“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Mississippi Blues Trail Historical Markers

The Mississippi Blues Trail was created by the Mississippi Blues Commission in 2006 to place interpretive markers at the most notable historical sites related to the birth, growth and influence of the blues throughout (and in some cases beyond) the state of Mississippi.
There are over 200 Mississippi Blues Trail markers already placed.
The Blues Trail: Mississippi to Alabama Marker, Side 2 image, Touch for more information
By Sandra Hughes, April 7, 2010
The Blues Trail: Mississippi to Alabama Marker, Side 2
Alabama (Colbert County), Tuscumbia — 99 — The Blues Trail: Mississippi to Alabama
Musicians have long crossed the Alabama -Mississippi border to perform and record. Mississippians such as Albert King, Little Milton, and Pops Staples recorded at studios in Muscle Shoals and Sheffield, including those owned by Mississippi natives . . . — Map (db m50652) HM
Alabama (Lauderdale County), Florence — 186 — W. C. Handy Birthplace
(side 1) William Christopher Handy, widely honored as the “Father of the Blues,” was born in this house on November 16, 1873. In his autobiography, Handy traced the key events in his discovery of the blues back to his time in . . . — Map (db m90306) HM
Arkansas (Phillips County), Helena — 88 — The Blues Trail: Mississippi to Helena
Helena has played a vital role in blues history for artists from both sides of the Mississippi River. Once known as a “wide open” hot spot for music, gambling, and nightlife, Helena was also the birthplace of “King Biscuit . . . — Map (db m51907) HM
Florida (Escambia County), Pensacola — 203 — Pensacola Blues
Front Pensacola, an important early center of blues, ragtime, vaudeville and jazz activity, developed into a regional cornerstone of the “chitlin’ circuit” in later years. Touring blues, jazz and rhythm & blues acts, and . . . — Map (db m130678) HM
Florida (Leon County), Tallahassee — 119 — The Blues Trail: Mississippi to Florida
Front North Florida’s urban clubs and rural roadhouses, including clubs that have operated at this historic Bradfordville location, have played an important role in the history of the Gulf Coast “chitlin circuit” for touring . . . — Map (db m79458) HM
Illinois (Cook County), Chicago — 77 — The Blues Trail: Mississippi to Chicago
[Side A:] The "Great Migration" from the South to "the Promised Land" of Chicago brought more African Americans here from Mississippi than any other state, especially during and after World War II. With the migrants came the Delta blues . . . — Map (db m47901) HM
Louisiana (Concordia Parish), Ferriday — 107 — The Blues Trail: Mississippi to Louisiana
Louisiana and Mississippi have long shared a close musical relationship. One of the most important musical paths was that between Natchez and Ferriday, where African American entrepreneur Will Haney operated Haney’s Big House for several . . . — Map (db m79555) HM
Louisiana (Pointe Coupee Parish), Lettsworth — 201 — Buddy Guy
George “Buddy” Guy, one of the most dazzling performers in blues history, was born here in Lettsworth on July 30, 1936. His primary influences included local Louisiana musicians and many more who were born across the river in . . . — Map (db m127700) HM
Maine (Knox County), Rockland — 110 — The Blues Trail: Mississippi to Maine
As blues has spread from Mississippi to the far corners of the country and the world, the state of Maine has assumed an active role in the presentation and promotion of the music to appreciative local audiences ever since Mississippi born blues . . . — Map (db m77146) HM
Mississippi (Adams County), Natchez — 36 — "The Natchez Burning"
(side 1) One of the deadliest fires in American history took the lives of over 200 people, including bandleader Walter Barnes and nine members of his dance orchestra at the Rhythm Club (less than a mile southeast of this site) on April 23, . . . — Map (db m70811) HM
Mississippi (Adams County), Natchez — 123 — Bud Scott
(side 1) Clarence “Bud” Scott, Sr., led one of the most popular dance bands in the Mississippi-Louisiana region for several decades beginning around 1900. Scott (1876-1938), a lifelong Natchez resident, was renowned among both . . . — Map (db m70852) HM
Mississippi (Adams County), Natchez — 129 — Ealey Brothers
(Front Side) The Ealey family of Sibley has produced some of the most talented musicians to emerge from the Natchez area. Brothers Theodis, YZ, and Melwyn Ealey performed together locally in the band YZ Ealey and the Merry Makers in the . . . — Map (db m87181) HM
Mississippi (Adams County), Natchez — 83 — Papa Lightfoot & The Natchez Blues
Side 1The rich legacy of blues, jazz, and gospel in Natchez has often been obscured by the tragic shadow of the notorious Rhythm Club fire that claimed some 200 lives here in 1940. Alexander “Papa George” Lightfoot was one of the . . . — Map (db m105233) HM
Mississippi (Attala County), Kosciusko — 70 — Charlie Musselwhite
(side 1) 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 . . . — Map (db m130064) HM
Mississippi (Bolivar County), Cleveland — 173 — The Enlightenment of W. C. Handy
Front In W.C. Handy's famous account of his "enlightenment" in Cleveland, a ragged local trio was showered with coins after Handy's orchestra of trained musicians had been unable to similarly excite the crowd. In early manuscripts of . . . — Map (db m90071) HM
Mississippi (Bolivar County), Mound Bayou — 161 — Mound Bayou Blues
Front Music has been one of the many facets of African American culture proudly nurtured by the community of Mound Bayou, ranging from blues and R&B in cafes, lounges, and juke joints to musical programs in schools, studios, and . . . — Map (db m90065) HM
Mississippi (Calhoun County), Bruce — 194 — Calhoun County Blues
Front The musical heritage of Calhoun County was illuminated in 2014 via international acclaim for longtime Bruce resident and Sabougla native Leo “Bud” Welch, The guitarist and vocalist began playing blues in his teens and . . . — Map (db m107618) HM
Mississippi (Choctaw County), Ackerman — 139 — Two Steps From The Blues
