The Rapp for May 2

Back on air

After a short hiatus, Rappahannock Radio is back in 2019!

Over the winter Kiaya Abernathy and Olivia Maxwell “took a step back to evaluate their individual visions for the show,” according to Kiaya.

She explains they attempted to raise funds for mechanical and copyright licensing fees to corporations like BMI and ASCAP that would allow the show to host musicians signed to record labels, as well as allow them to feature cover songs from famous musicians.

“However, it could also take the show away from its humble roots that are grounded within the original art forms of Rappahannock County,” Kiaya explains.

One of the many talented artists featured on the program was Kiaya’s father, the late great William Abernathy, aka “Hot Licks Bill.” In February 2019, after the death of her father, Kiaya was inspired to reboot the show with a more anthropological outlook in mind.

“The show will continue to focus on local and original artists of Rappahannock and the greater Blue Ridge Mountain area. The goal being to document the stories of the unique people who call these mountains home,” she describes the format. “The focus will be to invite artists and storytellers of all genres to share their perspectives with Rappahannock Radio.”

The late Rappahannock musician William Abernathy, flanked by his daughter Kiaya Abernathy (right) and Olivia Maxwell. Courtesy Photo

Kiaya says she is grateful for the time she spent with Oliva, and she wishes her “great success in the pursuit of her modeling career.”

Check out the latest episode featuring Ben Mason and the interview with William Abernathy at and stay tuned for artists like Maddi Mae and Sally Mae Foster.

See the Way

A Dark Sky Park celebration — which weather permitting will include an appearance by the Milky Way — will be held this Saturday, May 4, at 7 p.m. at the Rappahannock County Park off Rt. 211 in Washington. The event will be held rain or shine, and all are invited to attend.

Participants will be welcomed by Mike Del Grosso of RCRFA and Rick Kohler of the Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection; there will be remarks by Washington Mayor Fred Catlin and Rappahannock Supervisor Christine Smith; a presentation titled “The Dark Sky Park Journey” by Torney Van Acker of both RCRFA/RLEP; a night sky photography display by Joyce Harman of RLEP; and of course outer space observations courtesy of NOVAC and citizen astronomers.

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