Just East of the downtown section of Greenwood, MS and across the railroad
tracks is the
area known as "Baptist Town". This area is
known mostly to the people living on this side of
the tracks and to some
outsiders that are fans of Blues music due to the fact that
Robert Johnson, King
of the Delta Country Blues, frequented this area and possibly died
here on Young Street in 1938.
This poor African American neighborhood has suffered through
most of it's
existence with hard times and a short drive
around this section today would
indicate that hard times still exist for many of the
residents. Most of the buildings
are shotgun houses of which only
one-third are owned by single families.
Most of the housing is owned by
On July 14, 2009, a marker was erected in Baptist Town by the
Mississippi Blues Trail.
One of the businesses at 214 Young Street was Hoover's
Grocery/Cafeteria. The current
owners of the building are
Sylvester & Mary Hoover. The building was frequented by Robert
Johnson in the
1930's and the Hoover's are active in keeping the history, myth, and legend
alive. Each year, Sylvester organizes several blues events on the street
Johnson played. The Hoovers currently operate the "Back
in the Day Museum" which
opened in February-2006.
An August 16, 2004 Blues Festival
included Honey Boy Edwards
on the same street corner where
Johnson and Honey Boy played
in the 1930's.
Boy Edwards was a frequent traveling companion of Robert Johnson.
Honey Boy stated that he played with Johnson the night before he died, at a
Three Forks joint (near Hwy 82 & Hwy 49) and Johnson became
gravely ill and was taken into Baptist Town alive.
A Baptist Town Blues festival was held on May 7, 2005 with Gospel
Paul "Wine" Jones,
Bill Abel, The Givens Brothers, David
and Howlin' Big Daddy & The Rockers.
These Blues events have included musicians such as Paul Wine
Jones, Bill Abel,
The Givens Brothers,
Honeyboy Edwards, Big T, Corey Harris, Lee Williams,
Michael Frank, Big Daddy, Ken Byest,
Ricky Davis, Vincent Dunn, Hubert Sumlin,
Jerry Fair, Lady Trucker, Mike Eldred,
and Terry Bean.
In addition, events have been
attended by Morgan Freeman, Luther Brown,
Aubrey Whittington, Senator David
Claud Johnson-son of Robert,
Johnson-grandson of Robert.
Back to "Joints-Baptist Town" page
Page added in 2004
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