About the Museum

Make the Gateway to the Blues Museum your first stop on Blues Highway 61 and see the story of the blues come to life in all its tormented and anguished glory. You’ll experience interactive exhibits, artwork and more — including a recording studio where you’ll learn the basics of blues music with a chance to record your very own blues song. This must-see attraction for all music lovers, will tell the remarkable story of how The Blues was born and the role Tunica played in building the genre’s legacy.

The 3,500 square foot museum features the following galleries:

What Is Blues?

The Oxford American dictionary defines the Blues as “melancholic music of black American folk origin, typically in a twelve-bar sequence”, but those of us in the Mississippi Delta or lovers of the Blues know that it is so much more and the Gateway to the Blues museum will show you why it’s the music that made America.

Why The Mississippi Delta?

Learn about how African Americans made a life working in the fields in the Delta and how they created a musical genre to express themselves.

Evolution of Style and Form

See W.C. Handy’s first cornet and learn about the development of sheet music and the impact of recorded music.

Mississippi Bluesmen

This exhibit highlights important bluesman like Robert Johnson and Son House through artifacts and George Hunt paintings. It is located in the Mississippi Blues Trail Gallery. The Blues trail features almost 200 historical markers throughout the state and across the world. Tunica is home to six of these markers.

Evolution of the Guitar

Over 20 guitars used by famous artists across multiple genres are featured throughout the museum. Plus, there are interactive exhibits on how to play a lap steel guitar and a diddley bow.

Blues Lyric Interactive

Local bluesman, Memphis Jones, will teach you AAB writing style and allow you to record your very own Blues song through this interactive exhibit. Once you are done with your song you will have the opportunity to take it with you via e-mail.