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Hemphill, Jessie Mae

Jessie Mae Hemphill

1923–2006

Blues musician, singer, songwriter, guitarist, percussionist

Blues musician and vocalist Jessie Mae Hemphill was a paradox. Her rough exterior portrayed a tough, independent woman. Yet the beauty of her voice exposed her delicate femininity. Known as the She-Wolf of country hills blues music, Hemphill enjoyed a many decade long career. A regular performer at blues festivals into the early 2000s, Jessie Mae Hemphill, outfitted in a sequined hat and shiny purple halter top, stood out onstage for her age as well as her appearance. With a wink in her eye and a gold tooth flashing, Hemphill strummed her guitar, shook bells attached to her legs, and tapped a tambourine with her foot. The music of her one-woman band was haunting—familiar, yet new. It drew from the traditions of North Mississippi Delta region—music born of slavery, reared in poverty, and perfected on the farmland. Hemphill played it with her own style, updating classic lyrics with her own words—"the thoughts I have about times and about living and life," she wrote in the liner notes to her album She-Wolf. Her distinctive mix of new and old Delta traditions with day-to-day observations, won Hemphill international acclaim as a blues woman. She, however, was just carrying on the family tradition.

Born into Musical Family

Hemphill was born Jessie Mae Graham in Senatobia, Mississippi. Though some sources cite her birth year as 1932, 1934, or 1937, the Jessie Mae Hemphill Foundation referenced October 18, 1923, as her birth date. No matter the exact year, one thing is sure: Hemphill was born with music in her blood. Her father, James Graham, was a blues pianist and her mother, Virgie Lee Graham, was skilled in many instruments, though she did not identify herself as a musician. 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. Fife-and-drum, a traditional music native to the North Mississippi Delta region, has long interested ethnomusicologists because of its links to African musical styles. Sid Hemphill recorded with famed musicologist Alan Lomax in the 1940s. Sid Hemphill, in turn, had his musical roots sown by his father, Doc Hemphill, a Choctaw Indian and famed fiddler. This rich generational musical heritage proved the foundation for Jessie Mae Hemphill's own musical career. "All of the Hemphills was music players. 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 1991.

With such a musical pedigree it was almost inevitable that Hemphill would become a musician at an early age. She was eight years old when she began to learn guitar. "When I was little," she told Guitar Player, "my granddaddy started me off to playing guitar, and I started off playing blues. I liked the spirituals, but I played the blues because I thought that would get me somewhere in the money line faster than the spirituals would." The first complete song she learned was her Aunt Rosa Lee's "Bullyin' Well" which later appeared on her album She-Wolf.

Following her grandfather's lead as a multi-instrumentalist, Hemphill did not confine herself to the guitar. She soon began learning drums and eventually picked up the tambourine, fife, flute, trombone, saxophone, harmonica, and piano. As a teen she began to perform and even won contests for her tambourine skills. 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. However, it was for the guitar, drum, and tambourine that Hemphill became best known. Hemphill learned from listening to her relatives, noting for Guitar Player that her Aunt Rosa showed her how to play songs. Hemphill also said that she had to "learn how to make the sound in my head."

During the 1950s and 1960s, 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. D. Brooks. Music found its way back into Hemphill's life when she landed a job at a Memphis blues club. This led to her running her own club for a brief while. It wasn't until the 1970s that Hemphill would turn to her inherited role as a musician full-time.

Made Name for Herself as Hemphill

When her marriage ended, Hemphill left Memphis and returned to Mississippi and her musical roots. She dropped her married name and adopted her more famous family name. About this time Hemphill caught the attention of Dr. David Evans, a noted ethnomusicologist, blues scholar, and talented musician in his own right. In the liner notes of Hemphill's album, She-Wolf, Evans wrote, "I was struck with what a fresh approach she had to an old style of music." He continued, "She had drawn on the deepest traditions of the blues and African-American folk music to create truly contemporary country blues, not nostalgic recreations of an earlier musical era."

In 1979 Evans received a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to record and produce Mississippi blues music. Under his tutelage the High Water Recording Company was created as a division of the University of Memphis. One of its first artists was Hemphill. That first recording featured the Hemphill original compositions, "Jessie's Boogie" and "Standing in My Doorway Crying." The latter became a hit and was the top selling record on the High Water label. Following this success, Evans introduced Hemphill to the French label Vogue Records who promptly signed her to record her first album, She-Wolf.

Shortly following the release of She-Wolf, Vogue 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 1990s. 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." The blues establishment also took notice and Hemphill won the esteemed W.C. Handy Award for Traditional Female Artist of the Year in both 1987 and 1988.