"Two Steps From the Blues" might refer to Choctaw County's location, a bit off the path from the well-known blues highways and byways of Mississippi, but it is also the title of a classic blues song written by a native of Ackerman, "Texas" Johnny . . . — Map (db m51199) HM
Mississippi (Claiborne County), Port Gibson — 207 — Lil Green
Lil Green was known as the Queen of the Blues in the early 1940s when her distinctive, seductive voice was highlighted on “Romance in the Dark,” “Why Don’t You Do Right?” and other blues and pop songs recorded for the . . . — Map (db m143094) HM
Mississippi (Claiborne County), Port Gibson — 21 — Rabbit Foot Minstrels
[front:] Rabbit Foot Minstrels. During the first half of the 20th century, the African American Rabbit Foot Minstrels entertainers played a major role in spreading the blues via tours across the South. Founded in 1900, the . . . — Map (db m35545) HM
Mississippi (Clay County), West Point — 18 — Howlin' Wolf
One of the giants of post-World War II Chicago blues, Chester Arthur Burnett, aka “Howlin’ Wolf,” was born in White Station, just north of West Point, on June 10, 1910. In his early teens Burnett began performing in the Delta and was . . . — Map (db m50299) HM
Mississippi (Coahoma County), Clarksdale — 180 — Big Jack Johnson
Front The Clarksdale area is famed for its many legendary blues artists who achieved their greatest success after moving away, such as Muddy Waters, Ike Turner, and John Lee Hooker. But there were world-renowned musicians who . . . — Map (db m90061) HM
Mississippi (Coahoma County), Clarksdale — 170 — Delta Blues Museum
Front The Delta Blues Museum, the world's first museum devoted to blues, was founded on January 31, 1979, by Sid Graves, director of Clarksdale's Carnegie Public Library. Originally housed in a room of the Myrtle Hall Elementary . . . — Map (db m90046) HM
Mississippi (Coahoma County), Clarksdale — 111 — Ike Turner
Front Rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm & blues pioneer Ike Turner began his career playing blues and boogie woogie piano in Clarksdale. Turner was born less than a mile south-west of this site, at 304 Washington Avenue in the Riverton . . . — Map (db m90041) HM
Mississippi (Coahoma County), Clarksdale — 4 — Riverside Hotel
Front Since 1944 the Riverside Hotel has provided lodging for traveling musicians. It was home to some, including Sonny Boy Williamson II, Ike Turner, and Robert Nighthawk. Before that, the building served African Americans of the . . . — Map (db m90062) HM
Mississippi (Coahoma County), Clarksdale — 81 — Sam Cooke
Front The golden voice of Sam Cooke thrilled and enchanted millions of listeners on the hit recordings “You Send Me,” “Shake,” “A Change is Gonna Come,” “Chain Gang,” and many more. . . . — Map (db m90050) HM
Mississippi (Coahoma County), Clarksdale — 157 — Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival
Front The Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival, a preeminent showcase for homegrown Mississippi talent, began in 1988 as a promotion to draw area shoppers to downtown Clarksdale. The festival's dedication to presenting authentic . . . — Map (db m90047) HM
Mississippi (Coahoma County), Clarksdale — 137 — The New World
Front This neighborhood, known since the turn of the twentieth century as the New World, was a breeding ground for ragtime, blues, and jazz music in Clarksdale's early days as a prosperous and adventurous new cotton town, when . . . — Map (db m90060) HM
Mississippi (Coahoma County), Clarksdale — 126 — Wade Walton
Front 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 . . . — Map (db m90049) HM
Mississippi (Coahoma County), Clarksdale — 105 — WROX Radio
Front WROX, Clarksdale’s first radio station, went on the air on June 5, 1944, from studios at 321 Delta Avenue. From 1945 until 1955 the station was headquartered here at 257 Delta. Legendary disc jockey Early “Soul Man” . . . — Map (db m90033) HM
Mississippi (Coahoma County), Hopson — 41 — Cotton Pickin' Blues
Front One of the major factors behind the “great migration” of African Americans from the South to northern cities was the mechanization of agriculture, which diminished the need for manual laborers. In 1944 the Hopson . . . — Map (db m90029) HM
Mississippi (Coahoma County), Lula — 31 — "Livin' at Lula"
Front The Lula area has been home to legendary Mississippi blues performers Charley Patton, Son House, Frank Frost, and Sam Carr. Patton immortalized Lula in the lyrics of his recordings “Dry Well Blues” (1930) and . . . — Map (db m107619) HM
Mississippi (Copiah County), Crystal Springs — 22 — Tommy JohnsonMississippi Blues Trail Marker
Tommy Johnson (1896-1956) was one of the most influential blues artists in Mississippi in the 1920s and 1930s. He grew up in the Crystal Springs area, where he often performed with his brothers LeDell and Mager. His original songs, which were widely . . . — Map (db m50895) HM
Mississippi (Copiah County), Hazlehurst — 29 — Robert Johnson
Front The legendary bluesman Robert Johnson was born on the northern outskirts of Hazlehurst to Julia Major and Noah Johnson, on May 8, 1911 (or possibly 1912). Johnson lived in Tunica County and in Memphis as a child, but in the early . . . — Map (db m81864) HM
Mississippi (Copiah County), Wesson — 162 — Houston Stackhouse

Front Although Houston Stackhouse never became a major name in blues, he played key roles in Delta blues history as a sideman, mentor, and influence. A constant presence in Mississippi and Arkansas blues circles for several decades, he . . . — Map (db m122613) HM

Mississippi (Forrest County), Hattiesburg — 102 — Hi-Hat Club
Side A The Hi-Hat Club, which was built at this site in the 1950s, was once an important stop on the “chitlin circuit” for African American blues and soul performers. B. B. King, James Brown, Otis Redding, Ike & Tina Turner, . . . — Map (db m118467) HM
Mississippi (Forrest County), Hattiesburg — 55 — Roots of Rock and Roll
