June 2020

L.C. Ulmer (1928-2016)

Lee Chester “L.C.” Ulmer was a native of South Mississippi who for 50 years played music all over the U.S.—“like horse manure, everywhere!”—before returning home to the Ellisville area in 2001. He was a multi-instrumentalist who played guitar, keyboards, drums, fiddle, banjo mandolin, kazoo, and harmonica, and performed for many years as a “twelve-piece” one-man-band. […]

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John & Coleman Stuart

John Stuart was born in 1932 in the Bellevue community west of Hattiesburg, where he still lives today. His great-great-grandfather had emigrated from Scotland, moving across the southern United States to Texas. His great-grandfather, a Civil War veteran, bounced back to Mississippi. John’s father farmed and was a Baptist minister with responsibilities for several churches.

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Mack Allen Smith

Country and rockabilly singer Mack Allen Smith was born in 1938 in Carroll County. He spent his early years in the community of “Little Texas” ten miles outside of Carrolton, where he and his parents lived together with his maternal grandparents. His first experiences singing were at the Hickory Grove Baptist Church, and he was

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Anthony Sherrod

Twenty-one-year-old Clarksdale native Anthony Sherrod grew up in a musical home. His father, E.J. Johnson, is a gospel singer and still performs with the group The Golden Stars. At the age of six, Anthony picked up his first guitar and hasn’t stopped playing. In fact, he not only plays guitar but bass, drums, and keyboards—and

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Joyce Shearer

Joyce Shearer is a good example of a person who becomes involved in the arts later in life, but who is transformed by them. A native of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Shearer sang older country songs and listened to her mother tell jokes while growing up, but she did not perform in public until she

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Bill Rogers

Bill Rogers grew up in the house next door to his current home in Collins, Mississippi. It is an old family house built on land his great-grandfather bought in 1897. Rogers is a public health environmentalist from nine to five, then goes home and plays bluegrass and old-timey fiddle. He didn’t start fiddling until he

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Jesse Robinson

Jesse Robinson has been playing blues and jazz for over four decades. Born in Benton and raised in Mileston, Mississippi, Robinson was “the seventh son, thirteenth child, baby boy, and a preacher’s son.” He first picked up the guitar at six and was soon backing his father at church. As a young boy, Jesse also

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