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Howlin’ Wolf Blues Festival



For Immediate Release-The Prairie Belt Blues Foundation of West Point, MS has announced the lineup for the upcoming 19th Annual Howlin’ Wolf Blues Festival to be held on the Friday night of Labor Day weekend, August 29th 2014 at the historic Mary Holmes Auditorium in West Point.

Honoring the “Legends of the Black Prairie Blues” this year will be Mr. Sipp~ The Mississippi Blues Child. Mr. Sipp is the 2014 winner of the IBC Best Blues Band competition in Memphis. They beat 170+ bands to win the coveted title. Lightnin’ Malcolm and Stud will be representing the hill country blues of north Mississippi and Malcolm is just back from his whirlwind tour with the North Mississippi Allstars opening for Legendary Robert Plant.

The two headliners are Carolyn Wonderland, bringing her smokin’ hot Texas Blues to the stage this year as she was recently featured on Austin City Limits. Carolyn is a triple threat artist with her vocals, stinging Texas Guitar licks and tight backup band, Closing the show will be George Porter Jr. (Funky Meters) and Runnin’ Pardners. George has shared the stage with Paul McCartney, Jimmy Buffett, the Rolling Stones, Patti Labelle, Widespread Panic and countless others.

“He’s bringing the blues influenced New Orleans Funk to the Wolf stage. It’s the hottest lineup we’ve had in 19 years”, states Richard Ramsey, Vice President of the PBBF. Tickets, posters and t-shirts are on sale now and with this being an indoor event, seating is limited so get your tickets now.

Doors open at 6:00pm with the first act at 6:30. There will be free parking, food concessions, t-shirts, cd’s, dvd’s, Fine art prints, and more. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door and are available at Jack Forbus Insurance in Starkvile 662-323-8311, Culin Arts in West Point 662-494-8969, Columbus Arts Council 662-328-2787 or online at You can also contact Richard Ramsey at 662-605-0770 or rrramsey@wpms PRAIRIE ARTS WEEKEND with Howlin’ Wolf Blues Festival and Prairie Arts Festival Support MISSISSIPPI , the Birthplace of American Music! BE THERE AND HOWL WITH THE WOLF! Sponsored by MISSISSIPPI’S Creative Economy.

Howlin Wolf 19th Annual Blues Festival


The Prairie Belt Blues Foundation honors our areas Blues legends, Big Joe Williams, Bukka White, Lucille Bogan, Willie King, and the Great Howlin’ Wolf!
Our Mission Statement –
To Preserve, Promote, Educate, and Celebrate Mississippi’s Blues Heritage
The objectives of the Blues Society are to promote blues education in North Mississippi and to perpetuate the musical achievements of Chester Arthur Burnett, a native son of Clay County, Ms., and other blues greats such as Bukka White, Big Joe Williams, and West Point’s lesser known Blues man, “Piano Red”. Howlin’ Wolf is in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, the Blues Hall of Fame, a US postage stamp was issued in his honor.
Sam Phillips cited Wolf as, “The most powerful performer I have ever recorded!” To honor “The Wolf”, his home town holds an annual memorial Blues festival. To date, there have been 18 successful festivals and a memorial black granite statue of “The Wolf”, along with a memorial bench and marker honoring Lillie Handley Burnett, “Ms. Wolf”, placed in our park.
In honor of Wolf, our society and the Burnett family received the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame Award, the Walk of Fame Award on historic Beale Street at the VIP party before the 2002 Handy Awards, and the Peavine Award at Cleveland, MS. given by the Mississippi Delta Blues Hall of Fame. In 2007, the Society was honored by receiving the prestigious Keeping the Blues Alive Award. We opened a museum in honor of Wolf in 2005 and received the Wolf’s Mississippi Blues Trail Marker in 2007.
Company Overview
The Prairie Belt Blues Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit corporation. Part of the Mississippi Blues Trail.



The Howlin’ Wolf Blues Festival is held every Labor Day weekend on Friday night with the companion Prairie Arts Festival held the next day downtown West Point.

Sam Lightnin’ Hopkins: 30th Anniversary



Remembering blues guitarist, singer Sam Lightnin’ Hopkins On the anniversary of his death.

1982, American blues guitarist, singer Sam Lightnin’ Hopkins died of cancer aged 70. Influenced Bob Dylan, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix. R.E.M. recorded a song named after him on their Document album.

Sam John Hopkins (March 15, 1912 – January 30, 1982), better known as Lightnin’ Hopkins, was an American country blues singer, songwriter, guitarist and occasional pianist, from Houston, Texas. Rolling Stone magazine included Hopkins at number 71 on their list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

Ike & Tina: The Early Years!


