AMORY – Amory will honor its lineage to the blues through a Nov. 23 dedication of its Mississippi Blues Trail marker at 11 a.m. in the Vinegar Bend Pocket Park. According to Shelter Insurance agent Carla Glasgow, the process of getting Amory placed on the Mississippi Blues Trail began a year ago.
“We have no thoroughfare that drives people here. This will help do it,” she said.
The trail, itself, was created by the Mississippi Blues Commission in 2006 to place interpretive markers at the most notable historical sites related to the birth, growth and influence of the blues throughout (and in some cases beyond) the state of Mississippi.
Amory was on the original list of sites, per Amory Main Street director Alyssa Benedict.
“No history of any type could be found about Amory before the integral work of blues trail research director Jim O’Neal confirmed the birthplace of singer-songwriter Lucille Bogan to be Amory,” Glasgow said.
Helping secure placement of the blues marker was Amory Main Street Director’s Alyssa Benedict’s first project after taking the position.
“The marker is a big deal for Amory,” she said. “I’m glad that Carla and I could do the research on this with Jim.”
Benedict said names of many of the artists associated with Amory will be listed on the marker.
Blues tunes will be performed by East Side/West Side Connection and the Blue Light Travelers after the unveiling of the marker.
“Amory didn’t have the honkytonks of neighboring towns that were wet,” Glasgow said. “Nevertheless, the blues found a place as community entertainment in the streets and households, the American Legion hut and in Frisco Park as well.”
Officials expected to be on hand for the marker’s dedication will represent Mississippi Tourism Association, the Mississippi Department of Transportation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mississippi Blues Commission.
To compliment the marker, a blues mural was painted in the pocket park by Amory High School student Callie Beasley earlier this year.
“We hope to expand the mural with contributions from others in the future,” Benedict said.
Benedict reflected on the project as being quite a learning experience about Amory history for her.
“It’s been fun working with the others on this project. We’ve worked hard at making it an attraction that our locals can be proud of and will bring visitors to Amory,” she said.