2015 Tina Turner Heritage Days schedule announced

Rhonda Graam, Tina’s Personal Assistant of 50 Years, Replaces Ferly Prado at Fan Lunch; Three days of music planned

BROWNSVILLE TN (SEPTEMBER 21, 2015): The Tina Turner Heritage Days festival returns to the Tina Turner Museum at Flagg Grove School on the grounds of the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center (WTDHC) Friday, September 25 to Sunday, September 27. Attendees will be treated to a variety of tours, conversations, lunches and concert events including lunch with Rhonda Graam, Tina’s personal assistant of 50 years who replaces the original scheduled guest Ferly Prado, her former back up dancer.

“We are sorry that Ferly couldn’t make it to the festival this year as we were looking forward to her stories and performance,” says Sonia Outlaw-Clark, Executive Director of the WTDHC. “However, we are honored to have Tina’s personal assistant Rhonda Graam filling in on such a short notice and sharing her stories with the fans. If anyone knows Tina best, it would be Rhonda. She was instrumental in the coordination of the Tina Turner Museum.”

Beginning in 2012 with just a small gathering of fans, the Tina Turner Heritage Days has grown to attract fans all over the world to experience Tina Turner’s small town roots in Nutbush and Brownsville, Tenn. The celebration will also serve at the one year anniversary of the Tina Turner Museum at Flagg Grove School which opened to the public on September 26, 2014. The full schedule of events and tickets can be purchased at www.tinaturnerheritagedays.com. Additional information about the performers and museum is available below.

Friday Fan Gathering: Fans begin arriving at 5 p.m., Friday, September 25. The evening event will include a special concert tribute by Billie Jean Teehee. Teehee performed at the Delta Heritage Center in 2012 as a part of the first fan gathering honoring the relocation and preservation of the Flagg Grove School.

From Stilwell Oklahoma and a member of the Cherokee Nation,Teehee began singing as a little girl in church, fairs and talent shows. She won one of her first talent shows singing Tina Turner’s version of Proud Mary. Billie has also been a regular performer at Saturday Night Spotlight in Muskogee Oklahoma. Singing has taken her from Oklahoma to Hawaii, California and Tennessee, and even to an international event in Bahrain where she sang with the Billy Joel Band. Currently Billie Jean is working on song writing. “Tina has been an inspiration to me both musically and as a woman, ” says Teehee, “I admire her strength and courage.”

The night will also include karaoke and Tina Trivia, and an opportunity for fans to get to know each other. Stephen Evans Photography will be present filming Tina fans and documenting their stories.

Nutbush Tours: Tours of Nutbush and the surrounding area will take place Saturday morning, September 26, beginning at 9 a.m. Tours are $10 per person and include the Dunbar Carver Museum and Woodlawn Missionary Baptist Church. You will be able to take pictures in front of the Nutbush store, as well as former home sites and Flagg Grove School location.

Lunch: Rhonda Graam: As a personal assistant to Tina Turner for more than fifty years, Rhonda has seen the ups and downs of the business and personal struggles and success of the pop icon. At the grand opening of the Tina Turner Museum in 2014 she said, “I want to thank that little girl from Nutbush that had that big dream, the persistence and tenacity to make those dreams a reality and to let me be a part of those dreams. It was a bumpy road which all of you know but she came out on top. An amazing woman and I’m so proud to work for her.” Rhonda will be the guest of honor at the lunch on Saturday, September 26 at 1 p.m. Cost of the lunch is $10; reservations are required.
Mindfield Tours: Tours of The Mindfield will be offered Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. This is a chance to learn about the artist and Tennessee’s tallest metal sculpture. The tours are free. Please meet in front of the Mindfield Grill.

In Concert: Donovan Marcelle: On September 26, at 7 p.m., Donovan Marcelle will perform at the Carver Gym, Tina Turner’s former high school. While Marcelle has had an impressive career performing with Jennifer Hudson, Cherrelle, and Patti LaBelle, this Dallas native is best known amongst Turner fans as being the only person ever called onto stage by Tina during a performance.

Opening the show for Marcelle will be Brownsville’s own Achana Jarrett and Stacy Hunter Ambrose. Jarrett is music director for Woodlawn Baptist Church and director of the Brownsville Haywood County Arts Council. Known regionally for her powerful voice and piano skills, she will perform a few of her favorite songs.

Ambrose is a local business owner who enjoys impersonating her favorite artists, such as Tina Turner. She performs for events and fundraisers throughout the area and is known for getting the audience involved in her act. Tickets for the Saturday evening concert are $15 per person and available at the door.

Tickets to these events can be purchased individually or as a package. Tickets are available at the door, online at www.tinaturnerheritagedays.com or at the Delta Heritage Center.

Sunday Farewell and Band Concert: Fans will begin to say farewell on Sunday as they gather for a light breakfast at the Delta Heritage Center at 7:30 a.m. The day’s events will also include a concert on the grounds at 3 p.m., by the Memphis Letter Carrier Band. The event is free and open to the public.
About the Center: The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center offers a refreshing Southern experience showcasing the history and culture of rural West Tennessee. Inside visitors can learn about the history of cotton, explore the scenic and “wild” Hatchie River and get to know the legendary musicians who call West Tennessee home. Also located on the grounds are Flagg Grove School, the childhood school of Tina Turner, and the last home of Blues pioneer Sleepy John Estes. To learn more about the Center, visit www.westtnheritage.com or call 731-779-9000.