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Mississippi has achieved the status of "The Birthplace of America's Music" and with good reason. Inspired to write and record their own brand of music, Mississippi has born many great Delta Soul & Blues artists. Talents like B.B. King, John Lee Hooker and Sam Cooke. And Mississippi is the home of the king himself "Elvis Presley" from Tupelo and Jimmie Rodgers from Meridian, who is the acclaimed " Father Of Country Music." Their music has inspired the music of other artists around the world and today they are recognized as the primary and most important reason music is what it is around the world. Blues, Rock, Soul and Country music had their beginnings in Mississippi. Most of the popular music during the 20th century was created or inspired by great and talented Mississippi artists. Members of the Beatles, considered by many to be the greatest rock & roll band of all times, point toward Mississippi when discussing their early inspirations. Paul McCartney stated on the Beatles Anthology DVD, "When I first heard Elvis I said, that's the Guru we've been waiting for." George Harrison said; "The first guitar-oriented music I can remember hearing was Jimmie Rodgers singing The Singing Brakeman." Mississippi plays the central role in American music that no other place has been able to achieve. But there are other candidates; Jazz music clearly came out of New Orleans and traditional western music, the cowboy songs, came out of Texas. The great Mississippi music artists wrote and performed songs about life, songs of love and heartache, songs of joy and sorrow......songs that everyone identifies with at some point in their life. These Mississippi artists songs are about living and dying. Simply said, they are glimpses into the hearts and souls of the music artists who wrote and recorded these great music works.
Welcome to the Mississippi Music Artists.com website. Our website is visited by guests from all around the world, every day. We hope your visit is a great experience. This website developed out of my work on a new book titled :"Mississippi '60s Rock & Roll Music Artists" and an earlier book "Rick's Continentals-The Music Biography - a book about the rock n'roll group, Rick's Continentals from Meridian, MS., in which I was a member during the '60s. And out of the acquisition of the original RAP Records Master Music Reels from Bob Reetz's collection ( RAP Records was the recording studio that operated in Meridian from 1965-1975).
The book has expanded into a much broader project and now includes the addition of many prominent and important Mississippi Music Artists from around the state who recorded music in the '60s, leaving their mark on the music culture of the South. The project has required years of research on those accomplished Mississippi music artists featured on this website including both the greats and the not so well known musicians who contributed to the music scene in the South during the '60s. The development of this website is an ongoing and expanding proposition, that will probably continue through my life and may never be complete......the music talent from Mississippi runs deep and new discoveries are continually made about their accomplishments. During the '60s many garage bands were at work in Mississippi writing, recording and performing their own unique styles of music. Important music promoters and producers during that era often referred to these Garage Rock n' Roll artists as "Sleeping Giants." These were the groups that produced the talented and gifted artists who would rise to fame locally, regionally, nattionally, sometimes achieving international recognition for their music abilities. These artists were driven by the desire to play and record their music, hopeful of being discovered and getting that big break. Yet they were content just to have the chance to play their music should the big break never occur. There were Sleeping Giants among these music artists who would become the greats of the '60s. This project has re-connected me with many of these music artists I knew from the '60s and at the same time introduced me to artists I did not know before beginning this work. Some of the artists on this website have contributed personally to the content contained within these web pages. Much is from their own websites or from other online web resources.
My personal thanks to each of these music artists for their interest and their contributions to the new Mississippi Music Artists.com. I hope you enjoy this website and I invite everyone, especially visiting music artists, to send their comments and suggestions for this website to my email contact address (can be found on each page). And please send this website link to your friends and share the great music talents that Mississippi has produced. Thanks for stopping by.
Ray Vaughn, Founder of Mississippi Music Artists .com and member of Rick's Continentals Band
Rick's Continentals Band
Meridian Mississippi - Home Of Many Great Music Artists
During the 1960's, many rock & roll music groups were born in the Meridian area. The city's population in the '60's was in the 45,000 range. Most of the groups performed at places like the Teen Center, business sponsored concerts, talent contests, at Battles Of The Bands, The King Of Klubs, The Chalfon Club, the Skyview Club, The Knights Of Columbus, multiple naval base clubs (CPO, Officers, EM clubs) at NAS Meridian, High School dances, at private parties, at the Nelva Court, The Virginia Court and various community center venues. Around 1965 Hartley Peavey open his Peavey Amplifiers and Electronics business in the upstairs attic space of Peavey's Melody Music store on 22nd Ave. On this same block was Bob's Record Shop and The Music Center stores where the bands could look at, try and buy the latest and greatest music gear that we were seeing on all the TV shows like Where The Action Is, Shindig and Hullabaloo. Music equipment used by the musicians was predominately Gibson and Fender with some cheaper Japanese imports like Silvertone. As Hartley Peavey began to singly produced his hand made Peavey amps a whole new world was opened for the area music artists. They could walk in and discuss Peavey's work, plans and what he envisioned for music. Peavey's plan was to make a better sounding and more reliable guitar amp than anyone else. Hartley struck a chord with those young musicians who came by his shop to visit with his hopes and dreams for his own music brand trying to find a niche in a music world of giants like Fender, Gibson, Vox, Gretsch & Ampeg. A chord that would be heard all around the world as he grew into his worldwide Peavey Corporation that still calls Meridian, MS. home today.
