The Foothills Voices project welcomes featured speaker, Bill Landry, a Blount County resident who was the long-time host and narrator of WBIR-TV’s “The Heartland Series,” on Thursday, June 30, 2016, at 7 p.m. in the Library’s Main Gallery. Landry, an authentic Appalachian voice, will talk about his work, the writing process, and his books, which include Tellin’ It for the Truth and Appalachian Tales & Heartland Adventures.
Tellin’ It for the Truth
Landry says that “When you hear someone say, ‘He’s tellin’ it for the truth,’ you know something good is coming!” His book tells eighteen of his favorite longer stories. It includes an epic poem about a love sick one-armed, one-legged Pirate, named Paddy O’Dea, the history of the only female Confederate band called The Spartans of Rhea County, his experiences in the Grainger County Tomato War, letters from thru hikers about meeting Landry‘s dog Buddy on the trail, and a fascinating essay on mountain speech.
About the Author
Landry is the voice, host, narrator, and co-producer of “The Heartland Series,” which has aired on WBIR-TV for nearly thirty years. Since its beginnings in 1984, more than 1,900 short features have been produced, including 150 half-hour specials. Landry has written, produced, and acted in many of the episodes.
Receiving an MFA from Trinity University at the Dallas Theater Center and a BA in literature from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Landry has received two Emmy Awards for directing “The Heartland Series,” as well as the Education in Appalachia Award from Carson-Newman University, and an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Lincoln Memorial University.
For more than thirty years Landry has written, produced, and performed his one-man play, “Einstein the Man.” He has presented the play more than 1,000 times in 38 states and two provinces of Canada.
In 2009, Landry premiered his DVD production of “William Bartram – An Unlikely Explorer” for the 75th anniversary of the founding of The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, telling the tale of the little known eighteenth-century explorer, adventurer, and naturalist.
In 2011, Governor Bill Haslam appointed Landry to the Tennessee Historical Commission.
Landry has served on the boards of Fish Hospitality Pantries, Beck Cultural Exchange, the Clarence Brown Theater, the Princess Theater Foundation in Harriman, and the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore, Tennessee. In 2011, his book, “Appalachian Tales & Heartland Adventures” was published and is now in its third printing.
Landry works as a spokesman for WBIR-TV and for several other companies including Hallsdale Powell Utility District. He continues to write, direct, and produce video documentaries, and he gives lectures and speeches, including his popular presentations of “An Evening with Bill Landry.”
Tellin’ It for the Truth was released by Celtic Cat Publishing, the Knoxville-based publisher who also published Landry’s first book Appalachian Tales & Heartland Adventures, a collection of eighteen stories. The books include Bill’s favorite longer stories, many of which he is sharing for the first time.
Free and open to the public, the program is sponsored by the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville. For more information about library programs or services, call the library at 982-0981 or visit the Web site at www.blounttn.org/197.