Mr. Gip Tries to Keep the Blues and his Juke Joint Alive


“I worked at the cemetery this morning cutting gas and cleaning up headstones at Pine Hill Cemetery. I found some people’s graves. I have had that cemetery about 20-25 years.I am retired, but I like to be busy. I hurt my hand today cutting grass. It is swelling, I hope I can still play tonight. I play before the band starts.

“This isn’t a club, it is a juke joint. It started after traveling to Mississippi, New Orleans, Chicago and Detroit. We didn’t have a place for the blues here and I am trying to keep the blues and this juke joint alive. Sometimes we have about 200 people on a Saturday night. People from across the country will be here tonight. People show up on nights we don’t have music just to stop in and have a beer and see the place. Sometimes I just sit out here and play. I like going to Red’s Place and Po’ Monkey’s in Clarksdale and met a lot of people there. There were a lot of people I knew in the Mississippi Delta. I played with T-Model Ford in Jackson, Mississippi a couple of times and he has played here. I played with BB King when he came to Birmingham. I played songs with BB for a long time. I knew him for over 60 years. So many blues men have passed on but I try to play their songs, Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters.”

“The blues is a feeling. When people play the blues it brings them from the back to the front. It was started by black people and people liked it because it was a life story being told about people. I grew up in Uniontown and my story is a life on the mend. I think God led me to it. I want to bring people together and we all walk the road home safely. Wherever there is good, evil will be present but good will overcome evil. God said it would. I know the end times are coming soon.”
(Gip Gipson, the 97-year-old bluesman has Gip’s Place in Birmingham)





2 Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing. I was having my morning coffee and listening to a little Howlin Wolf when I read this. Always an inspiration to hear about people who are trying to keep the blues alive!

  2. Michael Hawk

    Beyond being a legend you are a true inspiration the true hero and you’ve earned your crown. You peak so many words and you don’t even have to say a thing my dream is to come see you I’m in Wexford Pennsylvania but your great hero you’re a legend and you’re one of the strongest methods ever grace this planet and I pray to God everyday for your health and well-being you’re a legend you’ll never be forgotten. There’s no better inspiration then the songs you sing in the words you speak just to touch your hand would be amazing. Thank you for everything you’ve done you’re one of a kind.

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