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The Memphis Jug Band


From 1927 through 1934, the Memphis Jug Band created an exceptional sound, combining harmonicas, violins, mandolins, banjos, guitars, washboards, kazoos, and, of course, jugs. 

African American musicians from across the Mid-South centered on singer-songwriter Will Shade, otherwise known as Sun Brimmer.

Their music was a mix of blues, ballads, dance tunes, and knock about novelty numbers. At first, they played wherever they could around Memphis, but, soon, their music was popular with both black and white audiences.

Over the years, the members changed, but one thing remain the same: Will Shade. He worked with recording studios all over the south to get his bands titles out to the public.

By the time the band dispersed in 1934, they had recorded over one hundred songs. Artists who got their start with the Jug Band included Casey Bill Weldon, Memphis Minnie, Charlie Burse, Charlie Polk, and "Hambone" Lewis.  

To learn more about all of our region's history, visit the Pink Palace Family of Museums, their Facebook page, or http://www.memphismuseums.org.

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