The members of the Union County Historical Society held their annual meeting Thursday, May 30, at the First United Methodist Church in New Albany.
Speaker for the event was Greg Johnson, curator of the Blues Archives at the University of Mississippi. Johnson described the work of the Blues Archives for the audience. It “acquires and preserves blues and blues-related materials, in a variety of formats, for scholars of the blues, African-American studies and southern culture.”
Johnson gave a brief survey of Mississippi’s diverse musical heritage. Musical accomplishments of Mississippians range from opera prima donna Leontyne Price, a native of Laurel, to Meridian’s country blues yodeler Jimmie Rogers, to urban blues legend Sam Mosely of New Albany. Accomplishments also include song writers, production of recordings, documentation of historical and international influences, etc.
Vance Witt, president of the historical society, presided at the meeting. He was assisted by Jill Smith, director of the Union County Heritage Museum, who introduced the speaker.
Jim Henson, vice president of the society, reported on the condition of the Historical Society. Among other achievements, it has recently acquired the Cleveland Street birth site of Nobel Prize winning author, William Cuthbert Faulkner.
Director Smith presented the society’s annual Order of the Golden Hammer recognition to BNA Bank of New Albany. BNA Bank has been a key supporter of Union County Heritage Museum and the historical society since its inception. BNA has been a community partner of the society since 2006. The award was accepted by the officers of the bank.