AMORY – Amory claimed its place on the Mississippi Blues Trail Nov. 23 with the unveiling of a historical marker commemorating local contributions to the genre. The marker is entitled, Amory, Mississippi: Blues from a Railroad Town, and it honors musicians Lucille Bogan, Frank Swan, James Whitfield, Roger and Dudley McKinney, the Top Hats, Al Rachel, Michael Freeman and Tony Hooper.
“It’s even blue. Amory is now on the itinerary of Mississippi’s most popular tourist attraction,” said Mayor Brad Blalock.
The back of the marker drew extended attention as people stepped up to read anecdotes of Amory’s blues history and view historic photos.
Rachel, who sang with the Top Hats, was excited to find his name on the list of performers. He was joined by Dudley McKinney, who sang gospel songs with his brother, Roger.
“We sang popular hits of our time,” Rachel said.
Guest speakers included Laurin Paris of the Mississippi Development Authority, Mississippi’s Miss Hospitality Kasey Pearson and Amory Main Street Director Alyssa Benedict.
“The Amory Blues Trail Marker has been years in the making,” Benedict said. “[Property owner] Carla Glasgow asked me to head up this project with her a little over a year ago to get it done and she had a home for it at Vinegar Bend. I am honored that Amory Main Street gets to be a part of something that is documenting a little history of our town, and I hope the locals are just as proud of it as we are.”
Blues tunes were performed by the Blue Light Trav’lers after the unveiling of the marker with a couple of members from East Side/West Side Connection. Even the mayor joined in playing his guitar.
“I thank Laurin Paris, Jim O’Neal and so many others with Visit Mississippi and the Mississippi Blues Trail Commission for helping make it happen,” Benedict said. “I also hope this will bring a few visitors to our downtown area to see and enjoy the things we get to have all year round. Amory is a special place and working together we can make more amazing things happen in our town.”