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The National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in The Mississippi Delta

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By National Market Report 605 days ago

Categories: Art Music Entertainment Travel & Sports, Construction & Real Estate, Education Research & Innovation, Finance & Investments, Law Accounting Insurance & Government, Social & Religious Empowerment

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VIP Guests Shoveling the hallowed grounds on the Banks of the Historic Coldwater River at the Groundbreaking of the NRBHOF & Entertainment Village Site

Blues legend Bobby Rush, Commissioner Willie Simmons, R&B legends Carla Thomas, and Eddie Floyd at the NRBHOF Site


Legendary STAX Recording Artist Carla Thomas and Diane Withers sit and share lunch at the NRBHOF Groundbreaking Reception.

The National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame (NRBHOF) has concluded the official Groundbreaking Ceremonies for its permanent home and Entertainment Village on the hallowed grounds of the Banks of the Historic Coldwater River in the Mississippi Delta. The Coldwater River in Quitman County was one of the important sites of the ‘Battle of The Yazoo Pass Expedition’ in the U.S. Civil War, the Country’s first Campaign for American Civil Rights.

The NRBHOF will begin a series of fundraising and joint ventures in partnership with Mississippi State & County Governments. The NRBHOF Foundation is also in talks with the Music, Entertainment, & Resort Industries, including Wall Street & other Industrial Partnerships to build out the Entertainment Village. These partnerships will also support its continuing Annual Induction ceremonies, and other important operations and activities.

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 R&B Hall of Fame 

The National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in The Mississippi Delta 

The National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame 
Announces the Site of its Permanent Home and Entertainment Village

Harlington L. Hanna Jr.

The establishment of a physical home for the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame is a monumental event in the history of the United States. It is more than the dream of any one person or group. It is a monument to the struggle for Civil Rights through the expressions of a particular genre of Music which has modeled the fight for Civil Rights in the United States and the World.

After several years of searching the United States for the right venue to build the official home of The National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame and its associated Museum & Entertainment Village, Founder Lamont Robinson has announced the official Site. City and County officials have reached an agreement with Robinson for the Site of the permanent home for the Hall of Fame to be the Town of Marks, Mississippi. The Town of Marks is situated in Quitman County in the heart of the historic Mississippi Delta.

The National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame was founded in 2010, and has inducted many of the most notable figures in Rhythm & Blues in annual Inaugural Ceremonies held in various Cities since its inception.

Robinson cited the tremendous history of the area related to Music and Civil Rights among several reasons for deciding to place the Hall of Fame in Marks.

Mississippi has established itself as the State that is the Birthplace of American Music, and has carefully researched and documented this history. The State has established official Historic Markers throughout the Region recognizing birthplaces and other connections to more than two hundred (200) notable artists in the genres of Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Gospel, Soul, and Country music. Most of these Markers are actually located in the famous Northwest Section of the State known as the Mississippi Delta. The number of famous artists that emanate from this area is especially noteworthy, considering the small population of the Region.

The Musical History of Quitman County includes being the home of Charlie Pride, Stephen Pride, Albert “Sunnyland Slim” Luandrew, John Lee Hooker, Earl Hooker, James Edward “Snooky” Pryor, Johnny Billington and other music legends.

John Lee Hooker’s song “Boogie Chillen” was in fact the first number one hit on the new Rhythm & Blues Billboard Charts in 1949, right after Billboard changed the name of its Black Music oriented “Race Records” Charts, to its new “Rhythm & Blues” Charts.

W.C. Handy “Father of the Blues” first discovered “Blues Music” just across the Quitman County Line at the Tutwiler Train Station in 1903.

Some researchers have also identified the Crossroads at Highway 6 and Highway 3 in Marks as the most likely location of a Real Blues Crossroads, representing the famed mythological “Robert Johnson Blues Crossroads”.

It was the vast Cotton Fields of Quitman County and other parts of the Mississippi Delta that first provided the environment that nurtured the Field Workers and encouraged them to sing and produce the songs and rhythms we now identify as Blues, Gospel, and Rhythm & Blues. It was this cultural and musical phenomenon that provided the basis for the prodigious economic success and profits of the U.S. Music Industry worldwide.

The City of Marks sits just east of the Blues Music Hub of Clarksdale Mississippi with its numerous Juke Joints. Other attractions include actor Morgan Freeman’s famous Ground Zero Blues Club and Restaurant, and the Delta Blues Museum, the Largest of its kind in the World. The only Grammy Museum outside of Los Angeles sits on the Campus of Delta State University in Cleveland Mississippi, just a short distance southwest of Quitman County. The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) with its significant history and archives is a short distance to the east of Marks. Both Universities are located on Highway 6 (US 278) as is Marks, and easily accessible. Amtrak’s City of New Orleans Express Train service provides daily trips between New Orleans, Memphis, and Chicago, and makes daily stops conveniently in downtown Marks, providing easy access for visitors to the area.

