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“KERA Classics” Program Descriptions

50th Anniversary, General, KERA TV, News Releases 3662


Opry House Filmed in the KERA studios, Opry House was the original Texas country music concert series and a precursor to another public television favorite, Austin City Limits. The series spotlighted artists who were stars then and legends now. The three episodes include:

Willie Nelson (1974) Willie Nelson made a rare television appearance in the premiere episode of Opry House performing many of his favorite songs at the time, including “Whiskey River,” “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Night Life,” “Bloody Mary Morning,” “Pick Up the Tempo” and “Hello Walls.” Sunday, July 3, 2011, at 6:00 p.m. on KERA TV


Waylon Jennings (1975) Waylon Jennings, a native Texan, performs many of his popular hits from the time, including “Old Five and Dimers Like Me,” “Ramblin’ Man,” “Good Hearted Woman,” “The Taker” and “Ladies Love Outlaws.” Sunday, July 17, 2011, at 6:00 p.m. on KERA TV

Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge (1976) Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge perform both singly and as a couple during this hour-long music special. Kristofferson performs selections, including “A Simple Song of Freedom,” “Smile At Me Again,” and the Coasters’ “Searchin’.” Coolidge takes the stage to perform “Fever,” “For the Good Times,” and “We Had It All.” The couple then duet on “I Never Had It So Good,” “Rain” and “Me and Bobby McGee.”  Sunday, July 24, 2011, at 6:00 p.m. on KERA TV

Other vintage KERA original productions airing on Sunday nights in July and August include:

The Mysterious Rhinestone Cowboy (1975) David Allan Coe, ex-prisoner turned country-western star, is featured in this combination in-studio concert performance and documentary film. The program follows the star performing at country music fairs, visiting with family at his childhood home and returning to the correctional institution where Coe claimed to have killed a fellow inmate. Musical selections performed by Coe and his Tennessee Hat Band include “The Fugitive,” “Longhaired Redneck” and “You Never Even Called Me By My Name.” Sunday, July 10, 2011, at 5:30 p.m. on KERA TV

Texas Passage: Michael Murphey (1972) Michael Murphey, a Dallas native, performs selections from “The Ballad of Calico,” an album he composed for Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, and songs from his own album, “Geronimo’s Cadillac.” Filmed live at McFarlin Auditorium on the campus of SMU, the concert was a 1972 benefit performance for KERA. Sunday, July 31, 2011, at 6:00 p.m. on KERA TV

Legacies of the Land: A Tale of Texas (1985) Hosted by renowned Texas humorist and folklore scholar John Henry Faulk, Legacies of the Land is an armchair tour through the legends, tall tales and oil wells that pervade the Lone Star State’s most plentiful and precious commodity: land. Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. on KERA TV


Wildflowers with Helen Hayes (1992) Helen Hayes, First Lady of the American Theater, and her friend and former First Lady of the United States, Lady Bird Johnson invite you to a celebration of some of America’s greatest natural treasures: the thousands of wildflower species that blanket our meadows, riverbanks, roadsides, parks and gardens with color. The program explores the amazing array of wildflowers that grow in Texas, where over 5,000 species—more than a quarter of all of the wildflowers in the United States—can be found. Friday, July 1, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. on KERA TV

Water Garden (1985) A lyrical, lushly photographed tribute to Philip Johnson’s masterpiece and a fascinating profile of the architect himself. Johnson discusses his personal feelings about architectural design as he points out the hidden details that combine to make the park a critical and popular success that visitors return to again and again. Friday, July 8, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. on KERA TV

Spirits of the Canyon: Ancient Art Along the Pecos River (1991) In southwest Texas, where the Pecos River, Rio Grande and Devil’s River have carved out majestic canyons, a remarkable civilization flourished for thousands of years and then disappeared. Join renowned artist Amado Pena for a rare look at the art and legacy of a vanished people. Friday, July 15, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. on KERA TV

ENTERPRISE: Tailspin (1984) chronicles the efforts of Braniff International Airlines’ chief executive as he tries desperately, but unsuccessfully, to save his billion-dollar company from bankruptcy.  Friday, July 22, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. on KERA TV

South Dallas Pop (2008) This documentary explores the social and musical context surrounding the South Dallas Pop Festival, held in June of 1970 at the height of the youth-oriented pop festival craze. Dallas musicians Wendell Sneed and Roger Boykin recall their efforts to showcase the best African American funk bands in Dallas at the time. Friday, August 5, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. on KERA TV