Welcome to the Delta Blues Museum!
Since it's creation, the Delta Blues Museum has preserved, interpreted and encouraged a deep interest in the story of the blues. Established in 1979 by the Carnegie Library Board of Trustees and re-organized as a stand-alone museum in 1999, the Delta Blues Museum is the state's oldest music museum. A five-member board appointed by the Mayor and Board of Commissioners of Clarksdale governs the museum. Through funding by the City of Clarksdale, admissions, memberships, gift shop revenue, granting agencies and donations, the museum uses these public and private funds to carry out it's mission of preserving and teaching the Blues.
As the Delta Blues Museum celebrates it's 41st anniversary on January 20th and throughout 2020 you will discover the latest new exhibits and more exciting events to partake covering the Museum's 41 years of exploring the new and preserving the Blues of the past. We're excited to be here for you to visit us and explore the Blues!
Robert Johnson Month at the Museum
ONLINE STORE IS OPEN!
We are now celebrating Robert Johnson month at the Museum! Even though the Museum is still currently closed to the public due the COVID-19 health crisis, we have many new Robert Johnson items available for sale through our on-line store. Plus you can receive 10% off your order of $50 or more during Robert Johnson month!
MUSEUM VIRTUAL TOUR
Delta Blues Museum Director Shelley Ritter is pleased to announce the Muddy Waters "virtual tour" of the Museum, in response to its temporary closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please click here to view the "tour".
Museum Temporary Closure Notice
April 3, 2020
THE MUSEUM IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. It is our hope to be able to re-open soon, once the COVID-19 virus is on a steady decline. More information regarding the closure, will be posted on the Museum's website soon. As always, the Delta Blues Museum greatly appreciates your continued patronage and support. April 3, 2020 Press Release
Music can be a comfort at this time: For those in self-imposed quarantine or who may be sheltering in place, we hope you will explore our website and enjoy our "Explore and Learn" interactive series on several Blues greats and the art form the world has come to know and love. Or check out our Featured Videos & Podcasts. If you're looking to expand your music collection, please visit our Online Shop for a wide variety of Blues albums and collections.
May 01, 2020
With the COVID-19 Health Crisis, many events and businesses are adapting to new routines until this crisis has passed.
Even though local live events have been cancelled through the end of May, they will be back in 2021. There are plenty of live streaming events occuring during this time, so you can still "revel in the Blues" from your home. For more information please visit www.cathead.biz.
Spring/Summer Hours in Effect
March 01, 2020
The Delta Blues Museum Spring/Summer hours are 9:00am to 5:00pm, March through October.
DBM Student Band Member Live Performance
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, a DBM Student Band member and Clarksdale native performed live May 16, 2019 in Philadelphia at the 2019 NON-COMMvention. Watch the video of Christone "Kingfish" Ingram at the Ground Zero Blues Club during the 2015 Juke Joint Festival. Hosted by WXPN in Philadelphia, this event was broadcast live via video webcast, streaming from World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. And don't miss Kingfish's debut album, KINGFISH, which released on Friday, May 17th! Purchase your copy from the Museum's Online Gift Shop or visit the Delta Blues Museum.
DBM Artist Spotlights
DBM Artist Spotlight - Little Walter
When asked which harp player he liked most, John Lee Hooker said, "Little Walter. I like his style...". Little Walter Spotlight
DBM Artist Spotlight - Johnny Winter
After carving out his own musical career, Johnny Winter became a producer for Muddy Waters - reproducing the sound and atmosphere of vintage Chess Records recordings. Johnny Winter Spotlight
DBM Artist Spotlight - Charlie Musselwhite
The Delta Blues Museum is proud to shine a light on the Mississippi bluesman and longtime DBM supporter known to some as "Memphis Charlie". Charlie Musselwhite Spotlight
DBM Artist Spotlight - John Lee Hooker
The Delta Blues Museum proudly hails "The King of the Boogie" - the one, the only and Clarksdale's own, John Lee Hooker. John Lee Hooker Spotlight
DBM Artist Spotlight - Muddy Waters
The Delta Blues Museum proudly pays tribute to McKinley Morganfield - better known as the legendary Muddy Waters - one of the most powerful forces behind American music. Muddy Waters Spotlight
DBM Artist Spotlight - Sam Cooke
Born in 1931 in Clarksdale to Annie Mae and Rev. Charles Cook. At the height of his fame, Sam was shot and killed in a tragic and still-controversial series of events on the night of December 11, 1964. Sam Cooke Spotlight
Read ALL the DBM Artist Spotlights
Our Artist Spotlights are informative articles that specifically target various Blues Artists and their careers. Click Here to read all of our Artist Spotlights.
