KHOL DJ, Big E (Blues with a Feelin’) and his wife, Charmayne, are driving down the Mississippi Delta from October 6 – 14, 2016 and they want to share their journey.
In the words of Big E:
This was the inspiration for the trip: – Bill Wyman’s book from 2001 (original bass player for The Rolling Stones)
Thursday, Oct. 6
Flying into New Orleans from Driggs, Idaho – The BIG muddy – Mississippi River
Friday, Oct. 7
New Orleans – Preservation Hall Located in the heart of the French Quarter. Preservation Hall is a historic destination for music lovers the world over. Featuring nightly performances by the finest musicians in the Crescent City in an authentic, no-frills setting, this iconic establishment is truly the torchbearer for the American art form that is Traditional New Orleans Jazz.
Pictured below: “Sweet Emma” Barrett a.k.a. Sweet Emma the Bell Girl (March 25, 1897 – January 28, 1983). Obviously, she was not at Preservation Hall this evening. We saw The PresHall Brass with Daniel “Weenie” Farrow
Saturday, Oct. 8
This evening, we caught several bands playing in different clubs and on the streets throughout the French Quarter: Music, Music, Music Everywhere
Sunday, October 9, 2016
We started the morning out just right – Gospel Music at the House of Blues in New Orleans. Sister Linda Wright sanctified us all! Can I Get A Witness?
Monday, Oct. 10
We picked up our rental car for our trip from New Orleans through the Mississippi Delta to Memphis, TN. We drove over Lake Pontchartrain (Louisiana) on the 24-mile causeway. This took us into Mississippi and to the beginning of the Blues Highway. We stopped in McComb, MS and found the below Blues Highway marker for Bo Diddley
Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016: Vicksburg, MS
We drove from Natchez, MS, to Vicksburg, MS, via a part of the Natchez Trace Parkway. The entire Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile drive through exceptional scenery and 10,000 years of North American history. Used by American Indians, “Kaintucks,” settlers, and future presidents, the Old Trace played an important role in American history. It runs through Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. It intersects numerous times with HWY 61.
Pictures taken in a local Vicksburg art store: Unknown Musicians
Pictures taken in a local Vicksburg art store:
Lightnin’ Hopkins (March 15, 1912 – January 30, 1982)
Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016 continued: Vicksburg, MS
Pictures taken in a local Vicksburg art store:
Mississippi John Hurt (March 3, 1892 or March 8, 1893 – November 2, 1966
We drove over the Mississippi River from Vicksburg, MS back into Louisiana to visit friends who live in Driggs in the summer and go back to their home in Columbia, LA, for the winter.
They live on a 1,500-acre rice farm, complete with a hunting lodge, where guests come to hunt deer, boar and a variety of water fowl.
Wednesday. Oct. 12, 2016:
Columbia, LA back over the Mississippi River to Clarksdale, MS
The 250+ miles of the Mississippi Delta
Our first stop back in Mississippi was at The B.B. King Museum in Indianola, MS, his birth place and resting place (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015)
More of B.B. King and Indianola, MS
After B.B.’s Museum in Indianola, MS, we drove up Hwy 61 to Clarksdale, MS, considered by some as the ‘Epicenter of the Blues’
Blues mythology has it that this intersection (Hwys. 61 and 49 in Clarksdale) is where Robert Johnson (The King of the Delta Blues) sold his soul to the devil to be able to play guitar and sing the blues.
Below is the ‘shack’ we stayed in Clarksdale. It, with several other share-cropper shacks, has been relocated to this property called The Hopson Plantation.
Downtown Clarksdale MS in all its splendor. The actor, Morgan Freeman, a native of the area, has poured financing into this section of Clarksdale, including a Blues Night Club and Museum
Ground Zero Blues Club
The stage inside Ground Zero
Downtown Clarksdale, MS:
Selling and buying instruments
Always gotta b a Cadillac somewhere
An empty shell of an old blues venue
Most likely an artist rendering of Robert Johnson. This one is on the side of an old building
Pancakes with your blues?
Always gotta be a radio station around to get the music out
Leaving Clarksdale, MS and on HWY 61 to Memphis, TN….
Ike has a storied career. Recorded in 1950 at Sun Studios in Nashville, way before teaming with Tina (Turner)
Don’t ya just love the nicknames?
Driving into Memphis, TN on HWY 61…
And always the cotton!
The ‘King’ Elvis Presley (Blue Suede Shoes, Mystery Train, Jailhouse Rock) – First with SUN Records
Memphis: a stopping off place on the road to Chicago, the West Coast and music renown.
Famous Beale Street:
Music, Food and paraphinalia everywhere.
And yes, even the toilet seat has got to be musical
B.B. King’s Blues Club All-Star Band
Friday, Oct. 14, 2016:
The original home of SUN Records (Memphis Recording Services – Howlin’ Wolf, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Ike Turner, Jerry Lee Lewis; 1950’s)
Sam Phillips of Sun Records : The Man Who Invented Rock & Roll
Me with Little Milton outside of the Memphis Blues Hall of Fame
Even though the music makes most everything come alive, there is one place that is bone-chilling sobering – The National Civil Rights Museum, located inside the Hotel Lorraine (where Martin Luther King was assassinated by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968).
Things have been left the way they were in 1968. Across the street from the hotel is the rooming house where James Earl Ray fired the shots that killed Martin Luther King.
Inside the museum, the story of the struggle for civil rights, from the early slave ships in the 1600’s to today, is told. We left their with heavy hearts knowing that not enough has changed in the 400+ years.