McKeithen unveils music plan

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 5, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – &uot;We’re going to sing our way to prosperity,&uot; Secretary of State Fox McKeithen said Monday as he unveiled plans for the &uot;Music Cavalcade,&uot; a series of music festivals set for next March.

The series will start the last weekend in March with a music festival in Ferriday. &uot;We hope to get (Ferriday natives) Jerry Lee Lewis and Mickey Gilley here to kick it off,&uot;&160;McKeithen said.

As it now stands, the first five members of the Hall of Fame of the planned Louisiana Delta Music Museum will be inducted at Ferriday’s festival, McKeithen said at the Ferriday Chamber of Commerce’s Monday meeting.

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From there, festivals will be held in towns all the way to Shreveport. North Louisiana, he said, &uot;is where the talent is. … We have so much history and heritage here. Sometimes we aren’t the best at promoting it.&uot;

But McKeithen also said he plans to travel to Jackson in the coming weeks to get some of Mississippi’s musical artists involved in the festival, too.

McGlothin said the Cavalcade could become an annual event with a large economic impact on the whole area. &uot;I’ve always wanted to do something like this,&uot;&160;he said. &uot;The U.S. has no better musicians than right here in northeast Louisiana.&uot;

McGlothin joked that if the band in which he plays, Easy Eddie and the Partyrockers, plays the festival, he might ask McKeithen to join them onstage as a guest vocalist.

&uot;Oh, I’ll sing, … I just don’t have any talent,&uot; McKeithen said.

Earlier in the meeting, McKeithen said that chances are good that the Legislature will pass a bill authorizing his office to operate the Louisiana Delta Music Museum.

&uot;We’re in good shape – we’re going to get the money and the staff,&uot; he said, nothing that state Rep. Bryant Hammett’s status as House Ways and Means chairman does not hurt the bill’s chances.

The measure, House Bill 842, is expected to be considered by the Senate as early as this morning, Hammett has said.

McKeithen also said chances are good that the museum could get about $200,000 in state capital outlay money in the 2002 regular legislative session to complete the museum’s exhibits.