Int’l Rockabilly Hall of Fame founder, businessman remembered
JACKSON, Tenn. — Businessman, civic leader and International Rockabilly Hall of Fame founder Henry Harrison died Monday morning. Those who knew him say he was full of life and passionate about his work and Jackson.
Pastor Sky McCracken of First United Methodist Church Jackson, where Harrison and his wife attended, said Harrison was a genuine people person.
“Henry was a very congenial man. He was very knowledgeable and lots of things,” McCracken said. “And I’ve told other folks that he’s a Renaissance man.”
He said Harrison was a man with many hobbies, even known for being a boxer. Harrison was able to pursue many passions and one of those was music history, bringing that to Jackson through the International Rockabilly Hall of Fame Museum.
“There’s lots of history here in Jackson, and Henry worked very hard to preserve that so that other generations might be able to enjoy it,” McCracken said. “I know from the museum being down the street, people from all over the world came to visit. I hope that continues.”
Harrison helped put Jackson in the forefront when it came to Rockabilly music, and many people from all over the world would come to see the museum he literally built from nothing, into something.
“His passion for this music that even in his times where he was struggling with broken hips, knees, everything that he went through — he was a fighter,” museum tour guide Dean Ross, said. “And he loved this place so much that that was all he wanted to do was get back here. He just loved this place so much.”
Those who knew Harrison agree he was a man full of interesting stories.
“Henry not only brought a lot of life, but he showed a lot of life,” McCracken said.
It’s something they hope they can continue to preserve through his work.
“We miss you Henry, and I know you’re watching from above,” Ross said. “We’re really going to miss him around here.”
Harrison was 82 years old. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, April 26, in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church in Jackson.
A music tribute for Harrison has been planned for May 4 at the International Rockabilly Hall of Fame Museum on Church Street in downtown Jackson.