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Monkey Joe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Monkey Joe
Birth nameJesse L. Coleman[1]
Born(1906-01-26)January 26, 1906
Shelby County, Tennessee, U.S.[1]
DiedNovember 16, 1967(1967-11-16) (aged 61)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.[1]
GenresCountry blues
Years active1930s–1960s[2]

Jesse "Monkey Joe" Coleman (January 26, 1906 - November 16, 1967)[1] was an American country blues pianist and singer, who recorded sporadically from the 1930s into the 1970s.[3]

Coleman was born in Shelby County, Tennessee. He worked locally in Jackson, Mississippi in juke joints in the 1930s, and recorded with Little Brother Montgomery in 1935 on Bluebird Records.[4] He began using the moniker "Monkey Joe" during that decade. Late in the 1930s he worked as a session musician for Lester Melrose, and recorded under his own name with Charlie McCoy, Fred Williams, Big Bill Broonzy, and Buster Bennett as backing musicians. Coleman also appears to have worked under several other names, such as "Jack Newman" at Vocalion Records and "George Jefferson" as an accompanist on recordings for Lulu Scott. He also recorded on Okeh Records for a time.[3]

Little is known of Coleman's whereabouts, aside from recording credits, from before the 1960s. He worked often in Chicago blues clubs in the 1960s, and he became the subject of some interest due to the blues revival in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He worked again with Little Brother Montgomery in the 1970s on an album entitled Crescent City Blues.[4]

Document Records released a two-volume CD set of Monkey Joe's works in 1996.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Eagle, Bob L.; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues: A Regional Experience. ABC-CLIO. p. 241. ISBN 9780313344244.
  2. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Monkey Joe: Biography". Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Biography by Bruce Eder". Allmusic.com. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (1995). The Guinness Who's Who of Blues (Second ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 90. ISBN 0-85112-673-1.
  5. ^ "AllMusic ((( Monkey Joe > Discography > Compilations )))".