Blues, country, rock ’n roll. It all started right here. And on any given night, it’s still going strong. From the Coast to the Delta to the northern hills, singers and musicians make juke joints, clubs, and concert halls rock. Fans come from around the world to sit down front and see the real thing – live and a-live, as we say. Novice or connoisseur, you should, too. Just look for the neon, listen for the applause, and come on in for the show.
When we say “birthplace of American music,” is it merely a play on words boasting about a few locally born "naturals?" Not exactly. Perhaps there’s something in the water, but this state has produced many of the world’s most renowned musical artists of all time. Mississippi music is legendary.
From blues to blue suede shoes.
Begin your Mississippi music journey at the many museums and historical sites that tell the true stories of how these worldwide revolutions got their start. In Clarksdale, you’ll find the Mississippi Delta Blues Museum. The Mississippi Delta is the birthplace of Blues music—the place where over 100 blues musicians and singers including Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, and B.B. King began their careers. So, if you’re looking for a true Mississippi Delta blues experience, expect just that in the clubs and juke joints. There may not be much of a stage, but audience participation is highly encouraged.
Elvis. Need we say more?
Tupelo, in northeast Mississippi, is where Elvis Presley was born. Tour the small, humble two-room shotgun house that was his childhood home. It is quite a contrast from the sequined jumpsuits and luxury cars that Elvis enjoyed as a superstar. Adjacent to the tiny house are an impressive museum with photographs, costumes, and other memorabilia; a memorial chapel; and park. Explore the town and retrace some of Elvis’ steps as a young man. There’s the hardware store where he purchased his first guitar, the school where he performed "Old Shep" in a talent show, and the fairgrounds where he performed early in his career. Go by Johnnie’s Drive-In where the King often enjoyed a cheeseburger and milkshake with childhood friends. Move right along from "The King of Rock and Roll" to "The Father of Country Music." Meridian is the home of Jimmy Rodgers, where the Jimmy Rodgers Museum stands in honor of this Mississippi music prodigy. Meridian is also the birthplace of Peavey Electronics, the world’s largest producer of amplifiers, guitars, and keyboards.
And the party never ends.
Mississippi music stays alive year-round. The B.B. King Homecoming in Indianola in June, the Delta Blues and Heritage Festival in Greenville every September, Tupelo’s Elvis Presley Festival in June, and Meridian’s Jimmie Rodgers Country Music Festival every May are only four of literally hundreds of music events worthy of a visit. Join us anytime for the greatest jam session on earth.