The inductees into the Blues Hall of Fame for 2022 cover more than half a century of music, from Lucille Bogan, who recorded in the ‘20s and ‘30s, to Johnnie Taylor, whose biggest hit, the trendy “Disco Lady,” spent four weeks at No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976 and became the first single to be certified platinum by the RIAA.
The Blues Hall of Fame induction ceremony, held this year in conjunction with the Blues Music Awards and International Blues Challenge week, will occur on Wednesday, May 4, at the Halloran Centre in Memphis.
Little Willie John, who recorded the original version of “Fever” in 1956, and Otis Blackwell, who co-wrote that song (under a pseudonym, John Davenport), are also set to be inducted. Peggy Lee’s sultry cover version of “Fever” became a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958 and received Grammy nominations for record and song of the year.
Blackwell also wrote such Elvis Presley classics as “Don’t Be Cruel” and “All Shook Up” and two of Jerry Lee Lewis’ biggest hits, “Great Balls of Fire” and “Breathless.” Blackwell was voted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1991.
Little Willie John’s other hits included “Talk to Me, Talk to Me” and “Sleep.” John was just 30 when he died of a heart attack in Washington State Prison in 1968.
Mary Katherine Aldin was also inducted. Aldin has spent six decades in radio and as a compiler or annotator of blues and folk reissue albums. She received a Grammy nomination for her liner notes for Muddy Waters’ The Chess Box in 1990.
In addition to those five individuals, the Blues Hall of Fame saluted an album, five singles and a book.
Bo Diddley’s Bo Diddley is this year’s album honoree. The album, released in 1958, compiled 12 of Diddley’s groundbreaking singles on Chess Records’ Checker subsidiary.
Singles receiving Hall of Fame induction are Roy Brown’s “Good Rockin’ Tonight” (DeLuxe, 1947), which was covered with even greater success the following year by Wynonie Harris; Baby Face Leroy Trio’s exuberant “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” (Parkway, 1950); Sonny Boy Williamson II’s “Eyesight to the Blind,” the first release by the master harmonica player and singer (Trumpet, 1951); Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “Farther Up the Road,” (Duke, 1957); and B.B. King’s “Rock Me Baby” (Kent, 1964), which was a top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
Entering the Blues Hall of Fame as a classic of blues literature is Red River Blues: The Blues Tradition in the Southeast, written by British author Bruce Bastin (University of Illinois Press, 1986).
The Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held this year in conjunction with the Blues Music Awards and International Blues Challenge week, will occur on Wednesday, May 4, at the Halloran Centre in Memphis. A cocktail reception honoring the BHOF Inductees and Blues Music Awards nominees will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the formal inductions commencing at 6:30 p.m. in the Halloran Theater. Tickets, including the ceremony and reception, are $75 each and are available with Blues Music Awards tickets here.