A world famous backyard party

A world famous backyard party
This pilgrimage site for blues-loving musicians may well be the last juke joint in the United States.
PHOTO: Facebook

This pilgrimage site for blues-loving musicians may well be the last juke joint in the United States.

Chuck Berry once gave its owner a guitar, and Keith Richards has played there unannounced. So too have Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

Tonight, it's the Franklin Tully Band out of nearby Birmingham, Alabama, who are regulars on the pocket stage at what might be the last juke joint in the United States: Gip's Place.

Juke joints were once common throughout the segregated south, informal places - often in someone's home - where African Americans could gather and enjoy drinking, dancing, music... and maybe a few other things besides.

Gip Gipson has been throwing his backyard Saturday night parties in the tin-roof garage at his home in Bessemer, Alabama, since 1952.

As a part-time musician and blues fan, he decided to invite other musicians in to entertain friends and neighbours on the weekend.

Now, at the age of 96 (give or take, no one knows) he's still playing host to anything from a few dozen to a couple hundred blues fans who bring their own booze to help keep Gip on the right side of the law.

'I can't run a business,' Gip said, 'but no one can stop you from having a party in your own backyard.'

At least I thought that's what he said, as apart from being almost as old as the blues, Gip's thick Southern accent was well lubricated with regular sips from a glass of clear liquid.

Gip first worked building railcars, but later became a gravedigger, a job he still holds to this day, and he now owns the Pine Hill Cemetery a few miles from his home.

Read the full article here

More about

Purchase this article for republication.

BRANDINSIDER

SPONSORED

Most Read

Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.