september. october 2012
at Silver Star Hotel & Ca sino
BEAUTIFUL. RELAXING. REJUVENATING. These are just a few of the words used to describe the pleasure of the legendary Spa at Silver Star Hotel & Casino. Our experienced specialists are experts in various professional techniques, including Swedish Massage, Therapeutic & Sports Rubdowns, Aromatherapy and a variety of Exotic Body Treatments.
Vegas with Sweet Tea!
Pearl River Resort • Choctaw, MS 1.866.44PEARL (1.866.447.3275) • www.pearlriverresort.com A development of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
Contents September / october 2012
Music Publisher ��������������������Marianne Todd Editor ���������������� Buffy Gabrielson Creative Director ���������������������� Shawn T. King Designer ���������������������� Shawn T. King
Advertising Sales Lynn Johnson, Director of Sales - 662-523-0201 Lynn@MississippiLegends.com Marty Sutherland - 251-747-8366 Marty@MississippiLegends.com David Battaglia - 601-421-8654 David@MississippiLegends.com Ken Flynt, Director of Marketing - 601-479-3351 Ken@MississippiLegends.com Editorial - 601-604-2963 Editor@MississippiLegends.com Contributing writers: Stephen Corbett, Joe Lee, Kara Martinez Bachman, James Duke Denton, Kimberly J. Williams, Annie B. McKee Contributing photographers: James Edward Bates, Michael Barrett, Joe Worthem, Chad Edwards, Ken Flynt Web calendar tech: James Sharp (www.MississippiLegends.com) Email calendar submissions to James@MississippiLegends.com Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or reprinted without express permission of the publisher. The opinions and views expressed by our contributors, writers and editors are their own. Various views from other professionals may also be expressed. Neither LEGENDS nor Blue South Publishing Corporation is endorsing or guaranteeing the products or quality of services expressed in advertisements. All advertisers assume liability for all content (including text representation and illustration) of advertisements printed and assume responsibility for any resulting claims against LEGENDS or its affiliates. Materials, photographs and written pieces to be considered for inclusion in LEGENDS may be sent to P.O. Box 3663, Meridian, MS 39303. Unsolicited materials will not be returned. LEGENDS is free and distributed through tourism offices, welcome centers, restaurants, theaters, casinos, and institutions of higher education. If your business, agency or industry would like to offer LEGENDS, please contact us at Editor@MississippiLegends.com. For more information, write to Editor@MississippiLegends.com. More information, including a comprehensive, up-to-date calendar, may be found at
14 Dr. Jay Dean
A Silver Celebration with the USM Symphony
28 Rosco Bandana Hits the Hard Rock Record Label Gulfport band dominates 12,000 competitors
50 The Music of Grayson Capps
The Alabama boy who fell in love with Mississippi music
57 Get the Blues at the King Biscuit Festival Riatt, Mahal and Rush to headline 27th Helena festival
Features 6 Cruisers in a Candy Shop
Vintage car enthusiasts gear up for Cruisin’ the Coast
18 The Gypsy Cemetery
Rose Hill comes alive with historic cemetery tours
22 Hartley Peavey
Making sound better for 47 years
38 The Birthplace of Elvis
Renovations keep visitors returning
48 The Fairview Inn
Luxury good enough for a prince
54 “Sunshine” Sonny Payne
Promoting the music of the Delta for more than six decades
62 Welcome Home, Brittney Reese
The Gulf Coast turns out to honor the gold medal Olympian
63 What's Shakin' Around the State? Find out in LEGENDS' calendar
About our cover Hartley Peavey, a pioneer in the sound industry, has earned more than 180 patents since beginning his business 47 years ago. Begun in a small workshop in his parents’ basement, the Meridian-based Peavey Electronics now has a worldwide reach in more than 10,000 venues. Cover photograph by Marianne Todd
culinary 32 A Bite of the Real South
Oxford's Taylor Grocery serves it up in the middle of nowhere
44 Sophisticated Sophia's
Upscale menu, intimate atmosphere at Belhaven restaurant
september. october 2012
Home to blues legends like Kenny Brown, Joe Callicott, Memphis Minnie, Don McMinn and more, the blues have deep roots here in DeSoto County. Come catch a live show or travel back in time along our historic Blues Trail. For a free vacation guide, call 662-393-8770 or visit SoDeSoto.com.
Minutes from Memphis and Tunica in Northwest Mississippi. With 36 hotels, 8 B+B’s, 250+ restaurants and lots of fun activities, a great time is just a phone call away.
DeSoto County, Mississippi H e r n a n d o · H o r n L a k e · oLive BrancH · SoutHaven · WaLLS
letter from the publisher Dear Readers, Someone recently asked, “Do you think you'll run out of stories to do?” If we lived in Idaho, maybe. But this is Mississippi, abundantly wild with stories, vivid scenery, eclectic people, charm by the bucketfuls and never-ending stories as our creative economy produces our most renewable resource – our artists. This edition is slammed packed with great stories and the great people who create them. Take a trip to the Gulf Coast, where residents are welcoming home Gold Medal Olympian Brittney Reese and readying their vintage cars to showcase in this year's Cruisin' the Coast. Visit scenes from this summer's Sunflower Fest in Clarksdale or take a trip through Meridian's historic gypsy cemetery, Rose Hill. Meet disc jockey “Sunshine” Sonny Payne, who has hosted KFFA's King Biscuit Time for nearly six decades or discover Mississippi's most notable sound man, Hartley Peavey. While you're perusing your edition of LEGENDS, we're readying another set of inspiring stories for your enjoyment. Run out of stories? When pigs fly. Cheers,
Cruisers in a candy shop
By Kara Martinez Bachman Photographs by James Edward Bates
september. october 2012
The Glory Days Come Alive on the Coast At first, it is difficult to determine when, exactly, John Harral decided to let a car become a member of his family. It may have been on the day he bought it, back in 1967, when he was only 18. The 1958 Corvette was his first car. It also may have happened when he courted his soon-to-be wife, Marge, from behind the wheel. Or, perhaps, it was on some windy afternoon, when he was at Ole Miss and Marge would drive the car between Oxford and Holly Springs on twisty roads. The car would serve as her reliable, and amazingly cool, chariot. Harral is not alone in his passion for the sleek lines and heavy chrome of
the past. Every October, thousands of classic car enthusiasts flock to the Mississippi Gulf Coast for a week of activities known collectively as Cruisin’ the Coast. Now in its 16th year, Cruisin’ the Coast draws fans from around the United States and beyond. During the event, owners of classic cars take them out of storage, gas them up, buff them to a perfect shine and show them off to other car aficionados and spectators. Few living in the three coastal counties have to be told that Cruisin’ has arrived. A 1957 Chevy, idling lazily at a red light while everyone else is on their way to work in late-model cars, is a hard sight to miss. There is no avoiding the pleasant distraction of a 1961 Cadillac Convertible, gassing up before taking to Beach Boulevard along the edge of the Mississippi Sound. There is no denying the 1957 cherry red Ford Station Wagon stopped at a Dollar General, where its owners pick up sun hats and retrostyle sunglasses. And there is definitely no missing the souped-up hot-rods, their drivers chomping at the bit to peel out. There is an even smaller chance of anyone not noticing the older models from the 1920s, ‘30s or ‘40s, many of which have been restored to a condition resembling the day they rolled off the assembly line. When cruisers come to town, the roadways of the coast seem to come alive with the past. And “the past” is what it is all about. Gulfport-based attorney and classic car buff John Harral speculates that a strong interest in classic cars is based on a desire to recall the feelings of youth. “An old
september. october 2012
car reminds us of those days when we were younger ... and maybe cooler,” he says with a nostalgic longing in his voice. “I give my car credit for attracting my wife’s attention. She does not like hearing me say that, but it’s a cool car … and a cool girl.” Sometimes when Harral drives, he pops in a cassette tape of the song he most associates with his Corvette, Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days.” Although it is not a song that was around when his car was born, it is a song that brings him back; it is an enhancement for these moments of slipping through the classic car wormhole, away from the contemporary milieu and into a time that many believe has been lost. Harral’s words convey the lure of being behind the wheel of such a meaningful and nostalgic machine. Virtually every time he takes his “Stratus Blue” colored classic Corvette to the road, shouts of “Great car!” greet him; the shouts usually come from young women. He delights in telling how he restored it in 2002, and then again after it was under eight feet of water when Hurricane Katrina hit the coast in 2005. He tells of driving both of his daughters to their wedding ceremonies in the car—the girls, who grew up with the Corvette, would have had it no other way. He tells of driving around his subdivision during Mardi Gras, throwing beads to the neighbors. Harral claims all participants in Cruisin’ the Coast have similar stories connected to their cars. “There are characters there ... they love showing off their cars,” he says. “Some of them bought the same
make and model as the first car they ever owned. And some, like me, still own that first car. Basically, all these cars relate back to a specific wonderful event or time in the lives of their owners.” Even though his car looks a little different than it did back then (it was white when he first bought it) it is apparent that it still makes him feel just as alive when he’s behind the wheel. Peoples Bank President/CEO and Chairman of Cruisin’ the Coast, Chevis Swetman, finds it interesting that classic car owners seem to be divided into two categories: “There are classical purists, who want everything original on the car. Then there are other people who just want the best of everything that is available.” Just as Harral sees these automobiles as mechanical portals to the past, so, too, does Swetman. “It brings back a bygone era that will never come back. We’re all too politically correct these days to build an inefficient engine … it brings back something that will never exist again.” And here he alludes to a fact of classic car ownership: low efficiency in old engines often leads to high gas bills. According to Swetman, however, that appears to be just the tip of the iceberg on what can often become an expensive hobby. “There was this one guy who had a ‘57 Chevy, and he called it a ‘bitch with an attitude.’ Just the paint on the car must have cost $15- to $20,000. It was the prettiest cherry red. He told me he turned down an offer of 75K on this vehicle. He calculated what he had spent on the car and it was over 100K, so the guy just couldn’t sell it.” But for many classic car buffs, there is no price too high for a payoff that feels a bit like a fountain of youth or the almost magical ability to turn heads when flooring it around a perfect curve in the road. Although the restoration of classic cars can prove expensive, Swetman also describes the event he chairs as something of an act of love. “These people are the salt of the earth. They stick together and look out for their own.” For many, participation in auto events verges on a vocation. “The volunteers from various car clubs are the real heroes of Cruisin’. They man the sites and know what these cars mean to participants. It gives us a chance to show off our Southern hospitality.” For Harral, it’s simply a chance to show off his beloved Corvette, a feeling of being “A kid in a candy shop.” Modern cars lack the “soul” of a classic, he says. “I like to tell people my car has the lines of Marilyn Monroe and the muscle of the Incredible Hulk.” It’s evident now when this car joined his family: the very second he laid eyes on it. L
Cruisin’ reminiscent of a bygone era By Kara Martinez Bachman Photographs by James Edward Bates
When Cruisin’ the Coast began in 1996, there were 374 participating registered vehicles. Sixteen years later, the scope of the festival has grown to include more than 5,400 classic cars. Cruisin’ offers an array of activities for participants, from unique entertainment to swap meets to endless opportunities to show off autos and appreciate the love that others have poured into their own classic cars. Cruisin’ the Coast is widely considered to be the largest special event held in the state of Mississippi, and it has won numerous awards that can attest to its success in the eyes of auto enthusiasts and tourism authorities. Through the years, the reach of Cruisin’ has extended beyond the boundaries of the official venues and now seems to wrap its tires around the entire coast. Casinos in the coastal counties now tailor their entertainment, dining and gaming events to reflect a classic, All-American, Rock ‘N’ Roll, or auto themed vibe. Since many participants will arrive a few days - or even weeks - early or remain for a while after the event is finished, coast residents will see classic cars traversing the highways and byways of their region for some time. This is often a boon to the retailers and service providers who cater to participants. Although some locals feel burdened by the increased traffic and influx of tourists, most appreciate the benefits of an event that is as good for the spirit of the coast as its pocketbook. There is an element of this classic car event reminiscent of the golden days of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, back in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Back then, the coast was not as populated as it is now; it served primarily as a location for summer homes of wealthy families from the nearby cities of Mobile and New Orleans. During these decades, it was also known as a Deep South gambling and vacationing playground for the rich and famous. During this era the Broadwater Beach Resort in Biloxi reflected the zeitgeist of the time, serving as a concrete emblem of the Hollywood-style glitz and glamour of the day. Important politicians, business people and celebrities could enter the property by pulling their cars up under the iconic Art Deco style entrance canopy that became one of the most recognizable images of the Gulf Coast. Although the building and its arched canopy were lost following Katrina, there was something about that canopy, combined with the whiff of celebrity and expensive cars, which will forever tie Mississippi’s coast to that heyday in the minds of those who remember it. Further connection to this bygone era comes by way of Elvis Presley, who spent his summers at the golf resort of Gulf Hills, located near Ocean Springs. There are a number of photos depicting Elvis’ time spent on the coast. Some are generic; some show him boating on the waters of the sound. Still, others show this American icon in classic automobiles that very much resemble those of Cruisin’. Wherever we find Elvis, we also find a car culture that rose to prominence at the very same moment in time; the two are inseparable. Although much coast architecture from these decades was lost to Hurricane Katrina, the local connection to this time still persists in the minds of many. L
september. october 2012
During this era the Broadwater Beach Resort in Biloxi reflected the zeitgeist of the time, serving as a concrete emblem of the Hollywood-style glitz and glamour of the day.”
