The Quonset stood on the boundary of worlds that rarely mixed:
black and white, secular and sacred, known and unknown.
This documentary tells the life story of Bowling Green, Kentucky’s Quonset Auditorium – a venue that served big time stars and local legends of all stripes during the entertainment boom after the Second World War.
Watch the 30-second trailer | Watch the 26-minute documentary
Glimpse into the lives of diverse entertainers ranging from R&B, country, and gospel musicians – to professional wrestlers – whose paths intersected at roadhouses like the Quonset when segregation was being challenged and entertainment was booming.
This is a story of firsts: first roadhouse in a small Kentucky town open to both Black and White audiences; first integrated house band; first bluegrass music, and first loves. It highlights the contributions of local talent to the careers of now famous recording artists and entertainers. These real life stories are springboards for discussions about the development of the Civil Rights Movement, media trends, pop culture, public memory, and the politics of historic preservation.
- PBS – KET Kentucky Educational Television deput broadcast, October 16, 2010. Broadcasts ongoing.
- American Folklore Society annual meeting, media session October 16, 2010, Nashville.
- Louisville Visual Art Association (LVAA) community screening, October 17, 2010, Louisville.
- Kentucky Library and Museum community screening sponsored by the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology, Western Kentucky University. October 18, 2010, Bowling Green.
- Society for Visual Anthropology (SVA) Film and Interactive Media Festival. 30th Annual, November 19, 2011, Montreal.
- Louisville’s International Festival of Film. 3rd Annual from October 6th to 9th, 2011, Louisville
- Mary Ann Fisher (former singer with Ray Charles),
- jazz luminary David “Fathead” Newman,
- musician and promoter Joe Marshall, and his band Joe Marshall and the Rovin’ Ramblers,
- local legends Robert Phillips and John Edmonds,
- professional wrestlers Jackie Fargo and Jeanetta Collins, amongst others.
These entertainers also tell stories about others who shared the stage at the Quonset including:
- cowboy movie star Sunset Carson,
- musicians Ernest Tubb, Bill Monroe, Ray Charles, James Brown and Memphis Slim,
- child evangelist Marjoe Gortner,
- professional wrestling icons Cora Combs and Sweet Georgia Brown.
- The Kentucky Educational Television Fund for Independent Production
- The Kentucky Humanities Council, Inc. and the National Endowment for the Humanities
- The Kern Family Trust
- The Kentucky Oral History Commission
- Bowling Green Municipal Utilities
Produced & Directed by Amber Ridington. See the Full list of Credits.