1. May 2013 07:57
Johnnie Billington (Video)
Lower Mississippi River Dispatch
Vol 9 No 5,
Wed May 1, 2013
This issue is a memoriam for “Mr. Johnnie” Johnnie Billington 1935 - 2013
Master blues musician, who dedicated his life to teaching children the music of the Delta, passed away on April 1, 2013. His inspiration led directly to the formation of the Mighty Quapaw Apprenticeship Program. When I first came to Clarksdale in 1991 Mr. Johnnie took me under his wing and through several years of instruction he alternately fostered, cajoled and then finally tricked me into learning blues keyboard (I had originally asked him to learn guitar!) My blues career died a decade later after a tenure with the Wesley Jefferson Band and a long stint with Tater the Music Maker. But Mr. Johnnie endowed me with a life-long commitment to keep important skills and traditions alive through the youngsters of the community. “If you know something of value,” Mr. Johnnie often taught, “you’d better share it. Otherwise it will die when you die…” That simple thought has sustained me through many bumps on the road of working with disadvantaged youth. Mr. Johnnie’s example led me to form the Mighty Quapaw Apprenticeship Program for Mississippi Delta youth to learn the skills of carving canoes and then paddle them on the big river. The program is all about self-knowledge, leadership, team-skills, and learning to overcome the challenges of becoming adults in a confusing and difficult world. In Mr. Johnnie words, its all about “helping a boy become a young man, and a girl become a young woman.” I am forever grateful to Mr. Johnnie’s unbending ethics and keen sense of leadership. Its not necessarily the kind of leadership that leads you to fame & fortune, but definitely the kind that leads you to a thoughtful and passionate life. His lessons were often difficult to accept. But ultimately they have led me and many others to become better individuals and citizens. Although he sometimes seemed short on compassion, his never-ending mantra was “Love is what its all about…” One of his favorite songs to perform was Bobby Blue Bland’s “I’ll Take Care of You.” He often introduced the song specifically for children, addressing the youth in his band or in the audience with the admonition to love and care for your parents. He named his last homesite, located in Lambert along the meandering Possum Bayou, “The H&H Ranch,” which stands for “Health and Happiness.” Long live Mr. Johnnie’s teachings! They surely live on through his his talented apprentices turned professional blues musicians: Arthneice Jones “the Gas Man,” Anthony “Big A” Sherrard, Lee Williams, “Big T” Terry Williams, Billy Gibson, and many, many others. They also live on in unexpected directions like the Mighty Quapaws. In honor and respect of Mr. Johnnie, may his gift of Health and Happiness reach you wherever you are!
- John Ruskey, Lower Mississippi River Dispatch
4. April 2013 06:59
Picayune On Stage Presents: "The Ladies of Harmony" Dinner Theater
Date: April 12, 2013 - April 13, 2013
Event Description: "The Ladies of Harmony" Dinner Theater at Hide Away Lake Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m.
Event Location: Dinner Theater at Hide Away Lake
Date/Time Information: Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. show at 8:00 p.m.
Hide Away Residents Reservations: 601-798-1484, Non Residents: Call 601-799-1714
Fees/Admission: $33.00 gratuity and tax included Show at 8:00 p.m.
Picayune On Stage Presents: "The Ladies of Harmony"
Date: April 19, 2013 – April 20, 2013
Time: 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Date: April 21, 2013
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Event Description: Picayune On Stage Presents "The Ladies of Harmony"
Event Location: 322 West Canal, Picayune, MS 39466
Date/Time Information: 8:00 p.m.
Contact Information 601-749-5551
Adults $ 10.00, Seniors $ 8.00, Students $ 5.00
4. April 2013 06:40
Please join us for our Spring Street Fair, if you happen to be in Picayune this weekend (April 6 & 7). We will be open from 9:00am – 5:00 pm daily. We will be displaying the finest Artisans in the South all along East & West Canal Street, North & South Main and Highway 11 South. There will be Free LIVE entertainment, Children’s activities, arts, crafts, antiques and food vendors. On Saturday, the Boulevard Cruisers Car Show & on Sunday, Fat Boyz Cycles/Motorcycle Show.
16. March 2013 05:30
Stop by the Pearl River County Welcome Center on March 30 to see the folk art of Ed Hahn, a former New Orleans resident now living in Carriere, Miss. He is the executive chef of Paul’s Pastry. His passion is food (he has been a chef for 35 years), but his real love is art. Ed has been carving wooden duck decoys since he was a small boy with his grandfather. His grandfather, Earl Bappert, taught him the techniques of repairing the decoys' heads and bodies before each hunting season. Ed had no idea that his love for hunting would turn into this fantastic folk art, also developing his skill in painting and carving. Don't miss Ed and his unique art March 30!
We will have several different displays for viewing and local celebrities to visit with throughout the month, please check our calendar of events and stop by to see us.
