Journeys of Discovery: Roots of rockabilly, blues and Tina Turner

Apr 10, 2019

From rockabilly to blues and soul, the west Tennessee towns of Jackson and Brownsville have long histories as incubators of classic American music and musicians.

They say it’s something in the water and soil that birthed generations of musicians in the region—a place where cotton sharecroppers abounded, working the land around the Mississippi tributary Hatchie River.

While Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash are synonymous with Jackson, the rural town of Brownsville in the heart of cotton country nurtured the legendary blues musician and singer Sleepy John Estes. Singer/songwriter Tina Turner was born in a sharecropper cabin in nearby Nutbush.

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer for a visit with Lori Nunnery, executive director of Tourism Jackson. We’ll then stop in for a visit with Sonia Outlaw-Clark, executive director of the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center and Tina Turner Museum in Brownsville.

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas Award-winning travel show podcast, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured on the NPR Podcast Directory, Apple Podcast, the NPR One App & Twitter: TomCWilmer. Instagram: Thomas.Wilmer. Member of the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Underwriting support provided by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.