Blues trail grows

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 19, 2011

NATCHEZ — Natchez received another visible reminder of its history Friday afternoon when a Mississippi Blues Trail marker was dedicated in honor of long-time Natchez musician Bud Scott.

Residents gathered at 407 Main St., in front of the old Natchez Confectionery, a spot where Scott used to play at night on the second-floor balcony for all residents to hear.

Natchez Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Heritage Tourism Director Darrell White, Natchez Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis and Natchez Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Executive Director Connie Taunton all unveiled the marker before the crowd of approximately 20.

Email newsletter signup

White said when Scott played on the second floor of the confectionery in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, the central location attracted both black and white audiences in one spot.

“Scott always considered Natchez his home even though he traveled all over playing jazz,” White said. “But from Memphis to New Orleans he was loved by many.”

Scott led one of the most popular dance bands in the Mississippi area during the early 1900s, White said.

“He was a town legend that we need to embrace,” he said. “I am proud to have a marker honoring Scott and all he accomplished.”

This was the third marker put in place in Natchez, and one of 123 markers placed in the state, Mississippi Planning Development Authority Music Development Program Manager Alex Thomas said.

“We also have nine other placed outside the state all over the country in cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis and Tallahassee,” he said. “We also have requests to place markers in Europe.”

One of the five other cities that has a marker is Ferriday, and Thomas said it is important to have other states involved with the Blues Trail project.

“Blues was significant to the world, and we wanted to show how it derived and went to other areas,” he said. “It is an honor and a privilege to have other states request for a marker. It shows the impact the music had.”

Thomas said Natchez will also be receiving another Blues Trail marker in April in connection with the Natchez Blues Bluff Festival.

Natchez’s other two existing markers are dedicated to the Rhythm Club Fire of 1940 and “Papa Lightfoot.”

The Mississippi Blues Commission established the trail in 2003, and it has been funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mississippi Department of Transportation.