Sonny Boy Williamson #2 was born Alex "Rice" Miller in 1910. (not to be confused with another "Sonny Boy" Williamson that was also a harmonica player from the 1930's and 40's)
Williamson #2 was born and raised by sharecropper parents and taught himself the harmonica and performed in jukes and street corners around the delta. He performed with many great bluesmen including Muddy Waters, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Elmore James and Howlin Wolf. He became part of a Europe tour and played with the Animals, the Yardbirds and Eric Clapton and became a big blues star in England. He was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame in1980.
Sam Chatmon's family was famous in the delta often performing as the Chatmon String Band. Sam played banjo, bass, mandolin and harmonica.He recorded with the Mississippi Shieks in the 1930's and wandered with minstrel shows throughout the south. Sam's gravestone was paid for by John Fogerty and Bonnie Rait.
This photo was taken at the Hollandale Cemetery on 3/7/2008 with my son Mark on the right. Two neighbors came by and we ask if they would let us take this photo. The man on the left said that he had been friends with Chatmon.
Mississippi Fred McDowell was a master of the delta blues often playing the slide guitar using a rib from a steak bone. He had performed with Bonnie Rait. Some locals say he was buried here at the Hammond Hill Cemetary in Como in a silver-lame suit that the Rolling Stones had bought him when he performed with them in Europe.
James Son Thomas was a grave digger, a sculptor and a delta blues muscian. He is best known for his album "Gatewayto the Delta" He is buried at the St.Matthews Church in Leland. His headstone was paid for
by John Fogerty.
W.C. Handy told a story about hearing a man singing about where "the southern crosses the yellow dog" while waiting on a train in Tutwiler, Mississippi and later wrote the "Yellow Dog Rag" . Big Bill Broonzy and Charley Patton also mention the crossing in their songs.
HIGHWAY 61 BLUES MUSEUM
400 North Broad St.
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