Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame

Honoring Minnesota Blues Artists Past and Present

History and Purpose

The Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame (hereinafter referred to as “MBHOF”) was created by the Minnesota Blues Society (hereinafter referred to as “MnBS”) to honor those who have made significant contributions to the blues in the State of Minnesota. The MBHOF will endeavor to preserve the history of the blues in Minnesota, promote public interest in the musicians of the past, and encourage those of the present and future.


Hall of Fame Committee

The Committee is a standing committee of the MnBS, it shall be comprised of volunteer members of MnBS and subject to approval by the MnBS Board. At least one MnBS Board member must serve on the Committee. The Committee shall consist of no less than three (3) and no more than seven (7) members, preferably an odd number.

The Committee shall appoint their chair and establish their meeting schedule. The Chair need not be a MnBS Board member. The Committee shall conduct all its activities in accordance with MnBS bylaws and in keeping with the MnBS Mission Statement. In the event that a Committee member is nominated for the MBHOF, they must either step down from the Committee or ask that their name be withdrawn from nomination.


Hall of Fame Timeline 

  • January: Nominations are open for the Hall of Fame. The call for nominations is promoted on the MnBS website and       by press release to local media. 

  • May: The Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame Committee selects inductees for current year.

  • July: Hall of Fame inductees are announced at the annual picnic,  on the website, 

    October: Hall of Fame inductees press release to local media.

  • October: Hall of Fame ceremony

  • December: Celebration of Inductees


Criteria for Inductees

To be nominated and considered for the MBHOF voted categories, nominees must have:
    ~ Blues as the primary format or music style
    ~ At least a 20-year history of bluesparticipation in Minnesota
    ~ Made a historical contribution and had an
        impact and overall influence on blues in Minnesota.

The Nomination Committee may add, amend or eliminate categories.

Current categories with some examples are:

  • Performer(s):  Celebrates the contribution to the blues of an individual artist, duo, trio or a band.

  • Sideman:  Awarded to a musician, primarily performing in the Blues genre other than as the leader or featured artist of the act(s) or group(s).

  • Supportive of the Blues (Non-Performer):  Includes but is not limited to agents, broadcasters (radio or television), historians, media outlets, music stores, promoters, radio stations, sponsors, teachers/educators, venues, and other industry professionals..

  • Blues Art, Literature and Media:  Includes but is not limited to artists (sculpture, paintings, and photographs), books/authors, journalists, music publishers, photographers, films, videos, any person involved in the graphic design process, the writing of liner notes, cover art, instructional material and printed or electronic media such as news publications, columns, magazines and websites.

  • Blues Recording:  Awarded to a compilation of songs published and distributed as an album, CD, record, EP or tape.

  • Blues Song:  Awarded to the performer(s) and/or songwriter(s) of a song that was published and distributed on an album, CD, record or tape

Nominations and Submissions

  • MnBS members and the public at large are eligible to submit nominations.

  • No one may nominate themselves or their own “work”.

  • One may be nominated and inducted posthumously in each category.

  • One may be nominated for multiple categories.

  • Nominees are not required to be members of MnBS.

Nominations and the supporting documentation received will be accepted and retained for all upcoming and future MBHOF Induction consideration.

Official nomination forms will be available at http://www.MnBS.org and may be submitted online or printed, filled out and sent by regular mail. Supporting documentation and photos may be submitted by email or regular mail.

Nomination forms must include the nominator’s name, address, phone number, email and relationship to the nominee(s) on the form, along with the:

  • Name of nominee(s).

  • Years of nominee(s) involvement to be considered.

  • Nominee’s current address, phone number, email, and/or website. If the nominee is deceased, provide the name, address and phone number of a family member.

  • Category of nomination

  • A description of the nominee and reason for your nomination (100 to 250 words) for possible use on the ballot.

  •  When nominating a performer,if possible,provide one or more photos (preferably a jpeg with a 300 resolution)

Nominations will be screened by the Committee as they are received to ensure induction requirements are met. The Committee will convene, review all nominations and prepare a list of the candidates for review. Nominees may request that their names be excluded from the process. The request should be made in writing, signed and dated. If a nominee does not want to participate, the Committee may replace the nominee with another nominee.

The Committee will consider all nominations and their appropriateness for induction. Selection shall be conducted in closed Committee meetings and no public explanation of the specific deliberations is required nor shall be given.

