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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Shaw in Bolivar County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

Honeyboy Edwards

 
 
Honeyboy Edwards Marker Side 1 image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, November 18, 2020
1. Honeyboy Edwards Marker Side 1
Inscription.  David "Honeyboy" Edwards, born in Shaw in 1915, took to the road as a teenager accompanying Big Joe Williams and became a true "rambling" bluesman. Later Edwards traveled with other artists, including Robert Johnson. Edwards recorded blues for the Library of Congress and the Sun and Chess labels, but he is also revered for his colorful tales of the lives of early Delta bluesmen.

Side 2
David Edwards, nicknamed "Honeyboy" by his sister, was born in Shaw on June 28, 1915. He started playing guitar at age 12, learning the basics from his father, Henry Edwards, and as a teenager saw early bluesmen including Tommy Johnson and Charley Patton. In 1932 bluesman Big Joe Williams took Edwards under his wing, teaching him valuable lessons about how to survive on the road. Edwards later traveled widely, hoboing on freight trains and skillfully avoiding arrests for vagrancy. He became a good gambler, and often played blues for tips until he made enough to enter games. Edwards described the life of the itinerant bluesman, relaying both its joys and difficulties, in his 1997 autobiography The World Don't Owe Me Nothin'. In 1937-38
Honeyboy Edwards Marker Side 2 image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, November 18, 2020
2. Honeyboy Edwards Marker Side 2
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Edwards worked some with Robert Johnson and attended Johnson's final performance in the Greenwood area in 1938, when Johnson was allegedly poisoned. Other artists he worked with in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Memphis included the Memphis Jug Band, Big Walter Horton, Sonny Boy Williamson No. 2 (Rice Miller), Tommy McClennan, and Little Walter Jacobs.

In 1942 a Library of Congress-Fisk University research team recorded Edwards in Clarksdale, and in 1951 Edwards made his first commercial recordings in Houston, Texas, for the ARC label as "Mr. Honey." He also recorded for the Sun and Chess labels in the '50s, but the sessions were not issued until the 1970s. In 1956 Edwards settled with his wife in Chicago, where he found work as a laborer and performed with Big Walter, Carey Bell and others. He was a guest on an a 1969 album by British blues-rock band Fleetwood Mac, and over subsequent decades recorded many albums on Folkways, Earwig and other labels. Edwards’s charming personality, storytelling skills, and detailed memories of long-departed blues artists were captured in the 2002 documentary Honeyboy, which included footage filmed in Shaw. Edwards, who was elected to the Blues Hall of Fame in 1996, toured the world in his final decades and shared the 2007 Grammy® Award for Best Traditional Blues Album (Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live in Dallas)
Honeyboy Edwards Marker detail Side 2 image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, November 18, 2020
3. Honeyboy Edwards Marker detail Side 2
with fellow veterans Pinetop Perkins, Henry Townsend, and Robert Lockwood, Jr. He died in Chicago on August 29, 2011.

Most blues activity in Shaw over the years has been in juke joints such as the White House, the Riverside Inn, the One Minute, and Fox's, although small local blues festivals have been held on occasion since the 1990s. Shaw was also the birthplace of Louis Satterfield (1937-2004), a prominent studio musician for Chess Records in Chicago and trombonist with the group Earth, Wind & Fire, and of Clarksdale guitarist and Delta Blues Museum educator Michael "Dr. Mike" James (1965-2009).
 
Erected 2007 by Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 8.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicEntertainment. A significant historical year for this entry is 1915.
 
Location. 33° 36.103′ N, 90° 46.504′ W. Marker is in Shaw, Mississippi, in Bolivar County. Marker is on Elm Street just south of Cottonwood Street, on the right when traveling north. Located in Old Railroad Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Shaw MS 38773, 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. The Peavine (approx. 7.6 miles away); Amzie Moore (approx. 10.1 miles away); Amzie Moore Home
Honeyboy Edwards Marker detail Side 2 image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, November 18, 2020
4. Honeyboy Edwards Marker detail Side 2
(approx. 10.1 miles away); Gospel Music and the Blues (approx. 10.1 miles away); Hill Demonstration School (approx. 10.1 miles away); The Marshall Plan (approx. 10.2 miles away); The Cleveland Depot (approx. 10.3 miles away); Delta Blues Inspires W.C. Handy (approx. 10.3 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Honeyboy Edwards. (Submitted on April 11, 2021, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.)
 
Honeyboy Edwards Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, November 18, 2020
5. Honeyboy Edwards Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 11, 2021, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 30 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 11, 2021, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.

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May. 6, 2021