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Henry ‘Gip’ Gipson, owner of Bessemer juke joint, dies at 99

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WVTM 13

Henry “Gip” Gipson, the musician and owner of a popular juke joint in Bessemer, Alabama, has passed at the age of 99, according to family members.

Gipson’s son shared the heartbreaking news on social media Tuesday.

“My father passed today. From Gip’s place to a better place you can’t talk saying it as he always said,” Keith Gipson posted on Facebook.

As news of Gip Gipson’s death spread, people began sharing their condolences and memories of goods times at Gip’s Place. 

Those included Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin: “Today we said farewell to an icon. Henry “Gip” Gipson was the embodiment of blues – cool, smooth, passionate and dripping with soul. Gip’s Place, his legendary juke joint, still stands a monument to Southern blues. Rest well, blues brother.”

Others shared:

  • “Rest in piece Gipson Henry. Truly one of Alabama’s long time treasures. Thanks for years of great blues“
  • No black, no white, just the blues.” Thank you, sir, for allowing me and countless others into your heart, your soul, and your back yard. You were a gift to us here on Earth and are now a gift to those in Heaven. R. I. P., Gipson Henry. I appreciate you, I admire you, I love you, and I thank you.”
  • “Just learned of Mr. Gipson Henry passing. What a beautiful soul he was and he will be missed.”
  • “I will miss you my friend.. thank you for talking me into playing music again.. I will spread it thru each student I teach.. your story will be told….”
  • “For some music is a cathartic experience… a moment to just be. Thank you Gip’s Place , Gipson Henry for being exactly what the people needed! Rest in Rhythm #RIP #Bluesman #jukejoint”
  • “Mr. Henry Gipson was an awesome icon of the Bessemer, AL area. He will truly be missed by many people who was a part of his life at some point.”