BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) – This year’s tour of Old Biloxi Cemetery focuses on how music helped create beautiful harmony for Biloxi culture.
The theme? “Biloxi Music Makers.”
“It brings back fond memories of when my parents lived and what they did in Biloxi and hearing from these wonderful people,” said Biloxi resident Marth Hunt Tripp. “I remember the Rockin’ Rebels. They were great. They were fantastic and left us with so much to remember.
The Rockin’ Rebels got their start in the 1950s and had a big impact. Tamaline Blessey is the sister of two of the members, Walter and Gerald Blessey.
“Music has always been a big part of Coast culture and the Rockin’ Rebels were part of that, you know,” she said. “And we remember them. And it was nice to see that they were remembered today.
Ten stations were scattered around the cemetery, attracting large groups of visitors listening to actors embodying notable musicians like trumpeter Emile “Junie” Desport.
“I love doing this every year,” said actor Cree Cantrell. “I think it’s important to pay tribute to our history here in Biloxi, which is so rich. But this particular year, to be able to play my wife’s grandfather and someone who is so loved in Biloxi, it just means the world to me.
Fiddlin’ Peter Lepre has played all over the coast and in New Orleans.
Actor Brennan Prince quickly understood the essence of his character.
“Just her, I guess, her zest for life,” he said. “He really loved everything he did. He loved playing music. He loved living on the Coast.
And he enjoys sharing his likeness with the people closest to the man they love, like Lepre’s daughter, Helen Lepre Wiltz.
“I am so grateful to the people who proposed that my father be honored today,” she said. “It’s an honor. He would have been so happy.
The tour, presented by Preserve Biloxi and directed by Laurie Rosetti, continues Tuesday from 5-7 p.m.
Want more WLOX news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Copyright 2022 WLOX. All rights reserved.