Mississippi Blues Trail Marker for Eddy Clearwater Despite scorching heat over 200 people showed up on Tuesday morning at 11am for the unveiling of the Mississippi Blues Trail marker in Macon. The topic of the marker is “Black Prairie Blues,” which acknowledges the often overlooked traditions of this geographic region to the east of the hill regions. Eddy Clearwater arrived from Chicago the evening prior, Carey Bell's son Steve travelled from his home in Kosciusko, Miss., and Willie King drove over from his home just over the Alabama line in Old Memphis.
Eddy Clearwater, Steve Bell and Willie King with the marker. Photo by Scott Barretta --www.Highway61Radio.com
At the unveiling Clearwater reunited with his childhood friend O.C. Gilkey, who inspired him to take up guitar. They hadn't seen each other since Clearwater was 13. Photo by Scott Barretta --www.Highway61Radio.com
Steve Bell, Eddy Clearwater and Willie King performing after the marker unveiling. Photo by Scott Barretta --www.Highway61Radio.com
Amazing Afternoon in Mississippi Three Noxubee County natives recognized as Blues music legends The Noxubee Alliance is proud to announce that the Mississippi Blues Trail will recognize three Noxubee County natives who became Blues music legends. Carey Bell, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, and Willie King will be honored in a ceremony on Tuesday, August 19 with a permanent historical marker and interpretive site recognizing their outstanding contributions to the Blues. Noxubee County will now be included in the State of Mississippi's Blues Tourism marketing initiative designed to attract tourists, filmmakers, music performances, conferences and others for the purpose of economic development.
The Noxubee Alliance, along with local partners Main Street Macon and the Noxubee County Historical Society, will join with the Mississippi Blues Commission and the Mississippi Development Authority Tourism Division to host the marker unveiling and dedication ceremony at the new Macon Welcome Center on Jefferson Street in the Downtown Macon Historical District. Honorees Eddy Clearwater and Willie King are scheduled to attend and perform together. Lurrie Bell, son of deceased honoree Carey Bell, is scheduled to represent his father and also perform. Bruce Iglauer, founder and president of Alligator Records in Chicago - the largest independent Blues label in the world - is helping to coordinate the event and has been invited to speak at the ceremony. All plans are tentative.
"Cultural and heritage tourism is the fastest growing segment of the tourism economy and accounts for around 80% of domestic travelers. We lobbied hard for this recognition, and we will continue to aggressively market the existing strategic assets found right here in Noxubee County. I have already received a couple of inquiries from Blues journalists and tourists from other parts of the country who have heard the rumor that Eddy Clearwater, Willie King, and Lurrie Bell will all be together on the same stage for our event. The marker ceremony and performances by these legends will be a great day for Noxubee County and all of Mississippi." --- Brian Wilson, Noxubee Alliance
The Noxubee Alliance is contributing $1500 and Main Street Macon is contributing $500 to purchase the $2000 marker which will be designed by the Mississippi Blues Commission. The Noxubee County Historical Society is providing the location for the marker, and the City of Macon has agreed to assist with the marker's placement and maintenance. The exact time of the ceremony on August 19 and final list of attendees will be announced as soon as details are finalized.
For more information on the Mississippi Blues Trail, please see its website at www.msbluestrail.org
Carey Bell, a Blues harmonica legend, was born in Macon on November 14, 1936 as Carey Bell Harrington.. His passing on May 6, 2007, received extensive national coverage by The New York Times, National Public Radio, and Washington Post. For a more complete biography, please see his artist page on Alligator Records at www.Alligator.com
Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, one of the finest Blues guitarists and songwriters, was born in Macon on January 10, 1935 as Edward Harrington. He is a cousin to the late Carey Bell. Eddy Clearwater has received numerous awards such as the W.C. Handy Award and Chicago Music Award, and he has also been nominated for a Grammy. For a more complete biography, please see his website at www.EddyClearwater.com
Willie King, an award-winning guitarist and singer/songwriter, was born in Prairie Point, Mississippi on March 8, 1943. Willie King has received several awards from Living Blues Magazine and was inducted into the Howlin' Wolf Hall of Fame. King is the subject of "Down in the Woods", a documentary by Dutch filmmakers Saskia Rietmeijer and Bart Drolenga which was nominated for the 2008 Blues Music Award. For a more complete biography, please see his website at www.Willie-King.com
Lurrie Bell, son of deceased honoree Carey Bell, is a critically-acclaimed Blues guitarist and singer. He was selected as Most Outstanding Guitar Player in Living Blues Magazine's 2007 Critics' Poll and nominated for several Blues Music Awards presented by the Blues Foundation of Memphis. For a more complete biography, please see his website at www.Lurrie.com
The Noxubee Alliance is public-private partnership dedicated to the promotion of economic development, tourism, and community development in Noxubee County.