Fred Jones, the Southern Heritage Classic (SHC) founder, is way too busy to spend much time digging through that past. He does say, matter-of-factly, that, “There weren’t many takers in the beginning.”
The 22nd annual SHC weekend will stretch from Sept. 8 through Sept. 11, with the big game between Tennessee State University and Jackson State University contested at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on Sept 10. The entertainment lineup is stellar, including Shaquille O’Neal Presents The All-Star Comedy Jam at the Orpheum and several classic favorites.
Here’s what’s ahead:
Thursday, Sept. 8
• The Classic VIP Party will take place at the Memphis Marriott Downtown in the Heritage Ballroom at 5 p.m. Mayor A C Wharton will host, with Trio Plus providing the music. Note: By invitation only.
• The U.S. Army Show is a high-energy, live musical extravaganza that showcases the latest in pop, rock, patriot, country and gospel music performed by soldiers of the National Guard and the Army Reserve. Admission is free at the Cannon at 7:30.
• Classic Concert: Soul crooner Kem will be stopping by the Orpheum Theatre, along with special guest Anthony David at 8 p.m. Tickets are $67 and $57 plus service charges.
Friday, Sept. 9
• The NIKE Classic Coaches Luncheon be at the Memphis Marriott Downtown at noon. Special guest speaker will be Alisha Coleman-Kiner, principal of Booker T. Washington High School. Note: By invitation only.
• The Shaquille O’Neal Presents The All-Star Comedy Jam will be at the Orpheum Theatre at 8 p.m. Tickets are $52.50 and $42.50 plus service charges.
• Classic R&B Concert: The O’Jays will be performing at the Harrah’s Tunica Event Center, along with comedian Jay Lamont at 9 p.m. Tickets are $55 plus services charges.
Saturday, Sept. 10
• Ed “Too Tall” Jones Golf Classic: The Gold Classic will be held at The Links at Cottonwoods. Tee off is at 8 a.m. For information, call (901) 398-6655. Net proceeds to benefit the Southern Heritage Foundation; $150 per person, includes green fee and 1/2 cart.
• Classic Parade: The Orange Mound Parade Committee salutes the Southern Heritage Classic! The parade route is along Park Avenue from Haynes to Airways and features some of the area’s leading high school marching bands. It starts at 10 a.m. Contact Claudette Boyd at 901-413-7109 or online at www.orangemound.vze.com for more information.
• The Classic Battle of the Bands will take place at Whitehaven High School at 10 a.m. The competition will feature the best high school show bands in the region with show-stopping dance routines. Tickets: $7 advance admission, $10 the day of, plus service charges.
• The Classic Fashions & Brunch will be at the Memphis Marriott East in the Cotillion Ballroom at 11 a.m. For tickets and information, contact Bettye Boone with the Coalition of 100 Black Women of Memphis at 901-831-8739 or online at www.ncbwmemphis.org. Tickets are $50.
• The Classic College Affair will be at the Pipkin Building at Tiger Lane at noon. Regional college and university representatives will be on hand to provide information about attending college. For information call 901-636-6264 or visit online at www.memphistn.gov. Free admission.
• Southern Heritage Classic presented by FedEx: The game at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium between TSU and JSU begins at 6 p.m. Tickets: $15, $30 and $45, plus service charges. All seats reserved. Tickets available at Ticketmaster outlets including the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium Box Office (opens Aug. 15) or online at www.ticketmaster.com. To charge by phone, call 1-800-745-3000.
Sunday, Sept. 11
(For more information on the Classic Weekend, visit www.southernheritageclassic.com, call SMC Entertainment at 901-398-6655 or toll free at 800-332-1991.)