John Harral in his 1958 Corvette, cruisng the beach along the Mississippi Sound.
september. october 2012
september. october 2012
A Silver Year Celebration
Dr. Jay Dean leads USM’s Symphony into its 25th year
hen Dr. Jay Dean lifts the baton to open the 93rd season of The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, it will be a much different group than the one he stepped in front of 25 years ago. Dean, who is celebrating his silver anniversary with the Symphony, has led the orchestra to enjoy an international reputation that enhances not only the university, but also the state and region. The symphony regularly performs to sold-out houses with audience members representing a diverse cross-section of the southeastern United States. His recruiting efforts have turned the organization into a multinational conglomerate. Dean’s vision has brought the world to Mississippi, including performances across the state with internationally known classical icons such as Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Sir James Galway, Joshua Bell, Denyce Graves, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Roberta Peters, John Browning, Manuel Barrueco, Christopher Parkening and Edgar Meyer. He has also conducted concerts with major popular artists such as Doc Severinsen, The Pointer Sisters, Patti La Belle, Dionne Warwick, Patti Austin, Ricky Skaggs and Sandi Patty. Dean has also guest conducted many orchestras in the United States, Latin America and Europe. This season is designed as an entertainment package and features the orchestra in its many facets. Famed violinist, and audience
favorite, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg returns October 4 for a gala opening night. The orchestra’s long-standing partnership with the Southern Opera and Musical Theatre Company continues with a special presentation of Die Fledermaus on October 16 and 19. Chamber orchestra performances on November 1 and February 14 dot the season and the popular Holiday Choral Spectacular returns December 4. A spectacular production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd reopens the renovated Mannoni Performing Arts Center Auditorium February 28 – March 3. The incredible Mahler Symphony No. 5 showcases the orchestra in grand style on March 28, and the season ends on a high note – with the most popular of concerts, Future Stars, combined with a performance of Belshazzar’s Feast. “In addition to the exceptional programming, special events are planned throughout the year,” Said Dr. Mike Lopinto, PR/ Marketing and Event Coordinator for the School of Music. “Initially, all season ticket holders are invited to an exclusive preseason party at Longleaf Plantation. This is a great way to say thank you to symphony patrons and honor Jay for his incredible accomplishments with the orchestra.” Dean is a musical ambassador for Mississippi. In 2009, the State of Mississippi recognized his and the orchestra’s efforts with the Governor’s Award for Leadership in the Arts. Dean’s central mission is to provide life-changing experiences for his students and raise the quality of life in the community and state of which he is a part. L
Want to go? Season tickets are available at the Southern Miss Ticket Office, (800) 844-8425 or (601) 266-5418 or www.southernmisstickets.com.
2012-2013 SEASON Guest Artist Sandra Shen
Saturday, September 22, 2012
“New World and Full Moon” Maestro Ken Lam • Guest Conductor Sandra Shen • Guest Artist, Pianist
Guest Artist Brandon Garbot
Wow! Best Bundled Discounts in MSO History • • • •
Saturday, October 20, 2012
“A Scottish Fantasy” Maestro Jordan Tang • Guest Conductor Brandon Garbot • Guest Artist, Violinist
Saturday, December 8, 2012
15% ticket savings with season subscription MSO’s lowest ticket prices ever Student and military pricing only $10 Adult tickets start at only $25 nt Stude
“Peppermint Pops!” Maestro Peter Rubardt • Guest Conductor Dr. Robert Hermetz, Director, Meridian Symphony Chorus and Cambiata Singers • Guest Artists
Saturday, February 9, 2013
“Life and Love” Maestro Jeffery Meyer • Guest Conductor Alexander Russakovsky • Guest Soloist, Cellist
Friday, March 22, 2013
“Symphony Doo-Dah!” Maestro Timothy James Bergman • Guest Conductor
Saturday, May 4, 2013
“Movies, Light Classics and Pops!” Maestro David Ott • Guest Conductor
New! Affordable SoundCards for Students and Teachers • • • •
Students: only $25 for the entire season Music Educators: only $55 for the entire season Attend every concert in the 2012-2013 season Limited number available so act now
TICKETS 601.696.2200 MSO 601.693.2224
Pre-Concert Gatherings begin at 6PM. Prelude Performances start at 6:30PM. Be sure to call Weidmann’s Restaurant for MSO Patron specials before or after every concert!
september. october 2012
rts* Conce Season Good for admiss 2-2013 1 ion to all MSO 201 0 2 O 2-2013 Season all MS Concerts* sion to
All performances at 7pm at the MSU Riley Center
Music Educat or
ďƒŹ From left to right, Oreon Williams (Slatcho Mitchell), Gypsy Williams (Diana Sharkey Mitchell), Kayla Wheeler (Queen Flora Mitchell), Ves Williams (Mehil Mitchell), Michelle Joyner (Queen Kelly Mitchell), Bill Arlinghaus (King Emil Mitchell).
september. october 2012
Historic Rose Hill Cemetery Tour slated for late September By Annie B. McKee Photographs by Marianne Todd
he year was 1915. Queen Kelly Mitchell had struggled to deliver her 15th child. The labor had been long and intensive, the bleeding unrelenting, and the queen’s death was imminent. King Emil Mitchell searched the faces of the gathered crowd. He offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who could save her. It wasn’t meant to be. Mitchell succumbed to death at age 47, surrounded by her husband, their children and the members of her Romany tribe. At the time, the tribe was camped near the Mississippi-Alabama state line in the Coatopa, Ala., community. Meridian had been the nearest location with a funeral home equipped with enough ice to preserve her body until the large numbers of people could traverse the country to attend their queen’s funeral. And Meridian’s Rose Hill Cemetery, even in the year 1915, was a well-maintained and proper resting place for a member of Romany royalty. An estimated 20,000 Roma Gypsies arrived in Meridian for the funeral service. The horse-drawn hearse traveled west on Seventh Street, followed by carriages of her female family and tribe members. Although it was a cold February day, as Romany tradition required, all of the men were on foot and bare-headed as they trudged toward Rose Hill Cemetery. Queen Kelly and King Emil, who later died in 1942, plus several additional family members who have since died, are also buried in Rose Hill Cemetery. Even today, members of their tribe continue to visit their gravesites. Trinkets, food and other items are left on the graves in their honor. People are curious about these burials of Romany royalty; however, it was only by fate that Meridian would provide the final resting place for their bodies. In its third year, the Rose Hill Historic Costumed Cemetery Tour will again feature the “King and Queen of the Gypsies” as the highlight of the popular historical and cultural tour that touts the history of the area through actors who portray the residents buried there. Michelle Joyner, who has played Queen Kelly each year of the tour, said organizers expected several hundred guests when they first began the tours and instead welcomed several thousand. “I barely had a voice left at the end of the night,” she said. “The tour changes and has new stops each time, so people who have come before can come enjoy it again, and with mississippilegends.com
the improvements to the traffic flow, people will get through it much faster.” Charley” in the words of a woman who is deeply in love. The graves located in Rose Hill Cemetery, on the corner of Eighth Street In 1997, Director Walton Moore, who serves as a volunteer, took over and 40th Avenue, each offer an interesting story. Included among those operation of the cemetery, which had fallen to disrepair. buried there are several Meridian mayors and veterans of wars including the The cemetery, which was chartered in 1874 with the oldest marker dated Civil War, World War I and World War II. The bodies of the first minister 1853, was wrought with decaying wooden markers, which seldom survived of First Baptist Church, the Rev. Joseph W. Bozeman and his wife, are more than 20 years. buried there, as are victims of the “The cemetery was a jungle. Weeds, yellow fever, the Spanish influenza trees and debris almost strangled the epidemic and diphtheria, including entire area and had overtaken the many babies who suffered from the headstones and beautiful marble dreaded and incurable diseases. monuments – the costly stones that Zena Limerick, who plays were placed by family members former Meridian Mayor E.H. Dial, in memory of their loved ones,” who completed a massive street Moore said. “It took many, many and sidewalk paving project and a hours, by many volunteer hands, $100,000 sewage system during the to clean and restore the beauty and city’s Golden Age, said the tour has documentation of the cemetery.” become an important historic and Moore named Dr. Bill and Mary theatrical event for Meridian, giving East, L. W. Mundy and Roy Alexander local actors a chance to perform at as volunteers and an additional group an event that culminates in historical of volunteers known as Friends of preservation. Rose Hill to assist with the Rose Hill Mayor Cheri Barry, an Cemetery cleanup. “We planted fruit enthusiastic supporter of the Rose trees of every variety and blooming Hill tour, portrays Dial’s wife. “I shrubbery. My favorite is the lovely think it is important to tell the story Confederate Rose,” he said. “My of Meridian’s roots through the grandmother, Mattie Virginia Page art of storytelling,” she said. “Each Moore, is buried at Rose Hill along role represented during the tour is with her five children, only one of provided by volunteer historians and whom survived childhood. That storytellers. Community working was my daddy. My grandfather was together is a beautiful thing. killed at an early age, the victim of a “Rose Hill Cemetery is as well railroad accident. In addition to his maintained and documented as grave, the four children died as the any historic cemetery in the state. result of the Spanish flu, diphtheria Although the entire history of and a ruptured appendix – all very TOP: Rose Hill Cemetery, the burial grounds of the King and Queen Meridian is not there, a great deal common at that period of time, a of the Gypsies, will offer tours Sept. 29th. of the history is represented by hard life for grandmother.” BOTTOM: Michelle Joyner returns to the tour as Kelly Mitchell, Queen of the Gypsies. the personages buried at Rose Hill Each stop on the tour guarantees Cemetery.” the story of the person buried there, Another tour highlight is the two feuding founders of Meridian, Lewis A. their heartaches and triumphs, loves and losses. Passersby of the cemetery Ragsdale and John T. Ball. Each had his own plan for Meridian that resulted, high on the hill need only to glance at the marble orchard to see that the even until today, with mismatched streets and odd angled intersections. cemetery is, indeed, still very much alive. L During the tour, Ragsdale and Ball continue their competition. Want to go? Nebraska Read, the only woman buried in the Confederate Mound The Rose Hill Historic Costumed Cemetery Tour is set for located in Rose Hill, tells of her Civil War hero husband, Lt. Charles W. Saturday, Sept. 29th, beginning at 6 p.m. The tour will last until the last Read, posthumous holder of the Confederate Medal of Honor. Nebraska, group has entered the gate. The tour is free. who is portrayed by master storyteller Brenda Stewart, tells of her “darling
september. october 2012
ďƒŹ Hartley Peavey, Founder and CEO, Peavey Electronics.
