Saturday, March 29, 2008

Mary Shepard is Retiring!


Two Sundays Remain


Mary Shepard


From the Historic CLUB EBONY!



Sunday, March 30

Mickey Rogers w/ Band and Guests

Starts at 6:30pm



Sunday, April 6

“Steppin’ Out Sunday!”

Mickey Rogers w/ Band & Guests

Starts at 4:30pm  



Everyone is invited to celebrate the 34(+) years Mary Shepard has been operating Club Ebony! 

She would love to see old friends and she is always making new ones! 

Come on by and Mary will serve you some of her famous fried catfish one more time! 

If you live out-of-town, you can stop by early on “Steppin’ Out Sunday”; she’ll be ready at 4:30pm! 

Sunday, April 6 is a night for “Steppin’ Out!” 

If you want to wear what was once this Delta Blues Club’s tradition- your Sunday best, please do!

                                                                                                                                                               But, not required….



Contact:  Club Ebony


Accommodations:  Best Western-Blues Traveler Inn


Members of the Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola





Club Ebony makes USA WEEKEND Magazine List


























Issue Date: May 28, 2006

Ten Out-of-the-Way Places You Should Go Out of Your Way to See

In this article:
The Ancient Spanish Monastery
Watts Towers
Devils Tower National Monument
Club Ebony
Sea Lion Caves
New Harmony
Panorama of the City of New York
International UFO Museum and Research Center


And the great thing is that you needn't travel far. Even America's largest cities boast amazing sites that many (even locals) often overlook. Journey with us and get off the tourist-beaten path.

Cover: Ten out of the way places you should go out of your way to see

More travel reports:
10 Places to Eat Take in the flavors of the nation.
10 Best out-of-the way Spots We take you off the beaten path.
America the diverse Places that celebrate our nation's many faces.
Top 10 places to have fun The classic summer prerogative -- good, old-fashioned fun.
10 Most Beautiful Places in America A nation blessed with sights -- natural and man-made.
America's 10 Best Historic Landmarks Defining moments and places in the evolution of our democracy.
10 Must-See sites: Understanding of what it means to be American.

Road trip. Are there two more exciting words in the American lexicon? With its promise of adventure, a sense of jump-in-the-car spontaneity, the concept tickles the innate wanderlust of a nation of pioneers. Another national passion: individualism. These two great themes come together in our annual summer travel issue.

Our list of destinations presents 10 out-of-the-way attractions that reward a journey of any distance. (We even included don't-miss-but-sometimes-overlooked attractions in three of the country's most-visited cities.) Diverse in substance and geography, ranging from the wonderful to the wacky, these gems are linked by a sense of outrageous individuality. Another thing these places share is an off-the-charts wow factor. Once you see them, they stay locked in your memory.

As always, our biggest challenge was limiting the featured attractions to 10. After weighing nominations from staffers, travel professionals and seasoned veterans of family driving vacations, we cut down our master list to the best of the best. We hope you get out to see some of them this summer -- and perhaps discover a few unexpected delights of your own along the way.

Club Ebony
Indianola, Miss.

More than a hundred juke joints dot the Delta's back roads, much as they did in the 1930s and '40s. In Indianola, you'll find one called Club Ebony. Look for faded green clapboards and a weathered roadside barbecue pit. A historic marker tells you the nondescript club has been operating since 1945. It lists some of the giants who have gotten down and dirty there over the years -- Howlin' Wolf, Ray Charles and native son B.B. King, who was born on a plantation here in 1925. Club Ebony serves a justly famous catfish dinner, but its real specialty is hard-driving music. David Lee Durham, whom some consider to be the last genuine Delta bluesman on Earth, rocks the joint with his True Blues Band on Sunday nights. This is the real deal, a juke junket not to be missed by blues travelers or anyone interested in American culture.


Copyright 2008 USA WEEKEND. All rights reserved.
A Gannett Co., Inc. property.
Terms of Service.   Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights.


Mary Shepard Sells the Historic Club Ebony in Indianola, MS


 Club Ebony Sold!

From the DD-T

Shepard says she will miss Club Ebony

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

INDIANOLA - Mary Shepard says she is going to miss Club Ebony.

But after 34 years and two strokes, she says, the time had come to retire from her beloved juke joint.

Shepard, the long-time owner of Indianola's historic Club Ebony, recently sold the venue to blues legend and hometown hero B.B. King.

Club Ebony - or, as it was originally called, the Jones Night Spot - opened in 1943 under the ownership of Johnny Jones. In its 65-year history, the club has played host to a compendium of blues and blues-influenced greats, including Count Basie, James Brown, Ray Charles, Howlin' Wolf and many more.

