After a flurry of meetings in January and February to set
up the final preparatory work, the , along with the Stovall family
and representatives of D. Carroll Construction, officially
broke ground for the
on Tuesday, March 22. To be completed by the end of this
year, the wing features a two-story building that will showcase
the cabin from
where McKinley Morganfield a.k.a. Muddy Waters grew up.
(It is currently on display in our galleries, but in a cramped
space.) The Addition will also house new permanent exhibits.
The wing is designed to complement a Mississippi Landmark Property, and will
double the size of our gallery space. Construction will
be completed by the end of this year.
to R: Kevin Clanton, David Carroll, Will Finn
/ D. Carroll Construction;
Commissioner Buster Moton; Cathy Clark / City
Clerk; Commissioner Edward Seals; Jim Herring,
Johnny Lewis, Dr. Frank Marascalco, Yvonne Stanford
/ Delta Blues Museum Board; Howard Stovall;
Shelley Ritter, Delta Blues Museum Director;
Clarksdale Mayor Henry Espy; Curtis Boschert,
City Attorney; Maggie Bjorgum, Belinda Stewart
Architects; Brian Copeland, Mississippi Department
of Transportation; Belinda Stewart, Belinda
[Photo credit: Chuck Lamb / Lamb Photography]
Muddy Waters Addition
It seems fitting that the official groundbreaking took
place now. marks
as dated from March 5, 1951, when a group of drove to Memphis to audition for Sam Phillips
at his Memphis Recording Service (the studio that pre-dated
Sun Records). Jackie Brenston & his Delta Cats, including
Ike Turner, Willie Kizart, and Raymond Hill, recorded Issued by license to Chess records, the song
hit #1 on the charts by June. Last year, when Ike Turner
was honored by the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival,
we unveiled our new
If you haven't seen it yet, now's the right time to cruise
"Rocket 88" Exhibit
the bluesman whose much- mythologized life, including the legend of the Crossroads,
and singular music make him the most widely known Delta bluesman. who played with Johnson, will
appear at the Museum on April 15-16 as part of the Juke
Joint Festival, both
speaking informally and performing (see "Events" below
for the schedule). We are also working on some special features
to highlight Johnson's Clarksdale connections-stay tuned!
2011 is also the which will be celebrated
in Clarksdale at the 19th Annual Mississippi Delta Tennesee
Williams Festival on October 14-15. Williams spent part
of his childhood in Clarksdale, using the experience to
create many of the characters and settings in his plays.
Did you know a collection of five short plays is titled
With all the
in the air, it seems only right that the Museum was visited
by a school group from Many of you may--or may not--know
that the Museum began in Myrtle Hall's Library Branch #4
with a small exhibit set up by the Carnegie Public Library
staff. The Museum quickly outgrew that space and moved into
the at 114
Delta Avenue, where it continued to expand until we moved
into our current building in 1999.
Myrtle Hall #4 school group at the Museum
Speaking of roots, will be presented on April
14 at 7 pm at The Pinnacle on the campus of Coahoma Community
College. Habib Koite and Afel Bocoum, Malian guitarists
and singers, will perform with a traditional African band.
The links between Mali and the blues are historically strong
ones that continue to develop today
. This performance is free and open to the public.
being our relatively
quiet time (usually), we hosted That geographically
wide turnout fits with the press we continue to attract, from
local to national coverage. The ran a cover feature story on the Museum
(right), and another feature article on the increase in tourism
in Clarksdale. Other articles on the Museum appeared in the
Informer and the Sacramento
Can't wait for our real "busy" season! , April 15-16, is the first of many
festivals we're getting ready for in coming months (see
"Events" below). Come visit us!
A special thanks to the Mississippi Arts Commission
for helping fund this newsletter.
This newsletter is supported in part
by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state
in part, from the National Endowment for the
Arts, a federal agency.
an exhibit of photographs by noted Mississippi photographer
Ken Murphy, taken from the book of the same name. The display
features 30 large-format photos of blues scenes in and around
Clarksdale, from performances at the Sunflower River Blues
and Gospel Festival and Red's to portraits of Super Chikan
and Jimbo Mathus. Opens on April 7 (see "Events" below).
has gone "live" on our home page web site. The new section
maps the life and musical times of the blues-harp master,
from Possumneck, Mississippi to Memphis, from the South
Side of Chicago to the Bay Area and worldwide fame. It joins
the and sections as part of our series. Thanks to the New Hampshire Charitable
soundtrack. Eight classic Son House songs have been added
to the web section's pages, including
and Thanks to
Bug Music for the rights clearance and the Rock River Foundation
for support of the feature.
is in-progress, thanks to the generous support of the New Hampshire Charitable
Foundation. Previous Explore and Learn units have featured Muddy Waters and Son House. You can see "Follow Muddy"
and "Follow Son House" here. We are also in process of getting permissions to add Son House music to "Follow Son House."
