Fairmont Hosts The 13th Annual Johnny Johnson Festival - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Fairmont Hosts The 13th Annual Johnny Johnson Festival

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FAIRMONT -

Palatine Park in Fairmont was the site of the 13th annual Johnnie Johnson Festival on Saturday and Sunday.

Johnnie Johnson was a native of Fairmont, and is known around the world for his contributions to Jazz and Blues.

The musician passed away in 2005, but not before he was inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame. His influence on Jazz and Classical Music still lives on today and musicians said it's important to give him the credit he deserved.

"It means a lot because you know what Johnny never got the full credit that he deserved while he was living. He was beginning to attain it towards the last years of his life, but I think it's important to honor people while they can appreciate it. Not just other people and continue the honor after they're gone," said Daryl Davis, musician.

Johnson was born on July 8th 1924. The festival is always held during this time of year to honor his birthday and remember all that he has done for the area. President of the Johnny Johnson Festival, Bill Stalnaker, said this is an opportunity to recognize not only Johnny, but the community in general.

"If we pay tribute to someone from our community, we also pay tribute to ourselves. It's important to pay tribute to them because when we do that, they're part of us and we're part of them. The things that made us up also made them up," said Stalnaker.

The purpose of this concert is to honor the classical genre of music and give the community a chance to hear that style live and in person.

"I think there's so much heartache, heartfelt emotional lyrics and feelings. It's just a style of music that I don't think should ever die, so keeping it alive for people and letting them experience it live, is very important," said Roddy Barnes, musician.

This was the first time that the concert was free to the public. Directors hope that with enough support, they can continue to make this a free event for years to come.

This was also the first time the event was planned on the Fourth of July weekend. Organizers were worried about the turnout, but were pleased to see around 1,000 members of the community come out and enjoy the music.

At the end of the concert all of the bands got together on stage for an all-star performance.