Sunday, September 21, 2014

W. S. Holland and Truly Tina perform during Tina Turner Heritage Days

Samira "Truly Tina"
Brownsville's two-day celebration of the "Queen of Rock" and the opening of the newly-restored Flagg Grove School as a Tina Turner museum is not the only excitement that will be happening this weekend during the 2nd Annual Tina Turner Heritage Days. Performances Saturday evening, September 27,  will feature the legendary W. S. Holland and his band, as well as the world's premier Tina tribute artist, Samira. Also appearing will be Rayburn Anthony, Carl Mann and young performers from Brownsville and Muskogee, Oklahoma, during the  7 p.m. event at Carver High School.

The second annual Tina Turner Heritage Days will kick off Friday morning, Sept. 26, at 10:30 a.m., with the opening of Flagg Grove School. The restored 1889 one-room school attended by Turner in the 1940s, and now home to a collection of costumes, gold records and memorabilia from her long career.
Friday evening includes a fan gathering and book signing at 4:30 p.m., by Canadian author Katherine Carlson. Carlson's book "Arrows Across Eons: Becoming Tina Turner" tells the author's own story about growing up and the impact of Tina's music on her life.
Saturday activities include tours to Nutbush and evening concert including the W. S. Holland Band and Samira's Truly Tina show.
W. S. "Fluke" Holland
Holland, a self taught drummer who began his musical career at Sun Studios in 1954 with Carl Perkins and performed on the legendary "Million Dollar Quartet" sessions, has the distinction of being the only drummer Johnny Cash ever had and was the first to play a full set of drums on the Grand Ole Opry stage at the Ryman Auditorium. Dubbed the "Father of the Drums," Holland has played all over the world and was most recently honored in his hometown for 60 years of performing. Joining Holland and his band will be two other legendary rockabilly artists, Rayburn Anthony and Carl Mann.  
Samira, a Canadian tribute artist who has been recognized internationally for her work impersonating Tina Turner, will present her "Truly Tina" show during Saturday's event. As a genuine fan of  Tina's music, Samira is fueled to present a professional show complete with vocals and choreography. Her fitness trainer background is evident as she presents a dynamic 1970-80s  high energy show and interacts with the audience.
Also joining the show will be young spotlight performers from Muskogee, Oklahoma, and Haywood's Got Talent winner Keshaun Shepard.
Tickets for the Saturday evening concert is $15 and available at the Delta Heritage Center, online at or at the door. Parking for the concert will be at the Haywood County Justice Center, 100 South Dupree, beginning at 6 p.m., with shuttle service to and from Carver High School. For more information, contact the Delta Heritage Center at 731-779-9000.

"Life Perspectives" through the eyes of seven West Tennessee artists

Sister Series IV by Artist Jere Williamson is among the pieces on exhibit during "Life Perspectives"