Muddy Waters Cabin from Stovall Farms
The remains of the cabin from Stovall Farms where Muddy Waters lived during his days as a sharecropper and tractor driver are displayed in the gallery.
Festivals & More
You can still plan your next trip to the Museum and Clarksdale, even though the Museum continues to be temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, the Museum is still hosting our annual Blues Artists months and we are continuously working on different ideas for your continued patronage and support. Be sure to check out our "virtual tour visits" and shopping at our on-line gift shop for your latest acquisition of blues music, memorabilia, and much more! Be sure to check the Museum's events page regularly for potential upcoming events! Need some ideas for when to plan your next trip to Clarksdale? Just visit our Plan Your Visit pages for info of upcoming festivals, where to stay, local blues venues and more during your next trip.
May 05, 2020
On May 05, 2020, the Delta Blues Foundation, the supporting organization for the Delta Blues Museum, participated in #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of unity and giving.
The Museum is finalizing our new permanent exhibits so that you can enjoy them we we reopen our doors, but we can't do this without you!
We presently have the opportunity to have your donations matched up to $100,000, but we need your help!
On May 5th, we ask that you go to now.firespring.com and donate. Pledges count, too - contact email@example.com for more information on pledges.
DBM Wins in USA Today's 10 Best Readers' Choice Travel Awards
February 28, 2020
Mississippi's First Music Museum recognized as one of the Best Music Museums in U.S. Museum Director Shelley Ritter appreciates the distinction, offering, "Delta Blues Museum is honored to be a part of this select group of museums. Thank you to everyone who voted for us. This list is a great roadmap to plan spring and summer travels." Read More
Museum Highlights & News
MUSEUM SPRING/SUMMER HOURS
The Delta Blues Museum will observe its Spring/Summer Hours and be open Monday through Saturday 9:00am to 5:00pm. Spring/Summer Hours Hours will be in effect through October 31, 2020.
Museum Holiday Observances
The Delta Blues Museum will be closed in observance of the following holidays: New Years Day, Martin Luther King Jr Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Delta Blues Museum Infectious Disease/Pandemic Policy
March 13, 2020 - The Delta Blues Museum is committed to the health and safety of all our guests, staff, students and volunteers. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are reinforcing our public health practices and policies. Read More
Museum Awarded MAC Grant
Delta Blues Museum has been awarded a $23,100 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) for general operating support for the 2020 fiscal year. This grant is a portion of the nearly $1.4 million in funding to artists and arts programs across the state for FY2020 Press Release
The Votes Are In...
The Museum has been named the "Best Museum in Mississippi" by Budget Travel. The Museum was also nominated in three categories of River Travel's "Best of the River Road" in River Travel Magazine and were among the five finalists in all of them: #1 Best Roadside Attraction; #1 Best Education Center; and #5 Best Interpretive Center.
The Country Blues of John Lee Hooker
"John Lee Hooker's debut on Riverside Records is perhaps the truest to his Mississippi roots. Unaccompanied and playing acoustically instead of his usual amplified guitar, he turned in a wonderfully varied set of deep Delta blues, moans, boogies, one field holler, and even a bit of hokum. Some songs are autobiographical, others reworkings of blues standards-all stamped with the hauntingly personal Hooker touch. The audio for this 60th anniversary release is sourced from the original stereo tapes that were mastered on all analog by Kevin Gray at Coherent Audio. It was pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Memphis Record Pressing." - John Lee Hooker Estate Available in the Gift Shop
New Exhibits Added
The Delta Blues Museum has been adding to the exhibits collection during the year. Be sure to stop by and check out our new additions to the Museum!