Induction is determined by Minnesota Blues HoF Committee members discussion and voting. In order to qualify to vote, a committee member must be an active member of the HoF Committee.

The Committee may seek advice or additional information from music professionals outside the Committee to assist in making their selections. If necessary, the MnBS Board may also be consulted, however, no Board member who is nominated for MBHoF may participate in discussions pertaining to a category in which they are nominated.

All inductees will be contacted and asked if they desire to be inducted and are willing to participate in the ceremony. Each inductee will be expected to verify or provide any necessary information.


Legacy, Legends, and Keeping Blues Alive Categories

Inductee Criteria

To be considered for the Legacy, Legends, and Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) categories of the MBHOF, the following  
     criteria will be considered:

          √Blues as the primary format or music style
          √Made a historical contribution and had an impact and overall influence on blues in Minnesota.

The Committee may add, amend or eliminate categories. Current categories with some examples are:

  • Legacy  Celebrates the lifetime contribution to the blues of an artist who made a significant impact on the Blues genre in Minnesota during their lifetime.

  • Legends  Award to an artist, who made a significant contribution to the blues genre in Minnesota.

  • Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA)  Recognizes the outstanding contributions over a significant period of time that an individual or organization makes to the blues genre in Minnesota. This recognition is not specifically tied to a time frame such as the Hall of Fame but recognizes extraordinary contemporary contributions.

Recommendations and Submissions


  • The investigation of the candidate’s worthiness is the responsibility of the MnBS HOF Committee. The Committee will accept recommendations from members and the public.

  • MnBS members and the public at large are eligible for consideration.

  • No one may recommend themselves or their own “work”.

  • Candidates are not required to be members of MnBS.


Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame Past Inductees

2007 at Whiskey Junction
Blues Performer: George ‘Mojo’ Buford
Supporter of the Blues (Non-Performer): KFAI Community Radio
Blues Song: “As Simple As That” – Bruce McCabe
Blues Recording: “Deep Sleep / 2000  Miles” – Aces, Straights & Shuffles
Arts, Literature and Media: Blues Harp by Tony Glover

2008 at the Eagles Club
Blues Performer: Willie Murphy
Supporter of the Blues( Non-Performer):  Tom Asp (Photography)
Blues Song: “It’s All Right” – Dave Ray
Blues Recording: Blues, Rags & Hollers – Koerner, Ray & Glover
Arts, Literature and Media: Rock Keyboard by Scott Miller

2009 at  Famous Dave’s Barbecue
Blues Performer: Lazy Bill Lucas
Supporter of the Blues (Non-Performer): Ray Stiles (Blues on Stage website)
And  Lolly Obeda  (host of KFAI Sugar Shack)
Blues Song: “It’s All Right” – Dave Ray
Blues Recording: Blues, Rags & Hollers – Koerner, Ray & Glover
Arts, Literature and Media: Twin Cities Blues News by Kurt Koehler

2010 at The Minnesota Music Cafe
Blues Performer: Paulie Testa, Jr.
Supporter of the Blues (Non-Performer): Chris Mackey (Bayfront Blues Festival)
Blues Song: “If I Could Change” – Big George Jackson
Blues Recording: Ready To Go” – RJ Mischo & the Kid Morgan Band feat. Percy Strother
Arts, Literature and Media: Blue Loon Records – Pat Dawson

2011 at O’Gara’s
Blues Performer: Bruce McCabe
Blues Sideman: Curtis Blake

Supporter of the Blues (Non-Performer):  Blues Saloon (Blues Club)
Blues Song: "Lost In The Blues" – Doug Maynard
Blues Recording: “Big Leg Woman/Cadillac Baby” – Sonny Rodgers & The Cat Scratchers
Arts, Literature and Media: Cold Wind Records (Recording Company) by Tim “Dr. Dog” Bradach
Blues Legacy: Leonard "Baby Doo" Casto
Keeping the Blues Alive: Judy Cedar

2012 at  Wilebski’s Blues Saloon
Blues Performer: Big Walter Smith
Blues Sideman: Dan Schwalbe
Supporter of the Blues (Non-Performer):  Electric Fetus (Record Store)
Blues Song: "Blues on the Bank" – Will Donicht
Blues Recording: "Blues on the Bank" – Will Donicht
Arts, Literature and Media: West Bank Boogie (Book) by Cyn Collins
Blues Legend: Samuel ‘Cornbread’ Harris

