burrs share their favorite songs and why the music resonates with them this time of year.

Red Barn Radio - An Appalachian Christmas IV

From Ed Commons | Part of the Red Barn Radio 11th Anniversary Season series | 59:00

Tonight we present an “Appalachian Christmas IV”, our Annual Holiday show with our very special guest, Larry Cordle. Also join our guests: Pam Holcomb, Jennifer Rose, Lydia and Isabel, Sam Cleaves, Sherri Phelps and Rachel Taylor, Ted Yoder, TeenSING, Sherri Phelps, Director, Michael Rintamaa, Accompanist.


Appalachian Christmas IV


Jennifer Rose is a true folk singer who learned her songs as she learned to speak growing up in the small town of Berea, Kentucky. As an educated performer with a degree in vocal music from Berea College, Jennifer unites her heritage with her classical training to give listeners an experience of the true integrity of Appalachian singing. Her strong, clear soprano voice and sparkling personality continue to mesmerize audiences the world over.

Jennifer's training in dance from an early age inspired her to share traditional dance with anyone who was interested - especially young people. She is hailed as one of Kentucky's best dance educators, and has published two manuals for teachers.

Jennifer's life experiences, combined with her deep faith, have led her to opportunities in helping other women deal with the pressures of family, career and modern culture. Her honesty in those areas has helped many women overcome obstacles and make quality decisions in their own lives.

Ted Yoder - hammered dulcimer and vocals

You've heard of the hammered dulcimer before – mountain music, renaissance fairs, that Christmas CD you picked up in a gift shop in Tennessee.

That's not Ted.

Life-long Indiana native Ted grew up in a musically inclined family, like a lot of musicians. His whole life has been filled with writing, performing, recording, experimenting with new instruments... But it wasn't until Ted received his first hammered dulcimer as a wedding gift that Ted knew he'd found his niche. Ted knew there was great potential here as he began mastering and experimenting with this eclectic and intriguing instrument.

Drawing on his pop and rock-n-roll roots, Ted was able to create something never heard before: a dulcimer that doesn't sound like a dulcimer “should.” With master skill, Ted plays his dulcimer almost like a piano, unafraid to tackle complex rhythms and unusual harmonics. The result is a sound that makes the trained listener say, “How many hands does this guy have?”

Ted's musicianship, creativity and ability to put a fresh face on dulcimer music led him to the title of 2010 National Hammer Dulcimer Champion at the Walnut Valley Festival.

Capturing the Championship title, Ted decided it was time to go professional. Since then, he has released three CD's:
- “Songs From Walnut Valley,” a compendium of original songs (plus one Bach number) that he played in competition to earn his title. This album really shows off Ted's ability as a songwriter. “Storm” and “Moon On the Water,” in particular reveal Ted's rock and roll roots.

- “Comfort and Joy,” a Christmas album featuring Ted's unique interpretations of traditional Christmas numbers. Despite Ted being an untried artist, this album gained international airplay.

- "Chocolate Skies," which features pristine acoustic hammered dulcimer. Includes Eleanor Rigby, The Water Is Wide and The Rainbow Connection along with Ted's original compositions. Ted just released this album in September 2012.


Sam Gleaves, 19, was raised in the hills of southwest Virginia, where he has sung his entire life.  Under the direction of local teacher Jim Lloyd, he took up the mountain instruments, including the banjo, guitar, fiddle, autoharp and dulcimer.  With his mentor ballad singer Sheila Kay Adams, he found his lonesome tenor voice and fell in love with the mountain love songs, which he carries into his generation with pride.  In 2010, Gleaves released his first studio recording, Shadow of a Song, featuring ballads, banjo tunes and mountain songs from the Blue Ridge.  The record featured friends from the area, including renowned singer Elizabeth LaPrelle and Gleaves’ mentor Jim Lloyd, who produced the album.  Since then, Gleaves has taken up songwriting to give the mountains a new voice, penning poignant and powerful originals that stand in a realm of their own.  Drawing from his folk roots and his fresh, young perspective, Gleaves breathes a new life into mountain music and charms audiences with the stories that surround the music’s history.  “If there’s anything I come from, it’s a bunch of storytellers,” says Gleaves, “All my family tell great stories and that’s why I love this music, for its individual stories and the story of it as a whole.”  Around southwest Virginia, Gleaves is known for his spirited performances, in which he sings and plays for audiences as if they’ve joined him on the porch for the evening.  In Kentucky, Gleaves is known for his presence in the Berea College music scene and his performances with Al White’s Berea College Bluegrass Ensemble.  In 2012, Gleaves released his second album, A Little While in the Wilderness, which features old mountain love songs, spirituals and dance music alongside his original work.  Whether writing, singing on stage, or learning at the knee of a mountain master, Sam Gleaves embodies the spirit of mountain music, joyful, haunting, a music that lingers on the ear and in the heart.


