Gift from Musician Wes Henley Will Benefit UofM Lambuth Music and Entertainment Students

August 10, 2020 - Wes Henley, who has written, performed and produced music for celebrated artists for more than four decades, has committed a $250,000 estate gift to the University of Memphis Lambuth Music and Entertainment program.

The gift includes Henley’s Highland House Productions, a recording studio where Carl Perkins and others have played and had their music recorded; recording equipment from the studio; and musical instruments from his collection for Music and Entertainment students to use.

In addition to Perkins, Henley has performed with such artists as George Harrison, Roger Daltry, Steven Tyler, George Thorogood, Don Henley, Charlie Daniels, the Judds, Johnny Cash and Dwight Yoakam.

“Carl Perkins was, and is still, a beacon in my life as a groundbreaking musician in his time and as a humanitarian,” said Henley, a native of Jackson, Tenn. “He was incredibly generous with his time, talent and his money. One of his favorite sayings was, ‘You never stand as tall as when you bend down to help a child.’ Of course, college students are not children – they are grown, but the same message holds true. I have no greater wish than to be of some assistance to a group of talented young people.” 

“For four decades, Wes Henley has been one of the hardest working and passionate musicians in West Tennessee,” said Dr. Jeremy Tubbs, director of the Music and Entertainment program. “He has written, produced and performed hundreds of projects during that time, including as the guitarist for the Carl Perkins band, and he has shown no signs of stopping. 

“As he has progressed, he has given back. Mr. Henley has donated his time and talents to dozens of charitable organizations like the Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse and the Jacob Barker Music Fest to benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Now, he has given our University an incredible gift that ensures that his legacy lives on through us. Mr. Henley’s Highland House Productions will continue to host creative events and educational opportunities for decades to come. We are honored to be able to carry the torch, and thankful for all Wes Henley has done and will continue to do for Jackson and the University of Memphis Lambuth campus.”

“Wes Henley’s gift to UofM Lambuth’s Music and Entertainment program is phenomenal and will impact students for future generations,” added Dr. Niles Reddick, dean of UofM Lambuth. “We are extremely humbled and appreciative.”

“I only hope I can be one of the people in the students’ lives that they remember getting encouragement from,” said Henley. “The tools I leave for them will allow more creativity and freedom to be able to make music around the clock, effectively doubling the studio space at UofM Lambuth.”

A webinar with Henley and Tubbs is planned for October. More details will follow.