UPDATE, March 7, 2012: Al and Doug don’t win, but they do get to eat on the Keith-Albee stage and explore the historic theater’s psychotronic splendiforousness: see this WestVirginiaVilleTV Report
So, I was hanging out on Mercer Street in Princeton, W.Va., one weekend a year ago with a highly irregular crew of musicians, artists, savants and idiot savants, child prodigies and two extremely large-size cats and noticed something.
A scraping. There. Across the street. It was coming from… Albert’s building. My friend, Albert Perrone, was doing something in the window of his building, across from the RiffRaff Art Collective in the heart of Princeton’s tenderloin district. (Not that you can get a real tenderloin there. I don’t think …)
I nabbed my camera since it turned out a piece of public art was under construction. My short video, “Why Art Can’t Hurt You,” is one of four finalists in the “Micro” film category (under 5 minutes) at the 2012 Appalachian Film Festival. It screens 7:22 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at the Keith-Albee Theater, 825 Fourth Avenue in downtown Huntington — all 2 minutes and 47 seconds of it.
I am vying for honors with the following finalists:
“Another Day Another Life” by Rohit Gupta of Alexandria, Va.
“Cliff Starter” by Nolan Cubero of Louisville, Ky.
“Coconuts For You” by David Smith of Huntington, W.Va.
Frankly, I am a little anxious about the screening. I shot the video in standard definition with my Canon G11 and entered it in the contest as an .mp4 file. I fear it may look like (to borrow from the Latin) ka-ka when brought up larger on a big screen. Am going to burn a DVD and .mov version of the show, so maybe that will help. But if it looks muddy up there in the Keith-Albee’s rocco surroundings, above is what it’s supposed to look like.
Hanks’ Last Ride
There’s an onstage banquet ($30 for the public) at the Keith-Albee from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday (Albert and I will be there in spats), followed by an 8 p.m. performance by country singer Tony Ramey. At 8:30 p.m. there commences a showing of “The Last Ride” by Mozart Productions out of Burbank, CA, rated PG-13. Ramey co-wrote and sang the title track for the “The Last Ride” which stars Jesse James and Henry Thomas as Luke the Drifter, aka Hank Williams Sr., country music’s original bad boy, who breathed his last in West Virginia at the age of 29. Of equal interest to me — since I am large fan — is that the film also features Kaley Cuoco, who plays “Penny” on “The Big Bang Theory.” (I admit it — I can hardly get through the week without several ‘Big Bang’ infusions.). The filmmakers describe the full-length feature film — it had a $9 million budget — as a “a fact based dramatic film about Hank Williams and his fateful last ride with an innocent young driver …” (I think my budget for my Albert video was $3.50, since I had a Starbucks double cappuccino with me).
“The Last Ride” website is highly cool and even … like, beautiful, in an Americana fashion. But when will talented gung-ho web designers ever learn that we media mavens need text we can copy and paste. Can’t do that with these Flash extravaganzas.
CHARLESTON GAZETTE | Jan. 5, 2011
By Douglas Imbrogno | CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It was fixing to be one fine New Year’s Eve show at the Municipal Auditorium in Charleston. The popular country artist Hawkshaw Hawkins of Huntington was on the bill, along with Homer and Jethro, fiddler Red Taylor, the Webb Sisters and the duo Jack and Daniel.
Then, there was the really big draw: a skinny, 29-year-old singer-songwriter by the name of Hank Williams, who’d taken American popular music by storm.
But Williams never made the gig on the final night of 1952. He lay dead early on New Year’s Day in the back seat of a baby-blue Cadillac at Burdette’s Pure Oil gas station in Oak Hill, where his panicked driver had stopped for help.
“What a lot of people don’t know is he made it to Charleston by air, but was turned around to Knoxville because of fog,” said John Lilly.
The details of Williams’ exact demise will probably forever be unclear — where along the jaunt by car his heart gave out, stressed by alcoholism and the severe back pain that led the young star to routinely seek morphine injections.
One thing that remains clear is the legacy of songs produced in just six short years in the stormy life and times of a man once dubbed “the hillbilly Shakespeare …” | Read On