Mississippi Blues Trail

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Blues Trail marker in Hernando, Mississippi

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. Within the state the trail extends from the Gulf Coast north along several highways to (among other points) Natchez, Vicksburg, Jackson, Leland, Greenwood, Clarksdale, Tunica, Grenada, Oxford, Columbus, and Meridian. The largest concentration of markers is in the Mississippi Delta, but other regions of the state are also commemorated. Several out-of-state markers have also been erected where blues with Mississippi roots has had significance, such as Chicago.[1]


The list of markers and locations was developed by a panel of blues scholars and historians. The trail has been implemented in stages as funds have become available. The National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Mississippi Department of Transportation have provided grants for funding of various markers, which are co-sponsored with funds from local communities. The marker texts are researched and written by Jim O'Neal and Scott Barretta, former editors of Living Blues magazine, together with an editorial and design team that has included Wanda Clark; Chrissy Wilson; Allan Hammons; and Sylvester Oliver.[2]

Prior to the founding of the Mississippi Blues Trail, two preliminary markers were placed in Indianola, Mississippi, at a corner where B.B. King played as a young man, and at the Club Ebony.

The first three Mississippi Blues Trail markers were dedicated on December 11, 2006. The first, at Holly Ridge, is dedicated to Delta blues pioneer Charley Patton.[3]

The second marker is located by the Southern Whispers Restaurant on Nelson Street in Greenville. Nelson Street, the home of many nightclubs, cafes, and juke joints over the years, was once the primary center of African-American business, entertainment, and social life in the Delta.[4] For many decades this historic strip drew crowds to the flourishing club scene to hear Delta blues; big band; jump blues; rhythm & blues; and jazz.

The third marker was unveiled at the original location of WGRM radio station in Greenwood, where B.B. King first broadcast as a gospel singer.[4]

By the end of 2016, the Mississippi Blues Trail had placed nearly 200 markers.[5] They honored individual artists, clubs, record companies, radio stations, and historic events, but also the plantations, streets, cities, and counties that developed as centers of blues activity. Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman was also commemorated, as folklorists such as Alan Lomax recorded blues there by inmates (most notably Bukka White) on several occasions, dating to the 1930s.[6]

Current markers[edit]

Locations are in Mississippi unless otherwise stated.

