More Blues markers possible for county
Alex Thomas with the Mississippi Heritage Trails Program recently updated the Marshall County Board of Supervisors on the Blues Trail marker program.
One marker is already located downtown – paid for by Sara Davis and Kenny Brown, who raised the funds for the marker. There could be as many as four more markers located on the Blues Trail in Marshall County, he said.
Thomas is with the music development program of the Mississippi Tourism office.
There are 126 Blues Trail markers in Mississippi and nine others have been located in other states, Thomas said.
The late Rufus Thomas, who promoted and sang the blues in Memphis, Tenn., was from the Cayce community, he said. A marker could be placed there. The late Junior Kimbrough from Hudsonville could be remembered with a second marker. The two Myers Brothers are from Byhalia. And Jimmy and Syl Johnson and his brother were from the Lamar or the Ashland area and markers could be established in Marshall or Benton County or in Holly Springs, Thomas said.
Jimmy Johnson claims Holly Springs as home, he said, while his brother Syl spends his time in Chicago.
The late David “Dave” Myers was born in Byhalia to Mary and Amos Myers, both gifted musicians. There were also three other brothers who were musical. Louis played guitar in the band the “Aces.” Curtis played piano and Bob played harp. Dave and Louis moved to Chicago where they pursued their musical interests.
Local partners are asked to raise $2,000 for each marker and Thomas said the Blues Trail is considering three or four new ones for Marshall County.
There is no set time frame to place markers and ultimately, the timing is tied to money for the markers, Thomas said.
The Mississippi Heritage Trails also plans to place markers for famous Mississippi country musicians and gospel groups.
Some of those already recognized include Charlie Pride of Quitman County, Eddie Shaw, the last member of Howling Wolf Band, Joe Willie “Pinetop” Perkins of Belzoni and Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield) of Rolling Fork who is considered “the Father of Chicago blues.”
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