- "Pulling Blues Out of The Sky" - Update: September 1, 1999
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Update on Jessie Mae Hemphill

Jessie Mae Hemphill photo by Dr. David EvansLegendary Senatobia, Mississippi-based deep country blues singer and songwriter Jessie Mae Hemphill has thrilled audiences around the globe with her totally unique, hypnotizing style of music. Jessie Mae sings and plays guitar on her two great Handy Award-winning albums She Wolf and her greatest, definitive work, Feelin' Good, both now reissued on CD on the Hightone label.  She is one of our absolute favorite musicians, and a real American Original.

Jessie Mae Hemphill's burgeoning music career was abruptly brought to a halt since a stroke in 1994 partially paralyzed her left side.  In the 1980's and early '90s, Jessie Mae was in demand at blues festivals and concert halls all over the US and Europe.  Her highly rhythmic, hypnotic original blues recalls the influence of her grandfather, fife-and-drum pioneer and fiddler Sid Hemphill, and her aunt, Rosa Lee Hill, who often sang with Mississippi Fred McDowell, a resident of nearby Como, Mississippi.

Since Jessie Mae is unable to tour she has barely gotten by on a very limited income and could use the help of friends and fans. She has no family left around there to care for her, and her home is in ill repair.  She lives on her own and can't tour or play guitar since the stroke.  Through all of this, she remains positive and says, "I just sing for the Lord now."

If you would like to help Jessie Mae Hemphill directly, simply send her cash or postal money orders to the address below. (NOTE: She can't cash personal checks or cash cashier's checks or money orders. She can cash Postal Money Orders at the Post Office)  She would really appreciate it, let her know she's not forgotten.  Send to:

Jessie Mae Hemphill
PO Box 975
Senatobia, MS  38668

Many thanks.  -Penny & Catfish

 Catfish Home Page                                                                         New Fish Tail Newsletter - "Pulling Blues Out of The Sky" - Update: September 1, 1999