Nine years ago, Daviess County native Dori Howard moved to Liverpool, England, to work on a masters of arts in the Beatles, Popular Music, and Society at Liverpool Hope University.
The university is the only school in the world offering the degree, which “investigates historical, contextual and musicological issues relating to the Beatles and their influence on popular culture and society up to the present day.”
Howard is one of fewer than 75 people in the world to hold the degree.
On Thursday, Howard, a 2006 graduate of Brescia University, is coming home to address the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce’s Rooster Booster Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. in the Owensboro Convention Center.
“We’re very proud of her,” the Rev. Larry Hostetter, Brescia’s president, said this week. “She has her doctorate in popular culture and she’s an expert on the Beatles. Our idea was for her to talk about how place and space is important to music, like we’re trying to do with bluegrass” in Owensboro.
“When Father Larry suggested Dr. Howard as a speaker, we were thrilled,” Candance Castlen Brake, president of the chamber, said of Howard. “Her career highlights the mission of Brescia University and the different paths that a liberal arts education can lead students. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Howard back home.”
She said Howard is the granddaughter of former Whitesville Mayor Bob Howard.
Howard also earned a doctorate in popular music studies for her work on popular music genre analysis and sunshine pop.
“Sunshine pop” refers to an easy listening pop-folk sound that came out of southern California in the 1960s, inspired by such groups as the Mamas & the Papas, the 5th Dimension and the Beach Boys.
Howard still lives in Liverpool and is a lecturer at Liverpool Hope University.
In earlier interviews with the Messenger-Inquirer, she said her first memory of the Beatles’ music was her mother — Marcy Howard — singing “With a Little Help from My Friends” when she rocked her to sleep.
When she was in the sixth grade, Howard saw the Beatles’ movie “A Hard Days Night” and began trying to learn all she could about the band, which broke up in late 1969, she said earlier.
Tickets for the breakfast are $12 for chamber members with reservations and $15 for chamber members without reservations.
For non-members, the cost is $20.
For reservations, call the chamber at 270-926-1860 by noon Wednesday.