Blues musician Muddy Waters’ boyhood cabin is located on the Little Sunflower River, a tributary of the Sunflower River. Waters lived here with his grandmother for 25 years before leaving for Chicago. Some people say his grandmother called him “Muddy” because he liked playing and fishing in the Little Sunflower.
The Sunflower River flows behind the Mennonite Church and the Beth Israel Jewish Cemetery. One of its tributaries runs behind St. Elizabeth Catholic Church. At one time Clarksdale boasted the largest Jewish population per capita in the State of Mississippi. The Sunflower was the site of local baptisms. The Rev. C.L. Franklin (Baptist minister, civil rights activist, and father of the legendary soul and gospel singer Aretha Franklin) was baptized in the Sunflower.