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The Mississippi Blues Trail

Created by the Blues Commission, the Mississippi Blues Trail is composed of historical markers and interpretive sites located throughout the state.  Listed below are sites located in the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area.

COLUMBUS:

Columbus Mississippi Blues Marker
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, entered around areas such as this block of 4th Street, called "Catfish Alley" after local fishermen brought their catches to the town to be cooked and sold on the street.  Bukka White sang of the good times to he had in town in his 1969 recording "Columbus, Mississippi Blues."
4th St.
800.327.2686 * www.columbus-ms.org

COMO:

Fred McDowell Blues Trail Marker
The Mississippi Blues Trail, created by the Mississippi Blues Commission, is a project to place interpretive markers at notable historical blues sites throughout Mississippi. The trail extends from southern Mississippi and winds its way to Memphis, Tennessee. In Como is one such marker honoring the late "Mississippi Fred" McDowell, renowned for his bottle-neck style of playing the guitar and for his soulful singing of "Highway 61" and other blues classics. On Thursday, May 7, 2009, a handsome Blues Marker was installed on Como's Main Street median across from Como City Hall.
Main St.
601.359.3297 * www.msbluestrail.org/blues_trail CRAWFORD:

Big Joe Williams Marker
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 parties, and concerts. Mentor to blues legends Muddy Waters and Honeyboy Edwards, Williams was born near Crawford, where he also spent his final years. His song "Baby Please Don’t Go" has been recorded by many blues and rock bands.
365 Main Street
800.327.2686 * www.columbus-ms.org

GRENADA:

Magic Sam Blues Marker
Magic Sam (Samuel Maghett) was one of the most dynamic and gifted blues musicians during his short lifetime (1937-1969).  Born a few miles northeast of this site, Maghett began his performing career in Grenada and lived in this house until he moved to Chicago in the early 1950s.  The youthful energy and spirit of Magic Sam, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and Freddie King modernized Chicago blues into an explosive, electrifying new style in the late 1950s and early ‘60s.
141 Holmes Dr. (Knoxville Community)
800.327.2686 * www.visitgrenadams.com

HERNANDO:

Gus Cannon, Robert Wilkins and Jim Jackson Blues Marker
Mississippi Blues Trail Marker "Beale Town Bound" honors musicians Gus Cannon, Robert Wilkins and Jim Jackson. Gus Cannon wrote "Walk Right In", which was recorded by the 1960's folk group Rooftop Singers. Robert Wilkins and Jim Jackson were Hernando natives.
400 West Park St.
662.393.8770 * www.sodesoto.com

HOLLY SPRINGS:

Hill Country Blues Marker
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 country" blues style characterized by few chord changes, unconventional song structures, and an emphasis on the "groove" or a steady, driving rhythm.  In the 1990s this style was popularized through the recordings of local musicians R.L. Burnside and David "Junior" Kimbrough.
Corner of North Center St. and College Ave.
888.687.4765 * www.visithollysprings.com

HORN LAKE:

Big Walter Horton Blues Marker
Big Walter Horton, also known as Walter "Shakey Horton," was born in Horn Lake, moved to Memphis as a child and then to Chicago, where he first appeared on the blues scene in the late 1950s. A quiet, unassuming, and essentially shy man, Horton is remembered as one of the most influential harmonica players in the history of blues. His career encompassed playing blues joints in the Mississippi Delta during the 1920s and 30s, to studio recording with groups like Fleetwood Mac and Johnny Winter in the 1970s.
East Center St.
662.393.8770 * www.sodesoto.com


NESBIT:

Joe Callicott’s Mississippi Blues Trail Marker and Gravesite
Joe Callicott was a Nesbitt native and is regarded as one of Mississippi’s finest early bluesman. Born in October, 1899, Joe Callicott spent his whole life in the area south of Memphis. His chief musical associate was Garfield Akers and it was as Akers’ second guitarist that he first recorded in 1929. He recorded some final sessions for the blues documentarian, George Mitchell, in the late 60’s. He served as mentor to Nesbitt guitarist, Kenny Brown. Located at Mount Olive C.M.E. Church Cemetery in Nesbit, Joe Callicott’s Blues Trail Marker is one of four markers located in DeSoto County.

1919 Getwell Road
662-393-8770 * www.sodesoto.com

NEW ALBANY:

Mosley & Johnson Blues Trail Marker
New Albany's own Mosley & Johnson Band and Bluesman Billy Ball are a part of the Mississippi Blues Trail. A Blues Marker dedicated to the bluesmen is located at the Museum.
114 Cleveland St. * 662.538.0014

TUPELO:

Elvis Presley Blues Marker
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 blues recordings by African-Americans, and he continued to incorporate blues into his records and live performances for the remainder of his career.
306 Elvis Presley Dr.
800-533-0611 * www.tupelo.net

Shake Rag Blues Marker
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 ht e1920s blues and jazz flowed freely from performers at Shake Rag restaurants, cafes, and house parties, and later from Jukeboxes, while the sounds of gospel music filled the churches.  It was here that Elvis was influenced by what he heard which contributed greatly to the style he made famous.
399 East Main St.
800-533-0611 * www.tupelo.net

WALLS:

Memphis Minnie Gravesite and Blues Marker
Memphis Minnie, born Lizzie "Kid" Douglas in 1897, is considered by many to be the best female blues singer of all times. She received her first guitar in 1905 as a Christmas present and was among the first twenty performers inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at the inaugural W.C. Handy awards in 1980.
New Hope M.B. Church Cemetery
7564 Norfolk Road
662.393.8770 * www.sodesoto.com

WEST POINT:

Howlin’ Wolf Blues Marker
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 later a pioneer in electrifying the Delta blues.  After moving north, Burnett nonetheless remained a strong presence on the Mississippi blues scene by returning home often for visits and performances.
307 West Westbrook St.
662.605.0770 * www.wpnet.org

 

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