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Author Topic: Belton Sutherland: Another Unmarked Grave  (Read 345 times)

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Offline mtzionmemorialfund

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    • Mt. Zion Memorial Fund
Belton Sutherland: Another Unmarked Grave
« on: May 08, 2017, 01:09:55 AM »
On March 30, 2017, I received am email from Canton native Joe Austin, who agreed to drive over and walk the cemetery.  Though another graveyard bloodhound had walked the burial ground already and turned up nothing for Belton, the light was shining down on this day.  He wrote:  "Success!  I did a bit of searching and found St. John's Missionary Church..and drove out to the site.  I walked the graveyard until I found Mr. Sutherland's plot, took some photos and visited with him for a bit as well.  I told him about you and the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund and played ?I Got Trouble? for him while letting him know his music lives on, even to this day.  And although it's an overcast and dark, rainy day, it was so...joyous!  I can't fully describe it, but it was so deeply gratifying to me on so many levels. Thank you. Seriously, thank you for allowing me to help in your research."  Attached to the email was a photograph of the blues singer's temporary marker that the funeral home placed atop his grave.

We recently met the pastor, Rev. Luckett,  at the church, walked over to the gravesite, and explained our mission at the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund, and as much about the blues singer and all the forgotten bluesmen of his era, as well as anything else they'd let us talk about.   Rev. Luckett remembered him playing guitar, but he was completely unaware of his immense talent.  We played the videos for him (with Belton, we're sure, resting in peace and grinning right next to us). He was blown away. All smiles. Rev. Luckett was so proud, he exclaimed, ?I got a bluesman in my graveyard!?  They're excited and humbled about this revelation and we assured Pastor Luckett we'd keep him in the loop on the project goals and current events as they unfold.

We advised that he remove the metal plaque marking the grave so no one would remove it for them.  We planned to donate it to a museum, but I'm unsure of the quite sketchy professionalism in a state that recently came close to defunding its cultural institutions.  We may consider offers in the future for good people who might enjoy adding such a piece to their private collection, but for right now we are soliciting donations to erect a marker inline with those of his other family members through a GoFundMe account - www.gofundme.com/headstonebluesinitiative

We have some postcards with his temporary marker on them that we have been sending out to anyone who contributes.  This campaign is very unique in that only musicians and folks who really know about the blues even know Sutherland.  I hope you enjoyed the story.  Thank you...

His Unmarked Biography
"I Got Trouble"




« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 10:09:49 PM by mtzionmemorialfund »
T. DeWayne Moore
Executive Director, Mt. Zion Memorial Fund

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: Belton Sutherland: An Unmarked Biography
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2017, 12:08:57 PM »
Thank you for these efforts.

Belton Sutherland's recorded numbers are just stunning.  Full of passion and yet laid back in the way that very few modern players achieve. 

Offline mtzionmemorialfund

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Re: Belton Sutherland: An Unmarked Biography
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2017, 12:58:50 PM »
Thank you for these efforts.

Belton Sutherland's recorded numbers are just stunning.  Full of passion and yet laid back in the way that very few modern players achieve.

Thanks Norfolk!  It used to be a 36 hour drive from here to up there in Virginny!  I'm not gonna tell no lies! It's tough trying to find information on the man we have referred to as the "Musical Mountain of Madison County, Mississippi."  The last comment I found on Belton on this site prefaces the above story about him seemingly have lived the blues all his life.  I doubt we will ever know a lot about his life, but I hope I turned up enough to give those who were curious about him a small measure of satisfaction in what I'm sure at least seemed to be a Lost Cause.
>:D O0
T. DeWayne Moore
Executive Director, Mt. Zion Memorial Fund

Offline btasoundsradio

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Re: Belton Sutherland: An Unmarked Biography
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2017, 02:51:52 PM »
tried to forge a 25$ check? sounds like the blues to me! Long Live Belton!!
Charlie is the Father, Son is the Son, Willie is the Holy Ghost

 


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