The King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation, Inc. (KTCF) announces that acclaimed local vocalists Huxsie Scott, Stephanie Edwards, Lori J. Lewis and Mario Bennett, will salute four outstanding African American musical pioneers, in performances during the twelfth annual Awards Banquet, which will be held on Saturday, September 26, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hyatt Regency Savannah. A reception will precede the banquet at 6:30 p.m. At the awards banquet, five awards are given annually to individuals, whose work has been significant in affecting progress, promoting human dignity and positively impacting either the city of Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia or the nation. Ms. Felicia Cook, will open the program with the national anthem.
The banquet will feature musical tributes to Pearl Bailey, Nat King Cole, Eartha Kitt and Mahalia Jackson, performed by an assemblage of some Savannah ’s leading vocalists. Singer, dancer and Tony Award-winning actress, Pearl Bailey will be featured by Huxsie Scott.
Local singer Mario Bennett will offer a vocal tribute to Nat King Cole, a jazz singer, pianist and the first African American to host a national television variety show. Stephanie Edwards will pay tribute to Eartha Kitt, an actress, singer and cabaret star, who assumed the role of Catwoman in the “60’s television series, “Batman” and who passed away this past Christmas. Lori J. Lewis will salute Mahalia Jackson, the pioneering and Grammy awardwinning, Queen of Gospel music, whose music and persona were featured on early network television and several early Hollywood films, such as “Imitation of Life” and “St Louis Blues.” When asked about the reason for the choice of these particular celebrites for tributes, Larry Chisolm, Chairman of the King-Tisdell Cottage Fondation and Chatham County’s District Attorney stated: “With the tragic loss of Michael Jackson , one of the most influential entertainers of all time, the foundation, as an African American historical and cultural institution, thought that it is appropriate to reflect and pay tribute to some of the pioneers who broke race and color barriers and opened the door for the phenomenal success of Michael Jackson and whose names and accom- plishments are becoming forgotten, as we acknowledge Jackson’s success.”
Award recipients for 2009 include: Historic Preservation: Craig Barrow, III, Wormsloe Foundation, Inc., Davenport House Endowment Fund Director; Public Service: Shirley B. James, Publisher and Editor of The Savannah Tribune;
Education: Dr. Joe Buck, Chatham County School Board President; Fine Arts: Luther E. Vann, Savannah Artist; and W. W. Law Legacy: William B. Jackson, Civil Rights Activist, Retired Educator.