McCollum's marker will be placed at 2 p.m. at Hirsberg's
in Friars Point, which is where the guitarist called home at various
times in his career. In 1936, McCollum was married there. McCollum,
who died in 1967, was known for his slide guitar technique. He used
a piece of metal tubing to slide along the frets of his guitar.
Some of his best known recordings included "Annie
Lee," "Black Angel Blues," "The Moon is Rising,"
and "Crying Won't Help You." A posthumously released album
recorded live at Chicago's Maxwell Street outdoor market also received
Born in Helena, Arkansas, in 1909, McCollum began
recording under the name Robert Lee McCoy in 1937. He became known
as Nighthawk after his first record, "Prowling Night-Hawk"
was released. McCollum became a well-known entertainer throughout
Mississippi, Arkansas, and in Chicago. In 1940, he recorded "Friars
Point Blues," singing of his home "down in Sweet Old Dixie
Throughout the 1940s and occasionally afterward,
he had radio programs in Clarksdale and Helena. McCollum also for
a time lived at the Riverside Hotel in Clarksdale. Other residents
of the hotel included performers from his band such as his wife
Hazel, vocalist and girlfriend Ethel Mae Brown, and a young Ike
Turner, who played piano.
During McCollum's time, Blues musicians played at
juke joints and house parties in Friars Point, as well as in front
of stores such as Hirsberg's. Merchants would sometimes hire musicians
to attract crowds of potential customers. Other times musicians
would just set up on sidewalks or street corners and play for tips.
According to drug store owner Robert Hirsberg, merchants sometimes
complained when the crowds were so thick no one could get into the
McCollum's son, Sam Carr, became one of the world’s
most renowned Blues drummers.