On July 22, one of the most distinctive and powerful voices of the blues was silenced when Jessie Mae Hemphill died from complications to an ulcer after a long and painful struggle. She was 83. Though she never gained the recognition of fellow North Mississippi blues artists like Fred McDowell, R.L. Burnside, and Junior Kimbrough, Hemphill’s driving, hypnotic guitar boogie was some of the finest music to ever come out of the region. With her open-tuned ES-125 pushing the amp, Hemphill rode the skittish, swaying rhythm of her songs, crying the blues with a voice that was simultaneously threatening, heartbroken, sensual, and angry. There was deep, tough sadness in her music, but when she leaned into that endless Mississippi boogie, it was impossible not to dance. Hemphill released two critically acclaimed albums, the incredible She-Wolf in 1981 and Feelin’ Good in 1991. In 1993, just as her career began to take off, Hemphill suffered a stroke that paralyzed the left side of her body and prevented her from playing. She spent the rest of her life in Senatobia, Mississippi with her beloved dog Sweet Pea, struggling to make ends meet and singing in the local church. Sadly, Hemphill died penniless. Friends, fans, and supporters pooled resources to pay for her funeral, but money is still owed for the burial. A collection has been started to pay the debt, and also to raise money for Jessie Mae’s tombstone.

Those moved to help can donate to the Jessie Mae Hemphill Memorial Fund, in care of Richard Johnston.

Community Bank
475 E. Commerce Street
Hernando, MS 38632
(662) 429-8484
Account representative: Leca [Lisa] Dew
Click here for more information

<BODY> <H1>Table of Contents</H1> <UL> <LI><a href="memphissoulsurvivors.htm">Memphis Soul Survivors</a></LI> <LI><a href="viviancampbell.htm">Vivian Campbell Def Leppard</a></LI> <LI><a href="royorbison.htm">Roy Orbison</a></LI> <LI><a href="thelonesomesisters.htm">The Lonesome Sisters</a></LI> <LI><a href="jessiemaehemphill.htm">Jessie Mae Hemphill</a></LI> <LI><a href="ericclapton.htm">Eric Clapton</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000003OJH/sr=1-2/qid=1155057875/ref=pd_bbs_2/002-1349923-1315264?redirect=true&ie=UTF8&s=music">Buy the CD</a></LI> </UL> <BR /><BR /> You can help<br /> The Jessie Mae Hemphill Memorial Fund,<br /> C/O Richard Johnston<br /><br /><br /> Community Bank<br /> 475 E. Commerce Street<br /> Hernando, MS 38632<br /> (662)429-8484 <br /><br /> "Streamline Train" Jessie Mae Hemphill from the Album <i>Feelin' Good</i> </BODY>