(VICKSBURG, MS) – A Mississippi Blues Trail Marker was unveiled by Mississippi Blues Commission on Tuesday May 28 in Vicksburg, Mississippi to honor historian Dr. William R. Ferris. Ferris documented Mississippians through recordings, books, film and photography, and brought broader recognition to the blues and other folk expressions through his advocacy work in academia and at the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“From the time he was twelve, he followed his heart and over his lifetime has produced a priceless body of work that preserves and tells the stores of the people of the South and of the development of the Blues,” said longtime family friend Blake Teller, who spoke at the unveiling.
Ferris was inducted into the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame for his book Blues from the Delta, called one of the “classics of blues literature.”
Just recently Ferris received a GRAMMY Award for Best Historical Album for the Dust-to-Digital boxed set Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris, which features his recordings, photographs and films.
Dr. Ferris is the author of ten books, producer of fifteen film documentaries, and has over 250,000 items preserved at a library at UNC.
The William R. Ferris Collection is located in the Southern Folklife Collection of the Wilson Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Here’s a link to a writeup we shared on William Ferris in 2015 that includes many links to see and listen to his vast collection.
Here’s another cool link to some interesting audio links and images from Ferris.