Newsletter January 2014

Dear Friends,

Welcome to our first “official" Rock & Blues Museum newsletter . . . Yes, finally! Why now, you might wonder after all these years? Well, we are able to do so, thanks to extra help. In 2013, via the Delta Bridge Project, we received a grant from Southern Bancorp which enabled us to hire Ms. Shelley Ricker as manager and to contract Ms. Marc Taylor as a museum docent. Through this newsletter along with our regular postings on Facebook, we hope to keep you updated on all that’s happening in the museum and in and around Clarksdale!

This year, we will celebrate our 9th year in Clarksdale, keeping America’s music heritage alive and what a ride it has been! We started in August 2006 open just on the weekend and now we are open 7 days a week from 11am to 5pm! We are now able to be open every Sunday, welcoming visitors looking for something to do and needing information about Clarksdale. This gives these Sunday visitors a positive Clarksdale experience!

In 2014 we will focus on networking, new displays and mini street festivals. Every year we have been adding displays to our museum to make our museum theme from “The Roots To The Fruits” even more attractive to our visitors. Extra attention is given in our museum to local artists playing in the local juke joints and bars.Our museum gift store is now filled with cds, vinyl records, vintage pin and buttons, posters etc!We will also give musicians an opportunity to “busk” (play for tips) in front of our museum during the weekend to get exposure and to entertain visitors to Clarksdale.

During the last years we have seen a steady rise in foot traffic, making our museum an important attraction to visitors of Clarksdale. You can see the reviews on

On a sad note, we lost Board member Frank “Rat” Ratliff in March of 2013 and our friend T-Model Ford later in the year.

We welcomed Adhel Henderson (Delta Blues Room) to the Board in September, 2013, joining Rosalind Wilcox (Sun House Art Gallery), and Emily Cooper (Griot), along with founding members Theo Dasbach and Cindy Hudock.

Last month we started a fundraising campaign to raise $10,000 in order to receive an additional $50,000 from Southern Bancorp Community Partners. So far we have raised almost $5000 from our community, so we are almost half way there. We still need your help to reach our goal! Donations may be sent via our website and may be tax deductible as we are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Join our circle of friends on our website.


Dutch Filmmaker Jan Doense will be present at the Festival introducing his prescreening of the documentary film Cheesehead Blues, Adventures of a Dutchman in the Mississippi Delta. Jan Doense filmed his labor of love in Clarksdale and the Delta with a burning question: Can a Dutchman have the blues? This film is about Clarksdale and the blues and features the Rock & Blues Museum and its founder Theo D along with the late Frank Ratliff, Roger Stolle, Bill Luckett, Morgan Freeman, Red Paden, and musicians Super Chikan, the late T-Model Ford, Watermelon Slim, Sean Apple, LaLa, Stan Street, Deak Harp, Liz Mandeville and many more. Cheesehead Blues will be shown on Friday Jan 24, 2014 scheduled at 6 pm. Do not miss it!

On Saturday, January 25, Dutch filmmaker Ko de Korte will be present at the film festival to introduce his documentary Rural Blues, Mississippi, 1989. Ko travelled to Mississippi searching for original blues of which he had never heard of in the Netherlands. His pilgrimage is a tribute to 18 blues artists filmed in 1989 in the Hills and the Delta from a bygone Mississippi generation such as R. L. Burnside, Big Jack Johnson, Ranie Burnette, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Sam Carr, Frank Frost, Earnest Roy Sr, Sonny Boy Nelson, James Son Thomas and many others.  Rural Blues, MIssissippi 1989, will be shown on Saturday Jan 25, 2014 scheduled at 4 pm.

Our best wishes for 2014 and we will keep you posted in our next newsletter!

Theo Dasbach

President, Rock & Blues Museum,

113 East 2nd Street, Clarksdale, MS 38614


© Rock&Blues Museum 2019