In an interview with the Delta Democrat Times, Shepard recalled buying the club in 1974, and her more than three decades at its helm.

Shepard said she first leased Club Ebony at the suggestion of her then-husband, Willie Shepard. Willie had recently returned from Vietnam, where he was paralyzed after stepping on a land mine. Shepard said she was hesitant to take over the club, but decided it would help her husband rehabilitate.

“I got to thinking, ‘Well that would be good for him,'” Shepard said. “He loved to play pool. I could bring him to the club, he could be around meeting with people, and laughing with people and talking. I could bring him over in his wheelchair. So then I agreed.”

Shepard says she leased the club for a year and a half from then-owner Ruby Edwards. Then she purchased it outright on Jan. 4, 1974.

What began as a reluctant proprietorship turned into more than three decades shaping the culture of the blues in the Mississippi Delta. Even after Shepard and her husband divorced in 1986, she continued running the club, booking acts such as Willie Clayton, Bobby Rush, Dorothy Moore and B.B. King himself, who traditionally plays a session at Club Ebony after his annual homecoming concert in Indianola's Fletcher Park.

But the life of a club owner can be a hard one, full of late nights and stressful days. Shepard says it got to be too much.

“It's too much pressure,” she said. “It wears you out, you know.”

Shepard suffered a stroke while planning the B.B. King homecoming in 2004. She had another stroke in 2005. She says she has been less active in running the club since then, delegating management responsibilities to friends and family members.

Finally, her family convinced her to step down from the club for good.

“It's very important to them,” said Shepard. “They just want to enjoy me. And they want me to enjoy them. And the grandchildren say that I devoted more time to Club Ebony than I did anything.”

Shepard is planning a farewell event for Sunday, April 6, at 4 p.m. She says Mickey Rogers and the Soul Master Band have already been lined up to play. Other long-time Club Ebony acts are also welcome, Shepard says. Beyond that, she says she doesn't want to have anything to do with booking, promotions, management or any other aspect of running the club.

“I won't be assisting anyone,” Shepard said. “I'll be just coming in like you and enjoying the atmosphere.

“I'm just gonna sit back and try not to shed any tears and try to laugh and be happy,” she added.















Folk Artist Pat Thomas Leads Sculpture Workshop at Delta State



Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola

2007 Blues Artist of the Year – Pat Thomas



photo attached                                                                                                      


Folk Artist Pat Thomas Leads Sculpture Workshop at Delta State


CLEVELAND―Noted folk artist Pat Thomas of Leland led the Lighthouse Arts & Heritage After-School Program in a sculpture workshop yesterday on the campus of Delta State University


Thomas showed the students how to sculpt a bird, a human head, and a snake.  Students sculpted their own pieces as Thomas demonstrated technique and assisted the students.


Thomas is the son of James “Son” Thomas, a famous Blues player and folk artist. Thomas, who is also a musician, sculpts in the same style as his father, using found objects and often depicting heads and animals.  To see examples of his work, go to  


The event was funded by The History Channel’s “Save Our History” grant program and the Foundation for the Mid South.  The Delta State University Art Department donated studio space for the workshop.


The Lighthouse Arts & Heritage After-School Program is run by Delta State University’s Delta Center for Culture and Learning.  In the program the students, 7 and 8 grade students from D.M. Smith Middle School in Cleveland, learn about the rich heritage of their home, the Mississippi Delta, and also receive art instruction.


For more information, contact the Delta Center for Culture and Learning at (662) 846-4311.


Proposed Cutline: Thomas assists Lighthouse student Korxinskee Frazier of Cleveland in adding nostrils to his bird.





Thursday, March 13, 2008

Unreleased Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf Recordings Found by the Blues Legacy Trust

Check out some rare and original blues albums recently discovered by the Blues Legacy Trust.  Please feel free to visit:

You will find details on the new

Chris Barber Presents...
The Blues Legacy: Lost & Sound Series
Volumes 1, 2 and 3

Featuring previously unreleased live, broadcast and studio recordings from Chris Barber, Muddy Waters, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Sonny Boy Williamson, Ronnie Scott, Humphrey Lyttelton, Jimmy Witherspoon, Ottilie Patterson, Howlin Wolf, Hubert Sumlin, Otis Spann and many more...

*The Blues Legacy can deliver across the world...

*You can also go onto your local i-tunes to buy individiual tracks from the series

*You can also listen to the interview on the BBC Radio 2 Show - Presented by Paul Jones by listening online - Monday 17th March 08 @ 7pm UK Time...They will playing tracks from the series and talking to Chris Barber about the blues legends he has worked with...go to:

Click here to unsubscribe