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National Blues Museum: Let’s Talk About Juke Joints
This event looks into the history and culture behind juke joints, a gathering place made popular by African Americans in the early and mid- 20th century where musicians could perform and attendees could eat, drink, dance and socialize without outside pressures.
Leading the discussion is businesswoman and “Delta Blues Queen” Mary Frances Shepard. For 34 years, Shepard and her husband Willie owned and managed the famed Club Ebony in Indianola, Mississippi. Club Ebony hosted both local and national performers including B.B. King, James Brown, Clarence Carter, Denise LaSalle, and Bobby Rush. Upon Shepard’s retirement, B.B. King purchased Club Ebony in 2008 and donated the venue to the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, and was later named as a stop on the famed Mississippi Blues Trail. Shepard will be interviewed about her life and experience in running one of the most noted juke joints of the 20th century by Jacqueline K. Dace.