Even Johnny Cash couldn’t resist Mississippi’s natural charms. After a concert at Mississippi State University in the spring of 1965, the Man in Black was arrested for public drunkenness after being caught picking flowers on private property. Cash spent a night behind bars, and it turned into inspiration for his song “Starkville City Jail.” More than half a century later, the infamous incident inspired the most recent addition to the Mississippi Country Music Trail, which traces some of the state’s most melodic memories.
The marker commemorating the Man in Black’s night in jail is the 35th of its kind on a trail that extends from the Coast up to the Hills region and beyond. Discover the final resting place of the Father of Country Music, Jimmie Rodgers, in Meridian, a city that also offers a museum dedicated to the legendary performer. See the childhood stomping grounds of Faith Hill in the aptly named town of Star. Explore Tremont, the hometown of Tammy Wynette, dubbed the First Lady of Country Music.
The star-studded series plays on along the state’s country roads, from the Delta homes of Charley Pride and Conway Twitty to Jerry Lee Lewis’ Nesbit ranch in the Hills region and on to Philadelphia, the Pines-region city where Marty Stuart is building the Congress of Country Music to house his vast collection of country music memorabilia. Inspiration, as Cash and the rest of these famous folks discovered in Mississippi, is all around.