Mapping a Modern Mississippi < Places < Po’ Monkey’s

Po’ Monkey’s

Po' Monkey's is one of the only original juke joints to survive into the 21st century. Founded in 1961, it is located in cotton fields in a one-room house and has become a destination for blues tourists from around the world.
These historic music houses have always been places where "farm workers could relax, drink beer, and listen to music." Po' Monkey's is operated by owner William Seaberry, and is only open one night a week, Thursday, starting at 8:30 pm.

The Stories

Thursday is known as “family night” at Po’ Monkey’s juke joint here, but that doesn’t mean you should bring your kids to this patched-up sharecropper shack that has swayed with rhythms and blues for nearly 50 years...

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Credit to: Erik Eckholm, The New York Times

Credit to: airick17

The rural juke joint played an integral role in the development of the blues, offering a distinctly secular space for people to socialize, dance, and forget their everyday troubles. While many such jukes once dotted the cotton fields of the Delta countryside, Po’ Monkey’s was one of the relatively few to survive into the 21st century. Initially frequented by locals, Po’ Monkey’s became a destination point for blues tourists from around the world during the 1990s...

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Credit to: MS Blues Trail

Credit to: Bridging the Blues

You’d be right podna, most of the time, but take a DJ, cold beer, set-ups for whiskey, a bag of cracklins passed around the table, some old-school R&B and enough multi-shaped jiggling backsides of all colors, and you gots good times with enough laughter to put ole Mista Prozac out of bidness!

Po Monkey’s Lounge, somewhere near Merigold, MS, is one of the most organically integrated Juke Joints anywhere. Proprietor Willie Seaberry is a caretaker, rhythm maker, low-down gyrator, good-times maker, mold breaker—ain’ but one of him, ‘cept when he changes outfits several times a night—and a fellow who makes folks happy just ‘cause he is...

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Credit to: Poor William

Credit to: Oxford American

Credit to: Visit the Mississippi Delta

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