Stevie Ray Vaughan: Rock and Roll Heaven

imagesCAP24ZYKIN LOVING MEMORY and ON THIS DAY 1990Mr Stevie Ray Vaughan Oct 3rd 1954-Aug 27th 1990 died in a helicopter crash after a performance in Wisconsin.

Robert Johnson:King Of Blues

robertjohnson_stamp_0On this day in 1938  blues man Robert Johnson was allegedly poisoned by the jealous husband of a woman he was flirting with. Legend has it Johnson wanted to be the greatest guitar player so he sold his soul to the devil.

Johnson’s style of blues was very influential in the development of r&b and rock&roll. Dust My Broom, Sweet Home Chicago, Love In Vain & Crossroad Blues are some of his most well known tunes and have been covered by hundreds of musicians.

Willie Dixon: Happy Birthday!


Bobby ” Blue” Bland: Apollo Legend


Bobby ” Blue” Bland: SOUL OF THE MAN



Bobby “Blue” Bland’s silky smooth vocal style and captivating live performances helped propel the blues out of Delta juke joints and into urban clubs and upscale theaters. Until now, his story has never been told in a book-length biography.

Soul of the Man: Bobby “Blue” Bland relates how Bland, along with longtime friend B. B. King, and other members of the loosely knit group who called themselves the Beale Streeters, forged a new electrified blues style in Memphis in the early 1950s.


Combining elements of Delta blues, southern gospel, big-band jazz, and country and western music, Bland and the Beale Streeters were at the heart of a revolution. This biography traces Bland’s life and recording career, from his earliest work through his first big hit in 1957, “Farther Up the Road.” It goes on to tell the story of how Bland scored hit after hit, placing more than sixty songs on the R&B charts throughout the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s.


While more than two-thirds of his hits crossed over onto pop charts, Bland is surprisingly not widely known outside the African American community. Nevertheless, many of his recordings are standards, and he has created scores of hit albums such as his classic 1961 Two Steps from the Blues, widely considered one of the best blues albums of all time.


Soul of the Man contains a select discography of the most significant recordings made by Bland, as well as a list of all his major awards. A four-time Grammy nominee, he received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the Blues Foundation, as well as the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award.


He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Blues Foundation’s Hall of Fame. This biography at last heralds one of America’s great music makers.



Bobby ” Blue” Bland: RIP


ADRIAN SAINZ , Associated Press
GRENADA, Miss. (AP) — Bobby “Blue” Bland, a distinguished  singer who blended Southern blues and soul in songs such as “Turn on Your Love  Light” and “Further On Up the Road,” died Sunday. He was 83.

Rodd Bland said his father died due to complications from an ongoing illness  at his Memphis, Tenn., home. He was surrounded by relatives.

Bland was known as the “the Sinatra of the blues” and was heavily influenced  by Nat King Cole, often recording with lavish arrangements to accompany his  smooth vocals. He even openly imitated Frank Sinatra on the “Two Steps From the  Blues” album cover, standing in front of a building with a coat thrown over his  shoulder.

Bing: More on Bobby  ‘Blue’ Bland

“He brought a certain level of class to the blues genre,” said Lawrence “Boo”  Mitchell, son of legendary musician and producer Willie Mitchell.

Bland was a contemporary of B.B. King’s, serving as the blues great’s valet  and chauffer at one point, and was one of the last of the living connections to  the roots of the genre. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in  1992 and was an influence on scores of young rock ‘n’ rollers.

Born in Rosemark, Tenn., he moved to nearby Memphis as a teenager and became  a founding member of the Beale Streeters, a group that also included King and  Johnny Ace. Upon his induction, the Rock Hall of Fame noted Bland was “second in  stature only to B.B. King as a product of Memphis’ Beale Street blues  scene.”

After a stint in the Army, he recorded with producer Sam Phillips, who helped  launch the careers of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, in the early 1950s with  little to show for it. It wasn’t until later that decade Bland began to find  success.

He scored his first No. 1 on the R&B charts with “Further On Up the Road”  in 1957 and it was around this time he got his nickname, taken from his song  “Little Boy Blue” because his repertoire focused so closely on lovelorn subject  matter. Beginning with “I’ll Take Care of You” in early 1960, Bland released a  dozen R&B hits in a row. That string included “Turn On Your Love Light” in  1961.

Some of his best-known songs included “Call on Me” and “That’s the Way Love  Is,” both released in 1963, and “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do” in 1964.

