Saturday, June 9, 2012

Music Highway Band to kick off Concert on the Porch

Headlining this year's first Concert on the Porch will be the Music Highway Band. The rockabilly and country band from Jackson, Tenn., will perform from the front porch of the Sleepy John Estes home on Saturday, June 16. Concerts are held each third Saturday, June through September, beginning at 7 p.m., on the grounds of the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville.

Brownsville continues to keep its musical heritage alive with Concert on the Porch. The summer music series features local and regional artists performing from the porch of the Sleepy John Estes home on the grounds of the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center. The first concert of the season is Saturday, June 16, at 7 p.m.. Concerts are presented each month on the third Saturday, June through September, and are free to the public.

Kelsey Byars
Starting off this year's series is local talent Kelsey Byars. Byars began singing in church when she was only 3 years-old. She is now known for her singing throughout the community; continuing to sing regularly at church, school, weddings, private gatherings and events. Byars placed second in the 2011 Haywood's Got Talent competition and plays clarinet in the Haywood High School Marching Band. She will perform a variety of rhythm and blues melodies' when she opens for this year's first Concert on the Porch at 7 p.m.
Headlining the June 16 concert is Music Highway Band. This band was organized in Jackson, Tenn., in 2001 by Jimmy Stephenson, a longtime rockabilly and country artist. The original trio played many years at the Rockabilly Hall of Fame as the house band. By 2004, the band had added members,  become well diversified and was capable of performing many styles of music. In mid-2005, the group became the house band at the Huntingdon Hayride, at the Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center.
Today, the Music Highway Band continues to work many venues in the area and has worked with such legendary artists as Carl Mann and Eddie Bond. Current members of the band are Stan Brunner, Sammy Wood, Jimmy Webb, Donald Carp, Gary Spraggins and Jimmy Stephenson. They will share their special style of rockabilly and country June 16 beginning around 7:45 p.m.
Attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets for the outdoor concerts, Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase. All proceeds from concessions will go toward the restoration of Flagg Grove School, the childhood school of Tina Turner, that was recently moved to the Center.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Flagg Grove School moves to West TN Delta Heritage Center

It's been an exciting two weeks here at the Center. First with the 2nd Annual Exit 56 Blues Fest last week (pictures posted soon)  and now this week we've moved the Flagg Grove School.

The one-room school was previously located in Nutbush, yes... the real Nutbush that Tina Turner sings about. As a matter of fact, she attended Flagg Grove School. To add to the history of the school, her great uncle, Benjamin Flagg, sold the land to the school's trustees for $25 an acre. I understand the going price at that time (1889) was $75 an acre. The school closed in 1968 and had been used as a barn since that time.

It's a journey that began several months ago and yesterday the school finally made it to our Center and now sits beside the home of Bluesman "Sleepy" John Estes. While the size of the school kind of dwarfs Sleepy John's, we are very proud of this addition to the collection and look forward to highlighting early education in Haywood County and, of course, the fantastic singing career of Tina Turner.

Here's a few photos of the school's journey.
Inside the School

A few desk and benches were still in the school. Notice the stage in the background. You just know Tina had to have sung on that stage at some time during her school days there.

Bracing the building for the move.

Positioning the skids.

Ready to go! Pulling out from the field on Elm Tree Road.

Traveling down Highway 19, aka Tina Turner Highway

Navigating the power lines on Anderson ... almost there.

Welcome! Just a little ways more....

It's here ... sitting beside the Sleepy John Estes home on the grounds of the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center.
As you can see from the pictures, there is some restoration work to be done. Tax deductible donations to help restore the school can be sent to:
Friends of the Delta Heritage Center
P.O. Box 1358
Brownsville, TN 38012