Located in an old depot in Clarksdale, Mississippi, where Muddy Waters boarded the train to carry the Blues to the world, this small museum tells the powerful story of the origins of the Delta Blues and its ultimate transformation into Rock-n-Roll. Interviews include actor and native son, Morgan Freeman and blues artists Charlie Musselwhite and “Super Chikan” Johnson. Featured are Muddy Waters’ sharecropper cabin; Sonny Boy Williamson’s harmonicas; B.B. King’s guitar, “Lucille;” and the annual Sunflower River Blues festival, which brings together rising talents and established stars of America’s most enduring music.
Our Most Enduring Classical Music
Actor and blues impresario Morgan Freeman was born in Memphis, yet he calls the Mississippi Delta “home.” In this television documentary Freeman shares stories, songs, legends and his knowledge of the roots of Delta Blues music.
Origin of the Blues
Muddy Waters’ contribution to the blues is celebrated at the Delta Blues Museum. Waters is credited with bringing the blues from Mississippi to the urban centers of the North. His amplified sound electrified audiences and transformed this great American genre.
The Blues Leaves Home
The blues exemplified Southern rural culture. Back home in the Mississippi Delta, this music was the sound of Saturday night after a long work week. When folks headed North to escape hard times, the blues went with them, first stopping to take hold in Memphis, then settling in Chicago and other industrial points. Amplification transformed this Delta sound to the music of the city.
Blues, Blacks and Whites
Elvis Presley brought the music of black musicians to a national audience but B.B. King and his prized “Lucille,” helped bring the blues to the mainstream American culture. The blues’ influence was credited in the works of many iconic rock and roll musicians.
Bringing the Blues Back Home
Clarksdale, Mississippi is home to the blues and the Delta Blues Museum. A revival of the aging downtown includes the opening of new blues clubs, attracting visitors who want to see where this sound originated. At the Sunflower River Blues Festival, held each August, people turn out to celebrate Clarksdale’s place on America’s musical map.