Seven award-winning West Tennessee artists share a collection of their works during an art exhibition opening to the public October 3 at the Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville. The exhibit "Life Perspectives," organized by Brownsville artist Jere Williamson, features his personal pieces as well as those of noted artists Bill Bailey, Dr. Tim Hacker, Susan Hyback, Lendon Noe, Mary Spelling and Tuva Stephens.
Williamson is a Brownsville native who graduated from the University of Memphis in 1967 and began teaching art in Jacksonville, Florida. He went on to earn his Masters' of Fine Art  and taught at three Florida colleges before returning to Brownsville in the 1980s. His art has earned him numerous awards and has been included in eight museums, corporate buildings and numerous private collections.
"I'm excited to be showing in my hometown," says Williamson. "Most pieces in the show are watercolor, but you'll also see colored pencil and mixed media, too."
Bill Bailey worked for 30 years as an electronics engineer before devoting himself to painting in 1992. He attempts to capture the "Southern landscape and people" in his works and was selected among the "ones to watch" by Watercolor Artist Magazine in 2012.
Dr. Tim Hacker of Bartlett, Tenn., began studying art in high school. Since that time he has studied with numerous nationally-known artist such as Charles Harrington, Frank Francese and more. The Memphis-Germantown Art League has honored Hacker with the Spectrum Award and in 2011 he received the Westy Award from the Bartlett Arts Commission for his continued support of the visual and performing arts.
Susan Hyback, of Somerville, Tenn., has enjoyed life as a commercial illustrator and fine artist. She has a fervor for painting wildlife and animals. Two highlights of her career has been inclusion in "The Best of Wildlife Art" and acceptance into the Kentucky National Art and Wildlife exhibit.
Jackson, Tenn., native Lendon Noe enjoys using a combination of media to create her themed works. For the last 15 years her work has focused on natural history. She uses drawing, painting, collage, image transfer and assemblage to bring her award-winning pieces to life.
Mary Spellings, of Mercer, Tenn., loves to capture light and life in her paintings. She has won numerous awards for her paintings in regional and national competitions and most recently was awarded the "Annie Pitcher Award" from the Mississippi Watercolor Society Grand National Exhibition.
Tuva Stephens, of McKenzie, Tenn., was an art and drama director for 34 years before pursuing art professionally in 2009. In 2010 she was  a featured artist on the Nashville-based TV program Tennessee Crossroads. She likes to capture those "fleeting moments that captures my heart ... and causes the viewer to create their own story."
The 30 piece exhibit, showing a unique perspective of West Tennessee life through the eyes of the individual artists, will premier during an Artist Reception Thursday evening, October 2, and remain on display October 3 through November 14 at the Delta Heritage Center. Admission is free.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Back to School rock show to benefit Haywood Schools

Allison Purifoy, a local school teacher and lead vocalist for the rock band Roses Unread, has put together a back to school concert to benefit Haywood County Schools. The "Back to Schoolhouse Rock" show features five bands from the mid-south region performing on the grounds of the Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville Saturday, September 13. Showtime begins at 1 p.m. and admission is $5 worth of school supplies. Teachers with school IDs will get in free.

"It is very important that the children in our school system have the necessary supplies to meet their educational needs and have a successful school year," says Purifoy. "I wanted to put this benefit together to do something to help meet some of those needs."
Among the most needed items, according to Purifoy, are pencils and Kleenex tissue. But other traditional items such as paper, pens, crayons, composition books and writing tablets are also needed. School supply lists for each school can be found at
Roses Unread
Purifoy is a second grade teacher at Haywood Elementary School. Her Brownsville-based group, Roses Unread, consists of five individuals from varied walks of life who came together to write "good rock 'n roll" music and perform. Branding themselves as "a little bit different," since 2004 they have released two full-length albums and music videos, performed countless shows, garnered global airplay, and boast a worldwide following of fans. Roses Unread will perform at 5 p.m.
"It is great to know that my music can help with such a great cause. As a teacher, it is very important to me that every child has what they need."
Bobby & Becky Stokely
Brownsville's Bobby and Becky Stokely will perform at 4 p.m. The Stokely's enjoy playing their two-person acoustic shows which include everything from country and blues to rock and funk. Becky is a kindergarten teacher at Anderson Early Childhood Development Center in Brownsville and also recognizes the importance of each child having what they need to succeed.
"This show is a natural for Bobby and me to participate in," says Stokely. "It's important because it brings the community together in support of our schools and it's a great way to kick off ‘I (heart) HCS’ week."
William Charles Collective
Other groups to perform include William Charles Collective (WCC). The Memphis-based WCC blends southern rock, folk and bluegrass to produce their own organic sound and will kick-off the event at 1 p.m. 
The Long Patrol
The Long Patrol (2 p.m.) is a pop/rock four-piece band with a considerable jazz and blues influence. The members are all Tipton County residents. 
Shekinah (3 p.m.) is a north Mississippi Christian music group that likes to "rock for Jesus;” a professional group of musicians that want to reach the people of today with upbeat, positive music.
For more information about the show, contact the Delta Heritage Center at 731-779-9000, visit or email