In 1990 her second album, Feelin' Good, was released on Evans's High Water label. With this album Hemphill drew the attention of blues aficionados from around the globe. 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." The album also earned Hemphill another Handy award in 1991 for Acoustic Album of the Year. Hemphill penned most of the songs on Feelin' Good. Drawing from traditional blues topics of love lost and found, poverty and hard work, sex and salvation, Hemphill continued a tradition of singing for and of the people. She told Guitar Player, "[The songs] don't be all from me … It be what I think other-folks is feeling—the trouble that other womens is having. All us women have the same kind of trouble with our guys. Some of my blues is kinda sad blues, 'cause sometimes I be feeling down and out, and I know some other womens do too. So I play them so it will hit somebody."

At a Glance …

Born Jessie Mae Hemphill on October 18, 1923 (some sources cite 1932, 1934, or 1937), in Senatobia, MS; died on July 22, 2006, in Memphis, TN; daughter of Virgie Lee Graham and James Graham, a blues pianist; married J.D. Brooks (divorced).

Career: Various blues bands and drum-and-fife groups, MS, guest player, 1950s–60s; singer, songwriter, guitarist, percussionist, 1970s–2005.

Awards: W.C. Handy Award, for Traditional Female Artist of the Year, 1987, 1988; W.C. Handy Award Acoustic Album of the Year, for Feelin' Good, 1991.

Career Peaked

Hemphill's fame reached its peak in the early 1990s. She was in demand at blues festivals and concerts all over the United States and Europe. As the general public lapped up her music, it also stirred the interest of academic folklorists. Hemphill performed for folklore societies in Memphis and Washington D.C. "Jessie Mae's strongest musical influences come from her family and the local folk music tradition near her home in Como, Mississippi," wrote Evans. Those traditions include the fife-and-drum of which Hemphill told www.mississippitalking.com, "[It was] my granddaddy's music, it came from Africa. My granddaddy knew it, and his daddy knew it too." Even with her hectic schedule, Hemphill managed to find time to perform with fife-and-drum groups back home in Mississippi.

As her fame was spreading, so was her reputation as a real "She-Wolf" of the blues. On stage Hemphill nurtured a sexuality normally reserved for male singers. She wore sequins and low cut tops, and flirted with the audience. 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. Jessie Mae, however, has always known how to take care of herself in a hostile world. 'My mother carried her gun all the time,' says Hemphill. 'She was a pistol-packing mama so I'm a pistol-packing mama.'"

However, a debilitating stroke in 1993 left her partially paralyzed, making it impossible for her to play guitar again. Though her career effectively came to a halt, her fame continued to grow. In 1997 Feelin' Good was revamped and reissued on CD by the HighTone Records label. A year later, She-Wolf was finally released in the United States, also on HighTone Records. The releases once-again stirred the interests of blues lovers and scholars, making Hemphill something of a cult icon in the blues community.

Continued to Play Music

In November of 2001 she sang and played tambourine as part of the The North Mississippi Hill Country concert in Brooklyn Heights, New York, that brought her together with other homegrown Mississippi talent, including legends Othar Turner and T-Model Ford, as well as more famous newcomers Lucinda Williams, the North Mississippi All-Stars, and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Acclaimed German filmmaker Wim Wenders filmed the concert for The Blues, a PBS series that was televised in 2003. Her last album released in 2004. Dare You to Do It Again was recorded in the same potato barn in Como, Mississippi, that Hemphill's grandfather had once played. Joined by a host of musicians, Hemphill sang and played tambourine. Sing Out! reviewer Gary Von Tersch praised Hemphill's performance, saying "her idiosyncratic, utterly raw vocal approach still amazes."

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 as 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 1990s and early 2000s. One student wrote on the Blues Project Web site of a 2000 visit: "When we met Jessie Mae Hemphill … she seemed to have a great perspective on how the music 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 in the Delta for the past century."

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. "She was a pioneer," Mathus said. "She had a lot of guts …" and "was inspirational for musicians in general and inspired many prominent bands, especially women." Hemphill died in poverty on July 22, 2006, in Memphis, Tennessee, but her musical legacy lives on through her recordings and the continued work of the JMH Foundation.

Selected discography

Albums

She-Wolf, Vogue/Blues Today, 1980.
Feelin' Good, High Water, 1990.
Dare You to Do It Again, 219 Records, 2004.

Albums with others

Giants of Country Blues, Vol. 3, Wolf, 1991.
Deep South Blues, HighTone/HMG, 1999.
Mali To Memphis: An African-American Odyssey, Putumayo World Music, 1999.

