Amory, Mississippi: Blues from a Railroad Town
Amory blues history revolves primarily around talented performers who have perpetuated the music as community entertainment, playing on weekends or after hours while holding regular daytime jobs. In a dry county, juke joints and nightclubs did not flourish as they did in many Mississippi towns, but blues has found a place in the streets, cafes, house parties, secret hideaways, festivals, schools, receptions, reunions, American Legion hut, and events here in Frisco Park.
The only Amory resident to emerge as a nationally known blues singer was Lucille (or Lucile) Bogan (1897-1948), who also recorded under the name Bessie Jackson. In the
In 1939 many Amory girls recorded for a Works Progress Administration/Library of Congress folk music study at Monroe County Training School. Two songs were released on an album of children’s music in 1978. Amory native Frank Swan (1940-2016) played drums on records by Earl Hooker, Ricky Allen, Big Walter Horton, Willie Dixon and others in Chicago and worked with many bands in the city and on tour. He was also a bus driver for Albert King and Little Milton. In Amory he worked at various jobs and promoted shows by Muddy Waters, Little Milton and others at the American Legion or the West Amory High School gym. Other Amory performers with recording and touring credits include Roger McKinney (1949-2017), who sang gospel with Tupelo-based Lee Williams & the Spiritual QC’s, and Tony Hooper, a member of the Christian blues-rock band Blues Counsel.
In the 1960s West Amory
St. Louis guitarist Cecil Travis was erroneously cited as an Amory native in one blues reference book, but St. Louis was the destination of guitarists Benny Sharp and Willie Curtis Rhoden (a railroad employee) and saxophonist Ruben McBeth from Monroe County. Others from the county who migrated north and west to various cities included Richard “Harmonica Slim” Riggins (whose birth name was Rylie Riggan), singer, producer and manager James Woodie “J.W.” Alexander, and several noted bluesmen from the Aberdeen area: Howlin’ Wolf, Bukka White and Albert King.
Did you hear, did you hear, did you hear that Frisco whistle blow?
And she blowed just like she ain’t ever blowed before.
I was standing at a station when that 4200 left town,
Burnin’ down in oil, and that train was Kansas City bound.
Erected 2019 by the Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 208.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1910.
Location. 33° 59.28′ N, 88° 29.454′ W. Marker is in Amory, Mississippi, in Monroe County. Marker is on North Main Street (Mississippi Route 25) north of 3rd Avenue North, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 314 N Main St, Amory MS 38821, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Amory's Tribute to the Heroes of 1861—1865 (approx. ¼ mile away); Gilmore Sanitarium (approx. 0.8 miles away); Chickasaw Cession (approx. 0.8 miles away); Becker Post Office (approx. 0.9 miles away); Mound Cemetery (approx. 1½ miles away); Cotton Gin Port (approx. 2.4 miles away); Bienville's Fort (approx. 3.6 miles away); Rod Brasfield (approx. 7½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Amory.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 27, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 27, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 76 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 27, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.