Betty Lou Jones
Jimmie Rodgers Foundation
MSU Riley Center
The Jimmie Rodgers Festival concerts will have a new home, the MSU Riley Center. The Jimmie Rodgers Foundation announced the joint venture on Wednesday.
The festival has been held in a number of locations since its beginning in 1953, but the next one will be under one roof.
"There is nothing I can think of that is more fitting than Jimmie Rodgers Festival and Foundation to be working with and partnering with the MSU Riley Center and bringing everything we are doing in our community together for the betterment of our offerings here in this community," said foundation president Betty Lou Jones.
The foundation announced that three Gospel concerts are scheduled at the Riley Center, with the first in early November. It will feature The Gold City Quartet and comedian Aaron Wilburn.
A second concert featuring the McKameys is scheduled for January 2008 and Ernie Hass and Signature Sound will headline the third concert in April 2008. The Gospel and country talent contests will also be held together at the Riley Center in April.
"We have an awful lot to be proud of with Jimmie Rodgers heritage here in Meridian," said Riley Center marketing director Penny Kemp. "He is an icon of all music that is Americana, from country, blues, Gospel, rock. He's had a tremendous influence and so we are thrilled to be able to work with the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation and host events here, not just the upcoming Gospel events but other events here."
It was also announced that, since Sept. 8 is Jimmie Rodgers' birthday, to celebrate the Jimmie Rodgers Museum will have free admission on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The foundation is also be partnering with another event this fall, the 5th Annual Soule' Live Steam Festival Nov. 2. It will be held in conjunction with the Meridian Railfest, and the Jimmie Rodgers Gospel concert.