After nearly forty years Richard “Hacksaw” Harney will have a head stone placed on his grave on Saturday, April 28, 2012, at 1pm. The unveiling of the stone will be at the Hinds County Cemetery off Highway 18 West near Raymond, MS.
Hacksaw Harney, also known as Sweet Man, was a blues guitar player and a piano tuner. He was “a great guitarist and American blues/ragtime treasure” said Dave Harris of Victoria, BC, Canada. Michael Frank, blues manager for many Chicago artists described Hacksaw as the “… guitarist whom Honeyboy Edwards, Robert Lockwood, Jr. and Henry Townsend publicly acknowledged as one of the best guitarists they ever knew.”
Dorothy Moore recalled “As a child, I must have known Hacksaw. He lived a block away from Mama’s house.” Harney died on December 25, 1973. He was living in the 700 block of Mill Street.
Harney played with many great blues musicians like Pinetop Perkins. Perkins told the story about the guitarist, piano player and tuner, “He always carried a little hacksaw with him, and he could grab a piece of anything and make a new key with that hacksaw. He taught me how to repair a piano.” Others have doubted the story but the name stayed with him.
With the help of the Hinds County local government and the Hinds County Sheriff to make the wheels turn, a simple marker will be installed at the pauper cemetery where Hacksaw is buried.
The man who was very interested to see this just event said “Sitting here thinking, four and a half thousand miles from somewhere, I will remember April 28th, 2012 as the day Mr. Richard “Hacksaw” Harney came above ground.” About three months ago Billy Hutchinson asked Marcia Weaver did she know where Hacksaw was buried. “Well yes,” she said, “about eight miles from my house.”
Rose Mary Harney, daughter of Hacksaw, and her family are expected to attend the event. The stone is provided by Steve Salter, whose non-profit, Killer Blues, has placed many head markers on sites of blues musicians. Salter will drive the stone down from Michigan.
For more information call 601-372-8851