Mississippi Matilda Biography

Mississippi Matilda

Photo credit: Carrie Powell. All rights reserved.

The Mississippi Matilda Biography is the First-Ever Published Account of her Life

I admire Matilda Witherspoon Powell. She transcended a rough childhood, sang with the Florida Blossom Minstrels, and recorded under the stage name Mississippi Matilda with the Bluebird label during a famous session at the St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans.

Most importantly, she was a mother. She raised ten children in the Delta and staved off hunger and utter poverty by laboring in the cotton fields. Often, she’d pull her little ones on a nine-foot cotton sack under the scorching sun. Details about that grueling work — the pesticides, lack of running water, and inhumane conditions — are detailed in this incredible story.

The Mississippi Matilda biography details these facts and much more. It’s a personal glimpse into her world — a previously unknown world that we are privileged to share. Thanks to her daughter Carrie Powell, we see the Delta through Matilda’s eyes and learn what it meant to overcome the harshest challenges of being a black woman in the Deep South.


I am so excited to announce that the Mississippi Matilda biography will soon be available on Amazon. I co-wrote the book with author Brian O’Connor. We’ve compiled a biography on Eugene Powell, a.k.a. Sonny Boy Nelson as well. Never before has anyone compiled biographies on Eugene and Mississippi Matilda. Both books are groundbreaking historic milestones in blues history — the first of their kind with rare photos, interviews, family sagas and musical collaborations that shaped American music as we know it today. The third book in the The Riverside Blues Series is in works! Click on the covers to read more and follow along.

Both the Mississippi Matilda biography and the Eugene Powell biography are published by Sunny Southern Productions.

Please contact me to learn more about this iconic songstress!