Music of Mississippi

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Mississippi is best known as the home of the blues, which developed among the freed African Americans in the latter half of the 19th century. The Delta blues is the style most closely associated with the state, and includes performers like Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Furry Lewis, Son House, Skip James, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, and B.B. King ("The King of the Blues" d. 2015).

The fiddle and banjo are common folk instruments in Mississippi, which has also seen some development as a gospel, country music and Appalachian folk music center. The Leake County Revelers' brand of folk music saw some national popularity late in the 1930s, at around the same time as Mississippi native Jimmie Rodgers innovated modern country music. McComb, Mississippi was birthplace of Bo Diddley, a highly influential early rock and roll artist. R&B singer Rufus Thomas was born in Cayce. Mississippi was also home to Malaco Records, a well-known indie R&B label. Southern rock band North Mississippi Allstars formed in Hernando in 1996. Alternative rock band 3 Doors Down, known for "Kryptonite" are from Escatawpa. Elvis Presley (d. 1977) from Tupelo had 13 #1 hits in the U.S. from 1956 to 1969.

Delta blues[edit]

Main article: Delta blues

The Delta blues is often regarded as the most rootsy or traditional style of the blues, or as the ultimate origins of the blues. The style has also been called the "most influential form of rural blues (with an) eerie, sometimes demonic power that is unmatched by other American acoustic music".[1] Many of these performers recorded in the early 20th century; however, by the 1950s, they were largely forgotten outside of Mississippi. Many moved to Chicago, and became a part of the more mainstream Chicago blues scene.

In the 1960s, however, a roots revival began across the United States, and interest in Mississippi's blues musicians increased.

Hill country blues[edit]

Main article: Hill country blues

Fife and drum blues[edit]

Main article: Fife and drum blues

Jug band[edit]

Gus Cannon, born in Red Banks, Mississippi, helped popularize jug bands in the 1920-30s with his "Jug Stompers".


Lester Young was born in Woodville, Mississippi.


Justin Scott (born August 26, 1986), better known by his stage name Big K.R.I.T., is an American hip hop musician and record producer from Meridian, Mississippi.

Lavell Crump (born April 11, 1973), better known by the stage name David Banner, is an American rapper, record producer & occasional actor. Banner was born in Jackson, Mississippi and graduated from Southern University. He started his music career as a member of the rap duo, Crooked Lettaz before going solo in 2000 with Them Firewater Boyz, Vol. 1 and signed to Universal Records in 2003. With Universal, Banner released four albums: Mississippi: The Album (2003), MTA2: Baptized in Dirty Water (2004), Certified (2005), and The Greatest Story Ever Told (2008).

Nate Dogg (d. 2011) was born in Mississippi, lived there until age 14, and was featured on 50 Cent's #1 Hot 100 hit "21 Questions" in 2003.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Unterberger, Richie (1999). Music USA: The Rough Guide. The Rough Guides. ISBN 1-85828-421-X. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Palmer, Robert. Deep Blues. Viking.