THE KBBF INSIDER
 
April 2001 Issue
 
King Biscuit Blues Festival: Looking Good!
October 4th, 5th & 6th
www.kingbiscuitfest.org
 
(This newsletter was sent to you for informational purposes.  If you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please send a blank email to bigbiscuit@hnb.com?Subject=Unsubscribe)
 
Sponsored by Isle of Capri, Cable Rep Advertising, Coca-Cola, Delta Cultural Center, First National Bank, Bradfield Printing, Xerox, Cline-Frazier & Allied Graphics.
 
Sonny Boy Blues Society takes over management of the festival.
Friend's of the Biscuit campaign launched
New Chairpersons named
Volunteer Recruitment plans are underway
Upcoming Events

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NEWS
Sonny Boy Blues Society to manage blues festival

It was announce at a press conference that management of the 16th Annual King Biscuit Blues Festival on October 4th, 5th &6th has been taken over by the Sonny Boy Blues Society. The Board of SBBS is made of up the original founders of the festival. The festival has been riddled with management problems for many years and the Sonny Boy Blues Society members plan to take a hands-on approach in the managing of the festival.

Rayne Gordon, president of the blues society, said handing the management over to local founders would bring stability to its future. He said the group's goal is to return it to its roots: a music festival with good food.

The Sonny Boy Blues Society members are the core organization that has produced the festival for the past 15 years. Members include Rayne Gordon, President, Setup Chairman; Houston Stackhouse, Vice President; Jerry Wenzel, Secretary, Media/Public Relations Chairman; Larry Crumby, Treasurer; Bubba Sullivan, Historian/Emcee; John Swan, Setup Chairman; Leslie Chin, Audio/Visual Chairman; Ray Galloway, Main Stage Manager; Kurt Stripling, Asst. Main Stage; Jerry Pillow, Artist lineup; Sterling Billingsley, Back Stage; Butch Wilson, Sonny Boy Music Hall & Liz Harrison, Festival Director. Collectively these members have worked approximately 104 years bring the festival not only to the citizens on Phillips County, but the world.

The SBBS organization is no stranger to producing events. They have produced Blues Aid, to help with medical needs of blues artists; Sonny Boy Music Hall events, mini concerts for the Delta Cultural Center and events across the region.

Liz Harrison shall remain with the new organization as Executive Director. Liz Harrison, Executive Director states "This festival is the people's festival and they have a right to know what is happening with their festival, the public and sponsors have the right to know that their money is being spent wisely and not being abused."

An advisory Board shall be set up that will be comprised of volunteers of the festival that will make recommendations to the society. SBBS will publicly publish yearly financial disclosure statements of each and every festival year.

The festival crowd will not notice much of a change in the appearance of the festival. Many changes that occur will be administrative and just plain spending money wisely. SBBS will see to it that this year's festival will be as strong or even stronger than past years. SBBS states that this year's lineup should be available on the Website www.kingbiscuitfest.org in about a month.

Jerry Wenzel, Media/Public Relations Chairman states that "I have not seen this kind of excitement in many years. I have received emails from around the world, as well as a letter from a county that wishes to send a delegation to this year's festival."

Another new addition to the festival this year is the "Friends of the Biscuit". Friends of the Biscuit is a unique organization created to aid in the support of The King Biscuit Blues Festival and its promotion and preservation of the Delta Blues.  By providing your support you are helping ensure that the festival can maintain its' status as a free festival offering the music as it was meant, free for all to enjoy. The members of this exclusive club will receive access to the VIP area, official KBBF T-shirt, Bumper Sticker, semi-annual newsletter.

The Volunteer Recruitment Campaign is now underway and we have people coming back to volunteer that have not volunteered in many, many year. The public wanted their festival back and they got it. There has not been this kind of excitement over the festival in years.  In past years we have had volunteers from Boston, Argentina and other places around the world just like we do at home. We need you, the Sonny Boy Blues Society knows that without the volunteers, there will be no festival. Show your support, organizers need volunteers all across the festival grounds.

John Ruskey, Blues Foundation Board Member read a statement from Howard Stovall, Executive Director of The Blues Foundation. Stovall stated, He applauds the Sonny Boy Blues Society for taking over management of the King Biscuit Blues Festival.  As the 1992 recipient of the Blues Foundation's Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Blues Organization of the Year, Sonny Boy has demonstrated that its members can run a top notch organization whose greatest achievements, the King Biscuit Festival and the
BluesAid charity, stand as national models of Blues excellence.  The SBBS remains an important group, with the ability to inject into the festival the same passion and dedication that SBBS has always shown its ques to champion the Blues in the Delta.  As a free festival, KBBF allows everyone to enjoy the music, which is especially important in the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta region, and maintaining this tradition is very important and laudable.


