Welcome to Mississippi Trails to the Past!

Famous People of Mississippi

 Jimmie Rodgers singer, guitarist (Sept. 8, 1897-May 26, 1933) born Meridian, MS died New York City, NY nicknames “The Father of Country Music
 “Blue Yodeler” “the Singing Brakeman”

 Elvis Presley singer, film actor (Jan. 8, 1935-Aug. 16, 1977) born Tupelo, MS died Memphis, TN “Fingerprints are like values-you leave them all over everything you do.” Born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis Presley came from very humble beginnings and grew up to become one of the biggest names in rock 'n' roll. By the mid-1950s, he appeared on the radio, television and the silver screen. On August 16, 1977, at age 42, he died of heart failure, which was related to his drug addiction. Since his death, Presley has remained one of the world's most popular music icons.

 Leontyne Price singer (Feb. 10, 1927- ) born Laurel, MS Accomplishments have no color.” Born on February 10, 1927, in Laurel, Mississippi. Renowned for her early stage and television work, Price made her opera stage debut at the San Francisco Opera in 1957, and her debut at New York City's Metropolitan Opera House in 1961. Widely regarded as the first African-American singer to earn international acclaim in opera, Price is known for her roles in Il Trovatore, Antony and Cleopatra and Aida.

 Jimmy Buffett singer (Dec. 25, 1946-) born Pascagoula, MS. Jimmy Buffett was born December 25, 1946 in Pascagoula, Mississippi. After college, he moved to Nashville to pursue a career as a country singer. He signed his first record contract in 1973. With instant party hits, he gained a loyal following. He broke into the mainstream with his sixth album, containing the song "Margaritaville".

 James Chaney Social Reformer (May 30, 1943-June 21, 1964) born Meridian, MS died MS. Born in 1943 in Mississippi, James Chaney grew up as an African American in the segregated south. He became involved in the fight for civil rights as a teenager. He participated in the Freedom Rides bus protests in 1962 and joined the Congress for Racial Equality in 1963. Chaney worked for CORE in his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi. There he worked on several civil rights initiatives, including setting up "freedom schools." Chaney was killed by members of the Klu Klux Klan in June of 1964.

 William Faulkner Author (Sept. 25, 1897-July 6, 1962) born New Albany, MS died Byhalia, MS “It's a shame that the only thing a man can do for eight hours a day is work. He can't eat for eight hours; he can't drink for eight hours; he can't make love for eight hours. The only thing a man can do for eight hours is work.”

 Faith Hill singer (Sept. 27, 1967-) born Jackson MS. Was born on September 21, 1967, in Jackson, Mississippi. "Wild One," the first single from her 1993 debut album, reached No. 1 on the country music chart. She's won Grammy Awards for Best Country Album and Best Country Female Vocal Performance. She married Tim McGraw in 1996 and they performed together on the Soul2Soul Tour, the highest grossing country music tour ever.

 James Earl Jones film actor, theater actor (Jan. 17, 1931-) born Arkabutla, MS “I have no regrets and no misgivings. Actors take chances, but there's always something good about them and we learn something from them.”

 B.B. King singer, guitarist, songwriter (Sept. 16, 1925-) born Itta Bena, MS Nicknames “King of the Blues” “The Beale Street Blues Boy” “Water from the white fountain didn’t taste any better than from the black fountain.”

 Ida B.Wells Civil Rights Activist, journalist (July 16, 1862-March 25, 1931) born Holly Springs, MS died Chicago, IL “One had better die fighting against injustice than to die like a dog or a rat in a trap”

 Conway Twitty singer, song writer (Sept. 1, 1933-June 5, 1993)born Friars Point, MS died Springfield, MO

 Fannie Lou Hamer Civil Rights Activist, Philanthropist (Oct. 6, 1917-March 14, 1977) born Montgomery County, MS died Mound Bayou, MS “One day I know the struggle will change. There's got to be a change—not only for Mississippi, not only for the people in the United States, but people all over the world.”

 Ruby Bridges Civil Rights Activist (Sept. 8, 1954-) born Tylertown, MS “My message is really that racism has no place in the hearts and minds of our children.”

 Medger Evers Civil Rights Activist (July 2, 1925-June 12, 1963) born Decatur, MS died Jackson, MS “You can kill a man but you can’t kill and idea.”

 Jim Henson inventor, film maker, screenwriter (Sept. 24, 1936-May 16, 1990) born Greenvile, MS died New York City, NY

 James Bevel Civil Rights Activist, songwriter, minister (Oct. 19, 1936- Dec. 19, 2008) born Itta Bena, MS died Springfield, VA “I guess by '63 we were pretty confident that we had developed a science that would allow us to eradicate segregation in that it was incongruent, you know with the basic tenant of our Constitution.”

 Sarah Boone Inventor (c.1870-1900) born Summit (Pike County) MS died Unknown

 Eric Roberts actor (April 18, 1956-) born Biloxi, MS

 David Ruffin singer (Jan. 18, 1941- June 1, 1991) born Whynot, MS died Philadelphia, PN

 Mary Wilson singer (March 6, 1944-) born Greenville, MS. Born in Mississippi in 1944, singer She got her big break before even finishing high school when Motown Records signed her, along with friends Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, as The Supremes. She soon became a Motown legend and enjoyed a successful solo career after the group disbanded in 1977.

