Lineup set for Delta Music Fest

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 22, 2006

FERRIDAY &8212; The lineup is set, the promotions arranged and the poster is at the printers.

Preparations for the Fifth Annual Delta Music Festival are humming right along, thank you very much.

Festival director Judith Bingham told the members of the organizing committee that the name Doug Kershaw has drawn many nods of approval.

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&8220;Everybody I&8217;ve talked to has been very excited about it,&8221; she said.

Not only that, but the press is taking notice, with newspapers in Baton Rouge and Lake Charles both reporting the April 1 event.

Bingham said Secretary of State Al Ater&8217;s office was to thank for that. As the Delta Music Museum, and consequently the festival, falls under its domain, the office has sent out statewide press released promoting Fats Domino&8217;s induction into the Delta Music Hall of Fame with another featuring Kershaw and the NewBeats (&8220;always mention &8216;I Like Bread and Butter,&8217; one committee member reminded Bingham) to help the event.

With that kind of push, Bingham said the committee could save most of its budget for advertising &8212; which will include radio and print ads in local and regional outlets &8212; for a final week blitz.

&8220;We don&8217;t want to give people time to forget,&8221; she said.

She hopes this year&8217;s musical lineup will also stick in people&8217;s memories.

The festival will begin at 10 a.m. with gospel performances by Bethani Goodman of Ferriday, Shreveport&8217;s The Jordans, Madonna Massey of Wisner.

The Mount Beulah-Sinai Baptist Church Choir will wrap up the gospel session and give way to the local duo of Lansing Brakenridge and Sylvia Johns-Richey.

The St. Joseph Arts &8220;Pot Luck Rockers&8221; will perform a set before the start of the 1 p.m. induction ceremony.

The morning sets are scheduled to run between 15 and 30 minutes.

Making sure the crowd stays warm will fall to emcee Sam Jones.

Jones, a veteran of numerous Natchez Little Theatre productions and longtime radio personality, was a natural choice for the job, Bingham said.

&8220;He&8217;s a humorist and a natural entertainer; someone who can entertain the crowd while the groups are changing over.&8221;

Tickets are $3 for the whole event. Children under 12 are $2.

Also $2 will be this year&8217;s festival poster, by local artist Shirley Byrne.

Byrne, who has designed them since the festival&8217;s inception, has hit a home run, to Bingham said.

&8220;I think this the best one yet,&8221; she said.

All five editions of the poster will be on sale at the festival and the museum.