It was the route taken by many African Americans, musicians or not, who left a South marked by poverty and racial violence attracted by the manufacturing boom of Michigan or Illinois in the first half of the 20th century. Cooke, born in Clarksdale, moved to Chicago taking the music with him, as did James and many others.
Johnson didn’t have time to leave died in 1938, aged only 27, in unclear circumstances is the most widespread version: after playing at a party in Greenwood, another nearby town, he started flirting with the wrong wife and someone put poison in his whiskey.
A few years earlier, after disappearing for a few months, he had gone from mediocre musician to virtuous because, apparently, he had reached the familiar Faustian pact with the devil.
A ghostly air runs through Clarksdale, with its murals of faded musicians, vintage cars parked in the middle of downtown, the old Roxy cinema with rusted letters.
After shutting down and languishing for 30 years, it resurfaced as a venue for theatrical and musical performances, but it retains the entire faded image. The town as a whole, of some 15,000 inhabitants, seems to deliberately give off that decadent air, as if this impoverished territory had learned to make a virtue of necessity.
Ground Zero, the club of Morgan Freeman and Bill Luckett, is a very spacious venue, all daubed on the walls and with dozens of flags from around the world hanging from the ceiling.
The Spanish woman is recent, in black marker it is written December 27, 2019 Papparelli Alonso family
They must have gone on a Christmas trip to the Deep South, life before the coronavirus. The business is now closed, without a clear reopening date due to the risk of contagion, but Luckett opens it to show it and take some pictures.