Alcorn County Courthouse
Corinth, MS

The Alcorn County Courthouse in Corinth, MS - ca. 1918
courtesy eBay

Considered the “Crossroads of the South”, Corinth, Mississippi is a small town of about 14,000 people located in the north east part of the state, south of the Tennessee border about 100 miles east of Memphis.  It was founded in 1853 at the junction of the Mobile & Ohio and Memphis & Charleston railroads and later named Corinth for the city in Greece that also served as a crossroads. Its strategic significance due to the railroads during the Civil War resulted in several battles there in which possession of the city changed sides several times.1

The Alcorn County Courthouse in Corinth, MS - ca. 1930s
courtesy eBay

Courtroom entrance at the Alcorn County Courthouse in Corinth, MS - Dec. 9, 2011
Photo © James V. Roy

Alcorn County was created on April 15, 1870 and named for then Mississippi Governor James L. Alcorn. Corinth is the county seat.  In 1918 the Alcorn County Courthouse was built by E. G. Parish at 600 Waldron St. from designs by N. W. Overstreet.2 The courtroom, which also served as an assembly hall, was situated on the upper level in the center of the building. Initially it was open through the top floor and featured balcony seating above.

Interior Borroum's Drug Store - ca. 1940s
courtesy Borroum's Drug Store

It is located almost directly across the street in Corinth from Borroum's Drug Store, which is Mississippi's oldest operating drug store and soda fountain.  The drug store, a family owned and operated business since it was established in 1865, is a favorite in the area and as any of the locals will tell you, is reputed for its Sodas.  It is also said to serve the best hamburgers around.

The Alcorn County Courthouse in Corinth, MS - ca. 1950s
courtesy eBay

In 1955, Elvis, Scotty and Bill made two appearances in Corinth.  Both times they performed in the Alcorn County Courthouse/Assembly hall.  The shows were sponsored by the Corinth Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) to help raise funds for a playground.

Ad in the the Daily Corinthian for the January 18, 1955 show
courtesy Corinthian Public Library

The first appearance was on January 18, 1955 while touring along with Jim Ed and Maxine Brown.  They had appeared together on several dates around that time, the previous night in Booneville, MS.

Jaycees All Set For Hillbilly Show Tonight

Plans have been completed by the Alcorn County Junior Chamber of Commerce for the big hillbilly jamboree to be held tonight at the Courthouse, beginning at 7 o'clock.

Featured on the program will be Elvis Presley and the Louisiana Hayride Band. The local Jaycees are sponsoring the event to raise money for a city playground drive.

Other outstanding stars scheduled to appear on the program are Bob Neal of radio fame and J.E. and Maxine Brown, brother and sister team.

Howard Hopkins, second vice president of the Jaycee, is in charge of promotion of the hillbilly show here.

The Daily Corinthian - January 18, 1955 courtesy Corinthian Public Library

According to Lee Cotten, the show also reputedly featured a local act consisting of Buddy Kain and Kay Crotts.3  Kain had been a deejay in Corinth on radio WMCA since 1950 and in 1953 along with program director Tom Weaver started the How Do You Like It Show on the air that featured both pop and hillbilly artists.4 Kay Crotts was a native of Corinth who had been singing since the age of four. At the age of thirteen she sang on Bain's Farm And Home Hour, also on WCMA. After graduating high school she joined Buddy Bain and the Buddies, who went on to open shows for acts like Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and many stars of the Grand Ole Opry.  In 1957, Buddy and Kay had become a man and wife act.5

Plans Completed By Jaycees For Hillbilly Show

The Alcorn County Junior Chamber of Commerce Projects Committee, headed by Howard Hopkins, had completed ironing out of details for the big hillbilly entertainment show scheduled here this Thursday afternoon and Thursday night at the Alcorn County Courthouse.

Elvis Presley, outstanding young hillbilly recording star, and the Bob Neal band from Memphis, Tenn., are to be featured in the shows Thursday with the matinee at 3:30 p. m. for the children and students and the evening performance beginning at 8 o'clock.

