U of M’s Delta conference will include tour of region

U of M’s Delta conference will include tour of region

Posted: Monday, March 14, 2011 11:24 am

The Messenger 03.14.11

In answer to its steadily growing popularity, the annual “The Delta — Everything Southern!” Conference at the University of Memphis this year will add a pre-conference tour of music-related sites in Memphis and a post-conference tour of the “most Southern place on earth,” the Mississippi Delta itself.
The event will be held June 3 from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Michael D. Rose Theatre Lecture Hall on the U of M campus.
It will feature speakers on topics as diverse as the origins of the Blues, the origins of the teddy bear, prehistoric art in Mississippi, Delta-style entertaining, the fiction of the future South and how Memphis’ special blend of blues, country, rhythm and blues and rock and roll music reached worldwide prominence.
Altogether, eight speakers will address the conference and musical entertainment will be provided by Robert “Nighthawk” Tooms, Blues and Beale Street veteran who has played with such Blues greats as B.B. King, Little Milton and Blind Mississippi Morris.
On June 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., a local tour will include stops at Graceland, Sun Studio and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. It will depart from and return to the campus.
A two-day tour of the Mississippi Delta will begin June 4. Hosted by Delta native, filmmaker, producer, author and storyteller Willy Bearden, it will travel south on Highway 61, the legendary Mississippi Blues Trail, with stops in Clarksdale, Indianola and Greenwood, Miss., all three important towns in the history of the Blues. Travelers will see cotton plantations, catfish farms and the B.B. King Museum, as well as bluesman Robert Johnson’s grave and the crossroads where he allegedly sold his soul in return for music greatness.
The tour will spend Saturday night in Green-wood before returning to Memphis on June 5.
Tour participants must be registered for the main conference. Both tours are optional and each requires its own registration.
Early conference registration before May 2 is $65 per person. Registration after May 2 is $75. The fee includes breakfast, lunch, break refreshments and parking on conference day.
Lodging reservations may be made at the Holiday Inn on the U of M campus no later than May 16. Participants should mention “The Delta — Everything Southern!” when booking rooms at the U of M Holiday Inn for that event. Reservations can be made by phone at (901) 678-8200 or 1-800-HOLIDAY.
Registration for either or both optional tours can be made online at www.sweetmagnoliatours.com.
Registration is available on a first-come, first-serve basis through June 1. Tour registrants must also be registered for the conference.
More information and conference registration is available online at www.memphis.edu/deltaconference/register.php.

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