KUT Documentaries Win Grand, Gold and Silver Awards at Prestigious New York Festivals
AUSTIN, Texas—June 21, 2011—KUT 90.5′s music journalism unit Texas Music Matters and KUT News have earned four awards—the Grand Trophy, a gold and two silver awards—at the prestigious New York Festivals 2011 International Radio Programs and Promotion Awards.
The Texas Music Matters documentary “Piece of My Heart: The Story of Janis Joplin” won the Grand Trophy and a gold award in the “Culture & the Arts” category. Texas Music Matters’ documentary “Home with the Armadillo,” a one-hour documentary component of the “Armadillo Oral History Project,” won a silver award in the “History” category. KUT News won the silver award in the “Best News Documentary/Special” category for “Where I’m From.”
This brings to 11 the number of New York Festivals Awards earned by KUT since 2002. The awards were announced at the 2011 New York Festivals® Radio Program and Promotion Awards in New York last night.
The documentary “Piece of My Heart: The Story of Janis Joplin” explored how the singer’s Texas roots influenced her music, her identity and ultimately her enduring legacy. The one-hour special featured Kris Kristofferson, Tracy Nelson of the band Mother Earth, singer-songwriter Powell St. John (of Conqueroo) and many of those closest to Joplin during her days growing up in Port Arthur. The program was broadcast in October, 2010, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Joplin’s death.
As one of the first female superstars of rock music, Joplin’s talent, personal charisma and notoriety have overshadowed the backstory of a young woman caught in the cross-currents of changing cultural expectations about the role of women in postwar America. A central feature of the Texas Music Matters documentary “Piece of My Heart” is its focus on how Joplin’s Texas upbringing, particularly her experiences as a child in Port Arthur and as a young adult in Austin, fundamentally informed the role she would assume on the global stage. The documentary was reported and produced by David Brown, Andy Uhler and Laurie Turner.
To celebrate the Grand Trophy honor, “Piece of My Heart: the Story of Janis Joplin” KUT will rebroadcast the documentary at noon and again at 11 p.m., Friday, June 24.
“The Armadillo Oral History Project,” was a year-long effort to document the voices of Austin’s Armadillo World Headquarters era culminating in an hour-long radio special, “Home with the Armadillo,” that aired in August 2010. The oral history project is a living oral history archive complete with multimedia presentations, a website and a week of music programming exclusively dedicated to the storied music venue.
The “Home with the Armadillo” documentary is anchored by Brown and was produced, edited and reported by KUT’s Texas Music Matters unit, with special assistance from independent journalist Ann Leifeste and musician and music history aficionado Nick Marcotte. The documentary won a first place National Headliners Award in March.
“Where I’m From” is a one-hour special featuring famous and not-so-famous Texans sharing their thoughts on how where you come from defines who you are. The documentary was produced by KUT News Director Emily Donahue and hosted by Texas Monthly’s Jake Silverstein. Some of the famous Texans interviewed included: former first lady Laura Bush, musician David Lee Garza, and writers Roger Hodge, Bryan Burrough, Shelby Hearon and John Phillip Santos. The documentary won a regional Edward R. Murrow award in April and first place award from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters.
All entries were judged by the New York Festivals Radio Program & Promotions Awards GrandJury, consisting of radio experts from stations and companies around the globe and promoted by a network of representatives in 75 countries. This year’s international Grand Jury awarded 36 Gold, 42 Silver, and 46 Bronze Trophies. In addition, 59 entries received Finalist Certificates. Now in its 29th year of honoring “The World’s Best Radio Programs & Promotions™,” the competition honors the most original and innovative work in radio broadcasting, with entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from around the world. For a complete list of this year’s award winners go to: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/worldsbestradio/.
Gayle Seminara Mandel, New York Festivals