Turner’s Drug Store and the Easy Pay store in downtown Belzoni, Mississippi earned a place in Blues history in 1947-48 as the sponsors of radio broadcasts of blues musicians like Sonny Boy Williamson and Elmore James, who were living in Belzoni at the time.
The Mississippi Blues Trail marker commemorating Turner’s Drug Store and the Easy Pay stands at the corner of Jackson Street and Hayden Street in downtown Belzoni, outside the former Turner’s Drug Store and across the street from the former Easy Pay store.
The GPS Location of this Mississippi Blues Trail marker is: N 33° 10.655′ W 90° 29.336′
“TURNER’S DRUG STORE – The names of Turner’s Drug Store (located on this corner) and the Easy Pay Store across the street are etched into blues history as sponsors of some of the first radio programs in Mississippi to feature Delta blues. In 1947-48 stations in Yazoo City and Greenville began broadcasting live performances by Sonny Boy Williamson No.2 and Elmore James from Belzoni via remote transmission. Williamson, James and other musicians often performed outside the stores, and inside the Easy Pay as well.”
The former Turner Drug Store, in the photo above, is now a Factory Connection store.
The former Easy Pay Store, across the street, where Sonny Boy Williamson and Elmore James once played, is now vacant.
The former Easy Pay Store is shown in the photos below.
The former Easy Pay Store, where Sonny Boy Williamson, Elmore James and others once played, is now vacant.
There is another Mississippi Blues Trail marker, commemorating Denise Lasalle, on the grounds of the County Courthouse, a few blocks from the former Turner’s Drug Store and Easy Pay Store.
The GPS location of the Denise Lasalle marker is: N 33° 10.568′ W 90° 29.268′
Another site of interest in Blues history is the old Belzoni jail where Charley Patton was briefly incarcerated, circa 1934, and which Patton subsequently sang about in his High Sheriff Blues, recorded in 1934.
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