JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi Delta Blues is the title of the MPB Classics series for April 2021.
MPB Classics is a collection of original television programs by Mississippi Public Broadcasting. The programs document the local culture and history of Mississippi through literature, visual arts, folklore, music, storytellers and more.
Every month for the next three years, a new set of MPB Classics programs will be available for free on-demand viewing at video.mpbonline.org for two months. Afterward, they will be accessible through MPB Passport for paid subscribers.
The April 2021 MPB Classics series Mississippi Delta Blues will be available for free on-demand viewing until June 30. The series includes the following:
- The Land Where the Blues Began (1979)
An hour-long documentary about the Delta Blues and the landscape that shaped it. The audience becomes a fly on the wall at the picnics, railroad lines, churches and front porches that changed music – and art in general – forever. The film is hosted by Alan Lomax, known for recording and archiving folk songs in the early 20th century.
- Folkroots: Delta Blues (1971)
Mississippi bluesman Son Thomas from Leland performs, painting a musical picture of the roots that run deep in Mississippi culture. The program is hosted by William R. Ferris, founding director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.
- Big Joe… One More Time (1983)
Big Joe Williams, one of the most iconic blues musicians of all time, performs at the Delta Blues Festival in Greenville, Mississippi. Under the sweltering summer heat, Big Joe plays his nine-string guitar the way no one else ever could. This is one of his final performances before his death in 1982.
- Sam Chatmon: Sitting on Top of the World (1983)
Bluesman and former Mississippi Sheiks member Sam Chatmon performs in Washington D.C., at a festival in Greenville, Mississippi, and at his home in this half-hour retrospective of his work. Chatmon passed away three months before this program originally aired in 1983, making these some of his final recordings.
Mississippi Public Broadcasting provides relevant instructional and public affairs programming to Mississippians through its statewide television and radio network. MPB enhances the work of educators, students, parents and learners of all ages by providing informative programming and educational resources. MPB’s locally-produced programming focuses on the people, resources and attractions that reflect Mississippi’s unique culture and diverse heritage. Children’s television programs constitute a major portion of the daytime and weekend morning schedules. MPB provides a valuable resource to Mississippians in disseminating information as part of the state’s emergency preparedness and response system. Since 1970, MPB has won over 350 national, regional and statewide awards, including Emmy®, Edward R. Murrow and Parents’ Choice® Awards.