Scene and Heard

Rainy Day Blues Society suffers unexpected loss

FILE PHOTO – Jimmy Haggard, president of the Rainy Day Blues Society, unexpectedly passed away last week.

With the sudden unexpected passing of the Blues Society president last week, the guess here is that everyone will be singing the blues Saturday about Jimmy Haggard. 

“I just talked to him last night. He had gigs on the books,” Rainy Day Blues Society secretary Vicki Herleman said Saturday. “He was supposed to gig last night and tonight.” 

Haggard, 68, died peacefully at home with his wife. 

He had been finalizing plans for this Saturday’s Rainy Day Blues Festival, being staged for the first time at Springfield’s Island Park after the Village Green in Cottage Grove went out of business last year. 

“The festival is all planned,” Herleman said. “We thought about canceling it, but it’s still going to happen. All the board members will fill in for Jimmy.

“The festival could turn into a big tribute to Jimmy.” 

With two national acts and three top local bands, this year’s event promises to be one of the best blues festivals in recent memory. 

Tickets are $25 at the gate. All festival-goers are urged to bring a lawn chair. 

Anyone wishing to help the family with funeral costs can go to the Jimmy Haggard Memorial Page & Fundraiser on social media. 

Rainy Day Blues Festival

Saturday, May 28

At Island Park, Springfield

Open 11 a.m.; music noon-9 p.m.

Headline acts: Johnny Main with Lisa Mann and Dave Melyan; Johnny Burgin & The Joel Astley Band

Warmup acts: Howlin’ Dogma; Heavy Chevy; Blue Owens Band