Gemini jazz bands were a fixture in the WKU Music Department from 1966 through 1979. Originally organized as an all girls jazz band a few good men (Larnelle Harris & John Carpenter) soon became members. The band leader David “Doc” Livingston partnered with the USO to give his students real band touring experiences in the Caribbean, Europe and through the Pacific command.
WKU Archives has digitized two videotapes regarding the band; recently received donations of Gemini materials from former members and had a reunion for the former members. You can see this material at our new online exhibit Gemini Jazz Bands or visit the small exhibit housed in the Western Room of the Kentucky Building.
WKU Reports: Gemini 15 – 15 minute video
All Systems Go: Gemini 75 Concert – 30 minute concert video
David “Doc” Livingston HODA Induction – 15 minute video
Videos were digitized through an internal WKU Libraries grant.
Former Geminis David Dorris, Bobbi Battle, Michael Frye, Jeff Jones, Nancy Pollard, Jamie Daly, Nancy Cron and Jane Tichenor.
Smiths Grove College was established in 1875 and operated as such until 1901, when it became the Vanderbilt Training School and then Warren Baptist Academy. Today, North Warren Elementary School is located on the site.
As Women’s History Month draws to a close, let’s look at some notes, probably from the 1890s, of a debate at Smiths Grove College on “a question that is agitating the whole nation,” namely whether “it is right to give to women the same right[s] as we do to men.”
Listing the arguments in favor, our anonymous scribe was both principled and practical. Times had changed, and as the barriers to women’s property ownership and entry into the professions were disappearing, so too should their political disabilities. “Suppose some woman owns a farm and she would have a hired hand. This hired hand would be allowed to elect the officers of the country and she would have no voice whatever although she is paying taxes,” observed our proponent. Contrary to fears that politics would corrupt the female sex, the grant of suffrage would allow women to “purify politics.”
“Should Women Vote?” wonders a harried husband (from a 1903 postcard, WKU Library Special Collections)
But no consideration of the issue was complete without addressing Biblical notions of women’s roles, to which our writer responded wryly and dismissively. When the Apostle Paul called upon women to be obedient and “keep silence in the churches,” his admonition came at a time when “there were about a dozen women in the country and all they knew was to have some fried meat & bread ready when the men got hungry.” True, it was Eve who gave Adam the apple to eat, “but I’ll venture to say,” concluded our debater, “that he helped her up in the tree and then gave her the core.”
Click here to access a finding aid for the collection of Smiths Grove College materials containing these righteous feminist arguments, housed in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives section of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections. For more collections, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.