blues blog icon

Recent Posts

Friday, June 16, 2017 - 8:39am by Greg Johnson

Flyer for the Brown Bag event


Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 9:56am by Greg Johnson

Image of Ethel Waters

On 14 June 1939, Ethel Waters became the first African American star of a television show, when NBC aired the Ethel Waters Show. This one-time television variety show special featured musical performances, dramatic vignettes, and more. 

Columbia Records blues artists poster.


Friday, June 9, 2017 - 3:30pm by Greg Johnson

The Skip James song "Devil Got My Woman" is one of the most haunting blues songs, indeed in all of recorded music. The song's minor open tuning, sparse accompaniment, and mournful, falsetto singing are the base for what some have termed the Bentonia style (after James' hometown). This song likely influenced Robert Johnson's "Hellhound on My Trail," and served as the real thematic center of Terry Zwigoff's 2001 film Ghost World


Friday, May 19, 2017 - 12:30pm by Greg Johnson

Letter from B.B. King

The Blues Archive just acquired this letter written by B. B. King, which speaks to the importance of education.

King was a lifelong learner. Before embarking on his first world tour, he purchased multiple language courses on LP. To see a list of the records B. B. King donated from his personal record collection, browse our catalog

He also enrolled in several correspondence courses, and would complete assignments while riding on his tour bus. 


Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 9:48am by Greg Johnson

Blues festival season is upon us. With the exception of Helena, Arkansas' King Biscuit Blues Festival, held in October, Clarksdale, Mississippi's April Juke Joint Festival, and a few others, the vast majority of blues festivals in the deep south occur in the summer months. 

Here's a snapshot of a couple festivals hitting North Mississippi in May and June:


Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 9:24am by Greg Johnson

Mount Zion Memorial Fund logo.

The Fatal Dearth of Research in Contemporary Blues Tourism Studies

T. DeWayne Moore

Monday, April 24 at noon

Archives and Special Collections, J. D. Williams Library, The University of Mississippi


Monday, February 20, 2017 - 10:29am by Greg Johnson

Women of the Blues: A Tribute to Memphis Minnie and Beverly "Guitar" Watkins

Beverly Guitar Watkins

When: Tuesday, February 21st at 2:00pm

​Where: Archives & Special Collections, J. D. Williams Library, University of Mississippi


Friday, February 3, 2017 - 3:20pm by Greg Johnson

Cover of the book The Makers of the Sacred Harp

What: The History of Shape-Note Singing Traditions in Mississippi

Speaker: Dr. Warren Steel

When: Thursday, February 9th at noon

Where: Archives and Special Collections, Faulkner Room


Pages