For Immediate Release
May 10, 1999
THE BLUES FOUNDATION SELECTS 17 RECIPIENTS FOR THE "KEEPING THE BLUES ALIVE" AWARD
Memphis, TN - Seventeen dedicated Blues enthusiasts have been singled out to receive The Blues Foundation's 1999 Keeping The Blues Alive (KBA) Award. The Awards will be presented at a May 30th banquet as a highlight of the W.C. Handy Blues Award weekend.
The KBA Awards are given each year to individuals and organizations that have contributed to the growth and vitality of the Blues industry. Recipients range from Blues societies and clubs to corporate sponsors and Blues radio personalities, as well as writers and educators. Like the Handy Awards, which are bestowed on America’s best Blues artists, musicians and recordings, the KBA Awards recognizes the outstanding accomplishments and contributions of non-performers in the Blues world. The KBA Award recipients are chosen annually through an intense selection process by a committee of professional Blues industry representatives.
This year's KBA Award recipients are:
ACHIEVEMENT IN EDUCATION -- D.C. and Selby Minner are two Blues musicians who have organized music educational events in Oklahoma that have been incorporated in the annual Dusk 'til Dawn Blues Festival and Down Home Blues Club/Museum. They also produce a Blues in the Schools program through the Oklahoma Arts Council.
ACHIEVEMENT IN HISTORICAL PRESERVATION -- Yazoo Records, which was established in 1967 by Nick Perls and Bernie Klatzko, is a home for traditional rural Blues and American music recordings.
ACHIEVEMENT FOR BLUES ON THE INTERNET -- Blues on Stage, located at MNBlues.com. Since its inception in 1997, the website, created by Ray Stiles, has grown into one of the most popular and largest Blues sites on the Internet.
BLUES ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR -- The Fox Valley Blues Society in Illinois has built a solid organization devoted to preserving and promoting the Blues. The Society uncovered the historic RCA/Bluebird Blues recordings that were originally made at the Leland Hotel in Aurora, IL, which compelled the city to rename the street in front of the hotel as Blues Alley -- at the Society's prompting.
BLUES CLUB OF THE YEAR -- Biscuits & Blues in San Francisco, which was founded in 1995 by Frank Klein, preserves the Blues in its original creation. The best of Blues music is performed nightly, and served with a plate of good Southern food.
PROMOTER OF THE YEAR -- Jerry Pillow is one of the founders of the King Biscuit Blues Festival, which was established in 1985 to honor the historic musical heritage of Helena, Arkansas. The King Biscuit Blues Festival has turned into one of the largest free Blues Festivals in the world.
MANAGER OF THE YEAR -- Bob Bell is Roomful of Blues, as well as their manager, and their vibe is the Blues. Bell was born in London in 1946 and dedicated his life to the then "new" music when he discovered Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" at the age of 9. After negotiating a European release for the band in 1980, he joined the organization as publicist, driver, soundman and manager- the rest is Blues history.
BLUES SPONSOR OF THE YEAR -- The Winston Blues Revival, launched by Winston in 1998, showcases the talent of authentic Blues pioneers. The Revival supports the Music Maker Relief Foundation which provides help and financial relief to Southern Blues traditionalist musicians.
ACHIEVEMENT IN BLUES RETAIL -- Amazon.com has become one of the world's leading music retail stops through its Internet site. The company gives as much space and importance to Blues as it does to the classics and Rock and Roll.
ACHIEVEMENT IN PUBLIC RADIO -- Dr. Russell J. Linnemann, host of "Blues and More" for the last 15-years on WUTC-FM in Chattanooga, Tennessee has greatly contributed to the widespread popularity of Blues and has received critical acclaim for his radio program. He is also an extensive writer on the Blues and teaches at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
ACHIEVEMENT IN COMMERCIAL RADIO -- Tom Marker's popular "Blues Breakers" program on WKRT, Chicago, features the newest Blues releases as well as the classics. Marker is a veteran Blues broadcaster. His show is the pivotal source for information on Blues artists and Blues events in Chicago.
ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL BROADCAST -- "River of Song," Producer and Director - John Junkerman. The multi-award winning documentarian conceived, produced and directed, "River of Song," a four-part Smithsonian series for PBS on contemporary music along the course of the Big River, the Mississippi.
ACHIEVEMENT IN LITERATURE -- August Wilson, a two-time Pulitzer Prize- winning and theater award-laden playwright, explores the heritage and experience of African-Americans over this century and the musical rhythms of the people that are part of the experience. His works include "Fences" and "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Blues."
ACHIEVEMENT IN PRINT MEDIA -- Blues & Rhythm -- The Gospel Truth was founded in the U.K. in 1984 and has become Europe's leading Blues magazine published 10 times a year. Blues & Rhythm covers the whole spectrum of Blues, R&B, Gospel, Doo-Wop and vintage soul sounds. Its groundbreaking research articles have set new standards and it has the most extensive review section in Europe.
ACHIEVEMENT IN ART/PHOTOGRAPHY -- David Horwitz has been a camera artist since he was 16 and became an overnight icon when he shot Bobby "Blue" Bland and James Brown in Milwaukee on the Soul Circuit. He seldom shoots in a studio because he insists on seizing the very essence of the music while it is being performed. He captures the sounds with his camera.
ACHIEVEMENT IN ADVERTISING -- Budweiser Beer -- Bud and the Blues share a rich tradition in the U.S. and Bud has been supporting the Blues for decades through festival sponsorship and advertising. It sponsors such major Blues Festivals as Beale Street Music Festival (Memphis), The New York State Budweiser, Rhythm & Blues Festival, The Budweiser Illinois Blues Festival as well as more than 50 Blues events around the country. It additionally supports Blues at the grass roots level with clubs and societies.
CHAIRMAN/PRESIDENT'S AWARD -- Amie Devereaux -- Devereaux was vital in the creation of The Blues Foundation in 1980 and has remained a tireless worker in every aspect of the Blues since. She was at the platform when the first W.C. Handy Awards were given as certificates. She has dedicated much of her life to Keeping The Blues Alive.
The Blues Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to promotion and preservation Blues Music. It is the umbrella organization for a worldwide network of 109 affiliated Blues societies with membership in twenty-four countries. In addition to the W.C. Handy Blues Awards, the Foundation produces the Lifetime Achievement Award, Blues Hall of Fame Induction, International Blues Talent Competition and the internationally syndicated Blues radio program Beale Street Caravan®
For more information, please contact:
Paul Wasserman/Brian O'Neal
The Wasserman Group (323) 651-0274 or
Pat Mitchell/The Blues Foundation (800) 861-8795