Kosciusko in Attala County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
World-renowned harmonica virtuoso Charlie Musselwhite was born in Kosciusko on January 31, 1944. His great uncle, Lamar Coalson, once owned the store that occupied this site. Musselwhite began playing in Memphis and rose to prominence in Chicago, where he was befriended and mentored in the 1960s by many blues musicians who had also migrated from Mississippi. A perennial winner of blues awards and polls, he received a Mississippi Governor's Award in 2000.
Charlie Musselwhite lived with his family at the corner of North and Wells streets in Kosciusko until they moved to Memphis in the fall of 1947, when he was three. He often returned to visit relatives here and in the Delta, and after he began headlining blues festivals in the area in the 1990s, he invested in property in Clarksdale.
Attracted to the blues as a teenager in Memphis, Musselwhite learned guitar and harmonica and sought out the blues singers he had read about in the book The Country Blues by Sam Charters (who later produced Musselwhite's debut album). Will Shade, Furry Lewis, and Memphis Willie B. (Borum) became his first mentors. In November of 1962 Musselwhite moved to Chicago in search of employment, first settling in the Uptown area where many white southern migrants lived. He was soon immersed
As Musselwhite's reputation grew as a performer in the blues clubs, Sam Charters invited him to record for the Vanguard label. His Stand Back! album of 1967 created such a stir, especially among audiences that were just discovering the blues as a voice of the '60s counterculture in California, that Musselwhite relocated to the San Francisco area in August of that year. A number of fellow Chicagoans including Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield also made the westward move, as did Musselwhite's friend John Lee Hooker from Detroit.
Although many white musicians had already adapted the blues into their country, rock 'n’ roll, jazz, or folk music styles, Musselwhite always maintained a blues persona even while exploring a variety of American and world music genres.
Erected 2009 by Mississippi Blues Trail. (Marker Number 70.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail marker series.
Location. 33° 3.518′ N, 89° 35.43′ W. Marker is in Kosciusko, Mississippi, in Attala County. Marker is on West Washington Street west of North Jackson Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located along the sidewalk, on the north side of Washington Street, at the middle of the block and directly across Washington Street from the Attala County Courthouse. Marker is at or near this postal address: 132 West Washington Street, Kosciusko MS 39090, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. MFWC Birthplace (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hurricane Creek (approx. 4.1 miles away); Cole Creek (approx. 14½ miles away); Bethel Mission (approx. 15.1 miles away).
Also see . . . Mississippi Blues Trail. (Submitted on February 18, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment •
Credits. This page was last revised on February 20, 2019. This page originally submitted on February 18, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 40 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 18, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.