Junior Kimbrough in National Geographic

I was rummaging through some old National Geographics and I stumbled across an article from 1989 that depicts and talks about Junior Kimbrough’s juke joint and family. The article is FAULKNER’S MISSISSIPPI on page 313. This is in Volume 175 No. 3 from March of 1989. The article is about William Cuthbert Faulkner and his love for Mississippi. The intro states:

At home with his dogs in Oxford, Mississippi, William Cuthbert Fauikner in 1947 was only three years away from winning the Nobel Prize in Literature. An intensely private man, he was driven by the demons of his creativity to transform his corner of the South into a seamless fictional world.

The Kimbroughs are mentioned twice in the article with an accompanying photo. This first is a great photo inside Junior’s home. The byline states:

Frozen for a moment like characters in a drama, friends and relatives of blues musician Junior Kimbrough relax at his home outside Holly Springs late on a Sunday afternoon. “That’s all any story is,” Faulkner said. “You catch this fluidity which is human life and you focus a light on it and you stop it long enough for people to be able to see it. …”
Faulkner wrote movingly about blacks and was deeply concerned about race relations in the South. But he was acutely aware of the invisible barrier between blacks and whites.

Another photo later in the article mentions, Gearlena Kimbrough as the byline states:

Her reflection in the mirror suggesting a life of patience and wisdom, Gearlena Kimbrough awaits guests at her home near Holly Springs. The capacity to endure, Faulkner said, was a fundamental virtue of humanity: “to endure well grief and misfortune and injustice and then endure again.” Underappreciated and underpaid for years, struggling with alcoholism and the loss of loved ones, Faulkner knew something of endurance, as well as honor, pity, consideration, and truth. These were the true subjects of his fiction, he said, the only things ever worth writing about, “worth the agony and the sweat”

Below are all the photos mentioned.


Junior Kimbrough Quote – Cotton Patch Blues

“See, I have a different type of music from other peoples. They playing the other kind of blues, and I'm playing cotton-patch blues.Ain't nobody now can play the blues that I play.”
— Junior Kimbrough


Junior Kimbrough Quotes - One Chord

Junior Kimbrough Quote – One Chord

“My songs, they have just the one chord, there's none of that fancy stuff you hear now, with lots of chords in one song. If I find another chord I leave it for another song.”
— Junior Kimbrough


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