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Governor announces North Carolina Heritage Awards recipients

Governor McCrory has announced the latest winners of the state’s Heritage Awards. George Olsen has more.

The awards will honor eight North Carolinians who have made outstanding contributions to the state’s cultural heritage. Among the recipients is Maceo Parker of Kinston. Parker is best known for his years working with James Brown and has also recorded multiple jazz albums. Houston, James and Jamie Lewis of Carteret County will also be recognized. Their family has built boats in the Harkers Island tradition since 1954. And banjo player Marc Pruett of the bluegrass band Balsam Range will also be an Award recipient. Balsam Range was last year’s International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer of the Year. The Heritage Awards will be presented during a Raleigh ceremony in May of 2016. I’m George Olsen.

George Olsen is a 1977 Havelock High School graduate. He received his B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of South Carolina in 1982 where he got his first taste of non-commercial radio working for their student station WUSC. After graduation he worked about five years in commercial radio before coming to work at Public Radio East where he has remained since outside of a nearly 3-year stint as jazz and operations coordinator at WUAL in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the early 1990s. On his return to eastern North Carolina he hosted classical music for Public Radio East before moving into the Morning Edition host position and now can be heard on All Things Considered. He also hosts and produces The Sound, five hours of Americana, Roots Rock and Contemporary Folk weekday evenings on PRE Public Radio East News & Ideas, and is a news and feature producer for Public Radio East.