BMI Stars Grab Fistful of Handy Nominations

Posted in News on January 17, 2001

Congratulations to all of the BMI artists and songwriters nominated for the 22nd Annual W.C. Handy Blues Awards, announced recently by the Blues Foundation. The Handy Awards, co-sponsored by BMI, will be presented on Thursday, May 24, 2001 at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee.

BMI once again swept many of the categories including Blues Entertainer of the Year with Taj Mahal, Bobby Rush, Little Milton, B.B. King, Rod Piazza and Shemekia Copeland, and Blues Instrumentalist/Guitar with Carl Weathersby, Duke Robillard, Kid Ramos, Ronnie Earl and Roy Gaines.

For over two decades, the Handy Awards have celebrated excellence in performance and recording of the Blues and is the highest honor bestowed upon artists in the Blues industry. A panel of international Blues industry experts votes on the initial nominees and 30,000 Blues fans then choose the winners.

Named in honor of W.C. Handy, "Father of the Blues," the awards ceremony traditionally opens the Handy Weekend. Celebrations include the Blues Symposium with workshops, panel discussions; and the Handy Awards Festival with Blues bands performing in the clubs along Beale Street and a BluesAid Concert. For the latest information on the Handy Awards and Handy Weekend visit or

BMI Handy Award Nominees:

Blues Entertainer of the Year
B. B. King
Bobby Rush
Little Milton
Rod Piazza
Shemekia Copeland
Taj Mahal

Blues Band of the Year
Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets w/ Sam Myers
B. B. King Band
Johnnie Bassett & The Blues Insurgents
Magic Slim & The Teardrops
Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers
Taj Mahal & The Phantom Blues Band

Contemporary Blues-Male Artist of the Year
Carl Weathersby
Eddy Clearwater
Larry Garner
Roy Gaines

Contemporary Blues- Female Artist of the Year
Debbie Davies
Deborah Coleman
Marcia Ball
Shemekia Copeland
Susan Tedeschi

Soul/Blues-Male Artist of the Year
Bobby Bland
Bobby Rush
Johnnie Taylor
Little Milton

Soul/Blues-Female Artist of the Year
E.C. Scott
Etta James
Irma Thomas
Trudy Lynn

Traditional Blues-Male Artist of the Year
Big Jack Johnson
Magic Slim
R.L. Burnside
Robert Lockwood, Jr.
Snooky Pryor

Traditional Blues-Female Artist of the Year

Ann Rabson
Koko Taylor
Ruth Brown

Acoustic Blues- Artist of the Year
Guy Davis
Keb' Mo'

Best New Artist Debut
Beverly Watkins - Back in Business
Sean Costello - Cuttin' In

Blues Instrumentalist-Guitar
Carl Weathersby
Duke Robillard
Kid Ramos
Ronnie Earl
Roy Gaines

Blues Instrumentalist-Harmonica
Carey Bell
Charlie Musselwhite
Rod Piazza
Snooky Pryor

Blues Instrumentalists-Keyboards
Dave Maxwell
Honey Piazza
Marcia Ball
Pinetop Perkins

Blues Instrumentalists-Bass

Bill Stuve
Willie Kent

Blues Instrumentalists-Drums
Chris Layton - Double Trouble

Blues Instrumentalists-Horns
Memphis Horns
Sax Gordon Beadle

Blues Instrumentalists-Other
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown - Fiddle
Claude "Fiddler" Williams - Fiddle

Comeback Blues Album

Don Covay - Adlib
Little Arthur Duncan - Singin' with the Sun
Mel Brown - Neck Bones & Caviar
Rosco Gordon - Memphis, Tennessee

Acoustic Blues Album of the Year
Eric Bibb - Home to Me
Guy Davis - Butt Naked Free
Robert Lockwood, Jr. - Delta Crossroads

Contemporary Blues Album of the Year

B.B. King/Eric Clapton - Riding with the King
Eddy Clearwater - Reservation Blues
Kid Ramos - West Coast house Party
R.L. Burnside - Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down
Shemekia Copeland - Wicked

Soul/Blues Album of the Year

Bobby Rush - Hoochie Man
Darrell Nulisch - I Like It That Way
E. C. Scott - Masterpiece
Irma Thomas - My Heart's In Memphis

Traditional Blues Album Of the Year
Big Jack Johnson - Roots Stew
Magic Slim - Snakebite
Snooky Pryor/Mel Brown - Double Shot
Son Seals - Letting Go
Willie Cobbs - Jukin'

Blues Album Of The Year

Big Jack Johnson - Roots Stew
Eddy Clearwater - Reservation Blues
Shemekia Copeland - Wicked
Son Seals - Lettin Go

Historical Album Of The Year
James Harman - Mo' Na'kins, Please
William Clarke - Tip Of The Top
Otis Spann - Last Call

Blues Song of the Year
"Waiting on the Cards to Fall," Guy Davis
"So Long Frank Frost," Big Jack Johnson
"Winds of Change," Karen Leipziger, Roger Fleming
"Pennies and Picks," James Armstrong, R. Lily, M. Heaney
"It's 2AM," R. Vito


The Weekly

Each week, Learn, Listen, Watch, Discover and Share with BMI! From must-see videos, to creative inspiration and dynamic playlists we’re excited about, BMI’s The Weekly is dedicated to delivering specially curated content designed for music creators and music fans alike!

Join BMI Live

BMI Live
Back to Top