CLARKSDALE – Two former headliners and crowd favorites of the Sunflower River Blues Festival: Bobby Rush and William Bell won Grammy Awards at the 59th annual Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles Sunday.
Rush, won Best Traditional Blues for “Porcupine Meat,” and Bell took Best Americana Album honors for “This is Where I Live.”
Bell, a pioneer with Stax Records of Memphis, headlined the 2015 Sunflower Fest, and Rush headlined the Sunflower Festival multiple times.
Rush was a longtime friend of the late Early Wright, Clarksdale’s legendary WROX broadcaster, and also of the late Melville Tillis, Sunflower co-chairman.
The Grammy winner played harmonica at Early Wright’s funeral service in the Civic Auditorium. He also paid tribute to Melville Tillis at Haven United Methodist Church and also at Clarksdale’s city board meeting when the Delta Blues Museum stage was renamed the Melville C. Tillis Delta Blues Stage.
– Panny Mayfield, publicist for the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival