The Quonset stood on the boundary of worlds that rarely mixed:
black and white, secular and sacred, known and unknown.
This 35-minute 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
This film allows a glimpse into the lives of diverse entertainers ranging from R&B, country, and gospel musicians – to professional wrestlers – whose paths intersected at the Quonset during a time when segregation was being challenged.
The Quonset’s story includes accounts of firsts: first entertainment venue in Bowling Green, KY, open to both Black and White audiences; first integrated house band, and first loves.
The documentary illustrates how local entertainers have contributed to national history. It can be used as a springboard for discussion about social and entertainment history in America, the development of the Civil Rights Movement, the politics of historic preservation, and the construction of public memory.
- 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.