Valley to Present 2nd Annual B.B. King Day

Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) will play host to some of the South’s largest names in Blues during its B.B. King Day celebration on September 1.

The event is open to the public, and will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the W.A. Butts Social Science Building on the Itta Bena campus. 

The event will wrap up with evening performances at the B.B. King Museum in Indianola, Miss. beginning at 7 p.m.

MVSU has the only recording studio in the nation bearing the name of the late musician B.B. King.

B.B. King Day will feature stimulating forum discussions, performances and showcases. 

“During the discussions, panelist will expound upon the influence of Blues on the history of Jazz,” said Dr. Alphonso Sanders, chair of the Department of Fine Arts and director of the B.B. King Recording Studio.  “If you mention jazz to most people, they automatically think of Kenny G.”

There will also be a discussion about the struggle of ownership for African American music. “The panelist are African American voices who will speak on African American Music History,” added Sanders. 

“These are prominent musicians who spent their lives doing this.” Charlton Johnson, former member of Bobby “Blue” Bland’s band, will play Lucille.

Otis Clay’s gospel hit, “When the Gates Swing Open,” will be performed by Tia Carroll, Rochelle Coba, Teeny Tucker and Vickie Baker.

There will also be a special tribute to Melvin Jackson and a showcase by Denise Lasalle.

Other guests will include George Shaw, Morris Hubbard, John Birdsong, Bo Berry, London Branch, Burgess Gardner, Sherrill Holley, Joe Jennings, Dr. James Johnson, Dick Griffin, Jimmi Mayes, Willie Silas, Ray Neal, Jesse Robinson and Reggie Richards.

The entire event will be broadcast live by the Kevin and Sue McCarthy’s Travel Planners Radio Show.

B.B. King Day is hosted by MVSU’s B.B. King Recording Studio in partnership with the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center.

For more information about B.B. King Day at MVSU, contact Dr. Alphonso Sanders at