Down on Main, Elvis events celebrate state’s artists

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

Two Mississippi musicians will pay homage to another and celebrate the state’s sounds at the next Down on Main concert.
Philadelphia native and country star Marty Stuart will headline the show, with jazzy singer-songwriter Eden Brent, of Greenville, opening.
“We partnered with the (Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau) for this show and they challenged us to find an artist this month that Elvis fans could relate to,” said Down on Main organizer Chris Root. “The beginning of rock ’n’ roll sets the standard of the stuff we all listen to today.”
Stuart’s latest album, “Nashville, Vol. 1: Tear Down the Woodpile,” was released in April, and he continues to host his own variety show on RFD-TV.
Brent’s style is jazz, blues, soul and pop.
“She’s got a Norah Jones kind of sound, with a little more blues,” said Down on Main organizer Michael Addison.
Her mother attended Elvis’ homecoming concert in 1956, Root said.
As at every Down on Main show, there’ll be artists selling their goods and Salvation Army collecting non-perishable foods.
In addition to the concert, this Down on Main will also have a cruise giveaway, a kids’ learning station and a performance by the Unity Choir, with “special guests,” Root said. “There will be a couple of surprises for this one.”
Remembering the King
Also at Down on Main will be the unveiling of the Elvis Presley statue in Fairpark at about 8 p.m.
The 11-foot statue replicates a 1956 concert photo of Elvis performing at a homecoming concert in what is now Fairpark.
Elvis will also be celebrated during the day on the 9th and 10th, in remembrance of the King’s passing 35 years ago on Aug. 16.
The Elvis celebrations begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 9 with a screening of “Blue Suede Shoes in the Hood,” a documentary about shake rag. Director Wsir Johnson will also be on hand for a question-and-answer session.
The day continues with a Fan Appreciation Day at the Elvis Presley Birthplace at 10:45 p.m. The new additions to the birthplace will be dedicated, and storytellers will be in the chapel from 12:45-2:30 p.m.
On Aug. 10, there will be an Elvis panel discussion, moderated by Roy Turner, at the Lyric.
On the panel are Tupelo Elvis Fan Club founders and Elvis fans Barbara Mallory and Linda Hankins; Allyson Adams, whose father accompanied Elvis to the Tupelo concert; Elvis’ childhood friend Sam Bell; Gloria Wedgeworth Reasons, who attended the Tupelo concert; and Sara Patterson Gunter, who photographed Elvis backstage at the show.
Another Fan Appreciation Day Ceremony is set for Aug. 10 at 11 a.m. at the birthplace, with music until 3 p.m.
There’s also a special exhibit of Elvis’ “Embroidered Eagle” and “Black Vine” jumpsuits at the Tupelo CVB.
All of the Elvis events are free.
sheena.barnett@journalinc.com

DOWN ON MAIN
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 9

WHERE: Fairpark, Tupelo

PERFORMERS: Eden Brent will open for Marty Stuart

COST: Free

INFO: tupelodownonmain.com, (662) 841-6598

ELVIS EVENTS

AUG. 9

• 9 a.m. – Shake Rag documentary at the Lyric with Q&A by director Wsir Johnson

• 10:45 a.m. – Fan Appreciation Day Ceremony at Elvis Presley Birthplace with music, ribbon cutting and dedication of the addition. Storytellers in the chapel from 12:45-2:30 p.m.

AUG. 10
• 9 a.m. – Conversation Panel with moderator Roy Turner, featuring Sara Patterson Gunter, Gloria Wedgeworth Reasons, Sam Bell, Allyson Adams, Barbara Mallory and Linda Hankins.

• 11 a.m. – Fan Appreciation Day at birthplace, followed by music.

THESE EVENTS ARE ALL FREE. For more info, visit tupelo.net or call (662) 841-6521.