GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi
The Los Angeles-based GRAMMY Museum’s decision to open a sister museum here in Cleveland in 2016 was a testament to Mississippi's rich musical heritage in blues, country, gospel, rock and other genres. Among Mississippi’s many GRAMMY winners, B.B. King received sixteen awards and Muddy Waters received seven. Artists with roots in the Cleveland area whose work has been recognized with awards include Charley Patton, the Staple Singers, David “Honeyboy” Edwards and Henry Townsend.
GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi is the first GRAMMY Museum® built outside of Los Angeles, where the original Museum opened in 2008. Like its sister site (the Los Angeles Museum), it is dedicated to celebrating the history of the GRAMMY® Awards and provides visitors the opportunity to explore all genres of music, the creative and technological processes of recording, and the enduring qualities and cultural significance of music. The Mississipppi Museum also casts a focused spotlight on the region with exhibits and experiences including the Mississippi Music Table, which demonstrates the great influence Mississippi artists have had on multiple genres of music. In relation to its population, Mississippi artists boast an impressive number of GRAMMY® wins, particularly in the blues categories, and Lifetime Achievement Awards, which have recognized artists including Elvis Presley, Robert Johnson, Sam Cooke, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley, Pinetop Perkins, Hank Jones, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Honeyboy Edwards, and groups with Mississippi-born members: the Allman Brothers Band, Blind Boys of Alabama, Earth Wind & Fire, the Staple Singers, the Temptations and the Funk Brothers.
The Recording Academy® created the GRAMMY Awards in 1958, and the first of many Mississippians to receive a GRAMMY was classical vocalist Leontyne Price, who received the first of her 19 GRAMMYs in 1960. The state of Mississippi initiated a close relationship with The Recording Academy in 2008, when the first of a series of annual Mississippi GRAMMY Legacy Celebrations was held in Jackson to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the GRAMMY Awards. In 2010 an annual Mississippi Night was introduced as part of the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE’s celebrations preceding the awards ceremony, and in February 2011 a Mississippi Blues Trail marker was dedicated in Los Angeles near the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE. GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli and Jon Hornyak, Sr. Executive Director of the Memphis Chapter of The Recording Academy, were instrumental in the creation of the Mississippi Museum, together with the non-profit Cleveland Music Foundation. The placement of the 28,000 square foot Museum near the campus of Delta State University facilitated coordination with the university’s Delta Music Institute, International Delta Blues Project, and The Delta Center for Culture and Learning, an important partner in the creation and administration of the Mississippi Blues Trail.
The creation of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi took place at a time when Mississippi was actively paying tribute to its rich musical heritage with the Mississippi Blues Trail (launched in 2006), the B.B. King Museum & Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola (2008) and the Mississippi Country Music Trail (2010), amidst a proliferation of local music festivals and official state welcome signs proclaiming “The Birthplace of American Music.”
content © Mississippi Blues Commission
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