Each year the foundation honors a group of blues-friendly people and organizations, and hands out the awards as part of its International Blues Challenge in February. Next year the KBAs will be presented Feb. 7, during the IBC weekend.
Here's how the foundation describes the awards:
The Keeping the Blues Alive Awards recognize the significant contributions to Blues music made by the people behind the scenes. Each is selected on the basis of merit by a select panel of Blues professionals. KBA Chairman Art Tipaldi notes with respect to this year's recipients, "As is often the case, this year the committee recognized some individuals that have long-deserved to be honored as well as identifying others who have made a very impressive mark on Blues music in a relatively short period. Once again, the honorees cover the United States map. In addition, two Italian organizations were selected for their commitment to the Blues genre in their country."
Congratulations to Dusty and Val. I keep running into them at shows and festivals, and they're always hard at work documenting the blues in photos. (The photo above is Dusty as he usually looks, with a long lens where his face should be. That's Val, working beside him. I grabbed this admittedly lousy photo at last summer's Heritage Music BluesFest in Wheeling.)
Here's the full list of KBA winners for '09:
1. Agent: Steve Hecht, Piedmont Talent, Charlotte, NC
2. Art and Photography: Dusty & Val Scott, Dusty Blues, Pittsburgh, PA
3. Blues Club: B.L.U.E.S, Chicago, IL
4. Education: Monroe County Black History Month, Monroe County, MI
5. Festival: Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, Telluride, CO
6. Film, Television and Video: Willy Bearden, Memphis TN
7. Historical Preservation: Shack Up In, Clarksdale, MS
8. International: Associazione Roots ‘n' Blues, Parma, Italy
9. Internet: Pandora.com, Oakland, CA
10. Journalism: Hal Horowitz, Marietta, GA
11. Literature: Craig Hopkins, Cedar Hill, TX
12. Manager: John Hahn, New York, NY
13. Organization: Washington Blues Society, Seattle, WA
14. Print Media: Il Blues, Milan, Italy
15. Producer: David Z, Nashville, TN
16. Promoter: Omega Events, Lake Forest, CA
17. Publicist: Betsie Brown, Blind Raccoon, Memphis, TN
18. Radio Commercial: Kai Turner, Denver, CO
19. Radio Public: John Kessler, Seattle, WA
20. Record Label: Delta Groove, Van Nuys, CA
21. Retailer: Manifest Discs, Charlotte, NC
22. Sponsor: Barbara Hammerman, Gig Harbor, WA
And here's some financial news
Who is the top-earning dead celebrity?
Elvis, of course.
According to Forbes, Presley is the top-earning dead celebrity. The singer, who died in 1977, brought in $52 million in the last 12 months. He even outranks current stars like Justin Timberlake ($44 million) and Madonna ($40 million). Peanuts cartoonist Charles M. Schulz ranked second on the list, followed by Heath Ledger, Albert Einstein, Aaron Spelling, Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel), John Lennon, Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, James Dean, and Marvin Gaye.
Just so you know.