Mississippi Roads

Join host Walt Grayson as he traverses the state of Mississippi from the Gulf Coast to the Delta, and all points in between.

Each episode features stories about Mississippi’s interesting people, one-of-a-kind places and unique events — from small-town festivals, antebellum homes, and occasional haunted cemetery to world-class museums, thriving arts scene, and a stunning architecture.

Always with an eye to the arts, Walt introduces musicians, painters, performers and filmmakers. He also explores Mississippi’s history, from ancient Native American burial grounds to Civil War battlefields. The series features visits to museums honoring everything from fallen warriors to Hollywood memorabilia to seafood. Walt takes part in balloon races and small town fairs, picks blueberries and spits watermelon seeds, dines on home cooking and haute cuisine, and celebrates the land that gave us the blues and Elvis.

Mississippi Roads is produced by Mississippi Public Broadcasting, and airs as part of Hometown Create, which features locally produced content from Create's member stations.

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Walt Greyson

Walt Greyson

Veteran broadcaster Walt Grayson has hosted Mississippi Roads since 2000.

Watermelon Patches and Hindu Temples

Episode #101 · Walt and the crew travel to Mize for the annual Watermelon Festival, learn about the preservation of an antebellum home near Lorman, and find out what makes Moon Lodge special. We also see how a farmer gets fresh eggs to local restaurants, and visit the striking Hindu temple in Brandon.

King Elvis and the First Bottled Coke

Episode #102 · Walt and the team visit the King's hometown for the Tupelo Elvis Festival, and later drop by the Blow-Fly Inn on the Gulf Coast. We learn about a program helping artists express themselves, and visit the store in Vicksburg where Coca-Cola was first bottled.

Meet the Como Mamas

Episode #103 · Walt and the Roads crew stop in the north Mississippi hamlet of Como to hear the Como Mamas gospel trio, and later feast at the popular Como Steakhouse. We also visit Greenwood Cemetery, founded in 1823 and located in the middle of downtown Jackson.

Our Creative Souls

Episode #104 · The Roads crew explores the town of Ruleville and discovers some of its hidden gems, including one native who made quite a career for himself in Hollywood. We talk to an artist who overcame challenging obstacles to create masterpieces, and meet a Mississippi photographer traveling the nation to capture its soul on film.

Celts in Mississippi

Episode #105 · Walt visits Medieval England, Ireland, Scotland, and outer space – all while never leaving Mississippi! How? By going to Celtic Fest, of course, and by meeting Jackson's Thomas Grillo, a virtuoso on that most unusual instrument, the Theremin.

Arts, Crafts, and Delta Blues

Episode #106 · Kosciusko hosts the Central Mississippi Fair, a thriving event for more than a century. We meet an artist who creates with heat and flame, visit with legendary blues musician Charlie Musselwhite, and then hang out with those rock-and-blues favorites, the North Mississippi Allstars.

Walt Visits the Delta

Episode #107 · Walt and the team head up to the Delta, where we visit the Sam B. Olden Museum in Yazoo City, see crop dusters soaring above the fields, learn how a little café in Tunica set the stage for a famous pop song, and meet a Clarksdale family bringing their town a taste of Europe.

A Journey Into the Past

Episode #108 · Walt travels to south Mississippi to take in a popular Renaissance Faire, then meets a man who creates armor from another age. We visit a Brandon blacksmith keeping old skills alive, and learn how horses can be unique friends for special needs children. Finally, we tour a craft brewery in Ocean Springs.

Vicksburg and the Civil War

Episode #109 · During the Civil War, the Union gunboat "Cairo" was sunk in the Yazoo River. Now it's featured in Vicksburg's U.S.S. Cairo Museum. Walt tells about General Grant's victorious Vicksburg campaign, and meets a Natchez man who builds period muskets. We visit a dairy farm near Lumberton, and also learn about Mississippi harness racing.

We Travel the State

Episode #110 · Walt and the Roads crew tour the beautiful park at Dunn's Falls; meet Grenada native Eddie Willis, one of Motown's great guitarists, and cartoonist Andy Childress of Louisville. We then head north to Cherry Creek Orchard near Pontotoc, where you can pick your own fresh produce.

Honoring Those Who Served

Episode #111 · Walt visits the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby, then meets a group of War of 1812 re-enactors near Natchez. We travel to Washington, D.C. with veterans visiting the World War II Memorial. Finally, we learn about the Dutch pilots who trained in Jackson during World War II and made quite an impression with the locals.

Glowing Balloons and Small Town Thespians

Episode #112 · Walt and the Roads team watch the spectacular July 4 Balloon Glow in Ridgeland, meet a woman who turned her passion for photography into a statewide magazine, and travel to the Gulf Coast to dine at the Biloxi Schooner and visit the Bay St. Louis Little Theater.

