How We Helped:Music Maker helped Essie Mae obtain a passport, rebuild the outside of her house, and pay utility bills. Additionally, Music Maker recorded Essie Mae’s two CDs and assisted her in setting up tours throughout Europe, including performing at the Cognac Blues Festival. Essie Mae is featured in the book Music Makers: Portraits and Songs from the Roots of America (2004).
More About Essie:
Essie Mae Brooks was born in Houston County, Georgia in 1930. Her father was a great drummer in the nearly forgotten African-American tradition called “Drumbeat.” He would play the drum every weekend and people would gather and dance all night long. Her grandfather was a harmonica player and Essie started singing to accompany him. She began singing and writing gospel songs as a girl and has never stopped.