Monday, December 5, 2011

Delta Blues Odyssey . . . Grave Concerns

Big Joe Williams . . . buried outside of Crawford, Mississippi.

Joe Lee "Big Joe" Williams

"King of the Nine-String Guitar"

Big Joe sustained the longest recording career of any Mississippi bluesman, spanning seven decades (1929-1982). He was a true American Original.

Elmore James . . . buried outside of Ebenezer, Mississippi.

Elmore James
"King of the Slide Guitar"

January 27, 1918 May 24, 1963
Born in Holmes County, Mississippi Elmore James electrified the rural delta blues with his unique slide guitar style creating a powerful legacy that will remain forever in American music. THE SKY IS CRYING. . . . LOOK AT THE TEARS ROLL DOWN THE STREET

Lonnie Pitchford . . . buried in the same cemetery as Elmore James. A most fitting gravestone, for there is a diddley bow on the side of it (you probably can not make it out, but in the pictures above and below we are plucking at the string). And if you don't understand why it is a fitting tribute, click on the links.

Lonnie Pitchford

"The Delta is my school and the blues is my teacher. It's still God's music. It's just telling the truth."

James "Son" Thomas . . . buried outside of Leland, Mississippi.

James "Son" Thomas
Oct.14, 1926 -
June 26, 1993
World renowned Sculptor and Recording Artist,
beloved father, grandfather and friend.
"Give me beefsteak when I'm hungry, whiskey when I'm dry, pretty women when I'm living, heaven when I die."

Willie Foster . . . buried in Holly Ridge, Mississippi (near the grave of Charley Patton).

Willie James Foster
Harmonica Parader
With Soul

Sept. 19, 1921

May 20, 2001

Mississippi John Hurt . . . buried outside of Avalon, Mississippi.

John S Hurt
Born Mar 8 1892

Died Nov 2 1966

The grave of Mississippi John Hurt is located in one of the more isolated cemeteries we visited . . . and his grave is in the back of that. Apparently, not so long ago, the road to the cemetery was fairly rutted, but it has been graded recently. So, no problems of access now.

Memphis Minnie . . . buried outside of Walls, Mississippi.

Lizzie "Kid" Douglas Lawlers
Memphis Minnie
June 3, 1897
Aug. 6, 1973

Gus Cannon . . . buried outside of Hernando, Mississippi.

Gus Cannon
September, 1875
Oct. 15, 1779
May he rest in peace.


Lora G said...

What great memories you are making together! And what great parents you are that you are encouraging as well as developing his love of history.

Lora G said...

What great parents you are that you encourage Malcolm's love of history!

Adonis Gorr said...

I'm reminded of the extremely rapid change in the terrain from the flatness of the Delta's flood plain to the hills just east, esp. going from around Greenwood to Mississippi John Hurt's grave. I think you should mention Hurt's ersatz ex-wife's grave and the fact that she lived to a Methuselah like age. Also, to establish my bona fides as an ass, shouldn't it be 'graded'?

Merkin J. Pus-Tart said...

"I think you should mention Hurt's ersatz ex-wife's grave and the fact that she lived to a Methuselah like age." You just did, but I will add the specifics . . .
Gertrude Conley-Hurt
June 25, 1890-Apr. 26, 2002

". . . shouldn't it be 'graded'?" Fixed.

". . . to establish my bona fides as an ass" No need to, you did that years ago.