Main Street Officials Scramble After Friday Concert Act Drops Out

By Jeremy Coumbes on June 14, 2023 at 5:48pm

Organizers of the Downtown Concert Series had to scramble after this week’s artist dropped out.

The Fantasy R&B Band canceled their scheduled performance late Monday, leaving Jacksonville Main Street with a scheduled Friday concert and no performer.

Executive Director for Jacksonville Main Street Judy Tighe says, thanks to some quick work by Main Street’s Event Coordinator, the show will go on with a new original artist from Kansas City who they think might be even better.

Melissa really scrambled and came through for us, so everybody be sure and thank her. So the artist on Friday is now T.J. Hooker-Taylor, and he actually comes from a lineage of legendary soul and R&B artists- Johnnie Taylor, Floyd Taylor, and he’s carrying on that tradition and has actually become an R&B singer-songwriter in his own right. Pretty highly acclaimed, so we’re looking forward to this.

WLDS: That really is neat, and you say, Melissa, what is her last name let’s give her full credit.

Tighe: Melissa Hebron, she is our event coordinator, and yes, kudos to Melissa for coming through because Monday night we were scrambling.”

T.J. Hooker-Taylor began performing in the church at the age of ten and according to many in the industry since then has hearkened back to his famous father Johnnie Taylor’s sound, while still forging his own path.

WLDS News spoke with T.J. Hooker-Taylor this afternoon and he says he found out about the sudden opening this week in Jacksonville through his friend and engineer Dan Smith.

Yes, the Dan Smith Agency. He’s the guy that has done all of my music in his house. He’s my engineer and every song, everything that you hear from me, he’s done the mixing on. He also has a bluegrass group and he’s been in the industry for a long time.

So he reached out to me and said he had the gig and so that’s out we got lined up, so thank you to Dan Smith. He called her, she called me and we worked everything out.”

Hooker-Taylor is scheduled to be in Tunica, Mississippi Saturday night, and says thankfully they were able to squeeze the stop into his schedule and he’s glad to be making an appearance and looking forward to meeting Jacksonville.

Tighe says everyone should come downtown for the show Friday night and then come back on Saturday for the Juneteenth Celebration. She says this is the second weekend in a row where the Friday night concert leads into a full weekend of activity on the square.

This concert leads right into Juneteenth downtown on the square so everybody be sure to come down for that, they’ve got a lot of things going on. This has happened two weekends right in a row. You know the collaboration between other organizations.

We’re all working together to make this seamless transition from one event to another and just offering people more and more things to do downtown.”

T.J. Taylor-Hooker takes the stage this Friday at 7:00 pm with food and drink sales starting at 6:00.

The Jacksonville NAACP will be there where the public can vote for their pics in the Mr. and Miss Juneteenth Pageant. Then everyone is invited downtown on Saturday for the Juneteenth celebration from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm happening on the square.