DBM Band New CD
Our Arts & Education students have been busy working on a new CD. The recordings have been completed and we are currently working on the artwork and licensing. Stay tuned for the CD release date. This CD is made possible thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Kingfish Grammy Nomination
January 27, 2020 - The Delta Blues Museum is proud of Christone "Kingfish" Ingram Grammy nomination for "Best Traditional Blues Album" at this years Grammy Awards. Christone manifests the mission of Delta Blues Museum and embodies the future of the Blues, and we could not be more proud of his accomplishments.
DBM's 78s Record Collection
Since our founding in 1979, the Delta Blues Museum has generously been given donations of thousands of 78s in every conceivable genre. Thanks to a Preservation Grant from the Grammy Foundation, the Museum has been able to catalog and archive the 78s that belong in our Collection. We hope you enjoy our 78s Record Collection
Music & Festivals
There are many festivals held every year in Clarksdale and surrounding areas. The Museum is happy to list out a few of the festivals to further enhance your enjoyment of the blues. As always, be sure to stop by the Museum when you're in town! We look forward to seeing you soon! Let the Museum help Plan Your Visit to Clarksdale today!
Clarksdale Film Festival
Perserving the blues through film, every January brings forth the Clarksdale Film Festival. For more information, please visit:
January 29 - 30, 2021
Juke Joint Festival
2020 FESTIVAL CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19
April signifies that festival season is upon us here in Clarksdale, with our very own Juke Joint Festival. Always a crowd pleaser and a great start to the season! For more information, please visit: www.jukejointfestival.com
April 15 - 18, 2021
Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival
Almost as old as the Museum, the Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival is held at the start of every August right here in Clarksdale. This festival is so legendary, the Museum has it's own special exhibit area dedicated
to the Sunflower Festival as well as a Sunflower Festival Chronology on the Museum's website.
For more information about the festival, please visit:
August 07 - 09, 2020
Mississippi Delta Blues & Heritage Festival
Greensville, MS during September, you can find the Mississippi Delta Blues & Heritage Festival. Be sure to stop by the Delta Blues Museum on way there or back! For more information, please visit:
Cruz'n the Crossroads Car & Truck Show
Cruz'n the Crossroads is a traveling car and truck show, which usually finds it's way to Clarksdale during September or October. For more information and to confirm travel dates, please visit:
Deak's Harmonica Block Party
A down-home block party held at the Harp Shack in Clarksdale. For more information, please visit:
King Biscuit Festival
Held at the start of October in Helena, Arkansas, the King Biscuit Festival is always a favorite. The DBM Band is usually performing and the Museum hosts special hours during this exiting weekend in Helena.
For more information, please visit:
October 07 - 10, 2020
Clarksdale Super Blues Sunday
Clarksdale's very own post-King Biscuit mini-festival offering up blues, food, and entertainment throughout downtown Clarksdale. For more information, please visit:
October 11, 2020
Deep Blues Festival
The Deep Blues Festival is held mid-October in Clarksdale. For more information, please visit:
October 15 - 18, 2020
Tennessee Williams Festival
Hosted by Coahoma Community College, the Tennessee Williams Festival is held in and around Clarksdale during the month of October. For more information, please visit:
To learn more about the festival please visit: www.deltawilliamsfestival.com
The Hambone Festival can be found in Clarksdale near the end of October each year. For more information, please visit:
The Delta Blues Museum has garnered prestigious awards over the years, and have been featured in books and travel articles. Additionally, the Museum is home to it's very own student band (DBM Band) which has released cd's over the years and can be found performing at festivals, special events, and in holiday parades.
