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C&W and Bluegrass Music Is Alive and Well...in Japan...in the Mighty Fine "Far Western"

Aired on Tuesday, October 3rd.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, an interesting chat with the locally based filmmaker James Payne. His new movie, a feature-length, award-winning documentary called "Far Western," will have its Tulsa debut screening at the Circle Cinema on Thursday the 5th at 7pm. (A 5:30pm reception as well as post-screening events are also planned; full details are posted here.) As Payne tells us today, the initial shooting for this project actually occurred a decade ago -- and now, at last, the film is making the festival circuit, both stateside and internationally. "Far Western" depicts how American country music and bluegrass music -- as two separate but closely linked phenomena -- first took root and then subsequently developed in post-WWII Japan. Moreover, as shown in the film, these musical genres (and their respective cultures) have become, for a small but dedicated community, a lifelong obsession.

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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