Fast Cut Films producers, Mark Susman and Mike Snow, were present Saturday morning, November 13, 2010 in Houston’s historic Third Ward, to witness the dedication of a state historical marker honoring Sam “Lightnin'” Hopkins, the legendary bluesman who lived in the Third Ward from the late 1940s until his death in January 1982.
Susman and Snow, co-producers of the in-production documentary film, “Where Lightnin’ Strikes,” were on hand to film the dedication ceremony that was the culmination of fifteen months of work by fellow Houstonian and blues fan, R. Eric Davis. Davis began his quest to honor Hopkins after discovering that Houston’s only public memorial to Hopkins is his meager gravestone in Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery.
“We’re getting some nice footage, said Snow. “We’ve filmed several interviews with members of Lightnin’s family and friends and we’re getting great performance footage.”
Some of the highlights of the day included, Davis’ emotional welcoming of the capacity crowd, followed by an insightful speech from Dr. Roger Wood, a college professor and local blues authority. City of Houston Council member James Rodriguez, whose district includes Third Ward, read a proclamation from Mayor Annise Parker’s office congratulating Davis on his efforts and proclaiming Saturday “Lightnin’ Hopkins Day.” Harris County Historical Foundation representatives read further congratulations from County Judge Ed Emmett, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Gov. Rick Perry, and presented commemorative plaques to Hopkins’ granddaughters Bertha Kelly and Jessica Woodson.
“It’s an honor to be here and to witness history,” says Susman. “I’m glad we’re here to document the day. This will be a great addition to the film.”
In addition to the speeches and marker unveiling, the crowds were treated to dynamic performances by Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy, Milton Hopkins (Lightnin’s cousin) and Texas Johnny Brown.