If you're in Clarksdale, MS and you look real close at the Northwest corner of Sunflower Avenue & MLK Drive, catty corner from the Grange Cemetery, you just might find RED's LOUNGE. It doesn't look like it's open and Big Red only opens when he feels like it. There's no schedule that I'm aware of and Red will be around when he wants to have a little fun and let his hair down some. Not that Red has a lot of hair these days, but Red does have a "Juke Joint". You just have to drive by and see if Red is open. Clarksdale's not jumping like the "old" days with Smitty's Red Top, the Blue Diamond, the Big House, Gene's Snack Bar, Mac's, the Black Forest, and several other joints open, but Red still carries on. Red was recognized in 2006 with the Early Wright Award for keeping the Blues alive. Red's joint represents one of the last of the real deal jukes in Clarksdale.
If you're fortunate enough to find Red's open, you'll probably run into several local musicians sitting in with the house band. On this typical Friday night, I ran into Gladys from Shelby, Dr Mike James, Big T, Joe Iceman Williams, Blackjack, Wesley Jefferson, Jeremy Horton, Willie Butler, Artie Renkel from PA, Frankie Lee, and Josh Stewart. These guys have been playing together for many years and it's a real treat to just hang out at this Big Ole House party at Red's.
Everyone participates freely. You can sing along if you want,
shoot some pool, dance by yourself or with someone, or just drink
Here's some photo's taken at Red's from 2002 through 2015.
If you're in Clarksdale, MS and you miss Red's, you didn't do yourself a favor.
Red's was the home for Big Jack Johnson until Big Jack's death on March 14, 2011.
page added April 30, 2004