september. october 2012
Hartley Peavey ——— The Sound Man ——— By Marianne Todd
eneath Hartley Peavey's seasoned and
every local family has been touched by
tough exterior lies the heart of a boy
Peavey. The best we can do is hope to make
who once took apart vintage radios to
a difference for the better,” he says, settling
see their inner workings.
into a chair at the conference room table.
Those days in his parents' basement,
where Peavey built his first amplifier, may
headquarters, dedicated in his honor as
seem as if they happened in another lifetime.
Hartley Peavey Drive, three flags are flown
And in a sense, they did.
– the United States flag, the Mississippi
“In 47 years I've never seen a recession
flag and the prestigious “E” Star flag. The
as protracted as this one,” he says, pacing
Presidential “E” Star Award – presented by
the conference room floor, hands curled
the U.S. Department of Commerce – was
behind his back and deep in thought over
bestowed for the company's achievement for
exactly what he wants to convey. “If we were
excellence in exporting. In the case of Peavey
operating like our competitors with huge
Electronics, it's to 136 countries.
bank debt, we couldn't continue.”
Nearly five decades after creating his first
The structure for success began with the
vine Peavey planted in the mid-1960s, when
sound product – a guitar amplifier – Peavey, founder and CEO of Peavey Electronics,
he became the first employee of Peavey Electronics. His analogy includes a trellis, the
is still working in a creative field, and this time it's engineering the plan that will
support structure for the vine, on which are attached “smart, passionate people.” Those
keep his global business prominently displayed on the sound-making map despite the
people are all on a first name basis with the boss.
world's severe economic downturn and the proliferation of the electronic industry's
cheapening of products.
have a pretty lively discourse around here.” The strategy has paid off. Peavey has earned
Since opening its doors in 1965, Peavey Electronics has employed roughly 14,000
more than 180 patents in his field and has projects on the horizon so lucrative that
people, becoming the largest industrial employer in Meridian in 30 years. “Almost
he's hesitant to discuss the specifics. On his list of accomplishments is a revolutionary
“I hate ass kissers, and I don't want yes men,” he says, rather gruffly. “As a result we
TOP OF PAGE: From left to right, a Musician amplifier from the 1960s, MediaMatrix units and a VB-3 all-tube bass amplifier. ABOVE: Peavey created his first product, a guitar amplifier, in the basement of his parents’ home. Forty-seven years later, his company, Peavey Electronics, has employed more than 14,000 people in Meridian, created more than 180 patents and has affiliate products in more than 10,000 airports, stadiums, theme parks and other venues worldwide. In this photo, Peavey is soldering a Musician amplifier chassis.
The future is looking great, but I haven’t done this alone. A lot of people have helped me.”
THIS PAGE: Above. The showroom at Peavey Electronics houses an Orange County Chopper, vintage amplifiers and the latest products. Right. A display at Peavey Hollywood. NEXT PAGE, TOP TO BOTTOM: Peavey Melody Music Co. as it was when Peavey was a boy. • Peavey’s first workbench. His first store was located above his father’s music store, Peavey Melody Music Co. • Peavey’s Jack Daniel’s JD-AG3 acoustic guitar. The company has built custom instruments for Marvel Universe, John Taylor (Duran Duran), Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy, Dio), Edward Van Halen, Randy Jackson and more.
september. october 2012
guitar-making process using computers to create precise guitar bodies and necks, which he pioneered in the 1970s. It was a triumph created from adversity when, “They told me it couldn't be done,” he says. Virtually all guitar makers use those methods today.
What sparked the boy behind his sharp blue eyes were fellow
Mississippi music makers Bo Diddley and B.B. King. “I heard Bo in the late '50s and went crazy. I told my dad I wanted to play guitar.”
His father, despite being the proprietor of Peavey's Melody Music
Co. in downtown Meridian, told his son he'd have to take lessons to prove himself before he would consider buying him a guitar. Peavey practiced relentlessly, slowing 45 rpm records to a 33 rpm speed so that he could mimic the licks precisely.
While in junior high and high school, he took every shop course he
could. Four semesters of machine shop left him with the skill to “build just about anything I wanted – from zip guns to guitar bridges.” He took basic and advanced electricity, sheet metal, mechanical drawing and radio– anything that would satisfy his drive to build and create.
By the time he joined a college band for $50-a-night gigs, financially
challenged band members were asking Peavey to build their gear. “But then a strange thing started happening. I'd build all the gear they needed and then get kicked out of the band. By the third time I was kicked out, I had a real pivotal conversation with myself. As human beings it's hard for us to be objective about ourselves because we tend to rationalize. But that day in 1964, I looked in the mirror and said, 'You're probably not going to be a rock star.'”
At the time of his reckoning, the British invasion was sweeping
across America. The music industry was in full swing, and the building of equipment for making music was booming. “It was the 'Golden Age' of the conglomerates,” Peavey says. “Before that, the Steinway family actually owned Steinway, and the Ludwig family owned Ludwig. But now all the conglomerates were buying into the music and sound business.
“Rock 'N' Roll didn't start in L.A. or New York. It started along
the banks of the Mississippi. The English groups had been influenced by the seminal American rock music. They repackaged it and sold it back to us. Here, music had devolved into what I call 'little girl music' or 'beach blanket bingo.' The bloom was off the rose. In '63 and '64 Rock 'N' Roll exploded again, but bigger – The Beatles, The Animals with “House of the Rising Sun” and The Rolling Stones. The conglomerates jumped in and bought up the music companies. They were not at all interested in musicians. They were interested in profit. As a result, prices doubled and quality went to hell. That's when Peavey Electronics arrived.”
Peavey went to work developing a solid state guitar amplifier
called the Musician and a bass amplifier called the Dyna-Bass, which, in a marketplace crowded with amplifiers, were met with mixed results. Then, a music store owner in Montgomery expressed the need for a 100watt, multi-channel sound system. At the time, speaker cabinets were made of Ponderosa pine and secured with more than 60 screws and an intricate overlay of multiple sheets of vinyl. “It was awkward, and I knew there was a better way to do it,” he says. “In '66 and '67 if you wanted a sound system, you basically had two choices – the Shure Vocal Master mississippilegends.com
or the Kustom K-200, both of which sold for about $1,000 (and
Harbor Airport, U.S. Congress, Disney and Universal Studios.
remember back then gas was 32 cents a gallon). Or you could
“Virtually every sound you hear at Disney comes through our
get the Peavey four-channel, 100-watt sound system for $599.”
Peavey MediaMatrix systems,” he says.
Using glue, baffle boards and a single sheet of vinyl, Peavey
On September 1, Peavey Electronics opened “Peavey
crafted his sound system using no screws that was “40 percent
Hollywood,” its first West Coast Showroom and Multimedia
cheaper and 100 percent better.” His customers agreed. “Things
Dealer Education Center, on Sunset Boulevard. A section of the
exploded! That first sound system, at that time, really put us on
showroom is dedicated to Peavey’s history and philosophy. The
the map more than guitar amplifiers. When I realized we needed
company's subsidiaries of MediaMatrix, Architectural Acoustics,
to get into big sound systems we started running at Mach 1.”
Crest Audio, Composite Acoustics, Budda Amplification and
When he couldn't find speakers powerful enough to
Trace Elliot brands can be found on concert stages and in more
accommodate larger sound systems he had designed, Peavey
than 10,000 airports, stadiums, theme parks and other venues
built his own and today offers some of the largest sound systems
around the world. Peavey ReValver software allows users to
customize virtual guitar amplifiers on their personal computers
– the digital equivalent of bringing customers to the workbench
“It's been said with some validity that experience is the best
teacher. Well if that's true then I've been ‘in the classroom’ longer
for a soldering iron session.
than any of my competitors,” he says, generously acknowledging
the number of people who helped him along the way. In the
future is looking great, but I certainly haven't done this alone. A
1970s, Peavey began his export program, realizing that 95
Peavey's first patent.
percent of the world's population lives outside of the U.S.
