African American String Bands & White Blues is topic at Museum

NEMiss.News Black strings band at Lafayette Springs Hotel


 Museum Moments at the Union County Heritage Museum is set Thursday, February 17, at noon and will feature music scholar Scott Barretta talking about African American String Bands and White Blues: Challenging assumptions about music and race.

Elvis Presley is infamous for revolutionizing music through his mix of country and blues, and this talk will focus on other musicians from the region whose music resists simple genre classifications, Barretta said.

NEMiss.News Scott Barretta to speak at Museum Moments

Scott Barretta

“New Albany’s resident bluesman Sam Mosley’s first exposure to music was through the family string band featuring his father and uncles, which inspired Mosley to be flexible in playing for varied audiences.”

Harmonica Frank Floyd from Toccopola was a white musician and harmonica master who recorded blues for Memphis’ Sun label and Chicago’s Chess Records in the early ‘50s.  Keyboardist and songwriter Bobby Wood from Mitchell Switch was a member of the Memphis Boys, the house band at American Sound Studios, which played on hit recordings by soul giants as well as Neil Diamond and Elvis Presley. We’ll also look at Pontotoc’s Jim Weatherly, whose country-pop composition “Midnight Train to Houston” became the R&B classic “Midnight Train to Georgia” in the hands of Gladys Knight and the Pips.”

Baretta is the host of the Mississippi Blues Hour Highway 61 Blues Show. He has edited two roots music magazines, “Jefferson” (in Sweden) and “Living Blues” (University of Mississippi) and is working on a sociology dissertation on blues revivalism. He writes a weekly roots music column for the Clarion-Ledger newspaper, is writing historic marker text for the forthcoming Mississippi Blues Trail and is head content consultant for the B.B. King Museum and Delta Cultural Center. He has taught blues courses at the University of Mississippi and Millsaps College.

 The public is invited to this presentation made possible by the museum’s Community Partners.  A light lunch will is courtesy  of the Museum Guild.

The event is free.  The museum is located at 114 Cleveland Street in New Albany.  For more information call the museum at 662- 538-0014 or email


Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!


Jill Smith, Director

Union County Heritage Museum

114 Cleveland Street

New Albany,MS 38652


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