has been jumping
as we host our many summer visitors-it's the busiest
season for us. Since it's been so blamed hot everywhere
around the country and the world this year, our summer Delta
heat is not keeping the blues fans away!
Before I catch you up with what's been happening at
the Museum, here are some notes about upcoming events:
This edition of the Festival
is dedicated to "Rocket 88," the "first rock
'n' roll song," and Ike Turner, who organized the recording
session (he plays piano on the tune). As a tribute to this
music culture milestone, the Museum has put together a special
exhibit on "Rocket 88"-be sure to drop by and
see it (see more about our exhibit below, under "New
If you can't tear yourself away
from Festival events, come and see us Sunday afternoon.
by the Arts and Education
students, who will perform on the Museum stage.
Ike Turner and John Lee Hooker
Photo: Dick Waterman
, the Museum is offering a limited edition photograph
of Clarksdale native sons Turner and John Lee Hooker. See
Gift Shop for purchase
a City of Clarksdale "Walk of Fame" plaque. The
plaque is the 9th such marker and is sponsored by the Coahoma
County Board of Supervisors. Honorees must be individuals
who are or have been residents of the county (Turner was
born in Clarksdale), who have made a significant, long-lasting
contribution, and who have national or international acclaim.
The Walk of Fame is an effort of the Clarksdale/Coahoma
County Chamber of Commerce.
of Clarksdale's Board of Mayor and Commissioners join
Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival officers
in proclaiming Aug. 6-8 "Ike Turner and Rocket
88 Weekend" in Clarksdale.
Displaying posters at the Board meeting on 7/26 are
from right: commissioner Grady Palmer; Sunflower officer
Laura Mayfield; commissioner Buster Moton; Mayor Henry
Espy; Sunflower officer Maie Smith; commissioner Bo
Plunk; Delta Blues Museum director and festival board
member Shelley Ritter; commissioner Ed Seals; and
Sunflower officer Melville Tillis.
Photo: Panny Mayfield
, Turner will also be honored
with a Mississippi Blues Trail Marker at the Alcazar Hotel.
Jim came to Clarksdale from Jackson,
12 ½ years ago, to work for SafTCart. A graduate
of Millsaps College, he worked for UPS for 16 years before
moving to Clarksdale. He is married to the former Melinda
Walker, and they have three children: Jim III, Paige, and
Connor. He divides his time between Clarksdale and Nashville,
served on the Museum board and worked diligently as our
The Community Foundation of Northwest
Mississippi in conjunction with the Box Project used our
facilities July 2. We hosted a writing workshop for Clarksdale
and Coahoma County students July 5-16. Thanks to Representative
John Mayo and the Mississippi State University's Mississippi
Writing/Thinking institute for this wonderful opportunity.
And Cheryl Taylor hosted a private reception and Museum
tour on July 17.
Tourism Cares, the premier charity dedicated to preserving
the travel experience for future generations, has chosen
the Museum as one of four charities competing for grant
funding in its Save
Our Sites program-the winner gets a money jackpot!
Visit the site and vote for your favorite blues museum-now!
Voting continues through August 18.
back in to our "bluescast" at the Museum Web
site. Thanks to Mike Rugel for managing this
valuable service. We apologize for the inconvenience.
is a portion of the $1.64 million in grants the Commission
will award in 2010-2011, and will be used for operational
support of the museum and its programs. The grants are made
possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State
Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.
I hope to see you in the gallery soon!
This newsletter is supported in part
by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state
in part, from the National Endowment for the
Arts, a federal agency.
as well as of the 23rd Sunflower River Blues and Gospel
Festival. Our display features an original Chess 45 of "Rocket
88"; a photo of the original Memphis Recording Service
acetate (recorded by Sam Phillips); and period photographs,
posters, and promotional materials. Now on view in our gallery
Special Museum opening hours this Sunday, 1-5 pm.
The second in our Explore
and Learn series (after "Follow Muddy Waters"),
"Follow Son House" tells the story of one of the
most influential figures in American music of the 20th century.
Born in 1902 in Riverton, then just outside Clarksdale,
the longtime Delta resident bluesman taught slide guitar
to Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, wrote classic songs,
played a key role in the '60s blues revival, and is a living
presence to today's young musicians and music fans. Click
here for a look. Thanks to the Rock River Foundation
for funding this new feature. (We are planning to add music
to this new section-stay tuned for a "Follow Son House"
, taken from the book of the
same name, and from his book
of the same title, remain on view in our gallery. Each photographer
has been generous in donating prints to the museum's collection-thank
you, Michael and Bill. Both books are available from our
Students and their families from the Pinetop
Perkins Master class workshop, their instructors (Eden Brent
and Ann Rabson), and, of course, Pinetop Perkins himself,
will be on hand. This reception is open to the public.
students and instructors perform at
Ground Zero Blues Club
along with Pinetop Perkins, Lee WIlliams, Cassie Taylor,
and Bob Margolin.
Ritter introduces Peter Guralnick
For all Sunflower River Festival details, click
discussed his writing on blues (his first interview was
with Howlin' Wolf) and on Sam Cooke, the Clarksdale-born
pop music legend, in the Museum classroom on July 8, as
part of the Oxford American's "The Most Southern Weekend
on Earth" celebration held July 9-10 in Clarksdale.