23. January 2013 06:31
On Thursday, January 17, the Mississippi Film Office celebrated its 40th anniversary. Officially proclaimed “Mississippi Film Day” by Governor Phil Bryant, the celebration began with displays and a colorful cake in the rotunda of the State Capitol Building.
The one-of-a-kind cake, which highlighted various films shot in the state (such as “My Dog Skip,” “Walk The Line,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, “The Help” and “As I Lay Dying”), was courtesy of Campbell’s Bakery in Jackson.
The day culminated with a reception at the Governor’s Mansion where Governor Bryant, friends of the industry and staff from the Mississippi Film Office mingled and shared their thoughts about the importance and impact of the film industry in the state.
All of the fanfare was the perfect kickoff for film festival season in Mississippi. The Clarksdale Film Festival ran January 24-27.
Other upcoming festivals include:
(Last year, the Crossroads Film Festival was selected as a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society.)
Go to www.filmmississippi.org for more information about the film industry in Mississippi.
4. December 2012 10:23
Mississippi, if you don't already know it, is the Birthplace of America's Music. This claim is indisputable, fact, cannot be denied, undeniably true - period. This is especially true with regards to the Blues, a soulful genre of music born of back-breaking work, sweat of the brow, down on your luck, misery and pain. But, you don't have to live it to feel it. Just follow the Mississippi Blues Trail and discover the rich musical heritage that makes Mississippi a one of a kind unique experience. This music trail will take you along a path well traveled by legendary bluesmen - and women - whose lives influenced some of the world's most famous musicians, singers and songwriters. The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Elvis Presley and the Beatles are just a few who gained so much from the bluesmen of Mississippi. If you love Blues music, don't miss out on traveling along the Mississippi Blues Trail.
13. November 2012 04:03
Congratulations to the following for being named Readers Choice Award Winners by ConventionSouth Magazine:
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino - Biloxi
Jackson Convention Complex
Lake Terrace Convention Center - Hattiesburg
Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center - Biloxi
Pearl River Resort, Including Silver Star & Golden Moon Hotel & Casino
This elite class of meeting sites represents ConventionSouth's readers who nominated & voted in order to select the best of the best. ConventionSouth Magazine recognized these meeting suppliers in Mississippi for their high standard of professionalism & quality service.
You know what this means? Mississippi is a great place to MEET!
10. April 2012 09:41
This April 13th through 15th, the 9th annual Juke Joint Festival will be held in Clarksdale, MS. What is the Juke Joint Festival? It’s a positive event for everyone in Clarksdale. It’s good for families, businesses, musicians and tourists alike. The festival itself combines an international “blues festival” with a community-minded “small-town fair,” creating a strong and memorable event like no other in the universe. It’s organized by the Clarksdale Downtown Development Association (CDDA) and staffed by enthusiastic volunteers. This “half small-town fair, half blues festival” does more than simply entertain attendees -- though it definitely does that, too! It aims to educate and enlighten native Deltans and blues tourists alike through a series of performances, exhibits, and presentations involving music, art, storytelling, film, and children’s events. The event mixes visitors with locals and showcases the economic power of cultural tourism, turning average Deltans into ambassadors for the region.
Clarksdale is just 90 minutes south of the Memphis International Airport and was once home to such blues greats as: Son House, John Lee Hooker, Junior Parker, Ike Turner, Muddy Waters, Pinetop Perkins, Earl Hooker, Lil Green, Big Jack Johnson and many many others. This year’s festival is dedicated to Delta blues legend David "Honeyboy" Edwards was a regular performer at Juke Joint Festival. He passed away on August 29, 2011 at 96 years old.
A family-friendly event, the festival also provides a bus service at night to discourage drinking and driving between music venues. All daytime Saturday events are all FREE while nighttime Saturday events all come for the price of a cheap, $15 wristband (which gets you unlimited rides on the blues shuttle bus and entry to almost 20 nighttime 'juke joint' venues). For more information, event listing and pictures from past festivals go to www.jukejointfestival.com
Or go to http://visitclarksdale.com/ for more information on Clarksdale itself.
21. March 2012 07:25
On March 29th through April 1st the McCain Theater of Meridian Community College in Meridian, MS, will be playing host to a stage presentation of one of the most timeless Disney classics, “Beauty and the Beast”. The show will include all of the classic songs written by composers Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as new songs by Menken and composer, Tim Rice.
The story follows the heroine, Belle, whose father is captured by a terrible beast. In exchange for her father’s life, she gives up her freedom and must live in the castle with the beast as his servant.
The original stage production of “Beauty and the Beast” debuted in 1994 at the Palace Theatre on Broadway in New York City. The show lasted on Broadway until July 29, 2007 after a run of 5,461 performances and is currently Broadway’s eighth longest-running show in history.
Shows on March 29-31 begin at 7pm
Show on April 1 begins at 2pm
Theater opens approximately 30 minutes prior to show time.
No admittance after the show has started.