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The Rockabilly Highway

From Tupelo Mississippi to Jackson Tennessee Highway 45

The Rockabilly Highway runs from Tupelo Mississippi to Jackson Tennessee. It was where a number of stars not only Elvis performed.
The Tupelo Fairgrounds was a ground zero for Rockabilly Artists between 1955 and 1959.
Whilst the Fairground was torn down in around 1990, it is now home to Tupelo Fairground Park and The Municiple Building and Hotel.
Tupelo Fairground
1955:
Elvis appeared at the Fairground along with Johnny Cash, Charlie Feathers with Stan Kessler and Corinth Native Marcus Van Story and Wanda Jackson (Queen of Rockabilly). Also in attendance were Jerry Lee and Roy Orbison, Bud Deckelman, Jumping Gene Simmons, The Miller Sisters with Quinton Claunch.
1956
Elvis Homecoming also included Carl Perkins, Warren Smith and Eddie Bond.
1957
Elvis Charity Show was an historic event because the show was the first show Elvis performed without Scotty Moore and Bill Black.
Tupelo Fairgrounds was also the home of the National Guard Armory at the time. Artists appearing at THe Armory included Gene Vincent, Jerry Lee,Lewis Ricky Nelson, Homer Ray Harris and others.
Jerry Lee, Billy Lee Riley, Jumping Gene Simmons, Homer Ray Harris, Jimmy Wages, Miller Sisters all lived in Tupelo or Lee county at some point. Cordell Jackson was close by in Pontotoc County.
Armory Mississippi
In Amory Mississippi the National Guard Armory still stands it is where Carl Perkins for the 1st time performed Blue Suede Shoes also appearing on the show that night were Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Warren Smith..
Booneville Mississippi
In Booneville Mississippi the VON Theater still stands where Elvis and Johnny Cash performed together. Jerry Lee Lewis and others also performed there (Jerry Lee also lived in Booneville for a time).
VON Theater owners also had VON Recording Studio in Booneville and it was the first place that Tommy and Dorsey Burnette recorded. Booneville native Hayden Thompson also first recorded at VON before going to SUN records.
Corinth Tennesse
In Corinth both the Courthouse and the Arena thar Elvis and Johnny Cash played are still there.
McNairy County Tennessee
Carl recorded in McNairy County TN in 1951 3 years before Elvis recorded. He played a version of Rockabilly in 1951.
Dewey Phillips also was a native of McNairy County.
(Also hwy 45 was thought to be Boogie Alley that Amory MS native Lucille Bogan was singing about. Many early blues and Boogie Woogie artist came from hwy 45 and the Black Prairie Belt.)
Jackson Tennessee
Jackson was Carl Perkins hometown and birthplace, Carl set up a number of foundations in Jackson which still operate today. It was home to the Rockabilly Hall of Fame which is now closed and the Exhibit moved to The Carnegie Museum ( donated by Andrew Carnegie of Carnegie Hall Fame) and the exhibit now called Legends of Tennessee Music. and also the birthplace of ledgendary train driver Casey Jones.

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