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By Donna Summerall
Daily Times Leader
Executive Program Director at the Howlinâ€™ Wolf Blues Society Richard Ramsey, is thrilled that Applebaum and Associates of New York, N.Y. have requested the content inventory of the existing Howlinâ€™ Wolf Blues Museum and all the stored items. They will conduct a meeting on March 8, with an architectural group to discuss the design elements for the new Howlinâ€™ Wolf Black Prairie Blues Museum in the old McClureâ€™s building. The Howlinâ€™ Wolf Museum will be on the first floor to avail itself to the blues aficionadoâ€™s who will make the pilgrimage to West Point to learn more about Chester Burnett.
â€śThis is an exciting time for West Point with our new billboards, additional signage, upcoming web sites and marketing by the Growth Alliance,â€ť said Ramsey. â€śThe influx of tourist dollars will be comparable to the opening of the B.B. King Museum in Indianola. They received over 30,000 visitors in the first year.â€ť
Just the overflow from the existing museum is an impressive array of rare photos, albums, posters and first run blues publications. These items together with the ones already on display, will appeal to music lovers from all across the United States and abroad. Many make the trek to visit the Elvis Presley Museum and Birthplace in Tupelo, they can swing by West Point and visit the Howlinâ€™ Wolf Museum and see White Station before continuing further South and then to the Delta. Mississippi is the birthplace of American music. From poverty, hunger and despair came a sound unique to Mississippi and the South. There would be no rock and roll without Chester Burnett.
â€śIâ€™m excited for the changes coming to West Point,â€ť said Cynthia Wilson Director of the West Point Clay County Growth Alliance. â€śThe Howlinâ€™ Wolf Museum and Louise Campbell Center for the Arts is a prime example of creative economy. With the increase of blues fans coming to West Point, staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants, will increase our tourism tax revenue even more.â€ť