JACKSON, Miss. – There are some people who recognize Chicago as being home of the blues, but when it comes to birth certificates it usually comes back to Mississippi.
Alex Thomas with the Mississippi Development Authority and others from the Mississippi Blues Commission revealed the 164th marker November 13 on the Mississippi Blues Trail at South Roach Street in the capital City for Otis Spann and Little Johnnie Jones.
Spann and Jones were masters of the Chicago Blues Piano. Both were cousins who lived in Jackson in the 1930s and 40s, but both decided to leave in Mississippi and go to Chicago to play music. Once there, they colaborated with other artists from Mississippi one of which was blues king Muddy Waters.
“Having those guys be apart of his band speaks a lot about their ability to play the piano, but it also speaks a lot about the camaraderie of Mississippi artists once they got to Chicago," says Alex Thomas.
Spann died in Chicago in 1970 and Jones died in 1964 but their memory will be celebrated for ages to come with their marker on the Mississippi blues trail.