2017 49c Mississippi
On December 10, 1817, Mississippi became the 20th state in the Union. Before the Civil War, Mississippi was most known for its cotton production. But in the early 20th century, it became famous for something new – blues music.
Blues music was inspired by Mississippi’s large population of African Americans. Its origins lie in the work songs of slaves toiling in the cotton fields. These songs repeated lyrics and included a call-and-response style (one group singing first and another responding). Once slavery was abolished, these songs mixed with spirituals and folk tunes and were named the blues.
Mississippi blues music, or Delta blues, is one of the earliest styles in the genre. It is famous for its use of slide guitar and harmonica. Artists like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Little Walter are some of the most well-known Delta blues musicians of all time. When their music was introduced in big cities like Detroit and Chicago, its popularity grew and it spread nationwide.
In 2006, Mississippi’s contributions to the blues were honored with the opening of the Mississippi Blues Trail. The trail tracks important places and people who popularized blues music, spanning from Mississippi all the way to Chicago and Rochester, New York. Without the state of Mississippi, blues music would not be what it is today.
Issued: March 31, 2017
First Day City: Gulfport, MS
Type of Stamp: First Class Mail
Printed by: Ashton Potter Ltd.
Quantity Printed: 25,000,000