This week we bring you two episodes of Radio Free Charleston that were recorded on the same night in January, 2008. The LaBelle Theater in South Charleston played host to a very special benefit concert to raise money for Sojourners, the YWCA shelter for homeless women and families and victims of domestic abuse. What was remarkable about this evening was that it happened on the day of the infamous “Blue Haze,” one of the many notable chemical leaks over the years that our state government has done nothing about.
Despite the fear of what an unknown chemical cloud floating around the area could do, a large crowd came out to hear an amzing assortment of musicians donate their time to this worthy cause. John Lilly, Rich Allen, The Synergy Collective, Sean Richardson, Karen Allen, Jerry Fugate, Mark Davis, Deron Sodaro and the evening’s host, Ric Cochran, put on a fantastic show that ended with a ton of musicians on stage leading a singalong to “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.”
This was originally a two-part episode of Radio Free Charleston, spread out over RFC 35 and 36. Included among the musical performances are interviews I conducted with Ric Cochran and with Margaret Taylor, then (and until her recent retirement) the director of Sojourners. At the time, these two episodes of RFC were described as “uncharacteristically classy,” which amused the hell out of me.
This was waaaay back when we couldn’t put RFC on YouTube because they had a ten-minute time limit, so these shows were briefly on the Charleston Gazette servers, and then briefly available on MySpace until I remastered them and combined them into one big file about ten years ago, which by that time could be uploaded to YouTube with no duration limitations.
Sojouners is still active and the information in this show should still be valid. If you are in need of their assistance you can check with them at this link, or call 800.681.8663 or 304.340.3549, 24 hours a day. The original production notes can be found HERE and HERE.