(Walnut Ridge, Ark.) – Visitors to the Guitar Walk at Cavenaugh Park, nearing completion in downtown Walnut Ridge, will have a detailed account of the rockabilly music pioneers who once frequented the area.
Organizers say plans have evolved for the Guitar Walk, and it will now feature colorful displays of photographs and text describing the musical contributions of nine rockabilly legends, as well as an audio tour.
“We had originally planned to have metal silhouettes at Guitar Walk, similar to those at Beatles Park, but as plans developed we realized a need for greater detail than we could get with that approach. When we discovered these displays, we knew we had found the perfect solution,” said Brett Cooper of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee.
The displays are large plaques, four feet wide and two feet high. They are made of a highly durable fiberglass and display photos and text in vivid detail, according to Cooper. They will line the Guitar Walk, providing historical and musical details for visitors.
Slightly smaller displays will also be erected at the site explaining the history of Rock ‘n’ Roll Highway 67 and the Epiphone Casino guitar, which the Guitar Walk is modeled after. A similar display will also be set up at Beatles Park with photos of the Fab Four’s visit to Walnut Ridge in 1964.
Also included with the displays will be an audio tour. Pushing a button at each of the displays on the Guitar Walk will play a recollection about the artist or a snippet of their music.
“The audio tour features Sonny Burgess, a Sun Studio recording artist from Newport who traveled and performed with these legends. He shares his memories about Rock ‘n’ Roll Highway 67 and brings it all back to life. It’s a great addition to the Guitar Walk,” said Charles Snapp of the Tourism Committee.
Snapp credited Mike Doyle, station manager at KASU radio in Jonesboro, with compiling the tracks for the audio tour. Doyle also serves as narrator on the cuts, most of which are 60 to 90 seconds long.
The artists who are honored along the Guitar Walk performed along Rock ‘n’ Roll Highway 67 in its heyday, which was the mid 1950s. They are: Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Wanda Jackson, Conway Twitty, Roy Orbison, Sonny Burgess and Billy Lee Riley.
Most recorded with Sun Records in Memphis, and all are considered influential in the formation of rock music.
Guitar Walk at Cavenaugh Walk will open to the public with a ribbon cutting Saturday, Sept. 15th, during the Beatles at the Ridge music festival in Walnut Ridge.