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The MAX to induct five more into Hall of Fame

The five Mississippi artists chosen for the 2018 Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience (The MAX) Hall of Fame class were celebrated August 25.

The 2018 class members are:

Country music artist Charley Pride

Born on March 18, 1934, in Sledge, Mississippi, into a sharecropping family, and inspired by Grand Ole Opry broadcasts, Charley Pride picked cotton to purchase his first guitar at age 14 – a $10 Sears & Roebuck model.

In 1966, Pride was signed by Chet Atkins to RCA Records, where his gritty, Southern-accented baritone voice made him a superstar.Pride has won three Grammys, three Country Music Association awards, CMA Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry inductions and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

His 52 top-10 hits include “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone,” “Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town,” “Burgers and Fries,” “Roll On Mississippi” and others.

Pride will travel to The MAX in Meridian to accept his award.

Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett

Born on Christmas Day 1946 in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Jimmy Buffett moved to Nashville in the late 1960s to pursue a country-music career, which was short-lived. In the 1970s, he moved to Key West, Florida, and adopted his trademark beachcomber persona.

Under the new guise, he signed a contract with ABC-Dunhill and in 1973 released A White Sportcoat and a Pink Crustacean, which yielded the novelty tune “Why Don’t We Get Drunk.”His other hits include “Come Monday,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and the iconic “Margaritaville.”

Buffett has recorded over 50 albums, received two Grammy nominations and numerous CMA awards, and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

He is also a best-selling author, and is a businessman with his own Margaritaville record label, a line of beach clothing, a chain of clubs, and several resorts and casinos.

Buffett will be accepting his award via video.

Photographer William Eggleston

William Eggleston was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on July 27, 1939, and raised on his family’s cotton plantation near Sumner, in the Mississippi Delta.

As a young man, he struggled to discern his life’s calling. He attended three universities but never earned a degree.

While a student at Vanderbilt University, he bought a camera and took up photography at the encouragement of a friend. He began taking black-and-white shots, inspired by Walker Evans, Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

But it was his later transition to color photography which brought Eggleston acclaim in the fine-art world, including his now-famous 1976 “Color Photographs” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Eggleston will be represented by his cousin and Mississippi photographer, Maude Schuyler Clay.

Writer and editor Willie Morris

Willie Morris was born on November 29, 1934, in Jackson, Mississippi. His experiences while later growing up in Yazoo City inspired his novels about Southerners haunted by racial segregation but loyal to the region

Following a stellar university education, he eventually settled in New York, where he was associate editor and, later, editor-in-chief at Harper’s Magazine.

In 1967, he published his best-selling autobiography, North Toward Home. In 1980, he returned home as writer-in-residence at the University of Mississippi.

His other acclaimed books include The Courting of Marcus Dupree (1983), My Dog Skip (1995) and The Ghosts of Medgar Evers (1998).

Morris will be represented by his son, David Rae Morris.

Blues musician Howlin’ Wolf

Born Chester A. Burnett on June 10, 1910, on a plantation between West Point and Aberdeen, Mississippi, Howlin’ Wolf was exposed to blues music at an early age. He derived his trademark howl from the “blue yodel” of Jimmie Rodgers, whom he admired.

In 1948, producer Sam Phillips recorded him in Memphis. Wolf later signed with Chess Records and moved to Chicago, where his career took off.

With hits including “I Ain’t Superstitious,” “Little Red Rooster,” “Back Door Man” and “Smokestack Lightning,” Wolf has influenced blues-based rock musicians such as the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin.

Howlin’ Wolf will be represented by his daughter, Bettye Kelly of Chicago.

The five artists chosen for this year’s class will join the inaugural class of eighteen inducted in 2017: Walter Inglis Anderson, William Faulkner, Morgan Freeman, John Grisham, Jim Henson, Robert Johnson, James Earl Jones, B.B. King, George Ohr, Elvis Presley, Leontyne Price, Jimmie Rodgers, Sela Ward, Muddy Waters, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, Oprah Winfrey, and Richard Wright.

Paul Ott Carruth will be honored during the ceremony with an unveiling of a bronze bust created in his honor by sculptor Ben Watts of Columbia. Carruth family members will be in attendance for the unveiling.

The MAX is a first-of-its-kind multimedia tribute to the rich culture of creativity and the legacy of artists from all mediums who have called Mississippi home. The immersive exhibits at The MAX take you behind the scenes at the birthplace of the stars. Visitors learn how Mississippi and her people have influenced artists of all avenues and how these artists then influenced the world.


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