The memory of Melville Charles Tillis, longtime co-chairman of the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival, who died Feb. 28, is honored by Clarksdale Mayor Henry Espy and the City Board of Commissioners Monday with a proclamation honoring his contributions to the city and the dedication of Clarksdale’s Blues Museum Stage renamed the Melville Charles Tillis Sr. Delta Blues Stage. The stage hosts the annual Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival Main Stage in downtown Clarksdale. Members of the Tillis family and other principals include (from left) Shelley Ritter, director of the Delta Blues Museum, who spoke at the event; Alice Green, secretary to the mayor; celebrity entertainer Bobby Rush, a longtime friend; daughter Loria Tillis; Greg Toles, family friend; son Charles Tillis; Jean Tillis, wife of the honoree; Mayor Henry Espy; daughter Chawonea Tillis Presley; son Sandy Tillis, and daughter, Sandra Tillis Webb.
Bobby Rush Speaking at
Monday’s City Board Meeting
The Tillis Family Beneath the New Sign:
Melville Charles Tillis Sr. Delta Blues Stage