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

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Jun 28, 2020 - 10:00AM
Ezra Szanton
Finally figured out how to upload a video on twitter :D Music - Sunflower River Blues by John Fahey Shader - me :)
Jun 27, 2020 - 10:16PM
Yousei Suzuki
先日のアズミの部屋来て下さった方ありがとうございました。 演奏ではJohn FaheyのSunflower River Bluesのやりましたが、やっと形になってきました。 お酒も美味しく頂きました。アズミさん、かけてた、友部正人良かったな。
Jun 27, 2020 - 3:24PM
Ezra Szanton
Just made a procedural music video for one of my favorite songs to relax to: Sunflower River Blues by John Fahey. Y…
Jun 27, 2020 - 2:07PM
Christian B
"Sunflower River Blues" Jack rose #JohnFahey #AmericanPrimitive #Guitar via @YouTube
Jun 27, 2020 - 2:01PM
Christian B
Sunflower River Blues (Live 1984) via @YouTube