Online Staff Report
During the first 34 years of the Blues Hall of Fame balloting, only one saxophonist, Louis Jordan, was elected. The Year of the Saxophonist has come, however, in 2014, as three sax men–Big Jay McNeely, Eddie Shaw, and Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson–blow their way into the Blues Hall. Two other performers–Mississippi hill country patriarch R.L. Burnside and the intense and inimitable Robert Pete Williams—will also be inducted in May.
Among the other individuals to be recognized by The Blues Foundation for their behind-the-scenes contributions: The Rosebud Agency’s manager and booking agent par excellence Mike Kappus, Houston music mogul and label owner Don Robey, and prolific Chicago record producer and writer Dick Shurman.
The book Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke by Peter Guralnick is the literature entry into the Blues Hall of Fame this year. This is Peter’s fourth book inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
These albums are being honored: Hawk Squat (Delmark, 1969) by J.B. Hutto and Moanin’ in the Moonlight (Chess, 1959) by Howlin’ Wolf.
The following singles will be inducted during the ceremony: “After Hours” by Erskine Hawkins and His Orchestra (Bluebird, 1940); “Catfish Blues” by Robert Petway (Bluebird, 1941); “High Water Everywhere, Parts I & II” by Charley Patton (Paramount, 1930); “It’s Tight Like That” by Tampa Red & Georgia Tom (Vocalion, 1928); and “Milk Cow Blues” by Kokomo Arnold (Decca, 1934).
Inductees’ official biographies and descriptions are available, as well as all Hall of Fame inductees, at blues.org/halloffame/index.php.
The induction ceremony will be held Wednesday, May 7, at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown in Memphis, Tennessee, the night before the 35th Blues Music Awards. With living musicians like B.B. King and Buddy Guy, and legends like Muddy Waters and Koko Taylor, the Blues Hall of Fame consists of blues music’s best and brightest stars.
The Blues Foundation is now in the final stages of raising the capital needed to showcase these legendary performers and their work with Blues Hall of Fame exhibits at its 421 S. Main headquarters in downtown Memphis. The Blues Hall of Fame will honor inductees year round, provide interactive and educational exhibits, and create a place for serious blues fans, casual visitors, and students to congregate, celebrate and learn more about the Blues. The Raise the Roof! campaign hopes to raise the remaining funds necessary to commence construction in June of this year.
May 9, the night after the Blues Hall of Fame inductions, The Blues Foundation will present the Blues Music Awards for the 35th time. Performers, industry representatives and fans from around the world will celebrate the best in Blues recording, songwriting and performance from the previous year at the Memphis Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis.
For tickets and more information, visit blues.org.
Major funding is provided by ArtsMemphis and the Tennessee Arts Commission. The 35th Blues Music Awards and Blues Hall of Fame events are also sponsored by BMI, Catfood Records, Eagle Rock Entertainment, First Tennessee Foundation, Jontaar Creative Studios, Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Sony/Legacy Records.