LOCAL X: R.I.P.
We were a shocked to hear rumors about an abrupt demise of Local X, Charleston radio station 98X's weekly three-hour local music show. Initially, we assumed it was a slight (or temporary) programming adjustment or something. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a sudden end to a popular and vital program that consistently covered tons of local music. It's also the end of an era, as Local X host and longtime jockey Amy Hutto was laid off entirely due to the station's tight budget issues. "Local X has been a great addition to the station over the last few years and Amy Hutto has become a staple in the local music scene, famous for her championing of bands and their causes," Mike Allen, operations manager and program director at 98X and sister station the Bridge at 105.5 (both of LM Communications), stated this week. "She spearheaded creating a brand for the radio station including spending hours and hours on a much heralded pair of Local Xmas CDs." Hutto presented the Sun. Jan. 25 installment as the "Farewell Local X Show." Local X put the spotlight on mostly heavy-rockers from the Carolina scene, many of whom may have never received airplay or acknowledgement from commercial radio at all. It will be sorely missed.
SKYNYRD'S BILLY POWELL: R.I.P.
Sad news in the rock world: veteran Lynyrd Skynyrd pianist/keyboardist Billy Powell died of a heart ailment at his home in suburban Jacksonville, Fla., on Wed. Jan. 28. He was 56. According to city police, Powell called 911 Tuesday night from his condo, complaining about chest pains. When the paramedics and police arrived, they found him unresponsive on the bed. Powell was pronounced dead at the scene. After working as a roadie with Skynyrd for a few years, Powell joined the lineup in 1972, adding depth to the rhythm section's dense sound and a dynamic solo here and there. The band was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Visit www.lynyrdskynyrd.com for more.
The Palmetto Acoustic Series continues in West Ashley at the Muddy Waters Coffee Bar (1331 Ashley River Road, 843-795-0848) on Thurs. Feb. 5 with original music from New York folk/roots singer/guitarist Jason Harrod and members of local eclectic rock combo White Rhino. The next gig is set for Thurs. Feb. 19 with strummers Gretchen Witt and Tim Miller on the bill. For more, visit www.myspace.com/palmettoacoustic. —T. Ballard Lesemann