“Lead Me On,” another well-known song, breaks the listener’s heart with the  opening lines: “You know how it feels, you understand/What it is to be a  stranger, in this unfriendly land.”

Bland wasn’t as well known as some of his contemporaries, but was no less an  influential figure for early rock ‘n’ roll stars. Many of his songs, especially  “Further On Up the Road” and “I Pity the Fool,” were recorded by young rockers,  including David Bowie and Eric Clapton.

“He’s always been the type of guy that if he could help you in any way, form  or fashion, he would,” Rodd Bland said.

Skip James: Happy Birthday


DARONDO: Last Of The Blues Man



Darondo, a Bay Area soul singer best known for the song “Didn’t I,” has  died, Spin reports.  He was 67. When he died, and the cause of death, weren’t available. The  California record label Ubiquity, which released one of Darondo’s albums, first  announced the news on Facebook.


Known for his distinctive personal style and soulful voice, Darondo was a  cult favorite who escaped mainstream notice for decades. Born William Daron  Pulliam, the soul and funk singer began making music in the Sixties before  crate-digging vinyl enthusiasts discovered him in more recent years, leading to  the 2006 Ubiquity release of Let My People Go, an album of material  Darondo had recorded in the Seventies. 

The album included the 1972 song “Didn’t I,” which received broader attention  when it played over the opening credits of the “Cancer Man” episode of Breaking Bad during the show’s first season. In 2011, Omnivore Recordings released another  collection, Listen to My Song: The Music City  Sessions.

Darondo’s most recent live performance was scheduled for Bonnaroo 2012, but  he pulled out last minute due to health concerns. A  tribute and additional deatails are still to come.

Happy Birthday: Morgan Freeman


Johnny Taylor: Happy Birthday!


Floyd & Josie: Ghetto Love Story Pt. I



Josie Harris and Floyd Mayweather have three kids together however, after a scene in Showtime’s “30 Days In May” – an hour-long documentary used to promote Mayweather’s May 4 bout against Robert Guerrero – attempted to rationalize Mayweather’s domestic violence conviction, Harris decided to speak out.In an exclusive interview at her home with Yahoo! Sports, Harris first sought to answer the messages put forward by the documentary: 

That she, and her children, had lied.That Mayweather’s incarceration was wrong.And that the beating was either falsified, embellished, or somehow deserved.What transpired over the course of an extraordinary three-hour conversation was an intriguing look into the complex mindset of one of sports’ most divisive characters.

 Did he beat me to a pulp?” said Josie Harris, sitting in her living room in a development in Valencia. “No, but I had bruises on my body and contusions and [a] concussion because the hits were to the back of my head. I believe it was planned to do that … because the bruises don’t show …”

Her voice trails off as she produces a doctor’s report describing the injuries following her visit to Southern Hills Hospital in the immediate aftermath of the attack.Throughout the documentary, Mayweather called the charges “over-exaggerated” and “trumped up,” while his team of handlers insisted there was no violence and no physical harm inflicted.”This judicial system is really messed up,” said Mayweather’s current partner, Shantel “Miss” Jackson, in the documentary. “How can someone who really didn’t do anything have to suffer a consequence for something of this magnitude? It really does anger me, because how can a lie get so far?”

The doctor’s report tells a different story, of bruising and contusions.So does Harris’ next document, a handwritten statement then 11-year-old Koraun Mayweather gave to police. It was Koraun who, according to his written statement to police, ran for help when he “saw my Dad hit[t]ing” and “kicking my Mom.


“Yahoo! Sports reviewed copies of the doctor’s report and Koraun’s written statements to police. Harris declined to make the copies public. According to her representative, she did not want to distract Mayweather so close to a fight.

Alber King: Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Class Of 2013

AKAlbert King Nelson Born -April 25, 1923 – December 21, 1992Albert King’s mammoth physical presence —he weighed more than 250 pounds and  stood 6-foot-4 —was reflected in his harsh, imposing vocals and biting,  influential blues style.

He bought his first guitar for $1.25 sometime around 1931 (he later played a  left-handed Gibson Flying V), and his first inspiration was T-Bone Walker. For a  long while he had to work nonmusic jobs to survive (including bulldozer operator  and mechanic), but in the late ’40s King settled in Osceola, Arkansas, and  worked local gigs with the In the Groove Boys. He then migrated north, where he  played drums for Jimmy Reed and also sang and played guitar on his own singles,  including “Lonesome in My Bedroom” and “Bad Luck Blues” for the Parrot label in  1953.

