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Mississippi Marshall Calls Clarksdale Home

By JOSH TROY Wed,05/12/21-2:14PM, 6,345 Reads

When one hears the name Mississippi Marshall, a musician is likely to be the first thing that comes to mind.

However, he was not always known as Mississippi Marshall. His real name is Marshall Hopper, but he has been identified with the nickname Mississippi Marshall for more than 40 years.

“I was just raised down in Bolivar County and Sunflower County,” Marshall said. “When I went in the military, I had such a strong southern Mississippi Delta accent. Everybody called me Mississippi. They didn’t even call me Hopper or anything. It was Mississippi. Everybody kind of had a little nickname anyhow and so that just kind of stuck with me over the years.” Marshall is 61 years old and served in the Army from 1978 to 1981. He took his training at Fort Jackson, S.C., went to AIT at Fort Belvoir, Va., was sent to South Korea and was stationed in Key West, Fla.

When Marshall went to Korea, a music program was being started over there.

“They had a bunch of South Korean bands playing American music,” Marshall said. “They got a new commander over there and he said, ‘No, I want Americans singing American music to American soldiers.’ I just happened to walk in on that, played drums in a rock and roll band.”

Marshall’s love for music developed long before his Army days.

“I started playing with my dad when I was a young kid here in the Delta,” Marshall said. “I played drums for him back then. He was a country guy. I played country music, rock and roll and blues music. He was raised over here in Duncan and so he has been playing since he was a young man.”

Marshall’s father, Ellis Hopper, played the guitar.

“That’s where my background comes from,” Marshall said. “I grew up in a family band. My Uncle Bill played bass. I played drums. My dad played guitar. My Aunt Dorothy played rhythm and sang. It was just a family band.”

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