Well known for showing the influences of Dinah Washington, Peggy Lee or Ella Fitzgerald, who knew Natalie Cole could wail like Janis Joplin? The highlight of her concert with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra on Sunday may have been Cole’s unexpected and powerful version of Joplin’s soaring “Cry Baby,” though the whole show was chockfull of moving moments.
Cole even sang with her late dad, Nat King Cole, thanks to their technology-created “duet” of “Unforgettable” in 1991 being projected onto the screen behind the orchestra. She paced her concert beautifully, opening with jazz and ballads before taking a short break, putting on a sparkling white top over her sparkling black evening gown, and cranking up the music with her tight eight-piece band and the ASO.
Her performance culminated with a rousing rendition of “This Will Be,” which had several fans in the balcony up and dancing. Cole came back out, received a key to the city from Barbara Graves, apologized for having referred to the local musicians as the “Little Rock” symphony, and performed an encore with “Inseparable” (dedicated to her fans, she said) and “Our Love.” She left “I’ve Got Love on My Mind” off the set list, but two standing ovations and happy faces indicated that no one in the nearly full Robinson Center minded.
— By Jim Harris
The senior high classes of 1969, ’75 and ’86 and all in between and around were entertained with a completely satisfying four-plus hours of “San Francisco Fest 2016” featuring Bay area natives Journey and The Doobie Brothers, with special guest Dave Mason.
Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
Jones was "Minority Outreach Coordinator" for Hutchinson's 2014 gubernatorial campaign. The governor first named him as policy director before placing him over the labor department instead in Jan. 2015, soon after taking office.
A former inmate who claims she was sexually assaulted over 70 times by former McPherson Womens' Unit chaplain Kenneth Dewitt has filed a federal lawsuit against Dewitt, several staff members at the prison, and officials with the Arkansas Department of Corrections, including former director Ray Hobbs.
Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra opened its season Saturday night with a return visit by the 28-year-old violin virtuoso Augustin Hadelich, who had appeared with the orchestra in the Beethoven concerto two years ago.