Pam Holcomb is a veteran when it comes to working with young people, having taught high school Arts and Humanities, Speech, Oral Communications, Drama, and Mathematics for 29 years. It is her desire for the preservation of the Appalachian culture that drew her to the performing arts, and developed her love of storytelling. Storytelling inspires the imagination, heals the soul and challenges our beliefs. Storytelling can be an interesting pathway to discover how we came to be who we are as people, as families, and as sub-cultures within the larger society. Collecting remembrances from elders in the family helps to preserve family history in storytelling style. Each story is a thread in a huge tapestry that binds a family together. The memorable stories of our lives and of others in our family take on special importance because they are true, even if everyone tells different versions of the same event. These tales are heirlooms held in the heart not the hand. They are a gift to each generation that preserves them by remembering them and passing them on. Pam Holcomb is just such a storyteller. She has entertained audiences of all ages with her fascinating tales. Pam specializes in mountain folklore, including family stories, Grandfather Tales, and stories collected from the adventures of interesting people she has met. With her dramatic flare, she brings to life stories from all facets of life. She can easily adapt her stories to any age, group, or occasion.


Mezzo-soprano Sherri Phelps and pianist Rachel Taylor


Mezzo Soprano Sherri Phelps, is an active soloist throughout the Southeast including operatic, oratorio, and concert repertoire.  Her performances include The Haydn Festspiele where she appeared as Alto Soloist in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis in the Haydnsaal in Eisenstadt, Austria.   She also had the pleasure of working with the late Roscoe Lee Brown at the Music at the Mission Concert Series narrating Stravinsky’s L’histoire du Soldat.   Dr. Phelps had the honor of being Alto Soloist with The Classical Music Festival Broadcast of Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass live from St Stephen’s Dome in Vienna, Austria.  She was delighted to sing the world premiere of Craig Bohmler’s song Keys as well as the rest of his song cycle Songs of Loss with the Mission Chamber Orchestra of San Jose under the baton of Emily Ray.

Her credits include: a benefit concert with the Freemont Symphony Guild, Aspen Opera Center in the role of Myrtle in Still Life, the alto solos in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah, the latter multiple times with the Lexington Philharmonic.  She portrayed the role of Emilia in Otello with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and has made appearances with various companies and University Programs in two roles from Puccini’s Il trittico- La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica and Zita in Gianni Schicchi, as  well as Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Marcellina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, the title character in The Grand Dutchess of Gerolstein, Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Madame Pernelle in Kirke Mecham’s Tartuffe, and Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music. 


Ms. Phelps has sung as soloist under the renown Jonathan Wilcox, and Sir Neville Marinner as well as many other conductors over the course of her career, and has recorded a role in Aaron Copeland’s Tenderland with Kirk Trevor. She is also an active teacher with experience at Western Kentucky University, and Murray State University, as well as maintaining a private studio. A native of Morgantown, KY she currently resides in Lexington, KY where she studied with the late Gail Robinson and completed her DMA from the University of Kentucky after having received her Masters from The Juilliard school, and her Bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University.


Dr. Rachel Taylor currently serves as a piano instructor at Eastern Kentucky University and the director of F.A.M.E., a new preparatory department of music at EKU. She is also currently maintains a private piano studio in Georgetown, Kentucky. She previously served on the faculties of the preparatory dept. at The College-Conservatory of Music at University of Cincinnati, Grinnell College, Coe College, Cornell College, and the Preucil School of Music. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (Music Teacher’s National Association) and holds numerous certifications. Dr. Taylor serves on the faculty of the Stephen Collins Foster Summer Music Camps, and is the director of the Middle School Piano Camp.



