Essa y .................... “Life Gets Heavy” Blues Tourism in Clarksdale, Mississippi by Clay Motley While Clarksdale played a key role in the development of popular American music for much of the twentieth century, it did so largely without the recognition or encouragement of its politically powerful, native white community, which variously ignored, denigrated, and opposed the blues and related African American music. Now closed, Smitty’s Red Top Lounge was for years one of Clarksdale’s most famous juke joints. Big Jack Johnson and the Jelly Roll Kings often played here. Photos by Clay Motley. 78 f you are not from Mississippi and you have heard of Clarks - dale, then it is probably because of blues music. Perhaps no other American city is as singularly linked to its music history as Clarksdale, and certainly no other city is so thoroughly con- I nected to the blues. This is partially because Clarksdale, a gritty town of seventeen thousand people in the Mississippi Delta, has as rich a music history as any city in America, but also because no other city has so fully staked its current identity and economic future to its music. Memphis, Chicago, and St. Louis are all well
Southern Cultures – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Jul 13, 2018
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