Barbour to participate in designation of Blues Highway

Published 5:07 pm Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Gov. Haley Barbour on Thursday will unveil a marker designating U.S. Highway 61 as part of the Mississippi Blues Trail.

The ceremony will be held at the Tunica Visitors Center on U.S. 61 in Tunica.

“As the most famed stretch of roadway in Mississippi’s storied history, it’s only fitting that the highway be permanently and officially designated as the Blues Highway to honor the many talented artists whose travels made it come alive as one of most enduring cultural icons,” Barbour said in a statement.

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Among the dozens of blues artists who recorded songs about U.S. 61 were Mississippians Sunnyland Slim, James Son Thomas, David Honeyboy Edwards, Big Joe Williams, Joe McCoy, Charlie Musslewhite, Johnny Young, Eddie Burns, Blind Mississippi Morris, and Mississippi Fred McDowell.

U.S. 61 runs from downtown New Orleans to the Canadian border. It was a major route for Southerners migrating to northern cities.

The route roughly follows the Mississippi River and runs through the cities of Baton Rouge, La.; Memphis; St. Louis; Davenport, Iowa; and St. Paul, Minn.

On the Net:

Mississippi Blues Trail,