the

Where to Sell Your Soul for the Delta Blues

four blues pilgrims Clarksdale is Mecca

just outside town highway 61 crosses

over highway 49 legend has it that it

was at this crossroads that Delta blues

man Robert Johnson made a deal with the

devil selling his soul in exchange for

supernatural guitar skills the Blues

grew a reputation for being the devil's

music the idea was that it must be bad

for it to sound so good in the first

half of the 20th century

Clarksdale was the big town of the Delta

where folks went to spend money and have

a good time juke joints filled the town

many like Reds lounge still operate to

this day

sharecroppers passed through shabby

storefronts like this one to hear a new

music an earthy blend of African rhythms

spiritual hymns and the field haulers of

hard labor it grew out of the darkest

reaches of life but was always balanced

by a rhymer much of Clark's tales

heritage is housed here at the Delta

blues Museum located in the old freight

depot it celebrates the musicians who

are closely associated with the town

Charlie Patton son house Robert Johnson

Muddy Waters John Lee Hooker Sam Cooke

and Ike Turner some blues musicians

never left the Delta others like Muddy

Waters did it said he boarded a bus

right here at this station

manjo and the six million other black

southerners in the great migration north

I'm going to pack my suitcase muddy sang

and make my getaway the exposure of

Muddy Waters music found in Chicago

launched the Delta blues

into the mainstream it's influenced

musicians around the world but it's

Clark's tale that remains ground zero

for the blues that's also the name of

this Blues Club co-owned by actor and

Mississippi native Morgan Freeman ground

zero sometimes books national acts but

in the Delta there's always plenty of

local talent

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