Today's News

  • FAME: JOEL RAY SPROWLS: 'Too busy living to worry about dying'

     Joel Ray Sprowls.

    The name is synonymous with LaRue County, country music and The Lincoln Jamboree.

    People may forget where Abraham Lincoln was born – but they know Joel Ray. Anyone who has worked the LaRue County booth at the Kentucky State Fair can attest to that fact.

    Fair visitors smile as they share tales about the entertainment and jokes they heard at the Jamboree – even if they attended decades ago.

  • FAME: The Great Diamond Hoax

     Sometimes, historians get it wrong.

    That’s the case in the story of John Slack – one of the men referenced in “The Great Diamond Hoax” published in “Fame – LaRue County’s Famous and Infamous” Nov. 17, 2010.

  • FAME: Fenton Johnson: Crossing literary rivers

     Author Fenton Johnson, a New Haven native, graduated from LaRue County High School in 1971.

    Any student who took a class with English teacher Garland Blair will probably remember Johnson’s name. Blair held them to the academic standards and test scores Johnson recorded 1968-1971.

    Johnson, the son of P.D. Johnson Jr. and Nancy Hubbard, is an associate professor in the creative writing program at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has written four books with a “fifth circulating.”

  • FAME: Hal Z. Cox: Had to tell someone

     It was said of Hodgenville's Hal Z. Cox that perhaps the single most remarkable thing about him was his capacity for making the people around him feel good about themselves. He did that every day with his friendly greeting and smile; but when special occasions called for it, he wrote poems to celebrate, recognize, sympathize or encourage as only he could do.

  • FAME: James 'Boo' Brewer

     LaRue County resident James “Boo” Brewer was inducted into the Dawahares/Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of fame in 2004.

    Brewer set state records in multiple sports at Bardstown High School before graduating in 1988. In college, he was a standout player for Denny Crum's Louisville Cardinals and spent seven years playing professional basketball in Europe. He was assistant coach for several years at LaRue County High School and Middle School.

  • FAME: Ray 'Curly' Sanders: Hee Haw, y'all!

     Ray “Curly” Sanders who went on to tour with country music legend Ray Price, was a regular on the Hee Haw television series, and performed on the Grand Ole Opry, started his musical career in Hodgenville at the Lincoln Jamboree.

    Joel Ray Sprowls, owner/producer of the Jamboree, recalled that his first meeting with Sanders, from Cecilia, was at a talent show Sprowls emceed at Buffalo School in May 1954.

    “The Kentucky Rangers band won the contest and Curly was their featured singer,” Sprowls said. 

  • FAME: Bobby Lewis made country music history with a lute

     Bobby Lewis, born in Hodgenville in 1946, was inducted into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006.

    Lewis, a Grand Ole Opry performer and recording artist, began his career at age 9 when his brother Jack taught him some chords on a borrowed guitar. The full-sized guitar was a bit large for the youngster, so he found a lute in a variety store. He strung and tuned the lute like a guitar and before long, he was playing many venues.

  • FAME: A.G. Back: All American Basketball

     Adrian G. Back, Jr., now CEO of Lincoln National Bank, was named All-American in 1945.

    He graduated from Buffalo High School in 1940 and enrolled at the University of Kentucky on a basketball scholarship. He played on the freshman team his first year.

    When Back played on the varsity team in 1942, he got the opportunity to play with the Wildcats in the Final Four.

    His life took a drastic change with the outbreak of World War II. Back joined the Navy, entering the Naval Academy.

  • FAME: Dr. Craig Stillwell: Entomology breakthrough

     Build two houses from the same set of blueprints and they should be identical. Right?

    Then, why is it, when a male and female insect of the same species have identical genetic blueprints, one is always larger than the other?

    That's the paradox that Dr. Craig Stillwell, former LaRue Countian who is an entomologist at the University of Arizona, solved and whose solution has been published online and will be found in print publications as far away as London, England.

  • FAME: Frank Camp – Mr. Football

     Before Frank Lloyd Camp became the winningest head football at the University of Louisville, he was a teacher and coach at Hodgenville High School.

    Camp was born in Trenton Dec. 23, 1905. He attended Transylvania University, where he played quarterback on the football team, basketball and baseball. He graduated in 1930.

    He accepted jobs at Hodgenville, Glasgow and Henderson before being tapped for the UL program in 1946. The team had been dormant since 1943 due to the outbreak of World War II.