The Blues Foundation has announced that Eric Clapton will be one of the 2015 Blues Hall of Fame inductees. Tommy Brown and Little Richard were announced as inductees as well. The three will be joining the 130 elite performers already in the Blues Hall of Fame. Performers have been inducted each year since the foundation was started in 1980.
Eric Clapton was selected for induction into the Blues Hall of Fame due to his numerous musical accomplishments and for his role as an Ambassador of the Blues genre. First taking the American Blues to audiences in his native Britain, eventually Clapton illuminated the world to the music of the original Blues artists that inspired him. Since the beginning, Eric Clapton’s recordings have always remained in the Blues vein. He built a Rock career on top of his Blues foundation, employing a Blues format to his all of his songwriting and music.
His latest release, The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale, is an homage to Clapton’s friend. Clapton and Cale collaborated on two of the biggest hits of Clapton’s career. “After Midnight” and “Cocaine” were both written with JJ. He was a rich source of inspiration for Eric. Clapton, 69, claims he is having a hard time writing songs now and admits he is seriously considering retiring from the road.
Recently Eric Clapton spoke with Rolling Stone about the inevitability of retiring saying, “Next year, I might do a couple of shows and say, ‘Folks, that’s it, I’m off.’ Then I’ll see what I make of that, whether I’m content to just go into the studio now and then and play at home for the family.”
He continued, “The guitar is in safe hands. Gary Clark Jr. shines now. He’s years in and hasn’t even gotten started yet. And it’s always safe with people like Jimmie Vaughan and Derek Trucks. It’s about soul and character. It’s about humility and the willingness to learn, to be of service to the music. There’s always going to be someone, no matter how much dross is going on, who is curious and wants to know, ‘Can I get anything like that?’”
Fellow 2015 inductee Tommy Brown broke-out nationally during the 1950s while fronting for the Griffin Brothers Orchestra. Their biggest hit was “Weepin’ & Cryin’”, which went to number one on the charts. Brown’s innate sense of showmanship has awarded him a Blues career which has spanned over 75 years. The Atlanta Daily World described a concert of his in 1953 reporting, “He jumped off the stage, fell prostrate on the floor, got up, banged his head on the wall then fell down on his knees and wailed the Blues.”
With this induction Little Richard joins the ranks of some of his fellow compatriots from the early years of his career, such as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Fats Domino. Little Richard may not be the first name to come to mind when you think of the Blues, but his original take on Blues music has made him one of the most iconic artists of Rock n Roll. His song “Tutti Fruiti” will go down in music history.
The 36th Blues Music Awards will coincide with the three days of festivities surrounding the grand opening of the newly constructed Blues Hall of Fame museum building, which takes place on May 8, 2015 in Memphis, Tennessee. The Blues Hall of Fame is home to Blues music’s finest, such as B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy and Koko Taylor. Exhibits in the Blues Hall of Fame provide visitors with interactive and educational displays, creating a place for serious blues fans or curious minds to gather and celebrate the Blues.
An induction ceremony is held each year in Memphis, TN. The Blues Hall of Fame is located in downtown Memphis, right across from the National Civil Rights Museum. The Blues Hall of Fame honors the great Blues men and women by paying respect to the music created and showing the artist the validation each of them so richly deserve. If you would like to become a member of The Blues Foundation click here. Your membership becomes a donation will go the HART Fund and Generation Blues, for young musician scholarships. Proceeds from merchandise sales help fund the programs also. Your membership donation is tax deductible, visit their website here for more information.
Tickets for the Blues Music Awards are available here and priced at $125 each. An edited version of the Blues Music Awards will be broadcast on Sirius XM’s B.B. King’s Bluesville channel and on PBS at a later date this year. Over 100 nominees are expected to attend the ceremony and the event will feature appearances and performances in a cabaret-type setting located in the Convention Center’s ballroom.