Blake Rutherford, who works at the Wright, Lindsey and Jennings Law Firm, came up with the idea: Let’s show movies outdoors in Riverfront Park this summer like they do in a lot of the large cities around the country. Let’s pick some popular movies, let’s not even charge admission. Let’s space it out enough so it’s more of an event.
The Arkansas Times got behind Rutherford’s idea, and the new Movies in the Park at the River Market will start Wednesday, June 8, at Riverfest Amphitheatre. Robert Redford’s “A River Runs Through It” will kick off the series, with “Raiders of the Lost Ark” planned for June 22. The films start rolling at sundown, and everyone is encouraged to bring a blanket and a picnic basket and have a good time.
A bit further east of the River Market down President Clinton Avenue last week, Blake’s father, Skip Rutherford, was showing the media around at the newest exhibit of the Clinton Presidential Library: “A World of Music.” It’s a temporary display that will be around until Dec. 31.
We knew Bill Clinton was a fan of jazz. He has played the sax well since his days in high school band, and he grew up when it was very cool to listen to John Coltrane and Miles Davis. But who knew one of his eight favorite songs was Zoot Sims’ jazzy interpretation of “Summertime,” ranking right up alongside a soulful rendition of “In the Presence of Jehovah” by Mickey Mangun, a northern Louisiana Pentecostal gospel singer. In some ways that’s about as diverse as it gets.
But those two songs make up the eight that Clinton liked to listen to most while he was president, we learned at the exhibit, and you can hear all eight songs, part of the interactive portion of the display on the third floor.
I especially enjoyed seeing the signed black-and-white photographs by Herman Leonard from the New York jazz clubs in the 1940s and ’50s – a famed photograph of Ella Fitzgerald singing from the stage with Benny Goodman and Louis Armstrong watching from in front, along with shots of Dexter Gordon, Miles and more. These photos are among a group of Clinton favorites that line one wall.
On another side is a series of color shots of Clinton performing on saxophone in the company of the world’s movers and shakers. Adjacent to that wall is a group of photos of notable performers who appeared at the White House during the Clinton years.
Kaki Hockersmith, who designed a White House music room for Hillary Clinton as a Christmas gift to Bill in 1995, has recreated a portion of the room in the middle of the exhibit. Bono’s lyrics from the version of “The Hands that Built America” he performed at the center’s Nov. 18 dedication are also framed and hang on a wall next to an autographed copy of “Meet the Beatles” by the Fab Four, gift from Louisa Harrison, George’s sister.
Of course, Elvis items are included, as Clinton considered himself a huge fan of “The King.”
The center is open daily (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday). Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and $3 for ages 6-17.