- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

CLARKSDALE, Miss. (AP) — The Official Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame is considering Clarksdale as a possible location for a permanent home.

Memphis, Nashville, Detroit, and Jackson have previously been announced as potential locations for the museum, and Clarksdale has been added to the list of contenders due to the city’s rich musical heritage and the thousands of tourists who come here on an annual basis.

Lamont Robinson, founder of the project, said that he is excited to have Clarksdale in the mix of possible locations. Robinson has ties to the area, and last visited Coahoma County in the 80’s, but will be coming to town sometime in the coming weeks in order to scout possible locations and to meet with city leaders about the potential of such a move.

“We hope to make a decision by late November,” Robinson said. “I would love to be able to bring the Official Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame to Clarksdale.”

Clarksdale Mayor Bill Luckett said, “I have been working on getting another museum here since I took office. We have a couple of potential locations that would work well for this project, and I am looking forward to working with Mr. Robinson and his team to try to make this happen.”

City of Clarksdale Economic Development Coordinator Mac Crank is working on a proposal to submit to the museum’s board of directors, and is confident that Clarksdale can be competitive with the larger cities on the list, and feels that Clarksdale has advantages that the others lack, despite their size.

“Just the fact that Clarksdale is being considered as a location is huge,” Crank said. “And given the nature of the project, I really like our chances.”

The museum will also be home to the National Blues Center and the National Gospel Hall of Fame, and Robinson feels that locating the museum in Clarksdale would be a natural fit, given the amount of tourists who come here for the musical culture.

Robinson said that he was looking forward to bringing Clarksdale’s proposal to his board of directors.

“I’m very intrigued by the possibilities that locating in Clarksdale would bring,” he said. “This would be a landmark destination for the city, and I’m looking forward to learning more about how Clarksdale has developed as a tourist destination since my last visit, which has been too long ago.”

The Official Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame recently held their induction ceremony for 2014. Inducted into the hall during a gala event in Canton, Ohio, were B. B. King, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye and others.

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For more information about the project, visit their website at http://www.rbhalloffame.com

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Information from: The Clarksdale Press Register.

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