“The fat lady hasn't yet sung at Peavey,” he says. “The
lot of people have helped me.”
“I often wonder what would have happened if I had
Decades after launching his first multi-channel sound system, Peavey Electronics
not had that frank conversation with myself in '64,” Peavey says, his voice softening. “On a
pioneered the digital era of commercial audio with MediaMatrix, the world’s first
good day, I'd like to look back and think I made a difference in a lot of people's lives - that
networkable digital audio system. Launched in 1993, MediaMatrix allows sound system
the world is better for my having been here.”
designers to create and configure massive sound systems via computer with hundreds of
channels of audio for clients like the Beijing and Hong Kong airports, the Phoenix Sky
september. october 2012
At the end of this day, he's done just that.
“Dirt In The Wheel” Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Asleep at the Wheel
Thursday, September 13, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. These guys brought rock and swing to country before most of today’s country singers were born. Known for “Mr. Bojangles” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has showcased bluegrass, folk-rock, and country sounds using everything from a jug and a kazoo to an electric guitar. They’re joined for this concert by the quintessential Western swing band, Asleep at the Wheel, which has eight Grammy Awards to prove you might be dancing in your seat before the show is done.
For Fans of: Ricky Skaggs, Dwight Yoakam, Merle Haggard
Pat Metheny Unity Band
Saturday, October 6, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. It’s impossible to speak of the jazz guitar without mentioning Pat Metheny. The 19-time Grammy winner is skillful on many instruments but has carried the jazz guitar genre to new heights by reinventing the traditional jazz guitar sound, incorporating new technology, and even developing new types of guitars. He has been on tour almost constantly since 1974, offering his amazing skills to the enjoyment of audiences worldwide.
For Fans of: John Scofield, Charlie Haden, Lyle Mays www.msurileycenter.com www.facebook.com/rileycenter 2200 5th Street | Meridian, Mississippi | 601-696-2200 mississippilegends.com
Mississippi’s Rosco Bandana hits the road with a new Hard Rock release Words by Stephen Corbett Photographs by James Edward Bates
iven Mississippi’s history of producing trailblazers in the music field, it should come as no surprise that the first band signed to Hard Rock Records, the new record label started by the Hard Rock Café, is from Gulfport. The seven-piece Americana band Rosco Bandana earned the honor by winning Hard Rock Café’s Hard Rock Rising Battle of the Bands in 2011 at London’s Hyde Park, ahead of more than 12,000 other bands of various genres worldwide.
september. october 2012
ďƒŞ Rosco Bandana performing earlier this year at Bacchus restaurant, downtown Gulfport.
Jennifer Flint with Jason Sanford.
“Hard Rock has rolled out the literal ‘rock star treatment.’ They are an absolutely wonderful corporation to work for,” says Patrick Mooney, who plays bass, guitar and banjo in the group. “It really feels like a big family. We just wanna get a pair of pants on the wall, actually.” Rosco Bandana’s debut album “Time to Begin” is due to be released in late September, and was produced by Greg Collins, who also has worked with KISS, No Doubt, U2, System of a Down and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. “Hard Rock made a great choice in working with Greg
“Jason Sanford [vocals and guitar] began an open-mic night at a local establishment known as the Vintage Station Wine Bar down the street from his house. Members had been toying with the idea of ‘_________ Bandana.’ The music was deemed ‘Americana,’ and what is more Americana than the bandana? It rhymes if you say it right. The blank was filled in by a band called MidLake; their song, ‘Roscoe.’ We dropped the ‘e’ and made it Rosco Bandana.” The band’s eclectic sound draws upon a wide variety of influences, including Elliot Smith, Fleetwood Mac, John Hartford,
“Hard Rock has rolled out the literal ‘rock star treatment.’ It really feels like a big family. We just wanna get a pair of pants on the wall, actually.” Collins,” Mooney said. “Greg has a wall full of Grammys and single, double, triple and multi-platinum albums to stand under. The guy really knows how to make a great record and mold songs into an easily accessible sound for a wide variety of audiences. Greg was also an excellent coach in the studio. He was a seasoned vet of the industry who took our sound, added some new elements and matured our senses. He really seemed to pull each one of us up by the roots just to see how deep they ran and what they were made of.” The band’s current line-up has been together for about seven months, but the band’s origin goes back a bit farther. 32
september. october 2012
The Allman Brothers Band, Phil Spector, Sufjon Stephens and Joan Baez. “Time to Begin” includes ten tracks made up of nine originals and one cover. “The songs on the record were split for the most part,” Mooney says. “About half the tracks were Rosco standards, if you will, such as ‘Woe is Me,’ ‘Black Oil Water,’ and ‘Tangled Up.’ The other grouping of songs were really almost secret songs that Jason had written a few years back such as ‘Heartbreak Shape,’ ‘By and By,’ and ‘Radio Band Singer.’ So none of the songs were new, but several were new to the band’s repertoire.
The Hard Rock Cafe' created Hard Rock Records, signing the Gulfport band, Rosco Bandana, as their first client.
“There is also a cover of ‘Tender’ by Blur on the album. We did this at our producer’s request. The song ended up like a big pot of gumbo that we had been adding to all day. By the end, it was huge and monumental sounding.” Rosco Bandana, as well as other bands signed to the label, will remain with Hard Rock Records for one year, but will retain the rights to their material when the contract expires. The goal of the label is to raise the artists’ profile to help them get started in the business. They plan to sign three bands per year. Hard Rock’s VP and Chief Marketing Officer John Galloway has said it’s not Hard Rock’s intention to earn money on the initiative, but rather to give back to the community. The band will hit the road this September with concerts at various venues. “Time to Begin,” aptly named as they turn this new page in their careers, will be available for digital pre-order through iTunes and Amazon on Sept. 25. L
Want to catch them? Upcoming concert dates: Oct. 19....... Jacktobertfest Hal and Mal’s, Jackson Oct. 20....... Benny’s Boom Boom Room, Hattiesburg For more information, visit www.roscobandana.com
Jackson Weldon on mandolin, Jennifer Flint on tambourine and vocals and Jason Sanford on lead guitar and vocals.
Drummer Barry Pribyl Jr.
A bite of the
REAL SOUTH Taylor Grocery serves it up in the middle of nowhere
by James Duke Denton Photography by Joe Worthem 34
september. october 2012
low down, take it easy, pull up a chair and stop to smell the roses (or daisies as is the case) at Taylor Grocery just
outside of Oxford. It’s not even a grocery store, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the patrons as they kick back to enjoy a fried catfish dinner on a lazy Friday evening. Even though it may seem misnamed, that doesn’t stop folks from finding their way down a winding two-lane road that ends in the middle of nowhere. From Oxford, follow Old Taylor Road south until arriving at a stop sign that is at the heart of Taylor, Miss. It could very easily be named Boondocks, Miss., or something like that, a sure fire sign this ain’t the big city. To the left about a horse apple’s throw from that sign is a row of late nineteenth-century buildings that house Taylor Grocery and a sculptor’s studio. If it looks like time has been standing still since these buildings were raised, that might be a good assumption. Taylor is stuck in a time before cell phones, computers and the rat race consuming most Americans. You can’t even get cell service there. On this one particular late Friday evening Steve Smith of Annandale, Va., is picking on a brown and white electric guitar (remember, there was electricity back in the late 1800’s, so we are still on point). He is a history teacher during the school year and a traveling musician in the summer. He was lured to Memphis and then worked his way South. He has been playing gigs in big time metropolitan places like Clarksdale and Tunica for the past few years, so Taylor is even a culture shock in comparison to those venues. “There is nothing here but this,” Smith said, looking up at the Taylor Grocery walls messily adorned with pen and marker scribblings, written in just about any available space for a name or phrase to go. “This is not McDonald’s. It is a lot like Ground Zero in Clarksdale, but Ground Zero seems so touristy. Here, it doesn’t seem like they tried to make it like this - it just seems like it happened without trying. Where I am from, life is fast - really fast.” Around here, Memphis is the big city. With apologies to John Cougar (who took the Mellancamp off his name when he became big city), it is easy to sneer when someone says, “Look who’s in the big city.” That is not a nice thing to say to someone. It is probably worse than questioning their ancestry. So as the esteemed Mr. Smith plucks his electric guitar, two generations of Ratclilffes are listening to his one-man show while they eat their supper. Cecelia, the family matriarch, explains, “We always love coming here. My son recommended it the first time. The catfish is very good, but we also love the ambiance. It is just different. We come from Atlanta, where everything is kind of upscale. We like this because it is so laid back. It gives you a chance to get out and get away from the hustle and bustle. It has as very slow pace - a much slower pace. Sometimes you have to wait 30
september. october 2012
or 45 minutes to get a table. This is the Old South. Oxford will never change. When we come here we say Oxford is like its own country. The people stay the same. When we come to the football games, everyone is always so welcoming. We bleed red and black (think Georgia Bulldogs), but Holly (her daughter-in-law) went to Ole Miss. And the service is very good.” Teresa Shaw helps provide that service, and she is glad to recommend the fried catfish (which is scored on the sides before it is fried to allow the grease to sneak into the recesses of the tender, white meat). She also will steer you toward the fried rice and fried okra. A quart-sized glass of tea and hushpuppies round out the Taylor culinary experience. The food, though, is not what brings everyone out to Taylor – but it is part of it. When you look around inside of the “grocery” store, you see a lot of stuff. Stuff written on the walls (and ceiling), old stuff hung from the exposed metal rafters, stuff priced to sell on the shelves on either side of the two walls, stuff nailed to the walls, stuff like Taylor High School graduation pictures from the now-defunct Taylor High School, and stuff like pictures of former musicians that played at Taylor Grocery before Taylor Grocery was cool. That time, “before becoming cool,” began with the construction of Taylor Grocery in 1889. According to the plain, manila sheet on the back of the menu, the store was originally a dry goods store until somewhere around 1930. The history of Taylor Grocery changed in June of 1977, when Jerry and Evie Wilson decided to try and make some money out of cooking and selling catfish. And it seems to have worked. But, don’t ask to buy eggs, bread or a gallon of milk because it is not a grocery store. Catfish is still the menu staple. Just don’t get in any hurry. No one has installed a take-out window on the old building, and they probably never will. Oh, remember to stop and smell the daisies. Yes, they are daisies, we are told. Dana Briscoe, a relative of the current owners, Lynn and Debbie Hewlett, who waits tables whenever they need her, made it very clear that the daisies sitting on the table in the next door extra fancy eating room
Here, it doesn’t seem like they tried to make it like this - it just seems like it happened without trying. Where I am from, life is fast - really fast.” mississippilegends.com
were Shasta and Gerbera Daisies. They are most certainly real, and they are resting peacefully in Mason jars, mixed with rosemary and sunflowers. She interjects this floral bit of wisdom with a fair amount of authority and just enough firmness that customers know what she was talking about. Catfish, hushpuppies, and fresh daisies in Mason jars … quintessential Mississippi just a mile or two from the big city.
