Holmes County Blues Lexington
Holmes County has been a significant contributor to the legacy of African American blues and gospel music in Mississippi. Heralded blues artists born or raised in the Lexington area include Elmore James (a native of Richland, about eleven miles south of town), Lee "Shot" Williams, Otis "Big Smokey" Smothers, and Lonnie Pitchford. B. B. King also lived briefly in Lexington as a teenager.
Lexington can claim a rich musical heritage as the onetime home of Blues Hall of Famers B. B. King and Elmore James along with an array of accomplished blues, soul, jazz, and gospel performers. King, born in 1925, was a budding guitarist and gospel singer when he moved to Lexington to live with his father Albert in 1940 for two years. James (1918-1963), a key figure in Mississippi and Chicago blues history, lived on various farms in Holmes County in his early years. His headstone in Ebenezer bears the inscription "King of the Slide Guitar."
Several local families were responsible for much of Lexington's blues legacy. Soul and blues singer Lee "Shot" Williams (1938-2011), whose recording career lasted
Guitarist Lee Cooper (1925-1966), a prolific studio musician from Lexington who was skilled in both jazz and blues, recorded with Howlin' Wolf, Memphis Slim, Eddie Boyd, and many others in Chicago. Another Chicago bluesman with Lexington roots, James Scott, Jr. (c. 1913-1983), recorded in Memphis for Sun Records in 1952 and led the Scott Jr. Band in Mississippi and Chicago. Geneva Morganfield (1915-1973), who was immortalized in her husband Muddy Waters' 1949 recording "Little Geneva," was a native of Lexington, as was noted jazz bassist Malachi Favors (1927-2004), a member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
Erected 2012 by the Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 156.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail marker series.
Location. 33° 6.674′ N, 90° 3.163′ W. Marker is in Lexington, Mississippi, in Holmes County. Marker is at the intersection of Yazoo Street (Mississippi Route 17) and Elder James Rodgers Street, on the right when traveling north on Yazoo Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 116 Yazoo Street, Lexington MS 39095, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lexington (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bishop Charles H. Mason
Categories. • African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment •
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Credits. This page was last revised on October 8, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 8, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 44 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 8, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.