Side A Rock and roll is rooted in the blues of Mississippi. The Mississippi Jook Band (brothers Roosevelt and Uaroy Graves and pianist Cooney Vaughan) earned a niche in the annals of rock after they recorded in Hattiesburg in 1936, nearly . . . — Map (db m118400) HM
Mississippi (Grenada County), Grenada — 174 — Grenada Blues
Front Grenada County-bred blues has long been an influential force in popular music. Musicians whose talents were nurtured in the Grenada area have included St. Louis bluesmen Walter Davis, a major blues recording artist of the 1930s, . . . — Map (db m90022) HM
Mississippi (Grenada County), Grenada — 134 — Magic Slim
Front Morris "Magic Slim" Holt, who developed a raw, hard-hitting guitar style that made him a favorite on the international blues club and festival circuit from the late 1970s well into the twenty-first century, was born in Torrance . . . — Map (db m90020) HM
Mississippi (Hancock County), Bay St. Louis — 132 — 100 Men D.B.A. Hall
Front The 100 Men D.B.A. Hall, a longtime center of African American social life and entertainment, was built in 1922 by the One Hundred Members’ Debating Benevolent Association. Over the years the association sponsored many events and . . . — Map (db m80992) HM
Mississippi (Harrison County), Biloxi — 108 — Biloxi Blues
Front The Mississippi coast, long a destination for pleasure seekers, tourists, and gamblers, as well as maritime workers and armed services personnel, developed a flourishing nightlife during the segregation era. While most venues . . . — Map (db m90623) HM
Mississippi (Harrison County), Gulfport — 24 — Broadcasting the Blues
Front Blues radio took off in the post-World War II era with the arrival of rhythm & blues programming. A new era for blues radio began in 2000 when Rip Daniels, a Gulfport native, launched the American Blues Network (ABN) at this site. . . . — Map (db m80988) HM
Mississippi (Harrison County), Gulfport — 184 — Gulfport Boogie
Front Gulfport was once home to an active blues and rhythm & blues scene, particularly here in the North Gulfport area. Jaimoe, famed drummer with the Allman Brothers Band, was raised in Gulfport, as was the band’s onetime bassist . . . — Map (db m80990) HM
Mississippi (Harrison County), Pass Christian — 124 — Blues & Jazz in the Pass
Front The histories of blues and jazz are often traced along separate pathways, but, especially on the Gulf Coast, the two genres were intertwined from the earliest days. Blues was a key element in the music of Pass Christian’s . . . — Map (db m80991) HM
Mississippi (Hinds County), Bolton — 175 — Charley Patton Birthplace
~Front~ Mississippi blues master Charley Patton was born on this property when it was known as Herring's Place, according to Bolton bluesman Sam Chatmon. Patton's birthdate has often been reported as April 1891, but other sources cite earlier . . . — Map (db m80015) HM
Mississippi (Hinds County), Bolton — 176 — The Chatmon FamilyMississippi Sheiks
Front The Henderson Chatmon family, which produced some of Mississippi's most important blues and string band musicians, lived near this site on Texas Street in 1900. Henderson's sons Armenter, better known as "Bo Carter" and Sam . . . — Map (db m90192) HM
Mississippi (Hinds County), Jackson — 87 — Ace Records
Ace Records, founded in 1955 by Johnny Vincent (1925-2000), was the most successful Mississippi-based label of the 1950s and 1960s. Ace’s extensive catalog of blues, R&B, pop, rock, and soul included records by Mississippi blues artists Arthur . . . — Map (db m49681) HM
Mississippi (Hinds County), Jackson — 57 — Bobby Rush
Front Bobby Rush, a Louisiana native who lived for decades in Chicago, earned the title “king of the chitlin circuit” after relocating to Jackson in the early 1980s. Rush's distinctive “folk funk” style, featured . . . — Map (db m109296) HM
Mississippi (Hinds County), Jackson — 100 — Cassandra Wilson
~Front~ Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson, a native of Jackson, is known for her broad explorations of various forms of music, including the blues. Her recordings include versions of songs by Delta blues artists Robert . . . — Map (db m72134) HM
Mississippi (Hinds County), Jackson — 135 — Edwards Hotel
Constructed in 1923 and renamed the King Edward Hotel in 1954, the Edwards Hotel was the site of temporary studios set up by OKeh Records in 1930 and the American Record Corporation in 1935 to record blues artists Bo Carter, Robert Wilkins, Joe . . . — Map (db m49680) HM
Mississippi (Hinds County), Jackson — 204 — H.C. Speir
(side 1) Henry Columbus (H.C.) Speir (1895-1972) played a crucial role in the recording of dozens of blues, country and gospel artists in the 1920s and 30s. In his position as owner of Speir Phonograph Company, founded here at 225 N. . . . — Map (db m148590) HM
Mississippi (Hinds County), Jackson — 104 — Ishmon Bracey
~Front~ One of the earliest blues musicians from Mississippi to make recordings, Ishmon Bracey (1899-1970) is buried in the nearby Willow Park Cemetery. In the 1920s and '30s Bracey was a leading bluesman in the Jackson area and . . . — Map (db m71512) HM
Mississippi (Hinds County), Jackson — 35 — Malaco Records
Front Malaco Records, one of America’s foremost labels in the fields of southern soul, blues, and gospel, was founded at this site in 1967. Malaco’s studio was the first state-of-the-art recording facility in Mississippi. The label . . . — Map (db m90193) HM
Mississippi (Hinds County), Jackson — 164 — Otis Spann & Little Johnnie Jones
~ Front Side ~ Otis Spann and Little Johnnie Jones, two of the acknowledged masters of Chicago blues piano, were cousins who lived in Jackson in the 1930s and '40s. On the vibrant post-World War II Chicago scene they both played with blues . . . — Map (db m81972) HM
Mississippi (Hinds County), Jackson — 66 — Queen of Hearts
Front The Queen of Hearts, a primary venue for down-home blues in Jackson, opened at this location in the 1970s. During the following decades, owner-operator Chellie B. Lewis presented the blues bands of King Edward, Sam Myers, Big Bad . . . — Map (db m90194) HM
Mississippi (Hinds County), Jackson — 116 — Scott Radio Service Company