Onie Wheeler, records artist and his band will also be included on the program, according to Hopkins.

A portion of benefits from the program here Thursday will be placed in the special playground fund by the Jaycee organization.

The Daily Corinthian - April 1955 courtesy Corinthian Public Library

Their second appearance in Corinth was on April 7, 1955 and also featured Onie Wheeler.  They had first met Wheeler in January, only days after their first appearance in Corinth, when they performed in Sikeston, MO.  Elvis was interviewed by him on KSIM and they had shared several bills together since. The show in Corinth followed an appearance on a remote broadcast of the Hayride at the City Auditorium in Houston.

Ad in the Daily Corinthian - April 6, 1955
courtesy Corinthian Public Library

Jaycees Expect Large Turnout For Show Today

Officials of the Alcorn County Junior Chamber of Commerce were expecting a large turnout this afternoon and again tonight for the two appearances of Elvis Presley, nationally-famous hillbilly singing artist from Memphis, here in Corinth.

Presley was scheduled to appear with the Bob Neal band from Memphis and Onie Wheeler, records artists, at the Alcorn County Courthouse today at 3:30 p.m. and again at 8 o'clock tonight, under sponsorship of the Jaycee group.

Howard Hopkins, vice president of the Jaycee group, stated that he had received numerous requests for tickets to both appearances.

Plans for the Junior Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Teen-Age Rod-e-o scheduled to be held on April 15 here in Corinth are progressing.

Four entries have been filed by Corinth teen-agers with Dr. George Smith, chairman of eligibility and screening for the Road-e-o. A special trophy will be presented the winner and the local winner will compete on a statewide basis.

The Daily Corinthian - April 7, 1955 courtesy Corinthian Public Library

Though booked for two shows that day, and though the paper indicated an expectation of a large turnout, by some accounts the matinee show may have been cancelled because of low ticket sales.6  While in town, Elvis was reputed to have visited Borroum's drug store and by the recollections of Camille Borroum Mitchell, local legend has it he was thought to have temporarily left his guitar there for some unexplained reason.

The Alcorn County Courthouse in Corinth, MS - Dec. 9, 2011
Photo © Ron Garson

The court room at the Alcorn County Courthouse in Corinth, MS - Dec. 9, 2011
Photo © James V. Roy

The court room at the Alcorn County Courthouse in Corinth, MS - Dec. 9, 2011
Photo © James V. Roy

Very little has changed in the look of Corinth since the boys performed there in 1955.  The courtroom/assembly hall however has been modernized and reduced in size.  There is no longer a balcony and a new suspend ceiling in the court separates the top floor which is now used for storage.

interior of Borroum's Drug Store in Corinth, MS - Dec. 9, 2011
Photo © James V. Roy

Borroum's Drug Store in Corinth, MS - Dec. 9, 2011
Photo © James V. Roy

Borroum's Drug Store is still there, looking very much the same also and Elvis' appearances still loom large in local legend.  In fact one local artist, Tony Bullard, has been inspired to create several works recreating a depiction of him, and his pink Cadillac, in front of both the Courthouse and the Drug Store. Prints are available for sale locally at the Corinth Artist Guild Gallery.

Elvis, depicted in Corinth by Tony Bullard
Art © Tony Bullard courtesy Corinth Artist Guild Gallery

The Alcorn County Courthouse in Corinth, MS - Dec. 9, 2011
Photo © Ron Garson

Page added December 20, 2011

Special Thanks to Crystal Starling and others of the Alcorn County Courthouse and Camille Borroum Mitchell for their assistance with this page.

1 according to The City of Corinth, MS website
2 according to Jordan McAlister's photo stream
3 according to Did Elvis Sing in Your Home Town?  by Lee Cotten
4 according to Billboard Magazine - 1953
5 according to Kay Bain at
6 according to Corinth artist, Tony Bullard courtesy
Corinth Artist Guild Gallery


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