|This commemorative plaque is all that is left of an|
all-African-American community of Shakerag in Tupelo, MS.
Shakerag/Tupelo is significant not only for its vibrant but short existence, where businesses, cafes, churches, and the people prospered but also for its influence on Tupelo's most famous and beloved native son, Elvis Presley. He lived in "The Hill" area of Tupelo, which was adjacent to Shakerag, and he often went down to Shakerag to listen to the seminal blues and gospel music and was influenced by the music and the musicians.
|This is one of the rare known photos of 13-year-old|
Elvis Presley, outside the still existing hardware store
where his mother bought him his first guitar. There is a
woman standing in the shade (to the left) that is
thought to be Elvis's mother.
There's more to be said about Shake Rag/Tupelo and its influence on Elvis, but I will let local Tupelo folks tell it. Following the first video below, enjoy the music of Jack Rabbit Slim, who sings Shakerag and other songs...
Video: Shakerag mix with Jack Rabbit Slim...