We've rolled and tumbled through another busy summer and
fall festival season here at the . The 24th Sunflower River Blues and
Gospel Festival was a special one, a tribute to local Clarksdale
musicians and supporters, and we had our first-ever
booth at the always rockin' .
Museum staffer Lee Pharr mans the King Biscuit Festival Booth
But the really big event that takes place every day right
outside our door is the ongoing construction of our new
. The walls
are up, the windows are in, paint is going on the walls,
and it's starting to look like the building that I've seen
only in drawings for the last couple of years!
New Muddy Waters Addition, looking west,
towards Ground Zero Blues Club
New Muddy Waters Addition, looking east,
to the Museum in the depot building
If you haven't bought a custom engraved to become part of the walkway to the new, expanded
Museum, there's still time. Each brick carries a personalized
message of your support for the - makes a great gift! Just $50. Click
here to buy a Blues
New online Store Home Page
The other Big News is our !
Our new online Store is loaded with products, some of
which you can find only at the .
It's got a new look with a new, easier-to-use layout, and
has lots of special features, including a Gift Item section
for your holiday and special occasion shopping needs. A
word about the selection of CDs, DVDs, and books: we have
worked hard to present an essential library of these media
products, from the basics to specialty items for those more
familiar with blues culture. Take a look and please shop-your
purchases will help support the Museum and our activities.
Click here to check it
In other news . . . I appeared on a panel as part of the
, held in Oxford,
Mississippi with ,
blues historian; ,
photographer and blues impresario; and , musician. I think that we managed to
get across some blues culture information while telling
some pretty good stories. (Between us all, we had more than
Barretta, Ritter, Waterman, and Peyton at Oxford Blues Fest panel, Oxford, MS
I'm reminded again how important it is that we preserve
our blues heritage when I heard about the death of , Howlin' Wolf's great guitarist. With the
passing of Sumlin, ,
and , two of
the last living links to the origins of Delta blues have
now passed into history. Keeping that history alive is what
we do every day here at the - thanks
to your support.
More sad news: ,
owner of here in
Clarksdale, passed away on December 17. Gary was a passionate
lover of the blues and a great friend of the Museum. He
donated the which is the centerpiece of our Charley Patton
exhibit and was advising on the development of our new permanent
exhibitions. He will be missed.
Patton exhibit, with "Pony Blues" 78 donated by Gary
from the Delta written
by William Ferris
Speaking of blues history, historian , founder of the Center for the Study of Southern
Culture at Oxford, whom we hosted at the Museum during last
year's Juke Joint Festival, checked in to tell us that his
a pioneering study of blues culture, has now now been translated
into Italian for the many blues fans of that country. "A
book as deep as the blues: rich in conversation, reference,
history, and firsthand experience with blues musicians and
the culture that informs the music. The poetry, games, house
parties, religious and secular traditions of black life
in the Delta are explored in living prose that is also a
work of immense scholarship." If you haven't already, read
this early and essential look at Delta blues culture circa
the 1970s (in English) when original blues musicians and
the old traditions could still be found intact.
The Delta Museum "decorated" for
(it does snow in Mississippi!)
And we didn't forget to
"decorate" the new Muddy Waters Addition
Thanks for supporting the Museum in 2011
- here's wishing you a happy holiday season!
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
Son House portraits by Dick Waterman
Portraits by , the famed music photographer and Oxford,
MS resident, who helped rediscover House in the '60s and
managed his concerts during that era's blues revival. (For
more on House, see our "Follow
Son House" Web feature.)
Zero Blues Club, Clarksdale" by Ken Murphy
photographs by noted photographer taken from the book of the same name. The
display features 30 large-format photos of blues scenes
in and around , from
performances at the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival
and Red's to portraits of Super Chikan and Jimbo Mathus.
The book, which includes an essay by Mississippian blues
historian and writer ,
is for sale in our online Store.
This year, the 100th anniversary of 's birth, we acquired a painting of the Delta
legend by .
Robert Johnson: painting by Rick Seguso
A "Razor Blade" Stewart signature shirt
King Cotton Hotel
donated a photograph and one of his distinctive performance
donated a sign
from Memphis' legendary (and long gone) - thanks!
The hosted book signings
for 's biography,
author of , and for 's book,, a survey of the current
blues scene in and around Clarksdale.
Two new books, two great "reads"
We enjoyed visiting with many of you at our booth. We also opened the
on Sunday for many King
We were "wowed" by 's
headlining performance at the 24th !
The students in the spread a lot of good blues cheer during the
Thanks to museum volunteer Princess Pride for coordinating
the parade float. We're also especially grateful to Al Jones,
Dana Russell, and Dale and Quincy Moore for assistance in
providing the truck, trailer, and generator.
Delta Blues Museum Band
The also performed during the , at , and at the along with .
With a , we are ready to
deliver the blues goods from our shelves to your door. Take
a look: click
Plan time to shop with us when you visit the
for CDs, DVDs, books, tee-shirts, posters, and special Son
House merchandise (tees, postcards).
|Delta Blues Museum
Board of Directors
William H. Gresham, President
Yvonne Stanford, Secretary
Dr. Frank Marascalco
to the Delta Blues Museum
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