“StoryTown Radio Show” debuts to national audience in 9th season

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JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) Home to the International Storytelling Center, telling stories has put the town of Jonesborough on the map. It remains part of the fabric of the town’s history.

Formerly known as the “Yarn Exchange” the center’s own radio show will debut in it’s 9th season to a national audience as the “StoryTown Radio Show.”

The 2020 season for the show opens on Jan. 27, with the premiere of the podcast to come in February.

The storytelling shows feature the unique culture, history and stories of Northeast Tennessee and Southern Appalachia through a live production show, taped and aired on WETS 89.5 the last Wednesday of every month.

Live performances take place the last Monday of every month through November.

Starting this year the shows will not only air to an audience of 55,000 on local radio, but will feature the new podcast channel for listeners nationwide to hear our local stories.

Tickets to see live performances can be purchased online, along with season passes, or call the Historic Visitors Center at 243-753-1010.

The story and music line-up for 2020 includes exciting new talent and great stories:

  • January 27 starts the new year with “Our Favorite Things” and special music guests from Buffalo, South Carolina, the electrifying duo of Freddie Vanderford and Brandon Turner. Vanderford, who is endorsed by Hohner Harmonicas, has been inducted into the South Carolina Folk Life Hall of Fame for his special talent in playing Piedmont Blues.
  • February 24 looks at stories of “Fair Play” and hosts music guests “We Five.”
  • March 23 celebrates the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage with its program “19th and 100” with music guest Mama Molassas, who will join the program for the very first time.
  • April 27 welcomes the changes of spring with a program entitled “Ch Ch Changes” with special music guests “The Green Rumours.”
  • May 25 will see the annual patriotic episode, with stories of veterans, military family, and those lost in a special program “Bridging the Gulf- WWII to Iraq” and will have special music guests Tom Sizemore and Nate Harris.
  • June 22 will be filled with “Wedding Bells” and welcomes musical guests Joe Gumina and Brittany Whitson, who are back by audience popular demand.
  • July 27, a time of summer vacations, devotes its episode “What A Trip” to those hilarious, sometimes moving, and always memorable trips, and welcomes back musician Aaron Jackson.
  • August 24 will be filled with summer fun in their “Summertime” episode, with music guests Thistle Dew.
  • September 28 will honor area police, EMT and firemen in their “First Responders” program, with music guests Sweetwater Troubadours.
  • October 26 will be “Curiosities” and feature tales of the weird and strange in Jonesborough, and will welcome back audience favorites, The David Crockett Madrigal Singers.
  • November 30 will be the annual Soupbowl Fundraiser at the McKinney Center, with the Jonesborough Novelty Band. New this year, the season pass includes this special program. This event is an annual favorite, which includes a handmade ceramic bowl of your choice, appetizers, salad and bread, an all you can eat gourmet soup meal with six different locally made soups. Following dinner is a show and Christmas Sing-A-Long with the cast and the Jonesborough Novelty Band. Proceeds from this fundraiser benefit the McKinney Center and the StoryTown Radio Show.

Their 9th season is made possible by generous support from the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Wild Women of Jonesborough, Nancy Hope and Odie Major, Main Street Café and Catering, Appalachian Light and Productions, and Royal Carriage Limo.

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