The obvious choice for Indianola is B.B. King...born and reared there, playing on Church St. He's not the only King born in Indianola though...
Actually BB is the only King from Indianola...Albert was a Nelson. So, from Indianola Mississippi seeds....one of my favorite snippets of recorded sound...ever.
Six miles down the road in Inverness...you know what happens next.
Another 10 miles and you're in Isola.
We got red signs too...Isola is the hometown of Hank Cochran. He played under his own name eventually but what he really did was write songs...songs that have been recorded by everybody from Elvis Costello to Elvis Presley....Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and...this one.
This is exactly the kinda pop song that made my Grandmother despise Patsy Cline...sell out. It's a pretty good way to sell out though.
Then you come to Belzoni...
The opposite side of town from where he was actually born?
Pinetop played the piano instead of the guitar...cause a girl in Arkansas cut his arm up.
Him and Robert Nighthawk.
BB King has a special place with me. He was a constant around our house because my Daddy loves him...and Albert...who don't like Little Milton? But that urban soul blues is not favorite...Nighthawk is closer to the mark. Elmore James, born in Holmes county**, but a regular on the streets of Belzoni...is as good a turn at country-Delta type Blues as they'll ever be.
After that you pass by Louise and Midnight...eventually coming to Yazoo City (used to be Manchester)...the end of The Delta. There's a few musicians but, we gon' hear from Jerry Clower. Y'all may not know him...but, he is a true Southern treasure and one of the funniest men to ever live.
"Sir what's wrong with you...NOT A THING IN THE WORLD."
Vicksburg and the grim Louisiana Delta today.
*There is, of course, controversy about this...some of the old players put the crossroad north of Clarksdale in Rosedale...I think.
**Holmes county could mean Lexington, Pickens...godforsaken Tchula...who knows.