Country musician Marty Stuart recently announced he’s going to develop a country music museum and performance center in his Philadelphia, Mississippi, hometown. The museum will include Stuart’s own personal collection of 20,000 artifacts such as Patsy Cline’s boots, Johnny Cash’s black suit, and handwritten lyrics by Hank Williams.
Add a country music museum to the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, B.B. King Museum in Indianola, Grammy Museum in Cleveland, and, of course, Elvis’ birthplace in Tupelo, and your next question is: Why not a jazz museum? Better known for its blues, Mississippi was also home to the great jazz bassist Milt Hinton (Vicksburg), pianist Mose Allison (Tippo), tenor sax genius Lester Young (Woodville), and modern-day jazz artists like singer-songwriter Cassandra Wilson (Jackson) and pianist Mulgrew Miller (Greenwood).
This column was first published in the Jackson Free Press in Jackson, Mississippi.