My Photographic Journey Around America

The Riverside Hotel

In a time when segregated hotels were the norm in the Deep South, a few places catered to a predominantly African-American clientele. In a town like Clarksdale, Mississippi that clientele tended to include quite a few blues musicians. Originally G.T. Thomas hospital, Bessie Smith died here after a tragic car accident in 1937. After it’s conversion to a hotel, The Riverside hosted many famous names including Sonny Boy Williamson II, Ike Turner, Robert Nighthawk and Duke Ellington. It’s also the place where the first rock and roll song, Rocket 88 was penned. If these walls could talk, or, better yet, if they could sing…

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