Minnesota Blues Society

Honoring the Musicians, Composers, Authors and Individuals Who Have Made a Historical Contribution, Impact and Overall Influence on the Blues in the State of Minnesota.


CONTACT: Jake Jacobson, Vice President
Greater Twin Cities Blues Music Society


(Minneapolis, MN) Four musicians who have profoundly influenced the Minneapolis "West Bank" sound since the 1960's, Willie Murphy, "Spider" John Koerner, Tony "Little Sun" Glover and the late Dave "Snaker" Ray will be among this year's inductees into the Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame in a ceremony to be held at the Minneapolis Eagles Club (2507 E 25th St) on Sunday October 19th beginning at 5 pm.

The Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame honors musicians, people and businesses that have significantly contributed to the promotion and tradition of the Blues music genre in Minnesota over the past 20 or more years. Awards are given in five categories: Blues Performer, Non-Performer Supportive of the Blues, Blues Literature, Blues Recording and Blues Song. Nominations were accepted from the general public and then voted upon by members of the Greater Twin Cities Blues Music Society. The 2008 roster of inductees is:

Willie Murphy - "Blues Performer"
It is impossible to classify Willie Murphy as just a "blues" performer. His musical vocabulary defies and cuts across the simple classifications of blues, rock, reggae, soul, funk, jazz and rhythm & blues. An accomplished musician, composer, band leader and social commentator, Willie Murphy has been performing since the 1960's locally, nationally and internationally. He piloted what is arguably the funkiest Minneapolis R&B band of all time, Willie and the Bees, through every dance hall and dive bar in the upper Midwest in the 70's and 80's. He has continued to perform and record to the present day both as a solo artist and in various band configurations including the Angel Headed Hipsters. Whether he is conveying the pain of losing a lover with his voice, transporting listeners to the tropics with exotic rhythms on the keyboard, or mesmerizing his audience with a searing crescendo on his Parker guitar, Willie Murphy always delivers a soulful, honest performance. Lolly Obeda will present the award to Willie Murphy.

Koerner, Ray & Glover - "Blues Recording" for Blues, Rags & Hollers
Recorded at the Woman's Club in Milwaukee, WI on March 24, 1963 and originally released in June of that year as a translucent red vinyl, 300-copy pressing on the Audiophile label, Blues, Rags & Hollers arrived at precisely the moment in the history of American music when "folk" musicians began to turn their attention to the heritage of Black music in this country. Covering tunes by Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, Lightnin' Hopkins, Sleepy John Estes and others along with their own original compositions, Blues, Rags & Hollers not only established the beginning of the West Bank "Whomp Bom" blues sound in Minneapolis but it also helped pave the way for the 60's blues revival in Minnesota and the nation. Brian Dyke will present the award for "Best Recording".

Dave Ray - "Blues Song" for "It's All Right"
Part of the 1963 Koerner, Ray and Glover album Blues, Rags & Hollers, "It's All Right" features a solo performance by Dave Ray on vocal playing six-string guitar, bottleneck-style. According to Paul Nelson's 1963 liner notes, "It's All Right" was improvised entirely in the studio. Dave succumbed to lung cancer on Thanksgiving Day 2002 leaving behind a rich legacy of recorded music. This early song is an excellent representation of his skill as both a guitarist and a vocalist interpreting the blues form of American music. Charles Lawson will present the award to the family of Dave Ray.

Scott Miller - "Blues Literature" for Rock Keyboard
Published by Hal Leonard Corporation in 2003, Rock Keyboard is an instructional keyboard book with a "play-along" CD covering many different styles of rock and blues music. The play-along CD features a live local band including Scottie Miller, John Iden, Mark O' Day and Paul Mayasich. Scottie "Bones" Miller has distinguished himself as a performer both on the local scene and nationally. In 2005 he represented Minnesota at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN and finished among the top five finalists in the solo/duo competition. In 2006 he toured as the keyboard player with "Bo Diddley & Friends"; Alvin Youngblood Hart and Ruthie Foster. His CD Livin' Between The Black 'n White was nominated as the Minnesota entry for "Best Self-Produced CD" in 2006 for the Blues Foundation's "Keeping the Blues Alive" awards. John Hammer will present the award to Scottie Miller.

Tom Asp - "Non-Performer Supportive of the Blues" for Photography
Tom Asp has been supporting Blues artists and music through photography in Minnesota for over 20 years and was the first and principle photographer for the Twin Cities Blues News. Tom's work has been published in Blue Monday Monthly, Minnesota Monthly Magazine, City Pages, local newspapers, Blues Review Magazine, Rolling Stone, Guitar Player Magazine and other publications. Tom's work has been featured in exhibits at the Blues Saloon, Narrows North, Sativa Blues, The Blues, Muddy Waters, Black and White, Doc Powell's Restaurant and others as well as on numerous LP and CD cover and liner photos. Ray Stiles will present the award to Tom Asp.

The Greater Twin Cities Blues Music Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in August 2002. Through volunteer efforts we lend support, pay tribute to and honor our local blues musicians through Profile Events, Road to Memphis competitions, and the Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame. The Blues Foundation in Memphis awarded the Electric Fetus a 2007 "Keeping the Blues Alive" Award through our efforts. We have compiled profile booklets of some of the musicians and we have had historians at Hess-Roise Company document the Cabooze Bar, KFAI Radio Station and the Electric Fetus retail store. Our "Blues For Kids" program has introduced young people to the joy of playing a musical instrument in the hope that it will inspire them to become future musicians or at least help them to appreciate this musical genre called the Blues.

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With your help and support we look forward to continued growth and success 'Keeping the Blues Alive' in Minnesota. Look for us at: www.gtcbms.org or contact us: (mail) GTCBMS, PO Box 580704, Minneapolis, MN 55458-0704 (e-mail) (phone) 651-407-0845


This Page Last Updated: Tuesday, July 10, 2012

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