There's really only one blues site . . .

Dockery Farms . . . so far as we know. That would be Dockery Farms in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. Will Dockery was a good man by southern-white standards. He was known to pay a fair wage -- about 50 cents a day -- and had no need to cheat or mistreat his workers. That's what brought Bill Patton and his large family there in 1897.

Bill Patton had an incorrigible, guitar-playing son named Charley, who soon fell in with the wrong crowd -- with folks like the Chatmon family and Henry Sloan. Others joined them over the decades: Willie Brown, Tommy Johnson, Jake Martin, Jack Hicks, Dick Bankston, Mott Willis, Cap Holmes, Fiddlin' Joe Martin, Jimmy Holloway, and later, Pops Staples, Howlin' Wolf, and Son House. These years would witness, as they say, the beginning of the blues as we know it. Dockery Farms is located about three miles east of US 61 and Cleveland, Mississippi on SR 8. You can't miss it.

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