A full house heard Guralnick's stories about and comments
on Cooke, the blues, and, of course, Elvis. Guralnick has
been writing for 45 years on music, musicians, and music
culture. Signed copies of his books are available through
the Museum Gift
-TV: CNN, blog
Huffington Post; and in print: 1000
Places to See Before You Die.
started hosting our Museum page at "Delta Blues Museum
- Clarksdale" in July. After only one month, we have
over 3,000 fans! Thanks to Joe Sunseri for pioneering our
social media outreach.
on June 10 for new teachers at the Teach
for America Training Institute. Teach for America is the
national corps of top recent college graduates who commit
to teach for at least two years in urban and rural public
schools. The DSU Institute was the first in a rural area;
its participants taught in summer school programs in 14
area school districts while attending courses. My presentation
included a PowerPoint and our traveling trunk. Thanks to
Travis Calvin for his assistance with the creation of the
Friday, August 6
10 am Mississippi Blues Trail Marker for Ike Turner at
2 pm Clarksdale Walk of Fame Marker for Ike Turner at Delta
4 pm DBM band kicks off 23rd Annual Sunflower River Blues
& Gospel Festival
9 am - evening 23rd Annual Sunflower River Blues &
1-5 p.m. Delta Blues Museum special hours
10 am Cathead Mini-Festival
4 p.m. Sunflower RIver Gospel Festival (City Auditorium)
with the Arts & Education students on
June 12. The students built their own guitars out of cigar
boxes, learning lessons in pitch, tone, and the mechanics
of stringed instruments. Upon completion of the construction
activity, Abel and the students played their instruments.
The students sat in a circle, listening to one another and
taking turns playing rhythm and/or lead. The forthcoming
Museum Arts and Education CD, made possible through a grant
from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, will feature
a track of Abel and the students playing the instruments
they created at this workshop.
Abel and guitar workshop students.
Photo: Christopher Coleman
were held at Vincent
Studios in Clarksdale in July. Among the tracks recorded
were the classic "Kansas City" and "The Blues
is Not Exclusive", one of many hits penned by one of
our music instructors, Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry.
Thank you, Bill.
, received a full scholarship from
the Pinetop Perkins Foundation to the Youth Workshop Series,
Piano Master Class. Miracle will be one of the performers
at the reception at the museum on August 4. On Thursday
evening, August 5, at Ground Zero Blues Club, Miracle and
the other students from the Master Classes will perform
along with Pinetop Perkins, Bob Margolin, Lee Williams (a
graduate of the Arts & Education Program) Cassie Taylor,
Eden Brent, and Ann Rabson.
, presented a concert at Clarksdale's
New Covenant Church to a full and enthusiastic house July
17. Travis performed with his band: PJ Walker (also a DBM
employee), Trent Calvin (brother), and Jarrett Box. If the
concert was as good as the rehearsal I attended (and I heard
that it was), it was a killer.
in Boston, MA this summer, where
she is studying singing. Paula is this year's recipient
of the scholarship to the Berklee College of Music's Five
Week Summer Music Program. She is enjoying Boston and Berklee
, both Clarksdale natives, is available
beginning 8/6 through the Museum (for image, see above,
"Note from Director"). Printed in a limited edition,
size 12" x 16," on archival paper. The price per
print is $75.
Sessions recorded in
the repair shop of the Clarksdale Greyhound Bus Station,
where Turner set up a makeshift studio in 1954, the year
he refined his classic band lineup. Includes "Rocket
88" and other songs with other singers-Dennis Binder,
Little Johnny Burton, Lonnie "The Cat," and "Lover
Boy" (Turner under an alias).
Turner's 2006 Grammy-award winning effort, featuring covers
(Fats Domino), classic jump blues ("Caldonia"),
and several Turner originals, including instrumentals that
Recorded in 2002 at a Dutch festival, this concert film
shows off Ike's early repertory, piano/guitar skills, and
tight band direction. The stellar musicians-including boyhood
pal and Clarksdale native Ernest Lane on keyboard-appear
to be having a grand old time playing Turner's tunes, and
playing with him.
performing "You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had"
at a British train station in 1964 was shown at the Museum
in May to Big Bill and Mug Morganfield, two of his sons,
as part of a National Train Day reception (see last newsletter).
This clip is available as a bonus track on the DVD "The
American Folk-Blues Festival: The British Tours 1963-1966,"
on sale in the Gift
Shop. The DVD includes performances by Howlin'
Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Joe Williams, Sister Rosetta
Tharpe, and others.
is a best seller this summer.
with a fashion fit and Museum logo, in black
is the front image on this
new tee, (from the Robinsonville store where Alan Lomax
recorded Son House-sign is in the Museum collection). Back
side is a quote from House: ""I believe I can
tell y'all what it's all about."
Order tees here.
are for sale in a signed, limited edition of nine each,
printed on inkjet 300-year archival paper. 12" x 18"
-- $600, 16" x 20" - $500 (unframed). 100% of
print sales are donated to the Museum. Copies of the BBBQ
book are also for sale, at $40-all proceeds from sales are
donated to the Museum.
|Delta Blues Museum
Board of Directors
H. Gresham, President
Yvonne Stanford, Secretary
Dr. Frank Marascalco
to the Delta Blues Museum
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