Sonny Boys Blues Society is grateful and wishes to thank all of their supporters, volunteers and of course the sponsors. Isle of Capri, Cable Rep Advertising, Coca-Cola, Delta Cultural Center, First National Bank, Entergy, Bradfield Printing, Xerox, Cline-Frazier & Allied Graphics.

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NEW OFFICES
The King Biscuit Blues Festival office has moved. The new address is King Biscuit Blues Festival, PO Box 118, 210 Cherry Street, Helena, AR, 72342. The telephone will remain the same 870-338-8798, however the fax number will change to 870-338-8758.

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FRIENDS OF THE BISCUIT
Friends of the Biscuit is a unique organization created to aid in the support of The King Biscuit Blues Festival and its promotion and preservation of the Delta Blues.  By providing your support you are helping ensure that the festival can maintain its' status as a free festival offering the music as it was meant, free for all to enjoy.

SINGLE BISCUIT: Package Cost -- $50.00
A Friend receives (1) Friend of the Biscuit T-shirt, (1) Bumper Sticker, a semi- annual newsletter keeping you up to date with the happenings of the King Biscuit Blues Festival, (1) wristband which will allow entry into the VIP fenced area in front of Main Stage, and special KBBF merchandise discount opportunities throughout the year.

COUPLE OF  BISCUITS: Package Cost -- $100.00
A Friend receives (2) Friend of the Biscuit T-shirts; (2) Bumper Stickers, a semi- annual newsletter keeping you up to date with the happenings of the King Biscuit Blues Festival, (2) wristbands which will allow entry into the VIP fenced area in front of Main Stage, and special KBBF merchandise discount opportunities throughout the year.

A FEW BISCUITS: Package Cost -- $250.00
A Friend receives (4) Friend of the Biscuit T-shirts; (2) Bumper Stickers, a semi- annual newsletter keeping you up to date with the happenings of the King Biscuit Blues Festival, (4) wristbands which will allow entry into the VIP fenced area in front of Main Stage, (2) KBBF Coffee Cups and special KBBF merchandise discount opportunities throughout the year.

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NEW SPONSORSHIPS
The local sponsorship drive has begun; First National Bank, Bradfield's Printing, Xerox, Cline-Frazier, Allied Graphics and Entergy have contributed to create a fund to pay for artist and equipment deposits. A big Thank-You goes out to these companies and to the many others that will follow suit this month.

In the promotion and preservation of the Delta Blues, with the King Biscuit Blues Festival, the Delta Cultural Center has pledged funding to the festival specifically for artists and staging for the Main Stage.

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NEW CHAIRMANS NAMED

Alan Levine
Alan Levine has been named Security Chairman for this year's festival. Alan was security chairman for many years in the past. We are all happy and welcome Alan back to the ranks of the festival, he truly has been missed from the team Alan is very easy going and a wonderful guy to work with. If you would like to help Alan with security, call him at 338-8101 or email him at alevine@hnb.com .

Joe St. Columbia
Joe St. Columbia has been named KBBF Ambassadors Chairman. Joe was the former owner and Pasquales's Tamales before retirement. Joe and his team will be delivering those wonderful biscuits to our sponsors, helping with the morning shows and helping in general with the public relations of the festival. Joe is another one of the past volunteers that have rejoined the ranks of the festival. If you would like to help Joe call 870-338-8798 or email kbbf@ipa.net.

Mindy Mauldin
Mindy Mauldin has joined the KBBF team of chairman for "Keep the Festival Free Campaign". Many people come to the festival wanting to donate money in order to keep the festival free. This team will be set up at the festival to accept donation's, as well as randomly polling the public for much needed and log sought after information on the demographics of the attendee's. When you see Mindy, tell her thank you and stop and please answer her questions.

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VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT
The Volunteer Recruitment Campaign is now underway and as you can see we have people coming back to volunteer that have not volunteered in many, many year. The public wanted their festival back and they got it. There has not been this kind of excitement over the festival in years.  In past years we have had volunteers from Boston, Argentina and other places around the world just like we do at home. We need you, the Sonny Boy Blues Society knows that without the volunteers, there will be no festival. Show your support, we need volunteers all across the festival grounds. Call Teena Levine at 870-338-8101 or email her at tlevine@hnb.com or contact Liz Harrison at 870-338-8798 or email her at kbbf@ipa.net.

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UPCOMING EVENTS
Tuesday June 19th  5:30pm - 7:30pm    Lineup Unveiling Party

An Artist Lineup Unveiling Party has been scheduled for June 19th at 5:30pm at the Helena Marketplace located at 210 Cherry Street in Downtown Helena. Entertainment will feature an artist from the lineup. Mark you calendars and do not miss this major kickoff towards the festival.

