Through a charitable donation, Richard “Hacksaw” Harney, superlative ragtime and blues guitarist and pianist of the Golden Era, will receive posthumous recognition of his great talent with the unveiling of a simple, yet fitting headstone. The grave marker unveiling will occur at 1 pm on Saturday April 28th, at the Hinds County Cemetery in Raymond, Miss. The cemetery is located off Highway 18 West as it turns South, near the eastern city limits of Raymond.
Mr. Harney died on Christmas Day, 1973, and according to his death certificate, was buried in a pauper’s grave at Raymond, Mississippi. Raymond is located near Jackson, the State Capitol. Only through research undertaken by Jackson’s Marcia Weaver, and the assistance of Lt. Dan Smith of the local Sheriff’s office, was the exact location determined.
Additional research yielded the location of Harney’s family members, who have expressed their appreciation. Rose Mary Harney, Mr. Harney’s daughter are expected to attend the ceremony. Harney’s son, Richard Harney, Jr., died in an automobile accident in 1986.
Special thanks go to the Hinds County Board of Supervisors for unanimously voting in favor a resolution to honor Mr. Harney, and to Sheriff Tyrone Lewis and his staff who are assisting in the event.
Steve Salter, of the non-profit organization, Killer Blues, provided help in designing the headstone. Salter has raised funds in the past to honor various blues musicians, and in this case purchased the stone on behalf of the donors. He will also be transporting the marker to the gravesite.
Richard “Hacksaw” Harney, was a sweet man with an abundance of musical talent, and hopefully this event will help to correct an oversight of appreciation, shine a light on his contribution to American music, and provide a fitting memorial for his family and fans to pay their respects.