Gilley concert wraps up music festival

Published 1:05 am Monday, April 6, 2009

FERRIDAY — Back to his roots and playing back to back sold out shows, country music star Mickey Gilley had Ferriday rockin’ Sunday afternoon.

“Y’all been good to this old boy from Ferriday,” Gilley told the packed crowd at the Arcade Theater.

During an hour and a half concert, Gilley played several of his 17 No. 1 hits.

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And after the show, Ferriday had a little gift for Gilley.

Surrounded by hordes of fans, Gilley learned the small brick plaza between the Arcade and the Delta Music Museum was being dedicated to him.

“You are now standing in the Mickey Gilley Plaza,” Louisiana Secretary of Sate Jay Dardenne said to Gilley just before unveiling the new marble sign.

Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin also took the opportunity to thank Gilley for stopping back in his hometown.

“We need to recognize that you never forgot where you came from,” McGlothin said.

Surrounded by fans Gilley knelt next to the sign baring his name to pose for pictures.

“I have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,” Gilley said. “And this is more important to me than that. Thank you.”

McGlothin said Sunday’s concert was the perfect wrap-up to the Delta Music Festival.

“You can’t ask for more,” he said. “It’s been great.”

McGlothin said he’d like to use Ferriday’s rich musical history to make the town more of a destination for music buffs.

“It’s not Nashville or Branson, but Jerry (Lee Lewis) and Mickey (Gilley) and Jimmy (Swaggart) have all come from here, and it’s something people want to see,” McGlothin said.

And Sunday’s dedication wasn’t just flattering to Gilley, Rena Pitts said it’s designed to help the museum and the Arcade Theater.

Pitts, president of the Friends of the Delta Music Museum Foundation, said memorial bricks from the plaza can be purchased to commemorate friends or loved ones.

The bricks, $65, will bare the name of the name of the person to be commemorated and placed in the plaza.

Proceeds from the bricks will benefit the Delta Music Museum and the Arcade Theater.