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Alum Beegie Adair Honored



Community Center to be Named After Native Musician

CAVE CITY, KY April 27, 2013 – The City Council of Cave City will honor native, Beegie Adair, by dedicating the town's community center in her name.

Born Bobbe Gorin Long, Adair is fondly remembered in south central Kentucky as the daughter of A.G. and Bobbe Long, and granddaughter of Grover and Sallie Long, all longtime Cave City residents. Adair began taking piano lessons at age five. She continued to study piano throughout college, earning a B.S. in Music Education at Western State University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. During and after college, she played in jazz bands, and spent three years teaching music to children before moving to Nashville, where she became a session musician, working at WSM-TV and on The Johnny Cash Show (1969-71). A sought-after studio musician in her early days there, Adair accompanied such legendary performers as Chet Atkins, Dolly Parton, Lucille Ball, Steve Allen, Dinah Shore, Mama Cass Elliott and Peggy Lee.

She and her husband also started a jingle company to write music for commercials. In 1982, she and saxophonist Denis Solee formed the Adair-Solee Quartet, which evolved into the Be-Bop Co-Op, a jazz sextet. She made her first album under her own name, Escape to New York, with a rhythm section consisting of Bob Cranshaw and Gregory Hutchinson.

Ms. Adair cites George Shearing, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Erroll Garner among her influences; Adair has appeared on over 100 CDs (34 of which are studio recordings with her trio), ranging from Cole Porter standards to Frank Sinatra classics to romantic World War II ballads. Her 6-CD Centennial Composers Collection of tunes by Rodgers, Gershwin, Kern, Ellington, Carmichael and Berlin became an instant collectible classic upon its release. Her latest album, "The Real Thing," has spent over 12 weeks in the Top 20 on the JazzWeek charts.

In the late 80s, Beegie hosted Improvised Thoughts, a popular radio talk/music show on the local NPR affiliate, featuring local and international jazz artists including such greats as Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Marian McPartland, Benny Golson and Helen Merrill. She was a guest on McPartland's internationally known Piano Jazz show twice and has performed with Nat Adderley, Bill Watrous, Lew Tabackin, Terry Clarke, Urbie Green and Jim Ferguson, among many others. In 2002, Beegie joined one of the most exclusive rosters in the world when she became a Steinway Artist. An honor only bestowed upon 1,600 pianists in the world including Lang Lang, Diana Krall, Harry Connick, Jr., Michael Legrand, Billy Joel and the "immortals" like Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Arthur Rubinstein.

She and her trio continue to play in jazz clubs and festivals around the world and was the top selling jazz artist in Japan in 2010. In 2011, Beegie received a very warm welcome from her fans in New York with her appearance at Birdland with vocalist Monica Ramey. They have returned to play to the legendary jazz club in 2012 and 2013.

Beegie currently lives in Franklin, TN with her husband, Billy who is an associate professor of jazz studies at the Blair School in Vanderbilt University. She is an Advisory Board & Faculty member of the Nashville Jazz Workshop and performs regularly in Nashville.

A dedication is scheduled for Saturday, May 11th at 11:30am. The location is 105 Duke St. Cave City, KY 42127. This special event is open to the public. For more information, please call the City Council of Cave City – 270-773-2188/877-773-2188.

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Western Kentucky University is a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 1948.


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 Last Modified 10/3/18