Sources

Periodicals

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 16, 1998, p. C3.

Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), July 29, 2006, p. B9.

Guitar Player, October 1991, p. 27; May 1998, p. 47.

Independent (London, England), April 4, 1998, p. 39; August 11, 2006.

Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2006, p. B11.

New York Times, August 15, 1987, p. 10; May 7, 1989, p. H25; November 12, 1989, p. 71; November 12, 2001, p. E1.

Sing Out! Fall 2005, p. 145.

Times (London), August 4, 2006.

On-line

Blues Access, www.bluesaccess.com/No_30/horwitz.html (Summer 1997).

Catfish Keith, www.catfishkeith.com (January 11, 2007).

Bill Steber Photography, http://gallery64.com/steber_b/descrip/(14)Steber_JessieMaeH.htm (1998).

"Blues File Podcast," WXPN 88.5, www.xpn.org/bluesfile_podcast/bluesfile_podcast072706.mp3 (November 14, 2006).

"Blues Musician Jessie Mae Hemphill Dies," Blues News, www.blues.co.nz/news/article.php?id=586 (November 14, 2006).

"The Blues Project," New Century College, George Mason University, www.ncc.gmu.edu/CFS/bluesproject.htm (1998).

"Jessie Mae Hemphill," Jessie Mae Hemphill Foundation, www.jmhemphill.org/bio.html (November 14, 2006).

"Jessie Mae Hemphill Dies in Memphis," Clarksdale Register, www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=2038&dept_id=230617&newsid=16980098&PAG=461&rfi=9 (November 14, 2006).

"Jessie Mae Hemphill: Feelin' Good," Pop Matters, www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/h/hemphill-jessiemae-feelin.shtml (November 14, 2006).

Harmony Ridge Music, www.hrmusic.com/discos/fafram17.html (1998).

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"Hemphill, Jessie Mae." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Hemphill, Jessie Mae 1937–

Jessie Mae Hemphill 1937

Blues musician, singer

Began Picking the Guitar at Eight

Developed Award-Winning Sound

Juggled Popular Blues with Delta Traditions

Carried on Delta Tradition

Selected discagraphy

Sources

A regular performer at blues festivals as late as the early 1990s, Jessie Mae Hemphill, outfitted in a sequined hat and shiny purple halter top, stood out onstage for her age as well as her appearance. With a wink in her eye and a gold tooth flashing, Hemphill played guitar, bells attached to her legs, her foot tapping a tambourine. The music of her one-woman band was hauntingfamiliar, yet new. It drew from the traditions of North Mississippi Delta regionmusic born of slavery, reared in poverty, and perfected on the farmland. Hemphill played it with her own style, updating classic lyrics with her own wordsthe thoughts I have about times and about living and life, she wrote in the liner notes to her album She-Wolf. Her distinctive mix of new and old Delta traditions with day-to-day observations, won Hemphill international acclaim as a blues woman. She, however, was just carrying on the family tradition.

Hemphill was born Jessie Mae Graham in Senatobia, Mississippi. Though some sources cite her birth date asl932 or 1934, the majority agrees that she was born in 1937 on October 18th. Whatever the date, one thing is sureHemphill was born with music in her blood. Her father, James Graham, was a blues pianist and her mother, Virgie Lee Graham, was skilled in many instruments, though she did not identify herself as a musician. 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 Hemphills maternal grandfather, Sid Hemphill. The elder Hemphill was a well-known leader of fife-and-drum groups and had a successful career that spanned fifty years. Fife-and-drum, a traditional music native to the North Mississippi Delta region, has long interested ethnomusicologists because of its links to African musical styles. Sid Hemphill recorded with famed musicologist Alan Lomax in the 1940s. Sid Hemphill, in turn, had his musical roots sown by his father, Doc Hemphill, a Choctaw Indian and famed fiddler. This rich generational musical heritage has driven Jessie Mae Hemphills own musical career. All of the Hemphills was music players. And so Im the last one. Im just trying to play to keep the Hemphill music going. And trying not to let my grand-daddy down, she told Guitar Player in 1991.

Began Picking the Guitar at Eight

With such a musical pedigree it was almost inevitable that Hemphill would become a musician at an early

At a Glance

Born Jessie Mae Hemphill on October 18, 1937 (some sources cite 1932 or 1934), in New York, NY; daughter of Virgie Lee Graham and James Graham, a blues pianist; married J.D. Brooks (divorced).

Career: Singer, songwriter, guitarist, percussionist. Began performing as a child; in infrequent appearances with blues bands and drum-and-fife groups, 1950s-60s; began a solo career as Jessie Mae Hemphill, 1970s; recorded first album, She-Wolf, 1980; second album, Feelin Good, 1990; toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe, until 1995.

