From Memphis International Airport to my destination in Clarksdale, Mississippi, it is almost 75 miles. The hamlet Walls is less than 19 miles south of Memphis and almost next to the “old” Highway 61. Here is the cemetery of Memphis Minnie (1897-1973), one of my favorite blues heroes. A visit is almost on top of my “to do” list.
I stop just past the village sign. A young man, whom I intend to ask the right direction, shuts off the engine of his lawnmower as well as his headphone: “Memphis Minnie’s grave?” He thinks for a moment. Than he says and points out: “There is a railway crossing and you need to turn right just before it. Drive alongside the railway until the next crossing. Here you have to cross…” He grabs his cell phone and dials a number to verify it: “The woman I am calling now, lives here all her life, so she should know it for sure!” he explains.
Grass, weeds and other wilderness are until halfway through the windows and the church door. Here have not been mumbled prayers for years and a cemetery is not there either. Or no longer visible. Just as I want to get back into my car – disappointed- a pickup truck stops next to me. A slender, dark man -I estimate him in his seventies- wearing a cowboy hat and sunglasses, tie and a tight striped suit- gets out and asks what the problem is. After my explanation, he grins and says: “No, that’s the other way around! You have to turn left… .”
The small church, where I arrive now, does have a white tower. The parking lot is full of all kinds of cars and the service in full swing. (It is Sunday, September 14.) There is also a cemetery. Two men apparently have a smoke break. “Memphis Minnie’s grave? Never heard of it before … And it’s most certainly not here!” I ask if there is another church nearby. Again I get a “church road” explained.
Now I am where I want to be. I already discover Memphis Minnie’s fairly high grave stone when driving by. Church and cemetery are well maintained. This time there is no other human being in sight. The sun is shining and temperature is unmistakable in the nineties.
Through both my JSP boxes with 5 CD’s each and, all together, 244 tracks, which summarize a record career of just about 50 years, I have, via CD Player and with the earphones on, almost shut off from the outside world, built up an intimate musical relationship with her. All those listening hours have given me a special blues feeling. Here fits just admiration, respect and reverence.
I hope you are ready to get to know more about this great American Blues Singer/guitarist:
Here are some ideas you might be ready to explore! To read more about Memphis Minnie: Click on: Amazon.com
or, should you prefer to listen to her music: click on: Amazon.com
 In fact THE blues highway.