Jackson in Hinds County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
Queen of Hearts
The Queen of Hearts, a primary venue for down-home blues in Jackson, opened at this location in the 1970s. During the following decades, owner-operator Chellie B. Lewis presented the blues bands of King Edward, Sam Myers, Big Bad Smitty, and many others. The house behind the club at 905 Ann Banks Street was owned and occupied in the 1960s by blues singer-guitarist Johnnie Temple, who had been a popular recording artist in Chicago in the 1930s and ‘40s.
Jackson became an important center for the blues in the early 1900s, when musicians from rural communities came here to play for crowds on the capital city’s streets and in its many venues. Live blues continued to thrive in Jackson into the twenty-first century, thanks to clubs such as the Queen of Hearts, where owner Chellie B. Lewis booked musicians and cooked soul food every weekend for decades. A native of Bolton, Mississippi, Lewis opened the club as “Nina’s Lounge” after taking over the lease from Mose Chinn, whose brother Clarence ran the popular New Club Desire in Canton. Lewis had previously operated a “whiskey house” with a jukebox in the nearby Maple Street Apartments and worked as a waiter at Percy Simpson’s nightclub on Moonbeam Street, where he would sometimes play piano with Elmore James's band.
Lewis also rented out rooms above the Queen of Hearts to musicians including Sam Myers and Big Bad Smitty, and recalled that the home of bluesman
Erected by the Mississippi Blues Commission.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail marker series.
Location. 32° 19.429′ N, 90° 12.206′ W. Marker is in Jackson, Mississippi, in Hinds County. Marker is at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr Drive and Ann Banks Street, on the right when traveling south on Martin Luther King Jr Drive. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2243 Martin Luther King Jr Drive, Jackson MS 39213, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Cassandra Wilson (approx. 1.1 miles away); Millsaps College The Alamo Theatre (approx. 1.6 miles away); Smith Robertson School (approx. 1.6 miles away); MFWC Headquarters (approx. 1.6 miles away); Noel House (approx. 1.6 miles away); Trumpet Records (approx. 1.7 miles away); St. Marks Episcopal Church (approx. 1.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Jackson.
Also see . . . Mississippi Blues Trail website. (Submitted on November 2, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Categories. • African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment • Notable Buildings •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 135 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.