100 Men Hall to be on HGTV
By Cassandra Favre
Aug 16, 2013, 20:12
Home is where the blues is.
On Tuesday, 100 Men DBA Hall's Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Loya announced that HGTV's "You Live in What?" will be filming at the hall on Sept. 14.
Jessie, Kerrie and their two children live in the addition they built next to the hall.
According to HGTV's website, the program showcases people who have turned the most unlikely places into personal places: "Gutsy visionaries who have found beauty in dilapidated commercial spaces, turning them into wonderful one a kind homes."
A ferry, train depot and an ice-cream-factory-turned-living-space have been featured on the show.
"We're very excited," Kerrie said. "I woke up one morning feeling like something great was going to happen and there was the e-mail from HGTV.
"According to HGTV we are the only family to live in a blues hall."
According to the 100 Men Hall's website, the hall was established in 1922 by the 100 members of the Debating Benevolent Association.
Events, fundraisers, plays, pageants and wedding receptions were held there. Over the years it became known as 100 Men Hall.
From the '40s to the '60s the region's greatest blues, R&B and soul music artists performed there.
Some known performers who played there were Big Joe Turner, Etta James, Guitar Slim, James Booker, Professor Longhair and Deacon John.
In 2005 Jessie and Kerrie rescued the hall from demolition following Hurricane Katrina, and restored it to its original state with help from Mississippi Dept. of Archives and History.
On June 17, 2011, the hall was added to the Mississippi Blues Trail when a historical marker was dedicated.
"We have two little children and it would have been impossible to do tours and set up for concerts," said Kerrie. "So we decided to live at the hall and Jessie built the addition in back.
"We view ourselves as caretakers, and we are honoring that tradition.
"If we didn't live here, we would miss some of the wonderful people that have stopped by to talk and visit the Hall and blues marker. It's a blast and we love it."
"This is our first national publicity, it's a really big deal for us. It's kind of our big break."
The TV shoot will also include Jessie's band The House Katz performance that night.
Band members include Jesse Loya on vocals and guitar; Robbie Brewer on drums; Louis "Wagon" Jordan on bass; and Billy des Hotels on keyboard.
The House Katz play music that keeps in tradition with the jump or entertainment blues that was swinging on the Gulf Coast and in New Orleans notably from the '40s to the '60s.
Tickets are available for $15 at the hall box office, and online at www.100menhall.org. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the band plays from 8-11 p.m. Attendees are asked to be at the hall by 7:45 p.m. to facilitate filming by HGTV. The hall is located at 303 Union St., Bay St. Louis. To learn more about the 100 Men DBA Hall, visit its website at www.100menhall.org or the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/The100MenHall