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March 16 Chautauqua Program – Grandpa Jones

Muhlenberg County Public Libraries will present their next Kentucky Chautauqua program on March 16.

Actor David Hurt will present his show, “Grandpa Jones: Country Musician and Comic,” at Thistle Cottage as part of the ongoing Thursdays at Thistle series of programs. The event begins at 7 p.m.

David Hurt as Grandpa Jones

David Hurt as Grandpa Jones

Louis Marshall “Grandpa” Jones, born in 1913 to sharecroppers in Henderson County, made his name on radio and television and as a touring musician. In the late 1920s, after hard times on the farm drove Jones’ family north to Akron, Ohio, young Louis Marshall won a talent contest using songs he’d learned while growing up in Kentucky. That led to regular radio work. By the time he graduated high school in 1931, Jones was already a busy professional musician and soon set out on the road as a touring artist with a grueling schedule. Fellow musician Bradley Kincaid, teasing the tired performer, once said, “Marshall, get up here and do the folks a number. You sound like an old grandpa.” The nickname stuck.

In the 1970s, Jones scored a job as a regular on the 1970s comedy show “Hee Haw,” where he was best known for answering the question, “What’s for dinner, Grandpa?” That job made him even more famous than his decades of touring.

Jones was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1978. He never retired and continued to perform for the remainder of his life. He suffered a stroke following his 26th anniversary performance at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry in January 1998 and died on Feb. 19 at the age of 84.

This program will be Hurt’s second visit to Thistle Cottage. He previously portrayed Lilley Cornett at a 2015 Chautauqua program. Hurt is a musician and actor who has performed at Stage One in Louisville as well as in Lexington theaters.

This is a free event, and light refreshments will be provided.

This program is part of the library’s Thursdays at Thistle series, featuring speakers, musicians and other performers once each month.

Thursdays at Thistle is provided by Muhlenberg County Public Libraries with funding from the Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation. For more information about this or other upcoming programs, call the library at 270-338-4760.

Kentucky Chautauqua is an exclusive presentation of the Kentucky Humanities Council, Inc. with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and from: Christina Lee Brown, the Brown-Forman Corporation, the Carson-Myre Charitable Foundation, the Cralle Foundation, the Elsa Heisel Sule Foundation, Lindsey Wilson College, Morehead State University, Paducah Bank, PNC and Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc.

The Kentucky Humanities Council is a non-profit Kentucky corporation affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, visit or call 859-257-5932.

Guyla Conway Book Signing

Recently published author and Muhlenberg County native Guyla Conway will visit the Central City library on March 2 for a read-along and signing of her new book, Where Was the Big Yellow School Bus? This book is suitable for ages 2-7 and includes interactive elements, including hidden images, discussion questions and family activities.

Conway will also visit Thistle Cottage on March 9 at 5:30 p.m. for a second book signing. A school bus will also be available during that event for families to tour.

Everyone is invited to join us to meet this new local author!
For more information about these events, call 270-338-4760.


Newly published author Guyla Conway

Library offers Foundation Directory access

Muhlenberg County Public Libraries has a new service to offer grantseekers.

The library now offers free access to the Foundation Directory Online, a web-based searchable list of organizations that offer grants.

The Foundation Directory Online is a service of the Foundation Center, a nonprofit that gathers data from philanthropic organizations and assists those seeking funding.

The directory includes information on more than 3.4 million grants and more than 100,000 grantmakers. Users can search for grants or givers by name, location, field of interest, keyword and more. Each profile includes information about the sort of funding provided and recent grant amounts, as well as contact information for grantmakers and past recipients. That information can then be used to identify grants and organizations that are likely to provide the sort of funding needed by users.

Records can be printed, emailed or saved to a removable USB drive.

Profiles can also be added to an online workspace so that users can further assess whether their project is a good fit. Users can also use the Foundation Directory Online to help keep track of ongoing grant requests and tasks remaining to be completed.

Locally, the Foundation Directory Online can be accessed on-site at Muhlenberg County Public Libraries’ Thistle Cottage branch. Normal library printing fees may apply.

In order to use the Foundation Directory Online, call the library at 270-338-4760 ext. 4 to set up an appointment time. Staff will provide assistance with logging into the database and searching if required.

Foundation Directory Online access is sponsored by the Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation and Muhlenberg County Public Libraries.

Mose Rager: Kentucky’s Shy Guitar Master

Muhlenberg County Public Libraries is excited to announce an upcoming presentation about local musicians.

Nancy Richey will visit the library’s Thistle Cottage branch on February 16 to talk about Mose Rager’s life and influence on music.

Richey will be joined by local thumbpicker Joe Hudson, who will perform prior to the start of the discussion.

Richey is the co-author of the book Mose Rager: Kentucky’s Incomparable Guitar Master, along with the late Carlton Jackson, and an associate professor and Visual Resources Librarian at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. As a member of the Kentucky Humanities Council’s Speaker Bureau for 2016-17, she travels around the state speaking about Mose Rager.

Richey will make her book available to audience members at the February 16 event.

Hudson, a Muhlenberg County native, is one of only 76 performers (musicians, dancers, actors and storytellers) listed in the Performing Artists directory for the Kentucky Arts Council, which requires an application and selection process by the Arts Council. He recently performed at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville along with famous musician and actor John Schneider, known by many for his portrayal of Bo Duke in the popular 1970s television show The Dukes of Hazzard. Hudson also serves as the executive director of the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame Organization.

Hudson will begin playing at Thistle Cottage at 6 p.m. on February 16, followed by Richey’s presentation at 7 p.m.
This event is free, funded in part by a grant from the Felix Martin Jr. Foundation and presented as a service of the Kentucky Humanities Council.
For more information, call 270-338-4760.



mose rager flyer

Kentucky: Past, Present and Future

Muhlenberg County Public Libraries is excited to host an upcoming special program in conjunction with the Kentucky Historical Society.

The program, presented by the Historical Society’s Amanda Higgins, will include a discussion about Kentucky’s history and where we go from here.

Higgins will visit Thistle Cottage on January 17 at 7 p.m. for an audience-led discussion about Kentucky’s past, present and future.

Higgins will set up the discussion and provide background. The audience will drive where the discussion goes from there.

The program will be part of a year-long Kentucky Historical Society Listening Tour celebrating the 225th anniversary of the founding of Kentucky. The Historical Society wants to talk with people all over the state about what makes Kentucky unique. Everyone is encouraged to attend the program and represent Muhlenberg County with their thoughts about our state.

Higgins earned a PhD in History from the University of Kentucky in 2013. A Kentuckian by birth and by choice, she said she loves this state and cannot wait to hear what Muhlenberg Countians think about our past 225 and the next 225 years.

Light refreshments will also be provided during the program, and it will be suitable for all ages.

For more information, contact Muhlenberg County Public Libraries at 270-338-4760.

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