Meridian Star

May 12, 2013

Symposium to spotlight music heritage of Jimmie Rodgers, Meridian

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     For the third consecutive year, the Jimmie Rodgers Festival will include a music symposium featuring talks and discussions by top authorities on music history, along with film, music and performances designed to shed fresh light on Jimmie Rodgers’ legacy in an entertaining and informative way.

    “Our Musical Heritage and Our Musical Future,” is the theme, commemorating the 60th anniversary year of the festival. The theme will focus on both Jimmie Rodgers' musical contributions and the legacy of Meridian’s Jimmie Rodgers festivals in changing music history and world appreciation of “America’s Blue Yodeler.”

    Barry Mazor, country and roots music journalist for the Wall Street Journal, chief researcher for the Mississippi Country Music Trail and author of "Meeting Jimmie Rodgers"  will speak on the role of Meridian’s festivals of the 1950s in changing the face of country music and establishing Jimmie as the Father of Country Music. Mazor will also interview featured guest Jimmie Rodgers Snow, the celebrated evangelist and singer who’s career first took off when he appeared at the very first Jimmie Rodgers Day in 1953, along with his father,Hank Snow, and who rode in the 1955 parade along with his friend and RCA Victor label mate Elvis Presley. Mazor and Snow will present rarely heard audio as well as previously unseen film of the 1950s festivals shot by Hank Snow and Lefty Frizzell.

    Ken Rainey, veteran Meridian country music broadcaster, producer and past president of the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation, will look at the impact and heritage of the Jimmie Rodgers Festivals of the 1970s through 1990s, the period in which such artists as Merle Haggard, Tanya Tucker and Waylon Jennings were featured and the festivals again became an important focus in the American music calendar.

    And, marking Jimmie Rodgers formal induction into the Blues Hall of Fame this month, Scott Barretta, University of Mississippi instructor, host of the radio program Highway 61 on Mississippi Public Broadcasting, journalist and researcher for the Mississippi Blues Trail will speak and play audio shedding light on Jimmie’s lasting contributions to the blues.

Want to go?

What: Music Symposium

When Friday, from 2 p.m.-4 p.m.

Where: Peavey Classroom at Peavy Electronics, located on Peavey Drive

Admission: $20; tickets can be purchased at the door.