When in Canton, visit our two contributions to the Mississippi Blues Trail.
Hickory Street, known locally as "The Hollow," was a hub of social life, commerce, and entertainment for the African American community of central Mississippi for several decades, up through the 1970s. Canton's most famous blues musician, Elmore James, performed often in the local cafes and clubs. James also learned the electronics trade by working at Robert's Radio Repair on Hickory Street. His experiments with sound technology led him to develop a powerful and original electric blues style.
Club Desire – or New Club Desire, as it was actually named for most its tenure – was a Canton landmark for several decades, renowned for providing the African American community with first-class entertainment in a celebratory but elegant atmosphere, with strict codes enforced for dress and behavior. The club was one of Mississippi's premier blues and rhythm & blues nightclubs from the late 1940s through the early 1960s. Owner Clarence Chinn presented the top national acts, including B. B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, Little Junior Parker, James Brown, Ivory Joe Hunter, Big Joe Turner, Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, and the Platters. In the '60s the club also served as an important meeting place for civil rights workers.
For complete information on the Blues Trail, visit Mississippi Blues Trail