Walt Grayson travels to Cleveland, MS and explores all the Grammy Museum has to offer.
“I think probably when you first walk into the door of the museum, a lot of people may have thought this is a blues museum a just about Mississippi,” said Grammy Museum Assistant Director Emily Havens. “So I think it’s been surprising to see that it really is a celebration of all forms of music and with a great emphasis on Mississippi.”
The museum is way more than Mississippi, though. However, there is a lot of Mississippi in here. But there would have to be a lot of Mississippi in ANY Grammy Museum, because more Mississippians have won Grammys. That’s one reason this museum is in Mississippi.
“Mississippi has more Grammy award winners than the next five states combined. We have per capita more Grammy Award winners than any other state,” adds the museum’s Education Director Jane Marie Dawkins. “Mississippi is the birthplace of American music. And people think that is a bold statement, but it’s not just looking at the blues. It’s the influence blues had on rock-and-roll. Look at Elvis Presley, of course B.B. King, Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson, The Mississippi Sheiks, Elvis, Jimmie Rodgers, the Father of Country Music, the First Lady, I guess she was, of Country Music, Tammy Wynette, all these different artists and genres, Pops Staples of the Staples Singers, gospel It all has roots here. So it’s an obvious choice.”
So what else is here besides Mississippi stuff? Well, a lot of things we can learn for one thing according to Lucy Janoush, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Grammy Museum.
“I think 80 percent of our focus will be on education,” said Janoush. “Of course people are well aware that music and the arts are just not in the school systems as they used to be because of a lack of funding. And I think we can fill a tremendous void there.”
And the rest of it pure fun. Ashlea Maddox from Hattiesburg spent an afternoon here. “
If you’re a fan of music, this is where to be,” she said. “I could stay here all afternoon.”
An afternoon would be easy. Allow yourself a couple of hours minimum to go through when you come. And you could just get lost in the music and stay all day.
By the way, the first big symposium at the museum is April 1 and 2, the Beatles is the subject. Freda Kelly will be one of the people there according to the Museum. She was the Beatles Fan Club secretary.