CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 22, 2011 |
Pinetop Perkins, a regal piano player who was one of the last of the original Mississippi Delta blues musicians, died Monday of cardiac arrest at his home in Austin, Texas. He was 97. "He was absolutely the premier blues piano player," said Bruce Iglauer, founder of Chicago's Alligator Records, an independent blues label. "His career spanned literally over 80 years. He was the symbol of a whole generation of musicians. " Just last month Perkins' easygoing keyboard virtuosity won him a Grammy Award for best traditional blues album, for "Joined at the Hip: Pinetop Perkins & Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith.
June 3, 2010 |
This crumbling Delta town, set amid cotton fields, abandoned railroad tracks and cypress-studded bayous, is a hard place. So hard that the plaintive sound of a local musician drawing a knife blade across the strings of his guitar gave birth to the blues here a century ago. So hard that a Roman Catholic nun named Anne Brooks has struggled for the last 27 years to keep a medical clinic open for the poor. "It's a pretty hand-to-mouth existence," said Brooks, 71, a physician with a wry sensibility and a profane streak.
April 24, 2010
Tornadoes ripped through four states in the South, leaving broken crosses in front of a flattened church, splintering houses and overturning vehicles as they killed 10 people, including two children. One of the hardest hit areas was Mississippi's Yazoo County, where Gov. Haley Barbour grew up. He described "utter obliteration" among the picturesque hills rising abruptly from the flat Mississippi Delta. More than 15 other counties in Mississippi also had damage. The swath of debris forced rescuers to pick up some of the injured on all-terrain vehicles the west-central part of the state.
January 25, 2010 |
Dr. Aaron Shirley has devoted his career to serving the rural poor in the Mississippi Delta, but now the 77-year-old pediatrician believes the key to reducing the nation's highest infant mortality rates lies in a surprising place: the Islamic Republic of Iran. Never mind that America and Iran broke diplomatic relations after militants seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979, or that the White House is seeking new United Nations sanctions to punish the regime for its nuclear development program.
October 16, 2009 |
Fans of playwright Tennessee Williams will be shouting for Stella this weekend in Clarksdale, Miss. Williams drew some of his most powerful images from his boyhood hometown in the Mississippi Delta, where an annual festival now celebrates the city's role in Williams' award-winning stories. The name Stella in "A Streetcar Named Desire" belonged to a friend of Williams' mother in Clarksdale. Brick, the alcoholic athlete played by Paul Newman in the 1958 film "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," was the name of a local boy who bullied Williams while he was a student at Oakhurst Elementary.
September 26, 2009 |
U.S. scientists in the Gulf of Mexico unexpectedly netted a 19.5-foot giant squid off the coast of Louisiana, the Interior Department said Monday, showing how little is known about life in the deep waters of the Gulf. Not since 1954, when a dead giant squid was found floating off the Mississippi Delta, has the rare species been spotted in the Gulf of Mexico. The squid, weighing 103 pounds, was caught July 30 in a trawl net more than 1,500 feet underwater. It did not survive the rapid rise to the surface and was preserved and sent to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.