Isaac Hayes to perform in city Nov. 7

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 23, 2003

[10/23/03] Academy Award-winning singer and songwriter Isaac Hayes will headline a benefit concert for an Edwards college in about two weeks.

Hayes will perform at the Vicksburg Convention Center Nov. 7, Larry Gawronski, convention center director, told members of the Vicksburg Convention Center and Auditorium Advisory Board Wednesday.

Hayes is known for “Theme from Shaft” from the movie by the same name. Hayes, also known for his songwriting, penned the songs “Soul Man” and “I Thank You.”

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Local musicians Eddie Cotton and Kelsie will also perform to raise money for the Bonner-Campbell College in Edwards. The college was home to the Southern Christian Institute, which was opened by a former Civil War chaplain who wanted to teach former slaves. It closed about 50 years ago.

Even with the star attraction coming, Gawronski said public concerts at the convention center may happen less because of poor attendance. He cited poor ticket sales from concerts by Average White Band and Juvenile.

“This town is very slow in buying tickets for public concerts,” Gawronski said. “And when they do it’s not supported well enough to pay the bills.”

The convention center is funded through a local hotel/motel tax, self-generated income and city subsidies. The center reported a $328,032 net operating deficit for the fiscal year that just ended, slightly down from the $352,567 deficit the year before, records show.

Gawronski said he’s never pleased with running a deficit, but “it’s less than 3 percent out of line.”

Gawronski said convention centers don’t plan to make profits, but the funds they bring into a city make them a worthy investment.

“Historically, any convention center worth it’s weight in gold is going to lose money,” he said. He said convention centers are judged by the outside dollars brought into an area.

In fiscal year 2003, 6,652 nights were spent in hotel and motel rooms because of events at the convention center, records show.

Gawronski said future events could include a blues festival with Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry performing.