1998 Handy Awards

1998 Handy Award Winners
by Delta Pickens' Leon McEntire

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!

Here is a list of the winners and their respective catagories.
Blues Entertainer of the Year - Luther Allison,br> Blues Band of the Year - Luther Allison/James Solberg Band
Contemporary Blues Album of the Year - Luther Allison
Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year - Marcia Ball
Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year - Luther Allison
Best New Blues Artist - Johnny "Yard Dog" Jones
Blues Song of the Year - Jerry Lynn Williams
Other - Roomful of Blues Horn Section
Harmonica - Rod Piazza
Keyboard - Pinetop Perkins
Guitar - Luther Allison
Bass - Calvin "Fuzz" Jones
Drums -Willie "Big Eyes" Smith
Soul Blues Album of the Year - Ruth Brown
Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year - Little Milton
Soul Blues Female Artist of the Year - Ruth Brown
Acoustic Blues Album of the Year - Corey Harris
Traditional Blues Album of the Year - Carey Bell
Acoustic Blues Artist of the Year - Keb Mo
Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year- Rory Block
Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year - Carey Bell
Comeback Album of the Year - Eddie King
Re-Issue Album of the Year - Jimmy Rogers

Email me leon@deltaboogie.com
My review site Delta Pickens