PO Monkey Juke
Seaberry (AKA PO Monkey), b August 25, 1940 and died July 12, 2016 in his room
at the Lounge. Willie ran this "Joint" since
about 1961. Maybe longer as he told me he
couldn't remember just exactly when he opened
up at the end of this field on a gravel
road named PO Monkey Road. Willie
had been a farmer his
entire life on the Hiter Family farm,
and his juke joint was a main spot for rural blacks during the early
years. He used to operate on
Mondays with strippers from Memphis and
Thursdays with a DJ spinning some Blues and R & B.
music was held on a weekend. PO Monkey's is THE LAST of the House-Joints
from the good old days. Willie was a fun guy and he had a lot of history and stories under his belt.
built around 1915 or so, this sharecropper shack, called PO Monkey's Lounge is
known around the world. PO Monkey was a big star and has been featured
in the Oxford
American, the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Esquire-Japan, and PO
Monkey's Lounge has been
on Japanese TV and even broadcast to China! The
famous photographer, Annie Lebovitz, even
stopped to photograph PO Monkey.
If you have ever visited the Lounge, you probably didn't
realize that Willie
also lived there in just one room that was off the Bar/Kitchen area.
been in his "Room" and it was about 6 feet by 10 feet. Monkey
had his colorful outfits
hanging from the ceiling on an iron pipe.
Willie always had a pleasant personality and he was
a very enjoyable person to
be around. I picked him up one day several years ago and we went
Riverside Hotel to meet "Rat". I regret that I did not record
the stories that these guys
told that day, but I'll always remember both Rat
& PO Monkey as they both were
authentic Old School and Colorful Characters.
In 2015, Monkey added food to the deal.
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