Nick Lawrence signed off his final “Curtains @ 8” broadcast Thursday night learning he has won a lifetime achievement award from the Lexington Music Awards.
Lawrence, one of four honorees, hosted the arts and culture show on WUKY-FM 91.3 for 24 years, touting it as a forum to help arts groups get the word out about what they were doing. Over those years, he has also been active in the arts community, particularly with the Lexington Singers. He is retiring the show due to health concerns.
Lawrence is joined in the lifetime honorees by:
Homer Ledford — The Tennessee native was known as an accomplished instrument maker and bluegrass musician. Ledford attended Berea College, graduated from Eastern Kentucky University and taught industrial arts at George Rogers Clark High School until he became a full-time instrument maker. According to his website, he made 6,014 dulcimers, as well and many other instruments. As a musician, he led the Cabin Creek Band, primarily playing mandolin. Ledford died in 2006.
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John Michael Montgomery — The Nicholasville native enjoyed a heyday on the country music charts with hits such as “Be My Baby Tonight,” “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident),” “Letters from Home” and “I Swear.” He has remained active on the road and at home, most recently playing December’s Acoustic Jam at the Lexington Opera House.
Gail Wynters — A vocalist and Ashland native who spent decades based in New York and traveling the world performing with artists from Dr. John to Isaac Stern, Wynters resettled in Lexington around the beginning of this decade and has been a regular on area stages with acts such as Tin Can Buddha.
Dwight Yoakam — A Pikeville native, Yoakam burst out of Los Angeles — of all places — with his distinctive brand of honky tonk music exemplified by hits such as “Guitars, Cadillacs.” While he doesn’t top the charts the way he once did, Yoakam is still active recording and touring. His latest, “Swimming Pools, Movie Stars,” reimagines some of his hits as bluegrass numbers. Yoakam also acts occasionally, appearing in films such as “Sling Blade” (1997) and recently in the TV series “Under the Dome” and “Goliath.”
The third annual Lexington Music Awards will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center. Friday, organizer David McLean said he did not know how many of the living lifetime achievement award winners will be able to attend.