As part of a partnership between The Bluebird Cafe, NSAI and The Bob Kingsley Estate, the three have been working on a multi-year preservation project involving the audio recordings from The Bluebird Cafe’s 40-year history.
As the collaboration enters its second year, the entities have announced the inaugural season of a new radio show, The Bluebird Cafe Archival Recordings, which will premiere on WSM-AM/Nashville on April 1. Playing from 9 to 10 a.m. CT, the program will lead in to Bob Kingsley’s Countdown Classics.
“We are so grateful for Nan’s support of our efforts to not only preserve The Bluebird Cafe’s audio archives, but bring them to listeners,” says The Bluebird Cafe’s GM Erika Wollam Nichols. “These shows, archivally recorded over the 40-year history of the venue, illustrate offer a touchstone in the history of Nashville music and the amazing songwriters who have called The Bluebird home throughout the years. We also send a special thank you to Shannon Lynn, who is tirelessly transferring these programs to digital formats. We could not do this without his passionate support.”
Roger Alan Nichols, Dave Cowley, Duane Durrette and Brent Baker serve on the show’s production team. Fitz, who records the CMA award-winning Country Top 40 with Fitz countdown from Bluestem Studios, on the campus of Weatherford College—brought the program back to Texas where Bob Kingsley produced the show. In 2021, Bob’s wife Nan Kingsley donated the Bluestem Studios space to Weatherford College to be used for educational purposes. Fitz will act as an advisor to the students involved in production of The Bluebird Cafe Archival Recordings.
“Bob loved and supported the Nashville songwriting community. When we announced the Bob Kingsley Estate’s support of NSAI and The Bluebird Cafe last year, it was fitting that the bulk of the efforts centered on the preservation of The Bluebird’s vast audio archive,” shares Nan Kingsley. “Now, with support Dr. Tod Farmer and the Weatherford College team, Fitz, and JP Tinnell at WSM Radio, listeners around the world will be able to listen to these classic performances. I could not be more thrilled to see this come together.”
The show’s first season will include classic performances from songwriters including Rhett Akins, Kelly Archer, Marc Beeson, Adam Hambrick and many more. Listeners can tune-in each week via wsmradio.com and the official WSM app.