Miss. Bluesman Getting Long Overdue Grave Marker

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi blues artist Tommy Johnson is finally getting a headstone on his grave Friday, more than a half century after his death.

Experts say Johnson was an influential blues singer and guitarist in the 1920s and '30s but was ravaged by alcoholism before dying in 1956.

Singer Bonnie Raitt helped buy Johnson's headstone in 2001, but it's been sitting in the Crystal Springs library because he's buried in a cemetery that's between two privately owned pieces of land. The only road to the cemetery deteriorated, and it took years for Copiah County supervisors to rebuild the road.

On Friday, the Warm Springs Methodist Church Cemetery near Crystal Springs will be rededicated, with Johnson's headstone in place.

Tommy Johnson is no relation to his now more famous contemporary, Robert Johnson.


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