Friday, March 31, 2017

New highway designations honor Johnny Cash, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Levon Helm and Louis Jordan

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 11:22 AM

click to enlarge JAMES J. KRIEGSMANN
  • James J. Kriegsmann
Somewhere in the tidal wave of bad bills that have made their way into Arkansas law this session, there was a win for Arkansas's rich musical heritage, albeit a strictly symbolic one: HB 2179, a bill sponsored by Rep. Chris Richey (D). The bill, transmitted to the Governor's office Tuesday morning, designates "portions of various state highways" to honor one of the state's chief assets and cultural exports - its music; namely, that of Johnny Cash, Levon Helm, Louis Jordan and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. It's embarrassingly tardy - and probably cold comfort in the context of legislation like Rep. Charlie Collins' campus carry bill and Sen. Trent Garner's SB 550, but I guess we'll take it.

HB 2179 calls for signs to be posted by the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department to announce the designations, though it does not provide any funding to do so. Is it too Pollyanna to hope Arkansas will eventually follow in the steps of its neighbors like Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and expand - with actual dollars - its support for academic and music tourism organizations who would shed light on all the ways Arkansas artists have shaped the history of American music? Probably.

Here's the bill in full,
excerpted below.

The route along Highway 17 from Dyess, Arkansas, to Wilson, Arkansas, where the boyhood home of Johnny Cash is located, is designated the "Johnny Cash Memorial Highway".

The route along U.S. Highway 49 from Marvell, Arkansas, to Helena, Arkansas, where the boyhood home of Levon Helm is located, is designated the "Levon Helm Memorial Highway".

The route along U.S. Highway 49 from Brinkley, Arkansas, the birthplace of Louis Jordan, to Marvell, Arkansas, is designated the "Louis Jordan Memorial Highway".

The route along Highway 17 from Cotton Plant, Arkansas the birthplace of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, to Brinkley, Arkansas, is designated the "Sister Rosetta Tharpe Memorial Highway".

The route along U.S. Highway 61 from West Memphis, Arkansas, to Blytheville, Arkansas, a region recognized for its role in the development of Americana music, is designated the "Americana Music Highway".
click to enlarge cover-79-51faf222768ae.jpg

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Stephanie Smittle

Readers also liked…

  • Guest Mix: Rural War Room

    World wide weird duo Rural War Room (Donavan Suitt & Byron Werner) is celebrating 10 years of broadcasting and production here in Little Rock and abroad. RWR Radio on KABF 88.3 FM (10 p.m. Tuesdays or anytime on their website), features the duo alternating records in an effort to surprise one another.
    • Sep 14, 2015
  • Your new flags of Little Rock

    BRASHER: Hello Arkansans, this is the first piece from us, Brasher and Rowe and we are some dudes who work in downtown Little Rock and we eat lunch and just talk about all the exciting things around here.
    • Sep 18, 2015
  • The plight of the refugees: Dark episodes in Arkansas

    Ernest Dumas reaches into history, some personal, for moments in Arkansas's view of refugees. It was brought to mind by the current crisis in Europe and the political divisions over whether the U.S. should respond to the needs of the displaced.
    • Sep 22, 2015

Most Shared

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
  • Art bull

    "God, I hate art," my late friend The Doctor used to say.
  • Not justice

    The strongest, most enduring calls for the death penalty come from those who feel deeply the moral righteousness of "eye-for-an-eye" justice, or retribution. From the depths of pain and the heights of moral offense comes the cry, "The suffering you cause is the suffering you shall receive!" From the true moral insight that punishment should fit the crime, cool logic concludes, "Killers should be killed." Yet I say: retribution yes; death penalty no.
  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation