Who is on your state's Mt. Rushmore of musicians?

Ground rules:

  1. Your selection must be an individual, not a group.

  2. We can be fairly flexible about which state may claim a musician. S/he may be born in Tupelo but raised in Memphis; I’d be OK with both Mississippi and Tennessee claiming him/her. (someone who moved to Hollywood as an adult, however, may not claim Californ-i-ay as their homeland).

  3. If you are not from the U.S., you may claim your entire country as an entry. Exception: If you are from Liverpool you must use only your town. I’m confident you can come up with four suitable Liverpudlians).

  4. Have fun, and hey…HEY!!!..Let’s be careful out there!

I’ll start us out.


Stevie Wonder (born in Saginaw)
Eminem (raised in Warren)
Bob Seger (born in Dearborn)
Jack White (born in Detroit)

Damn solid group, no?

Wisconsin would have Les Paul for sure



Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker, Charlie Christian, Freddy King


Michael Jackson
John Mellencamp
Axl Rose (despite the way he’s fallen off the sane side of the radar recently, the impact he and Guns N Roses had on hard rock/heavy metal cannot be denied)
Cole Porter

Honorable mentions to Shannon Hoon, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, John Hiatt, Henry Lee Summer, Crystal Gayle, David Lee Roth, and Hoagy Carmichael.

Too many from California, but my personal four would be:

Mike Watt
Sly Stone
Brian Wilson


Linda Ronstadt
Alice Cooper
Stevie Nicks
Rex Allen

My California foursome:

Jerry Garcia
Brian Wilson
Eddie Van Halen
Harry Nilsson

I’m not from Liverpool, but I’ll take a stab at it.

Billy J. Kramer
Aynsley Dunbar
Tony Sheridan
Cilia Black

How’d I do? :smiley:

W.C. Handy
Hank Williams
Sun Ra
Wilson Pickett

My state is thin in the ground for good musicians, but I would have to pick

Ann Wilson
Layne Staley
Chris Cornell
Kurt Cobain

After careful consideration, I’ve decided I need a few extra heads on my California Rushmore. Either that, or maybe a secondary,alternate location like Crazy Horse in the Black Hills with a gigantic likeness of Country Dick Montana.

Eddie Vedder
Muddy Waters (or Buddy Guy)
Kanye West
Billy Corgan

Certainly quibbling room.

For Texas…

Bob Wills
Van Cliburn
Willie Nelson
Buddy Holly

New York
Leonard Bernstein
Georges Gershwin
Billy Joel
Paul Simon

It’s hard to choose in Tennessee, but here goes:

Elvis (also from the all around list)
Dolly Parton (again from the general list)
W.C. Handy
Mother Maybelle Carter (yes, I know, originally from Virginia, but she made her name in Tennessee)

If we wanted to do all of the Tennessee Smokies, we could add a whole bunch more.

I’m not that up on musicians from my adopted state of Maryland, but here goes:

Frank Zappa
David Byrne
Root Boy Slim
Eubie Blake

From my birth state, Tennessee:

The King
Steve Cropper
Brownie McGhee
Memphis Minnie

That’s pretty damn good.

Yeah, we’re gonna need a bigger mountain in Texas. I can’t imagine leaving off Stevie Ray Vaughan. You could make a case for Waylon Jennings, Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, George Strait, Johnny Copeland, Freddie King, Albert Collins, T-Bone Walker, Big Mama Thornton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, etc. And while she’s not thought of as a “Texas” musician, Janis Joplin was born in Port Arthur.

If I had to limit it to four:

Willie Nelson
Townes Van Zandt
T-Bone Walker

It could be better. Any of these three: Madonna, Aretha Franklin, or Dianna Ross belong on the list.

My list:

Stevie Wonder
Dianna Ross