CLEVELAND, Miss. (WJTV) – If you know much about the Mississippi Delta, then several things probably come to mind about it. Maybe, cypress swamps and fishing. Up near the top of that list, if not at the top, needs to be music, specifically the Blues. For every Blues player anywhere else, there were ten in the Delta. Dockery Plantation between Ruleville and Cleveland is said to be the place where Blues was born.
Elvis Presley, another Mississippian, was highly influenced by the Blues from the Delta, as were a gazillion of other musicians, influenced by the Blues, Elvis or both.
It’s only fitting that the first branch location of the National Grammy Museum is in the Mississippi Delta. It’s at Cleveland, at the campus of Delta State University. Probably not 25 miles away from Dockery Plantation, where America’s music was rocked in its cradle.
Don’t go to the Grammy Museum thinking it’s another Blues museum or that it’s only about Mississippi musicians. It’s about America’s music. Well, the world’s music. The soundtrack of our lives.
Before Thomas Edison, no one had music on demand. You gathered around the piano in the parlor. Or the town musicians put on a concert every so often. Or you went to the symphony in big cities. After Edison, all we had to do was buy a record and a machine to play it on. Later, tune in the radio. Then, turn on MTV. Later down the road, plug our ears up against the world and listen.
For a hundred years, we’ve had what no other people on Earth have had. Music instantly. The people who have been deemed the best performing it have been awarded Grammys. More Mississippians per capita have won Grammys than any other state. Matter of fact, than any of the next five states below us combined.
No wonder there’s a Grammy Museum in Mississippi. It’s where America’s music has come home to.
There’s rotating exhibits in and out all the time. Even if you’ve been to the Grammy Museum, you could go again and see new things.