Learn about Mark Twain at your library

Cindy Lovell, executive director of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, will provide a behind the scenes look at how she came up with the idea to make a CD of Mark Twain’s life in spoken word and song, in a special program at 7 p.m. on June 4 at the Missouri River Regional Library Art Gallery.

“The manner in which this CD came together is really remarkable,” said Claudia Schoonover, assistant director of public services. “I think people will really enjoy hearing Cindy talk about how her little idea ended up becoming a huge project that brought together world-class musical talent for one amazing project.”

The CD – Mark Twain: Words & Music – combines spoken word and Americana music, to tell the story of Samuel Clemens. All proceeds of the sale of the CD benefit the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum.

This two-CD set combines Twain’s own words with songs delivered by some of the most respected country and Americana artists, including Emmylou Harris, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Rhonda Vincent and Doyle Lawson. Garrison Keillor handles the narration, Jimmy Buffett voices Twain’s alter ego, Huck Finn, and no less than Clint Eastwood brings Twain himself to life, reciting passages from his autobiography as well as first-person passages from Life on the Mississippi, Roughing It, The Innocents Abroad and other books.

Using Mark Twain’s autobiography as a guide, the CD traces Twain’s life from birth to death.

“It’s quite a long story of how the CD came about, but the original idea was Cindy’s, after she heard my tribute to the Louvin Brothers I produced back in 2003” Carl Jackson, the CD’s producer, told Bluegrass Today.com. “We had been childhood pen pals, but she contacted me after over 30 years of not hearing from each other and asked if I might be willing to take on a similar project honoring Mark Twain, since 2010 would be the 100th year anniversary of his passing. The result is the double CD project with 14 sections of narration and 13 songs telling the life story of Samuel Clemens.”

Lovell will have copies of the CD available for purchase at the library program. The program is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required. For more information, contact Schoonover at 634-6064, ext. 245.

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