Leo Kottke has been through Little Rock a few times, but I can't think of a better place to hear the acoustic guitar virtuoso than Wildwood Park's comfortable, acoustically superb Lucy Cabe Festival Theatre, where Kottke will play June 26 as part of the park's annual Festival of Music and the Arts.
A one-man show by Lawrence Hamilton, two nights of opera, a reprise of last year's highly entertaining P.D.Q. Bach Festival and more await the festival goers throughout June. This year's theme is "Spring Feria in Seville."
Wildwood's director, Ann Chotard, invited the area media to the park last week for a sneak peak at the gardens in full bloom as well as some of the singers in full voice for the opera she'll direct, Verdi's "Rigoletto." It will be performed at Wildwood June 18-20, then in Hot Springs on June 22.
The lineup of cabaret music and dinner includes the kickoff night of Portuguese cuisine and Andalusian song on Thursday, June 3.
For the adventurous cookers, Wildwood will have a culinary series that includes a Portuguese cooking class led by Rosalia Moore, a Spanish wine and cheese tasting with Bruce Cochran, and a Spanish cooking class led by Scott McGehee. Special dinners with a Spanish flair, prepared by Rob Best of Simply the Best Catering, will be available for the Wildwood crowd before many of the performances.
Tawana Campbell and the Wildwood resident musicians, Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadiens, the Woody Herman Orchestra, Hamilton and Kottke are lined up for Saturday night shows.
Call 821-7275 for tickets.
TAKES A LICKING, QUITS TICKING ROCK: When a radio station's ratings take nearly a 70-percent drop in listenership, a format change usually follows. Archway Broadcasting's KLEC-FM, 106.3, which for a while was the area's only modern rocker before Clear Channel put a similar format on its 100.3 frequency (KDJE), switched to oldies on Monday. The '60s and '70s oldies format was an available target after Clear Channel changed KOLL-FM, 94.9, to a contemporary oldies station to compete closer with Citadel's KURB (B-98). They even took the KOLL's old moniker "Cool" for the change.
A year ago, Lick 106 was drawing a respectable 4.4 market share, but the most recent Winter Arbitron ratings book showed a 1.4 share in listeners 12 years old and up (that's the percent of listeners in the market tuned to that station, but the sampling to get that figure is quite small). That's the only rating that Arbitron makes public - stations and ad firms by the complete Arbitron "book" - but we can figure that Lick's 18-34 market dropped as precipitously, if not more.
Clear Channel describes KDJE as an "active rock" station. By whatever name, it's all that is left now among the local (non-pop) modern rock stations.