Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 17, 2015

Bessie Smith presents ‘A tribute to Roland Hayes’

The newest exhibit at Bessie Smith Cultural Center offers a glimpse into the life of Roland Hayes. - (Photo by David Laprad)

Bessie Smith Cultural Center has launched a new exhibit titled “A Tribute to Roland Hayes.” It will be available for viewing through Oct. 31.

The exhibit offers a glimpse into the life of Roland Hayes, who was born in Gordon County, Ga., and grew up in Chattanooga. The son of a former slave, Hayes was the first classical singer to incorporate black spiritual music into his repertoire.

After studying at Fisk University, Hayes performed at Carnegie Hall and Boston Symphony Hall. At the height of his popularity, he performed privately for King George V of England, and he was said to be the highest paid singer in the world in 1928. The only recordings of Hayes were made late in his career, yet the power of his tenor voice was still evident. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is home to the Roland Hayes Concert Hall.

Bessie Smith Cultural Center is located at 200 E. Martin Luther King Blvd. Hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Call (423) 266-8658 for rates.

Source: Bessie Smith Cultural Center