July 2021 Newsletter 

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The Blues Foundation preserves blues heritage, celebrates blues recording and performance, expands worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensures the future of this uniquely American art form. 

A Message from the President 

Summer doldrums – not here!  
Slow season – not for us!  

While the summer months are often a time to slow down and kick back, that certainly isn’t the case at The Blues Foundation. We are busier than ever. 

Our doors are open and company is coming!  We’ve turned on the lights, turned up the speakers, and put out the welcome mat to welcome both die-hard blues fans and casual visitors to the Blues Hall of Fame. We are thrilled to show off our new acquisitions, including Matt “Guitar” Murphy’s gold guitar and Billy Branch’s hand-painted performance jacket, as more and more visitors make the Blues Hall of Fame their destination. 

2022 is fast approaching and we are in count-down mode as we prepare for both the International Blues Challenge and the Blues Music Awards. Mark your calendars for January 18 – 22 and pack your bags for Memphis to be part of the 37th IBC, the world’s largest blues competition. We will meet you on Beale Street. 

It seems that we just announced the 2021 Blues Music Awards winners and we are already accepting submissions for the 43rd Blues Music Awards. The party is scheduled for May 5, 2022, and we are eager to greet you in person with hugs and handshakes. 

The blues never stops and neither does The Blues Foundation. We are proud to work on behalf of all of our members, partners, and sponsors to make sure the music we love continues to thrive. 


Patty Wilson Aden 
President & CEO 


Our doors are open!  After being closed for 14 months The Blues Foundation’s 
Blues Hall of Fame Museum has RE-OPENED! 

We have COVID-safety protocols in place, including requiring masks while inside the building, hand sanitizing stations, air-purifying machines, social-distance markers, 
and more. 

Our current hours have been adjusted to: 
Monday & Tuesday: Closed 
Wednesday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm 
Sunday: 1pm - 5pm 

*Tickets for admission can be purchased in-person at the museum's front desk. 


In addition to the new photography exhibit by Jérôme Brunet in the LRBC Gallery, we are happy to announce the recent acquisition of Matt "Guitar" Murphy's gold McHugh guitar, gifted by his widow Kathy Hemrick. Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2012, Murphy's sizzling guitar licks contributed to the recordings and performances of fellow hall of famers Memphis Slim, James Cotton, Howlin' Wolf, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Sonny Boy Williamson, and many others.  

After widespread attention from his role in the 1980 film Blues Brothers, Murphy began recording and touring with his own band, releasing four studio albums while continuing to play with the Blues Brothers band. 

We are honored to have Murphy's guitar be part of the Blues Hall of Fame's permanent collection. 

To read more about Matt "Guitar" Murphy, click here. 


The Blues Hall of Fame Museum is proud to once again partner with the National Endowment for the Arts for the 2021 Blue Star Museums program. The Blues Hall of Fame Museum will be FREE to our nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from now until Labor Day. 

Visit the Blues Hall of Fame Museum 


Pack your bags for Memphis. The Blues Foundation and our Affiliated Blues Societies are actively preparing for a live in-person 2022 International Blues Challenge! 

IBC #37 tickets, hotel reservations, and more will open this October. 
We can't wait to see you! 


We invite you to listen to Season 1: Episode 14 of The Blues Foundation Podcast that spotlights Blues Hall of Famer John Lee Hooker. 

The deep southern drawl, that one-chord boogie... everything about John Lee Hooker was distinct and original.  

Where did it all come from? Like many bluesmen of his generation, he grew up in the country and didn’t have much use for school. He much preferred skipping class and practicing guitar. Yet John Lee wrote some of the most original and most influential blues songs of all time: “Boogie Chillun”, “Boom Boom”, and “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”. And he crafted a completely unique sound along the way that continues to influence musicians to this day. 

John Lee Hooker inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980. 

All 26 episodes of Season 1 of The Blues Foundation's podcast are available now: 

The podcast is produced by Beale Street Caravan, written by Preston Lauterbach, 
and voiced by Guy Davis.  


