L-R: Mike Ratliff, Dr. Kevin Greene, and Jamey Mitchell.
President Jamie Mitchell presided over today’s meeting. Mike McPhail gave today’s invocation. Bill MacLauchlan led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Thanks to Mark Killingsworth who served as our greeter today.
Brandon Hodges thanked those who helped with today’s meeting and then introduced today’s guests. Kat Kimmel and Brett Harris are guests of Mike Ratliff. Kaci Lee is a guest of Ben Donald. Marc McMillan is a guest of Steve Ramp and is interested in joining our club.
Jamie then introduced Chandra Crane and Joe Boast and their sponsors, Bill McLeod, and Mike McPhail. Chandra and Joe were installed as our club’s newest members.
Jamie noted that we need volunteers for Christian Services Meals on Wheels delivery, especially the last Thursday in the month.
Mike Ratliff then introduced today’s guest speaker, Dr. Kevin Green. Dr. Green is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Southern Mississippi and is also the Director of the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage. He is the principal investigator for the Mississippi Oral History Project. His presentation today is part two of Mississippi’s Contribution to Music.
The Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi’s founding director was Dr. William Ferris. He is a native Mississippian from Vicksburg where he still maintains the family farm. Founded in the mid-1970s, Kevin says The Center has done more than anything else, in his opinion, to spread the news about Mississippi’s influence, not only on the world’s music but also southern culture and history.
Another very important institution that is helping get the word out about Mississippi’s influence on music is the International Delta Blues Project. Through Delta State University, this Project is conducting an international conference that will bring people from all over the world to learn about Mississippi’s impact on the Blues.
The Delta Music Institute, also through Delta State University, has award-winning instructors, professional artist-in-residence, world-class studio facilities, hands-on learning experiences, and three commercial music bands. Its mission is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative, and business areas of the entertainment industries. Students work as interns at the Grammy Museum and through the Grammy Foundation are able to find employment opportunities in their chosen music profession all over the world.
Dr. Green reminded us that Meridian, Mississippi, is home to one of the world’s largest musical equipment producers, Peavey. Founded by Hartley Peavey, they now have plants all over the world and continue to produce solid musical equipment.
In conclusion, Dr. Green says Mississippi shares a special place in the hearts and minds of music lovers all over the world. He also says we could better promote and take advantage of that with more institutional funding.
Jamie thanked today’s speaker and adjourned the meeting with our motto, “Service Above Self.”