Jim Groves was known to everyone as Mr. Jim. He was The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint’s first customer, waiting outside in the summer heat for their doors to open. He stopped by every day, even when his failing health in later years allowed him to stay for only an hour or two at opening time.
Saturday nights were his “down time” when he would listen to bands and dance. He and Brad Orrison, one of The Shed’s owners, had developed a great friendship since the beginning and he became a fixture at The Shed, often present from before opening until long after the doors had closed for the night. In more recent years, as The Shed became recognized nationally, he was known as a Shed Pimp along with another beloved gentleman named Gus.
Grayson Capp, the songwriter of “Coconut Moonshine”, performing at The Shed in Ocean Springs, MS.
Mr. Jim often sat at the end of the bar sipping on beer until the music started then he was off to search for a dance partner. He loved to dance… not loved but, LIVED to dance. He once told me that if he wasn’t dancing, he wasn’t alive. Dancing was his life support.
The Shed began putting on yearly Bluesfests. It was during one of these early festivals that many locals were introduced to a New Orleans musician named Grayson Capps. Everyone enjoyed Grayson’s music and The Shed began inviting him to play on occasional Friday or Saturday nights.
Mr. Jim loved when Grayson played at The Shed. Grayson had grown quite a following and Mr. Jim knew that meant more lovely ladies for dance partners. We would see him dancing with two or three ladies at one time, often wearing them out and looking for another partner afterward.
Corky Hughes, John Milham and Grayson Capps with a painting of Mr. Jim at The Shed in Ocean Springs, MS.
One night, he held up a flask for Grayson to sample. Coconut moonshine…home brewed and very tasty! He never told anyone where it came from. He said he was carrying that secret to his grave. He always had a flask of coconut moonshine whenever Grayson played at The Shed.
With Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans being flooded in 2005, Grayson moved to Tennessee. He said one day he began thinking of the people back “home” and thought of The Shed, Mr. Jim, his coconut moonshine and always having pretty ladies dancing with him. “The words and music started happening”, Grayson told me. Today, “Coconut Moonshine” is a popular song that Grayson sings and I always love to hear it… especially now.
Friends of Mr. Jim gather together at The Shed to remember Mr. Jim (Fri. July 22, 2016)
Mr. Jim passed away on July 21, 2016, the day before Grayson Capps and the Lost Cause Minstrels were scheduled to play at the place that Mr. Jim loved so much. Most of his Shed family was present. That night, with a very large crowd on hand, Grayson played “Coconut Moonshine” while everyone who loved our “Shed Pimp” had a toast in his honor with, what else… a sip of coconut moonshine. BTW… he held to his word. No one EVER found out where he got it… that secret went with him to his grave.
Thank you, Brad Orrison, Grayson Capps and Lori Ransom for filling in the gaps.
John Milham, Grayson Capps and Corky Hughes at The Shed in Ocean Springs, MS.
James Alton “Mr. Jim” Groves
(Dec. 26. 1934-July 21, 2016)
The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint is located at 7501 Highway 57 (Exit 57 off I-10 North towards Vancleave) in Ocean Springs, MS.
Related Articles and/or Photo Albums:
Willie Sugarcapps Returns with “Paradise Right Here”
The Road to Natchez Leads to Rolling River Bistro and 408 Listening Room
Grayson Capps & Corky Hughes at Manci’s in Daphne, AL (Sun. June 12, 2016)
Grayson Capps & Corky Hughes at Manci’s in Daphne, AL (Sun. July 31, 2016)
About the Writer: Cynthia Thamert is a contributing writer and has assisted on several articles at The Southland Music Line.(Above photo: The Thamerts “Ron & Cindy”)
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