Celebrate Blues Hall of Famer Buddy Guy’s 85th birthday on B.B. King’s Bluesville, powered by The Blues Foundation. 

Tune in to SiriusXM's Channel 74 to hear exclusive specials including the one-hour Buddy Guy Roundtable, Meet Me In Chicago Live Concert (2016), and listen for Buddy's thoughts on his music and career. 

Buddy Guy's Bluesville Schedule 

Get ready for the 2022 Blues Music Awards! All musicians are invited to submit their Blues recordings for consideration. Blues music released between November 1, 2020 and October 31, 2021 is eligible for consideration for a 2022 Blues Music Award Nomination. 

Submission fees and deadlines: 

Tomorrow July 31, 2021 is the last day to get the introductory rate 
$135 per album or EP submission / $35 per song submission 
August 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021 
$155 per album or EP submission / $55 per song submission 
September 1, 2021 – September 30, 2021 
$180 per album or EP submission / $80 per song submission 
October 1, 2021 – October 15, 2021 
$225 per album or EP submission / $125 per song submission 

The submission process officially closes on October 15, 2021. You must upload your music and artwork and complete payment for your submission transaction no later than OCTOBER 15TH at 8:00am CST to be considered for a Blues Music Award nomination. Questions? Contact Joe Whitmer at 

Since March 2020 The Blues Foundation's COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund has been assisting full-time professional blues musicians living in North America who have lost most of their income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Almost $300,000 has been distributed since March 2020 to blues musicians to address immediate essential needs such as rent/mortgage, phone, utilities, and car payments.  

There continues to be a great need for funding to assist blues musicians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Please consider donating to help us help these musicians with emergency needs. 

100% of your donation to the COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund goes directly to assist blues musicians. 

For more information and to request funding, click here. 

Donate to the COVID-19 Fund 


The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is the premiere annual song contest whose mission is to provide the opportunity for both aspiring and established songwriters to have their songs heard in a professional, international arena. ISC is designed to nurture the musical talent of songwriters on all levels and promote excellence in the art of songwriting. Amateur and professional songwriters and musicians are invited to participate. 

2021 Blues Judges include: 
George Thorogood, Don Bryant, Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, Sugaray Rayford, Joe Louis Walker, Robert Randolph, and more! 

71 winners will share in over $150,000 worth of cash and prizes. In addition to cash and merchandise prizes, winners benefit from a multilateral promotional campaign designed to give international exposure and attention to their songwriting achievements. 

Deadline for Submissions is September 22, 2021. 

Learn More About ISC 

Enter Your Song Here 


Congratulations to this year's Blues Music Award Winners who are sailing on 
Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise #35 this November 6-13, 2021! 

Limited to 80% capacity and cabins are going quick. 
Approved Government Vaccines required. 

Click here to book your cabin or call (816) 753-7979. 

During September 22-25, the 21st Annual AMERICANAFEST and Conference will take over 50 prestigious music venues across Nashville, featuring hundreds of electrifying nightly showcases with Sue Foley, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Southern Avenue and over 200 more acts. Experience special events highlighting the culture of a global community and its hallmark Americana Honors & Awards ceremony. 

To buy a pass and for more information, click here. 

The Blues Foundation mourns the recent passing of the following member of our blues family. Their spirit will live on through their music and their stories. 

Thanks to everyone in the Blues community who has shared the sad news of the passing of members of the blues community. We honor their legacy as we say goodbye. 

Donations to The Blues Foundation 

In Memory of: 
Jochen Landwehr, donated by Andreas Niehaus 

In Honor of: 
Michael Wilber, donated by Datflys Concert Videos 

Additional donations to The Blues Foundation were made by: 

Chieco Family Giving Fund, Catherine Gaylord, Ricky Lanham, Network For Good, 
Bill Nye, Dario Piccolomini, Gene H. Rees, Emily Smith, and Columbus Toy