Rhythm & Blues has also had a long history and association with the fight for Civil Rights in the United States and the World. Mississippi is noted for its significant Civil Rights History with major Battles fought in the first Civil Rights Campaign-The American Civil War.  Also, the Modern Civil Rights Movement was initiated by the Lynching of Emmett Till in the Mississippi Delta, among numerous other Historical Civil Rights Events. The Coldwater River and the Tallahatchie River, associated with these Historic Civil Rights Events, run through Marks and Quitman County.

The Coldwater River in Marks and Quitman County was a primary Site in “The Yazoo Pass Expedition Battle” near the end of The Civil War, directed by General Ulysses Grant in his attempt to end the Civil War by capturing Vicksburg, Mississippi. The Yazoo Pass Expedition is noted for it being thwarted by the Confederates sinking “The Star of The West” in the River to block the passage of the Union’s Expedition near the point where the Coldwater and Tallahatchie Rivers merge. The Star of The West was the historic ship which was fired on by Cadets of the Citadel with the first shots and battle starting the Civil War. They were trying to prevent it from delivering supplies and ammunition to Fort Sumter in the Charleston S.C. harbor. This point in the River is also near the place where famed Blues Legend Robert Johnson died and is buried at The Star of The West Plantation.

The permanent location of the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame and its Entertainment Village lies right next to the Coldwater River, site of the historic Yazoo Pass Expedition Battle in the Country's first Campaign for Civil Rights, the U.S. Civil War.

The Choctaw - Chickasaw Territorial Boundary established by Treaties between these important Native American Nations and the United States runs directly through Quitman County. The importance of the Native American presence in the Area is evidenced by several Indian Mounds, including a prominent one just south of Marks on the Coldwater River. The rhythms, innovations, and contributions of Native American Artists and Music are often overlooked by American Music Historians.

In addition to the Emmet Till Saga where he was killed and dumped into the River just South of Quitman County, the Tallahatchie River is also noted for its central theme in Bobbie Gentry’s blockbuster hit song “Ode to Billie Joe” and the related Movie. She sang about Billy Joe MacAllister jumping off the Tallahatchie Bridge, throwing something off the Bridge into the River, and her spending a lot of time picking flowers and dropping them into the muddy water off the Bridge.

The nearby Bottomlands of the Tallahatchie River is also where famed American writer William Faulkner spent a lot of time hunting and socializing at his friend’s Hunting Lodge, and where he experienced much of what he wrote about in his books and mythological County of “Yoknapatawpha”.

The most recent History of Civil Rights notoriety associated with the area is the role that the City of Marks played in the origins and implementation of Martin Luther King’s “Poor People’s Campaign (PPC)”. The historic Mule Train Caravan also travelled from Marks to Resurrection City on the Washington Mall as part of the PPC in 1968.

The location of the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame, Museum, and Entertainment Village in Marks and Quitman County will provide a natural, authentic, and historic platform for the Hall of Fame. The Founders intend to showcase the origins and future of Rhythm & Blues in a variety of specifically designed Educational and Interactive Experiences and Attractions, allowing visitors and tourists to partake in a truly historic Setting.  

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R&B Hall of Fame headed to Mississippi Delta
Michael Goldberg The Associated Press
Aug 30, 2022 Updated Aug 31, 2022

A small town in the Mississippi Delta that has ties to the civil rights movement will soon be home to the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame (NRBHF).

Project planners hope to finish building the facility in the town of Marks in two or three years, Velma Wilson, director of economic tourism and development for Quitman County, told The Associated Press

LaMont Robinson

LaMont Robinson, CEO of the NRBHF

The project is the culmination of a 50-year effort to build a hall of fame for R&B musicians such as James Brown, Aretha Franklin and B.B. King.

“There is no other hall of fame in the world that is primarily focused and dedicated to the history of R&B music on a national scale,” LaMont Robinson, CEO of the NRBHF, said in a news release. “My vision to build a hall of fame to honor R&B and its contributions to civil rights, America and the entire world is something that I don’t take lightly.”

Robinson founded the NRBHF in 2010. Since 2013, it has inducted more than 200 artists.

Marks appealed to Robinson due to its civil rights history. Martin Luther King Jr. chose the town in 1968 as the starting point for his Poor People’s Campaign, which demanded economic justice for poor Americans of all backgrounds. On March 31, 1968, in what would be his final Sunday sermon before his assassination, King described the poverty-stricken families he encountered in Marks.

