Quitman County Blues
Sunnyland Slim was regarded as a patriarch of the Chicago blues scene for decades, a position that stemmed from his various roles as a bandleader, label owner, gambling house operator, and active mentor to many younger artists. Sunnyland usually cited September 5, 1906 as his birth date, but when he registered for Social Security in Memphis in 1939 he claimed 1903. As a boy Sunnyland served as the organist at local churches, and in his mid-teens found work playing the organ behind silent films at a movie theater in nearby Lambert, a job that required knowledge of a wide range of music and improvisational ability. Around 1925 he moved to Memphis,
Sunnyland, who died in Chicago on March 17, 1995, didn’t have many big hits, but he recorded prolifically for multiple labels including his own Airway Records. One of the many artists whom he helped upon their arrival in Chicago was Lambert native James “Snooky” Pryor (1921-2006), a harmonica player who—like Sunnyland and Waters—was a pioneer in the new, electric sounds of post-WWII Chicago blues. Some of Pryor’s first performances in Chicago were at the Maxwell Street market, where musicians serenaded shoppers. Other musicians with Quitman County roots who performed there were one-armed harmonica player Big John Wrencher, who lived in Sabino, and guitarist Maxwell Street Jimmy (Charles Thompson), a native of Vance. Blues recording artists born in Quitman County include Earl Hooker (Vance), Big Jack Johnson (Lambert), James
Erected 2011 by the Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 133.)
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. A significant historical date for this entry is March 17, 1995.
Location. 34° 12.095′ N, 90° 17.01′ W. Marker is in Lambert, Mississippi, in Quitman County. Marker is on Darby Avene east of 8th Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lambert MS 38643, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 17 miles of this marker, measured Marks Mule Train and Poor Peoples Campaign (approx. 3 miles away); John Lee Hooker (approx. 9.6 miles away); Dunn Mounds (approx. 11.1 miles away); Tutwiler Funeral Home (approx. 15.4 miles away); Legendary Home of the Blues (approx. 15½ miles away); W.C. Handy Encounters the Blues (approx. 15½ miles away); Yazoo Pass Expedition (approx. 17.1 miles away).
Also see . . . Wikipedia article on Sunnyland Slim. (Submitted on May 28, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 28, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 28, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 34 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 28, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.