Country Music Trail Commission will honor 5 with beacons | Local News


The Mississippi Country Music Trail Commission will honor five individuals with new trail markers at a ceremony at 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 19 at 431 Center Ave. in Philadelphia.

The markers will pay tribute to Steve Azar, Jerry Lee Lewis, Marty Gamblin, Johnny Cash’s “Starkville City Jail” and Jimmie Rodgers’ musical sessions in Bristol, Tennessee.

Azar, songwriter, recording artist, and music producer, is the official ambassador of music and culture for the state of Mississippi; Lewis, a Nesbit native, is known for his innovative and flamboyant style of piano playing; Gamblin is a reputable music manager and publisher; Cash’s “Starkville City Jail” was written after the county music icon was arrested in Starkville in 1965; and Rodgers’ musical sessions in Bristol, Tennessee, are known as a significant event in country music history.

Governor Phil Bryant will join Philadelphia native Marty Stuart to announce the recipients. Inductee Marty Gamblin, Jerry’s son Lee Lewis, Lee Lewis, Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill and Birthplace of Country Music executive director Leah Ross are expected to attend.

“Mississippi’s unparalleled musical heritage lives on as we plan to dedicate five new markers to the Mississippi Country Music Trail,” Bryant said in a press release. “From then to now, Mississippi has been instrumental in shaping and inspiring country music icons, and these new markers will celebrate their contributions to the genre.”

“Mississippi has such a deep heritage regarding the culture of the country, not just the past, but the present as well as the future,” Stuart said in the statement. “This class of inductees drives that point forward, with everyone from Jimmy Rodgers, the father of country music, to the contemporary sounds of Steve Azar, and everyone in between. That’s the beauty of Mississippi country music.

Founded in 2010 and conceptualized by Stuart, the Mississippi Country Music Trail recognizes the state’s contributions to country music. Stuart will further honor Mississippi’s country music heritage with the future Marty Stuart Congress of Country Music, a state-of-the-art country music museum and performing arts center in Philadelphia. The facility will house more than 20,000 country music artifacts that Stuart has collected over the years while providing space for live musical performances and educational programs.


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