Musical Heritage


Visit our Weekly Listing of Live Music.

“Plan Your Visit” to learn more about Jackson and West Tennessee’s sites.

Can you hear it? It’s the beat you can only find in Jackson, halfway between Memphis’ Beale Street and Nashville’s Broadway in the heart of the Americana Music Triangle. This is where Elvis cut his teeth with Carl Perkins and where rockabilly was born. Blues music flowed throughout the cotton fields of the region, and today’s talent is an exciting cross between the numerous genres of the region.

The Americana Music Triangle connects you to the people, places and stories of the world’s number one music destination!

Jackson’s AMP at the West Tennessee, the outdoor amphitheater next to the West Tennessee Farmer’s Market, hosts free concerts by local and regional artists and movies on a large screen from May to October. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and a picnic basket for an evening under the stars. Vendors sell food at many of the events.

Music legend and rockabilly pioneer Carl Perkins is buried in Jackson’s Ridgecrest Cemetery. When he died Jan. 19, 1998, people traveled from around the world to attend his funeral. Beatles guitarist George Harrison played Perkins’ song “Your True Love” during the funeral.

Built in 1903 as a free library, the Carnegie Tennessee Legends of Music Museum now holds the rich history of Jackson’s musical past. It highlights the lives of local artists like Carl Perkins, Wink Martindale and Sonny Boy Williamson; the location of the first Hard Rock Cafe in the United States by founder and Jackson native Isaac Tigrett; and Jackson’s role in rock’n’roll and the birth of rockabilly.

The Jackson Area Plectral Society holds a free jam session of old-time music from 6-9 p.m. every Thursday at Casey Jones Village.

Attached to Jackson’s former City Hall, The Ned McWherter Cultural Arts Center is the center of arts attractions downtown. You’ll find art shows, Jackson Theatre Guild productions and performers from across the country.

John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson was the first great blues harmonica player — easily one of the most important of the pre-war era. He made the harmonica a worthy lead instrument and opened the door for many famous players, such as Little Walter, Billy Boy Arnold and Junior Wells. His grave can be found in Blairs Chapel C.M.E. Cemetery, Blairs Chapel Road.