Find Your True South with Music
Mississippi has contributed more than many realize to the shared histories of Rock & Roll, the Blues and Country music. Mississippi has long been an artistic incubator across the decades as styles change and music continues to shape and reshape itself into something new. Throughout the years, you’ll find Mississippi music at the forefront.
Widely considered the “Father of Country Music” for his incorporation of rhythmic yodeling and unique musical style, Jimmie Rodgers was born in Meridian, Mississippi, and lived there for the majority of his life. One of country music’s first super stars, Rodgers built a legacy that continues to inspire generations of musicians. He was one of the first three inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame, an inductee into the Song Writers Hall of Fame, and even became a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for his contributions to Rock music. A monument to Rodgers stands in his hometown of Meridian—and his music continues to inform musicians in the heartland of America and around the world – another Mississippi music legend.
Originating out of African American spirituals, work songs and chants, the Blues is both a musical form and a genre that was born in the Mississippi Delta in the late 19th century. Artists like Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters helped to expand the appeal of Blues music nationwide, and as it began to gain ground, it would seed the foundations of what would later become Rock & Roll.
No discussion about Mississippi music would be complete without one of America’s musical icons, Elvis Presley. The King of Rock & Roll was born and reared in a humble house in Tupelo. Presley started developing his talent in church and remained an avid gospel singer most of his life—but it was his dynamic ability to bring elements of the Blues, Country, Rockabilly and Jazz together that made him a legend. Elvis’s unique style lead directly to the musical fusion that is modern Rock & Roll.
Much of the world’s modern musical styles owe their existence to the incubation of talent that continues to spring from Mississippi.