Front Scott Radio Service Company, located at 128 North Gallatin Street, just north of this site, was one of the first businesses in Mississippi to offer professional recording technology. The Jackson-based Trumpet record label used . . . — Map (db m90196) HM
Mississippi (Hinds County), Jackson — 12 — Summers Hotel & Subway Lounge
During the era of segregation, traveling African Americans had few options for lodging. In Jackson, many black musicians stayed at the Summers Hotel, established in 1944 by W.J. Summers. In 1966 Summers opened a club in the hotel basement that he . . . — Map (db m71513) HM
Mississippi (Hinds County), Jackson — 42 — The Alamo Theatre
The Alamo Theatre opened at this location in 1949. Prior to that the Alamo occupied two other spots in the area. The theatre showed movies, hosted music competitions, and presented blues and jazz concerts by artists such as Nat “King” . . . — Map (db m51197) HM
Mississippi (Hinds County), Jackson — 25 — Trumpet Records
Trumpet Records was the first record company in Mississippi to achieve national stature through its distribution, sales, radio airplay and promotion. Willard and Lillian McMurry launched the label from their retail store, the Record Mart, here at . . . — Map (db m51196) HM
Mississippi (Hinds County), Raymond — 53 — The McCoy Brothers
(side 1) Joe McCoy and his brother Charlie McCoy, both born on a farm near Raymond, performed and recorded widely during the pre-World War II era, but their most important legacy may rest with the songs they wrote or cowrote. These . . . — Map (db m70324) HM
Mississippi (Holmes County), Lexington — 167 — Elmore James
[Front] The cemetery of the Newport Missionary Baptist Church is the final resting place of Elmore James (1918-1963), often described as the "king of the slide guitar." James' electric style built on the approach of Robert Johnson and later . . . — Map (db m140748) HM
Mississippi (Holmes County), Lexington — 156 — Holmes County Blues Lexington
[Front] Holmes County has been a significant contributor to the legacy of African American blues and gospel music in Mississippi. Heralded blues artists born or raised in the Lexington area include Elmore James (a native of Richland, . . . — Map (db m140751) HM
Mississippi (Holmes County), Tchula — 168 — Holmes County Blues Tchula
Front Many blues performers who gained fame in the Delta, Jackson, and Chicago and on the southern soul circuit have lived in or near Tchula, including Elmore James, Hound Dog Taylor, Jimmy Dawkins, Jesse Robinson, Lewis "Love Doctor" . . . — Map (db m121121) HM
Mississippi (Humphreys County), Belzoni — 73 — Denise LaSalle
Front Soul and blues star Denise LaSalle was born Denise Allen near Sidon in rural Leflore County on July 16, 1939, but spent much of her childhood here in Belzoni. After moving to Chicago in her teens, she began writing songs and . . . — Map (db m77269) HM
Mississippi (Humphreys County), Belzoni — 38 — Pinetop Perkins
Front Blues piano master Joe Willie “Pinetop” Perkins was born on July 7, 1913, on the Honey Island Plantation, seven miles southeast of Belzoni. Perkins spent much of his career accompanying blues icons such as Sonny Boy . . . — Map (db m77268) HM
Mississippi (Humphreys County), Belzoni — 106 — Turner's Drug Store
Front The names of Turner’s Drug Store (located on this corner) and the Easy Pay Store across the street are etched into blues history as sponsors of some of the first radio programs in Mississippi to feature Delta blues. In 1947-48 . . . — Map (db m77270) HM
Mississippi (Itawamba County), Fulton — 131 — Jimmie Lunceford
Front Jazz bandleader and saxophonist James Melvin “Jimmie” Lunceford was born just outside Fulton on June 6, 1902. He formed his first band, the Chickasaw Syncopators, while teaching at Manassas High School in Memphis in . . . — Map (db m96781) HM
Mississippi (Jackson County), Moss Point — 193 — Moss Point Blues
Front The African American community of Moss Point has produced an abundance of talented musicians, including many who entertained along the Gulf Coast as well as some who traveled across the country and overseas as members of prominent . . . — Map (db m102156) HM
Mississippi (Jackson County), Ocean Springs — 197 — Ocean Springs Blues
Front Music has been an integral component of Ocean Springs’ legacy as a coastal cradle of the arts and a sponsor of festive celebrations. Notable African-American musicians born in Ocean Springs include Jaimoe (Johnnie Lee Johnson), who . . . — Map (db m122355) HM
Mississippi (Jackson County), Pascagoula — 191 — Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues & Heritage Festival
Front The Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues & Heritage Festival, one of the longest running blues festivals in the Deep South, was founded in 1991 by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues Commission, Inc. At the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in . . . — Map (db m102158) HM
Mississippi (Jefferson County), Fayette — 85 — Charlie Evers & The Blues
Side 1 In 1973 Mayor Charles Evers of Fayette and B. B. King began to cosponsor concerts at the Medgar Evers Homecoming in honor of the slain civil rights activist. Dozens of blues, soul, and gospel acts performed at the annual festival during . . . — Map (db m105216) HM
Mississippi (Jones County), Laurel — 127 — Jones County Blues
Front The Laurel area, a hub of musical activity in southeast Mississippi, has been home to a number of noted blues performers including harmonica player Sam Myers, singer Albennie Jones, and guitarist Blind Roosevelt Graves. R&B, blues, . . . — Map (db m110992) HM
Mississippi (Lafayette County), Oxford — 143 — Oxford & Lafayette County Blues
Front Lafayette County’s blues history has encompassed a wide range of activity by scholars, promoters, record companies, and musicians. The nightlife of Oxford has welcomed both local performers and national touring acts. The most . . . — Map (db m102876) HM
Mississippi (Lafayette County), University — 62 — Documenting the Blues
