Baptist Town



Baptist Town
Greenwood, MS 38930

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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 absentee landlords.


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On July 14, 2009, a marker was erected in Baptist Town by the Mississippi Blues Trail.

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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 corner where
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.
Honey 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 Singing,
Paul "Wine" Jones, Bill Abel, The Givens Brothers, David "Honeyboy" Edwards,
and Howlin' Big Daddy & The Rockers.

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HooversMay1.jpg (72800 bytes)    BigDlady.jpg (42770 bytes)    HooverMay.jpg (64065 bytes)

BigDrock5.jpg (36433 bytes)    Rockers3.jpg (64402 bytes)    BigDrock4.jpg (40109 bytes)

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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,
David Cunningham, Aubrey Whittington, Senator David Jordan,
Claud Johnson-son of Robert, and Steve Johnson-grandson of Robert.

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   ClaudSteve.jpg (37912 bytes)   Steps.jpg (75547 bytes)     KidsBaptistTown.JPG (176358 bytes)    wRonSyl.jpg (98272 bytes)

wRonMary1.jpg (106183 bytes)    Seats.jpg (23920 bytes)     Locked.jpg (25960 bytes)     AnnaSeats.jpg (56092 bytes)     House3.jpg (30481 bytes)

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Page added in 2004

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