King then moved to St. Louis and formed another band, but he didn’t record  again until 1959, when he signed to the local Bobbin label. He worked for  several small companies in the early ’60s, including King Records, which  released his 1961 hit “Don’t Throw Your Love on Me Too Strong” (#14 R&B).  But King’s real break came in 1966, when he signed to Stax. Using the label’s  famed Memphis sidemen, he cut some of his best-known works, including  “Laundromat Blues” (1966) and his album Born Under a Bad Sign, made  with Booker T. and the MG’s in 1967. King began to break through to white  audiences: He appeared at the first Fillmore East show on March 8, 1968, with  Tim Buckley and Big Brother and the Holding Company, and also played at the  hall’s closing on June 27, 1971. (A live album, Live Wire/Blues Power,  had been recorded at Fillmore West.)

In November 1969 King played with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, forming  what was termed “an 87-piece blues band.” Over the years his songs have been  covered by Free, John Mayall, the Electric Flag, and others. He toured more than  ever in the ’70s, though he left Stax in 1974. King signed to Utopia in 1976 and  to Tomato in 1978, charting some minor R&B singles. In 1990 he made a guest  appearance on guitarist Gary Moore’s Still Got the Blues, and he  continued to perform until his death from a heart attack at age 69. At King’s  funeral, Joe Walsh —just one of many six-string disciples —paid tribute with a  slide-guitar rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

Portions of this biography appeared in The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of  Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001).


Justin Timberlake, Mavis Staples, and other perform LIVE at White House right now

166174019In Performance at The White House: Memphis Soul

MUDDY WATERS: Happy Birthday!


OTIS BLACKWELL: The Original Hit man

Otis Blackwell



Blackwell worked as a singer/songwriter/pianist in the 50’s,- 70’s. Although his recordings never met with much success, many of the songs that he wrote went on to become very well-known, million-selling songs.

Otis was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1931. He grew up listening to cowboy songs, particularly those by Tex Ritter, and R&B songs by artists such as Chuck Willis. As a teenager he entered and won a contest at the Apollo Theatre in New York City. He was introduced to songwriter Doc Pomus, who encouraged him and helped him early in his career. One of Otis’ early records titled Daddy Rollin’ Stone was released by Jay-Dee in 1953. It was revived later in a version recorded by The Who.

Things changed for Otis Blackwell on Christmas Eve, 1955. That night he sold six songs that he had written for a total of $150. One of the demos included in these six had been recorded with Otis playing piano and the drummer using a cardboard box. It was picked up by Elvis Presley, who did not write his own songs and whose style at the time was to pick songs that he liked from demos that he heard and then use the same arrangement that he had heard on the demo. The song was Don’t Be Cruel, which went to number one in 1956, as did another Presley song the following year that had been written by Otis, All Shook Up. It had been inspired a shaken bottle of Pepsi Cola.

The success of Don’t Be Cruel gave a jolt to the songwriting career of the talented Otis Blackwell. He wrote more songs for Presley, among them One Broken Heart For Sale and Return To Sender. Blackwell admired Presley, and Presley looked to Blackwell for inspiration on the arrangements of some of his early pop songs. Most of what Presley had done to that point had come from the R&B or country fields of music. Otis Blackwell’s compositions were more rock-and-roll, or pop-oriented.

Otis Blackwell continued to record many records, although none of them ever managed to crack the top forty. But it was a different story for many of the songs that he wrote. One of these was Fever, for which Little Willie John took the writing credit, and which became a hit for both Little Willie John and Peggy Lee. There were many other hits written by Otis, such as Hey Little Girl for Dee Clark, and Breathless and Great Balls Of Fire for Jerry Lee Lewis.

Otis Blackwell sometimes wrote songs under the pseudonym John Davenport. He met with a great deal of success as a songwriter and has received a lot of respect within the music industry, even though his name is not well known to the general public. When Stevie Wonder received an award for Best Male Vocalist in 1976, he acknowledged Otis Blackwell as a magnificent songwriter.

In 1977 Blackwell was working on a score for a film about the life of Elvis Presley. During this time, Presley died, and Blackwell was inspired to record The No. 1 King Of Rock’n’Roll as a tribute on his own Fever label. He also recorded some albums in the late 70’s, These Are My Songs and Singin’ The Blues.

Following a lengthy illness, Otis passed away on May 6, 2002 in Nashville. Otis Blackwell had a very successful run as a prolific writer of nearly 1,000 songs. His legacy includes a number of top-selling rock-and-roll records.

SHUGGIE OTIS: The Greatest…..


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