NASHVILLE, TN (WDAM) – This is a press release from Visit Mississippi
The Mississippi Country Music Trail will unveil its 29th marker at 4:00 pm on Thursday, June 4, 2015. It is the first out-of-state marker on the Mississippi Country Music Trail. The marker will be placed at 1111 16th Avenue South in Nashville, the headquarters of Big Loud Shirt Industries, an independent music publishing company established in 2003 by award-winning songwriter and producer Craig Wiseman.
“The country music stardom in Nashville has drawn many performers, songwriters and producers from neighboring Mississippi, from Jimmie Rodgers to Tammy Wynette, Charley Pride, Moe Bandy and Faith Hill,” said Mal Visitcolm White, director of Mississippi . “In search of opportunities for advancement and versatility, our talented musicians took with them to Nashville a type of Mississippi soul, a reverberation from the Deep South, heard through their blues-influenced country music sound, the gospel and rhythm and blues.
Mississippians like Elvis Presley, Conway Twitty, Bobbie Gentry, and Marty Stuart have fused country with blues, rock and gospel, as have songwriters Hank Cochran, Mac McAnally, Johnny Russell, and Craig Wiseman.
“I am honored beyond words to have my name included in the captions that are mentioned on the Mississippi to Nashville Country Music Trail marker,” Wiseman said. “I love that my Music Row property gives it a home so that thousands of visitors can experience just how much the great state of Mississippi has contributed to American music both on stage and behind the scenes.”
Even before Nashville became the home of country recording studios, publishers, and managers, musicians made their way to the city. Jimmie Rodgers, the former brakeman turned vaudevillian star who would be considered “the man who started it all,” performed a midnight show on the 700-seat Hollywood showboat, moored at the Cumberland River in 1932, and among Opry’s first vocal stars were the Poe Sisters, billed as “the Delmore Brothers women,” and Pete Pyle, one of the show’s first solo singer-songwriters, who would go on to sing with Pee Wee King and Bill Monroe and form the Mississippi Valley Boys.
Mississippi artists often arrived on the booming Nashville scene of the 1950s and 1960s, ready to fill multiple musical roles. In Philadelphia, Mississippi, Bob Ferguson would direct Ferlin Huskey, write “Wings of a Dove” and become one of the main producers of RCA Victor Records during the Nashville Sound era. Conway Twitty, the country “High Priest” of Friar’s Point, forged a career in rockabilly, then became one of the greatest ballads of all time, solo and in duet with Loretta Lynn. Johnny Russell, of Moorhead, would write “Act Naturally”, become editor-in-chief and eventually embark on a singing career himself.
Recalled and referred to in recorded songs of nostalgia, love, loss and longing like “Miss the Mississippi and You” by Rodgers, “Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town”, “Chickasaw County Child” by Gentry, “Where I Come From, ”by McAnally” “Let There Be Country” by Stuart and “Mississippi Girl” by Hill, their starting point always seemed with them, and always in the country of Nashville.
Mississippi artists have been key stars of the Grand Ole Opry since the 1940s, including the Poe Sisters, Nellie & Ruth; Pete Pyle, leader of the Mississippi Valley Boys; announcer T. Tommy Cutrer, on Flatt & Scruggs; and comedians Jerry Clower and Rod Brasfield.
For more information on the Mississippi Country Music Trail, visit
, explore the state’s official tourism website at
, or contact Mary Margaret Miller, Head of the Creative Economy and Culture Office at
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