This building once was Thaxton's Drug Store in downtown Crystal Springs. As a young man, Tommy Johnson busked in front of this store for whatever tips he could earn.
A memorial to Tommy Johnson has been placed inside the J.T. Biggs, Jr. Memorial Library at 200 S. Jackson St. in Crystal Springs. The library staff is friendly and quite helpful in providing information and suggesting points of interest. Tommy Johnson is buried on private land and the headstone has been placed on his grave since these photos were taken.
Tommy Johnson
Jan., 1896 - Nov. 1, 1956
~ by Road Dawg

Born in Hinds County Mississippi on the George Miller Plantation in  1896, his family moved to Crystal Springs in 1910. Introduced to the  guitar by his older brother, LeDell, Tommy Johnson ran away from home  at age sixteen to become a "professional musician," meaning that he  played on street corners for tips, the typical beginning of many  Delta Blues artists' careers. After moving to Jackson, he often  played with Ishmon Bracey of Jackson, as well as Willie Brown and  Charley Patton of Dockery Farms fame.

As a significant blues artist, Tommy Johnson, a contemporary of  Charley Patton, preceeded Robert Johnson to whom he was not related.  The crossroads "deal with the devil" legend regarding Tommy Johnson  existed years before Robert Johnson gained that reputation. Tommy  Johnson also had a reputation as a hard drinker and womanizer, even  among fellow blues artists who were known for their carousing. If  normal alcoholic beverages were unavailable or unaffordable, he would  strain shoe polish or Sterno through bread and drink that to get  high. His famous ode to Sterno, Canned Heat Blues, has been recorded  by many and provided the name for the blues/rock group Canned Heat  that recorded the well known album Hooker 'n' Heat with John Lee  Hooker. 

His playing had all the earmarks of the early Delta Blues style and  his versatile vocals ranged from a menacing growl to chilling  falsetto. He recorded for only a two year period, but left behind a  highly significant discography. A version of his Cool Water Blues was  covered by Howlin' Wolf. His blues song,Maggie Campbell, provided a chord  progression that has been used by generations of bluesmen and rock  bands. His Big Road Blues was covered by Floyd Jones.

A slow descent into alcoholism eroded his abilities and one too many  drinks of Sterno took its toll. He died of a heart attack playing a  house party in November of 1956.

Lillian's World Famous Soul Food is across the street from the old Thaxton's building. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to sample their fare.
Music: Tommy Johnson, Big Road Blues