Awards: W.C, Handy Traditional Female Artist of the Year, 1987, 1988, 1994; W.C Handy Acoustic Album of the Year, for Feelin Good, 1991.

Addresses: Home P.O. Box 975, Senatobia, MS 38668.

age. She was eight years old when she began to learn guitar. When I was little, she told Guitar Player, my granddaddy started me off to playing guitar, and I started off playing blues. I liked the spirituals, but I played the blues because I thought that would get me somewhere in the money line faster than the spirituals would. The first complete song she learned was her Aunt Rosa Lees Bullyin Well which later appeared on her album She-Wolf.

Following her grandfathers lead as a multi-instrumentalist, Hemphill did not confine herself to just the guitar. She soon began learning drums and eventually picked up the tambourine, fife, flute, trombone, saxophone, harmonica, and piano. As a teen she began to perform and even won contests for her tambourine skills. Further cementing her link with her heritage, Hemphill learned to play instruments with clear African roots, including the quillshomemade cane pipes similar to panpipesand the diddley bow, a one- stringed instrument that is plucked or played with a glass bottle. However, it was for the guitar, drum, and tambourine that Hemphill became best known. Hemphill learned from listening to her relatives, noting for Guitar Player that her Aunt Rosa showed her how to play songs. Hemphill also said that she had to learn how to make the sound in my head.

During the 1950s and 1960s, though she was already 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, while still a teenager, married J. D. Brooks. Music found its way back into Hemphills life when she landed a job at a Memphis blues club. This led to her running her own club for a brief while. It wasnt until the 1970s that Hemphill would turn to her inherited role as a musician full-time.

When her marriage ended, Hemphill left Memphis and returned to Mississippi and her musical roots. She dropped her married name and adopted her more famous family name. About this time Hemphill caught the attention of Dr. David Evans, a noted ethnomusi-cologist, blues scholar, and talented musician in his own right. In the liner notes of Hemphills album, She-Wolf, Evans wrote, I was struck with what a fresh approach she had to an old style of music. He continued, She had drawn on the deepest traditions of the blues and African-American folk music to create truly contemporary country blues, not nostalgic recreations of an earlier musical era.

In 1979 Evans received a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to record and produce Mississippi blues music. Under his tutelage the High Water Recording Company was created as a division of the University of Memphis. One of its first artists was Hemphill. That first recording featured the Hemphill original compositions, Jessies Boogie and Standing in My Doorway Crying. The latter became a hit and was the top selling record on the High Water label. Following this success, Evans introduced Hemphill to the French label Vogue Records who promptly signed her to record her first album, She-Wolf.

Developed Award-Winning Sound

Shortly following the release of She-Wolf Vogue Records changed artistic direction and as a result She-Wolf languished with little promotion and no stateside audience. The album wouldnt be released in the United States until the late 1990s. The inertia of She- Wolf couldnt stop Hemphill and she kept right on playing, writing music, and developing her distinct, hypnotic sound. Londons The Independent described Hemphill as a powerful and mesmerizing performer who is like a female version of John Lee Hooker and Howlin Wolf combined. The blues establishment also took notice and Hemphill won the esteemed W.C. Handy Award for Traditional Female Artist of the Year in both 1987 and 1988.

In 1990 her second album, Feelin Good, was released on Evanss High Water label. With this album Hemphill drew the attention of blues aficionados from around the globe. One reviewer wrote on the Harmony Ridge Music website, Shes haunting, sexy, and full of the raw energy only someone with the blues in their blood can be. The album also scored Hemphill another Handy award in 1991 for Acoustic Album of the Year. Hemphill penned most of the songs on Feelin Good.

Drawing from traditional blues topics of love lost and found, poverty and hard work, sex and salvation, Hemphill continued a tradition of singing for and of the people. She told Guitar Player, [The songs] dont be all from me It be what I think other-folks is feeling the trouble that other womens is having. All us women have the same kind of trouble with our guys. Some of my blues is kinda sad blues, cause sometimes I be feeling down and out, and I know some other womens do too. So I play them so it will hit somebody.

Juggled Popular Blues with Delta Traditions

Hemphills fame reached its peak in the early 1990s. She was in demand at blues festivals and concerts all over the United States and Europe. As the general public lapped up her music, it also stirred the interest of academic folklorists. Hemphill performed for folklore societies in Memphis and Washington D.C. Jessie Maes strongest musical influences come from her family and the local folk music tradition near her home in Como, Mississippi, wrote Evans. Those traditions include the fife-and-drum of which Hemphill told www.mississippitalking.com, [It was] my granddaddys music, it came from Africa. My granddaddy knew it, and his daddy knew it too. Even with her hectic schedule, Hemphill managed to find time to perform with fife-and-drum groups back home in Mississippi.

