MEMPHIS (CelebrityAccess) The Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame has announced its 39th class of inductees who will be feted at a ceremony at Memphis, Tenn.’s Halloran Centre for the Performing Arts and Education May 9.
The inductees include Mamie Smith, the 1920s singer hails ad the first “Queen of the Blues” and Georgia Tom Dorsey, pianist and songwriter who accompanied Ma Rainey and Tampa Red. The Aces and drummer Sam Lay are also inductees as is the late Roebuck “Pops” Staples, who will be joining his daughter, previous inductee Mavis, in the Hall.
Also inducted is Al Benson, a DJ who became a prominent Chicago figurehead from the 1940s to the 1960s, building lucrative businesses throughout the city’s black music scene. Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton both played tribute to him in song. His empire included a broadcasting studio, a television show, record shops, a nightclub, concert promotion and record labels, which released recording by the likes of Albert King and T-Bone Walker.
The Hall will also recognize various Blues literature and recordings, including B.B. King’s album Blues Is King, Ma Rainey’s “See See Rider Blues” and Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man.” Booker T. & the MG’s “Green Onions” is also going into the Hall.