The man known worldwide as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll is also the only person to have markers on both the Mississippi Blues Trail and Country Music Trail. The Elvis Country Music Trail marker in Tupelo focuses on how the music of his childhood influenced his early Sun Records singles, and how elements of country music remained in his signature style throughout his life. Nearby in Tremont, the Tammy Wynette marker honors the Country Music Hall of Famer who sang the smash hits “Stand By Your Man” and “D-I-V-O-R-C-E.”
The first time Johnny Cash played in Starkville, he and his band hung out after the concert and played songs late into the night at a fraternity house. The second time, though, ended with Cash arrested while picking flowers at 2 a.m. He wrote the song “Starkville City Jail” about the night he spent in lockup and featured it on the live album Johnny Cash At San Quentin. In 2021, former Cash band member and son-in-law Marty Stuart paid tribute to his friend by playing the song on one of Cash’s guitars at the unveiling ceremony.
As one of the first female artists to write and perform her own music, Bobbie Gentry was a trailblazer in the male-dominated music industry. But she’s remembered for her music—especially her No. 1 hit “Ode to Billie Joe,” a sultry country song about the mysterious death of fictional character Billie Joe McAllister, who jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge. The Bobbie Gentry marker is located in Greenwood near the river she made famous.
Charley Pride was a professional baseball player who dabbled in singing when a local radio DJ got him an audition with Nashville tastemakers who were traveling through Helena, Montana, where he lived at the time. While this meeting started Pride on a new career, it took a while to land a recording contract; as Danica Hart of Mississippi country trio Chapel Hart has said, “country music didn’t look like him.” But that didn’t matter. He not only became the first African American country star and member of The Grand Ole Opry, but he also left behind a legacy of 28 No. 1 hit songs when he passed away in 2020. His marker is located in Sledge where he grew up.
As country stars go, they don’t get bigger than the “Mississippi Girl” herself, Faith Hill. You’ll find her marker in the town of Star—and yes, it was already named that before she sold more than 30 million albums worldwide. Down in Biloxi, Chris LeDoux’s marker illuminates his life as a professional rodeo rider who began singing country songs, later parlaying his musical gift into a second career. In 2005, he was named to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and awarded the Academy of Country Music’s Pioneer Award.