Blues Hall of Fame 2017 Inductees Announced

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The Blues Foundation has announced this year’s inductees—its 38th class—into the Blues Hall of Fame. The ceremony, taking place on May 10, will celebrate 14 honorees representing all five of the Hall of Fame’s categories: Performers, Non-Performing Individuals, Classic of Blues Literature, Classic of Blues Recording (Song) and Classic of Blues Recording (Album).

The six performers chosen for induction include two vocalists, Mavis Staples and Latimore; a pair of guitarists, Magic Slim and Johnny Copeland; and longtime Howlin’ Wolf sidemen guitarist Willie Johnson and piano man Henry Gray. They will join the more than 125 performers who already are Hall of Fame members. The year’s non-performer selection is Living Blues Magazine co-founder and radio show host Amy van Singel, who passed away in Sept. 2016.

Related: The 2016 class included Elvin Bishop and John Mayall

Mavis Staples

The Classic of Blues Literature pick is W.C. Handy’s 1941 autobiography. John Lee Hooker was among the Hall’s first inductees in 1980 and now his 1966 Chess album The Real Folk Blues will enter the Hall of Fame in the Classic of Blues Recording Album category. The quintet of Classic of Blues Recording songs includes Bo Diddley’s signature tune “Bo Diddley,” Tommy Tucker’s classic “Hi Heel Sneakers,” the Albert King hit “I’ll Play the Blues For You,” Son House’s “Preachin’ the Blues” and “I Ain’t Superstitious,” which features 2017 inductee Henry Gray playing on Howlin’ Wolf’s well-known 1961 recording.

The Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony takes place Wednesday, May 10, at Memphis’ Halloran Centre for the Performing Arts and Education. Tickets for this open-to-the-public ceremony can be purchased online.

Watch Johnny Copeland jamming with Stevie Ray Vaughan

More festivities occur the following day, May 11, with the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Awards. Celebrating the past year’s best in blues recordings and performances, this event will be held at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

Watch Mavis Staples perform “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” with Bonnie Raitt and Joan Osborne

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