Singing River Sculpture to be unveiled Sunday afternoon

by Steve Wiggins
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SHEFFIELD – Visitors to Downtown Sheffield will find it easy to spot the colossal addition to Bob Love Plaza. They will be able to instantly tell that it’s a statue – a big one. But no one will be able to see exactly what is under the drape of visqueen until Sunday afternoon at 2:00 o’clock.








During Sunday’s ceremonies, the statue, the first of nine planned for The Shoals, will be revealed. Renowned metal sculptor, Audwin McGee took almost a year and a half to complete this first tribute to our area’s rich musical heritage. He was commissioned after a campaign successfully raised funds to initiate this area-wide project. Sheffield, the city where the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley were brought by Sam Phillips to perform, is fittingly the first place to unveil its statue. In fact, the statue is located only around the corner from where these music titans were tested by Phillips, who always said, “It it plays in Sheffield, it will play everywhere.”




David Anderson (left), Bill Matthews

Well known community supporter Bill Matthews was traveling in Ireland a few years ago. “I was going from town to town over there and I kept seeing these huge statues that were created to celebrate Ireland’s musicians,” he said. “I though it would be a really good thing to have something like that back home.” He continued, “So I got with Nancy (Gonce) and David Anderson, and we set about to make it happen.”

Matthews and Anderson were on hand Friday morning as Sheffield Utilities Department workers gingerly set the 2,000 pound work of art on its footing. A small crowd gathered to watch as the piece was set into place.  After the four mounting bolts were torqued down, the utilities crew, now a part of Sheffield’s history as well, posed for a photo.

The public is invited to the unveiling Sunday afternoon. Music will be provided by The Hit Men.

(From left to right) Barry Wright, Matt Bernauer, Zach Tubbs, Brandon Slay, Ronnie Davis, Mike Smith, Brian Lindsey

 Please see our earlier story, “Singing River Sculptures on the way – Sheffield unveils the first in the series – SNEAK PHOTOS!”

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1 comment

Cybil K. September 23, 2012 - 1:49 pm

Nice addition to Sheffield, let’s hope the city helps with the up-keep on this 🙂


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