 Tammy Wynette singer, songwriter, guitarist (May 5, 1942-April 6, 1998) born Itawamba County, MS died Nashville, TN

 Lester Young saxophonist (Aug. 27, 1909-March 15, 1959) born Woodville, MS died New York City, NY

 Oprah Winfrey film actress, talk show host, television producer, philanthropist (Jan. 29, 1954-) born Kosciusko, MS “The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be”

 Eudora Welty author, photographer, journalist (April 13, 1909-July 23, 2001) born Jackson, MS died Jackson, MS

 Muddy Waters singer, guitarist, songwriter (April 4, 1915-April 30, 1983) born Rolling Fork, MS died Westmont, IL given name McKinley Morganfield

 William Grant Still conductor, songwriter (May 11, 1895-Dec. 3, 1978) born Woodville, MS died Los Angeles, CA

 Walter Payton football player (July 25, 1954-Nov. 1, 1999) born Columbia, MS died Chicago, IL nickname “Sweetness”

 James Meredith Civil Rights Activist (June 25, 1933-) Born Kosciusko, MS

 Robert Johnson singer, guitarist, songwriter (May 8, 1911-Aug. 16, 1938) born Hazlehurst, MS died Greenwood, MS

 Howlin’ Wolf singer, guitarist, songwriter (July 10, 1910-Jan. 10, 1976) Born West Point, MS died Hines, IL given name Chester Arthur Burnett

 John Lee Hooker singer, guitarist (Aug. 22, 1917-June 21, 2001 born Clarksdale, MS died Los Altos, CA nickname “Texas Slim”

 Ellen Gilchrist radio personality, poet, author, journalist (Feb. 20, 1935-) Born Vicksburg, MS “Great and startling books have taught and changed me, have made me wish for nobility and dream of changing the world. They have solaced me when I was young and in love, made me laugh at myself for needing solace, and helped me grow old without noticing I had.”

 Shelby Foote author, journalist (Nov. 17, 1916-June 27, 2005) born Greenville, MS died Memphis, TN

 Bo Diddley singer, songwriter, guitarist (Dec. 30, 1928-June 2, 2008) born McComb, MS died Archer, FL aka: Ellas Bates, Ellas McDaniel, Otha Ellas Bates

 Sam Cooke singer, songwriter (Jan. 22, 1931-Dec. 11, 1964) born Clarksdale, MS died Los Angeles, CA

 Cool Papa Bell baseball player (May 17, 1903-March 7, 1991) born Starkville, MS died St. Louis, MO given name James Thomas Bell

 Red Barber radio personality, television personality (Feb. 17, 1908-Oct. 22, 1992) born Columbus, MS died Tallahassee, FL nickname “The Ol’ Redhead”

 Diane Ladd film actress (Nov. 29, 1942-) born Laurel, MS “If I can help one person in this world, then it's enough, and I've done my job.”

 Marty Stuart singer (Sept. 30, 1958-) born Philadelphia, MS. Born in Mississippi in 1958, country music singer Marty Stuart got his start in Johnny Cash's back-up band in 1979. He soon enjoyed solo success as well as hits performing with other country musicians, including Travis Tritt and Willie Nelson. He has received multiple Grammy Awards for his work.

Charley Pride singer, guitarist (March 18, 1938-) born Sledge, MS “The tastes of country music fans are not limited to the narrow range defined by consultants and programmers and record company moguls.

Willie Dixon music producer, songwriter, bassist (July 1, 1915-Jan. 29, 1992) born Vicksburg, MS died Burbank, CA

Carl Holman academic, educator, civil rights activist, poet, playwright, editor (June 27, 1919-Aug. 9, 1988) born Minter City, MS died Washington D.C.  “Black people really need to take charge of their own success and not look exclusively to those outside our community to chart our course. That's the first thing. The other thing is to concentrate on where our young people are going to be years from now.”

Anne Moody writer, civil rights activist (Sept. 15, 1940-) Born Centreville, MS “I realized that the universal fight for human rights, dignity, justice, equality and freedom is not and should not be just the fight of the American Negro or the Indians or the Chicanos. It's the fight of every ethnic and racial minority, every suppressed and exploited person, everyone of the millions who daily suffer one or another of the indignities of the powerless and voiceless masses.”

 Elmore James guitarist (Jan. 27, 1918-May 24, 1963) born Richland, MS died Chicago, IL

 Charlie Patton singer, guitarist (c. 1887-April 28, 1934) born Hinds County, MS died Indianola, MS

 Arthur Crudup singer, songwriter, guitarist (Aug. 24, 1905-March 28, 1974) born Forest, MS died Nassawadox, VA nickname “Big Boy”

 Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield singer (c.1817-March 31, 1876) born Natchez, MS died Philadelphia, PA

 Jimmy Reed singer, guitarist (Sept. 6, 1925-Aug. 29, 1976) born Dunleith, MS died Oakland, CA

 Merlie Evers-Williams civil rights activist, journalist (March 17, 1933-) born Vicksburg, MS

 Ike Turner singer (Nov. 5, 1931-Dec. 12, 2007) born Clarksdale, MS died San Marcos, CA

 Carey Bell harmonica player (Nov. 14, 1936-May 6, 2007) born Macon, MS died Chicago, IL


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