Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
The Blues Foundation
The Blues Foundation, the world’s premier organization dedicated to honoring, preserving, and promoting the blues, was founded in Memphis in 1980. Mississippi-born performers and business professionals in the Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame outnumber those from any other state, and Mississippians have also won many annual Blues Music Awards, Keeping the Blues Alive Awards, and international Blues Challenge talent competitions sponsored by the Foundation.
The Blues Foundation, the headquarters of an international network of blues appreciation with thousands of members, grew from a small base of Memphis supporters that presented the first W. C. Handy Blues Awards at the Orpheum Theatre on November 16, 1980. Balloting for the awards (later renamed the Blues Music Awards) and the Blues Hall of Fame was initially conducted by Living Blues magazine by polling a worldwide group of blues authorities, deejays, musicians, folklorists, record dealers, and producers. The majority of the first twenty inductees into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 were born in Mississippi: Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, B. B. King, Elmore James, Robert Johnson, Sonny Boy Williamson No. 2 (Rice Miller), John Lee Hooker, Willie Dixon, Son House, Otis Spann, Jimmy Reed, Charley Patton, and Memphis Minnie. By
Over the years, the Blues Foundation expanded its activities to include education programs, blues conferences, health care, the Handy Artists Relief Trust (HART) Fund, Keeping the Blues Alive Awards, Lifetime Achievement Awards, and the International Blues Challenge (IBC). Hundreds of blues societies and organizations around the world have affiliated with the Foundation and many have sponsored bands in the IBC competitions. While the blues has become an international phenomenon, the Blues Foundation has continued to acknowledge Mississippi for its crucial role in blues history and as the home of generations upon generations of blues musicians. More than two hundred Blues Music Awards have gone to Mississippi natives or one-time residents as Performers of the Year in various categories or for their contemporary, traditional, acoustic, soul-blues, or reissue recordings. Multiple award recipients include B. B. King, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Charlie Musselwhite, Pinetop Perkins, Little Milton, James Cotton, Willie Kent, Magic Slim, Albert King, Eddie Shaw, Eden Brent, Hubert Sumlin, Bobby Rush, Cedric Burnside, Honeyboy Edwards, Elmore James, Howlin' Wolf, R. L. Burnside,
Memphis has long been a major gateway to and from the Mississippi Delta, both for musicians and for blues fans worldwide. In 2010 the Blues Foundation, formerly housed in small office spaces without room for a Hall of Fame exhibit, acquired this building to make 421 South Main Street the permanent address of the Blues Hall of Fame and the “International Home of Blues Music."
Erected 2012 by Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 154.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail marker series.
Location. 35° 8.097′ N, 90° 3.528′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street and East Nettleton Avenue, on the right when traveling south on South Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 421 S Main St, Memphis TN 38103, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Lorraine Motel (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); WLOK Radio Station Modern Movie~Making In Memphis (approx. 0.2 miles away); 1866 Memphis Massacre (approx. 0.2 miles away); Site of First Memphis Telephone (approx. 0.2 miles away); Tom Lee Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Tom Lee Monument (approx. 0.3 miles away); Schools For Freedmen (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
Also see . . .
1. The Blues Foundation. The International Home of Blues music. (Submitted on February 14, 2013.)
2. "Mississippi Blues Trail" - - (Courtesy - msbluestrail.org)::. (Submitted on February 14, 2013, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
Categories. • African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 9, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 13, 2013, by Judith Barber of Marietta, Georgia. This page has been viewed 349 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on February 13, 2013, by Judith Barber of Marietta, Georgia. 2, 3. submitted on April 8, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. 4. submitted on February 13, 2013, by Judith Barber of Marietta, Georgia. 5. submitted on April 8, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.