Blues Musicians’ Graves
As part of our series on Blues Musicians’ Graves, here is a page on Mississippi Fred McDowell’s grave near Como, Mississippi
Mississippi Fred McDowell (1904-1972) is buried in the Hammond Hill Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery, near Como, in Panola County, Mississippi.
The Hammond Hill Missionary Baptist Church is located at the intersection of Hammond Hill Road and Tate Panola Road near Como, Mississippi.
The GPS location of the Hammond Hill Missionary Baptist Church is: N 34° 33.241′ W 90° 00.234′.
The church’s cemetery is located directly across Hammond Hill Road from the church.
Mississippi Fred McDowell’s grave is approximately at the center of the cemetery.
The GPS location of the grave is: N 34° 33.255′ W 90° 00.267′
The headstone on Mississippi Fred McDowell’s grave is the second marker to be placed here. The original headstone is now in the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
The headstone is inscribed on both sides. The front side reads:
“Mississippi Fred McDowell
Jan. 12, 1904 – July 3, 1972
Ester Mae McDowell
1906 – 1980″
There is is also a photo of Mississippi Fred McDowell and a carving of a Masonic Square and Compasses symbol. We believe that Mississippi Fred McDowell was a member of a Prince Hall Freemasons Lodge. We are currently trying to find out more about which Prince Hall Lodge Mississippi Fred McDowell was connected with.
The rear side of the headstone reads:
“You may be high, You may be low, You may be rich, child, You may be poor, But when the Lord gets ready, You got to move.”
The epitaph on the rear side of Mississippi Fred McDowell’s grave is taken from the lyric of his song You Got To Move, which was covered by the Rolling Stones on the 1971 album Sticky Fingers.
Here is a 1969 documentary about Mississippi Fred McDowell:
Here is a video of Mississippi Fred McDowell doing an acoustic version of Goin’ Down To The River:
You may also want to see the Mississippi Blues Trail marker for Mississippi Fred McDowell in Como, Mississippi, which is a short drive from Hammond Hill Missionary Baptist Church.
Here are some of our Recommended Recordings by Mississippi Fred McDowell.
You Gotta Move – on Arhoolie Records
This release includes Mississippi Fred McDowell’s You Gotta Move, which was covered by the Rolling Stones on their 1971 album Sticky Fingers.
The epitaph on Mississippi Fred McDowell’s grave stone is taken from the lyric of You Gotta Move.
This Ain’t No Rock N’ Roll – on Arhoolie Records
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