Country Music Trail Unveiling Saturday

A legend in country music will be honored by the state of Mississippi.

Bob Ferguson, a longtime resident of Neshoba County, wrote and produced music that many of us have enjoyed over the years. He's credited with helping shape the Nashville sound of the 1960s and 1970s.

Known as one of Ferguson's most famous lyrical works, 'Wings of a Dove', was his first multi-million seller. Since its release in 1959, the song has been recorded by many artists and in many languages around the world.

However, that's not all for which Ferguson was known. He worked with artists such as Lester Flatt, Chet Atkins, Charley Pride and Porter Wagoner, who recorded Ferguson's 'Carroll County Accident'.

Ferguson was also the producer of the now famous song Dolly Parton wrote and performed, 'I Will Always Love You'.

Now Ferguson is being honored with a marker on Mississippi's Country Music Trail, in the place he called home, Neshoba County.

"We are just very honored that he's going to be honored with a marker," said Ferguson's daughter, Mary Harrison.

Set to perform for the unveiling is noted country music artist, Connie Smith, who's married to Philadelphia native, Marty Stuart.

Prior to his death in 2001, Ferguson and his wife of 30 years lived on the Choctaw Reservation.

"He had been all around the United States while working and growing and he met a lot of other tribes," said Ferguson's wife, Martha Ferguson. "Not only that, but the reason he came to the tribe is because they're just like me. They love to laugh and make jokes and he just loved every minute of it."

A leader in promoting Choctaw cultural affairs, Ferguson learned to speak the language and served as announcer for many years for the tribe's World Stick Ball Championship games.

"It says a lot for the tribe," said Kaye Rowell of the Community Development Partnership. "He wanted to preserve their culture and make sure the world knew about that culture."

To honor Ferguson, a game of stickball will follow Saturday's unveiling.

The marker unveiling will take place Saturday at
10 a.m. at 101 Industrial Road in Philadelphia.

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