Want to go? Taylor Grocery & Restaurant is open for lunch Monday though Friday from
11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and for dinner Thursday through Sunday beginning at 5 p.m. For directions, don’t use a GPS as the website warns you’ll end up at a cemetery in the middle of nowhere. From Highway 6 East or West in Oxford, take Old Taylor Road and head south. (Old Taylor Road is the same road on which the Ole Miss baseball stadium resides). Drive south for 7.2 miles until the road comes to a T. Turn left, and the building will be right in front of you.
What’s for lunch? Taylor Grocery & Restaurant serves plate lunches (as with all good Southern restaurants, tea is included). Meats and and vegetables include catfish, fried chicken, pulled pork barbeque, potato salad, Cole slaw, fried okra, baked beans, mashed potatoes, green beans, creamed corn and cabbage. What’s for dinner? Rib-eyes and filets, pork loin, Cajun pork, shrimp (fried or grilled), Mississippi blackened chicken and catfish. Desserts include Minnie’s peach cobbler, Deb’s chocolate cobbler and Bonnie’s pecan pie (all with ice cream). Note: Sarah might have baked something else for the night, so be sure to ask your server. For more information, call (662) 236-1716 or visit
www.TaylorGrocery.com. 1. Fried catfish, okra and hushpuppies, a Taylor Grocery staple. 2. Steve Smith of Annandale, Va. 3. People flock to Taylor Grocery for its laid back atmosphere. 4-6. The authentic decor wasn't designed but rather created through the years. Taylor Grocery was built in 1889 as a dry good store. It was converted to a restaurant in the 1970s. 7. Steve Smith performs for a packed house.
september. october 2012
it ’s back...the legend reopens!
as a part of bridging the blues 2012
INDIANOLA MISSISSIPPI 4 0 4 h a n n a s t r e e t
now owned and operated by THE B.B. KING MUSEUM
visit www.bbkingmuseum.org for updates as they become available.
“This Museum alone is worth a trip to Mississippi.” -Karen Hanson, Todays Chicago Blues
“Best museum we’ve been to in the USA.”
-Iain and Morag Anderson of Edinburgh, Scotland
B.B. KING MUSEUM HOURS:
Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. / Sunday & Monday 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Closed Mondays - November thru March / Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
400 Second Street / Indianola, MS 38751 Telephone 662-887-9539 / www.bbkingmuseum.org mississippilegends.com 39
Y’all come on back now, ya hear? Elvis Birthplace additions designed to keep visitors returning By James Duke Denton Photographs by Joe Worthem
he once-popular Southern beckon for visitors to return is being
other attractions. The project was begun when a group of tourists from
revived at the Elvis Presley Birthplace in Tupelo, where renovations
England, who work in the tourism industry, told Guyton yearlong events
and an impressive addition, unveiled in August, sway visitors to
at a theater or amphitheater would mean they could plan tours around
stay a little longer and return sooner.
events held there.
Executive Director Dick Guyton said 45 percent of birthplace
The 125-seat theater is all-purpose, he said. “We can do movies. We
visitors are from other countries. “About half of our international visitors
have several documentaries, both local as well as international. We can
come from the U.K. We get Argentina, New Zealand, South America,
do live performances, gospel quartets and small plays. It is opening some
but Europe is probably the biggest fan base that we see. Up until the last
doors that we have never had the opportunity to open. It will give us the
year or so, most of the visitors have been on day trips coming down from
opportunity to do all kinds of stage productions both on the screen and
The expansion plan was hatched to give visitors a reason to spend
The 250-seat outdoor amphitheater will have a similar purpose
more time in Tupelo. Ultimately, Guyton hopes the changes may
during pleasant fall and spring days. “I see us having a musical group,
make the site a focal point of a trip instead of a stopover on the way to
a combo or a soloist there and people can just come and sit in the
september. october 2012
amphitheater and relax and listen to some good music.”
did not know that Elvis was even born in Mississippi,” Guyton said. “They
thought he was born in Memphis.”
By partnering with the Tupelo Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and
officials from Graceland, Guyton said promoting Tupelo events will be a
three-part effort. “We have a great relationship with the folks at Graceland.
side of the property that would accommodate up to 800 people. “We are
Even though we are much smaller than they are, anything we do down here
all about the little boy that was Elvis. Fans can continue to come here
to bring in people will help Graceland and vice-versa. People at Graceland
and see where Elvis got his start and how he related to all kinds of people,
will come down here. We work together quite a lot and the relationship is
and he still does, for that matter, by being from a very poor family and
becoming the greatest musical icon ever.”
Signage along Highway 78 into Tupelo is a birthplace draw for those
More plans are underway to build a larger amphitheater on the back
Visiting from Argentina, Connrado Portnoy described The Elvis
headed to Graceland. John Gammell of Ridgecrest, Calif., stopped in. “We
Presley Birthplace as, “Amazing. I cannot explain what I feel. I remember
are going to stay and spend a couple of days in Memphis,” he said as he
his music and when he died.” The changes made to the attraction might
roamed about the birthplace grounds.
some day draw him back for a longer stay, he said.
“Some people do see the sign on the highway and they tell us that they mississippilegends.com
Legends is FREE at fine distributors around the state. To have the next six issues of Legends brought straight to your door, all you pay for is shipping and handling. To subscribe, fill in the attached information and mail to:Â Blue South Publishing, P.O. Box 3663, Meridian, MS 39301. Include your check or money order for $24 to cover the cost of shipping materials, labor and postage.
SuBSCRiBe ToDay! Name: ____________________________________________________ Address: __________________________________________________ City: ______________________________________________________ State: ______________________________ Zip Code: ______________ Phone: ____________________________________________________ Email:_____________________________________________________
september. october 2012
Representing Artists of Mississippi
122 W MAIN ST. TUPELO MS 662.205.0351 THECARONGALLERY.COM
2012 RIVER TOWN! • COLUMBUS, MS
Decorative Arts & Preservation Forum and Antiques Show
November 1-3, 2012
Antiques • Garden Symposiums Elegant Dinners • Concerts Distinguished Scholars Brandon Branch, Creative Director, Paula Deen Show; Neil Odenwald, Celebrated Horticulturist; James Martin, Nationally-acclaimed Baritone; And the Grand Re-Opening of historic Poindexter Hall
2012 RIVER TOWN!
Decorative Arts & Preservation Forum and Antiques Show
All on the campus of the historically significant Mississippi University for Women
“Columbus” by Marie Atkinson Hull (1890 -1980)
Please Join the MUW Foundation and Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation as they celebrate on the campus of Mississippi University for Women
FOR MORE INFORMATION, cONTAcT:
columbus convention & Visitors Bureau www.columbus-ms.org • 800.327.2686 mississippilegends.com
LAURE L , M I SSI SSI P P I
October 6 WITH LIVE MUSIC FROM
GRAYSON CAPPS & THE LOST CAUSE MINSTRELS
FAT MAN SQUEEZE THE 6550â€™s EMERALD ACCENT
BancorpSouth . Central Sunbelt Federal Credit Union . The Chronicle . Chris Posey Chevrolet City of Laurel . Gilchrist Sumrall Yoder & Thaxton Howard Industries . Jones County Medical Laurel Leader-Call . Laurel Machine & Foundry Lucky Luxe . Quinn Pharmacy SouthGroup of Laurel . Southern Beverage Tanner Construction . Trustmark
Be a loblolly lover.
september. october 2012
SHARP HEARTBURN? WE CAN RELIEVE YOUR SYMPTOMS
ÂŠ2012 GI Associates
OF ACID REFLUX.
Acid reflux can feel like a knife in your chest and can lead to esophageal cancer if left untreated. GI Associates offers the latest high-tech equipment for the most accurate diagnosis, and our experienced physicians will treat your symptoms and ease your painful heartburn.
Call us or visit our website today and schedule your appointment.
GI Associates & Endoscopy Center www.msgastrodocs.com JACKSON 601.355.1234
Sophisticated �Sophia’s� Upscale menu, intimate atmosphere at Belhaven restaurant by Joe Lee Photographs by Michael Barrett
ucked away on Fairview Street in the historic Belhaven district of Jackson, Sophia’s Restaurant may be one of the Capital City’s best kept secrets. Located adjacent to the Fairview Inn and owned by Peter and Tamar Sharp (and named for the couple’s daughter), Sophia’s offers mouth-watering cuisine from an ever-revolving menu in a classy, relaxed atmosphere. “I like cooking comfort food. Short ribs, Potato au Gratin, Coq au vin - simple dishes that have good flavor and involve red wine, herbs and stock, and letting them cook a long time,” said Executive Chef Gary Hawkins, a graduate of the Memphis Culinary Academy, who has been with the restaurant since 2006. Hawkins updates the menu on a quarterly basis in an attempt to reach new and younger customers. He cooks a lot of specialty fish, including striped bass, tuna, porgy and wreckfish. “My wife, Susan, and I are there for dinner at least three times a month,” said Dr. Don Sittman, chairman of the Department of Biochemistry at University Medical Center. “We live in Belhaven, and it’s our preferred family restaurant. I come in for the fried oysters, but Gary does a particularly good duck, and the pork bellies are excellent.” Sophia’s has room for 66 and offers a private entrance and three private dining rooms (the Roses Room, the Carriage Room and the Governor’s Room). In addition to individual 46
september. october 2012
business, Sophia’s serves group lunches and dinners. Group business is an area Peter Sharp has seen increase recently, even in a tepid economy. “What separates us from everyone else in town is that our guests can have a conversation without having to yell,” Sharp said. “We value the freshness of our product and change the menu periodically to keep from doing the same old thing.” “Sophia’s is a fine-dining restaurant, but Peter and Tamar have always encouraged those of us who live in Belhaven to think of it as our neighborhood restaurant,” said Barbara Austin of Jackson. “Chef Gary Hawkins understands that food is a dynamic process, and he’s always looking for new creations, especially with Mississippi products such as seafood, which we all love so much. He uses fresh ingredients and updates the menu often. “I go there frequently for both lunch and dinner. I have committee meetings there at lunch because the restaurant is quiet, and you can conduct business at lunch, unlike the acoustics in a lot of contemporary restaurants. The staff keeps up with the customers and knows their likes and dislikes, too.” Sharp offers dinner guests what he calls a Prix Fixe menu starting at $39 for a three-course meal. The full four-course meal is $49, with the three-course meal and wine for $59 and the four-course meal and wine for $69. Menu items include Seared Sea Scallops, Grilled Flat Iron Steak, Sicilian Orzo Pasta and Gulf Shrimp, Grilled Prime Pork Rib Eye and Sauteed
ďƒŞ Maureen Watt enjoys lunch with the newest employee of her company.
