In case you missed NPR's Weekend Edition today, you might like to check out this
nice blues story.
"In a residential neighborhood in Bessemer, Ala.,about 20 miles from Birmingham,
sits a blues lover's dream: an honest-to-goodness juke joint. Gip's Place is one
of a precious few musical roadhouses still hanging on in this country. . . .
"Gipson has celebrated his 86th birthday about five or six times, we're told. In
those years, he says, he's been struck by lightning and run over in a stampede.
A singer who retired from the railroad, he's a gravedigger who owns a cemetery.
"Gipson has always been famous for his hospitality, whether it be with the locals
he's known for decades or the wide-eyed college kids just discovering some gut-
bucket blues. When he opened his place back in 1952, it was little more than a
glorified tent. Now, still several degrees removed from spiffy, the roadhouse
has been fixed up — but not so much that it's lost its down-home appeal, says
guitar player Lenny Madden, who functions as the house emcee."
Apparently people from all walks of life hang out there to enjoy the music and
dance. And top-name performers are happy to just pass the hat and take whatever
because it's such an awesome venue.
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