Mance Lipscomb LbNA # 56811
|Placed Date||Dec 28 2010|
|Last Update||Feb 7 2015|
Mance Lipscomb (1895-1976), guitarist and songster, was born to Charles and Jane Lipscomb on April 9, 1895, in the Brazos bottom near Navasota, Texas, where he lived most of his life as a tenant farmer. Lipscomb dropped his given name, Bowdie Glenn, and named himself Mance when a friend, an old man called Emancipation, passed away. Lipscomb was born into a musical family and began playing at an early age. His father was a fiddler, his uncle played the banjo, and his brothers were guitarists. His mother bought him a guitar when he was eleven, and he was soon accompanying his father, and later entertaining alone, at suppers and Saturday night dances. He was working as foreman of a highway-mowing crew in Grimes County when blues researchers Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records and Mack McCormick of Houston found and recorded him in 1960. His encounter with Strachwitz and McCormick marked the beginning of over a decade of involvement in the folk-song revival, during which Lipscomb won wide acclaim for his virtuosity as a guitarist and the breadth of his repertoire. Admirers enjoyed his lengthy reminiscences and eloquent observations regarding music and life, many of which are contained in taped and written materials in the Mance Lipscomb-Glenn Myers Collection in the archives and manuscripts section of the Barker Texas History Center at the University of Texas at Austin. He made numerous recordings and appeared at such festivals as the Berkeley Folk Festival of 1961, where he played before a crowd of more than 40,000. In clubs Lipscomb often shared the bill with young revivalists or rock bands. He was also the subject of a film, A Well-Spent Life (1970), made by Les Blank. Despite his popularity, however, he remained poor. After 1974 declining health confined him to a nursing home and hospitals. He died in Grimes Memorial Hospital, Navasota, on January 30, 1976, and was buried at Rest Haven Cemetery.
*This information was summarized from www.famoustexans.com.
Upon entering Navasota on 105 N, turn left on 5th St. at the light. As 5th St. curves, it becomes Blackshear St. The cemetery is on the left. There are two entrances. Once entrance is arched and labeled Oakland. The other is framed by two brick columns and contains a plague labeled Rest Haven. Enter at the Rest Haven entrance. Counting from the entrance columns, find the 5th row of graves on the right. The second grave is Mance Lipscomb. Turn to the right and walk 45 steps to a forked cedar tree at the head of the Raymond Jones marker. Look in the cavity 2 foot above the ground for Mance's guitar. It is concealed by sticks, moss, and rocks.