Ike Turner focus of weekend celebration in Miss.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - August 5, 2010

This weekend in Clarksdale, officials and music fans will gather to unveil two markers honoring Turner and his musical legacy. The unveilings coincide with the 23rd annual Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival, dedicated this year to "Rocket 88," the 1951 Turner tune often cited as the first rock 'n' roll song.

Blues trail research director Jim O'Neal says Turner is one of the most important figures in American music, though his legacy is often overshadowed by the turbulent years of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue in the 60s and 70s.

A crowd of 25,000 is expected at the festival that starts Friday and features performances by dozens of acts.

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