Front The University of Mississippi is internationally famous for its work in documenting and preserving African American blues culture. In 1983 the Center for the Study of Southern Culture acquired Living Blues magazine, which . . . — Map (db m102770) HM
Mississippi (Lauderdale County), Meridian — 10 — Jimmie Rodgers & The Blues
Jimmie Rodgers (1897 – 1933) is widely known as the "father of country music," but blues was a prominent element of his music. The influence of his famous "blue yodels" can be heard in the music of Mississippi blues artists including . . . — Map (db m59656) HM
Mississippi (Lauderdale County), Meridian — 198 — Meridian Blues & Jazz
Front Meridian blues and jazz performers have played important roles in musical history, both locally and nationally, not only supplying a foundation for other genres but also propelling music in new directions. Notables with Meridian . . . — Map (db m111037) HM
Mississippi (Lauderdale County), Meridian — 178 — Meridian Rhythm & Blues and Soul Music
Front Rhythm & blues and soul singers have been major contributors to Meridian’s deep African American musical heritage, extending the legacy molded by gospel, jazz and traditional blues artists. David Ruffin of the Temptations and his . . . — Map (db m77426) HM
Mississippi (Lauderdale County), Meridian — 169 — Peavey Electronics
Front The electronic amplification of vocals and musical instruments resulted in dramatic changes in the blues in the post-World War II era, notably the rise to prominence of the electric guitar. Peavey Electronics, founded in 1965 by . . . — Map (db m77192) HM
Mississippi (Lawrence County), Monticello — 145 — J. B. Lenoir
Monticello area native J. B. Lenoir (1929-1967) was best known during his lifetime for his 1955 hit “Mama, Talk to Your Daughter,” but he also played an important role in blues history because of his political engagement. In the 1960s . . . — Map (db m79029) HM
Mississippi (Lee County), Tupelo — 28 — Elvis Presley and the Blues
Marker Front: Elvis Presley revolutionized popular music by blending the blues he first heard as a youth in Tupelo with country, pop, and gospel. Many of the first songs Elvis recorded for the Sun label in Memphis were covers of earlier . . . — Map (db m29823) HM
Mississippi (Lee County), Tupelo — 60 — Shake Rag(Shakerag)
Marker Front: Shake Rag, located east of the old M & O (later GM & O) railway tracks and extending northward from Main Street, was one of several historic African American communities in Tupelo. By the 1920s blues and jazz flowed freely . . . — Map (db m29629) HM
Mississippi (Leflore County), Greenwood — 80 — Baptist Town
Front Baptist Town, established in the 1800s in tandem with the growth of the local cotton industry, is one of Greenwood’s oldest African American neighborhoods. Known for its strong sense of community, it is anchored by the McKinney . . . — Map (db m77198) HM
Mississippi (Leflore County), Greenwood — 153 — Blues Deejays
Front Radio disc jockeys played a major role in the spread of the blues, boosting the careers of local artists, introducing listeners to performers from across the country, and more generally serving as a voice for the community. Early . . . — Map (db m77191) HM
Mississippi (Leflore County), Greenwood — 34 — Elks Hart Lodge No. 640
Front During the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, the Elks Hart Lodge No. 640 at this site was one of the most important venues for rhythm and blues in the Delta. Particularly during the segregation era, fraternal organizations such as the . . . — Map (db m77193) HM
Mississippi (Leflore County), Greenwood — 150 — Furry Lewis
Front Greenwood native Walter “Furry” Lewis (c. 1899-1981) was a favorite figure on the Memphis blues revival scene of the 1960s and '70s, decades after he made his historic first recordings in the 1920s. Lewis, who had . . . — Map (db m77196) HM
Mississippi (Leflore County), Greenwood — 114 — Guitar Slim
Front Eddie Lee “Guitar Slim” Jones brought new levels of energy and intensity to electric guitar playing with his raw, incendiary approach in the 1950s. An impassioned singer and a flamboyant showman, Jones was best known . . . — Map (db m77211) HM
Mississippi (Leflore County), Greenwood — 39 — Hubert Sumlin
Front Hubert Sumlin’s sizzling guitar playing energized many of the classic Chicago blues records of Howlin’ Wolf in the 1950s and ‘60s. His reputation in blues and rock circles propelled him to a celebrated career on his own after . . . — Map (db m77209) HM
Mississippi (Leflore County), Greenwood — 11 — Robert Johnson
Front A seminal figure in the history of the Delta blues, Robert Johnson (1911-1938) synthesized the music of Delta blues pioneers such as Son House with outside traditions. He in turn influenced artists such as Muddy Waters and Elmore . . . — Map (db m77203) HM
Mississippi (Leflore County), Greenwood — 3 — WGRM Radio Studio
Front Before the 1950s, relatively few African American voices were heard on the radio in the South. A major exception was live broadcasts of performances by gospel groups. During the 1940s this building housed station WGRM, which . . . — Map (db m77200) HM
Mississippi (Lincoln County), Brookhaven — 142 — Little Brother Montgomery
Side A

Little Brother Montgomery (1906-1985), a major presence on south Mississippi's blues and jazz scene during much of the pre-World War II era, was famed for his trembling vocals and masterful piano playing. The Montgomery . . . — Map (db m117480) HM

Mississippi (Lowndes County), Columbus — 20 — Columbus Mississippi Blues
The Black Prairies of eastern Mississippi have produced a number of notable blues musicians, including Howlin’ Wolf, Bukka White, and Big Joe Williams. Activity in Columbus, the largest city in the region, centered around areas such as this block of . . . — Map (db m27607) HM
Mississippi (Lowndes County), Columbus — 115 — Queen City Hotel and 7th Avenue
Front For several decades beginning in the early 1900s, the Queen City Hotel, which stood across the street from this site, was at the center of a vibrant African American community along 7th Avenue North. Clubs and cafes in the area . . . — Map (db m140699) HM
Mississippi (Lowndes County), Crawford — 56 — Big Joe Williams
