I just wanted to share my exciting weekend with you. I went down to Mississippi to visit my mom and we all loaded up and took a tour of some of the Mississippi Blues Trail... along with a few other stops which aren't on the official trail. It was quite the trip... if you ever get the chance I recommend it.
- Robert Johnson grave site at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church
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- Hopson Plantation
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- Parchman Penitentiery
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- Robert Johnson grave site at Payne Chapel Church
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- BB King was born near here
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- This is NOT BB King's birth place... it is a "Row House" typical of the early days.
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- Henry Ford
Mhh I'd better start saving up to pay for the trip......
You go right ahead... I certainly don't mind.ElMano wrote:I saved the pictures in my collection bluespictures if you dont mind
Actually... there are three grave sites for Robert Johnson. Here's the story as best as I have gathered from my internet research: There is a grave site at Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Greenwood, MS. It is said that an eye witness saw Robert Johnson buried at this site. Then there is also a grave site at the Payne Chapel Church in Quito, MS which is said to be his actual grave site. Not far from Quito is another grave site with a large marker place there by Capital Records with all of RJ's songs inscribed. Some information says that RJ's wife may have had him moved from the Quito site to this site. This grave site is in the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church grave yard near Morgan City, MS. So... it's not really certain where he is buried, but for sure it is one of these three sites. I visited the Quito site and the Morgan City site. Next trip I'll try to make it over to the Greenwood site.Oneeyedslide wrote:How' they go about burying RJ in two different places?
Tradrr wrote:Great pics! Tell us about the trail. Details, details!
OK... you asked for it so here goes....12Bar wrote:Thanks a lot! MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was born and grew up in Belzoni, MS. While I was growing up the Belzoni town slogan was "Belzoni, the Heart of the Delta". When cotton farming gave way to catfish farming the slogan was changed to "Belzoni, Catfish Capital of the World". I guess when you are a little town you have to make the best of what you have. I prefer the "Heart of the Delta" myself. My mom still lives there and just turned 89. She and my dad moved to Belzoni 4 years before I was born so she has lived there for almost 67 years now. Anyway... when I was growing up I was more into "Rock and Roll" than in Blues so I didn't really know much about it back then. Now that I have developed an interest in Blues music I have started researching the history of that region. The Delta of Mississippi is the starting place of more Blues singers than any other Southern State in the US.
An organization, the Mississippi Blues Commission, was formed to preserve and record the rich Blues history of the state. This organization started placing markers around the state to commemorate people who were influential in the Blues. In 2005 the first marker was installed at Holly Ridge, MS, to honor Charlie Patton. To date there are over 113 markers placed from the Louisiana border up into Memphis and even some outside the state. Recently there was one installed in Chicago, Illinois. Here is a link to the Blues Trail if you would like to check it out...
This past week my wife and I went down to Belzoni to visit my mom and I decided that I wanted to try to find some of the markers. This desire became an obsession and I ended up doing a lot of research on the internet to locate some of the markers which would be near our route. I ended up finding a lot of other cool Blues sites as well. Here's a conical of my visit.
In the town of Belzoni there are three Blues Markers. The one for singer Denise LaSalle is right out front of the Belzoni court house.
The second is for Pinetop Perkins is just outside the city limits on Highway 49W. The building just to the right of the marker is a small museum for Pinetop which has not opened yet. I'm sure on my next visit I will be able to visit this museum. This picture is in my previous post if you want to see this marker.
The third marker is of the Turner's Drug Store. At this drug store they used to mix up an elixir named Tally Ho. The concoction is long lost but was believed to be mostly alcohol. It was a way for the tea-toddlers and good Southern Baptists to get a shot of alcohol without going out and buying whiskey from the "Boot Leggers". This elixir was advertised on the radio by Sonny Boy Williams who sang and played Blues music across the street at the Easy Pay store. The radio show was carried remote by a radio station, WAZF, out of Yazoo City, MS.
Here are the words to Sonny Boy's jingle...
Tallyho, it sure is good, you can buy it anywhere in the neighborhood.
Go on the corner of Hayden Street, Mr. Turner Drug Store.
You ask to buy one, buy two. It’s good for you, it’s good for the children too.
Tallyho, it sure is good.
Take it in the morning, take it at night, Tallyho’ll make you feel just right.
My mom said that a friend of hers, now deceased, said he recalled going to Turner's Drug Store and helping them mix up the elixir.
