Greenville in Washington County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
Nelson Street was once the epicenter of African American business and entertainment in the Delta. Nightclubs, cafes, churches, groceries, fish markets, barbershops, laundries, record shops, and other enterprises did a bustling trade. Famous blues clubs on the street included the Casablanca, the Flowing Fountain, and the Playboy Club. Willie Love saluted the street in his 1951 recording "Nelson Street Blues."
Nelson Street Whereas many Delta towns once "rolled up the sidewalks" in time for curfews, Greenville nurtured a flourishing nightlife, especially during the 1940s and ‘50s. Blues artists and audiences from throughout the area gravitated to the cafes, pool halls, and nightclubs of Nelson Street. The music ranged from raw Delta blues to big band jump blues and jazz. Years before he became America’s top black recording artist, Louis Jordan joined local bandleader and music educator Winchester Davis for some performances here in 1928.
When down-home southern blues was at its commercial peak in the American rhythm and blues industry in the early 1950s, record companies
One of the Casablanca recordings, Charlie Booker’s "No Ridin’ Blues," joined Willie Love’s "Nelson Street Blues" as a local anthem when Booker sang, "Greenville’s smokin’, Leland’s burnin’ down." Booker, Love, and Little Milton Campbell were among the blues artists who had their own radio shows on WGVM or WJPR. Disc jockey Rocking Eddie Williams later had a record store on Nelson Street. Blues venues of the 1950s included Henry T’s Pool Room, the Silver Dollar Cafe and the Blue Note.
Nelson Street alumni include Oliver Sain, Eddie Shaw, J.W. "Big Moose" Walker, Burgess Gardner, Lil’ Bill Wallace, Roosevelt "Booba" Barnes, Willie Foster, T-Model Ford, John Horton, and Lil’ Dave Thompson, as well as Greenville’s first black policeman, guitarist Willie "Burl" Carson. The most successful
Erected 2006 by the Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 2.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment. In addition, it is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail 🎶 series list.
Location. 33° 24.788′ N, 91° 3.115′ W. Marker is in Greenville, Mississippi, in Washington County. Marker is on Nelson Street west of Delesseps Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 756 Nelson Street, Greenville MS 38701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mt. Horeb M.B. Church (approx. ¼ mile away); St. Matthew's A. M. E. Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Washington County Courthouse (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Courthouse Arboretum (approx. 0.4 miles away); Harriet Blanton Theobald Park (approx. 0.4 miles away); Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church (approx. half a mile away); First United Methodist Church (approx. half a mile away); Hebrew Union Congregation (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greenville.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 29, 2017. It was originally submitted on August 29, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 219 times since then and 98 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 29, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.