WinterPledge is coming!

Enjoy great programs and support KET’s mission

What better way to welcome the holiday season than with WinterPledge, KET’s year-end fundraiser featuring programs to help you enjoy this special time of year. It’s coming up soon, Nov. 28 through Dec. 7.

Mark your calendar now for an all-new program featuring Bing Crosby (1903-1977) who was, without doubt, the most popular and influential multi-media star of the first half of the 20th century.

Bing Crosby Rediscovered: American Masters, premiering Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 8/7 pm on KET, explores the life and legend of this iconic performer, revealing a man far more complex than his public persona.

As you watch this and other WinterPledge specials — such as Downton Abbey Rediscovered and Classic Hollywood: Musicals — remember that part of KET’s mission is to open the window on the worlds of music, art, dance, and theater to seasoned audiences and new generations as well.

In this new special previewing the fifth season of Masterpiece Classic’s smash hit “Downton Abbey,” — which is coming in January! — revisit previous seasons and relish video clips, cast interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage, which help answer some burning questions: Is Lady Mary ready for romance? Did Mr. Bates kill Mr. Green? What will become of Edith’s baby? Carson and Mrs. Hughes — will they or won’t they?

KET is committed to allowing all Kentuckians, no matter their age and circumstance, the opportunity to watch and enjoy period dramas, science and nature programs, educational children’s shows, documentaries, and current events and news programming.

And all of it is thanks to you! Because of your continued financial support of KET, we are able to present Doc Martin Behind the Scenes, The Best of 50s Pop, Celtic Thunder Christmas, and Suze Orman’s Financial Solutions for You and more.  Support our mission of helping Kentuckians from all walks of life explore Kentucky, and the world.

Make your generous WinterPledge donation of support by calling (800) 866-0366 or go online at KET.org/donate.

Jay Leno takes the prize

Stars salute comedian with Mark Twain Prize

Top entertainers, friends, and colleagues of Jay Leno gathered at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as the host of The Tonight Show received the Mark Twin Prize for American Humor. You can be there when KET airs Jay Leno: The Mark Twain Prize Sunday, Nov. 23 at 8/7 pm on KET.

Upon learning he would receive the Mark Twain Prize, Jay Leno remarked, “What an honor! I’m a big fan of Mark Twain’s. In fact, A Tale of Two Cities is one of my favorite books.”

He is a comedian, after all.

The special features a star-studded cast of Leno’s friends and colleagues, including Garth Brooks, Kristin Chenoweth, Kevin Eubanks, Jimmy Fallon, Chelsea Handler, Robert Klein, Al Madrigal, Seth Myers, Jerry Seinfeld, JB Smoove, Wanda Sykes and special appearances by Jamie Foxx and Betty White.

In May 1992, Leno followed in the footsteps of Steve Allen, Jack Paar, and Johnny Carson as Tonight Show host. An indefatigable performer, Leno loves to test his humor live on audiences across the nation, performing over 100 live appearances in nightclubs, theaters, and stadiums each year.

Leno has gained an international following on the internet with his new creation, Jaylenosgarage.com and has published four versions of Headlines, the compilation of books and desk calendars featuring his favorite funny newspaper headlines.

The program also airs  Wednesday, Nov. 26 at 9/8 pm on KET2.

Leno is the 17th recipient of The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. He’s in fantastic company! The past recipients are —

Richard Pryor (1998)
Jonathan Winters (1999)
Carl Reiner (2000)
Whoopi Goldberg (2001)
Bob Newhart (2002)
Lily Tomlin (2003),
Lorne Michaels (2004)
Steve Martin (2005)
Neil Simon (2006)
Billy Crystal (2007)
George Carlin (2008)
Bill Cosby (2009)
Tina Fey (2010)
Will Ferrell (2011)
Ellen DeGeneres (2012)
Carol Burnett (2013)

Sweet Home Kentucky Collectibles

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Ed King jams for KET

Anyone with even a passing interest in classic rock instantly recognizes the famous Stratocaster riff which begins one of the best-known songs in rock history, “Sweet Home Alabama,” co-written by Ed King.

King appears with his sweet Les Paul guitar he’s named “Red Eye” this week as our hit series Kentucky Collectibles goes on the road to Nashville to meet the music legend and size up the 1959 instrument.

It airs Saturday, Nov. 8 at 4:30/3:30 pm on KET and Monday, Nov. 10 at 7:30/6:30 pm on KET2.

Skynyrd’s monster 1974 hit joins “Free Bird” as one of the seminal rock anthems — but the band was literally blown apart in its prime by a 1977 plane crash that took the lives of lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gains, who had replaced King the year before. King later went on to fill the roster of a reunited Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1987.

King, left, with Reeder at his home in Nashville

You can sit in while King tells stories of the band’s early days to his long-time friend and guitar expert Mike Reeder. He talks about his first foray into the history of American Rock with the psychedelic Southern California band The Strawberry Alarm Clock. Its hit “Incense and Peppermints,” also co-written by King, went to Number 1 in 1967 on the Billboard chart. King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 as a part of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

King plays a few licks and talks about seeing Duane Allman perform with the Allman Brothers shortly before his death. The Allmans’ sound inspired the talented King to pack his bags and head for the South — where he hooked up with the band that had opened for him in his days with The Alarm Clock: Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Any more hints will spoil the pleasure of hearing about Southern Rock’s early days — and about how King’s valuable Les Paul was stolen then returned years later.

Turn it up.


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