And the last artists to join the list of luminaries are Mississippi Gulf Coast rockers 3 Doors Down, whose Kryptonite narrowly edged LeAnn Rimes’ How Do I Live in voting that ended this week.
The full playlist will be revealed at 10 a.m. Dec. 1 on Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s Next Stop Mississippi. Scheduled to discuss the significance of the songs selected are guest DJs William Ferris, founding director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi; Tricia Walker, an award-winning singer and writer whose songs have been recorded by Faith Hill, Patty Loveless and Alison Krauss; Brad Franklin, founder and director of Jackson Independent Music Week; and Scott Barretta, a writer/researcher for the Mississippi Blues Trail and host of the Highway 61 music program on MPB.
Back in March, those experts, along with editors at Mississippi Today and The ‘Sip magazine, nominated 64 songs either about Mississippi or performed by Mississippi artists that represent the power and range of Mississippi music. Then, as part of our celebration of our state’s bicentennial, we asked Mississippi Today readers to sound off and select the songs they believe are the best.
Robert Johnson’s seminal Cross Road Blues was the first single to make the list. The Thrill Is Gone by B.B. King and Ode to Billy Joe by Bobbie Gentry followed. The winners of all 18 rounds, along with a few more selections deemed essential listening by our panel of experts, will be celebrated Dec. 1 on Next Stop Mississippi and on mississippitoday.org.