Essays

50th Anniversary Of The Integration Of Ole Miss

October 1, 2012
James Meredith reads news about his entry into Ole Miss

October 1, 2012 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the integration of Ole Miss, The University Of Mississippi. James Meredith, the first black student to attend Ole Miss, was registered, and began attending classes amidst a violent upheaval. Today the turbulent […]




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Thoughts On B. B. King – by Jonny Meister

September 17, 2012
Thoughts On B. B. King –  by Jonny Meister

Thoughts On B. B. King by Jonny Meister • • B. B. King turned 87 years old this past September 16th • • What’s in a name? The name “King” has always had some cachet, given its meaning. It’s a […]




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Interview with Jimmy “Duck” Holmes by Jonny Meister

September 1, 2012
Jonny Meister interviews Jimmy

• Jimmy “Duck” Holmes will perform at The World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on October 22nd with Terry “Harmonica” Bean. I talked with him in July 2011 at The Briggs Farm Blues Festival. • Jonny Meister: So, Jimmy, you’re from […]




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Bala Cynwyd’s Greatest Bluesman – by Jonny Meister

August 15, 2012
Bala Cynwyd’s Greatest Bluesman – by Jonny Meister

I call him “Bala Cynwyd’s Greatest Bluesman.” He has been in the western Philadelphia suburb since 1969, though it would be inaccurate to say he lives there. Skip James is buried in Merion Memorial Park, down the street from the […]




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Get to know: Jessie Mae Hemphill

August 14, 2012
Get to know: Jessie Mae Hemphill

Jesse Mae Hemphill was an award-winning electric guitarist, singer and songwriter who specialized in Northern Mississippi country blues. She was born in 1934 near Como and Senatobia, Mississippi in Northern Mississippi just east of the Mississippi Delta. According to Livin […]




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Son House “Death Letter Blues” by Jonny Meister

August 9, 2012
Son House “Death Letter Blues” by Jonny Meister

Son House was one of the most deeply affecting blues performers of all time. He had done some preaching in Mississippi, and was apparently quite good at it, though in his own life, the booze and the women kept him […]




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Mississippi Blues: Select Discography by Jonny Meister

August 7, 2012
Mississippi Blues: Select Discography by Jonny Meister

Pre-War and Post-War Blues: Blues is often viewed in two time categories, pre-war and post-war. While this distinction, like any other, has its limits in organizing blues music, it does generally make some sense. Some artists did record both before […]




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Mississippi Blues: An Overview by Jonny Meister

July 12, 2012
Thumbnail image for Mississippi Blues: An Overview by Jonny Meister

Mississippi. The mere name of the Magnolia State can still evoke vivid and often frightening memories. The brutality of slavery in Mississippi was followed by the hopelessly unfair system of sharecropping, in which many black farmers were perpetually in debt […]




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