Todd Morgan & The Emblems and music appreciation

It would be easy for Todd Morgan & The Emblems to follow the often tread cover band path, but it has raised the bar with songwriting influenced by rockabilly, jazz, Big Band, and rock. Todd Morgan discusses his influences, and the band’s third recently released CD, “Sweet Pretender.”

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The Outlander Podcast and time travel

Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” book series has so strongly resonated with the masses, it segued into a popular television series, and an ever-growing fandom, including Summer and Ginger, who launched The Outlander Podcast before the television show even aired. Time travel, romance, and Scotland’s beautiful landscapes – what’s not to love?

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Black voters and family

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In 2013, the Supreme Court reversed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, indicating that states could no longer be judged by voting discrimination, inferring the country has fundamentally changed since the Act’s passage five decades ago. The recent horrific massacre in Charleston obviously discounts that claim.

Sheri Holbrook Labedis, author of “You Came Here to Die, Didn’t You,” writes of her experiences in 1965, when she responded to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s request for white people to help register black voters in the South. Coincidentally, she was first sent to Charleston for training, and then to the poverty-stricken community of Pineville for canvassing. Witnessing the extreme change of culture from that of her hometown in California, the experiences of the young, naive 18-year-old deeply impacted her life, on many levels.

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Cowboy music and heritage

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Do you know the difference between cowboy music and country music?

Ron Scoffield has always had a connection with the Old West. He repairs/restores horse drawn carriages and stagecoaches (in fact, he participated in the Bicentennial Wagon Train), and plays guitar while singing cowboy music. During the summer, his Red Mule Ranch hosts Cowboy Campfire Nights, which offers cowboy music, cowboy poetry, and a BBQ. Ron’s brother, Gary, was in town to join him on stage, so I sat down with both of them as they sang a couple of songs, and shared their stories.

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Handwriting and creativity

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The debate continues as to when and if handwriting should be taught in schools. Communication specialist Phwanda Moore explains that handwriting is more than a form of communication; it also taps into the creative aspects of the human psyche, and, therefore, should definitely be taught to children.

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Whistlers and Music

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What instrument does the human voice share the same range? With the approach of St. Patrick’s Day, Whistler Hall of Fame inductee Milt Briggs whistles a few Irish tunes, and provides a little insight into the life of a competitive whistler.

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Motown and Movements

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Motown and that “Motown sound” continues to be a powerful influence on musicians and songwriters, and it’s just plain funMotown on Mondays (“MOM”) is truly a party for all ages, with 18 current locations, and looking to spread the joy into Europe. This week, I speak with a few of the Sacramento Motown on Mondays gang – Ginnie Jester, Chris Hopkins, and DJ Epik – about this unique ongoing event.

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