The Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum (highly recommended if you're visiting the city) has announced 25 artists as the inaugural class of its Memphis Music Hall of Fame. Artists were chosen for this honor by a nominating committee of local and national music biz professionals and an induction ceremony will be held on Thursday, November 29th, 2012 at the Cannon Center for the Performing Artists in downtown Memphis.
Of course, a heck of a lot of great music has come out of the city on the bluff above the Mississippi River, and some of the greatest in Memphis musical history are included in this first Hall of Fame class. Leading the list is the great B.B. King, who got his start in Memphis, and has helped define the possibilities available to local musicians. Other homegrown greats receiving induction include R&B legends Otis Redding, Al Green, Booker T. & the MGs, Rufus Thomas, and Isaac Hayes; blues giants Howlin' Wolf (who first recorded for Memphis producer Sam Phillips), Bobby "Blue" Bland, and Memphis Minnie; and famed singer, songwriter, and producer Jim Dickinson.
Other Memphis Music Hall of Fame inductees this year include the one and only W.C. Handy, considered by many to be the "Father of the Blues," the musician and songwriter represented by a statue on Beale Street in the city, and rock 'n' roll legend Elvis Presley (no introduction needed). Estelle Axton and Jim Stewart, founders of Stax Records, will be honored, as will aforementioned producer and Sun Records founder Sam Phillips. One of my personal favorites receiving induction this year is influential Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips, a white music lover who broke the color barrier during the 1960s by playing blues and R&B music from black artists on his nightly radio program. Congratulations to all those being honored this year by induction into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.
Here at About.com Blues, we kicked off October with our monthly list of New Blues CDs, outlining new releases to spend your hard coin on, and we took another look at the short but underrated career of Mick Abrahams and Blodwyn Pig. We've reviewed a few CDs as well, including new discs from ZZ Top, Delta Moon, and Ian Siegal & the Mississippi Mudbloods. Want even more? Our October Blues Bites column features albums from Albert Cummings, Dave Keller, and Oli Brown. Enjoy!
B.B. King photo courtesy Geffen Records