This Week's Featured Marker:
Markers in Bolton, Mississippi
On February 25, 2014, two Mississippi Blues Trail (MBT) markers were dedicated in honor of blues pioneers the Mississippi Sheiks and Charley Patton. The markers were scheduled to have been dedicated separately on location in the Bolton area; due to the threat of rain the ceremonies for both were combined and held at the Mississippi e-Center @ Jackson State University.
During the ceremony MBT writers and researchers Jim O’Neal and Scott Barretta gave a joint presentation, discussing topics including the wide range of the honorees’ music and the fact that the first MBT marker was placed (in December 2006) near Patton’s grave in Holly Ridge, and that a marker for Sheik member Sam Chatmon was dedicated in his longtime home of Hollandale in 2009. Their casual exchange also included comments from genealogist Ed Payne, a Bolton native who helped discover the location of the Chatmon family in Bolton and the farm on which the Patton family lived south of town.
Entertainment was provided by the duo of Mr. Sipp (aka Castro Coleman) and Bobby Benson, who performed Patton’s “Pony Blues” and the Sheiks’ 1930 hit “Sittin’ On Top of the World.” Patton’s granddaughter Kechia Brown represented the family, and relayed that Patton’s daughter Rosetta is still alive at age 96. Grammy-winning blues artist Alvin Youngblood Hart spoke about the influence of Patton and the Sheiks on his music. Those who stuck around after the ceremony were treated to an impromptu performance from Hart, who played songs including Patton’s “Screaming and Hollering the Blues.”
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