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KET’s Kentucky Life features Eminence Speaker company, luthier Frank Neat and blues musician Tee Dee Young


KET’s Kentucky Life features Eminence Speaker company, luthier Frank Neat and blues musician Tee Dee Young

For Release: 03/02/16 12:37 PM

The next edition of KET’s Kentucky Life, hosted by Doug Flynn, features three segments that showcase Kentucky’s rich musical heritage and ongoing contributions to America’s diverse musical scene – from rock to bluegrass and blues. The program includes a visit to Eminence Speaker LLC in Eminence, Ky.; showcases the work of Russell Springs luthier Frank Neat; and captures a performance of blues musician Tee Dee Young of Lexington. The program airs Saturday, March 26 at 8/7 pm and Sunday, March 27 at 4/3 pm on KET and Monday, March 28 at 7/6 pm on KET2.

First, Kentucky Life heads to Henry County, where Eminence – population 3,000 –   is home to the world’s largest speaker manufacturing company. Founded in 1966 by Bob Gault and now run by his son, Ron, Eminence Speaker LLC produces more than 10,000 speakers per day and employs nearly 200 workers. The company is considered a worldwide leader in its field, producing in-demand speaker equipment for both professional musicians and car audio applications. Flynn tours the factory to see, first-hand, the work required to produce the company’s signature line of speakers.

Then, the program spotlights Frank Neat of Russell Springs, who has created bluegrass banjos for some of the most respected banjo players in the world, including  the late Earl Scruggs and J.D. Crowe, who appears in the segment to discuss Neat’s incomparable skills. In 2014, Neat was the recipient of the Homer Ledford Award, given by the Kentucky Folklife Program to Kentucky luthiers –  makers of stringed instruments – who have demonstrated outstanding craftsmanship. When nominating Neat for the award, Kentucky folklorist Thomas Adler of Lexington said, Neat “is known as a national treasure in the … bluegrass music world ….  [N]o one who builds bluegrass banjos in America – or indeed, around the world – is unaware of Frank Neat’s work.” In this first of an upcoming series of segments on renowned Kentucky luthiers, Kentucky Life showcases Neat at work in his shop, along with his son, who assists him with the intricate inlay work on his handcrafted banjos.

The program concludes with a stop at Tee Dee’s Blues Club in Lexington, where Lexington native Tee Dee Young and his band thrill the crowd with their singular blues style. Kentucky Life captures the hard-driving, energetic blues performer during one of his live performances, and also sits down with him to learn about his musical mentors – including Harrison Coleman, who gave Young his first guitar at age 13 and told him to  “fire down” on it.

Kentucky Life is a KET production, produced by Brandon Wickey. Segment producers for this episode are Matt Grimm, Gary Pahler and Frank Simkonis.

KET is Kentucky’s largest classroom, serving more than one million people each week via television, online and mobile. Learn more about Kentucky’s preeminent public media organization on Twitter @KET and and at


Todd Piccirilli
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications