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Center of the Blues Universe
The old St. James Church/Hurt Family cemetery overlooking the old Avalon community in a quiet rural setting is the final resting place of legendary Bluesman "Mississippi" John Hurt.
"Pop" Staple was born in Winona, and the site is marked by a Mississippi Blues Trail marker.
Albert King (1923-1992), who was billed as "King of the Blues Guitar," was famed for his powerful string-bending style as well as for his soulful, smoky vocals. King often said he was born in Indianola and was a half-brother of B. B. King, although the scant surviving official documentation suggests otherwise on both counts. King carved his own indelible niche in the Blues hierarchy by creating a deep, dramatic sound that was widely imitated by both Blues and Rock guitarists.
Arnold Dwight “Gatemouth” Moore was one of America’s most popular blues singers in the 1940s before becoming a renowned religious leader, radio announcer, and gospel singer.
The marker is located on the parking lot of Ubon's Barbeque restaurant in Yazoo City, just around the corner from the street named for this blues singer.
The long and remarkable life of B. B. King began near this site, where he was born Riley B. King on September 16, 1925. His parents, Albert and Nora Ella King, were sharecroppers who lived in a simple home southeast of here along Bear Creek. After his parents separated when he was four, King lived in Kilmichael and Lexington before moving as a teen to Indianola, which he referred to as his hometown.
This corner of Second and Church Streets is the site where B. B. King played on Saturday nights during his formative years. His signature, handprints, and footprints are embedded on the sidewalk here.
Riley B. King, who was born in the Delta fifty miles west of here in 1925, spent many of his formative years in Kilmichael in the 1930s and '40s before achieving stardom as "B. B." King. His first mentor on the guitar was the Reverend Archie Fair, who played while preaching at a local church. King credited his teacher at the one-room Elkhorn School, Luther Henson, with instilling in him dignity, independence, and hope, qualities that served King well during his long career.
The rich cultural heritage of the Mississippi Delta and the life of bluesman B.B. King are told in this state of the art museum through film, interactive exhibits, artifacts, and activities.
Baptist Town, established in the 1800s, in tandem with the growth of the local cotton industry, is one of Greenwood's oldest African-American neighborhoods. Known for its strong sense of community, it is anchored by the McKinney Chapel M. B. Church and a former cotton compress. In Blues lore Baptist Town is best known through the reminiscences of David "Honeyboy" Edwards, who identified it as the final residence of Robert Johnson, who died just outside Greenwood in 1938.
Big Joe Williams (c. 1903-1982) epitomized the life and times of the rambunctious, roving Bluesman, traveling from coast to coast and around the world playing rugged, rhythmic Blues on his nine-string guitar at juke joints, house parties, and concerts. Mentor to Blues legends Muddy Waters and Honeyboy Edwards, Williams was born near Crawford, where he also spent his final years. His song "Baby Please Don't Go" has been recorded by many Blues and Rock bands.
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