Born this Day: David “Honeyboy” Edwards

Born this Day: David “Honeyboy” Edwards

David “Honeyboy” Edwards was born in Shaw, Mississippi on 28 June 1915. Around age twelve, Edwards began playing guitar. He learned from Big Joe Williams, Charlie Patton, and Tommy Johnson. Honeyboy would go on to travel all over the United States, hopping from one train to the next. He recounts many of these tales of being…

Read More Read More

On this Date – Ethel Waters

On this Date – Ethel Waters

On 14 June 1939, Ethel Waters became the first African American star of a television show, when NBC aired the Ethel Waters Show. This one-time television variety show special featured musical performances, dramatic vignettes, and more. To learn more about Ethel Waters, stop by the Blues Archive. Here’s a partial list of recordings by and works about…

Read More Read More

Skip James – Born this Day in 1902

Skip James – Born this Day in 1902

The Skip James song “Devil Got My Woman” is one of the most haunting blues songs, indeed in all of recorded music. The song’s minor open tuning, sparse accompaniment, and mournful, falsetto singing are the base for what some have termed the Bentonia style (after James’ hometown). This song likely influenced Robert Johnson’s “Hellhound on…

Read More Read More

B. B. King and the importance of education

B. B. King and the importance of education

The Blues Archive just acquired this letter written by B. B. King, which speaks to the importance of education. King was a lifelong learner. Before embarking on his first world tour, he purchased multiple language courses on LP. To see a list of the records B. B. King donated from his personal record collection, browse…

Read More Read More

North MS Blues Festivals

North MS Blues Festivals

Blues festival season is upon us. With the exception of Helena, Arkansas’ King Biscuit Blues Festival, held in October, Clarksdale, Mississippi’s April Juke Joint Festival, and a few others, the vast majority of blues festivals in the deep south occur in the summer months. Here’s a snapshot of a couple festivals hitting North Mississippi in May and…

Read More Read More

Blues Tourism Studies talk

Blues Tourism Studies talk

The Fatal Dearth of Research in Contemporary Blues Tourism Studies T. DeWayne Moore Monday, April 24 at noon Archives and Special Collections, J. D. Williams Library, The University of Mississippi The Mt. Zion Memorial Fund (MZMF) was always grounded—not in celebration of the blues—but in the contemporary experiences of African American church communities.  By seeking…

Read More Read More

Blues Symposium – Save the Date

Blues Symposium – Save the Date

Save the Date What: Blues Today Symposium When: Thursday, April 9, 2015 Where: Archives & Special Collections, third floor of the J. D. Williams Library Since holding our first Blues Today Symposium in 2003, the University of Mississippi has hosted a number of the world’s top blues performers and scholars. In just the first year…

Read More Read More

Women of the Blues

Women of the Blues

Women of the Blues: A Tribute to Memphis Minnie and Beverly “Guitar” Watkins When: Tuesday, February 21st at 2:00pm ​Where: Archives & Special Collections, J. D. Williams Library, University of Mississippi Description: Part musical tribute and part educational lecture, this presentation pays tribute to the lives, lyrics, songs, and accomplishments of two prolific and revolutionary women blues…

Read More Read More

Shape Note Singing in Mississippi

Shape Note Singing in Mississippi

What: The History of Shape-Note Singing Traditions in Mississippi Speaker: Dr. Warren Steel When: Thursday, February 9th at noon Where: Archives and Special Collections, Faulkner Room Dr. Warren Steel recently retired from the University of Mississippi, where he taught courses in music history, ethnomusicology, organ, and harpsichord. He holds degrees from Harvard College and the…

Read More Read More