Thanks to Bug Music.
State of the Blues with Ken Murphy and Scott Barretta.
Blues Museum Band on DBM Stage
Photographs from Mississippi: State of the Blues
by Ken Murphy and Scott Barretta.
4 pm Conversations with David "Honeyboy" Edwards
5 pm Delta Blues Museum band performs on stage for the Care
Station Fish Fry Fundraiser
All day DBM tent on Delta Avenue
Music on DBM/ "Robert Johnson Stage" starts at 3 pm
3 pm DBM band
4 pm David "Honeyboy" Edwards
5 pm STAX Academy band
6 pm Ole Skool Review from Delta State University
The Museum will be
be given out in Memphis. is nominated in
the categories of Best Traditional Blues Male Artist (he
won last year!) and B. B. King Entertainer of the Year.
James "Super Chikan" Johnson
Leland (one hour south of Clarksdale),
will feature many local performers, including Eddie Cusic,
Jimbo Mathus, and Cedric Burnside. The next day, the Holly Ridge Store hosts a blues jam featuring
festival performers. Read
This year's edition
will honor deceased, "hometown" contributors to Clarksdale's
music heritage: musicians Michael James (who taught in the
Museum's Arts and Education program), Wesley Jefferson,
Foster "Tater" Wiley, Big Jack Johnson, club owner Sarah
Moore, and vendor chairman James Alford. The Museum has
just acquired "Dr. Mike's" guitar for its collection.
On February 10, a was unveiled at the Grammy museum in
Los Angeles, as part of this year's Grammy Awards. The marker
honors Mississippi's pivotal role in blues and its influence
across the music industry. Read
The blues lost several legends in the past months. All lived long and productive lives, and
were performing until their final days.
with John Lee Hooker from 1949-1962, and then had a successful
solo career. He kept up a relentless touring schedule, for
which he was called "Gypsy of the Blues."
the last of the Jelly Roll Kings (Frank Frost, Sam Carr).
He was a popular club and festival entertainer known as
"The Oil Man" for his day job delivering barrels.
97, the Delta boogie-woogie piano master, who played with
Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Nighthawk, and
Earl Hooker, and who taught Ike Turner. His nickname came
from his famous cover version of Clarence "Pinetop" Smith's
"Pinetop Boogie Woogie."
offered a guitar workshop on February 12, guiding 15 attendees
through the tunings and techniques of Robert Johnson. We recorded the first 30 minutes of this classroom
session to be used as podcast for the DBM web site. The event was sponsored by the Rock River Foundation,
and the podcast was made possible by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.
Guitarist Scott Ainslie teaching Robert Johnson in the Museum classroom.
will be on sale at the Museum for Juke Joint Festival, April
16. It features musicians and instructors from the Museum
classes along with guest appearances by Charlie Musselwhite,
Bill Abel, and other local musicians. Thanks to the New
Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the Mississippi Arts
Commission for supporting this project.
The beautiful photographs by Ken Murphy and
the insightful text by Scott Barretta show that the blues
are rollin' on in and around Clarksdale. Signed copies are
available for $60 here. here.
The legendary bluesman David "Honeyboy"
Edwards tells the story of his long musical life and times
in writing that captures his distinctive voice. Born in
1915, he describes the ups and downs of a classic Delta
musician's career: playing with Robert Johnson and B.B.
King, and doing hard time in prison. Called "an African-American
On the Road," this autobiography is history, sociology,
and musicology all at once, told in a storytelling voice
that makes the man and his music come vividly alive.
This recording delivers the
string-snapping guitar and soulful vocals that define the classic, pre-war Delta blues. A re-issue of a 1979 vinyl LP first
issued in 1979 by Moe Asch's Folkways label, it captures "Honeyboy" in a clean, porch-sittin' production. Comes with liner
notes by the late blues writer Robert Palmer in a 26-page booklet.
The Pinetop Perkins life story, told in interviews and performances.
The master of Delta blues piano boogie-woogie has a lot
to say, both in his insightful and humorous comments, and
through his movin' music. Two-disc set contains a documentary
DVD and a CD of music.
Help Support the
Museum and honor a family member, friend, or fellow blues
enthusiast. Your donation of $50 buys a personalized brick
to be place on the Museum walkway. Buy
|Delta Blues Museum
Board of Directors
William H. Gresham, President
Yvonne Stanford, Secretary
Dr. Frank Marascalco
to the Delta Blues Museum
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