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Bobby Rush
Many people in the Blues community are aware of the tragic accident that occurred Thursday April 19th 2001 to Bobby Rush and his band. In the early
morning hours, the van's driver apparently suffered a heart attack and lost
control of the vehicle and struck a tree killing dancer Latisha Brown and
hospitalizing Bobby and nine other band members. As of this release five
still remain hospitalized. Bobby is now convalescing at home and seeing a
physical therapist to treat his injuries. Updates on the bands health status
are being posted by the Blues Foundation at www.blues.org and on
http://www.tigerink.com/bobbyrush/ Bobby and his family are extremely
grateful for the support they have received from the fans and the Blues
community. Please continue to send cards, flowers and wishes for a speedy
recover to those recuperating.  Addresses will be on the two websites.  Due
to the severity of the accident, many will be in the hospital for an
extended period. Others will need additional surgery and physical therapy.
Many of the band members have little or no health coverage. Additional funds
will be needed to help care for Latisha Brown's children ages 6,4, and 2.
They are now being cared for by their Grandmother. She is survived by her mother, father,sister, three bothers, and by her three small children.

Blues Aid has established the Bobby Rush Band Fund in order to help cover
the overwhelming costs of the horrific accident. If you would like to or
help with a fund raising effort contact:
Beverly Tatum - btatum3143@aol.com
Phone: (404) 373-8803
Fax: (404) 373-3414

Bubba Sullivan - bluesco@ipa.net
Phone & Fax: (870) 338-3501

If you would like to make a contribution please make your check payable to
the Blues Aid / Bobby Rush Band Fund and send them to:

Blues Aid
P.O. Box 237
Helena, AR 72342

Blues Aid was created by the Sonny Boy Blues Society to help blues artists
cope with healthcare, pharmaceutical, and memorial expenses. The Sonny Boy
Blues Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation

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LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR

I was driving down Hwy. 61 thinking (as I always do) about the Festival. On this particular drive my thoughts were focused on the heart and the spirit of the festival. There are other events that have been in existence longer than King Biscuit. There are larger events. But when I speak with someone about KBBF I see a light up of the eyes and hear a passion in their voice that is not associated with any other festival I've discussed.

I've tried to discern what is the heart and the spirit of the festival. Is it the spirits of the many who have walked the area and are a part of the history of the music we celebrate? Is it the ambiance of the setting on the levee of the mighty Mississippi? Is the heart and the spirit of the festival created by the visitors who make annual pilgrimages? While I believe that these combine and add to the heart and spirit of the festival, I believe that there is a deeper base. I believe that the area citizens create the heart and spirit of the festival. Whether the role of the citizen is volunteer, local sponsor, or interested bystander, all have an opinion and have contributed their heart and spirit to the making of the King Biscuit Blues Festival.

One of the backbone organizations of the festival is the Sonny Boy Blues Society. The Board of SBBS is made of up the original founders of the festival. As a matter of fact these guys were involved with the production of the festival before they formed the Sonny Boy Blues Society. Through their membership the artist line-up is created and contracted, the set-up is overseen, the audio/visual is managed, the Website is managed, the Main Stage emceed, media and public relations managed and the heritage of the festival is preserved. They are the watchdogs for the festival.

The Main Street Helena Board voted to turn over the management of the festival to the SBBS on a year trial basis with the intention, based on criteria set, for SBBS to become the umbrella organization for the King Biscuit Blues Festival. Because of SBBS's involvement in the production of the festival and their knowledge of the heritage of the music and the KBBF, I believe that this is a natural partnership. I'm excited about the possibilities.

And & how does this all affect me? It's humbling. It also deepens my resolve and commitment to create a secure financial situation for the festival.

With less than six months to festival time, in my rhythm of time this translates to next week. Here's to a great 16th Annual King Biscuit Blues Festival.

Liz Harrison
Executive Director

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KBBF MERCHANDISE
The 2001 Official King Biscuit Blues Festival poster is now on sale. Signed and numbers posters are available but going fast Signed and numbered posters cost $30.00. Unsigned posters cost is $20.00. Bumper Stickers will be available mid-May through KBBF's Office - 870-338-8798. Other sites will be provided at next writing. If you're interested in purchase a poster please call the King Biscuit Blues Festival Office at 870-338-8798.

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KBBF all rights reserved, reprint by permission
Jerry Wenzel, Media & Public Relations Director, Editor 870-338-8831 or wenzel@hnb.com


Peace, Love & KBBF
Jerry