Jimmie Rodgers, Father Of Country Music
Meridian, MS. is the hometown of Jimmy Rodgers, the Father Of Country Music. It is also the hometown of RAP Records, and many of the '60's Mississippi music artists featured on this website. Meridian has long been the home of gifted music artists like Jimmie Rodgers, Jimmy Elledge, Darryl Vincent & The Flares, Jimmy Pasquale, Paul Davis, George Soule, Eddie Houston, Chris Ethridge, George Cummings, Moe Bandy, Steve Forbert, Parker McGee, Rick's Continentals, The Endless Chain and more recently artists like Hailey Williams. They join the ranks of other great Mississippi music talents who have contributed treasured music works in the world of music. Artists like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Buffet, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tammy Wynette, Conway Twitty, Charlie Price, Mickey Gilly, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Leann Rimes. These are some of the most recognized artists from the state.
This website is initially focused on my hometown of Meridian, MS. and those musicians I know or have I have kindled relationships with over the years as a music artists. Some of these great artists have passed away but many are alive and active today. But this field of talent grows smaller with each passing year. These gifted artists have music talents that run deep and cover a wide range of music styles from Rock & Roll to Blues, Country, Country Rock, Jazz and Soul. It is my goal to increase awareness for these music artist, their music works, their songs and their accomplishments through this website and it's associated content affiliates and to promote a spirit of preservation for their music. These artists who have written and sung about their roots in Meridian and other areas of Mississippi, who have remained or returned home to live their lives. Many have their own websites and their music is followed by fans from all around the world. These individuals should be recognized for their contributions as ambassadors for Meridian and Mississippi. Meridian has produced such a great number of gifted music artists over the years that it hard to find another town of comprable talent outside of Nashville and Branson. These music artists are our own sons and daughters of music and truly a wonderful assett of Meridian. This website was launched in Sept. 2011 and already has visitors from around the globe seeking information and music by artists from Mississippi who are posted on these pages. Be sure to glance at the world wide visitors map located at the bottom of this page for a preview of these visitors from around the world.
I hope you enjoy this website and I invite everyone including music artists to sign the guest book (can be found on each page) and leave me a comment about your thoughts, comments and any contributions to this website. And you can sign up to follow Mississippi Music Artists.com by the email sign up link on the sidebar to the right. Thanks for visiting...............Ray Vaughn, Mississippi Music Artists and Rick's Continentals Band
Coming Soon Watch for the release of this new book. There have been important updates on artists content, new artists and the Publisher is making these pre-release additions..
A New Book Titled "Mississippi '60s Music Artists" Remembering the greats and the more obscure musicians who were a part of Mississippi's Rock n' Roll music culture during the '60s era. Includes artists like Darryl Vincent & The Flares, George Soule, Paul Davis, Eddie Houston, Jimmy Elledge, The Endless Chain, Rick's Continentals, David & The Giants, Sea Fever and many more. by Ray Vaughn
Following are some photos and links from the Meridian, MS area.
Visit Meridian's Website
Photo of Three Foot Building
The tallest building in downtown Meridian listed on the National Historic Sites Registry. Abraham Threefoot began to make a name for the family in the late 1860s, and his sons, H. Marshall, Kutcher, and Lewis, continued the business after his death. By 1910, sales at Threefoot and Sons exceeded $100,000 per year. Just before the beginning of the Great Depression, the company built the Threefoot Building in downtown Meridian on 22nd Avenue adjacent to the Marks-Rothenberg Department Store and the Grand Opera House. The building was finished in 1929, shortly before the stock market crash. A combination of shaky finances and the onset of the depression caused the family's business to cease operation, but the building continued under different ownership as an office building for several decades. After Meridian's first mall was built in the 1970s, the city began to focus less on economic development downtown, so the building's tenants began to evacuate. By the 1990s, the building had been mostly abandoned.
Inside photograph of the Temple Theater stage taken from the balcony. This is a beautiful theater and an excellent format for concerts. This is the location for the Sucarnoochee Revue program concerts and broadcasts. In the area behind the stage in another part of the Temple is the Grand Ballroom. This was the location for many '60s and '70s concerts. This area included a large dinning and dancing area with a large stage where many groups performed including the Allman Brothers, David & The Giants, Paul Davis, Rick's Continentals, John Fred And The Playboys and many more through the years.
Outside photo of the Riley Center (Grand Opera House) Meridian, MS. This building has recently been restored to it's original grandeur and is the place for arts performances and the Mississippi Walk Of Stars.
Inside photo of the beautiful Riley Center (Grand Opera House) taken from the stage showing the multi level balconies. The Riley Center-Opry House has once again became the location for arts and entertainment presentation with headliner entertainment and music artists. See the link below for a schedule.
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