Music lovers from as far away as Arizona and Illinois and neighboring states of Mississippi and Tennessee showed up for the weekend's third annual Arkansas Delta Rockabilly Festival. “Natural State” visitors came from as far north as Mountain View, another Arkansas music-loving community.
Quickly making a name for itself in the world of music, Helena is quickly becoming a Mecca for all types of genres of music – from the blues to gospel to rockabilly to rock and roll, with some classical performances through the Warfield Concert Series thrown in for good measure. One lady has been making the trek to our community to attend the festivals for 28 years – that dates all the way back to the first King Biscuit Blues in 1986.
The rockabilly music stirred people of all ages – from the youngsters taking recess from classes at the KIPP School to the older generation that decided they just wanted to stand up and dance.
Travelers arrived at the festival in vehicles ranging from vintage automobiles to motorcycles to the more traditional modes of transportation.
Speaking of vintage cars, Ben “Cooter” Jones brought along “The General Lee”, a vintage Dodge Charger and practically a co-star of the long-running “Dukes of Hazard” TV series, for the ride. “The General Lee” helped cousins Bo and Luke Duke escape capture by “Boss” Hogg and Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane for several seasons.
Musical performers included Brandon Cunning and the Stunning Cunning Band, Helena's own C.W. Gatlin, Sleepy LeBeef, The Cate Brothers and Cooter's Garage Band. Other popular artists featured were Stan Perkins and D.J. Fontana, Reba Russell, W.S. Holland, Ace Cannon, Travis Wammack , The Kentucky Headhunters and Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers, one of the original Sun Studio recording artists.
For the most part, Mother Nature cooperated during the festivities.