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Blues Trail marker in Hernando, Mississippi

The Mississippi Blues Trail was created by the Mississippi Blues Commission in 2006 to place interpretive markers at the most notable historical sites related to the birth, growth, and influence of the blues throughout (and in some cases beyond) the state of Mississippi. Within the state the trail extends from the Gulf Coast north along several highways to (among other points) Natchez, Vicksburg, Jackson, Leland, Greenwood, Clarksdale, Tunica, Grenada, Oxford, Columbus, and Meridian. The largest concentration of markers is in the Mississippi Delta but other regions of the state are also represented. Several out-of-state markers have also been erected where blues with Mississippi roots has had significance.[1]

Contents

ImplementationEdit

The list of markers and locations was developed by a panel of blues scholars and historians. The trail has been implemented in stages as funds have become available. The National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Mississippi Department of Transportation have provided grant for funding of various markers, which are co-sponsored with funds from local communities. The marker texts are researched and written by former Living Blues magazine editors Jim O'Neal and Scott Barretta in conjunction with an editorial and design team that has included Wanda Clark; Chrissy Wilson; Allan Hammons; and Sylvester Oliver.[2]

Prior to the founding of the Mississippi Blues Trail, two preliminary markers were placed in Indianola, Mississippi, at a corner where B.B. King played as a young man and at the Club Ebony.

The first three Mississippi Blues Trail markers were dedicated on December 11, 2006. The first, at Holly Ridge, is dedicated to Delta blues pioneer Charley Patton.[3]

The second marker is located in front of the Southern Whispers Restaurant on Nelson Street in Greenville. Nelson Street, the home of many nightclubs, cafes, and juke joints over the years, was once the primary center of African American business, entertainment, and social life in the Delta.[4] For many decades this historic strip drew crowds to the flourishing club scene to hear Delta blues; big band; jump blues; rhythm & blues; and jazz.

The third marker ceremony was at the original location of WGRM radio station in Greenwood where B.B. King first broadcast as a gospel singer.[4]

By the end of 2016, the Mississippi Blues Trail had placed nearly 200 markers,[5] not only in honor of individual artists, clubs, record companies, radio stations, and historic events, but also in celebration of plantations, streets, cities, and counties that were centers of blues activity, as well as at Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, where folklorists have recorded blues by inmates (most notably Bukka White) on several occasions dating back to the 1930s.[6]

Current markersEdit

Locations are in Mississippi unless otherwise stated.