As her fame was spreading, so was her reputation as a real She-Wolf of the blues. On stage Hemphill nurtured a sexuality normally reserved for male singers. She wore sequins and low cut tops, and flirted with the audience. Photographer Bill Steber, who has photographed many traditional blues musicians, wrote on his website: Female blues guitarists of Hemphills generation are rare because of the social strictures and danger associated with the lifestyle. Jessie Mae, however, has always known how to take care of herself in a hostile world. My mother carried her gun all the time, says Hemphill. She was a pistol-packing mama so Im a pistol-packing mama. Her willingness to step outside traditional female roles was also expressed in her songwriting and performing. Of She-Wolf, a reviewer for www.retroactive.com wrote, Hemphill uses the opportunity to display the full range of her powers. When she sings Do the disco baby. Do it, baby, do it on Jump Baby Jump, you know what shes talking about now, and [it is] every bit as salacious as any of Mr. Hookers nastier moments.

In 1994 Hemphill won her fourth Handy Award, again for Traditional Female Artist of the Year, and her career seemed destined to continue its phenomenal growth. However, a debilitating stroke left her partially paralyzed, making it impossible for her to play guitar again. Though her career effectively came to a halt, her fame continued to grow. In 1997 Feelin Good was revamped and re-issued on CD by the High Tone Records label. A year later, She-Wolf was finally released in the United States, also on High Tone Records. The releases once-again stirred the interests of blues lovers and scholars, making Hemphill something of a cult icon in the blues community.

In November of 2001 she sang and played tambourine as part of the The North Mississippi Hill Country, a concert in Brooklyn Heights, New York that brought her together with other homegrown Mississippi talent, including legends Otha Turner and T-Model Ford, as well as more famous newcomers Lucinda Williams, the North Mississippi All-Stars, and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. The concert was filmed by acclaimed German filmmaker Wim Wenders for The Blues, a PBS series set to premiere in 2003.

Carried on Delta Tradition

Despite her continuing fame and ever-growing audience, Hemphills life was still a struggle. This daughter of the North Mississippi Delta blues, home-grown fourth generation blues musician, innovator and tradition saver, lived alone for many years in a ramshackle trailer in Como, Mississippi with her pet poodles. 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, has helped Hemphill find better housing.

Hemphill has also not been forgotten by cultural historians. Students in Mississippi have written about her life as part of The Mississippi Writers and Musicians Project, which shares the rich cultural tradition of Mississippi with high school students. And she speaks to students as part of the Blues Project of George Mason University. One student wrote on the Blues Project website of a 2000 visit, When we met Jessie Mae Hemphill she seemed to have a great perspective on how the music 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 in the Delta for the past century.

Selected discagraphy

She-Wolf, Vogue/Blues Today, 1980 (French Release); HighTone/HMG, 1998 (reissue).

Feelin Good, High Water, 1990; HighTone/HMG, 1997 (reissue).

Giants of Country Blues, Vol. 3, Wolf, 1991 (compilation with other artists).

Deep South Blues, HighTone/HMG, 1999 (compilation with other artists).

Mali To Memphis: An African-American Odyssey, Putumayo World Music, 1999 (compilation with other artists).

Sources

Periodicals

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 16, 1998, p. C3.

Guitar Player, October 1991, p27; May 1998, p. 47.

The Independent (London, England), April 4, 1998, p. 39.

The New York Times, Nov 12, 2001, p. El.

On-line

www.bluesaccess.com/No_30/horwitz.html

www.catfishkeith.com

Bill Steber Photography, http://gallery64.com/steber_b/descrip/(14)Steber_JessieMaeH.htm

Harmony Ridge Music, http://www.hrmusic.com/discos/fafram17.html

http://www.mojoworkin.com/bluesrag/features/highwaterii.html

http://www.mississippitalking.msstate.edu/issue-04/blues/artist3.html

The Blues Project, http://www.ncc.gmu.edu/CFS/bluesproject.htm

www.retroactive.com/mar98/jessiemae.html

Candace LaBalle

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"Hemphill, Jessie Mae 1937–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Hemphill, Jessie Mae 1937–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 13, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/hemphill-jessie-mae-1937

"Hemphill, Jessie Mae 1937–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Retrieved December 13, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/hemphill-jessie-mae-1937