Saturday, April 11, 2009

It's Official: Jimmie Lunceford Gets Brass Note On Beale Street!!!

By Bob Mehr
The Memphis Commercial Appeal

Friday, April 10, 2009

Legendary Memphis and regional musicians will be honored locally and in Nashville this month.

Next week bluesman Robert "Wolfman" Belfour will receive a Governor's Arts Award in Nashville.

And April 20, the first of a series of brass notes that will be added to the Beale Street Walk of Fame.

Performa Entertainment Real Estate Inc., which administers the Beale Street program, has dedicated 73 brass notes on Beale since 1986 honoring the Mid-South's musical stars and pioneers. This week, the company announced 16 musicians being recognized with the plaques through April 2010.

The first will be unveiled for late blues guitar prodigy Corey Osborn, whose career was cut short at the age of 23 after a fatal automobile accident last fall.

In May, longtime Stax musician and Isaac Hayes guitarist Charles "Skip" Pitts will accept his note, while a pair of jug band pioneers -- Gus Cannon & Cannon's Jug Stompers and Will Shade & The Memphis Jug Band -- will also have their names enshrined.

The balance of the honorees includes local and regional greats, among them big-band leader Jimmie Lunceford, influential rock and roll deejay Dewey Phillips, and songwriter-producer Chips Moman. The list of 2010 recipients announced so far features musical greats from Mississippi including hill country bluesmen R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, slide guitar master Fred McDowell, and fife band patriarch Otha Turner.

The range of artists chosen this year was a result of a renewed focus on the selection process, said John Elkington, CEO of Performa, which also oversees the committee that picks the honorees.

"We felt we needed to re-establish the committee," says Elkington. "We have people from NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences), from the Blues Foundation, musicians, club owners -- it's a good cross section."

Meantime, Belfour will be among those recognized with Tennessee's highest honor in the arts, the Governor's Arts Awards, in a ceremony Tuesday at War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville.

The office of Gov. Phil Bredesen announced he and first lady Andrea Conte will present Belfour with the Folklife Heritage Award for outstanding musical work in representing the blues tradition. He is the only Mid-Southerner among this year's award recipients. Belfour, 68, was raised in Mississippi and moved to Memphis in 1968. His musical career blossomed relatively late in life, after he was discovered by blues enthusiasts in the mid-'90s. Belfour continues to make his home in Memphis where he performs regularly.

-- Bob Mehr: 901-529-2517



Dates and times for ceremonies are still being arranged. Check for updates:

April 20

Corey Osborn (1985-2008)


Gus Cannon & Cannon's Jug Stompers

Will Shade & the Memphis Jug Band

Charles "Skip" Pitts (1947-present)


Little Laura Dukes (1907-1992)


Jimmie Lunceford (1902-1947)


Dewey Phillips (1926-1968)


Fred Ford (1930- 1999)

Honeymoon Garner (1931-2002)

Bill Tyus (19??-1997)


Chips Moman (1936-present)

January 2010

Rosco Gordon (1934-2002)

May 2010

R.L. Burnside (1926-2005)

Junior Kimbrough (1930-1998)

Fred McDowell (1904-1972)

Otha Turner (1907-2003)

See Also...
Tha Artivist Presents…Memphis Black History, More Than The Place Where Dr. King Died. Part 2

The Official Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival Website

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special~2nd Annual Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival Radio Program:

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special~1st Annual Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival Radio Program:

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