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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 grew up in Maryland and went to high school in Baltimore. She became interested in radio after an elective course in the NYU journalism department. She got her start at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, but she knew public radio was for her when she interned at WNYC. She later moved to Madison, where she worked at Wisconsin Public Radio for six years. In her time there, she helped create an afternoon drive news magazine show, called Central Time. She also produced several series, including one on Native American life in Wisconsin. She spends her free time running, hiking, and roller skating. She also loves scary movies.
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.