DBM Band cd's
The Museum's very own student band has released two cd's over the years. "From Clarksdale to Kansas City" Volumes 1 and 2 can be purchased in the Museum Gift Shop. Check out samples from Volume 1 on our podcast page
Blues Trail Marker
The Delta Blues Museum was greatly honored by becoming part of the now legendary Mississippi Blues Marker Trail. The Museum's Blues Trail Marker was unveiled during a ceremony on April 11, 2013, which featured a reception and performance by the DBM Band. To follow the Blues Trail, please visit: www.msbluestrail.org
National Medal for Museum and Library Service
In a ceremony at the White House, Museum Director Shelley Ritter and community member Travis Calvin accepted the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. This award is our nation's highest honor conferred on museums and libraries. Read More
Delta Best Award
For outstanding contributions to Tourism in the Delta, The Mississippi Delta Strategic Compact awarded the Delta Blues Museum with the "Delta Best" award. Museum Director Shelley Ritter accepted the award on behalf of the Museum at the 2012 "Future of the Delta Conference". Read More
National Arts & Humanities Youth Programs Award
Once again, the Museum has been honored with another of our nation's prestigious awards. Museum Director Shelley Ritter and Christone "Kingfish" Ingram accepted the 2014 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award in a ceremony at the White House. As an extra bonus, the DBM Band performed during the ceremony. Read More
1,000 Places to See Before you Die
Authored by Patricia Schultz, "1,000 Places to See Before you Die" features the Delta Blues Museum in the "Blues Highway, Clarksdale, MS" chapter. For more information, please visit:
Five Innovative Museums
In recognition of receiving the 2013 National Medal of Honor, Linda Zavoral of mercurynews.com compiled a listing of the top 5 museums honored. Read More
Museum Website "Gold" Certified
www.deltabluesmuseum.org, was awarded a "gold" certification in the Corporate Design, small budget, multimedia category, by the Southeastern Museums Conference at their 2009 annual meeting, held in Charleston, West Virginia. The current site was designed by Quimby Vance of E.Q. Design, with site mapping, copywriting and editing, and research by John Howell of Greenland Inc. Site building was performed by the design team at Verity Internet.
Museum Gift Shop
Gift Shopping at the Delta Blues Museum
Don't forget to check out the Museum's on-line store for gifts that can be given in celebration of any occassion! We have something for everyone that loves Blues Music, the Delta, and the Museum. So stop by our Gift Shop for CD's, Posters, DVD's, Clothing and more.
Available in the Gift Shop -
Probably the most widely known myth about the blues is the place where bluesmen supposedly sold their sold to the Devil. Get your Hwys 61/49 souvenirs today! Visit Gift Shop
Delta Blues Museum
1 Blues Alley
Clarksdale, MS 38614
Monday - Saturday
9:00am - 5:00pm, Summer 03/01-10/31
10:00am - 5:00pm, Winter 11/01-02/28
Group Rates Available!
RIP - Denise LaSalle
The Delta Blues Museum expresses their condolences to the family and friends of Denise LaSalle. The blues and soul music legend has died at age 78. Read More
Podcast - The Mississippi Roots of John Lee Hooker
We'll take a look at the Mississippi John Lee Hooker, his roots and influences, the music that impacted him when he was young. John Lee Hooker's music has an undeniable urban grit that came from his detroit surroundings, but Mississippi was at his core and you could hear it in every song he ever recorded. Listen Here
Norwegian Blues Festival Delegation is Welcomed to Clarksdale
Clarksdale's Sunflower River Blues Festival members welcome delegation from from the Notodden International Blues Festival. Read More
Musselwhite & Rush Win Blues Music Awards
The 36th Annual Blues Music Awards was held Thursday, May 07, 2015 at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, TN. Charlie Musselwhite won the award for Harmonica Instrumentalist, and Bobby Rush won the awards for B.B. King Entertainer and Soul Blues Male Artist.
The music called the blues that emerged from Mississippi has shaped the development of popular music in this country and around the world. Turn on the radio. You might pick up some rock with some tough guitar riffs ‐ or some rap. But put on Robert Johnson's recording of... learn more of the capitivating article by Christine Wilson.
Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite "Get Up"
Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite have been garnered a lot of press with their CD "Get Up". Read More
Celebrate the Museum's 40th year!
There's always something new to see, do, and even to buy at the Museum! So be sure to come on in while you're visiting Clarksdale!
