Rachel Hopkin interviewing Freeman Kitchens in his shop. July, 2011. Photo by J. Jameson.
Rachel Hopkin is a WKU Folk Studies graduate student who, for years, has produced radio pieces for the BBC. As a student in the program, she produces Folk Studies Radio for WKYU, Bowling Green’s NPR affiliate. I just spoke with her about the status of a new piece she is working on in support of the upcoming exhibit on Mr. Kitchens. Last month she rode with me out to Drake on a routine visit with Freeman. That day, I showed him copies of his personal letter collection, given to folklorist Archie Green decades ago, and now sent over by the good folks at UNC’s Southern Folklife Collection. She recorded our conversation as we skimmed through letters addressed to Freeman from members of the Carter Family Fan Club, musicians, and record collectors alike-circa the 1950s and 60s.
Rachel’s radio piece on will air on WKYU before the exhibit opens (time TBD), and I’m glad to report that Nolan Porterfield—the great country music writer, host of the Old Scratchy Records show, and long-time patron of Drake Vintage Music & Curios—will be offering a few words on Freeman’s deep musical history.