Clarksdale in Coahoma County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
One of Clarksdale's most talented and renowned blues musicians, Wade Walton (1923-2000) chose to pursue a career as a barber rather than as a professional entertainer. Walton never lost his love for blues, however, and often performed for customers and tourists at his barbershops, including the one he operated at this site from 1990 to 1999. Walton, a popular and respected local figure and a charter member of the city's NAACP chapter, was inducted into the Clarksdale Hall of Fame in 1989.
Wade Walton’s contributions to the blues extended well beyond the music he made playing harmonica and guitar and slapping out rhythms with a straight razor and razor strop. Blues enthusiasts, researchers, and musicians called on him at his barbershops for information and introductions, and Walton often escorted visitors around the area. Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson No. 2, and Ike Turner (whom Walton claimed as a protege) all had their hair cut at Wade's.
Born October 10, 1923, or possibly earlier by some accounts, on Lee May's plantation in Lombardy, Mississippi, Walton was raised on the
In 1960 producer Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records and British author Paul Oliver recorded Walton and guitarist Robert Curtis Smith at the Big 6. Smith also recorded an
Erected 2011 by the Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 126.)
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 year for this entry is 1990.
Location. 34° 12.061′ N, 90° 34.318′ W. Marker is in Clarksdale, Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 317 Issaquena Avenue, Clarksdale MS 38614, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. W. C. Handy (a few steps from this marker); Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Delta Blues Museum (about 500 feet away); Ike Turner (about 500 feet away); Sam Cooke (about 600 feet away); WROX Radio (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dr. Aaron Henry (approx. 0.2 miles away); Aaron Henry (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clarksdale.
Also see . . . Wikipedia article on Wade Walton. (Submitted on October 28, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 28, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 321 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 28, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.