In addition to her four Grammy nominations and ï¿½Misty Blueï¿½ single that hit Number One on R&B charts and is included in the 2005 compilation album of ï¿½Classic Soul Ballads,ï¿½ Moore is acclaimed for ï¿½Funny How Time Slips Away,ï¿½ ï¿½With Pen in Hand,ï¿½ and gospel recording propelling her into the Mississippi Music Hall of Fame, and the Governorï¿½s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Inducted into the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame as R&B Male Vocalist of the Year, Rawls has been nominated four times for Blues Music Awards, won BMAï¿½s Best Soul Album of the Year in 2009 for ï¿½Ace of Spadesï¿½ after earlier nominations for ï¿½Heart and Soulï¿½ and ï¿½Red Cadillac.ï¿½ His latest CD released in 2011 is ï¿½Memphis Still Got Soul.ï¿½
Tillis says Rawls was a favorite at the 2010 festival that drew a weekend crowd of 25,000 music fans packing downtown Clarksdale from France, Germany, the U.K. Portugal, Egypt, Scandinavia, and most sections of the U.S.
Other award-winning performers in the Sunflower lineup are David Brinston, Nathaniel Kimble, James ï¿½Super Chikanï¿½ Johnson, Earnest ï¿½Guitarï¿½ Roy, Kenny Brown, and acoustic legends: Robert Belfour, Eddie Cusic, T-Model Ford, Pat Thomas, Jimmy ï¿½Duckï¿½ Holmes, Arthneice ï¿½Gas Manï¿½ Jones, and Lucious Spiller.
For the 24th consecutive year the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band founded by the late Othar Turner of Gravel Springs and continued by his granddaughter, Shardee Turner, will perform and march in procession.
ï¿½Weï¿½re delighted over this booking; it maintains the Sunflowerï¿½s ranking by USA Weekend as one of Americaï¿½s Top 10 places to hear authentic music,ï¿½ said Tillis.
ï¿½The Sunflower also is one of the few major festivals remaining free and open to all thanks to grants, contributions, and volunteers working all year to stage this celebration,ï¿½ he continued.
Being honored in a special memorial tribute on the main stage and also an educational forum are the Sunflowerï¿½s own family: musicians and key supporters who contributed to its success for the past two decades, explains Tillis.
Included are musicians James Alford, Michael James, Wesley Jefferson, Big Jack Johnson, Foster, ï¿½Taterï¿½ Wiley, and Sarah Moore, owner of Sarahï¿½s Kitchen, a classic blues club and restaurant featuring s soul food and a proving ground for fledgling and famous musicians.
The festival opens at 4:15 p.m. Friday afternoon with students from the Delta Blues Museum band performing on the main stage and closes with Nathaniel Kimble taking the stage at 10:00 p.m.
For the first time, Saturday morningï¿½s acoustic stage will open at 9 a.m. on the main stage with Arthneice Jones, and breakfast being served beneath the VIP tent.
The second acoustic stage kicks off on Sunflower Avenue at 1:00 p.m., and the main stage performances start with Neicy Kayinessa at 1:00 p.m. and continue through Dorothy Mooreï¿½s finale at 10:30 p.m.
The Gospel Festival opens with Chris Coleman at 5:00 p.m. in the Civic Auditorium.
VIP chairman John Sherman says the Sunflowerï¿½s super-size VIP tent next to the main stage has become so popular, its size is being expanded.
The air-cooled tent is filled with chairs, linen-covered tables and unlimited beverages for VIP donors and their weekend guests.
VIP donors also are treated to the festivalï¿½s Thursday night ï¿½Grits, Greens, and Barbecueï¿½ preview party in the historic district with cheese grits, barbecue, and turnip greens by soul food chef Louise Campbell.
Initially organized to introduce Norwegians from the Sunflowerï¿½s sister festival in Notodden, Norway to Southern soul food, the menu has become a favorite with all, says Tillis.