Jessie Mae Hemphill Jessies Boogie Standing In My Doorway Crying
Hemphill has said that, although her mother was not interested in playing music, her Aunt Rosa was, and she believed that they both inherited their passion for music from Hemphill's maternal grandfather, Sid Hemphill. The elder Hemphill was a well-known leader of fife-and-drum groups and had a successful career that spanned 50 years. This Adonijah Music generational musical heritage proved the foundation for Jessie Mae Hemphill's own musical career.
And so I'm the last one. I'm just trying to play to keep the Hemphill music going. And trying not to let my granddaddy down," she told Guitar Player in With such a musical pedigree it was almost inevitable that Hemphill would become a musician at an early age.
Following her grandfather's lead as a multi-instrumentalist, Hemphill did not confine herself to the guitar. Further cementing her link with her heritage, Hemphill learned to play instruments with clear African roots, including the quills—homemade cane pipes similar to panpipes—and the diddley bow, a one- stringed instrument that is plucked or played with a glass bottle.
Hemphill also said that she had to "learn how to make the sound in my head. During the s and s, though she was a skilled performer, Hemphill worked a series of menial jobs including stints in grocery stores and dry cleaners. She moved to Memphis during this time and married J.
Music found its way back into Hemphill's life when she landed a job at a Memphis blues club. It wasn't until Jessie Mae Hemphill Jessies Boogie Standing In My Doorway Crying s that Hemphill would turn to her inherited role as a musician full-time. David Evans, a noted ethnomusicologist, blues scholar, and talented musician in his own right. In the liner notes Davy Graham The Holly Kaleidoscope Hemphill's album, She-WolfEvans wrote, "I was struck with what a fresh approach she had to an old style of music.
Shortly following the release of She-WolfVogue Records changed artistic direction and as a result She-Wolf languished with little promotion and no stateside audience. The album wouldn't be released in the United States until the late s.
The inertia of She-Wolf couldn't stop Hemphill and she kept right on playing, writing music, and developing her distinct, hypnotic sound. London's The Independent described Hemphill as a "powerful and mesmerizing performer who is like a female version of John Lee Hooker and Howlin' Wolf combined. One reviewer wrote on the Harmony Ridge Music website, "She's haunting, sexy, and full of the raw energy only someone with the blues in their blood can be.
Hemphill penned most of the songs on Feelin' Good. She told Guitar Jessie Mae Hemphill Jessies Boogie Standing In My Doorway Crying"[The songs] don't be all from me … It be what I think other-folks is feeling—the trouble that other womens is having.
Some of my blues is kinda sad blues, 'cause sometimes I be feeling down and out, and I know some other womens do too. Career: Various blues bands and drum-and-fife groups, MS, guest player, s—60s; singer, songwriter, guitarist, percussionist, s— Hemphill's fame reached its peak in the early s.
As her fame was spreading, so was her reputation as a real "She-Wolf" of the blues. Photographer Bill Steber, who has photographed many traditional blues musicians, wrote on his website: "Female blues guitarists of Hemphill's generation are rare because of the social strictures and danger associated with the lifestyle. However, a debilitating stroke in left her partially paralyzed, making it impossible for her to play guitar again.
Her last album released in Joined by a host of musicians, Hemphill sang and played tambourine. Sing Out! Despite her continuing fame and ever-growing audience, Hemphill's later life was a struggle. This daughter of the North Mississippi Delta blues, homegrown fourth generation blues musician, innovator and tradition saver, lived alone for many years in a ramshackle trailer in Como, Mississippi with her pet poodle Sweetpea.
However, organizations such as the Sunflower River Blues Association of Clarksdale, Mississippi, whose aim is to assist blues pioneers who have fallen on hard times, helped Hemphill find better housing.
Cultural historians also worked to document Hemphill's musical legacy. Students in Mississippi wrote about her life Elvis Costello The Attractions This Years Model part of The Mississippi Writers and Musicians Project, which shares the rich cultural tradition of Mississippi with high school students.
And she spoke to students as part of the Blues Project of George Mason University in the late s and early s. One student wrote on the Blues Project Web site of a visit: "When we met Jessie Mae Hemphill … she seemed to have a great perspective on how the Jessie Mae Hemphill Jessies Boogie Standing In My Doorway Crying brought the community together for celebration and to share their lives with each other … As we sat and listened to her I felt as if we were hearing her own history as a blues woman, but it also told me what life has been like as a whole Various Watchful Eye the Delta for the past Jessie Mae Hemphill Jessies Boogie Standing In My Doorway Crying.
Hemphill further encouraged the preservation of her musical heritage by lending her name to the Jessie Mae Hemphill Foundation, which served as an archive and promoter of North Mississippi music. Olga Wilhelmine Mathus, founder and president of the Jessie Mae Hemphill Foundation, noted in the Clarksdale Register that Hemphill enjoyed the idea of passing on her traditions, and Mathus emphasized the importance of honoring Hemphill.
Los Angeles TimesJuly 25,p. New York TimesAugust 15,p. H25; November 12,p. Blues Accesswww. Catfish Keithwww. Harmony Ridge Musicwww. Jessie Mae Hemphill All Sources. Updated Media sources 1 About encyclopedia. Hemphill, Jessie Mae — gale. Developed Award-Winning Sound Shortly following the release of She-Wolf Vogue Records changed artistic direction and as SLY I Need A Freak result She-Wolf languished with little promotion and no stateside audience.
Giants of Country BluesVol. Guitar PlayerOctoberp27; Mayp. On-line www. Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia. Hemphill, Jessie Mae gale. Jessie Mae Hemphill — Blues musician, singer, songwriter, guitarist, percussionist Blues musician and vocalist Jessie Mae Hemphill was a paradox.
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