The distribution of musical instruments is March 18 and 19 for those who lost instruments in the tornadoes
December’s tornadoes caused so much loss to Kentuckians across the state – loss of home, loss of loved ones, loss of peace of mind.
But Michael Jonathan, creator and host of WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour, recorded at the Lyric Theater in Lexington, said tornadoes won’t force people to lose the joy of music.
the WoodSongs Tornado Relief Effort collected approximately 1,000 donated instruments.
They will be distributed on March 18 and 19 to anyone who has lost an instrument in tornadoes.
Currier’s Music World in Richmond, Kentucky is an instrument collection and restoration center. WKU Public Radio reporter Rhonda Miller spoke with Cathy Currier about the truckloads of instruments that arrived from Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland, Tennessee and elsewhere.
Mail : Well, you know, at this point I think I’ve done one of everything – clarinets, flutes, trumpets, lots of guitars, banjos, fiddles, a dobro, mandolins. We have harmonicas. Someone gave me a nice sound card yesterday. We hope a church will be able to use. Guitar amps and amplifiers. I swear, almost everything.
Miller: Where do you keep all these things?
Mail : Well, I’m really lucky to have my square footage in my store which is around 8,000 square feet. Funny thing is, when Michael called me in December or January, I can’t remember, we were trying to get rid of the basement, give it away to sublet, to reduce part of our rent. And then Michael calls me and says, “You have this department store. And that’s what we do. And can you help me? And I said, “Yes.” We actually had someone look at the basement the day he called me and I said, “Yeah, we don’t really have any takers for the basement yet.” So let’s do that. And I have 4,000 square feet there. Large area.
Miller: And of course your basement is air-conditioned.
Mail : Oh my God, yeah, absolutely. We have drum lessons there. I have a full wood store there. Because we talked to the landlord and he may not raise our rent. So we could keep the basement. He seems to need it a lot here lately. So we may have to reorganize and rethink the idea of getting rid of the basement, because it is very practical.
Miller: And it doesn’t look like a real basement.
“It’s Kentucky. There’s no state in the union, I don’t think, that has that many musicians, except maybe Tennessee. I mean, you know, there’s a guitarist on every street corner.
Mail : Yes, it’s really nice and dry.
Miller: What did you hear? Or have you seen anything like that, as far back as this collection of instruments for tornado victims?
Mail : No never. Never. I’ve never heard of, you know, when you have big disasters, you always hear about food and clothing. And, you know, and things like that for people and helping them with shelter and necessities, whether it’s a toaster oven or whatever, microwaves. But I’ve never heard of someone, like Michael Jonathan, coming up with that because that’s, he knows that’s what’s so important to us, is the music.
I mean, I’m in a small town of 60,000 and my business has been thriving and thriving for 55 years because there are so many instruments to fix and sell and be, you know, we teach here. It is such a need. And that’s why I really like participating in it. You know, music is very dear to my heart. So, I couldn’t say no to Michael because I would never say no to someone who asks me something if it’s in my power to do so.
Miller: So you’re basically restoring a lot of instruments.
Mail : Every one of them, pretty much.
Miller: That sounds good. Well, Kathy, that’s really, really interesting. This is what sounds like a fantastic project. Thank you, Kathy. Good conversation with you. Bye.
Mail : Thanks Rhonda. Bye.
Miller: I spoke with Cathy Currier about her family business Currier’s Music World. The instruments will be donated Friday, March 18 to the Graves County Public Library in Mayfield. They will be offered Saturday, March 19 at the West Dawson Music Venue in Dawson Springs and at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Owensboro. For more information or to request an instrument, go to woodsongs.com/tornado
I’m Rhonda Miller in Bowling Green.
Here is the distribution information for individuals, schools or groups who lost an instrument in the tornadoes and would like to obtain a replacement instrument from this project:
Friday March 18, 5-8 p.m.
Graves County Public Library
601 N 17th Street
Saturday March 19, 12 p.m.-4 p.m.
West Dawson Concert Hall
3420 Huddleston Loop Road
Dawson Springs, Ky.
Saturday March 19, 6-8 p.m.
Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum
311 West 2nd Street
To reserve an instrument, you can send an e-mail