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Released January 10, 2005

'CLOWN OF THE YEAR' TO TICKLE FUNNY BONES
AT 20th ANNUAL SOUTHERN MISS COCA-COLA CLASSIC RODEO

HATTIESBURG - Four-time Pro-Rodeo Clown of the Year Lecile Harris is set to perform at the 20th annual Southern Miss Coca-Cola Classic Rodeo on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 21-22, at the James Lynn Cartlidge Forrest County Multi Purpose Center.

Like many rodeo clowns, Harris got his start in the business at a rodeo when the bullfighter failed to show. During his early years, Harris developed moves, methods and the business of studying a fighting bull's habits when the sport was still in its infancy. Some of his wrecks and antics have become legendary.

Rodeo isn't the only arena that Harris has used to showcase his talents. In the 1950s and '60s, he was a session drummer at the now famous Memphis Sun and Hi Studios, playing on many hits of the era. He landed a regular role in the early years of the TV series "Hee Haw," where he remained for over five years. He also had parts in the movies Walking Tall: The Final Chapter, The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James, and W.W. and the Dixie Dance Kings, as well as other movies and television shows.

Considered by his peers, rodeo producers, cowboys and fans as the best in the business, Harris currently works over 125 performances a year, including some of the biggest rodeos in the world. For over 50 years, his bullfighting and comedic ability have saved numerous cowboys from injury and brought smiles and laughter to millions of people.

All tickets for the rodeo are $10 and are available at the Payne Center on the Southern Miss campus, the multi purpose center, and T.J.'s Western Ware on U.S. Highway 49 in Hattiesburg.

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April 1, 2005 11:10 AM