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The Father of Country Music's
great-granddaughter attends festival

By Staff
WARMING UP THE NIGHT Grant's Ferry was the opening act for Confederate Railroad Saturday night during the Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Festival at Singing Brakeman Park. Members of the group are, from left, Wess Tabor, Jetson Neal, Christopher Sharp and Ed Dye. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By Chris Allen Baker / staff writer
May 12, 2002
Dixie Haslett's visit to the Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Festival meant more to her than just listening to music and having fun.
For her, it was a chance to learn more about her great-grandfather the "Father of Country Music."
Haslett's grandmother, Anita Court Rodgers, was Jimmie Rodgers' daughter. Although Haslett is not a musician, she has always been aware of her heritage.
Haslett's first trip to the Jimmie Rodgers Festival was also her first trip to Mississippi. Haslett, her husband, Terry, and son, Tavey, also visited Anita's and Jimmie's gravesites.
Hundreds of people attended the three-day festival that ended Saturday night with performances by local Jimmie Rodgers' impersonator Britt Gully, the winners of two talent contests and bands Grant's Ferry and Confederate Railroad.
The week also included a gospel concert, a golf tournament, a youth talent contest and an adult talent contest. Friday night's concert featured Steve Forbert and the Mississippi All-Stars.
Todd Adkins, president of the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation, said this year's festival was a great success.
Future festivals could be patterned on this year, Adkins said.
Music fan Jayne McKinion of Meridian agreed.