Following the Mississippi Blues Trail

The Blues is the music that tells the story of America.  Beginning in the Mississippi Delta, the Blues allowed local musicians on makeshift instruments tell the story of their lives in song.  Arguably, the Blues is the single most important root source for modern music.

The history of the Blues is being celebrated by the Mississippi Blues Commission by highlighting the most notable places that are related to the birth of the Blues in the state of Mississippi.

The Commission has instituted the Mississippi Blues Trail. By following these markers you can trace the early history of the Blues.  These markers pay homage not only to the musicians, but also to the places where they performed, such as clubs and the radio stations which promoted the performers.

The first marker was installed at Holly Ridge in 2005 and celebrates the life of Charlie Patton who is considered by many to be the ‘Father of the Mississippi Delta Blues’. Charlie is credited with creating an enduring body of American music and personally inspiring just about every Delta blues man.

Musicians whose lives are commemorated by markers include B.B. King in his birthplace of Berclair, Bo Diddley in his birthplace of McComb, Howling Wolf in West Point, Muddy Waters in Clarksdale, Willie Dixon in Vicksburg, plus Sonny Boy Williamson and W.C. Handy who are both commemorated in Tutwiler.

Robert Johnson, who some say is the greatest blues player of all, has two markers and a museum in his honour, one to commemorate his place of birth, the other at his gravesite.

Even Elvis Presley’s birthplace of Tupelo has a marker.  Although Elvis is not normally regarded as a Blues singer, he grew up listening to much black music and his style was certainly influenced by the Blues.

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