Blues is one of the few music genres considered to be wholly American, and its roots are firmly planted in the rich soil of the Mississippi Delta. Here, too, is where legendary musician B.B. King came of age. Indianola's B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center celebrates not only King's prolific career, but also the significance of the Mississippi Delta to music then and now. Interactive exhibits take visitors through the guitarist's life in chronological order, starting with his boyhood in the Delta and culminating with the highlights of his decades-long career.
The Building: The 20,000-square-foot museum was built in the old cotton gin where B.B. King once worked.
Valuable Relic: Tucked in the section about B.B.'s pre-celebrity life is the Panoram, an early video jukebox on which he first saw the big bands he became so enamored with.
From His Early Career: In the exhibit on what was known as the Chitlin Circuit, you'll find the leather-bound notebook in which King stashed his song charts, meticulously cross-referenced by songwriter.
Other Mementos: Memorabilia from King's life spans the decades, including a quilt from his boyhood home, his draft card, and various iterations of his guitar, Lucille.
Hidden Gem: The museum also includes items from other artists of his era, such as Janis Joplin's handwritten lyrics.
Hands-On Exhibit: Under video instruction from B.B. King himself, visitors strum tunes on guitars.
Past Exhibit: Blues @ Home: Mississippi's Living Blues Legends showcased portraits of blues musicians by Mississippi artist H.C. Porter.
From the Press: "The ... facility is likely the most elaborate museum in the U.S. about a single living musician, but Mr. King's stature justifies the investment." ? Wall Street Journal
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