Mississippi to Nashville: Mississippi to unveil 29th Country Music Trail marker

Mississippi to Nashville: Mississippi to unveil 29th Country Music Trail marker

NASHVILLE, TN (WDAM) - This is a news release from Visit Mississippi

The Mississippi Country Music Trail will unveil its 29th marker at 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, 2015. This 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 home of Big Loud Shirt Industries, an independently owned and operated music publishing company established in 2003 by multiple award winning songwriter and producer Craig Wiseman.

“Nashville country music stardom attracted many performers, songwriters and producers from nearby Mississippi, from Jimmie Rodgers to Tammy Wynette, Charley Pride, Moe Bandy and Faith Hill,” said Visit Mississippi Director Malcolm White. “Seeking opportunities for advancement and versatility, our talented musicians carried with them to Nashville a type of Mississippi soul, a reverberation of the deep South, heard through their blues, gospel, and rhythm and blues influenced country music sound.”

Mississippians like Elvis Presley, Conway Twitty, Bobbie Gentry and Marty Stuart fused country with blues, rock and gospel, as did songwriters Hank Cochran, Mac McAnally, Johnny Russell and Craig Wiseman.

“I am honored beyond words to have my name included in the legends who are mentioned on the Mississippi to Nashville Country Music Trail marker,” said Wiseman. “I love that my Music Row property will give it a home so that thousands of visitors can know how much the great State of Mississippi has contributed to American music both from of stage and behind the scenes.”

Even before Nashville became the home of country recording studios, publishers and managers, musicians journeyed to the city. Jimmie Rodgers, the former brakeman turned star vaudevillian who'd be deemed “the man who started it all,” played a midnight show on the 700-seat Hollywood showboat, docked at the Cumberland River in 1932, and among the Opry's early vocal stars were The Poe Sisters, billed as “the female Delmore Brothers,” and Pete Pyle, one of the broadcast's first solo singer-songwriters, who'd go on to sing with Pee Wee King and Bill Monroe and form the Mississippi Valley Boys.

Mississippi-raised artists often arrived in the booming Nashville scene of the 1950s and '60s ready to fill multiple musical roles. Philadelphia, Mississippi's Bob Ferguson would manage Ferlin Huskey, write “Wings of a Dove,” and become one of the key producers at RCA Victor Records in the Nashville Sound era.  Conway Twitty, country's “High Priest” from Friar's Point, would forge a career in rockabilly, then become one of the field's all-time balladeers–solo and in duets with Loretta Lynn. Johnny Russell, from Moorhead, would write “Act Naturally,” become a publishing executive, and eventually forge a career as a singer himself.

Remembered and summoned up in such recorded songs of longing, love, loss and nostalgia as Rodgers' “Miss the Mississippi and You,” Pride's “Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town,” Gentry's “Chickasaw County Child,” McAnally's “Where I Come From,” Stuart's “Let There Be Country” and Hill's “Mississippi Girl,” their starting place seemed always with them, and always in Nashville's country.

Mississippi entertainers 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' show; 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, Bureau Manager for Creative Economy & Culture at

.

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