“I was in Marks, Miss., the other day, which is in Quitman County, the poorest county in the United States. And I tell you I saw hundreds of Black boys and Black girls walking the streets with no shoes to wear,” King said at the National Cathedral in Washington. “I saw their mothers and fathers ... They raised a little money here and there; trying to get a little food to feed the children; trying to teach them a little something.”

The conditions in the cotton fields of Quitman County and other parts of the Mississippi Delta were the environment in which early civil rights activists and field workers produced music that’s now identified as blues, gospel and R&B, project planners said.


A digital rendering of the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in Marks, Miss. Organizers are aiming to complete the building in two to three years.
(A2H Engineers, Architects, Planners)

“It was this cultural and musical phenomenon that provided the basis for the prodigious economic success and profits of the U.S. music industry worldwide,” planners wrote in a document outlining the project.

“The Hall of Fame will be the catalyst to Delta tourism growth and opportunities, and a means to attract business and industry,” said Democratic U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, who represents Quitman County.

The city of Marks donated a minimum of 5 acres of land for the project.

According to an agreement reviewed by the AP, the Quitman County Economic Tourism and Development Agency secured a $500,000 appropriation from the Mississippi Legislature for infrastructure related to the project. The agency also hopes to secure an $11 million federal grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation to beef up development around the NRBHF. 

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R&B Hall of Fame to be Erected in Mississippi

  • Courtesy of the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame
  • Fifty years in the making, the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame (NRBHF) is coming to life.
  • Founded in 2010, NRBHF will now have a permanent home in a state-of-the-art facility in Marks, Mississippi, according to its founder and CEO LaMont Robinson. 
  • The body has inducted 200 artists including R&B icons like James Brown, Aretha Franklin and B.B. King.  
  • The City of Marks-Quitman County has donated five acres of land known as Industrial Park and $500,000 from a state grant to jump-start what they call a one-of-a-kind international tourist attraction. 
  • Robinson said NRBHF has additional partners to assist with funding and is currently conducting a Go Fund Me campaign to help complete this project. 
  • The NRBHF’s groundbreaking ceremony will kick off the Annual Mules & Blues Fest on Sept. 30.  
  • “I have been a long-time activist and advocate for preserving the history of rhythm and blues music and its legends. There is no other hall of fame in the world that is primarily focused and dedicated to the history of R&B music on a national scale,” Robinson said. 
  • “This project won’t just be made up of showcases and photographs on the wall like you would find in a typical hall of fame or museum,” he said. “It will be highly interactive – virtual reality with holograms.”
  • Robinson continued that his vision is to build an R&B Hall of Fame that acknowledges its contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.
  • “R&B goes hand and hand with the Civil Rights Movement and one of the reasons for choosing Marks is the role that it played in Dr. Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign,” Robinson said. 
  • Congressman Bennie Thompson, who represents Mississippi’s second district, said the Hall of Fame will be a catalyst to Delta tourism growth and opportunities and a means to attract businesses and industry. 
  • “I am grateful to the founder and CEO LaMont Robinson and his board for having the vision to select Quitman County, which will be the “official home” of the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame,” he said. 
  • Velma Benson-Wilson, Quitman County’s Economic and Tourism Director, echoed Thompson about the economic boost the Hall of Fame will bring for Marks-Quitman County and the state of Mississippi. 
  • According to NRBHF, Benson-Wilson is working on a congressional bill to honor rhythm and blues artists from the Jim Crow era. 
  • She also hopes to make Aug. 17 “Rhythm & Blues Artists’ Day.”
  • NRBHF said many National R&B Hall of Fame inductees have supported the hall of fame’s erection including Marshall Thompson of The Chi-Lites, blues legend Bobby Rush and Dionne Warwick, who was inducted in 2019. 
  • “First, let me say that I am honored to be included amongst the incredibly talented artists that hold the distinction of being inducted into the National Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame,” Warwick said in a statement. 
  • “It goes without saying, that the importance of this Hall of Fame being established gives recognition to the bodies of music that we as artists have been able to share with many who have and continue to support our careers,” she said.

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The National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame Foundation
The City of Marks
Quitman County, Mississippi
The Groundbreaking of the
NRBHOF Entertainment Village

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The National Market Report (NMR) details current issues involving emerging businesses, investments, and global markets, and their impact on Wall Street, other world financial centers, global business and capital markets.

The National Market Report (NMR), is hosted by Intellectual Property and Securities Attorney Harlington L. Hanna Jr., founder of the Law Firm Hannaian Law Associates  (http://hannaianlaw.com. He is...


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