Side A Big Joe Williams (c. 1903-1982) epitomized the life and times of the rambunctious, roving bluesman, traveling from coast to coast and around the world playing rugged, rhythmic blues on his nine-string guitar at juke joints, house . . . — Map (db m27750) HM
Mississippi (Madison County), Canton — 65 — Club Desire
~Front~ The Club Desire, which stood across the street from this site, was one of Mississippi's premier blues and rhythm & blues nightclubs from the late 1940s through the early 1960s. Owner Clarence Chinn presented the top national acts, including . . . — Map (db m80035) HM
Mississippi (Madison County), Canton — 15 — Hickory Street(The Hollow)
Side 1: Hickory Street, known locally as "The Hollow," was a hub of social life, commerce, and entertainment for the African American community of central Mississippi for several decades, up through the 1970s. Canton's most famous blues . . . — Map (db m97089) HM
Mississippi (Marshall County), Cayce — 163 — Rufus Thomas
Front A recording artist, disc jockey, comedian, and ambassador for Memphis music, Rufus Thomas (1917 – 2001) was born here in Cayce. As a young man Thomas toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels, and later worked in Memphis as an . . . — Map (db m96779) HM
Mississippi (Marshall County), Holly Springs — 45 — Hill Country Blues
(side 1) Although Delta blues often claims the spotlight, other styles of the blues were produced in other regions of Mississippi. In the greater Holly Springs area, musicians developed a "hill county" blues style characterized by few chord . . . — Map (db m84875) HM
Mississippi (Monroe County), Aberdeen — 90 — Aberdeen Mississippi Blues
Front In 1940 singer-guitarist Booker “Bukka” White, who lived in Aberdeen during the 1920s and ‘30s, recorded the blues classic “Aberdeen Mississippi Blues.” Twenty-three years later the song’s title enabled . . . — Map (db m102609) HM
Mississippi (Montgomery County), Kilmichael — 159 — Kilmichael: B.B. King's Roots
Front Riley B. King, who was born in the Delta fifty miles west of here in 1925, spent many of his formative years in Kilmichael in the 1930s and ‘40s before achieving stardom as “B. B.” King. His first mentor on the guitar . . . — Map (db m90016) HM
Mississippi (Montgomery County), Winona — 120 — Roebuck "Pops" Staples
Front Roebuck “Pops” Staples, one of the foremost figures in American gospel music as a singer, guitarist, and patriarch of the Staple Singers family group, was born on a farm near Winona on December 28, 1914. Staples began . . . — Map (db m90019) HM
Mississippi (Neshoba County), Philadelphia — 26 — Otis Rush
[Front] The blues form reached both artistic and emotional peaks in the works of Otis Rush, who was born south of Philadelphia in Neshoba County in 1935. His music, shaped by the hardships and troubles of his early life in Mississippi, . . . — Map (db m140850) HM
Mississippi (Newton County), Newton — 202 — Newton County Blues
Newton County has a dual claim to blues fame, first as the birthplace of several historical figures and later as the site of an important blues event, the Chunky Rhythm & Blues Festival. Newton County natives include record businessman H.C. Speir . . . — Map (db m141357) HM
Mississippi (Noxubee County), Macon — 46 — Black Prairie Blues
Front The roots of blues and gospel music run deep in the African American culture of the Black Prairie region. Among the performers born near Macon here in Noxubee County, Eddy Clearwater, Carey Bell, and Jesse Fortune went on to . . . — Map (db m92636) HM
Mississippi (Oktibbeha County), Starkville — 146 — Oktibbeha County Blues
Front Oktibbeha County has produced several blues artists who achieved fame for their recordings and live performances in Chicago, California, or other areas. Blues Hall of Famer Big Joe Williams (c. 1903-1982), who waxed the classic . . . — Map (db m102869) HM
Mississippi (Panola County), Como — 71 — Mississippi Fred McDowell
Front Fred McDowell, a seminal figure in Mississippi hill country blues, was one of the most vibrant performers of the 1960s blues revival. McDowell (c. 1906-1972) was a sharecropper and local entertainer in 1959 when he made his first . . . — Map (db m102873) HM
Mississippi (Panola County), Como — 172 — Napolian Strickland
Front Napolian Strickland (1924-2001) was one of Mississippi's most gifted musicians in the fife and drum and country blues traditions. A lifelong resident of the Como-Senatobia area, Strickland excelled on the homemade cane fife and . . . — Map (db m102874) HM
Mississippi (Panola County), Como — 82 — Otha Turner
Front The African American fife and drum tradition in north Mississippi stretches back to the 1800s and is often noted for its similarities to African music. Its best known exponent, Otha (or Othar) Turner (c. 1908-2003), presided over . . . — Map (db m102872) HM
Mississippi (Pike County), McComb — 23 — Bo Diddley
Front Acclaimed as the father of rock and roll, Bo Diddley (Ellas Bates McDaniel) was born near Magnolia, south of McComb, on December 30, 1928. Diddley wrote and recorded such hits as "I'm A Man", "Bo Diddley', "Say Man" and "I'm a . . . — Map (db m104326) HM
Mississippi (Pike County), McComb — 93 — Summit Street
Side A Summit Street was a thriving African American business district during the era of segregation, as well as a hotbed of musical activity. Blues, jazz, and rhythm & blues bands entertained at various nightclubs, cafes, and hotels, and . . . — Map (db m51528) HM
Mississippi (Pontotoc County), Pontotoc — 155 — Pontotoc County Blues
Front Pontotoc County's wide-ranging musical legacy encompasses African American blues from Baby Face Leroy Foster, Lee Gates, R. C. Weatherall, and Terry "Harmonica" Bean as well as music by white artists who combined blues or R&B . . . — Map (db m102867) HM
Mississippi (Rankin County), Flowood — 92 — The Gold Coast: Cross the River
~Front side~ This area of Rankin County, formerly called East Jackson and later the Gold Coast, was a hotbed for gambling, bootleg liquor, and live music for several decades up through the 1960s. Blues, jazz, and soul performers, including . . . — Map (db m81859) HM
