Come experience the “Birthplace of America’s Music.” In this four-day itinerary, travelers in your group will have an opportunity to immerse themselves in America’s musical heritage while discovering Mississippi’s global influences and ongoing impact on modern music today. It’s a world tour that your group can experience without crossing state lines.
Hello, Cleveland! When it opened in 2016, GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi was the first GRAMMY Museum to be built outside of Los Angeles. The Cleveland, Mississippi, museum’s displays and interactive exhibits highlight numerous GRAMMY winners from across Mississippi, including many blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and country legends. Look for information about traveling exhibits and live performances on their website.
Next stop, Indianola and the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center. Here you can learn about the life and career of the “King of the Blues,” Riley “B.B.” King. The museum explores King’s life from his humble beginnings to his eventual success on the global stage as a 15-time GRAMMY winner and multi-platinum recording artist. Several of King’s guitars are displayed, as are his Grammys and even a recreation of his home studio.
Clarksdale is known as the birthplace of the blues and home to the Crossroads where, according to popular (though fictional) music folklore, blues legend Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in exchange for supernatural musical ability. At the Delta Blues Museum, Mississippi’s blues legacy comes to life with exhibits that include the core section of a cabin where Muddy Waters lived while working at Stovall Farms, a “Muddywood” guitar made from salvaged wood from his cabin, and a collection of musical instruments from John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, and many more.
While in Clarksdale, be sure to visit Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art. At Cat Head, your group can buy blues records, folk art, and other cultural memorabilia. Cat Head’s owner, Roger Stolle, is a dedicated ambassador of the city’s cultural legacy and has been relentless in his efforts to keep the blues alive in Clarksdale and beyond. Be sure to visit Cathead’s website to find an extensive list of music festivals, concerts, and other events.
No music tour would be complete without a visit to the birthplace of the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Elvis Presley. The Elvis Presley birthplace complex includes the small home where Presley was born, his childhood church, and a museum and events center dedicated to his legacy. Statues throughout the complex document Presley’s rise from an ordinary boy with a guitar (purchased at the nearby Tupelo Hardware Store) to a global sensation and one of the most popular musical performers of all time.
Mississippi’s newest country music attraction is Marty Stuart’s Congress of Country Music in Philadelphia, Mississippi. The legendary performer and five-time Grammy winner is developing a 50,000-square-foot campus featuring a performing arts center, now open in the newly renovated Ellis Theater. A world-class country music museum is also in development that, when completed, will be stocked with items from Stuart’s personal collection, one of the world’s largest private collections of country music artifacts and memorabilia.
Though he lived only 35 years, Jimmie Rodgers had an immeasurable impact on the formation and development of country music, earning him widely accepted recognition as the “Father of Country Music.” The Jimmie Rodgers museum, located in Rodger’s hometown of Meridian, displays his original guitar and other memorabilia of his life and career. The museum’s collection also includes railroad equipment from the era of steam-engine travel, reflecting Rodgers’ work as a rail worker and his nickname “The Singing Brakeman.”
The Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience, aka “The MAX,” offers visitors an entertaining and interactive experience that showcases Mississippi’s cultural legacy and seeks to inspire a new generation of artists through its exhibits and programs. Be sure to check out their calendar before you visit, as The MAX hosts regular events, including opportunities to see noteworthy speakers and musical acts.