Monday, January 19, 2009

No.7: Hotel Tupelo

The Hotel Tupelo was THE hotel in Tupelo in the 50s and 60s (and before). All the civic clubs met there and formal events were held there. It was the only place in Tupelo with an elevator until the new four-story federal building that housed the post office was built in the 60s. The THS Key Club met at the Hotel Tupelo when I was in high school. I remember one meeting when one of our members found a cooked cricket among his green beans. After that we started meeting at the Rex Plaza and other locations. This was an ad photo from The Album, the very original name for the THS annual. Note that WTUP broadcast from the upper floor of the Hotel. You may remember that WTUP was the young folks' radio station and WELO was the grown-ups station - except of course if you wanted to listen to Tupelo athletic events. Jack Cristol was the voice of the Wave on WELO and Wallopin' Wayne Coleman broadcast the games on WTUP, Top Dawg Radio 1490. Wallopin' Wayne was a better DJ than play-by-play announcer.

The Hotel was torn down and a new five-story BancorpSouth (formerly Bank of Mississippi, formerly Bank of Tupelo) headquarters was built on that site. BancorpSouth is a major regional bank with branches all over the Southeast. The post office in the federal building that was built in the 60s is now a branch with the main post office on Thomas Street in West Tupelo. WTUP and WELO are still on the air, but both have a very small audience now.

BancorpSouth Bank, located on South Spring Street, where the Hotel Tupelo once stood


  1. I think the Hotel Tupelo was where the girls attended "Charm School" classes lead by Mrs. Gladys Ballard.

  2. As the WTUP DJs used to say at the top of the hour, "W-T-U-P in Tupelo, Mississippi 1490 on your radio dial, with offices and studios high atop, Hotel Tupelo."

  3. :-) I actually grew up in this place. My folks ran the hotel in the 50s