(March - October)
Monday - Saturday
9 AM - 5 PM
(November - February)
Monday - Saturday
10 AM - 5 PM
1 Blues Alley
PO Box 459
Clarksdale, MS 38614
For more information on the Delta Blues Museum, including exhibits, collections and driving directions, Click Here to download our brochure.
Delta Blues Museum Board of Trustees
Paul Wilson, President
Lera Kinnard, Secretary
Dr. William Booker
Delta Blues Museum Board of Trustees Meeting
The Delta Blues Museum Board of Trustees meet the second Tuesday of each month. Currently meetings during the COVID-19 closure is being scheduled on a month to month basis via teleconferencing with times to be determined. Please check the calendar page for most relevant meeting information.
The Delta Blues Museum is a partnered place with the National Trust for Historic Preservation headquartered in Washington DC. National Trust members to receive discounts when visiting the Museum. www.savingplaces.org
The Great River Road Mississippi River Parkway Commission Learn More
The Delta Blues Museum will again be a proud participant of the Blue Star Museum Program benefiting active duty military families. This years program begins Saturday, May 18, 2019 and continues through Monday, September 02, 2019. www.arts.gov
The Delta Blues Museum is proud to announce their recognition as an official partner in the Year of the Creative Economy: Mississippi Homecoming. Read More
The Delta Blues Museum is proud to announce have been awarded the 2015 Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor.com. Reviews of the Museum can be read at TripAdvisor.com
Other Regional Museums
Listen to the local radio station and hear about local concerts during your stay in Clarksdale. www.wroxradio.com
NorthStar News & Analysis - The Voice of Today's Black Man www.northstarnews.com
The Museum is 41!
The Delta Blues Museum is 41 years old! Not only does the Museum reflect Blues History through exhibits, events and education - we also have a full history of our own. So, throughout the year when you happen to be in town, whether it be just a quick visit, or for local events, be sure to add the Museum as a stop during your travels. We installed a number of new exhibits during our 40th year and we can't wait for you to indulge your Blues!
Be sure to check our plan your visit for more details and other upcoming festivals and events.
The Museum and Malaco Records have unveiled a special summer exhibit in celebration of Malaco Music Group's 50th anniversary.
Be sure to stop by the Museum and check out this latest exhibit!
Delta Blues Museum Awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Grant
Delta Blues Museum is a recipient of a Public Humanities Implementation grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), awarding $460,000 in outright funds to the Museum for implementation of forthcoming exhibit expansions, as the Museum approached its 40th anniversary year. The NEH award also includes funding for a two-year staff position in Public Humanities. Museum Press Release
Don Wilcock interview young Blues sensation Christone "Kingfish" Ingram for Blues Blast Magazine. bluesblastmagazine.com
Rare Evening of Extraordinary Music
A rare evening of extraordinary music took place over the weekend at Red's Blues Club in Clarksdale when young guitar phenom Christon "Kingfish" Ingram and his band were joined by... Read More
Interview: Shelley Ritter with Josephine Reed of the National Endowment for the Arts
Interview between Shelley Ritter, Director of the Delta Blues Museum and Josephine Reed of the National Endowment for the Arts. Read the Transcript
Send us your Sunflower Festival Experiences
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Muddy Waters Guitar
Made from a plank of wood from Muddy Waters' Cabin and used on tour by ZZ Top.
On view at the Delta Blues Museum
Custom Engraved Blues Bricks Order Yours Today!
This site made possible through the support of Mississippi Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Rock River Foundation.
All through the Delta Blues Museum and it's website, there is plenty of room to explore and learn about the Blues. From Artist Spotlights, Blues Music Festivals, and Museum Events to our Blues Education Programs, our many Exhibits, and Newsletters - there is always something new to expand your knowledge and participate in with the Blues.
Not sure when to schedule a visit? Check our Music & Festivals page or Events page to see what's playing at the Museum or locally in and around Clarksdale. We proudly participate in the Blue Star Museum program dedicated to our nation's service men and women.
This site made possible through the support of Mississippi Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Rock River Foundation.
Support for the Delta Blues Foudation, Inc has been provided by explore.org, a direct charitable activity of the Annenberg Foundation.
Museum Contact information
Clarksdale, MS 38614