Friday, March 29, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend means Exit 56 Blues


Brownsville will celebrate its blues heritage Memorial Day weekend with the Exit 56 Blues Fest Saturday, May 25, at the Delta Heritage Center. The annual event will include an arts and crafts show, car cruise-in and live Blues music from the porch of the Sleepy John Estes home. The first performers will take the stage at noon and headliners Little Boys Blue and TeeDee Young hit the stage at 7 p.m.

Dylan Whitney performs at 1 p.m.
There will be several newcomers to the Exit 56 stage this year. Fifteen year old Dylan Whitney of Bixby, Ok., known as the "Whiz Kid of Blues" may be young but he is a very mature guitar player. Tyler Goodson of Jackson, Tenn., has been playing guitar most of his life, but didn't start "giggin" until he was 21. Now the 26-year-old plays regularly in Jackson and on Beale Street. Bluesberry Jam Band is a group of West Tennessee natives working to preserve the blues and roots tradition of the region. Pep Rally Losers, a duo with a West Tennessee connection, prides itself on playing the raw blues with a sprinkle of rock.
Sean "Bad" Apple performs at 3 p.m.
Clarksdale, Miss., performer Sean "Bad" Apple has studied at the feet of many historical bluesmen for more than two decades and is a regular performer at Ground Zero Blues Club. He'll reach back and draw from inspiration of blues past to deliver another high energy, driving performance at this year's festival. Northwest Tennessee band Blind Red Rooster is back for a repeat performance on the porch. They'll deliver their unique blend of Texas and Delta Blues.
Opening for the evening's headliner is Little Boys Blue, featuring the award-winning duo of Brownsville's own Jimmy D. Taylor and Jackson's Steve Patterson. Traveling and playing with some of the industry's finest has helped this duo hone their skills and develop a unique style that pays homage to the country blues tradition of the region.
Little Boys Blue - Steve Patterson and Jimmy D. Taylor
will perform at 7 p.m.
Headlining the Exit 56 Blues Fest is TeeDee Young. Young's dynamic stage presence and energy will put you in the mood for dancing. A native of Lexington, Ky., he has been performing since he was 14. By the time Young was 20, he was performing in such venues as The Cotton Club and later at B.B. King's. He maintains an authentic Blues style while writing and performing his own music, and is known for his command of the guitar, using it like a weapon to "fire down" the blues.
TeeDee Young
takes the stage at 8 p.m.
Select arts and crafts vendors will be onsite during the event and car and motorcycle enthusiasts are invited to cruise-in for the music from 1-3 p.m., and compete for some unique titles. Registration is free and can be made online or day of the event. You'll also find favorite festival foods and of course barbecue!
Admission is free and open to the public. A complete schedule can be found by visiting the Center's website,, or by calling 731-779-9000.

Tina Turner graces the cover of German Vogue

 Haywood County's most famous native, Anna Mae Bullock, known worldwide as Tina Turner, is the oldest woman to grace the cover of Vogue Magazine.  Turner, who turned 73 in November, is featured on the cover of the April 2013 issue of German Vogue.
According to the magazine's interview, Turner talks about her hometown of Nutbush and the Flagg Grove School project.
"We are so excited that Ms. Turner mentions her involvement with the Flagg Grove School project," said West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center Director Sonia Outlaw-Clark. "She speaks of the beauty of the farmland around Nutbush and remembers walking to Flagg Grove School with her sister and classmates."
The school's restoration project began in June 2012 when the school was donated and moved to the Delta Heritage Center. According to Clark, the project could take up to three years to complete.
Once completed, the school will highlight African-American early education and the legacy of students who attended there.  The school was built in 1889 on land donated by Benjamin Flagg, Turner's great-uncle, making Flagg Grove school not only the school she attended but a part of her family's legacy.  Turner's involvement with the project will include memorabilia and displays once the building has been restored.
As the project moves forward, it will be dependent on public fundraising efforts. Since the Vogue article appeared, fans have begun making donations through a link on the Center's website.

Director earns TMP, FEP certifications

Southeast Tourism Society President Bill Hardman presents Sonia Outlaw-Clark with her Travel Marketing Professional diploma Tuesday,  March 19, at the Southeast Tourism Society Spring Symposium in Atlanta, Ga. Also pictured is Angie Briggs, vice-president of Miles Media, presenting sponsors of STS Marketing College.

Sonia Outlaw-Clark, director of the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, has earned certification as a “Travel Marketing Professional” (TMP) after completing the three-year program of the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) Marketing College.

Clark was one of 47 new TMPs recognized at the STS spring meeting in Atlanta, Ga., Tuesday, March 19.  STS Marketing College started in 1992, and 749 people have earned TMP certification. Clark was also recognized and presented a certification in festival and event planning.
Sonia Outlaw-Clark (pictured second from left) is among seven Travel Marketing Professionals who also earned certification as Festival and Events Planner during the spring meeting of the Southeast Tourism Society in Atlanta, Ga., March 19.
The STS Marketing College is a professional development program that for one week each summer turns the facilities of North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, Ga., into a laboratory to teach tourism marketing.

Instructors are working professionals in the travel industry such as convention and visitors bureau executives, public relations practitioners, sales and marketing consultants and research experts.