From the Delta to the Coast

Episode #113 · Walt heads north to Hernando to attend the annual A'Fair and stop by the Velvet Cream, a timeless ice cream parlor. We discover an innovative documentary filmmaking school in the Delta town of Clarksdale, and meet two Ocean Springs sisters who wrote and illustrated a beautiful book about oyster mushrooms.

Welcome to Jackson

Episode #114 · Walt and the Roads crew come to Jackson to see what's new in the Capital City. We visit the arts and shopping scene in the revitalized Fondren district, meet a local concert promoter, and see how the food truck craze is bringing new tastes to Jackson. We then revisit an old Roads story about Peaches, a Farish Street dining landmark.

Blueberries and a Helping Hand

Episode #115 · Walt and the Roads team visit Poplarville for the annual Blueberry Jubilee, learning all about the art and science of blueberry farming. We re-visit an older Roads story about the town's draft horse school, and we meet restaurateurs who are setting an "Extra Table" for Mississippi's hungry.

Art That Transforms

Episode #116 · Walt and the Roads team see how art transforms lives as well as objects. We visit the Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, hear the inspiring story of painter Darryl Anderson, and see how some north Mississippi artists turn concrete into whimsical yard art. We also revisit Berry Creek Bowls in Amite County.

Historic Cemeteries

Episode #117 · This Mississippi Roads is all about the dead. We visit historic Cedar Hill Cemetery in Vicksburg, Friendship Cemetery in Columbus where Memorial Day has its roots, and a very old cemetery in Natchez where some early settlers rest. Finally, we learn the haunting story of Henry Vick and the Chapel of the Cross Cemetery in Madison County.

Music in the Air

Episode #118 · It's an all music episode, as the Roads crew checks out the music scene at Delta State in Cleveland, attends a college radio station reunion in Starkville, travels to Sciples Mill for community music and dancing, and enjoys the sounds of Delta performer Gus Mohammed. We also re-visit a Roads classic on famed bluesman R.L. Burnside.

Homegrown Filmmakers

Episode #119 · Walt and the Roads team visit Canton, where the film business is booming, then meet some homegrown filmmakers in the town of West Point. We look back at the filming of "Good Ole Boy" in Yazoo City in 1987, and also meet some Gulf Coast filmmakers whose shot-for-shot remake of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" made them the coolest kids in town.

Creative Arts, Creative Business

Episode #120 · Walt explores the music, dance, and arts scene at Jackson's Belhaven University, then meets a Belhaven grad that became a leading tech entrepreneur. Over in Vicksburg we see the long-running melodrama "Gold in the Hills." Finally, we meet Baldwin native George Wardlaw, a celebrated abstract expressionist painter.

Natural Wonders of the Gulf Coast

Episode #121 · Walt and the Roads team travel to the beautiful town of Ocean Springs on the Gulf Coast, where we attend the Mississippi Songwriters Festival, explore the barrier islands with some sea kayaking enthusiasts, and learn about backyard beekeeping.

The First Mississippians: Our Native Heritage

Episode #122 · Walt and the team explore Mississippi's Native American heritage, visiting the Chahta Immi Cultural Center in Neshoba County and the annual Choctaw Indian Fair. We also learn about the Mississippi Indian Mound Trail, from Winterville Mounds in the Delta down to the giant Emerald Mound near Natchez.

Recycling, Repurposing, Revitalizing

Episode #123 · Walt and the Roads crew explore recycling, repurposing, and revitalizing across the state. We learn about a family creating amazing wood sculptures with chainsaws, a steel manufacturer using almost all recycled materials, a Jackson neighborhood attracting waves of artists, and the renewal of a theater in Clarksdale.

Outdoor Adventures

Episode #124 · Walt and the Roads crew go looking for adventure at a ropes course near Florence, visit a new park and nature center in Flowood, attend the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race in Natchez, catch up with BMX cyclists in Ridgeland, and explore the Mighty Mississippi by canoe.

Hungry, Anyone?

Episode #125 · Mississippians love food, and Walt and the Roads team are no exceptions! We dine at Weidmann's in Meridian, in operation for more than 150 years; taste the home cooking at Peggy's in Philadelphia; go tailgating with Bulldog fans at Mississippi State; and learn why Water Valley's BTC Grocery was featured in the New York Times.

Our Unique Museums

Episode #126 · Walt travels to every corner of the state, visiting Biloxi's Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, Cleveland's Railroad Heritage Museum, Petal's International Checkers Hall of Fame, and that blues hotspot, Po' Monkey's Lounge in Merigold. And we revisit an old Roads favorite, Graceland Too in Holly Springs.