Mississippi (Rankin County), Pelahatchie — 61 — Rubin Lacy
Front Rubin Lacy was one of the most talented and influential artists in Mississippi blues during his short career as a secular performer. The grandson of a minister, Lacy was born in Pelahatchie on January 2, 1901. He was a well-known . . . — Map (db m111013) HM
Mississippi (Rankin County), Piney Woods — 47 — Piney Woods School
The musical programs of the Piney Woods School have produced many fine artists over the decades, including bluesman Sam Myers, who sang in vocal groups while attending a school for the blind located here. The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, a . . . — Map (db m50905) HM
Mississippi (Scott County), Forest — 52 — Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup
Front Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, one of the most prominent blues recording artists of the 1940s, was born on his grandparents' land in Forest on August 24, 1905. After Elvis Presley recorded three Crudup songs in the 1950s, . . . — Map (db m77153) HM
Mississippi (Sharkey County), Rolling Fork — 9 — Muddy Waters
~Front~ McKinley Morganfield, better known as Muddy Waters, was one of the foremost artists in blues history. In the late 1940s and 1950s he led the way in transforming traditional Delta blues into the electric Chicago blues style that paved the . . . — Map (db m80120) HM
Mississippi (Sunflower County), Indianola — 147 — Albert King
Front Albert King (1923-1992), who was billed as "King of the Blues Guitar," was famed for his powerful string-bending style as well as for his soulful, smoky vocals. King often said he was born in Indianola and was a half-brother of . . . — Map (db m77319) HM
Mississippi (Sunflower County), Indianola — 49 — Church Street
Front Church Street catered to every need of the African American community during the segregation era, when most area residents worked in the cotton fields during the week and came to town on weekends. Church Street (also designated . . . — Map (db m77308) HM
Mississippi (Sunflower County), Indianola — 84 — Club Ebony
Front Club Ebony, one of the South’s most important African American nightclubs, was built just after the end of World War II by Indianola entrepreneur Johnny Jones (1907-1950). Under Jones and successive owners, the club showcased Ray . . . — Map (db m77307) HM
Mississippi (Sunflower County), Inverness — 68 — Little Milton Campbell
Front Little Milton Campbell, one of the world’s leading performers of blues and soul music for several decades, was born on the George Bowles plantation about two miles southwest of this site on September 7, 1933. Acclaimed as both a . . . — Map (db m77276) HM
Mississippi (Tallahatchie County), Glendora — 63 — Sonny Boy Williamson
Front Sonny Boy Williamson (c. 1912-1965), one of the premier artists in blues history, was born on a Glendora plantation under the name Alex Miller. A colorful character and charismatic performer, he was widely known as . . . — Map (db m90025) HM
Mississippi (Tallahatchie County), Tutwiler — 95 — W.C. Handy Encounters the Blues
Front Bandleader W. C. Handy was waiting for a train here at the Tutwiler railway station circa 1903 when he heard a man playing slide guitar with a knife and singing “Goin’ where the Southern cross’ the Dog.” Handy later . . . — Map (db m90027) HM
Mississippi (Tate County), Senatobia — 125 — Jessie Mae Hemphill
Front One of the few female performers of country blues, Jessie Mae Hemphill (c. 1923 – 2006) was a multi-instrumentalist who performed in local fife and drum bands before gaining international recognition in the 1980s as a . . . — Map (db m102871) HM
Mississippi (Tunica County), Robinsonville — 40 — Highway 61 Blues
U.S. Highway 61, known as the "blues highway," rivals Route 66 as the most famous road in American music lore. Dozens of blues artists have recorded songs about Highway 61, including Mississippians Sunnyland Slim, James “Son” . . . — Map (db m68076) HM
Mississippi (Tunica County), Tunica — 54 — Harold "Hardface" Clanton
Long before casinos brought legalized gambling and big-name entertainment to Tunica, African American entrepreneur Harold "Hardface" Clanton (1916~1982) ran a flourishing operation here that offered games of chance, bootleg liquor, and the best in . . . — Map (db m51763) HM
Mississippi (Tunica County), Tunica — 30 — James Cotton
James Cotton, one of the world’s most popular and dynamic blues harmonica players, was born just east of this site on the Bonnie Blue plantation on July 1, 1935. Cotton apprenticed with harmonica master Sonny Boy Williamson No. 2 (Rice Miller) in . . . — Map (db m51770) HM
Mississippi (Union County), New Albany — 91 — Elder Roma Wilson & Rev. Leon Pinson
Front The down-home gospel sounds of renowned Union County musicians Elder Roma Wilson (b. 1910) and Rev. Leon Pinson (1919-1998) won them many admirers among blues and folk music audiences, although they were evangelists rather than . . . — Map (db m96789) HM
Mississippi (Union County), New Albany — 59 — Mosley and Johnson
Front Although the African American community of New Albany has been small in number, it has produced many citizens of distinction. In the fields of blues, rhythm & blues, and gospel music, the names of Sam Mosley, Bob Johnson, Billy . . . — Map (db m96783) HM
Mississippi (Warren County), Vicksburg — 64 — 61 Highway
Side 1: The rise of the automobile and the development of a national highway system in the 1920's and '30s coincided with the initial boom of blues, jazz, and spiritual recordings by African American artists. Songs in the African American . . . — Map (db m97080) HM
Mississippi (Warren County), Vicksburg — 98 — Marcus Bottom
Front The historic African American community of Marcus Bottom was an important center of early blues, jazz, and gospel music activity. Pianist Eurreal “Little Brother” Montgomery, one of the premier blues artists of the . . . — Map (db m103895) HM
Mississippi (Warren County), Vicksburg — 140 — The Blue Room
