We drove across Louisiana, home of that gumbo of music bubbling up from the Big Easy, New Orleans: jazz, Dixieland and great piano . The blend of music coming from the Louisiana swamps by displaced Acadiens, French settlers kicked out of Canada and settling in rural Louisiana, and rural blacks: cajun and zydeco, has developed over time and isolation.
We then entered Mississippi, heart and soul of the blues. A music evolved from people stolen from Africa and developed from their trials and making their way as best they could in a harsh environment.
On to Alabama, Country and soul recordings from Muscle Shoals, white musicians backing up the great soul singers and starting the country-rock style of music. We stayed a day in Jasper, AL and hung out with a friend who just moved into a great assisted living facility . We helped him settle in and, the itch to travel taking hold, we left at 3:30 PM Thursday for the nine hour second leg of our journey.
Up through Alabama and into Tennessee, We passed through the Music City, Nashville, home of country music and the Grand Ole Opry. To the west, Sun studio in Memphis, where a young white kid that grew up listening to gospel music in the black churches, became the king of rock and roll Across to Kentucky, where Bill Monroe took the music of the hills, Scots, Irish settlers living back in the hills, violin, mandolin and the banjo (evolved from an African instrument), and called it "bluegrass".
We arrived here in Ohio at 2 AM, a thousand miles, seven states, at 70 MPH under our belt. It isn't the Confederate battle flag that solidifies the South, it's the rich musical heritage.