Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Friday, May 31, 2013

Announcing My New Book Project: "Tillman Branch, King of the Mississippi Bootleggers"

I am happy and proud to announce that I recently learned The History Press, an independent publisher located in Charleston, South Carolina, has accepted my book proposal, with plans to publish "Tillman Branch, King of the Mississippi Bootleggers," in April 2014.  I am especially delighted to be associated with The History Press, which publishes books in 50 states and was named by Publishers Weekly as a "2012 Fastest-Growing INDIE PUBLISHER."

I wrote about Tillman on this blog several years ago.  Well-known as a bootlegger in Attala and Holmes Counties, Tillman was shot and killed in 1960's Mississippi.  Not only did Tillman make and sell liquor that was illegal during the time in which he lived and in the state where he grew up, he also ran nightclubs where the liquor was sold. Locally known during that time as "juke joints," Tillman's clubs offered entertainment to patrons that featured blues music and moonshine, a combination that often resulted in a little mayhem to boot.  Some of the bluesmen who performed in Tillman's clubs, including David "Honeyboy" Edwards, would later leave Mississippi and become well-known throughout the country.

I have a personal interest in the life of Tillman Branch, since my paternal great-great-grandfather and Tillman's father were brothers. Although I never met Tillman, I was often fascinated by the many stories about him that I heard as a child.  Surprisingly, others knew Tillman as a person who was quite different from the one who lived and worked on the other side of the law. In this book, I hope to present both sides of Tillman's life and the significance of the history and culture of the place where he lived. 

Watch here for updates on the book's progress.


  1. I just want to thank you for creating this blog and taking the time to research and connect the dots, so to speak. I haven't been trying to trace my Burrell family history very long, but you have made it so much easier and much more interesting!

    Again, Thank You!

    - Alanea Burrell

    1. Thank you, Alanea, for your comment and for reading my blog. I hope you will visit here again soon.