Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What Lifetime Achievement by Honeyboy Edwards

The announcement that David 'Honeyboy' Edwards is receiving a Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award is startling. According to the NARAS website,

"This Special Merit Award is presented by vote of the Recording Academy's National Trustees to performers* who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artist significance to the field of recording."

Maybe someone can explain what creative contribution as a performer of blues Honeyboy made. He made some enjoyable recordings (Notably his Library of Congress Recordings) but can someone explain how he receives such an honor when such clearly more important associates as Charlie Patton, Tommy Johnson, Big Joe Williams, Tommy McLennan, Son House, Bukka White, Robert Lockwood, Johnny Shines, Skip James, and Fred McDowell have not been honored to name a few.

Is survival until one is in one's 90s a criteria for a relatively minor artist being heralded as a major creative artist, when that was simply not the case.

I look forward to getting some brickbats on this but Ma Rainey, Tampa Red and Big Bill Broonzy have not been so honored, but Honeyboy Edwards has.

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