Wild Caught Atlantic Salmon. “We go every few weeks with friends for dinner, and we also enjoy the special event menus like the Bastille Day dinner that was offered in June,” said Margaret Cupples of Jackson. “But in addition to dinner, I go to lunch with my mom and aunt when they are in town, and also go for lunch with the Mississippi Women Lawyers’ Association, which holds its membership meetings over lunch at Sophia’s. “My office also has had holiday parties at Sophia’s. I’ve even enjoyed Sunday brunch a time or two with out-of-town friends who have a daughter at Millsaps. Peter is great about making you feel welcome and taking care of all the little details, and the staff remembers our favorite cocktails and even keeps tabs on family members who only visit occasionally.” L
Want to go? Sophia’s is open for lunch Monday-Friday at 11 a.m., for dinner Tuesday through Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and for buffet brunch Sunday at 11 a.m. The restaurant is located at 734 Fairview St., just off North State Street and a couple of blocks from Millsaps College. Dress is casual. For more information, call (601) 948-3429 to make reservations, which are suggested but not required, or visit www.fairviewinn.com/dining.htm.
1. ARUGULA SALAD: “It’s easy to make with a lot of potent flavors. There’s feta cheese, a lemon balsamic dressing, arugula, watermelon and toasted almonds.” 2. CRAB CAKES WITH GRILLED CORN: “They have a smoky flavor and are served with wilted spinach, smoked red pepper, cilantro and shallot.” 3. CALAMARI: “It’s served over a bed of arugula beneath with lemon vinaigrette dressing. I give it a flour dusting and serve it with Puttanesca, a spicy Italian red sauce.” 4. GRILLED SNAPPER: “I use heirloom tomato and new potato ragout, Frisee lettuce on top, basil oil and blood-orange puree.” 5. KEY LIME MOUSSE ON SPONGE CAKE: “This is prepared with Raspberry Coulis, lime juice, heavy cream, powdered sugar and mousse stabilizer.”
september. october 2012
Luxury! Now This Is
Dancing Rabbit Inn • Choctaw, MS • 601.389.6600 • www.DancingRabbitInn.com A development of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians mississippilegends.com
Bluegrass on the back porch and wine flights themed for Mississippi authors
Anything is possible at Jackson’s Fairview Inn by Joe Lee Photographs by Michael Barrett
he former president of Prince Edward, political the Bed & Breakfast consultant Karl Rove, Association of Mississippi, renowned opera singer Renee Peter Sharp has almost 40 Fleming and the cast and years in the hotel business, a producers of “The Help” have stint he began as a busboy. all stayed at the Fairview. Originally from Kent “We’re mentioned on page County, England, Sharp came 148 of the book,” Sharp said. to the United States in 1972 “We put together a package and worked for the Hyatt for guests called ‘The Help hotel chain for almost two Experience.’” decades. He and his wife, “Peter and Tamar are The Fairview was built in 1908 and became a bed and breakfast in 1993. Prince Edward, political Tamar, bought Jackson’s wonderful citizens of our consultant Karl Rove, renowned opera singer Renee Fleming and the cast and producers of “The Help” have all stayed at the Fairview. Fairview Inn in 2006. It has community,” said Barbara been on the National Register Austin of Jackson. “They of Historic Places since 1979 and is located just off North State support everything about Jackson and are always willing to lend a Street in the city’s beloved Belhaven district. hand. I was involved with many dinners at the Fairview through the “The Warren Guild Simmons home was actually built in 1908. University Medical Center, and I’ve been to many weddings there. We’re the fourth owners,” Sharp said. “In 1986 a garden room was I’ve had family members who’ve stayed at the bed and breakfast and built which joined the Carriage House and the Fairview Inn and just loved it.” enclosed the entire property. A new wing was added in 2000. The Margaret Cupples of Jackson said she has enjoyed events at Fairview opened as a four-room B&B in 1993, although weddings the Fairview such as “Art for the Park,” a fundraiser for Belhaven’s were held there as far back in 1986.” Laurel Street and Belhaven Parks that includes a silent auction, live There are 18 rooms at the Fairview. The original house has a music and, of course, great food and drink, and the summer fun day hardwood floor, recreating the feel of a 1908 home. The newer for families the Fairview hosted last year with games for children wing is more like a luxury hotel, with a Jacuzzi and other upscale and a bluegrass band on the patio. amenities in each room. Malcolm White, Executive Director of the Mississippi Arts A wildly popular site for weddings, the Fairview has hosted Commission, is a Belhaven resident who enjoys the nostalgic feel of celebrations with as many as 650 guests, as well as a sit-down dinner the Fairview in his neighborhood. for 220. “It’s great to have a historic bed and breakfast right there in “It’s the only four-diamond property in Jackson,” Sharp said. the neighborhood,” White said. “We can augment Mississippi’s “We have the ambience of a bed and breakfast but all the services of fantastic story with a B&B that has its own story by staying there a small hotel. Many guests who stay at B&B’s are intrigued by the instead of a box hotel on the interstate. Peter runs a good business story behind the inn, the innkeeper, and the area itself.” and is a good promoter. He does a great job.”
september. october 2012
PICTURED ABOVE, CLOCKWISE: The garden joins guest rooms and the gazebo. It serves as the backdrop for weddings and receptions, parties and teas. • The sitting area in the English room, where Prince Edward once stayed. • A nook on the second floor welcomes guests to relax. • Areas such as this are found throughout the historic inn.
“Our overall business consists of the rooms at the Fairview, Sophia’s restaurant, our gift shop, our catering business, and the spa,” Sharp said. “I focus on the marketing, operations and food and beverages. Tamar focuses on the accounting side and the spa.” Sharp said Tamar feels very strongly about natural health and has regular spa customers, some of whom are in each week. “She has five massage therapists on staff and two nail technicians,” Sharp said. “It’s a very competitive business.” Instead of a points card utilized by most hotels, Sharp offers The Fairview Club, an electronically-kept rewards system for club members
who enjoy the different services. He and his staff will begin a lounge concept in the Fairview’s library this fall with specialty cocktails, small plates and wine flights that are themed around Mississippi authors. “The Fairview is the perfect romantic getaway with the spa and the guest rooms,” Sharp said. “It’s a home for celebrations. Whatever you want to celebrate, we do it.” L
Want to stay? Visit the Fairview Inn online at www.fairviewinn.com or call (601) 948-3429 for reservations. mississippilegends.com
Grayson Capps is a gritty singer-songwriter, whose brand of Southern Gothic music has been compared to artists like Steve Earle, Howlin’ Wolf and Tom Waits. An Alabama native, Capps spent more than a decade in New Orleans after getting a scholarship to study acting at Tulane University, from which he graduated in 1989.
While both of the states he’s called home have been absorbed into his
unique brand of music, it would be just as easy to believe that he hails from the land that lies in between: Mississippi.
“Because I grew up in Alabama, I developed a love for Hank Williams
early on,” he said. “Then later, I discovered Bob Dylan. Dylan lead to me to Woodie Guthrie. Woodie Guthrie led to me Lead Belly. From there, I went on to Robert Johnson, Son House – who is one of my favorites. I fell in love with R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. Then I discovered Mississippi Fred McDowell who, to me, is just the grandfather of it all. His music really influenced me a lot.”
All of those artists made a huge impact on shaping Capps’ musical
gumbo that he refers to as “a little Rock ‘N’ Roll, a little ballad, a little blues and a little folk.” In addition to his five solo releases, his unique brand of music has gained him opening spots for Keith Richards, the Replacements and Crowded House. He has also been featured as an actor and musician in two major motion pictures, “Straw Dogs” and the Golden Globe nominated “A Love Song for Bobby Long,” based on the novel Off Magazine Street, written by his father, Ronald Everett Capps.
“Lately I’ve been listening to this compilation of Delta musicians
who never got on the national radar. Guys like Forest City Joe and DoBoy Diamond,” he said. “In the 1960s Arhoolie Records was a lot like Fat Possum records,(and) is now making compilations and bringing attention to a lot of musicians who might otherwise go unknown to most people. It’s
by Stephen Corbett Photographs by Chad Edwards
september. october 2012
ďƒŤ Grayson Capps performing at The Hangout in Gulf Shores. mississippilegends.com
Grayson Capps and band performing at the Brooklyn Bowl in New York for the Levon Helm life celebration and benefit.
really magical and hypnotic music. I’ve always been fascinated by lyrics, and one
minus a keyboard player. We just got tired of hauling that Hammond B3
of the great things about the blues is how it forces you to say a lot with minimal
around,” he laughs. “So far, the songs are coming out as they come out. The new
lyrics. It’s like Haiku. If it’s done right, you can really say something profound
songs are still going to sound like me, but I’m going to explore some different
with very few words. Then you’ve got someone like Dylan, who can take seven
things this time around.”
minutes to unfold an idea, and by the end of it, you feel like you’ve gone through
recording, which is something Capps has never done before – and something
very few artists do anymore. He’ll also be recording it in the house he renovated
There’s also a fair amount of country music influence to Capps’ sound that
One of those “different things” is making the new album an analog
comes from somewhere other than fellow Alabama native Hank Williams.
and turned into a recording studio five months ago.
“Bobbie Gentry is one of my favorite artists to come out of Mississippi or
“I’ve never recorded on tape before, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to
anywhere. ‘Ode to Billie Joe’ is one of the best and creepiest songs ever written,”
do,” he explains. “There’s a certain warmth that you get from an analog recording
Capps said. “You never find out what the hell they’re throwing off the bridge.
that is subtle but great. Plus, it forces you to rehearse your ass off, because you
She’s best known for that song, but she really wrote a lot of great songs. A lot
have to nail it as a band. We’ll overdub some vocal things, but I want the backing
of people don’t know that she wrote “Fancy” that Reba McEntire had a hit with
tracks to be done live. That’s how Lynyrd Skynrd did it. They’d get together for
back in the 90s. Plus, she’s sexy as hell. I have a picture of her in my bedroom.”
rehearsal every day at 8 a.m., rehearse their asses off, and go into the studio and
just knock it out. Really, 99 percent of it is just performance. But doing it on tape
These days, Capps is in the process of working up material for a new album,
which he hopes to have released in the spring of 2013. The album will feature
is the icing on the gravy, so to speak.”
many of the same musicians he played with on his last album, the critically
acclaimed 2011 release “The Lost Cause Minstrels.”
in December, once all of his contracts have expired with his former label.