2013 at The Minnesota Music Cafe
Blues Performer: Willie Walker
Blues Sideman: John Franken
Supporter of the Blues( Non-Performer):  Charlie Campbell (Promoter/Producer)
Blues Song:  “Brother To The Blues" – Big Walter Smith
Blues Recording: “Home Is Where My Harps Is” – Mojo Buford
Arts, Literature and Media: Blues With A Feeling, Little Walter Story (Book) by Tony Glover
Blues Legend: Barbara LeShoure
Blues Legacy: Milwaukee Slim (Angelo Chambers)
Keeping the Blues Alive: Jake & Melody Jacobson

2014 at Wilebski’s Blues Saloon

Blues Performer:  Jimi ‘PrimeTime’ Smith

Blues Sideman: Jeremy Johnson

Supporter of the Blues (Non-Performer): John Hammer (Writer/ Photographer/ Publisher/

Blues Song: “Crying To Do”  Curt Obeda

Blues Recording: “A Hot Cup of Rhythm and Blues” – Joe Juliano

Arts, Literature and Media: Marc Norberg ( Black and White Blues) book

Blues Legend: Big John Dickerson

Blues Legacy: Joseph ‘Jo Jo’ Williams

2015 at Wilebski’s Blues Saloon
Blues Performer:  Big George Jackson
Blues Sideman: Donald ‘Hye Pockets’ Robertson
Supporter of the Blues (Non-Performer):  Harold Tremblay
Blues Song: A Good Woman Is Hard to Find” – Percy Strother
Blues Recording: “City Music”  Joel Johnson Band
Arts, Literature and Media: Jacquie Maddix  “Lady J Griot”  (Storytelling Performance)
Blues Legend: John Beach
Blues Legacy: Auburn Pat Hare

2016 at The Parkway Theater

Blues Performer: Paul Mayasich

Blues Sideman: Steve Vonderharr

Supporter of the Blues (Non-Performer):  Mike Shaw

Blues Song: “Two Hours From Tulsa”- R J Mischo

Arts, Literature and Media: Gary Eckhart, (Photography)

Blues Legend: Wilbur Cole

Blues Legacy: LaVerne ‘Lady Blue’ Johnson and Bobby Johnson

Keeping the Blues Alive:  Charlie Lawson (Presented @ Holiday Party)

2017 at Famous Dave’s

Blues Performer Scottie Miller

Blues Sideman: Robb Stupka

Supporter of the Blues (Non-Performer):  Sue McLean & Assoc.

Blues Song: “Leopard Print Dress” Dee Miller and Jimi “Primetime” Smith

Blues Recording: “If Nothing Ever Changes” – Wee Willie Walker

Arts, Literature and Media: KBEM–FM 88.5

Blues Legend: ‘Famous’ Dave Anderson

Blues Legacy: Dave ‘Snaker’ Ray

2018 at Crooner’s Lounge
 Blues Performer: Dee Miller
Blues Sideman: Larry Wiegand
Supporter of the Blues (Non-Performer):   Mike ‘Tiny’ Rogers
Blues Song:  Sweet Cream Sugar Delight”- Scottie Miller
Blues Recording: “One Night” – The Butanes Soul Revue
Arts, Literature and Media: Karl Bremer 
Blues Legend: ‘Doghouse’ Jon Lackey
Blues Legacy: Mike ‘The Hook’ Deutsch

2019 atThe Concord Exchange
Blues Performer: Pat Hayes
Blues Sideman: Bill Black
Supporter of the Blues (Non-Performer):  Miki Mulvehill
Blues Song: “Trouble Caught Me” – Phil Kitze, from The Sky is Clearing, Cold Wind Records (ft. B McCabe, R Stupka and V Nelson)
Blues Recording: “Long Shot” – Joe T Cook
Blues Legend: Curt Obeda
Blues Legacy: John Lindberg

2020 Cancelled due to Covid

2021 @ Jimmy’s Event Center
Blues Performer: Don Scott
Blues Sideman: Allen Kirk
Supporter of the Blues (Non-Performer):  Jackson Buck
Blues Song:  “Blinded” - Jimi "Prime Time" Smith
Blues Recording: “Lie To Me” – Jonny Lang
Arts, Literature and Media: John Hanson (Graphic Artist)
Blues Legend: ‘Spider John’ Koerner
Blues Legacy:
Dave ