Monday, February 27, 2017

Belton Sutherland Project

An Unmarked Biography of Belton Sutherland 
Produced by the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund​


Clarion Ledger, Oct 15, 1983.

This short film offers new details about the life of a largely undocumented musician from Madison County, Mississippi named Belton Sutherland, who recorded for Worth Long and Alan Lomax in 1978 for the documentary film, The Land Where the Blues Began. We have located his burial records and hope to erect a marker for this fiercely iconoclastic artist, whose clever lyrics and true tone grabs any listener almost immediately.



Belton Sutherland was born on February 14, 1911--the same year as the legendary Robert Johnson. His parents, William and Hallie Sutherland, already had eight children, and they would have four more after Belton, making a total of thirteen. He lost his mother shortly before his eighth birthday, and he had married and moved to Holmes County by the age of eighteen. By the late 1930s, however, he came back to Madison County, got arrested for forging a $25 check, and served eight months of a two year prison sentence before the remainder got suspended by the governor.
Clarion Ledger, Mar 10, 1937.