“I’m working with a four-piece band now. It’s pretty much the same band,
september. october 2012
Capps is also looking forward to obtaining the rights to his first four releases “Kevin Calabro was one of the biggest forces behind my career at my former
John Milham, Grayson Capps, and Corky Hughes gain a new perspective from a mountaintop in West Virginia.
label, Hyena Records. When he started Royal Potato Family Records, I followed
We’re gonna talk about Mr. Jim
him over there,” Capps said. “We’re going to eventually re-release everything
He’s the soul of the place
from “If You Knew My Mind” to “Rott ‘N’ Roll” on Royal Potato Family. I
There ever since the bar been open
recorded a lot of tracks during the sessions for each album that didn’t make it
And he will ’til his dyin’ day
onto the album itself, and we’re thinking of including some of those as bonus
tracks for the reissues.”
Capps also plans to play the “9th Ever ShedHed Blues Festival and Family
upcoming festival is being called their “re-Grand Opening,” according to Shed’s
Reunion” at The Shed Barbecue and Blues Joint in Ocean Springs on Sept.
website. The referenced Mr. Jim is Jim “Happy Legs” Groves, a regular and the
22. Other performing artists include Jimbo Mathus, Lightnin’ Malcolm, Cedric
self-proclaimed original “ShedHed.”
Burnside, Kenny Brown and Alvin Youngblood Hart.
“I’m really looking forward to this show. The Shed has been really helpful
of the year. When asked about life off the road, he said, “I spend my downtime
and supportive to me throughout my entire career” he said. “The lineup features
raising kids, grocery shopping, taking care of the house and trying to write a song
mostly Mississippi-based artists, so I’m really glad to be a part of this. ‘Coconut
every now and then, which I guess is what I’m supposed to be doing.”
The Shed in Ocean Springs burned to the ground in February, and the
Grayson has a touring schedule that has him on the road for the vast majority
Moonshine,’ which is on ‘The Lost Cause Minstrels,’ is about the Shed.” • • • • • • • • • Want to go? • • • • • • • • •
Long down Mississippi Way
A place ’bout Ocean Springs
There’s a barbecue joint they call The Shed
Between Mobile and New Orleans
The “9th Ever ShedHed Blues Festival and Family Reunion” is scheduled for Sept. 22 at The Shed in Ocean Springs. The event is a music festival, swap meet and barbecue competition. Details can be found at www.theshedbbq.com/ocean-springs or by calling (228) 297-2723. mississippilegends.com
september. october 2012
Sonny Payne Spinning records and promoting bluesmen at KFFA since 1951 By Kimberly J. Williams Photographs by Marianne Todd
“Pass the Biscuits. It’s King Biscuit Time!” This phrase has been said nearly 17,000 times since the show took to the airwaves in November 1941, but no one has spoken it more often than John William “Sunshine” Sonny Payne. Since 1951, he has been the host of the King Biscuit broadcast, one of the longestrunning radio shows in the United States. Growing up in Helena, Sonny was no stranger to the familiar sight of musicians playing for tips along the streets of downtown. At his father’s gas station, he met the musician who would become one of his closest friends, Robert Lockwood Jr. Not long after that first meeting, Lockwood arrived at the station with a guitar. Until this point, Sonny had never seen one. Lockwood took young Sonny out back and began playing the instrument and singing. Sonny summed up that experience by saying, “I was thrilled!” In late 1941, Lockwood asked Sonny, who was working at the new KFFA radio station, if he could get him and Sonny Boy Williamson (whom Sonny had met in 1939) a gig on KFFA. Sonny set up a meeting with station manager Sam Anderson, and “King Biscuit Time” was born shortly after. Sonny joined the Army in December 1942 and served six years. After taking up the upright bass during his time in the service, Sonny began touring as a side man, playing for the likes of Tex Ritter, Sammy
Kaye, Ted Weems and Alvino Rey. By 1951, Sonny had grown tired of the road and headed back home to Helena … and to “King Biscuit Time.” More than six decades later, “King Biscuit Time” and Sonny Payne have been a musical catalyst for an amazingly diverse group of singers and musicians. Blues legend B.B. King (whom Sonny refers to as Riley) has said he listened to Williamson and Lockwood on the radio show during his lunch break from the fields in Mississippi. Levon Helm told stories of how he would skip school and go to downtown Helena to watch Sonny broadcast. Yet this small radio show has impacted musicians throughout the United States and the world. Eight years ago at the Delta Cultural Center (where Sonny still broadcasts weekdays from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.) Elvis Costello, who had been working on an album in nearby Clarksdale, walked in, hoping to meet the legendary Sonny Payne. They’ve been friends ever since. Sonny has known entertainers and performers from every musical genre, from Elvis Presley to Frank Sinatra to Liza Minelli and Robert Plant. His influence has reached beyond the blues and beyond generations. Greg Martin, guitarist and original member of the Kentucky Headhunters, is a fan and friend of Payne’s. “I was studying the origins of the blues … and you can’t deny the role of KFFA and ‘King mississippilegends.com
Biscuit Time,’” Martin said. In 1992, the Headhunters were playing a show for the Memphis Horns and Martin stayed a few extra days and made his way to Helena, a town, he says, that has played a huge part in the history of the blues. He and Sonny have been friends since. “I absolutely adore Sonny,” Martin said. “He’s such an inspiration … still doing what he loves after all these years.” Sonny’s influence extends beyond the music, Martin said. As a testament, Martin now hosts his own weekly radio show, “The Lowdown Hoedown.” The theme song’s title, “Sunshine Boogie,” pays homage to 86-year-old Sonny, who back at KFFA is still spinning the music of his favorite performers, James Cotton (who tops the list), Harry James, Freddy Martin, Alviro Rey and Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Sonny's first act booked at KFFA was Robert Lockwood Jr. and Sonny Boy Williamson. He's been playing the music of blues greats since 1951.
september. october 2012
Orchestra. Six decades after its inception, “King Biscuit Time” was presented the coveted George Foster Peabody award for outstanding achievement in electronic media. Also receiving the award that year was a kindly gentleman named Fred Rogers (known to millions as simply, Mr. Rogers), and a little show titled “Seinfeld.” Among Sonny’s accolades are induction into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame, receiving the Arkansas Broadcasters Association’s Pioneer Award, being honored with several “Keeping the Blues Alive” awards from the Blues Foundation, and, in 2010, becoming a member of the Blues Hall of Fame. Want to tune in? Listen weekdays from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. at www.kffa.com.
Get the Blues at
King Biscuit Raitt, Mahal and Rush to headline 27th music festival “Blues means what milk does to a baby. Blues is what the spirit is to the minister. We sing the blues because our hearts have been hurt, our souls have been disturbed.” - Alberta Hunter, American blues singer By Kimberly J. Williams
Photography by Ken Flynt
isten closely to the festivals in the country. soulful sounds of This year’s festival a guitar and the headliners are musical brusque voice of the legends as well as crowd bluesman, proclaiming all favorites. the wrongs he has faced. Thursday, Oct. 4, It’s the blues, and it has caps off with an energetic become the heartbeat performance by a crowd of the Arkansas and favorite, Bobby Rush. Mississippi deltas, regions Although Rush has that are no strangers to mesmerized crowds from hardships. Europe to Japan, he The adversity in the is most at home when Blues giant James Cotton is a regular at the Helena, Ark., festival music is apparent, and it playing blues in the reaches into the depths of Mississippi Delta region. the listener’s soul. It is the blues, a powerful, lyrical lullaby for anyone Born in Louisiana, Bobby moved to Chicago in the mid-1950s, who has faced pain or tragedy or just had a really bad day. It sweeps where he performed with Freddie King, Luther Allison and Earl over you like the waves of the mighty Mississippi. Hooker. Now a resident of Jackson, Rush has performed all over the Each October, thousands of blues enthusiasts from around the world for more than 50 years, and he shows no signs of stopping. world flock to the banks of the Mississippi River as the music takes On Friday, Taj Mahal returns to the Biscuit. Mahal first played over – giving visitors a three-day, down-home, soul-baring musical the festival in 2010, and has said he couldn’t wait to get back. Born in history lesson. This October 4-6 marks the 27th year of the King Massachusetts to a jazz pianist, composer and arranger father and a Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Ark., one of the premiere blues gospel-singing school teacher mother, both parents encouraged him mississippilegends.com
to take pride in their diverse ethnic and cultural roots (his father hailed from the Caribbean and his mother from North Carolina). And he did just that. Festival headliner Bonnie Raitt recently released her 19th album. She also comes from a musical family – her father was a Broadway legend and her mother an accomplished pianist/ singer. While attending Radcliffe College, Raitt’s love for the blues blossomed, and she performed alongside legends such as Howlin’ Wolf and Sippie Wallace. She has been inducted into both the Rock ‘N’ Roll and Blues Halls of Fame. The festival was created in 1986 to revive the cultural music found there in the 1940s and 1950s. Back then, artists like Sonny Boy Williamson, who had played on KFFA’s King Biscuit Time Radio Show along with his contemporaries, played live every weekday in between King Biscuit Flour commercials. People like Muddy Waters and B.B. King would come home from working the fields each day to listen. Pinetop Perkins, a longtime King Biscuit regular who died in 2011, had said that in Helena, he played all night long for $3 and “all the whiskey we could drink.” In response to the town’s failing economy of the mid 1980s, organizers hoped to promote music among blues enthusiasts and to give the town a much needed tourism boost. In its 27 years, the festival has drawn fans worldwide. Want to go? For the full lineup or to purchase Main Stage tickets, visit www.KingBiscuitFestival.com.
