Sunflower acoustic stage moves to New Roxy

Press release from the Sunflower River Blues and gospel Festival, July 18, 2010, Panny Mayfield, publicist,


The Sunflower River Blues Festival’s Number One Acoustic Blues Stage is moving this year from Clarksdale Station to the New Roxy Theatre on Issaquena.

“Although we loved being inside the train station, our audience has outgrown the space, and we are moving to a larger venue,” explains Melville Tillis, festival co-chairman.

The location is a short walk beneath the railroad viaduct to the New World District, the historic and once vibrant center of Mississippi Delta blues where Muddy Waters and other musicians played on street corners, and folklorist Alan Lomax recorded Honeyboy Edwards for the Library of Congress.

Mississippi’s Heritage Blues marker honoring Clarksdale native Sam Cooke is located outside the New Roxy near the City of Clarksdale’s Walk of Fame sidewalk bronze plaque. Both were dedicated in 2009.

Attending the Sunflower’s 2009 tribute to Cooke were a number of Cooke family members including L. C. Cooke, his brother, Erick Green, his nephew and biographer, and other relatives.

Music inside the New Roxy begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 7, and will conclude with the annual procession to the main stage led by Shardee Turner and the Rising Star Drum and Fife Band.

The Mississippi Heritage Blues marker honoring Ike Turner, Rocket 88 musicians, and the Alcazar Hotel where WROX Blues and Gospel Radio was located for 50 years will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 6.