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Terry “Big T” Williams

Black River Technical College’s Black History Month event is scheduled for Thurs. Feb. 24 at 1 p.m.

This year’s Black History Month Event, “A Conversation with the Blues,” will feature Terry “Big T” Williams on lead guitar and vocals and Jerry Bone on bass guitar. Mike Doyle, retired KASU manager and ASU instructor, will introduce the featured guests and discuss the roots of the Blues and how the Blues has influenced music.

Blues guitarist and vocalist Terry “Big T” Williams was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi but spent his early years on a plantation in Farrell. When he was 12 years old, the Jelly Roll Kings (Big Jack Johnson, Frank Frost and Sam Carr) took him under their wing and eventually took him on the road with them.  Williams’s dream of fronting his own band soon came true, and over the years he has been a member of several bands, including The Creative Funk, The Stone Gas Band, and Big T and The Family Band. He currently resides in Clarksdale where he was born, and plays gigs all over the U.S. with his current band, Big T and his Review Band.

Jerry Bone of Oxford, Ark., is one of this region’s most experienced blues and rock musicians. A bass guitarist who is respected by band members from the Arkansas/Missouri Ozarks to the Mississippi Delta, Bone was a member in the 1990s of The Famous Unknowns, a band selected by B.B. King as the house band for the Memphis, Tennessee nightclub that bears King’s name.  Over a decade ago, he became the bassist for Batesville’s Lockhouse Orchestra which has performed tribute concerts to The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Levon Helm, and The Band. In 2020, Bone played in Terry “Big T” Williams’s band and is looking forward to playing with him at BRTC.

Mike Doyle, who will serve as emcee and moderator for the event, retired from management of KASU in Jonesboro, the NPR public radio station for this region. Doyle was a co-founding producer/host of Arkansas Roots, the station’s noon hour program that focuses on Arkansas’ music heritage and current scene. He still produces segments for Arkansas Roots and the weekly Music from the Isles, a Celtic music hour. He also taught in Arkansas State University’s Department of Journalism and Media for 35 years before retiring in 2018.

The event is free and open to the public. The event will begin at 1 p.m. in the Randolph County Development Center on the BRTC Pocahontas campus. The event is made possible by the BRTC Foundation and the Eddie Mae Herron Center.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Collins at 870-248-4000 ext. 5120.