Front One of the most storied night spots in the South, the Blue Room, which stood across the street at 602 Clay Street, was operated for more than thirty years by flamboyant owner Tom Wince. Ray Charles, Fats Domino, B. B. King, Dinah . . . — Map (db m103897) HM
Mississippi (Warren County), Vicksburg — 33 — The Red Tops
Front Between 1953 and 1974 the Vicksburg-based Red Tops entertained legions of dancers with their distinctive mix of blues, jazz, and pop. Under the strict direction of drummer and manager Walter Osborne, the group developed a devoted . . . — Map (db m103896) HM
Mississippi (Warren County), Vicksburg — 14 — Willie Dixon
(front) Willie Dixon, often called “the poet laureate of the blues,” was born in Vicksburg on July 1, 1915. As a songwriter, producer, arranger, and bass player, Dixon shaped the sound of Chicago blues in the 1950s and '60s with . . . — Map (db m69778) HM
Mississippi (Washington County), Greenville — 2 — Nelson Street
Front Nelson Street was once the epicenter of African American business and entertainment in the Delta. Nightclubs, cafes, churches, groceries, fish markets, barbershops, laundries, record shops, and other enterprises did a bustling . . . — Map (db m107636) HM
Mississippi (Washington County), Hollandale — 86 — Sam Chatmon
Front Sam Chatmon (c. 1899-1983), a celebrated singer and guitarist who spent most of his life in Hollandale, sometimes performed with his brothers in a renowned family string band billed as the Mississippi Sheiks. He embarked on a new . . . — Map (db m121115) HM
Mississippi (Washington County), Leland — 7 — Corner of 10 and 61
Front A major source of income for blues artists in the first half of the 20th century was tips. This corner, formerly the intersection of highways 10 and 61, was a profitable spot, particularly on Saturdays when people from the . . . — Map (db m90131) HM
Mississippi (Washington County), Leland — 109 — Johnny Winter
Front Guitar icon Johnny Winter’s emergence on the national music scene in 1969 created a sensation among rock and blues audiences. The first of his many hit albums for Columbia Records featured the song “Leland, Mississippi . . . — Map (db m90143) HM
Mississippi (Washington County), Leland — 136 — Ruby's Nite Spot
Front Ruby’s Nite Spot, operated at this site by Ruby Edwards, was one of the most prominent blues clubs in the Delta during the 1940s and ‘50s. Edwards booked nationally known acts such as T-Bone Walker, Little Walter, and Little . . . — Map (db m90129) HM
Mississippi (Washington County), Leland — 152 — Tyrone Davis
Front Tyrone Davis, one of America's most popular soul singers, was born on a plantation near Leland on May 4, 1938. Davis lived in Leland before moving to Chicago, where he began his career billed as "Tyrone the Wonder Boy." From 1969 . . . — Map (db m90130) HM
Mississippi (Wilkinson County), Woodville — 94 — Woodville Blues
Musicians from Woodville demonstrate the breadth of the blues’s influence on American music. Composer William Grant Still incorporated the blues into his “Afro-American Symphony,” while the innovative saxophonist Lester . . . — Map (db m50907) HM
Mississippi (Yalobusha County), Water Valley — 151 — Casey Jones
(Front) On April 30, 1900, railroad engineer John Luther "Casey" Jones died when his Illinois Central train, the "Cannonball," collided with a stalled freight train in Vaughan, Mississippi. Jones, who once lived and worked in the railroad town . . . — Map (db m55641) HM
Mississippi (Yazoo County), Bentonia — 67 — Jack Owens
Front Jack Owens became one of Mississippi's most venerated blues artists in the 1980s and ‘90s after spending most of his life as a farmer in Yazoo County. Born November 17, 1904, or 1906 according to some sources, Owens did not . . . — Map (db m77275) HM
Mississippi (Yazoo County), Bentonia — 51 — Nehemiah “Skip” James
Front The haunting quality of Nehemiah “Skip” James’s music earned him a reputation as one of the great early Mississippi bluesmen. James (1902-1969) grew up at the Woodbine Plantation and as a youth learned to play both . . . — Map (db m77272) HM
Mississippi (Yazoo County), Bentonia — 16 — The Blue Front Café
Front The Blue Front Café opened in 1948 under the ownership of Carey and Mary Holmes, an African American couple from Bentonia. In its heyday the Blue Front was famed for its buffalo fish, blues, and moonshine whiskey. One of the . . . — Map (db m77274) HM
Mississippi (Yazoo County), Yazoo City — 118 — Gatemouth Moore
Front Arnold Dwight “Gatemouth” Moore was one of America’s most popular blues singers in the 1940s before becoming a renowned religious leader, radio announcer, and gospel singer. He served as pastor of several churches in . . . — Map (db m77260) HM
Mississippi (Yazoo County), Yazoo City — 148 — Tommy McClennan
Front Tommy McClennan (c. 1905-1961) was one of America's most successful down-home blues recording artists during the period when he recorded 20 singles for the Bluebird label (1939-1942). Among McClennan's most notable numbers were . . . — Map (db m77258) HM
Tennessee (Shelby County), Memphis — 154 — The Blues Foundation
Front The Blues Foundation, the world’s premier organization dedicated to honoring, preserving, and promoting the blues, was founded in Memphis in 1980. Mississippi-born performers and business professionals in the Foundation’s Blues Hall . . . — Map (db m63288) HM
Tennessee (Shelby County), Memphis — 72 — The Blues Trail From Mississippi to Memphis
The bright lights of Beale Street and the promise of musical stardom have lured blues musicians from nearby Mississippi since the early 1900s. Early Memphis blues luminaries who migrated from Mississippi include Gus Cannon, Furry Lewis, Jim Jackson . . . — Map (db m82863) HM
Wisconsin (Ozaukee County), Grafton — 112 — The Blues Trail: Paramount Records
Side A: Many of the most important recordings in blues history were made at the studio of Paramount Records, located here on the grounds of the Wisconsin Chair Company factory. Between 1929 and 1932 Mississippi-born blues pioneers . . . — Map (db m86917) HM

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Jun. 4, 2020