Blues News

Mississippi Blues Trail Commemorates Blues History

The Mississippi Blues Trail is a project dedicated to placing markers at sites of historical significance to the development of blues music throughout the state of Mississippi (and beyond). Created by the Mississippi Blues Commission, the Trail splits the state up into five regions of the Delta, Hills, Pines, Coast, and River/Capitol, and markers have been placed at record labels, radio stations, grave sites, cities, and the birthplaces of many important blues musicians, including Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Robert Johnson, and Bo Diddley. Places like plantations, streets, cities, and counties that were centers of blues activity are also commemorated. 

The first historical site to be marked, dedicated on December 11, 2006, was the grave of pioneering Delta blues musician Charley Patton, who is known as the “Father (or Founder) of the Delta Blues”, which can be found in Holly Ridge, in Sunflower County, MS. A number of markers can also be found outside of the Magnolia State in places like Chicago, where the likes of Mississippians Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon found fame, in Norway, where the Notodden Blues Festival was founded in 1988, as well as sites in Memphis, TN, and Muscle Shoals, AL. To date, the Mississippi Blues Trail has nearly 200 markers at historic sites in place honoring the people and places that have been essential to the growth of the beloved music that is known as the blues.

 Highway 61, also known as the Blues Trail, rivals that of Route 66, if not for its historical importance, certainly for its musical significance, and it is therefore also included on this list, as some of the most famous Mississippi artists who lived near it, including B. B. King, Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Son House, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Ike Turner, Robert Nighthawk, Sunnyland Slim, Honeyboy Edwards, Sam Cooke, James Cotton and Jimmy Reed, just to name a few. In short, it is a guide of must-see sites for the truest of blues fans!


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