Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


March 15, 2012

Night at Paramount to honor writer Jack Kerouac

ASHLAND — In its seventh year, Jack Kerouac Night at the Paramount Arts Center will begin at 7 p.m. today.

Ritch Collins, technical director at the Paramount, and singer-songwriter Rob McNurlin started the event in 2005 as a tribute to the Beatnik writer who, in his book “On the Road,” made a vague reference to the Paramount with the line: “At midnight Ashland, Kentucky, and a lonely girl under the marquee of a closed up show.”

McNurlin said he isn’t sure who should get credit for starting the event.

“Someone mentioned it to me and I mentioned it to Ritchie. I really don’t remember which of us actually pulled the trigger,” McNurlin said.

Collins said the crowd has varied from year to year.

“It’s hit or miss,” he said. “I think most people come out of the curiosity of the name of the event and some don’t know who Kerouac is; they just come to the show.”

He said those set to perform, which include his trio, McNurlin and others, don’t plan the show.

“The layout for the show isn’t written until the show happens,” he said. “It’s very Kerouacian.”

Collins said he does have some recordings of Kerouac reading poetry, which he will play before and after the live musical performances, which they choose based on what will fit the mood of the show.

“During the show, we reference Jack like he’s our own dead uncle,” he said, noting they introduce songs saying things like, “This was one of Jack’s favorites.”

Tickets to the show are $5.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.

Text Only