TSD Memphis

Tue04152014

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Delta Conference delivers music wrapped in southern charm

The annual “The Delta – Everything Southern!” Conference at the University of Memphis will add this year a pre-conference tour of music-related sites in Memphis. The annual “The Delta – Everything Southern!” Conference at the University of Memphis will add this year a pre-conference tour of music-related sites in Memphis and a post-conference tour of the famed “most Southern place on earth,” the Mississippi Delta itself.

The conference will be held Friday, June 3rd, from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Michael D. Rose Theatre Lecture Hall on the U of M campus. It will feature speakers on topics as diverse as the origins of the blues, the origins of the “Teddy Bear,” prehistoric art in Mississippi, Delta-style entertaining, the fiction of the future South and how Memphis’ special blend of blues, country, R&B, and rock and roll music reached worldwide prominence.

Eight speakers are scheduled to address the conference. Musical entertainment will be provided by Robert “Nighthawk” Tooms, a blues and Beale Street veteran.

Presenters include: Al Bell, chairman of the Memphis Music Foundation, former chairman and owner of Stax Records; filmmaker, producer and storyteller, Willy Bearden; Tony Russell, British music historian and author and Mississippi attorney and author, Minor Buchanan.

On Thursday, June 2, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., a local tour will include stops at Graceland, Sun Studio and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. The tour will depart from and return to the U of M campus.

On Saturday, June 4, a two-day tour of the Mississippi Delta will be hosted by Bearden, a Delta native. It will travel south on Highway 61, the legendary Mississippi Blues Trail, with stops in Clarksdale, Indianola, and Greenwood, Miss. The tour will spend Saturday night in Greenwood, before returning to Memphis on Sunday, June 5.

Tour participants must be registered for the main conference. Both tours are optional, and each requires its own registration. Early conference registration (before May 2) costs $65 per person. Registration after May 2 is $75. The fee includes breakfast, lunch, break refreshments, and parking the day of the conference.

Conference lodging reservations may be made at the Holiday Inn on the U of M campus no later than May 16.Conference participants should mention “The Delta – Everything Southern!” when booking rooms at the U of M Holiday Inn for that event. Reservations can be made by phone at 901-678-8200 or 800-HOLIDAY.

Registration for either or both optional tours can be made online at www.sweetmagnolia.com.Registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis through June 1.

(For more information, visit www.memphis.edu/deltaconference/register.php)

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