The festival was begun in 1986 in response to the town's failing economy. Since then, tourism has been boosted by visitors from all over the world. Buddy Guy at the 2011 King Biscuit Festival.
september. october 2012
TEN DAYS OF LIVE MUSIC
AND BLUES EVENTS Friday, September 28
Catfish & Cotton - Highway 61 Blues Museum, Leland, MS ‘Da Delta Black Music & Me - Hobnob’s, Leland, MS Live Music at Club Ebony, Indianola, MS B.B. King Blues Club All-Stars, Memphis, TN
Saturday, September 29
Indian Bayou Arts Festival, Indianola, MS Highway 61 Blues Festival, Leland, MS B.B. King Blues Club All-Stars, Memphis, TN
Sunday, September 30
Holly Ridge Jam, Holly Ridge, MS, at the resting place of bluesman Charley Patton
Monday, October 1
Live Blues Music, Hopson Commissary, Clarksdale, MS Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues, E.E. Bass, Greenville, MS; Photographs by William Ferris
Tuesday, October 2
Dockery Farm Tours, Cleveland, MS; Live music by Cadillac John and Bill Abel LD’s Kitchen, Vicksburg, MS; Live music by Central Mississippi Blues Society Po’ Monkey’s Blues Bash, Merigold, MS; Terry Harmonica Bean & his blues band King Biscuit Blues Festival Week Special, The Wild Hog Saloon, Helena, AR “Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones perform at Chicago’s Checkerboard Lounge 1981”
Wednesday, October 3
FREE Live Music “Biscuits and Jams,” King Biscuit Main Stage, Helena, AR International Blues Competition Final Contest, Rum Boogie Cafe, Memphis, TN #BridgingTheBlues #BluesTweetUp, Gateway to the Blues Museum, Tunica, MS, Live music by Super Chikan & Zak Hood
Thursday, October 4
King Biscuit Blues Festival, Helena, AR, Headliner: Bobby Rush Art Alfresco, Greenwood, MS Po’ Monkey’s, Merigold, MS B.B. King Blues Club All-Stars, Memphis, TN International Blues Competition Final Contest, Rum Boogie Cafe, Memphis, TN
Friday, October 5
King Biscuit Blues Festival, Helena, AR, Headliner: Taj Mahal B.B. King Blues Club All-Stars, Memphis, TN Eric Hughes Band, Bob Margolin at Rum Boogie Cafe, Memphis, TN
Saturday, October 6
FREE Live Music, King Biscuit Blues Festival Bit ‘O Blues Stage, Helena, AR King Biscuit Blues Festival, Helena, AR, Headliner: Bonnie Raitt Mississippi Blues Fest, Greenwood, MS 2nd Street Blues Party, Clarksdale, MS Otherfest, Hwy 1, The River Resort, Rosedale, MS Sam Chatmon Festival, Hollandale, MS B.B. King Blues Club All-Stars, Memphis, TN
Sunday October 7
2nd Street Blues Party, Clarksdale, MS Cat Head Mini Blues Fest III, Clarksdale, MS Pinetop Perkins Homecoming, Hopson Commissary, Clarksdale, MS
Monday, October 8
Live Blues Music, Hopson Commissary, Clarksdale, MS
Plan your 2012 Blues Pilgrimage @bridgingtheblues #BridgingTheBlues bridgingtheblues.blogspot.com mississippilegends.com
Images from Clarksdaleâ€™s
SUNFLOWER FEST Photographs by Marianne Todd and Ken Flynt
Morgan Freeman and Bill Luckett are presented Early Wright Blues Heritage Awards.
Drummer Jazz Nassar gets down at Ground Zero.
Steve Gardner and Dudley Tardo with LEGENDS.
september. october 2012
Dr. Patricia Johnson, left, and Catherine Clark accepting the LIfetime Achievement Award from the Sunflower River Blues Association.
Olympian Brittney Reese Photographs by James Edward Bates
Olympian Brittney Reese was welcomed home by Gulf Coast residents at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport after returning from the 2012 Olympics in London bearing a Gold Medal. Reese won the Gold Medal for her long jump of 23 feet, 4 ½ inches (7.12 meters), becoming the second United States woman to win the Olympic long jump event.
From left, Kenneth Means, 11, Kennedy Means, 7, Matthew Wingerter, 10, Marissa Wingerter, 6, Grace Mate, 6, and Arlaya Simmons, 6, were among Coast residents to congratulate and welcome Reese home after her Gold Medal win at the 2012 London Olympics.
september. october 2012
Reese was presented a “Golden Achievement” award for bringing home the Gold by Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. The award cites “personal dedication which reflects so positively on the spirit of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the Citizens of the State of Mississippi.”
What’s shakin’ around the state? aberdeen Oct 12&13......... Bukka White Blues Festival - On the River Bank - www.bukkawhitefestival.com - (662) 436-8560
biloxi Sep 22............... Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone - IP Casino Resort - www.ipbiloxi.com - (800) 436-3000 Sep 28............... Rick Springfield - Hard Rock Casino - www.hardrockbiloxi.com - (228) 374-7625 Oct 5................. Loretta Lynn - IP Casino Resort - www.ipbiloxi.com - (800) 436-3000 Oct 12............... Smokey Robinson - IP Casino Resort - www.ipbiloxi.com - (800) 436-3000 Oct 26............... Blues Traveler - Hard Rock Casino - www.hardrockbiloxi.com - (228) 374-7625
clarksdale Oct 6&7............. Second Street Blues Party - Second Street, Clarksdale - www.blues2rock.com Oct 7................. Pinetop Perkins Homecoming - Hopson Plantation - www.hopsonplantation.com Oct 12&13......... 20th Annual Williams Festival - Coahoma Community College - www.coahomacc.edu/twilliams - (662) 621-4157 Oct 26-28.......... Hambone Festival - Downtown Clarksdale - www.hambonefestival.com - (662) 253-5586
cleveland Oct 7................. Capitol Steps - Bologna Performing Arts Center - www.bolognapac.com - (662) 846-4626
forest Sep 29............... Wing Dang Doodle Festival - Gaddis Park - www.forestareachamber.com - (601) 469-4332
greenville Sep 15............... Mississippi Delta Blues & Heritage Festival - Washington County Convention Center - www.deltablues.org (888) 812-5837
hattiesburg Oct 5-7.............. Mobile Street Renaissance Festival - www.mobilestreetfestival.com Oct 13............... Southern Mississippi Roots Festival - www.musicmaker.org - (919) 643-2456
hernando Sep 8................. Annual Craftsmen and Fiber-to-Fabric Fair - The Banks House Gallery & Gardens - www.desotoarts.com - (662) 404-3361 Oct 19&20......... Hernando Water Tower Festival - Hernando Courthouse Square - www.hernandoms.org - (662) 429-9055 Oct 27............... Historic Cemetery Tour - City of Hernando - www.cityofhernando.org - (662) 429-9092
iuka Sep 1&2............. Iuka Heritage Festival - Iuka - www.iukafestival.com - (662) 423-3954
jackson Sep 22............... Farish Street Heritage Festival - Farish Street - www.farishstfestival.com Sep 26............... WellsFest Art Night - Duling Hall - www.wellsfest.org - (601) 353-0658 Oct 6................. Second Annual Town Creek Arts Festival - Mississippi Museum of Art - www.msmuseumart.org - (601) 960-1515 Oct 12............... The Charlie Mars Band - Duling Hall - www.ardenland.net - (601) 292-7121 Oct 13............... Brantley Gilbert's "Hell on Wheels Tour” - Mississippi Coliseum - www.mississippicoliseum.org - (601) 353-0603 Oct 16............... The Melvin's Lite - Duling Hall - www.ardenland.net - (601) 292-7121 Oct 26-28.......... Mississippi International Film Festival - Russell Davis Planetarium - www.mississippifilmfest.com - (601) 665-7737 Oct 27............... Marcia Ball | Southern Komfort Brass Band - Underground 119 - www.ardenland.net - (601) 292-7121
laurel Oct 19-27.......... South Mississippi Fair - Magnolia Center - www.somissfair.com
leland Sep 29............... Highway 61 Blues Festival - Downtown Leland - www.highway61blues.com - (800) 467-3582
meridian Sep 1& Oct 6..... The Mississippi Jamboree - Temple Theatre - www.meridiantempletheater.com - (601) 693-5353 Sep 13............... “Dirt In The Wheel” Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Asleep at the Wheel - MSU Riley Center - www.msurileycenter.com - (601) 696-2200 Oct 6................. Pat Metheny Unity Band - MSU Riley Center - www.msurileycenter.com - (601) 696-2200 Oct 18............... Emmylou Harris - MSU Riley Center - www.msurileycenter.com/ - (601) 696-2200 Oct 26............... Enchantment Theatre Company presents "The Velveteen Rabbit" - MSU Riley Center - www.msurileycenter.com - (601) 696-2200
mississippi delta Sep 28-Oct 7..... Delta Blues Week - Various Delta Locations - www.msbluestrail.org
natchez Sep 27-Oct 14... Natchez Fall Pilgrimage - Historic Natchez - www.natchezpilgrimage.com - (601) 446-6631 Oct 19-21.......... The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race - Rosalie Bicentennial Gardens - www.natchezballoonrace.com - (601) 442-2500
ocean springs Oct 20............... Mary C's 2nd Annual Fall Festival - Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center - www.themaryc.org - (228) 818.2878
olive branch Sep 6,13,20,27 & Oct 4, 11, 18, 25 - Fall Hootenanny Hoedown - Old Towne – www.olivebrancholdtowne.com – (901) 571-2396 Oct 6................. 35th Annual Olive Branch OctoberFest - Olive Branch City Park - www.obms.us – (662) 895-5448
oxford Sep 26............... Yelawolf - Lyric Theatre - www.thelyricoxford.com - (662) 234-5333 Oct 11............... Jerrod Niemann - Lyric Theatre - www.thelyricoxford.com - (662) 234-5333 Oct 26............... Passion Pit - Lyric Theatre - www.thelyricoxford.com - (662) 234-5333
southaven Sept 15.............. Praisefest 2012 - Olive Branch High School – (901) 605-2929 Sep 21-30.......... Mid-South Fair - Landers Center - www.midsouthfair.com - (662) 280-9120 Oct 4................. Alan Jackson in Concert - Snowden Grove Amphitheater - www.snowdengroveamphitheater.com - (800) 745-3000
starkville Sep 28............... Pretty Lights - MSU Horse Park - www.lyceum.msstate.edu - (662) 325-2930 Oct 11............... Capitol Steps - Bettersworth Auditorium - www.lyceum.msstate.edu - (662) 325-2930
tunica Oct 27............... Delta Day Festival - Rivergate Park - www.tunicamainstreet.com - (662) 363-6611
tupelo Sep 13............... Down on Main Free Summer Concert Series - Fairpark Amphitheater - www.tupelo.net - (662) 841-6598 Oct 2&3............. Sesame Street Live - Elmo Makes Music! - BancorpSouth Arena - www.bcsarena.com - (662) 841-6573 Oct 12............... Chili Fest - Downtown Tupelo - www.tupelomainstreet.com/events/detail/2010-chili-festival - (662) 841-6598
september. october 2012
You Know She’s Worth It
The South’s leader in Estate Jewelry and Diamond Solitaires Located in Historic Downtown New Albany, MS 68
september. october 2012