Moorhead, Mississippi. Many folks know it as the place "where the Southern crosses the Dog," the reference to the railroads that once intersected here and the subject of many blues songs. Then along came Johnny Russell, who proudly proclaimed Moorhead as his birthplace on shows such as the "Grand Ole Opry" and "Hee Haw," putting it on the map for yet another reason.
Russell was honored there on Monday, March 25, 2013, by a large group of Delta citizens for his contributions to their area and to country music as a whole. While his warm personality and humor were infectious, it was his songwriting abilities that gave him credibility in the music world and earned him a spot in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and now a marker on the Mississippi Country Music Trail.
After welcomes by members of the Mississippi Development Authority's Tourism Division and Moorhead's mayor, Governor Phil Bryant, also a Moorhead native, spoke to the crowd about the strong feelings his family has always had about the town and the pride of sharing that hometown with Russell. Following Gov. Bryant was Russell's son, John Bright Russell, Jr., who opened his remarks with the same line his father used to begin his appearances, "Can everybody see me all right?"
After the marker was unveiled, country music artist Steve Azar, who grew up in nearby Greenville, Mississippi, took the microphone to talk about his memories of Russell. This was marker number 22 on the Mississippi Country Music Trail and one of several that have honored songwriters as well as performers from the state.
[ BACK TO TOP ]