2011 Front Page Follies
FPF revue to skew newsmakers, honor Neely
The “secret” is history: ETSPJ has announced this year’s Front Page Follies honoree is local author, columnist, editor and historian Jack Neely.
Neely began writing his popular, award-winning “Secret History” column in 1992 for weekly newspaper Metro Pulse, at which he’s now associate editor. Before signing on to Metro Pulse’s masthead, he’d worked as a freelance journalist and an editor for magazines published by the former Whittle Communications. He’s written books on the history of Market Square, Webb School and various aspects of Knoxville, and his work has appeared in several other collections.
Fellow journalists will honor Neely at the 33rd annual Front Page Follies at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at the Marriott in downtown Knoxville. The fundraising night also includes dinner and a live and silent auction. It ends with journalists and other volunteers performing a musical stage revue skewing local news – and newsmakers! – from the past year.
Tickets are $100, with tables of 10 available for $1,000. Proceeds fund journalism scholarships at University of Tennessee and Pellissippi State Community College. To reserve tickets, please contact Megan Venable Smith at 865-974-3678.
Neely’s own career history is a story in itself: After graduating from UT, he worked as a truck driver, piledriver-crew supervisor, Egyptian museum guide and criminal-defense investigator, his bio on Metro Pulse’s website says. He’s been on the staff of Metro Pulse since 1995 and also writes a monthly humor columnist for sister publication Knoxville Magazine.
Neely has worked as a consultant and project writer for various historical and cultural projects, including the BBC’s 1995 and 2007 audio documentaries about James Agee, and Knoxville’s live broadcast, in 1999, of “A Prairie Home Companion.” He has lectured on journalism, history, architecture, music and literature at UT, Maryville College and other institutions.
As for the stage show that follows Neely’s feting, be prepared — if it made the headlines or the newscast, it’s fair game!
Before the show itself, attendees will be able to bid on a wide variety of auction items, both silent and live. A preview of some of these will be available here.