By Terri Ferguson Smith / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
Meridian native Moe Bandy will be back for the 60th Annual Jimmie Rodgers Festival set for May 16-18.
Betty Lou Jones, president of the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation, announced Thursday the addition of Bandy to the lineup.
"We are looking forward to having everyone come out for the wide variety of artists that we have secured," Jones said.
Bandy will kick off the festival at the Roots-n-Blues night on Thursday, May 16 at Dumont Plaza at 5:30 p.m. Returning to his hometown of Meridian just one year after being honored by The Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center with a star in the Walk of Fame and also by the Mississippi Country Music Trails with a marker, Bandy brings a history of country music recognition with many awards including ten No. 1 hits and a CMA Song of the Year.
Jones said Bandy is excited about returning to bring greetings to his many fans and to pay tribute to Jimmie Rodgers and the history of the festival.
Bandy will be joined on Thursday night by Britt Gully, a Jimmie Rodgers look alike and his company of entertainers, The All Night Long Blues Band and Jimmy Duck Holmes at Dumont Plaza for a general admission price of $5.
Friday will offer more musical entertainment with a Music Symposium featuring Country Music Journalist Barry Mazor, Ken Rainey, Scott Barretta and special guest Jimmie Rodgers Snow, a festival historian.
Snow attended the first festival in 1953 and is a relative of Hank Snow, who, along with Ernest Tubbs, started the festival.
"He will be attending and showing some of the first video clips of the first festival," Jones said. "He truly is a long-time Jimmie Rodgers participant and we are excited that he is going to be able to attend."
On that evening the MSU Riley Center is saluting the Jimmie Rodgers Festival with the presentation of The Time Jumpers featuring Vince Gill. Following the performance Juke Joint Night sponsored by The Jimmie Rodgers Festival will offer live music all over downtown Meridian at Echo Lounge, Faces, Brickhouse and Rhythm & Brews.
The finale will be Saturday, May 18, beginning at 8 a.m. with the traditional talent contest, an arts and crafts show, car show, children’s activities, great food and beverages.
Jimmie’s Jam is slated to begin at 5 p.m. and will present headliner Rodney Atkins, Blue Mother Tupelo, Betsy Badwater and Trademark. All Saturday activities will take place at Singing Brakeman Park in downtown Meridian.
"Traditionally we have thousands of people. It's a very big economic development boost for Meridian," Jones said. "We want to continue that and we want our crowds to grow."
Tickets for Jimmie’s Jam are available on itickets.com, at The Jimmie Rodgers Museum at 1725 Jimmie Rodgers Drive, Meridian, or by calling the museum at 601-485-1808 or Southern Sportsman on Front Street at 601-693-41110.
Sponsors include WTOK-TV, Lauderdale County Tourism, Structural Steel Services, Mitchell Distributing, Southern Pipe and Supply, Bo Haarala Autoplex, A and B Electric, Yates Construction, Peavey, Community Bank, City of Meridian, WOKK. WALT, WMOX, WEXR, Supertalk, Classic Country, The Beat and The Buzz.