Harold Terry remembers the days when downtown Pine Bluff was booming with businesses, bright lights and busy streets. He hopes that through his efforts with the Downtown Special Events Organization, downtown can be restored to its former grandeur.
Terry, chairman of the Downtown Special Events Organization, said the group was formed to promote downtown businesses, encourage revitalization, development and interest in the downtown Pine Bluff area.
“Downtown Special Events Organization is a proactive organization. The focus is to bring people in that are thinking about starting a business and get them to start their business in downtown Pine Bluff,” Terry said.
“We have done numerous music festivals, including the Pine Bluff Spring Music Festival, which attracted a couple thousand people.”
The group has also sponsored nine monthly Music on Main events, which are normally held the first Friday of each month. For the month of August, the group will host a second event on Friday at 7 p.m. in the 200 block of Main Street.
Terry said the reason they decided to host a second event is because “it’s a holiday weekend and people are going be in town and it’s the last weekend before football season.”
Music on Main is free to the public and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. There will also be food vendors on site.
“A lot of people always have to leave the city to go to events like Riverfest and StarDaze. If we can offer the same thing, good music and good food, then we can use that tax revenue to build up our own city,” Terry said. “But it’s more than just the music. The last two years, over 20 properties have been sold in the downtown area, so that means people are bringing their businesses back to downtown and the Downtown Special Events Organization wants to be a part of that new vision.”
“We want to keep our own people in our own downtown. It’s not going to happen overnight but we are well on our way to making a big difference down here,” he said.
Terry said he loves the city he was born and reared in and just wants to see the city revitalized.
“People always have something negative to say about Pine Bluff, but for every negative thing you say, I have 10 positive things I can say.”
Friday’s Music on Main event will feature four musical acts.
The Brooks Family Band
The Brooks family children were born and raised in Pine Bluff, where they received their musical training. Henry Brooks III, the older of the siblings, has a varied musical background. As an accomplished drummer, Henry has performed and toured with such legends as B.B. King, the late Bobby Blue Bland and more. He currently resides in Little Rock where he continues to play.
Cherry Brooks currently performs with her own band out of Memphis. Cherry, Daryl and Robin in the past performed in the same band for seven years, known as Cherry Brooks and Pulse 192. They were inducted into the Ozark Music Awards Hall of Fame in 2007. Locals may remember Cherry as the lead singer for Loose Gravel, a soulful Pine Bluff musical group from the ‘60’s and ‘70’s.
Robin Draper (Dee Dee) resides at Springdale. After a seven-year run with the band, Robin has taken time off to raise her family. This will be her first return to the stage.
Daryl Brooks currently resides im Springdale. He performs with The Daryl Brooks Band, in which he is the lead vocalist and percussionist. His band performs all over Northwest Arkansas, including Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas and the surrounding area. Daryl also performs with a number of all star bands.
Dave Sadler, a Pine Bluff guitarist and local architect, records and produces music for the independent label, BluezArt Records. Growing up on the edge of the Delta, blues-inspired music surrounded him. Where a typical kid might have been found listening to the latest top 40 rock hit, Sadler, a self-taught musician, would often be found locked away in his room listening to the likes of B.B. King and Elmore James, trying to emulate their playing styles.
Sadler was recently featured on “Keeping the Blues Alive Vol. 1” (2012) produced by Peter Lauro of Mary4music, a release that is currently charting on the Roots Music Report Top 50 Blues Chart. Sadler’s playing style is a blend of blues, rock and jazz featuring both electric and acoustic guitars.
Gary Wilson and the Untouchables
Gary Wilson, a longtime resident of Pine Bluff and accomplished musician, cut his teeth on the likes of B.B. King, Little Milton (with whom he later toured), James Brown, Otis Redding and many others. He worked his way through high school and college as a veterinary assistant and playing guitar with the Zodiacs, an R&B band. His musical education includes Tennessee State, Julliard School of Music and the Berkley School of Fine Arts.
Wilson is the owner of GMW Productions, an entertainment production company and recording studio. He has provided production for Bobby Bland, B.B. King, The Temptations, Prince, Michael Jackson, Little Richard and has worked with gospel artists such as Shirley Caesar, Lee Williams and Paul Porter. With his band, The Untouchables, Wilson has wandered the world playing for audiences large and small, but is still very fond of the small town he grew up in where he has been instrumental in promoting Music on Main.
Nicky Parrish, a Little Rock native, is a three-time Apollo winner and was featured singing the National Anthem in the HBO Documentary of the Little Rock Nine. She has performed for the NAACP National Convention and the International Conference on Treating & Counseling People of Colour Convention.
She has shared stages with the likes of The Whispers, Yolanda Adams, Cameo, Bobby Valentino, Tyler Perry, Steve Harvey, Ray, Goodman and Brown, The Enchantments to name a few. She has toured five years with Grammy Gospel phenom, and Pine Bluff native, Smokie Norful, as a background vocalist. A four octave range and just a pure love for singing make Parrish a vocalist not to miss.
For more information on Music on Main and the Downtown Special events Organization visit the Music on Main facebook page at www.facebook.com/musiconmainpb or contact Harold Terry at 501-352-4451.