Standing In My Doorway Crying

Jessie Mae Hemphill


Jessie Mae Hemphill (guitar & vocals) performs the first song she ever recorded “Standing In My Doorway Crying” with Rich Jones (2nd guitar).

Hemphill was born near Como and Senatobia, Mississippi, in northern Mississippi just east of the Mississippi Delta. She began playing the guitar at the age of seven and also played drums in various local Mississippi fife and drum bands. The first field recordings of her work were made by blues researcher George Mitchell in 1967 and ethnomusicologist Dr. David Evans in 1973 when she was known as Jessie Mae Brooks, using the surname from a brief early marriage, but the recordings were not released. Dr. Evans came to Memphis to teach the University Of Memphis and the following year in 1979 the school founded the High Water record label to promote interest in indigenous Southern music. Jessie Mae would make her first high-quality recordings at sessions for the label later that year.

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