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‘Some Really Big Shoes To Fill’: Friends And Fellow Performers Remember St. Louis Legend Kim Mas

This interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” over the noon hour Friday. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

“When I get in front of my audience,” Kim Massie once told St. Louis Public Radio’s Nick Garcia, “I don't care if I’m playing for free or if I’m playing for a million bucks. I’m going to give you the same show, because that could very well be my last show, and you’re only as good as your last performance. … So I give it my all, every time I sing.”

Seven years ago this December, when St. Louis Public Radio held its first-ever Arch City Radio Hour event, Massie certainly did just that as she and pianist Peter Martin presented a successful live musical experiment in the community room at UMSL at Grand Center.

Massie, a longtime fixture in the St. Louis blues community and a Fairview Heights, Illinois, resident, passed away Monday.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, we’ll honor Massie’s life and legacy, listen to her 2013 performance of “At Last” and “Amazing Grace” at STLPR, and hear from some of her friends and fellow performers.

Do you have a fond memory of seeing St. Louis legend Kim Massie perform? What is it about Massie’s music that will always stick with you? Tweet us (@STLonAir), send an email to talk@stlpublicradio.org or share your thoughts via our St. Louis on the Air Facebook group.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

Copyright 2021 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit St. Louis Public Radio.

Kim Massie also explored the world of theater in 2003 when she appeared in the Black Rep’s production of “It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues.”
Stewart Goldstein | The Black Rep /
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Kim Massie also explored the world of theater in 2003 when she appeared in the Black Rep’s production of “It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues.”

Evie Hemphill joined the St. Louis on the Air team in February 2018. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature in 2005, she started her career as a reporter for the Westminster Window in Colorado. Several years later she went on to pursue graduate work in creative writing at the University of Wyoming and moved to St. Louis upon earning an MFA in the spring of 2010. She worked as writer and editor for Washington University Libraries until 2014 and then spent several more years in public relations for the University of Missouri–St. Louis before making the shift to St. Louis Public Radio.