Mississippi Blues Trail
The Mississippi Blues Trail marker commemorating Edwards Hotel is outside the Hilton Garden Inn at 235 Capitol Street in downtown Jackson, Mississippi. The Edwards Hotel was renamed the Hotel King Edward in 1954 and is now the Hilton Garden Inn.
The GPS location of this marker is: N 32° 18.044′ W 90° 11.453′
The marker reads:
“EDWARDS HOTEL – Constructed in 1923 and renamed the King Edward Hotel in 1954, the Edwards Hotel was the site of temporary studios set up by Okeh Records in 1930 and and the American Record Corporation in 1935 to record blues artists Bo Carter, Robert Wilkins, Joe McCoy, Isaiah Nettles, the Mississippi Sheiks, and others. The Mississippi Sheiks also performed at the hotel, and Houston Stackhouse recalled that he played here together with fellow bluesman Robert Nighthawk and country music pioneer Jimmie Rodgers.”
The “others” who recorded at the Okeh Records sessions in December 1930 included Charlie McCoy, Slim Duckett and Pig Norwood, Elder Curry, Campbell College Quartet, Elder Charles Beck and Mississippi Coleman Bracey. These Okeh Records sessions were directed by Jackson promoter H.C. Speir.
In the 1920s and 1930s it was common for record labels to record artists in temporary recording studios set up in hotel rooms. Other hotels used for this purpose include the Peabody Hotel in Memphis and the St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans, where several Blind Willie Johnson sessions were recorded. Other well-known artists recorded in hotel rooms include Robert Johnson, who was recorded in Room 414 of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas by Brunswick Records on 23 November 1936. This Robert Johnson session for Brunswick Records was also set up by Jackson promoter H.C. Spier.
Here are some other sites with information about the Edwards Hotel:
- Preservation In Mississippi – Edwards Hotel toilet paper, 1926
Here’s a 2014 video of Gayle Dean Wardlow discussing his research on Tommy Johnson and Ishmon Bracey and Johnson and Bracey meeting Jimmie Rodgers outside the King Edward Hotel in Jackson, Mississippi:
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