Seasons Greetings

Tune to KET for holiday specials galore

When you’re in the mood for some holiday cheer, tune to KET to make the season bright. Here are the heart-warming, festive tributes to the season — from all-star and celebrated ensemble performances of favorite holiday songs to holiday specials of fan-favorite programs.

Rick Steves’ European Christmas
KET: Monday, Dec. 21 at 8/7 pm
KET2: Thursday, Dec. 24 at 6/5

From manger scenes and mistletoe to wintry wonderlands, celebrate the season throughout the continent.

Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir featuring Santino Fontana and the Sesame Street Muppets
KET: Monday, Dec. 21 at 9/8 pm

Join stage and singing star Santino Fontana, the Muppets from Sesame Street, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra for a concert that includes Christmas music and songs from Sesame Street.

Christmas at Belmont
KET: Monday, Dec. 21 at 10/9 pm & Thursday, Dec. 24 at 9/8 pm
KET2: Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 9/8 pm

This annual Belmont University tradition celebrates the holiday season and the musical diversity and rich talent of the university’s School of Music. The concert features a collage of familiar carols, classical masterworks, world music and light-hearted seasonal favorites.

The Holidays at Murray State 2015
KET: Thursday, Dec. 24 at 10/9 pm

The Murray State University Concert Choir, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra, and featured soloists highlight this annual holiday special.

Call the Midwife Holiday Special
KET: Friday, Dec. 25 at 9/8 pm
KET2: Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 9/8 pm

Festive spirit is in plentiful supply for the beloved Call the Midwife characters. A trip to see the Regent Street lights and a visit from a BBC film crew promise to make this 1960 Christmas one to remember. As the community pulls together to prepare for the televised carol concert, Nonnatus is rocked to the core when one of its own goes missing, causing a full-scale manhunt. Meanwhile, an unexpected surprise for a grieving mother may help bring the Christmas magic home.

Vicious Holiday Special
KET: Friday, Dec. 25 at 10:30/9:30 pm
KET2: Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 10:30/9:30 pm

When Freddie and Stuart host a holiday soiree, a wicked game of Truth or Dare brings up hidden truths.

The good life

Doug Flynn opens new season of ‘Kentucky Life’ as host

“I’m from Kentucky, I love Kentucky, and I’ve never left Kentucky,” said Doug Flynn, the new host of Kentucky Life, which begins its new season Saturday, Nov. 14 at 8/7 pm on KET.

And it seems the name of the Bluegrass State is never far from the lips of the former major leaguer who played for the Reds and the Mets — and who today thinks catching fish is much more important than catching fly balls.

“I love the outdoors and I love to fish — I take it pretty seriously,” he said. He also takes his love for the state seriously, too, so much so that, when out-of-staters think there’s not much more to Kentucky than the Derby, he’s quick to correct them.

“I love to tell them there’s so much more. There’s all the wonderful history, the great statesmen that we’ve had, all the wonderful places full of natural beauty, and the greatest park system in the country.”

The first program opens with outdoors enthusiast Flynn in an enjoyable trip down the Kentucky River, where the locks have recently been reopened to river traffic. He’ll be speeding along at 70 miles per hour, a little too fast for him to enjoy that favorite hobby.

The opener also features Kentucky military veterans and a spooky trip through the “haunted” mansions of Old Louisville, which will extend through this season.

As a lifelong Kentuckian, Flynn believes that if you live in this state and say you love it, you need to know something about it.

“The history here, there is so much of it!” he said. “I have been impressed, in the short time I’ve been associated with KET, just how much history that I don’t know. But I’m proud of my state and I want to share it.”

Doug looks forward to telling the stories of extraordinary Kentuckians and meeting Kentucky Life fans while on the road.

“When I’m traveling, I like to stop off at small stores, sit down and relax, and get to know people. I hope to bring just a little different twist to the show — it’ll be the same things through different eyes,” he said.

* * *

Watch the video below of Doug talking about his new job as host on One to One with Bill Goodman.

It’s been a long time comin’!

‘Sweet Baby James’ hits the ‘Austin City Limits’ stage

Story courtesy of Austin City Limits

It’s been a long time coming. James Taylor has been near the top of our wishlist for years. Now the stars have aligned, and we were thrilled to at last welcome the legendary singer/songwriter to the Austin City Limits stage for a special show full of songs from his new LP Before This World, his first collection of original music in 13 years, and deep cuts from across his long career. The program will air on KET Nov. 14.


Taylor and his band (featuring original Saturday Night Live band member Lou Marini and legendary drummer Steve Gadd) opened with “Wandering,” a gentle, reflective song from his 1975 LP Gorilla. He followed with the funky “Me and My Guitar,” another gem from the early ’70s, and “Copperline,” a nostalgic folk-popper from New Moon Shine, his first LP of the ’90s.

Taylor stayed with more recent material for the next pair of cuts, including the new album’s positivity anthem “Today Today Today” and the ’90s-era ballad “Line ’em Up.” Taylor then jumped back to 1970 for his self-described “tree-huggers’ anthem,” “Country Road,” a crowd favorite from his breakthrough Sweet Baby James. Then it was back to the present for another pair from New Moon Shine and Before This World; the rousing, gospel-inflected “Shed a Little Light;” and the Boston Red Sox mash note “Angels of Fenway.”

Austin City Limits: James Taylor
KET Saturday, Nov. 14 • 11/10 pm

Paying tribute to the state in which he was performing, the perpetually smiling Taylor essayed his ’80s-vintage cover of Texas rock pioneer Buddy Holly’s “Everyday.” Then he took a giant leap back in time to 1968, lifting his lilting hit “Carolina in My Mind” from his self-titled debut, originally released on the Beatles’ Apple label.

Donning an electric guitar, Taylor shifted gears with 1970’s bluesy, rumbling “Steamroller,” which served to showcase the talents of his band. His iconic take on his friend Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” unsurprisingly earned him a standing ovation, while “Sweet Baby James,” his variation on cowboy ballads, cooled the crowd back down like a misty rain on the dusty trail. Taylor then invited the adoring audience to join him on a raucous run through his hit cover of Marvin Gaye’s joyful “How Sweet It Is.”

The main set ended as gently as it began with the clarinet/flugelhorn/violin-enhanced Before This World ballad “You and I Again.”

But of course it wasn’t over. Taylor reappeared and brought out a surprise guest: Austinite Shawn Colvin, who joined him for a lovely take on his 1971 song “You Can Close Your Eyes.” But it still wasn’t over, as Taylor and his band came back for an unplanned second encore, starting with the frisky “Mexico” and ending with the grooving “Your Smiling Face,” which drove the audience wild.

It was a spectacular way to close out a landmark ACL taping, and we can’t wait for you to see the show when it airs November 14!

Until then, watch Taylor talk about his passion for music on PBS NewsHour.

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