Special Guest Larry Cordle


Larry Cordle was born and raised on a small family farm in eastern
Kentucky. While a young child he was introduced to bluegrass, country, and gospel music, by his great grandfather Harry Bryant, an old time claw hammer banjo stylist, fiddle player and dancer. He recounts, “mom said I could sing “I’ll Fly Away”, all the way through when I was 2”! Cordle fondly remembers this early influence by pointing out, “we lived so far away from everything, that we had to make our own entertainment. Papaw would get the fiddle out in the evenings sometimes and play and dance for us. Just as soon as I was old enough to try to learn to play I did so & kinda seconded after him on the guitar. He ran an old country store and I spent many happy hours in there with him playing, talking about and listening to music. It was our escape into another world, something we grew up with and looked so forward to. I was always happiest when we were in a jam session”.

After graduating from high school, Larry spent four years in the Navy and after being honorably discharged, attended Morehead State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in accounting. “I just didn’t see how I could ever make a living doing only music,” he explains, so, I worked for a CPA firm during the day and played in clubs at night”. All the while, Larry desperately wanted to devote all of his time to music, but his commitments would remain divided, until writing a song, that changed everything for the aspiring young singer/songwriter.

East Kentucky was not only home for Larry, but also for his childhood friend and neighbor, musical prodigy, Ricky Skaggs. Upon hearing Larry’s new song, “Highway 40 Blues”, Ricky promised that he would one day record it. In the summer of 1983, it was the number one song in the nation, helping to launch Larry’s songwriting career and skyrocketing Skaggs’ already solid country music career.

In 1985, at Ricky’s urging, Larry, by now out of the accounting business and back playing nightclubs again, gave up the security of a full time gig to move to Nashville and become a staff songwriter for Ricky’s new company, Amanda-Lin Music, with whom he (Ricky) had wisely partnered, with Lawrence Welk’s mega successful publishing company, Welk Music. “$200 bucks a week Cord laughs, that wouldn’t go far these days but I made myself a promise that if I ever got a chance, one foot inside the door, that I was gonna work my behind off, as hard as I could to stay inside of it. I met people there at Welk… Jim Rushing, Carl Jackson, Lionel Delmore, Johnny Russell, Dickey Lee, Bob McDill, countless others, and learned what it was gonna take to be a ‘real’ songwriter from them.
They taught me the ropes and I had the talent God gave me, some incredible luck and much love, help and encouragement from my peers and my family.

At last count, Cordle’s songs had appeared on projects that had to date sold a combined total of more than 55 million records, by artists such as Skaggs, Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, Diamond Rio, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins and many others.

Though songwriting took Larry to Nashville, his desire to perform never waned. With his band, Lonesome Standard Time, Cordle has the perfect platform to share his music with fans everywhere. The band has been awarded song of the year by the International Bluegrass Music Association on two separate occasions, garnered two Grammy nominations for best bluegrass album, received nominations for vocal group and instrumental group, landed #1 slots on the Bluegrass and Americana charts and gained the respect of their peers and had many accolades during their existence.

Lonesome Standard Time is comprised of seasoned, esteemed musicians in their own right, providing Larry with an outlet to feature his original material, trademark singing and his engaging personality, immediately connecting fans to his music.

In addition to his songwriting and role as a bandleader, Cordle is sometimes featured as a lead and/or background vocalist on some of Nashville’s most awarded and popular music. He’s provided harmony vocals for artists such as Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, Bradley Walker, Billy Yates, Rebecca Lynn Howard and co-writing pal, Jerry Salley. His lead & harmony singing is featured on Livin, Lovin, Losin: A Tribute to the Louvin Brothers, which won a GRAMMY for Best Country Album in 2003 and was named recorded event of the year by IBMA in 2004. He’s also featured on two tracks of Moody Bluegrass, alongside artists such as Tim O’Brien, Alison Krauss, John Cowan, Harley Allen et al and is recently featured as lead vocalist again on Moody Bluegrass II.

Cord remains extremely active in all facets of his career. He regularly records, and tours in the US and occasionally abroad with Lonesome Standard Time. Larry is also still first and foremost a songwriter, now writing independently for his own company, Wandachord Music, BMI.

Larry is a long time resident of Nashville suburb, Hendersonville, Tennessee. He makes his home there with wife Wanda, and their daughter, Kelvey Christine but still enjoys the opportunity to make frequent trips back to his East Kentucky home place and his roots.