This Week's Featured Marker:
On March 24, 2014, a Mississippi Blues Trial marker entitled “Grenada Blues” was dedicated on the town square in Grenada, Mississippi. In attendance were three of the honorees—Motown session musician Eddie “Chank” Willis, harmonica player and vocalist Big George Brock, and Lewis Johnson, who leads his own band and is a City Council member in Grenada. Willis talked about how despite his travels around the country, he felt that there was no better place than Grenada, to which he returned in the early ‘90s. Along with other Motown session musicians (aka the “Funk Brothers”), Willis gained belated recognition with the release in 2002 of the acclaimed documentary “Standing in the Shadows of Motown.” In 2013 Willis was awarded the Mississippi Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. Listen to an interview with Willis on the radio show Mississippi Arts Hour. Brock, who lives in Grenada, traveled down to the event from his longtime home of St. Louis, where he operated a club for many years. Following the formal dedication of the marker he performed for about twenty minutes. Brock brought along the drummer and guitarist from his New House Rockers, and at the end of his show was joined by his featured vocalist, Clarine Wagner. There are two other Mississippi Blues Trail markers in the Grenada area. The marker for Magic Sam, aka Samuel Maghett, is in the Knoxville community about five miles east of town off Highway 8. The marker for Sam’s protégé Magic Slim (Morris Holt) is on Union Street in downtown Grenada.
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