Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival
08/16/11: Sunflower Awards

Press Release from the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival, 8/16/2011

 2011-Claudett-accepting-gospel-award

The Sunflower Blues Association's highest gospel honor- The Julius Guy Gospel Heritage Award -  is presented to Claudett Williams (right) for her contributions in gospel. She is presented the engraved plaque on the Saturday night main stage by Melville Tillis, co-founder of the Sunflower Gospel Festival, and Maie Smith, festival co-chairman.

2011-shelley-accepting-eary-wright-award

The Sunflower Blues Association's highest blues award - The Early Wright Blues Heritage Award - is presented to Shelley Ritter (right), director of the Delta Blues Museum for her contributions to blues. Presenting the engraved plaque are Melville Tillis and Maie Smith, festival co-chairmen.

2011-familes-of-honorees-on-stage-with-plaques

With the 2011 Sunflower Festival dedicated to Blues Legends - six members of the Sunflower Family who participated in the festival for more than two decades - family members and friends are presented  engraved plaques on the festival main stage Saturday evening. The group shared memories on stage and also during a special forum Friday afternoon at Ground Blues Club of Clarksdale. Pictured are (from left) Melville Tillis, festival co-chairman; Joshua Wiley and Joe Wiley, brothers of Foster 'Tater' Wiley; Angela Moore, daughter of Sarah Moore; Maie Smith, festival co-chairman; Calvin Moore, son of Sarah Moore; Anjeanette Johnson, widow of Big Jack Johnson; Lisa Jefferson, daughter of Wesley Jefferson; and Mae James, widow of Michael James who is represented on stage by her sister, Lee.  A plaque also honored James Alford.

2011-The-New-World-plaque

Kicking off activities of the 24th annual Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival is the unveiling of a Mississippi Blues Trail Marker honoring Clarksdale's historic New World District where many blues musicians played. Pictured are Coahoma County Supervisor Paul Pearson; Kappi Allen, Coahoma County tourism director; George Messenger who spoke about Messengers, his family's 100-year-old business;  his wife Myrtle Stringer Messenger, and others. Not pictured is Alex Thomas, director of the Mississippi Blues Trail Heritage program.

2011-jack-johnson-jr

Clarksdale's premiere blues musician, Big Jack Johnson is honored with a bronze Walk of Fame sidewalk plaque outside Red's Blues Club on Sunflower Avenue before a large crowd Friday afternoon. Pictured are Coahoma County Supervisors Dr. Roger Weiner, Chris Overton; Jack Johnson Jr. (kneeling); Anjeanette Johnson, the bluesman's widow, and others.

2011-Red-with-big-jack-painting-anjeanette

Red Paden, owner of Red's Blues Club and best friend of the late Big Jack Johnson, presents a painting of the bluesman to Anjeanette Johnson (right) during the Walk of Fame unveiling Friday afternoon. Presiding at the ceremony was Tana Vassel of the Chamber of Commerce.





Nov 12, 2017 - 11:03PM
gabriele
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Nov 12, 2017 - 1:35PM
gabriele
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Nov 10, 2017 - 11:15PM
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