Trumann native plans concert to feature Trumann musicians

Friday, April 20, 2012

Trumann native Gary Foley is working on getting an ambitious idea off the ground. He's putting together an event called "Musicians of Trumann," a live benefit concert honoring musicians, past and present, who performed in and around Trumann throughout history.

The idea came to Foley, a musician himself who is currently retired, several years ago when he was talking to another musician, Doug Hendrix, through Facebook.

"It got me thinking a lot about musicians around Trumann," Foley said. "I thought about the people who got me started and all the people I knew in Trumann -- how they helped younger musicians."

The plan for the concert is to gather musicians from Trumann and the surrounding area who have played here throughout the decades, as well to do a memoriam honoring Trumann musicians of the past, possibly going back all the way to the beginning of Trumann.

"We need to do tons of research," Foley said. "We'll go back as far as we can go, hopefully to the beginning of Trumann. There are a lot of musicians out there that are really good. They just need to be recognized."

Foley currently is putting together a team of volunteers to get the project going and has set a tentative date of October 2013 for the concert. The concert will be fast-moving, he said, with musicians performing a few songs each, interspersed with video, pictures and recordings of deceased musicians.

"Throughout the history of Trumann, music played an important role," Foley said.

He hopes this concert can help tell that story.

"Musicians played a big role in these communities. The release of going to a dance or getting together and playing music was very important to a community. Hopefully, this will bring back a lot of memories for a lot of folks if we do it right."

All the proceeds of the event will go toward a yet-to-be-decided charity in the names of Charles Kirksey and Paul Clem.

"Having known both of them, I think they would think it was cool. They'd think it was a good thing," Foley said. Both men inspired the people of Trumann, and Clem took a lot of musicians under his wing to help them get their start, including Foley when he was 14 years old.

"They're the kind of people who make a difference in other people's lives," Foley said.

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