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Applause and The Sound of Applause

First Voice Ohio

Friday, October 7, 2011

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Ohio boasts a rich musical heritage that covers every type of the American roots music genre - from folk, bluegrass, blues and Cajun to jug band, ragtime, klezmer and traditional New Orleans-style jazz. But many Ohioans don’t know much about the music or the musicians who play it.

To bring more attention to this creative Ohio asset, the nonprofit music and education organization Roots of American Music (ROAM), in partnership with WVIZ/PBS ideastream®, has produced a one-hour TV documentary highlighting unique roots musicians from around the state. The program, First Voice Ohio, premiering Friday, October 7 at 9 p.m. on WVIZ/PBS, features performances by and interviews with 16 notable Ohio roots musicians. (Encores: Saturday, October 8 at 2:00 a.m.; Sunday, October 9 at 3:00 a.m.; Wednesday, October 12 at 4:00 a.m.; and Sunday, October16 at 6:00 p.m.)

The musicians showcased in First Voice Ohio are:

  • hammered-dulcimer player Tina Bergmann (Portage County)
  • blues guitarist and singer Austin “Walkin’ Cane” Charanghat (Lorain County)
  • bass player Raymond DeForest (Cuyahoga County)
  • square dance caller and banjoist Lynn Frederick (Portage County)
  • fiddler, guitarist and singer Susie Goehring (Portage County)
  • fiddler and mandolinist Bill Lestock (Cuyahoga County)
  • fiddler, banjoist and clogger Dan Levenson (Gallia County)
  • mandolin maker Don MacRostie (Athens County)
  • multi-instrumentalist and singer Jennifer Maurer (Summit County)
  • banjoist Mark Olitsky (Cuyahoga County)
  • harmonica player David Rice (Geagua County)
  • multi-instrumentalist Kevin Richards (Cuyahoga County)
  • accordion player Brad Smedley (Wayne County)
  • bassist Bryan Thomas (Portage County)
  • woodwind player and singer Rob Williams (Cuyahoga County)
  • guitarist Brent Kee Young (Cuyahoga County)

The artists, all of whom have made significant contributions to their musical genres (and a few of them in visual arts as well), were filmed in a wide variety of locations around the state, telling their stories and playing their music. An earlier version of “First Voice Ohio” was included as a selection at the 2010 Cleveland International Film Festival.

First Voice Ohio is a production of Roots of American Music, in partnership with WVIZ/PBS ideastream. The production was made possible by grants from the Ohio Arts Council, the Nord Family Foundation, the Cyrus Eaton Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Photo Gallery

Brad Smedley Brent Kee Young Dan Levenson Austin 'Walkin' Cane' Charanghat Rob Williams

Additional Information

Roots of American Music provides arts-integrated programs to youth and diverse communities, using traditional music, in order to enhance educational outcomes and enrich people’s lives.


Arts and Culture, Music

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Special Thanks

Special thanks to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College for the use of their Steinway Piano.

ideastream Arts Funding

Production of arts and culture programming on ideastream is made possible by grants from:


By residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

The Cleveland Foundation; The Dominion Foundation; Eaton; The George Gund Foundation; The George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation; The Kulas Foundation; The John P. Murphy Foundation; Stroud Family Exempt Trust; The Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation; and The Nord Family Foundation.


The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

Beyond the Dish Music Monday


Applause is an Emmy award-winning locally produced TV show that celebrates artists and cultural groups around Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.

The Sound of Applause, ideastream’s weekday radio magazine, celebrates the visual and performing arts, explores cultural trends, and examines current events through an artistic lens.

Show ideas & comments? Let us know.

Air Dates


Thursday 7:30 PM
Friday 11:00 PM
Saturday 4:00 PM

The Ohio Channel
Monday 12:30 AM / 4:30 AM / 8:30 PM
Tuesday 12:30 AM / 4:30 AM / 8:30 AM / 4:00 PM
Wednesday 12:00 AM / 8:00 AM

Applause America

Saturday 6:30 PM
Sunday 12:30 PM

The Sound of Applause

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Monday-Thursday 2:00 PM / 10:00 PM

Dee Perry image courtesy Chris Stephens, The Plain Dealer