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June 2nd & 3rd 2017

Longview, Texas

Board of Directors


Marcus Wren III

Marcus Wren III

Shreveport, Louisiana
Marcus Wren III is the President of Music Mountain Water Company. He is also a partner in Delaney Auto Design. Marcus is active in civic and community support for Shreveport;he became a sponsor of the T-Bone Walker Blues Fest in 2010 and joined the Board of Directors in 2011. He established the car show as part of the festival.


Nicolas Emiliani

Los Angeles, California

 Nicolas Emiliani is the Producer for Decipher Entertainment and specializes in filming and production of music videos, films and promos. Nicolas has been active in promoting the festival and in leading the effort to record and document the historic Pleasant Hill Rosenwald School and the preservation of the oral American history of the Underground Railroad Quilt Code. Nicolas serves on the festival staff.

Rayford StephensRayford Stephens

Houston, Texas

Rayford Stephens retired from the Texas Southern University Police Department following 30 years of law enforcement, including tours with Prairie View A & M, Texas Medical Center – Houston, University of Houston and the University of Texas. He was the President of the Texas Police Association, and active in several Texas law enforcement associations. Rayford has been a volunteer with the festival since its inception, and served as President of the Board for two years.



 Cynthia HellenCynthia Hellen

Longview, Texas

Cynthia Hellen is the Executive Director of the LeTourneau University Belcher Center, where she handles all show and event booking, building rentals, and oversees all functions of the Center. Her career has been spent in public relations and marketing and in teaching PR and public speaking at the college level in Houston and Longview. She is also an active volunteer, currently serving as a trustee on the Pine Tree ISD school board and as Secretary of the Southwest Performing Arts Presenters.

marcMarcus Welch

Longview, Texas

Marcus Welch is a co-owner in his family's 100 year old business, Welch Funeral Home.  His love of blues music began in the 1960's and continues today.  As one of the founders of Alleyfest, he brought many blues performers to Longview during his thirteen years with the festival. For the past seven years he has produced Trick's Synthetic Podcast, a twice weekly podcast featuring all types of roots music.



Richard BowdenRichard M. Bowden

Linden, Texas

Richard Bowden was the Executive Director of Music City Texas, Inc. and instrumental in developing the theater into the intimate, yet dynamic, venue of today.  Richard has a storied career in music –lead guitarist of the Linda Ronstadt Band; Dan Fogelberg Band; Roger McGuinn Band; and the Pinkard & Bowden country-music comedy team. Richard is frontman for “Richard Bowden with Moon & the Starz”. and with Cass County's Bluegrass legend John Early forms the "Bowden-Early Experience". Richard was  the Music Producer of the festival for eight years.



Natalie Rabicoff

Longview, Texas

Natalie Rabicoff has one foot in the family business, Sobol Welder's Supply, and the other in her community. Natalie exemplifies volunteerism with a lifetime of promoting her community and region. Her vision for the great things Americans can achieve when working in partnership is reflected in the numerous awards from community and civic organizations have been bestowed upon her. Natalie brings to the corporation the experience of years of leadership and teamwork on boards and working staff projects. She has been a volunteer with the festival since it first moved to Longview.




Advisory Board

Dr. William WrightDr. William R. Wright

Sammamish, Washington
Dr. William R. Wright, a graduate of the United States Military Academy and Texas A & M University, served a full career with the United States Air Force. After retiring from the Air Force, Bill was the founder and CEO of Computas, NA and several other software companies. He is working again in public service with the Federal Government. He was a founding member of the Board of Directors and has been a volunteer with the festival since its inception in a variety of positions.


