Tag Archives: blues memorabilia

Delta Blues Museum Turns 36

photo by SueReed99, Flickr
photo by SueReed99, Flickr

Established on January 31, 1979, the museum began quite modestly by Sid Graves, director of Clarksdale’s Carnegie Public Library, as a showcase for the history of blues of the area. Graves originally housed his collection of blues memorabilia in a room of the Myrtle Hall Elementary School on Highway 61 and he took everything home with him at the end of the day. He only had few visitors at first but it gradually grew in popularity and moved to the Clarksdale Library in 1981. When the library was tight for space, Graves stored the display in the trunk of his car!

photo by VagabondMusicCo, Flickr
photo by VagabondMusicCo, Flickr

In 1988, rock guitarist Billy Gibson and his band ZZ Top accidentally discovered the museum and felt so passionate about the collection having a more permanent home that they began raising funds for the project. They sold “Muddywood” guitars constructed from fallen boards found at Muddy Waters’ old house.

photo by meantooth, Flickr
photo by meantooth, Flickr

Enough money was eventually raised to move the museum in 1999 to its to its current location, a former railroad passenger depot that dates back to 1926. About an hour’s drive from Memphis, the Delta Blues Museum is the world’s first museum dedicated to the blues, and it’s loaded with music displays and artefacts. Where else can you see Otis Spann’s keyboard, Super Chikan’s homemade guitar, or the shack where Muddy Waters lived on the Stovall Plantation!

photo by Visit Mississippi, Flickr
photo by Visit Mississippi, Flickr

Stop by for cupcakes on Friday, January 30th and on Saturday, January 31st, there will be performances by the Delta Museum Band, a special guest appearance by harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite, and a screening of the music documentary “Take Me to the River”

Delta Blues Museum
1 Blues Alley, Clarksdale, MS 38614
Phone: (662) 627-6820
http://www.deltabluesmuseum.org/

photo by Steve Roake, Flickr
photo by Steve Roake, Flickr

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