Inside the Blues hall of fame

a city treasure

By Jerome Robinson

Sherry May and I were working on a story for the Live at the Garden Concert Series when Sherry asked me if I had any interest in the Blues Foundation.  A friend of mine Stephen Whitney had worked there in the past, so I knew of the Foundation, but I had never gone inside.  I have attended a few Blues shows by artists like Bobby Rush, I helped Judy Peiser for a bit with the Center for Southern Folklore, and as a result I got a chance to see the up close and personal struggles of Blues artists.  But I was just too stuck on my own crap to take the time to see if I could, in some small way help the Blues Music industry that itself helped to create a name for our city.  So when Sherry asked me to join her and Barbara Newman for lunch, I was filled with excitement and doubt.  Excitement in that the Blues Foundation is an amazing organization helping Blues artists all over the world, but doubtful of what my talents could really bring to the table.

Ok, this article is not about my self doubt.  There will be other articles for that.  So Barbara asked me if I was interested in joining the Board of Directors for the Blues Foundation.  This was truly an honor, after a meeting with Jeff Syracuse, who is the board chair, if was official!  I Jerome Robinson get to serve on the Board for the Blues Foundation.  Truly a moment of honor.

On the day of my appointment, it happened to also be the day of the 2018 Blues Music Awards at the Cannon Center.  So I attended my first event as a member of the board and it was amazing.  This was a $250,000 music production with guests from all over the world coming to celebrate the Blues.  This was a night where Memphis was shining.  Artist after artist performed and captured both the history and the future of Blues music.  I had the honor of seeing what Memphis could be when we put down our political views, our race issues, and we focused on all that is possible in our #BeAmazing city.  The Blues Hall of Fame and the Blues Foundation under the leadership of Barbara Newman is just that, a celebration of all that we have been as a city and all that we can be.  This isn’t just a Memphis organization, it is Memphis’s stamp on a international playing field.  This is truly a City Treasure.  But after all that I still hadn’t actually gone inside the Blues Hall of Fame!

So Barbara and I sat down with the #FunCrew of JustMyMemphis and we decided it was time we share with Memphis the amazing work that is being done in the world of Blues music.  Work that is not just keeping Blues music alive, but work that is keeping Memphis at the heart of the music industry around the world.  JustMyMemphis is teaming up with the Blues Foundation to share stories of artists along with amazing performances.  We are going to spotlight the local clubs where artists can be found sharing their craft.  We are going to travel the globe capturing the future of Blues artist young and old.  But today I want to take you inside of the Memphis treasure known as the Blues Hall of Fame.

Blues foundation

There was only one person who could truly share with us what the Blues Hall of Fame was really about.  So let me send a big thank you to Barbara Newman for her personal tour of the Blues Foundation.  Memphis the Blues Foundation is one of our city’s true treasures.  I invite you to sign up today to become a member.  I invite you to take your friends and family on a tour of the Blues Hall of Fame. When you bring guest into our city, be sure and bring them down to the museum that is the Blues Hall of Fame.  This is just our first feature on the Blues Foundation, I am very excited to invite you to follow me on my journey of exploration into the world of Blues music.  Till next time, Keep on Keeping on and get your groove on with a few Blues tunes today.

Monday – Saturday
10:00am – 5:00pm (last admission at 4:30pm)
1:00pm – 5:00pm (last admission at 4:30pm)
Call 901-527-2583 ext. 13 or email for more information and to schedule your event today

421 S. Main StreetMemphis, TN 38103

Duncan-Williams, Inc. Presents:

It's Happening in Memphis

Benefiting the Germantown Performing Arts Center


  • November 4, 2018 Soweto Gospel Choir
  • November 10, 2018 Ellis Marsalis Quintet
  • January 11, 2019 Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver with Flatt Lonesome
  • January 12, 2019 Fred Hersch Pocket Orchestra
  • January 26, 2019 Dorrance Dance
  • February 2, 2019 Jazzmeia Horn
  • March 30, 2019 Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour
  • March 1, 2019 Shawn Colvin
  • May 4, 2019 Ballet Memphis: Midsummer Night's Dream

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