city: clarksdale

delta blues museum

from delta blues, muddy waters posted in music by pete_nice

Established in 1979 and re-organized as a stand-alone museum in 1999, the Delta Blues Museum is a place "where visitors find meaning, value, and perspective by exploring the history and heritage of the unique American musical art form of the blues."

Notably, the museum houses the shack where Muddy Waters spent his youth on the Stovall Plantation.

The museum has been located in a former railroad depot since 1999. The building, constructed circa 1918, served as the passenger rail depot of the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad.

Across the street is Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero blues club.

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the crossroads

from robert johnson posted in music by nevereatshreddedwheat

The legend: As a young man, Robert Johnson wanted to be a great blues musician, so he sold his soul to the devil at the intersection of Highway 49 and 61 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. It worked. He became a master of the blues.

One story of his death: In 1938, at age 27, he drank from a bottle of whiskey that had been offered to him that was possibly laced with strychnine. He died a several days later in severe pain.

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riverside hotel

from bessie smith, ike turner, “rocket 88” posted in music by donkeyoti

This former hospital in Clarksdale, MS is a music landmark. The owner, Frank "Rat" Ratcliff, is part proprietor/part blues historian and is happy to disclose all of the famous musicians who have been through.

On September 26, 1937, Bessie Smith died in Room #2 of this building after a car accident when it was a hospital. It was converted to a hotel in 1944.

In the early months of 1951, Ike Turner practiced with his band here, and worked out the song "Rocket 88" during rehearsals in the basement. Released under the band name Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats (Jackie was the saxophone player and vocalist on the track), "Rocket 88" is considered by many to be the first rock and roll song ever recorded.

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