A trail ride down Mississippi’s Country Music Trail

mississippi country music trailsBy Jack Harper

Saturday, August 1, 2015, from the climate controlled, soft seat comfort of the historic Elkin Theatre at 110 East Commerce Blvd in Aberdeen, Mississippi, you are invited to: another nite in the country at The Elkin, the journey down Mississippi’s Country Music Trail

Join us on this two and a half hour ride that has become the biggest country music show in the Magnolia State and a journey you will not soon forget. From the climate controlled comfort of your seat in the historic Elkin Theatre you will be introduced to the 30 country music trail markers that have been erected throughout the state representing 26 individual personalities or groups and 4 locations and/or events that have had an impact in the field of country music, most of those, on a world wide scale.

The six piece Silver Eagle Band, will lead the way, as the pre-war, historic Elkin Theater will provide the backdrop as nearly a dozen singers from across Mississippi will re-create the songs and share the stories of such country music legends as Monroe Countys’, very own, star of the Grand Ole Opry and member of The Country Music Hall of Fame, Rod Brasfield. The father of country music, Jimmie Rodgers and Jimmies, sister-in-law and songwriting partner, Elsie Mcwilliams from Meridian, along with country music star, Moe Bandy who was born in Meridian. Meridian also boast’s the Country Comes of Age marker, detailing an event that took place in 1953 celebrating Jimmie Rodgers on the 20th anniversery of his death. The Marty Stuart marker in Philadelphia and that of Bob Fergueson on the Choctaw Reservation, also in Neshoba County. The Leake County Revelers from Sabastopol and Carl Jackson in Louisville, the first lady of country music, Miss Tammy Wynette in Tremont and songwriter “Mac” Macanally in Belmont. Of course we’ll go to Tupelo and visit the country music trail marker for Elvis, as we head west to Senatobia and the marker of O.B. McClinton. Then to Sledge, Mississippi, the boyhood home of Charley Pride and over to Friars Point and the marker for Conway Twitty. From there we’ll head south to the Delta and visit three hall of fame songwriters, Johnny Russell of Moorhead, Ben Peters from Hollandale and newly elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Hank Cochran of Isola. Although singer/songwriter Miss Bobbie Gentry is from Woodland, her marker is in Greenwood, appropiately, on one end of the celebrated Tallahatchie bridge. From there we we go further south down I-55 toward McComb, where we will find the Jerry Clower marker at route 4, Liberty, Mississippi and to Osyka and country music radio & television personality, T. Tommy Cutrer marker , before we head southeast to Van Cleave and Paul Overstreet’s marker on our way to Biloxie and that of the singing cowboy, Chris Ledeoux. Jesse Rodgers of Waynesboro, Jimmies first cousin, was a nationally known country and western music personality in early t.v. and radio and to The Sparta Opry, also near Woodland has a long history of promoting local country music and large audiences. The Smith County Jamboree, marker, at Polkville, represents a long tradition of bluegrass and country music that began in Taylorsville, back in the 1970’s. Near the court square in Carrollton, is the marker representing, Willie Narmour & “Shel” Smith, the writers and original performers of the widely performed fiddle tune, “Carroll County Blues”. Marker number 28 is in Ackerman and recognizes early country dance fiddler, Hoyt Ming. The first Mississippi Country Music Trail Marker to be dedicated outside of the Magnolia State is marker #29, which is located on Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee. The signifcance of this marker hi-lites that Nashville, the center of Country Music is the ultimate destination of the many who are  enshrined on Mississippi’s Country Music Trail. Marker #30, the final marker to be placed in this first phase of the Trail will be that of Faith Hill and appropriately unveiled in her hometown of Starr, Mississippi.

In the near future be on the lookout for a special announcement concerning additional free events and activities that will take place in  and around The Elkin in the afternoon prior to the performance, giving you  a value-added experience.

The doors of the auditorium open at 5:00pm and the journey begins at 6:30pm, at the Elkin Theatre, which originally opened in 1937, although seating is limited with general admission, $15.00 the day of show advance tickets are available by calling the Aberdeen Visitors Bureau at 1-800-634-3538.

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