Thursday, June 12, 2008

Noxubee 3 on the Blues Trail

The Mississippi Blues Trail will recognize three Noxubee County natives at a marker ceremony on August 19: Carey Bell, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, and Willie King.

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.

"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," said Brian Wilson, executive director of the Noxubee Alliance.

Carey Bell, a Blues harmonica legend, was born in Macon on November 14, 1936 as Carey Bell Harrington.. His passing on May 6, 2007 was mourned by the blues world.

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.

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.

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.


Unknown said...

I'm a big fan of Willie King and might have to make a trip to Macon to see this!

Unknown said...

Glad to see East Mississippi getting some Blues recognition and some of the tourism other parts of the state get from it.

Unknown said...

I hope to swing by and enjoy the jam.