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Visit Pensacola recognizes historic Belmont-Devilliers neighborhood’s role in earning an official stop on the Mississippi Blues Trail

January 23, 2019 Visit North America No Comments Email Email


The Mississippi Blues Commission honored the legacy of the blues in Pensacola with a designation as an official stop on the Mississippi Blues Trail. A dedication ceremony for the official Mississippi Blues Marker took place in the historic Belmont-Devilliers neighborhood of Pensacola on Friday, Jan. 18.

“What an incredible honor for such an important piece of Pensacola history,” President of Visit Pensacola Steve Hayes said. “Our destination is excited to welcome Blues-lovers from around the world.”

An early center for blues, ragtime, vaudeville and jazz activity, Belmont-Devilliers developed into a regional cornerstone as the “chitlin’ circuit.” Touring acts and local musicians found a welcome base in the African American business and entertainment district for several decades. Blues performers such as B.B. King, Junior Parker, and Sam Cooke found a welcomed home in the neighborhood’s theaters and clubs.

The marker will also recognize the works of those in the neighborhood dedicated to fostering the growth and appreciation of the Blues including Gussie Streeter of Gussie’s Record Shop and Abe Pierce Sr., of Abe’s 506 and Savoy Ballroom.

Developed in 2003, the Mississippi Blues Commission was created to promote the understanding of Blues history. In 2006, the first marker installations for the trail were dedicated, identifying significant contributions to the Blues’ musical heritage across the southeast.

The Pensacola marker, Marker No. 203, will be the second marker recognized in Florida. The Pensacola Blues Marker will be located at the corner of Belmont and Devilliers streets at Five Sisters’ Blues Café, the former site of Gussie’s Record Shop and the historic African-American business entertainment district.

The entire Mississippi Blues Trail is self-guided and available at msbluestrail.org/blues_marker_list. To learn more about Belmont-DeVilliers and the Chitlin’ Circuit in Pensacola, visit https://bit.ly/2smKN0I.



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