The Robert Johnson Festival Presents: 2006 New Generation Award Contest

Posted by:  Robert Johnson Blues Foundation  | 


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The Robert Johnson Blues Foundation Annual Music Festival Presents the 2006 New Generation Award Contest. The New Generation Award will be presented to the year's most promising young blues musician, as determined by an elite panel of music industry professionals from the entries received.

The contest is open to all young blues musicians at least 12 years of age, but no older than 18 years of age, as of May 6, 2006. Artists must have a Supersonic EPK with video to enter.

The winner of the New Generation Award will receive a Gibson "Robert Johnson" Edition guitar, a Robert Johnson harmonica, a certificate signed by Claud Johnson (son of Robert Johnson) and an invitation to perform at the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation Spring Festival held on May 6-7, 2006 at Chautauqua Park in Crystal Springs, Mississippi.

For a list of artists performing at the festival, please see the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation website.

The Robert Johnson Blues Foundation was founded by the family and heirs of blues legend Robert Johnson to provide services to all generations of blues artists and to preserve and perpetuate the rich heritage of Delta blues music.

About Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson, "King of the Delta Blues Singers", was born in Hazlehurst, MS in Copiah County, on May 8, 1911. Crystal Spring, MS is the sister city and host of the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation Spring Festival which commemorates the birth of the Mississippi blues legend. Johnson is one of the most admired and influential Delta blues artists despite his short life and the small number of recordings that he left. His songs, such as "Sweet Home Chicago", "Come on in My Kitchen", and "Crossroad Blues", are blues classics -- played by thousands of blues artists and adapted by rock 'n' roll artists such as the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton.

Robert Johnson was a gifted singer, guitarist and songwriter whose life story is wrapped in mystery and legend. Only two photographs are known to exist of him and he recorded only 29 songs before his death in 1938 at the age of 27. Many of his contemporaries believed that he met the Devil at a lonely crossroads at midnight and made a deal to sell his soul in return for becoming the greatest blues musician of all time. More likely, he was blessed with enormous talent and spent a lot of time learning from other blues masters and honing his skills. He achieved some success and fame from recordings and performances during his life and was scheduled to perform at the first "Spirituals to Swing" concert at Carnegie Hall when he died. Although his burial place remains uncertain, it is generally accepted that his death was not accidental. Johnson was poisoned by a jealous husband (or girlfriend) while performing at a juke joint near Greenwood, Mississippi and died on August 16, 1938.

Johnson's music lives on through his recordings, which were first released as a compilation by Columbia Records in the 1960's. In 1990 a complete two-CD box set of all his recordings (every take of every song) was released and over a million sets were sold. His music also lives on through the many blues musicians alive today -- old and young, throughout the United States and around the world.

The Robert Johnson Blues Foundation hopes to ensure that Robert Johnson's legacy and the delta blues heritage continue into the future by recognizing and assisting young blues musicians through the New Generation Award.

More information on the foundation and the festivals and events sponsored by the foundation is available at the website.