Conway Twitty Day! Helena Celebrates Hometown Legend

Conway Twitty Day! Helena Celebrates Hometown Legend

29-May-2018

 

Friday, June 1, has been proclaimed “Conway Twitty Day” by Governor Asa Hutchinson, Helena-West Helena Mayor Jay Hollowell and Phillips County Judge Clark Hall. Family members of the rockabilly and country music legend, Conway Twitty, will be in historic downtown Helena--Twitty's hometown—that day, to pay tribute to the man and his music!

The event also marks the 25th anniversary of Twitty’s death (June 5), and will take place at Courthouse Square Park, adjacent to the Phillips County Court House, which is located at 622 Cherry Street, in Helena.

Festivities will include the unveiling of a historical marker interpreting Twitty’s extraordinary life and career, remarks by members of his family, the presentation of a key to the city, and formal proclamations by representatives of Phillips County and the state of Arkansas.

The program is scheduled to get underway at 4:30 p.m., and will conclude at 5:30 p.m.

The placement of Twitty’s marker is part of a broader undertaking by the City of Helena to further celebrate and interpret local music history. In addition to Twitty’s, a series of eight additional interpretive markers are slated to go up around the city recognizing hometown music pioneers such as Levon Helm, Sonny Boy Williamson, “Sunshine” Sonny Payne, as well as the groundbreaking radio show “King Biscuit Time,” and the radio station, KFFA—which aired the show that was first to introduce blues music to mainstream America.The marker honoring Twitty will be the first to go up.

“We are so grateful to the City for paying tribute to our father,” said Twitty’s daughter Joni Jenkins Riels. “Helena is where his musical journey began as a small child. His roots which began here, carried him on an unimaginable journey to becoming one of music‘s greatest icons..." At the conclusion of the program, family members will sign autographs. Conway Twitty merchandise will also be available for sell.

With a career that spanned five decades – from Sun Studios in Memphis at the infancy of rock-and-roll, to the top of the country charts – the Country Music, Grammy, and Rockabilly Hall of Famer is one of the most-celebrated and recognized performers of the twentieth century.Twitty had 50 consecutive number one hits during his career-- holding a record that has never been broken in any genre!

“Helena has such a rich musical history that we sometimes struggle to keep up with celebrating it all,” said Doug Friedlander, spokesperson and event organizer on behalf of the City of Helena. “Conway Twitty is by far one of Helena’s most successful native sons and we’re very glad to have the opportunity to partner with his family to provide him with the long-overdue recognition he deserves.”

The event is free and open to the public. Food and beverages will also be provided. If rain forces the event inside, the location will move to Beth El Heritage Hall, 406 Perry Street, in Helena.

Organizations co-hosting the Conway Twitty Day tribute are the Helena-West Helena Advertising and Promotion Commission and the Delta Cultural Center.Several other local organizations and community leaders have also been actively involved in the planning of this event, including Mainstreet Helena, King Biscuit Blues Festival, Main Street merchants and the City of Helena-West Helena.

 


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