Marker name Marker location Photograph
Ace Records Jackson  
Albert King Indianola  
Alamo Theater/Dorothy Moore Jackson
Asie Payton Holly Ridge
Texas Johnny Brown[7] Ackerman
Arthur Crudup Forest
B.B. King Birthplace Berclair  
Baptist Town Greenwood  
Big Jack Johnson Clarksdale  
Big Walter Horton Horn Lake  
Birthplace Of The Blues? Dockery Plantation  
Blue Front Cafe Bentonia  
Bo Diddley McComb
Broadcasting the Blues Gulfport
Cassandra Wilson Jackson
Charley Patton gravesite Holly Ridge  
Chrisman Street Cleveland  
Church Street Indianola  
Club Ebony Indianola  
Columbus - Catfish Alley Columbus
Corner of 10 and 61 Leland  
James Cotton Clayton  
Cotton Pickin Blues Hopson  
Delta Blues Museum Clarksdale  
Elks Hart Lodge No. 640 Greenwood  
Elvis Presley and the Blues Tupelo
Fred McDowell Como
Gatemouth Moore Yazoo City  
Greasy Street Ruleville  
Guitar Slim Shellmound  
Harlem Inn Winstonville  
Harold "Hardface" Clanton Tunica  
Henry Townsend Shelby  
Hickory Street Canton
Highway 61 Blues Robinsonville  
Holmes County Blues (Lexington) Lexington  
Holmes County Blues (Tchula) Tchula  
HoneyBoy Edwards Shaw  
Hot Tamales And The Blues Rosedale  
Howlin' Wolf West Point  
Ike Turner Clarksdale  
James "Son" House Leland  
Jimmie Rodgers Meridian  
Jimmy Rogers Ruleville  
John Lee Hooker Vance  
Little Milton Inverness  
Furry Lewis Greenwood  
Livin' at Lula Lula  
Magic Sam Grenada  
Malaco Records Jackson
Memphis Minnie Walls  
Mississippi John Hurt Avalon  
Mose Allison Tippo  
Mound Bayou Blues Mound Bayou  
Muddy Waters' cabin site Clarksdale  
Nelson Street Greenville  
Natchez Rhythm Club Natchez
Otis Rush Philadelphia  
Parchman Blues Parchman  
Pinetop Perkins Belzoni  
Po' Monkey's Merigold  
Rabbit Foot Minstrels Port Gibson
Red Tops Vicksburg
Riverside Hotel Clarksdale  
Riley B. King Indianola  
Robert Johnson birthplace Hazlehurst
Robert Johnson gravesite Greenwood  
Robert Nighthawk Friars Point
Rocket "88" Lyon  
Sam Chatmon Hollandale
Sam Cooke Clarksdale  
Eddie Shaw Benoit  
Skip James Bentonia  
Son House Clack
Sonny Boy Williamson In Helena Helena  
Subway Lounge Jackson
Hubert Sumlin Greenwood  
Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival Clarksdale  
Sunnyland Slim: Quitman County Blues Lambert  
Eddie Taylor Benoit  
The Enlightment of W.C. Handy Cleveland  
The Hollywood Cafe Robinsonville  
The Peavine Boyle  
The Staple Singers Drew  
Tommy Johnson Crystal Springs
Trumpet Records Jackson
Turner's Drug Store Belzoni  
Tyrone Davis Leland  
Wade Walton Clarksdale  
W.C. Handy Encounters The Blues Tutwiler  
WGRM Radio Studio Greenwood  
"Where The Southern Cross The Dog" Moorhead  
Willie Dixon Vicksburg
Johnny Winter Leland  
W.C. Handy/Sonny Boy Williamson Tutwiler
WROX Clarksdale  
Chicago Chicago, Illinois
Grammy Awards Los Angeles, California
Memphis Blues Memphis, Tennessee
Mississippi to Alabama Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Blues Trail: Mississippi to Florida Tallahassee, Florida  ]
Mississippi to Helena Helena, Arkansas  ]
Mississippi to Louisiana Ferriday, Louisiana
Mississippi to Maine Rockland, Maine
Norway Notodden, Telemark, Norway
Paramount Records Grafton, Wisconsin
The Blues Foundation Memphis, Tennessee

Source: Mississippi Blues Trail official web site

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Widen, Larry. "JS Online: Blues trail". Jsonline.com. Archived from the original on 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
  2. ^ "Mississippi Blues Commission - Blues trail". Msbluestrail.org. Archived from the original on 2007-02-09. Retrieved 2007-02-09.
  3. ^ "Haley Barbour Unveils First Marker of Mississippi Blues Trail". Jazz News. Retrieved 2007-02-09.
  4. ^ a b "Blues Matters! - Delta sites to be included on new blues trail". Bluesmatters.com. Retrieved 2008-05-28.[dead link]
  5. ^ "Mississippi Blues Commission - List of Blues Trail Markers". Msbluestrail.org. Retrieved 2017-04-22.
  6. ^ "BLUES TRAIL MARKS PARCHMAN AS MAJOR INFLUENCE Archived 2012-03-08 at the Wayback Machine.." State of Mississippi. September 23, 2010. Retrieved on October 3, 2010.
  7. ^ "Mississippi honors Houston's Texas Johnny Brown - Houston Chronicle". Chron.com. 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2013-07-06.

External linksEdit