1998 Handy Award Winners
Congratulations to all the winners of the W.C. Handy Awards held Thursday, March 30, 1998 at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis,TN!
There were a few surprises, but overall, I think the Award Ceremony was a resounding success! Of course, Luther Allison was awarded a total of 5 more Handy's this year (accepted by his sons Luther Jr. and Bernard, his wife Rocky Brown, his producer Jim Gaines and James Solberg.) A touching tribute to Luther and very much deserved as well. Also, the James Solberg Band won the Blues Band of the Year again (2nd year in a row). Also well deserved! After listening to his new CD "L.A. Blues", due to be released soon, he stands a good chance of winning another one.
Keb Mo was fantastic at the Handy Awards. He did a great duet with Honeyboy Edwards which was an amazing performance. The evening was filled with once-in-a-lifetime performances that would make a great release, hint, hint!
Bonnie Raitt sang and played acoustically with Keb Mo on Thursday night, as well as a duet with Ruth Brown and a couple of tunes with Rufus Thomas. ("Walkin' the Dog'' was a classic rendition!) That was just one of many memorable moments from the night, which ended with an All-Star jam by the winners of the Instrumental catagories. Bernard Allison stood in for Luther and completed the line-up of living legends very well.
The W.C. Handy Award Ceremony is the best one going today in the music business and in my opinion, should be televised! There were two huge screens showing close-ups, so I figure the Blues Foundation videotaped the whole thing. Well, we can't all attend, now can we?
The Handys out-do all the other awards ceremonies in substance and in American music promotion, so why is it still "underground", when we all know, as Hairy Larry says.... "The Blues Is The Mainstream!"
Once again, congratulations to the winners and the Blues Foundation on a job well done!
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