(L to R) Rosetta Patton Brown, Roebuck "Pops" Staples, John Fogerty, and MZMF founder Skip Henderson
After meeting in the Mt. Zion M.B. Cemetery, John Fogerty and Skip Henderson planned the Robert Johnson ceremony. Fogerty also agreed to fund a headstone for the grave of Charley Patton--located in a cemetery belonging to the New Jerusalem M.B. Church on the Robinson Plantation in Holly Ridge, Mississippi. Fogerty and Henderson tracked down a seventy-nine year-old cemetery caretaker named “Cootchie” Howard, who claimed to be at the cemetery as a child when Patton was buried. Though Gayle Dean Wardlow later remembered someone telling him in the 1960s that his grave was sitting across the road from the store in a pauper's cemetery. On a later visit, Wardlow claims the burial ground was covered partially by a man's concrete driveway. No one has any real clue, however, as to where it is underneath the driveway.
The marker sits on the spot pointed out in 1991 to John Fogerty and Skip Henderson. The dedication ceremony took place on the blazing hot afternoon of July 20th 1991, the same weekend as the Pops Staples Festival in nearby Drew, Mississippi. Roebuck “Pops” Staples attended the unveiling along with Fogerty and three generations of Patton’s family including daughter Rosetta Patton Brown, granddaughter Martha Brown and great granddaughter Keisha Brown. After the ceremony Fogerty performed at the Staples Festival to the delight and astonishment of many in attendance. Fogerty later composed and recorded a song inspired by the heat that day. He titled it "110 in the Shade."