Marker name Marker location Photograph Notes
Ace Records Jackson Jackson ace records800px.jpg
Albert King Indianola AlbertKingMSBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Alamo Theater/Dorothy Moore Jackson
Alligator Blues Alligator Alligator Blues Trail Marker.jpg
Asie Payton Holly Ridge
Texas Johnny Brown[7] Ackerman
Arthur Crudup Forest
B.B. King Birthplace Berclair BirthplaceOfBBKingMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Baptist Town Greenwood BaptistTownBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Beale Town Bound Hernando Beale Town Bound Blues Trail Marker Hernando MS 01.jpg
Big Jack Johnson Clarksdale BigJackJohnsonBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Big Walter Horton Horn Lake Blues Trail Marker Walter Horton Horn Lake MS 03.jpg
Birthplace Of The Blues? Dockery Plantation DockeryMSBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Blue Front Cafe Bentonia TheBlueFrontCafeBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Bo Diddley McComb
Broadcasting the Blues Gulfport
Cassandra Wilson Jackson
Charley Patton gravesite Holly Ridge CharleyPattonMSBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Chrisman Street Cleveland ChrismanStreetHMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Church Street Indianola ChurchStreetMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Club Desire Canton Club Desire Blues Trail Marker.jpg
Club Ebony Indianola ClubEbonyMSBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Columbus - Catfish Alley Columbus
Corner of 10 and 61 Leland Cornerof10And61MississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
James Cotton Clayton JamesCottonBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Cotton Pickin Blues Hopson CottonPickinBluesMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Delta Blues Museum Clarksdale DeltaBluesMuseumBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Elks Hart Lodge No. 640 Greenwood ElksHartLodgeNo640BluesTrailMarker.jpg
Elvis Presley and the Blues Tupelo Elvis Presley Birthplace, Tupelo, MS, US (11).jpg
Fred McDowell Como
Gatemouth Moore Yazoo City GatemouthMooreBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Grammy Museum Mississippi Cleveland Grammy Museum Mississippi Blues Trail Marker.jpg
Greasy Street Ruleville GreasyStreetMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Guitar Slim Shellmound GuitarSlimMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Harlem Inn Winstonville HarlemInnMSBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Harold "Hardface" Clanton Tunica HaroldHardfaceClantonBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Henry Townsend Shelby HenryTownsendBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Hickory Street (The Hollow) Canton Hickory Street (The Hollow) Blues Trail Marker.jpg
Highway 61 Blues Robinsonville Highway 61 Blues - Tunica.jpg
Holmes County Blues (Lexington) Lexington HolmesCountyBluesLexingtonMSBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Holmes County Blues (Tchula) Tchula HolmesCountyBluesTchulaMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
HoneyBoy Edwards Shaw HoneyBoyEdwardsBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Hot Tamales And The Blues Rosedale HotTamalesAndTheBluesMSBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Howlin' Wolf West Point West Point Howlin' Wolf Blues Trail Marker West Point.png
Ike Turner Clarksdale IkeTurnerBluesTrailMarker.jpg
James "Son" Thomas Leland JamesSonThomasMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Jimmie Rodgers Meridian Sign marking Jimmie Rodgers birthplace as a historic Place.jpg
Jimmy Rogers Ruleville JimmyRogersMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
John Lee Hooker Vance JohnLeeHookerVanceBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Denise LaSalle Belzoni DeniseLasalleBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Little Milton Inverness LittleMiltonCampbellBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Ralph Lembo Itta Bena Ralph Lembo Blues trail marker.jpg
Furry Lewis Greenwood FurryLewisBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Livin' at Lula Lula LivininLulaBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Magic Sam Grenada MagicSlimBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Malaco Records Jackson Malacorecordsbluestrailmarker.jpg
Tommy McClennan Yazoo City Tommy McClennan Blues Trail Marker.jpg
Memphis Minnie Walls Memphis Minnie Hist Marker Walls MS.jpg
Meridian Blues and Jazz[8] Corner of 5th Street & 25th Avenue
More than 30 musicians are acknowledged at this marker including Alvin Fielder Jr. and Eddie Houston. It is located on the former site of the Fielder & Brooks Pharmacy, which Fielder's father (Alvin Fielder Sr., also a musician) started in 1934.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues Festival Pascagoula, Mississippi Mississippi Blues Festival Marker in Pascagoula, MS
Mississippi John Hurt Avalon MississippiJohnHurtMarker.jpg
Mississippi River Blues: The 1927 Flood Scott Mississippi River Blues Blues Trail Marker.jpg
Mose Allison Tippo MoseAllisonBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Mound Bayou Blues Mound Bayou MoundBayouBluesMSBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Muddy Waters Rolling Fork Muddy Waters Blues Trail Marker Rolling Fork.jpg
Muddy Waters' cabin site Clarksdale Muddy Waters Cabin.jpg
Nelson Street Greenville NelsonStreetBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Natchez Rhythm Club Natchez
Otis Rush Philadelphia Otis Rush marker in Philadelphia, Mississippi.jpg
Parchman Blues Parchman ParchmanBluesMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Peavey Electronics Meridian Peavey Electronics sign.jpg
Pinetop Perkins Belzoni PinetopPerkinsBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Po' Monkey's Merigold Po Monkeys Juke Joint.jpg
Prince McCoy Greenville Prince McCoy Blues Trail Marker.jpg
Rabbit Foot Minstrels Port Gibson Rabbit Foot Blues Trail Marker.jpg
Rediscovery of Son House Rochester, New York Son House Mississippi Blues Trail sign.jpg
Red Tops Vicksburg
Riverside Hotel Clarksdale RiversideHotelBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Riley B. King Indianola RileyBKingMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Robert Johnson birthplace Hazlehurst
Robert Johnson gravesite Greenwood RobertJohnsonMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Robert Nighthawk Friars Point
Rocket "88" Lyon Rocket88BluesTrailMarker.jpg
Rosedale Rosedale Rosedale Blues Trail Marker.jpg
Sam Chatmon Hollandale Sam Chatmon Blues Trail Marker.jpg
Sam Cooke Clarksdale SamCookeBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Eddie Shaw Benoit Eddieshawbluestrailmarker.jpg
Skip James Bentonia NehemiahSkipJamesBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Son House Clack SonHouseBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Sonny Boy Williamson In Helena Helena SonnyBoyWilliamsonInHelenaBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Subway Lounge Jackson
Hubert Sumlin Greenwood HubertSumlinBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival Clarksdale SunflowerRiverBluesAndGospelFestivalBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Sunnyland Slim: Quitman County Blues Lambert SunnylandSlimQuitmanCountyBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Eddie Taylor Benoit Eddietaylorbluestrailmarker.jpg
The Enlightenment of W.C. Handy Cleveland WCHandyBluesTrailMarker.jpg
The Hollywood Cafe Robinsonville HollywoodCafeBluesTrailMarker.jpg
The New World Clarksdale The New World Blues Trail Marker.jpg
The Peavine Boyle ThePeavineBluesTrailMarker.jpg
The Staple Singers Drew TheStapleSingersMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Tommy Johnson Crystal Springs Tommy Johnson Blues Trail Marker Front.jpg
Trumpet Records Jackson
Turner's Drug Store Belzoni TurnersDrugStoreBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Tyrone Davis Leland TyroneDavisMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Wade Walton Clarksdale WadeWaltonBluesTrailMarker.jpg
W.C. Handy Encounters The Blues Tutwiler WCHandyTutwilerBluesTrailMarker.jpg
WGRM Radio Studio Greenwood WGRMRadioStudioBluesTrailMarker.jpg
"Where The Southern Cross The Dog" Moorhead YellowDogMSBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Willie Dixon Vicksburg
Johnny Winter Leland JohnnyWinterMississippiBluesTrailMarker.jpg
W.C. Handy/Sonny Boy Williamson Tutwiler
WROX Clarksdale WROXBluesTrailMarker.jpg
Chicago Chicago, Illinois
Grammy Awards Los Angeles, California
Memphis Blues Memphis, Tennessee
Mississippi to Alabama Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Blues Trail: Mississippi to Florida Tallahassee, Florida Bradfordville Blues Trail placard.jpg]
Mississippi to Helena Helena, Arkansas TheBluesTrailMississippiToHelenaBluesTrailMarker.jpg]
Mississippi to Louisiana Ferriday, Louisiana
Mississippi to Maine Rockland, Maine
Norway Notodden, Telemark, Norway
Paramount Records Grafton, Wisconsin
The Blues Foundation Memphis, Tennessee

