Auction to Benefit Legendary Bluesman Jimmy "Midnite Cowboy" Pryor Scholarship
 

For immediate release Sept 1, 2005

 

 

Michelle Tice, michelleddsm@aol.com
Sarah Oltrogge, Sarah.Oltrogge@iowa.gov, 515-281-4011

(Des Moines, Iowa)- Proceeds raised from a silent and live auction during the Sept. 10 Jimmy “Midnite Cowboy” Pryor Tribute and Show will benefit the new Jimmy Pryor Music Scholarship Fund.

Blues musicians from across the state will be playing in support of Pryor who, at age 88, has suffered from recent health problems. This free event will take place from 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at the State Historical Museum, 600 E. Locust, Des Moines.

“Jimmy has built a life around music, and now he wants to be able to share what he has learned with a younger generation,” said Pryor’s wife, Cheryl Evans Pryor. “The scholarship fund will help high school seniors who are interested in pursuing a career in music turn their dream into reality.”

Auctions items will be available for silent bidding throughout the day, with a live auction on larger ticket items taking place at 3 p.m. Items on the auction block will include:

  • Cherry & Smoky Quartz handmade necklace – absoluteart
  • Blue pearl, peridot & sterling necklace – Earth, Wind and Water Custom Jewelry Designs
  • Jimmy Pryor autographed photo, framed – Brooke Howard Photography
  • Box of Premium Dominican Cigars (25) – Cigar Source
  • One-hour massage – Body Language
  • 3 CD package – ZZZ Records
  • Fresh ground coffee & travel mug – Grounds for Celebration
  • Ukulele – Uptempo Music
  • One night stay – Sheraton West Des Moines
  • One-of-a-kind blue jean skirt created by Deborah Lee
  • T-shirts – Panorama Casual
  • Gift Certificates from Jesse’s Embers, Execuserve Catering, Buzzard Billy’s, Johnny’s Hall of Fame, and Iowa Beef Steak House
  • And more!

The Jimmy “Midnite Cowboy” Pryor Tribute and Show will include at least 14 acts, food catered by Bibb’s BBQ, as well as selections from Foxboro Grill and Jesse James, and the auction. Pryor is also planning to perform during the event and Mayor Frank Cownie will be presenting him with a Key to the City at 2 p.m.

Memorabilia from Pryor’s collection will be on display during the event, and visitors are encouraged to visit the State Historical Museum’s exhibit, Patten’s Neighborhood: Memories of the Center Street Community, featuring materials from Robert E. Patten, who operated a Des Moines printing business serving the African-American community from the 1920s through the 1960s. Patten printed many of the social club events posters that provide a glimpse into the Center Street nightlife.

Pryor first made a name for himself on the Detroit blues scene playing with the big names of the day: B.B. King, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, and John Lee Hooker among them. He landed in Des Moines in 1960, and quickly became popular on the Center Street strip, a bustling black community in then-segregated Des Moines. For years, he worked the local circuit and even played country music in local supper clubs in the 1970s, a time when Blues music was waning in popularity. In 1999, Pryor was inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame.

The event is open to the public and sponsored by the Central Iowa Blues Society and the State Historical Society of Iowa.

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