Oh, what a night!


My friend and almost cousin, Bill Poe (second from left)  just celebrated a birthday to remember – the 73rd to be exact.

He sent me the following report which brought back musical memories of my own brief residence in Clarksdale.  (Since Bill is the brother of my first cousin’s husband, I’m pretty ticked about not being invited to the bash with Morgan Freeman).


Madidi’s in Clarksdale

“In 1956, there was a party that inspired the Dells, a R & B group, to record a hit song ‘Oh, What a Night,’ said Bill.  “This was during a period when music had soul, rhythm, meaning and emotion. Music so good, that you remembered what you were doing when it was popular…..not like today’s imitations.” (Amen, bro)

If the Dells had been in Clarksdale on October 9, a revised “Oh What a Night” could have been composed if they had joined my birthday party and captured the extreme emotions of the evening. The song would have been another hit, but this time, with a “blues” sound rather than “doo wop”.

Jeremiah Dumas whose successful campaign for the Starkville Board of Alderman was run by Bill, had plans to return the favor.  Without revealing a clue, he instructed Bill to pack and bag and be prepared to travel for a special birthday party in parts unknown.

“I had thought that we would be going someplace near Starkville and I’d have to fake being surprised when I opened the door and found a group of friends inside,” said Bill. Instead, they ended up at the acclaimed Madidi’s Restaurant in Clarksdale.  They were welcomed by owners Morgan Freeman and Billy Luckett (who is rumored to be gearing up for a fun for Governor).

Madidi’s has been highly recommended especially for the chef’s preparation of quail, duck, stuffed pork chops, shrimp and red snapper.

If you’re considering an outing to Madidi’s, Poe says you can work off the calories at Ground Zero Blues Club down the street.morgan-freeman-portrait-m

Morgan Freeman

“If it (Ground Zero) wasn’t located in downtown Clarksdale, I would  guess that it was an old barn with a high ceiling for a hay loft. Inside, it was decorated to the point that if Martha Stewart had walked in, she would have had a stroke. Beer signs, posters, shirts, banners on the walls……chairs, tables,…everything seemed to have been positioned at random. It was perfect…. functional and beautiful.”

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