The famous people of Mississippi – part 1

The State of Mississippi is not the largest in the United States yet has still managed to produce a number of famous people. The character of the region has been transformed onto the people who reside their and a lot of its inhabitants have gone on to became renowned both nationally and internationally. The State is rich in musicians with the capital Jackson being called “The City with Soul”. Elvis Presley called Mississippi home and there was no one who had a bigger influence on the rock and roll genre of music. Born in Tupelo Mississippi in 1935 Presley lived in the State for the first thirteen years of his life until settling in Memphis Tennessee. In his career he has sold over 600 million records and had a successful acting career singing in many of his films. In his career he had a major influence of rock and roll. His role helped break down barriers as rock and roll first burst on the scene in the 1950s and his image became an inspiration for younger generations. The influence he had spread into the 1960s and 1970s as he became more established and his career opening the doorway s for many other musical genres to succeed.

Tammy Wynette a legend of Country and Western

Tammy Wynette a legend of Country and Western

If Presley was the main name of rock and roll then Tammy Wynette is one of the biggest personalities to emerge from Country and Western.  Born in 1942 in Tremont, Mississippi she experienced such poverty in her childhood being raised in her grandparents’ house that had no running water, or toilet, in the house. She was self-taught playing several instruments and first started performing on stage in order to supplement her meagre earnings as a waitress, while at the same time trying to raise her three small children. In 1966 she was signed by Epic Records and from this point her career flourished producing 20 no 1 hit records. Her single “Stand By Your Man” is one of the best-selling country singles ever produced by a woman. With Dolly Parton and Loretta Lyn she is seen as having defined the role of women in country and rock. Despite her immense success it was a sad that many of her records dealt with divorce, loneliness, and difficult relationships. Many of these issues blighted her own life.

B.B. King was born on a cotton plantation in 1925 in Berclair Mississippi. While being raise by his grandmother he learn to sing and play the guitar as a result of his weekly visits to the Baptist church. From these humble beginnings King went on to forge a career that resulted in him being regarded as one of the greatest Blues musicians of all time. Nicknamed the “King of the Blues” King averaged 200 live performances a year right up until he was in his 70’s. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and was married twice. This did not restrict him producing 11 children from several different women.

Jerry Rice (88) and Willie Toten (10) discussing tactics

Jerry Rice (88) and Willie Toten (10) discussing tactics

There have been a number of famous sportsmen who have emerged from the State. Jerry Rice was born in Starkville Mississippi in 1962 and grew up in nearby Crawford. During his time at Mississippi Valley State University he played as the football team’s wide-receiver. Teaming up with quarter back Willie Toten the pair proved to be unstoppable. In his College career he made 301 catches and scored 50 touch downs which was the national record until David Ball in 2006 scored 51. On graduation Rice signed with the San Francesco 49ers and in his 16 years at the club he won the Super Bowl on three occasions.

In his College career he made 301 catches and scored 50 touch downs which was the national record until David Ball in 2006 scored 51. On graduation Rice signed with the San Francesco 49ers and in his 16 years at the club he won the Super Bowl on three occasions. In the whole of his 20 year career he set over 100 NFL records and is widely regarded as being the best NFL footballers of all time. He holds the record for receptions which is 1549, and 307 more than anyone else. He scored 197 career touch downs, which is 41 more than any other player, and his 22,895 career receiving yards are nearly 7,000 yards ahead of the next receiver.

The career of Jerry Rice will always be remembered in American Football and many of his records will simply be proved impossible to surpass.

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