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Barry Courter

Stories by Barry

When Libra Jackson sold a piece of her art at the inaugural Artoberfest two weeks ago, it represented a milestone for Friends of Local Artists and Galleries.

Kevin James can make you laugh any number of ways.

Every now and then a book comes across the desk here and I wonder how I ever got along without it for all of these years. The “Infographic Guide to Music,” as well as its companion guides to literature, sports and life, the universe and everything, is not one of those books, but it’s close.

LISA DENTON: Barry, I have to admit I'm a little jealous that you got to talk to actor and comedian Kevin James the other day about his comedy show Thursday night at the Tivoli. He just seems so nice-guy likable.

For all of the tributes and talk Thursday at Engel Stadium during a ceremony remembering Luther Masingill, David Carroll perhaps best said what everyone was thinking.

One week before Barking Legs Theater is set to reopen after a $156,000 renovation, co-owner/manager Ann Law is excitedly showing off the work.

Q. Dad, what are your thoughts on paying bills?

About 200 family, friends, TV and radio personalities, co-workers and former co-workers, politicians and listeners turned out at Engel Stadium today to say goodbye to Luther Masingill.

Even many of Ann Law’s board members have not seen the results of the renovation work that has been done at Barking Legs Theater.

Engel Stadium. Perfect.

It’s 12:30 p.m. on a beautiful fall Friday in October, and the dining area at Soho Hibachi in Fort Oglethorpe is packed.

During Luther Masingill's 74-year broadcasting career he announced both the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001.

Luther Masingill on how he wanted to be remembered

Chattanooga media icon passes away

Luther Masingill held the same job at the same radio station in the same time slot for 74 years. During that time he told Chattanooga listeners of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and he helped reunited thousands of dogs and cats with their owners.

James McKissic was not looking to sell his favorite painting, a 24-by-18-inch mixed-media piece he created almost 24 years ago called “Jimmy’s Blues.”

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, the weather is cooling off this week, but the music scene appears to be heating up. There is a lot going on.

Benjamin Martin, 61, better known to listeners of WUSY-FM 100.7 as "Bearman," died Thursday after falling at his home and after months of battling liver disease.

Do you remember how much fun it was to rip all the blankets off the bed and turn them into a fort? A couple of flashlights and some pillows and you had a cool little space.

Q. Dad, I'll be 21 next week. Will my world change very much?

I read an article the other day about ways to not reveal your age on a resume.

When the documentary "Simple As That" took the Platinum Remington Award at the World Fest in Houston almost two years ago, filmmaker Ashley McCue "just thought they were being nice."

BARRY: Lisa, I remember a day 13 years ago when I had lunch with Mike Schoenborn and Nick Jessen when they discussed putting together an Oktoberfest event at the Chattanooga Market at First Tennessee Pavilion. Neither is involved today, but the event has grown from first one day to two and this year it will span five days. Yowza.

For husband-and-wife artists Eric Keller and Laura Willett, collaboration might have been a natural progression for their mixed-media works.

Few things can turn a homeowner’s emotions inside out more quickly than a major home improvement project gone awry.

Q: Dad, when should I start saving money for my future?

Last week in this space, I wrote that some people in town, folks who might have a say-so, have been discussing the fact that Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium might have outlived its purpose as the city’s civic center/concert hall/theater.

BARRY COURTER: There is a lot happening again this week, and much of it is under the umbrella of RiverRocks or, as we like to call it, October.

At some point, most parents know the feeling.

Q: Dad, I won’t graduate for another year and a half but is it too late to be thinking about what happens after that?

As little hands pound in nails at one work station, others build mini-robotic machines with Cubelets at another.

Being able to communicate a message is what makes most artists tick. Losing that ability can be frustrating, frightening, even devastating.

Last week was a fairly busy one in the arts community, or at least it seemed so in my world. Or maybe I just talked to more people than usual in the arts world last week. In any case, there were two themes that people wanted to talk about.

Once the music starts for the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera’s gala concert featuring Yo-Yo Ma, CSO Music Director Kayoko Dan will be her usual professional self. Until then, she might have a hard time being anything but a giddy fan.

The bio for the band The White Animals on has a line that reads: “Unlike a lot of bands at the time, the White Animals never took themselves too seriously. They had a good seven-year run, opening for bands like The Kinks, the Ramones and Talking Heads, but they always knew that adulthood and careers [lay] on the horizon.”

KELLEY: Our son had given us some venison that a friend harvested a couple of months back, and it’s been sitting in the freezer. I have hesitated to use it because the last time he brought some back from college, we cooked it and it was very gamey. Didn’t like the taste at all.

LISA DENTON: Barry, I have to say I'm pretty excited that Yo-Yo Ma is coming to town because he and I have something in common: the same birthday.

Nineteen art pieces are being installed this week and next week in unoccupied downtown office windows.

A new website,, was launched this morning to promote arts in Chattanooga.

Q: Dad, they had a career day here at school with a bunch of reps from businesses on campus. Any advice on standing out with the one I want?

Photographer Bradley Shelton just laughs when asked how he managed to capture an image of Joe "Dixie" Fuller when his lips weren't moving.

For 40 years after it opened in 1924, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium served as this city’s civic center, trade center, largest concert hall, meeting place and auditorium.

Jason Norris knew back in 1989 that the band he hoped to put together would be heavily influenced by The Beatles. In fact, he wanted to choose its name based on the Fab Four’s hometown of Liverpool. So, just think, The Pool could have been called The Liver.

Members of Chattanooga's creative community are indeed interested in having a live work facility that would offer them affordable housing and a place to work, according to findings of a survey done last spring by Artspace Projects Inc.

Members of Chattanooga’s creative community are indeed interested in having a live work facility that would offer them affordable housing and a place to work, according to findings of a survey done last spring by Artspace Projects Inc.

Just stringing the words "faith-based horror film" together seems wrong.

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, why is it that whenever there is something I really want to do, it usually conflicts with another high-appeal event? Next Saturday night is such an evening.

Q: Dad, I know I'm the new person on staff, but how do I get more hours?

Bless her heart. Like thousands of others, Julia Fowler is living in Los Angeles, trying to find steady work as an actress with a resume that also lists writing, producing and directing skills.

What was the last event you attended inside the Bessie Smith Cultural Center? Or when was the last time you were inside the facility? For me, it was an ArtsBuild event last year.

Bands don’t normally do soundchecks at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn., but 15 minutes before their 12:30 p.m. show this past summer, the guys in St. Paul & The Broken Bones were in position on the Other Stage, giving the audience the impression they might start early.

LISA DENTON: Barry, I know $175 is a little more (well, about $170 more) than we usually can afford to spend on concert tickets, but I'm thinking we really must go to Cleveland, Tenn., on Friday for the Museum Center at Five Points' "Friday Night Fever" fundraising gala.

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