Mavis Staples Inducted Into Blues Hall of Fame

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Mavis Staples

Vocalist Mavis Staples of the legendary Staple Singers was among several honorees inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at Memphis’ Halloran Centre for Performing Arts on May 10. This year’s class also numbered a pair of guitarists, Magic Slim and Johnny Copeland (inducted by video by daughter Shemekia), and two longtime Howlin’ Wolf sidemen, guitarist Willie Johnson and piano-man Henry Gray, along with singer/songwriter Latimore. Entering the Hall of Fame as this year’s non-performer selection was Living Blues Magazine co-founder and radio show host Amy van Singel, who passed away just last September. The Hall of Fame also recognized W.C. Handy’s Father of the Blues as its Classic of Blues Literature selection.

Honored in the Classic of Blues Recording Album category was John Lee Hooker’s 1966 Chess album Real Folk Blues, as were these Classic of Blues Recording songs: Bo Diddley’s signature tune “Bo Diddley,” Tommy Tucker’s “Hi Heel Sneakers,” Albert King’s “I’ll Play the Blues for You,” Son House’s “Preachin’ the Blues” and Howlin’ Wolf’s “I Ain’t Superstitious.”

The inductions were announced a day prior to the 38th annual Blues Music Awards, held at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis and presented by the Blues Foundation.

Related: John Mayall and Elvin Bishop were inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame last year

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi

Awards were handed out to Staples (Soul Blues Female Artist), 83-year-old Bobby Rush (Album of the Year for Porcupine Meat and Historical Album of the Year for Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush), Curtis Salgado (Song of the Year for “Walk a Mile in My Blues”) and Susan Tedeschi (Best Contemporary Blues Female Artist and, with the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Band of the Year and Rock Blues Album (Let Me Get By).

The B.B. King Entertainer of the Year title went to Joe Bonamassa, who also garnered Guitarist of the Year honors.

Here is the complete list of Blues Music Award winners (final)
Acoustic Album: The Happiest Man in the World – Eric Bibb
Acoustic Artist: Doug MacLeod
Album: Porcupine Meat – Bobby Rush
B.B. King Entertainer: Joe Bonamassa
Band: Tedeschi Trucks Band
Best Emerging Artist Album: Tengo Blues – Jonn Del Toro Richardson
Contemporary Blues Album: Bloodline – Kenny Neal
Contemporary Blues Female Artist: Susan Tedeschi
Contemporary Blues Male Artist: Kenny Neal
Historical: Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush – Bobby Rush (Omnivore Recordings)
Instrumentalist-Bass: Biscuit Miller
Instrumentalist-Drums: Cedric Burnside
Instrumentalist-Guitar: Joe Bonamassa
Instrumentalist-Harmonica: Kim Wilson
Instrumentalist-Horn: Terry Hanck
Koko Taylor Award: Diunna Greenleaf
Pinetop Perkins Piano Player: Victor Wainwright
Rock Blues Album: Let Me Get By – Tedeschi Trucks Band
Song: “Walk a Mile in My Blues” written by David Duncan, Curtis Salgado & Mike Finigan and performed by Curtis Salgado
Soul Blues Album: The Beautiful Lowdown – Curtis Salgado
Soul Blues Female Artist: Mavis Staples
Soul Blues Male Artist: Curtis Salgado
Traditional Blues Album: Can’t Shake This Feeling – Lurrie Bell
Traditional Blues Male Artist: Bob Margolin

Watch Mavis Staples sing “I’ll Take You There” at the White House

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