John Mayall, Elvin Bishop, Malaco Records and a Mamie Smith classic will be among the inductees into the Blues Hall of Fame for 2016. The induction ceremony will take place on 4 May at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown in Memphis, Tennessee, 24 hours before the 37th Blues Music Awards. Five performers in total will be inducted, with British blues flag-bearer Mayall to be joined by Elvin Bishop, Eddy Clearwater, Jimmy Johnson and the Memphis Jug Band. (John Mayall photo credit: Jeff Fasano).
The Blues Foundation has also selected a number of other notable people, recordings and artefacts to join the Hall of Fame this year. Among them are Tommy Couch Sr. and Wolf Stephenson, partners in the long-running independent southern soul label Malaco Records, widely respected for its work with such artists as Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland, Little Milton, Johnnie Taylor and Denise LaSalle.
The literature entry for 2016 is the book Early Downhome Blues: A Musical and Cultural Analysis by Jeff Todd Titon, noted as a highly significant analytical study of blues music. The album Blues In The Mississippi Night, released on Nixa in 1957 and United Artists in 1959, is being honoured, and so are five vintage singles.
These individual classics are Mamie Smith’s ‘Crazy Blues’ (OKeh Records, 1920); ‘Blues Before Sunrise,’ from 1934, by Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell; Jimmy Rogers’ 1950 Chess recording ‘That’s All Right’; the first Christmas entry in the Hall of Fame, 1947’s ‘Merry Christmas Baby’ by Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers featuring Charles Brown on vocals and piano; and Billy Boy Arnold’s ‘I Wish You Would’ (Vee-Jay, 1955).
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