Shufordville Cemetery in Lyon, MS
In 1969, Big John Wrencher recorded for Barrelhouse Records, backed by the guitarist Little Buddy Thomas and the drummer Playboy Vinson, who formed his Maxwell Street band. The resulting album, Maxwell Street Alley Blues, is some of his best work ever put to record. Wrencher toured Europe with the Chicago Blues Festival in 1973 and with the American Blues Legends in 1974. On the latter tour, he recorded an album in London for Big Bear Records, backed by the guitarist Eddie Taylor and his band. During a trip to Clarksdale, Mississippi to visit his family in July 1977, Wrencher visited Wade Walton at his barbershop and returned to his father’s house in the 400 block of Bolivar Street, when he experienced a sudden heart attack. He died on July 15, 1977, and he was buried in an unmarked grave in the black section of Shufordville Cemetery. His father’s grave was later marked upon his death in the plot beside his harmonica playing son.
in a car wreck in a little town called Mound Bayou Miss. I was visiting my mother. I drove 700 miles from Chicago. I was okay but on the return, I fell asleep at the wheel. I was playing again the next day though. I never gave up. It cut my arm clean off and left it on the highway. Then I walked 2.5 miles to a girlfriend and picked up my arm and brought it on to Clarksdale. When the ambulance men come with stretchers, I was in bed smoking, so I drove back in front with the guys. I was in a hospital for three days only. For a while, I still had pain at night. As you know, fever rises at night and that’s how it was.