Source: Mississippi Blues Trail official web site

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Widen, Larry. "JS Online: Blues trail". Jsonline.com. Archived from the original on 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
  2. ^ "Mississippi Blues Commission - Blues trail". Msbluestrail.org. Archived from the original on 2007-02-09. Retrieved 2007-02-09.
  3. ^ "Haley Barbour Unveils First Marker of Mississippi Blues Trail". Jazz News. Retrieved 2007-02-09.
  4. ^ a b "Blues Matters! - Delta sites to be included on new blues trail". Bluesmatters.com. Retrieved 2008-05-28.[dead link]
  5. ^ "Mississippi Blues Commission - List of Blues Trail Markers". Msbluestrail.org. Retrieved 2017-04-22.
  6. ^ "BLUES TRAIL MARKS PARCHMAN AS MAJOR INFLUENCE Archived 2012-03-08 at the Wayback Machine." State of Mississippi. September 23, 2010. Retrieved on October 3, 2010.
  7. ^ "Mississippi honors Houston's Texas Johnny Brown - Houston Chronicle". Chron.com. 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
  8. ^ Neary, Michael (3 November 2017). "Marker celebrates Meridian's contribution to blues, jazz music". Meridian Star. Meridian, Mississippi. Retrieved 29 April 2020. More than 30 musicians, King noted, are recognized on the marker -- the 198th to be unveiled along the Mississippi Blues Trail.

External links[edit]