Federic H WaleckiFrederic H. Walecki

Maillbu, California
Owner of FRED WALECKI'S INCREDIBLE INSTRUMENTS in West Los Angeles, Fred Walecki is one of the premiere unsung heroes in the West Coast music scene. Since the ‘60’s, Fred have been at the center of rock and roll legend making. The stories abound--like the time the Stones went to see Sonny and Brownie at the Ash Grove, driven by Fred in his mom’s station wagon. Or when Bernie Leadon promised to stand good for a charge account for his new band, which had come up with the questionable name of "The Eagles." Beginning students, talented songwriter/bar players and the fortunate few who have became musical legends—Fred has been loyal to them all. It is not unusual on any given day to find Joni Mitchell or Lyle Lovett, Gram Nash or David Crosby, Kevin Moore ("Keb Mo") or Chris Hillman visiting Fred and talking with the other regular customers. Fred was a founding board member and has been a volunteer and active promoter of the festival.



Nancy MeyerNancy Meyer

Big Bear Lake, California
Nancy Meyer is co-owner of Bates Meyer, Inc (music arts management). As an artist manager, Nancy Meyer has coordinated all aspects of her clients’ careers including; recording, publishing, publicity, touring, educational, symphony and performing arts engagements. She is also active in the area of Music Supervision and Rights Clearance. Currently, Bates Meyer, Inc. represents the estates of Aaron T-Bone Walker, Peter Chatman (professionally known as Memphis Slim), Lonnie Johnson, Jimmy Witherspoon, Shifty Henry and Ted Hawkins. Nancy has provided professional advice to the festival since its inception.


Kip HollowayKip Holloway

Shreveport Louisiana




Jimmy Wallace





Festival Staff


 Jim KingJim King

Festival Photographer
Longview, Texas
Jim is a professional photographer with a studio in Longview, Texas. While known for his creativity in wedding and family photographs, he also has a passion for capturing musicians at work. Combining his photography with his love of music, Jim has been photographing musicians for over 30 years. Hank Williams Jr., Leon Russell, Boz Scaggs, Clint Black, Sawyer Brown, Aerosmith, Travis Tritt, Little Texas, Michael Bolton, Bret Michaels, Jackson Browne and Robin & The Blue Birds are just some of the talent seen through his lenses.

Excited to have been recently named as the official photographer of Music City Texas Theater in Linden, Jim says “There is no greater feeling than having an artist on stage, sharing their soul with their music, and me being able to capture it.”


Dixie Golden Staff

Dixie Golden

Facility Manager
Maude Cobb Convention Center


Dixie Golden is originally from Memphis, Tennessee and has been with the City of Longview's  Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Complex for 12 years.   Dixie has over 25 years experience coordinating special events. Organizations such as the Longview Downtown Development Corporation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and the Parks & Leisure Department have allowed her to gain an extensive background in various events.  Dixie attended the festival in Linen several times and is thrilled to see it relocated to the Maude Cobb Convention Center.  

 Gary KrellGary Krell

 Chair, Marketing & Promotion Committee


Gary Krell is the co-publisher of Piney Woods Live Magazine, an art and entertainment publication based in Longview, Texas. He began to discover the blues enthusiast hidden under his rock-and-roll skin when he heard Bono and B.B. King do "When Love Comes To Town" in the 1980's. Gary has promoted music and the arts in the Piney Woods of Texas and been a leader in bringing quality live entertainment to the community.




 Bill Supan

Physical Arrangements

Retired General Contractor and student of the Blues.  He even wrote his college thesis on the influence of American Blues on British Rockers.   He has been involved with music in Longview for many years including Alley Fest and Cattle Barrons.
Sent from my iPhone




Lezlie Kroger Chappell



Susanne McGee Mobile 

Susanne McGee

Junior Showcase Chairperson and "All round Ram rod!"





 Chelsea Cace

Hospitality Chairperson



Founder Emeritus

Russell WrightRussell G. Wright

Founder Emeritus
Russ Wright was the founder of both the festival and T-Bone Walker Blues Fest, Inc. He served as a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force and, after his retirement, was a pilot for United Air Lines. Following his retirement from United, Russ and his wife Jean moved to Cass County, Texas where they operate the Lazy R J Ranch. Russ served as festival Executive Producer during the festival's eight years in Linden, and he served as Executive Director of the Corporation for six years. His wife, Jean, served as Executive Director of the Corporation for two years.


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