A rockin’ festival returns to Selmer

SELMER, Tenn.— An annual fun filled music event returns to McNairy county.

The 14th annual Rockabilly Highway Revival was held on Saturday in downtown Selmer. The festival offered plenty of great music, classic vehicles, and food as well, with food vendors set up in various areas downtown.

There was also an all new mural that was revealed for the first time at the festival.

We got to speak to one of the bands that performed at the festival. Bryson Howard and the Unlawful had their first ever performance at the festival.

We asked them how was it to perform together for the first time.

“We enjoyed it, it was awesome! We’ve been together for a month now and have been practicing hard at it,” Howard said.

They also told us what their favorite part of their performance was.

“”Sweet Home Alabama” was probably the best one. That and the finale was good. Everybody’s gotta enjoy the finale,” Howard said.

The Rockabilly Highway Revival is grounded in McNairy county’s musical roots. McNairy county was ground zero for the cultural explosion that gave birth to Rockabilly and Rock ’n’ Roll music.

Many of the giants of Rockabilly were influenced by local musicians and cut their teeth performing in the county. Iconic figures like Carl Perkins frequented community jams at the Latta building in downtown Selmer.

Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Jessica Huff, explained that the heritage of Rockabilly started in Bethel Springs.

“It was when Elvis Presley played for the first time outside of Memphis, when he started to get a little bit of credit. Carl Perkins was actually supposed to play in Jackson, Tennessee and decided he heard about this kid Elvis in Bethel Springs and wanted to come see him in the show. So they drove down and met for the first time in Bethel Springs and history was made that night,” Huff said.

Huff thanks everyone for coming out and supporting this festival.

“It’s fantastic to see everybody return year after year and get to experience part of our culture, and the great music and great food that we have,” Huff said.

Huff would also like to thank the sponsors and everyone who helped make this festival possible.

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