Several places bill themselves as the cradle of country music, which has long been an interest of ours, but few have a better claim than the handsome old railroad town of Meridian in eastern Mississippi. Meridian was the birthplace of the great Jimmie Rodgers, the Singing Brakeman, who became country’s first superstar in the late 1920s and early ’30s before succumbing to tuberculosis at the age of just 35.

The town is home to the Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Museum, a nice collection of memorabilia that includes one of the world’s most valuable guitars. We made it our first stop in the town, only to find that Bill, the friendly guide on duty, was as interested in talking about our travels as he was about Mr Rodgers. A couple of phone calls later, we found ourselves clad in museum T-shirts as we spoke to a reporter from local TV station WTOK for what turned out to be the ‘And finally’ item on that night’s news. You can watch all 30 seconds of it by clicking here.

from Meridian, MS, USA