Governor, guests celebrate Mississippi’s Country Music Trail

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (WTOK) - Nearly 10 years have passed since Gov. Phil Bryant said he first heard Philadelphia native Marty Stuart’s idea for a Mississippi Country Music Trail. A decade later, the trail is only growing.

"It gives Mississippi an opportunity to stop and say I did not know that country music star was either from here or had such a history in Mississippi. People come from all over the world to see them. There are photographs of people from Switzerland, Japan, and Germany that come to Mississippi just to stand near and view these country music markers,” said Bryant.

Bryant, Marty Stuart and other special guests came to Philadelphia to celebrate the trail's five new markers honoring Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Steve Azar, Marty Gamblin and a second one remembering Jimmie Rodgers.

Gamblin has spent nearly 40 years in the business and represented some of music's biggest names like Alan Jackson and Glen Campbell. Gamblin said it feels amazing to be part of such a special group of people.

“You always have to question, why me?,” said Gambling. “I'm honored and certainly very appreciative of the fact that they recognized me.”

Bryant said the Country Music Trail is huge for Mississippi’s past, present and future.

"Jerry Lee Lewis’ son, Lee Lewis, is here. It just reminds people of the great country music stars that are either from here, or like Johnny Cash, he came and played here or had a little incident with the Starkville Police Department. We'll be putting one up over there,” said Gov. Bryant.

During the presentation, Lewis’ son joked that his father’s marker should have flames on it, in honor of his hit song, “Great Balls of Fire.”

The five new trail markers are coming to Nesbit, Greenville, Starkville, Philadelphia and Bristol, Tenn.