B.B King Museum To Preserve Rich Blues Heritage - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/31/05

B.B King Museum To Preserve Rich Blues Heritage

Legendary blues artist B.B. King and his famous friends brought down the Coast Coliseum in the ultimate jam session Saturday night, in order to raise up this - the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center.

"Essentially, you're going be able to take a tour of B.B. King's life with him as your guide. Now this is one of the rare advantages of doing a museum with a person who is still with us. So we're very excited about it and we've assembled a team of professionals, exhibit designers and architects - literally we call them the A-team, and we think this probably will set a new standard for music themed-museums around the world," said museum interim executive director Allan Hammons.

The 10-million dollar project will be located in King's hometown of Indianola.

The 19,000 square foot building will sit on 2-point-3 acres of land, and will include all of the stops along the blues musician's journey to stardom.

"One of the ironic things about the site is that it contains an old brick cotton gin, the last standing in Mississippi, and when we acquired the site, we did it on the recommendation of two teams of university students from Auburn University and Mississippi State Schools of Architecture...at the time they recommended the site independently of one another, neither knew one another, neither knew that Riley B. King worked in that building as a young man. So it's almost as though we had a little bit of divine intervention and that goes a long way in a project like this," said Hammons.

The museum is scheduled to open in the spring of 2007, and fans around the world believe it is long overdue.

"We thought it was high time that his hometown and the state of Mississippi did something to honor him and it's really going be done in a big way," said Hammons.

The Delta Interpretive Center, which will be part of the museum, will help high risk, underprivileged children by offering new opportunities for enrichment and education, while preserving the history of the Delta and the blues.

By Karla Redditte

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