Then I drove up Highway 41W to Clarksdale, MS. Our firs sighting was the intersection of highway 61 and 49. This is supposedly the "Crossroads" where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devel to be able to play guitar like he did. There is information saying that this marker is abut 400 yards from the actual Crossroads. There is also information that Robert J. just made up the whole thing to promote his carrier. I like to think that it is all true... makes for a much more interesting story.
In Clarksdale the first place that we went was to the Delta Blues Museum. This place is really worth seeing. They moved Muddy Water's entire cabin into the museum. Of course, it isn't that large. Inside the cabin they had a full sized wax figure complete with his Gold Top Les Paul.
We then walked over to the Ground Zero Juke-Joint. It was complete with worn out couches and chairs on the front porch. Every inch of this place was covered with people's names and messages, inside and out! This is definitely a place to see... live entertainment every night, I wish that we could have stayed... maybe next time.
Then into town to visit the Cat Head Delta Blues and Folk Art store. This is a very interesting place with live music outside and all kinds of CD's and folk art inside.
We then drove over to Hopson's Plantation where cotton farming was first mechanized. This is believed to be the plantation which first started using tractors to farm cotton which had previously been farmed using mules and plows and lots of human labor. Because of this automation the labor was not needed and many of the farm hands moved north to find work in the factories. They took a lot of the Blues music with them. This is how much of the "Delta Blues" transferred to "Memphis Blues" and "Chicago Blues".
........ To Be Continued .....
- Henry Ford
I guess there is a limit on storage space??? The site stopped letting me upload photographs. 12Bar, I hope I'm not overloading your server with pictures. Please feel free to delete them if I am.
Here's the rest of the story...
I posted the Hopson Plantation pictures in my earlier posting. While we were there I took the opportunity to sit on the porch of one of the "Row House" porches and play my guitar. I'm sure it was one of the worst blues tunes ever played on this porch but I was proud to be able to try.
We drove around Clarksdale a little but we were running out of time for the day. I'm sure there was plenty more to see in town but we had to head back to Belzoni. On our way back we passed the Mississippi State Penitentiary marker near Parchman. If you look closely at the photograph of the penitentiary you will see the guard waving me away and yelling not to take photographs... OK.
(pictures in my earlier post)
We then detoured into the small town of Tutwiler to find the W. C. Handy marker. This marker was one of the hardest to find. We drove right past it the first time and made a few U-turns. There are hardly any street markers in this very small farming community. The Blues Marker is shown in my earlier post. Here is a picture of the back of a few building just behind the marker.
The next day, on our way back to Tennessee, my wife and I detoured and found the two Robert Johnson grave sites already pictured and described above. We also were able to find B.B. King's birthplace (marker already posted). The marker says that his actual birthplace was actually in a small building southeast of the marker along Bear Creek. Here is a picture of Bear Creek.
That's about it... we headed back to Tennessee but we had a wonderful time and will certainly do it again next time we visit Mississippi. If any of you Blues enthusiast ever get to the deep South I highly recommend that you visit some of these sites, you will love it as much as I did. I'm sorry for such a long post but I hope you enjoyed it.
- Henry Ford
Delete? NEVER! I dig those stories and photographs!Golfxzq wrote:.... Continued ....
I guess there is a limit on storage space??? The site stopped letting me upload photographs. 12Bar, I hope I'm not overloading your server with pictures. Please feel free to delete them if I am..
I'm sorry for such a long post but I hope you enjoyed it.
There's (at least up to now) enough space for upload, only the number of attachments per post was limited to 10 (now 15), in case someone misuses the board.
I'm thinking of putting it into a "normal" website (of course with credits to you!) and link it in the menu, if you don't mind - it's so great!
and what a story too...............
You on the porch strumming away !! Priceless !
lyric from "Out in The Fields"
Gary Moore 1952-2011
Great Pictures Golfzxq .............Thanks for Sharing
You've captured a bit of the frisson (I think that's the right word) of the trip for us all. Many thanks for giving us this taste of it all.
It sounds like a wonderful journey into the spirit of the Blues.
For who likes tombestones
Robbert Johnson : http://www.deadbluesguys.com/dbgtour/johnson_robert.htm
I would be honored... do with them what you like. I am just glad to be able to share with everyone.12Bar wrote:I'm thinking of putting it into a "normal" website (of course with credits to you!) and link it in the menu, if you don't mind - it's so great!
- Henry Ford