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Irene Kelley Celebrates Tradition And Family In Her Latest Album

Kelley leaning against a counter in a TV repair shop.
Courtesy of Irene Kelley

Irene Kelley has been a force on Nashville’s Music Row for decades. She spent 20 years writing or co-writing hit songs for country artists like Ricky Skaggs and Loretta Lynn. But at the same time she was quietly working on her career as a performer.

Earlier this year Kelley released “Benny’s TV Repair,” a record full of personal songs that recall simpler times. The album is the namesake of her father Benny, a hard-working man who had a big influence on her musical tastes. She joins host Frank Stasio at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh to perform music from the album and to talk about her career. Her daughter Justyna Kelley performs with her in studio. Kelley is in Raleigh for the seventh annual World of Bluegrass festival in Raleigh. Kelley performs at the World of Bluegrass Street Fest on Hargett Street in downtown Raleigh on Friday, Sept. 27 at 4 p.m.

Amanda Magnus is the executive producer of Embodied, a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She has also worked on other WUNC shows including Tested and CREEP.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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