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Robert Johnson Blues Trail marker unveiled

MARKER UNVEILED – Participating in the unveiling ceremony were, from left, Mike Johnson, grandson of Robert Johnson; Malcolm White, director of the Mississippi Arts Commission; Alex Thomas, Heritage Trails program manager; Steven Johnson, grandson of Robert Johnson; Loretha Smith, daughter of Ike Zinnerman, Robert Johnson’s mentor, and Smith’s daughter-in-law Franciene Smith and son James Smith. The marker will be moved to its permanent location next to the Depot soon.

BOYS CHOIR PERFORMANCE – James Hawkins of Bolton led the Crossroads Boys Choir in a special performance during the Blues Trail unveiling ceremony held last Thursday at Heritage House. Original plans were to unveil the marker at its permanent location next to the railroad tracks, but severe weather moved the party indoors. Boys Choir members performing that day were Max Gammons, Jarod Benson, Patrick Evans, Myles Smith, Justin Young, and James Kanger.

SPECIAL GUEST – Jeff Major of Hazlehurst, grandson of Mary Tillman Smith, was among the special guests at the mural dedication and Blues Trail marker unveiling ceremony. Folk artist Mary Tillman Smith is one of the Hazlehurst cultural icons included in the mural, along with musician Robert Johnson and writer Beth Henley. The “Hazlehurst Homes and Heroes” mural was made possible by grants from the Copiah County Board of Supervisors, Wal-Mart, Huntington Lumber Company, Norman Painting Company, Ju

Hazlehurst is now officially on the Mississippi Blues Trail with its own marker recognizing the city as the birthplace of legendary blues musician Robert Johnson. This is the second marker to Johnson on the Blues Trail, the other marking his gravesite in Greenwood.

Bad weather prevented the installation of the sign next to the Depot as intended, but the unveiling ceremony went ahead in the shelter of the Heritage House. A reception followed the ceremony, and musical entertainment was also provided.

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