Mississippi Blues Trail

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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]

Implementation

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 markers

Locations are in Mississippi unless otherwise stated.

Marker name Marker location Photograph
Ace Records Jackson Jackson ace records800px.jpg
Albert King Indianola AlbertKingMSBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Alamo Theater/Dorothy Moore Jackson
Asie Payton Holly Ridge
Texas Johnny Brown[7] Ackerman
Arthur Crudup Forest
B.B. King Birthplace Berclair
Bertha Lee Lula
Big Walter Horton Horn Lake Blues Trail Marker Walter Horton Horn Lake MS 03.jpg
Birthplace Of The Blues Dockery Plantation DockeryMSBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Blue Front Cafe Bentonia TheBlueFrontCafeBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Bo Diddley McComb
Broadcasting the Blues Gulfport
Cassandra Wilson Jackson
Charley Patton gravesite Holly Ridge CharleyPattonMSBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Chrisman Street Cleveland ChrismanStreetHMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Church Street Indianola ChurchStreetMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Club Ebony Indianola ClubEbonyMSBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Columbus - Catfish Alley Columbus
HoneyBoy Edwards Shaw
Dockery Plantation Dockery DockeryMSBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Elks Lodge Greenwood
Elvis Presley and the Blues Tupelo Elvis Presley house in Tupelo 3.jpg
Frank Frost Lula
Fred McDowell Como
Gatemouth Moore Yazoo City GatemouthMooreBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Greasy Street Ruleville
Guitar Slim Shellmound
Harlem Inn Winstonville HarlemInnMSBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Henry Townsend Shelby HenryTownsendBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Hickory Street Canton
Highways 10 & 61 Leland
Holmes County Blues (Lexington) Lexington HolmesCountyBluesLexingtonMSBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Holmes County Blues (Tchula) Tchula HolmesCountyBluesTchulaMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Hopson Planting Company Hopson Hopsonhistoricalmarker.jpg
Howlin' Wolf West Point West Point Howlin' Wolf Blues Trail Marker West Point.png
James Cotton Tunica
Jimmie Rodgers Meridian Jimmie Rodgers Museum Sign.JPG
Jimmy Rogers Ruleville
John Lee Hooker Vance
Little Milton Inverness LittleMiltonCampbellBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Livin' at Lula Lula
Magic Sam Grenada
Malaco Records Jackson
Memphis Minnie Walls Memphis Minnie Hist Marker Walls MS.jpg
Mississippi John Hurt Avalon
Mississippi State Penitentiary (Parchman) Parchman MississippiStatePen.jpg
Mound Bayou Blues Mound Bayou
Muddy Waters' cabin site Clarksdale Muddy Waters Cabin.jpg
Nelson Street Greenville
Natchez Rhythm Club Natchez
Otis Rush Philadelphia
Peavine Branch Boyle
Pinetop Perkins Belzoni PinetopPerkinsBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Po' Monkey's Merigold Po Monkeys Juke Joint.jpg
Rabbit Foot Minstrels Port Gibson
Red Tops Vicksburg
Riverside Hotel Clarksdale
Riley B. King Indianola RileyBKingMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Robert Johnson birthplace Hazlehurst
Robert Johnson gravesite Greenwood
Robert Nighthawk Friars Point
Rosedale Rosedale
Sam Carr Lula
Sam Chatmon Hollandale
Skip James Bentonia NehemiahSkipJamesBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Son House Clack
Subway Lounge Jackson
Tommy Johnson Crystal Springs
Trumpet Records Jackson
Turner's Drug Store Belzoni TurnersDrugStoreBluesTrailMarker.jpg
WGRM Radio Studio Greenwood
"Where The Southern Cross The Dog" Moorhead YellowDogMSBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Willie Dixon Vicksburg
W.C. Handy/Sonny Boy Williamson Tutwiler
WROX Clarksdale WROX Building ~ Clarksdale, MS.JPG
Chicago Chicago, Illinois
Grammy Awards Los Angeles, California
Memphis Blues Memphis, Tennessee
Mississippi to Alabama Muscle Shoals, Alabama
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 also

References

  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. 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." 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 links

  • Mississippi Blues Trail list and map
  • Delta Blues in the Lower Mississippi Valley, Indianola
  • Mississippi Blues Highway Registry

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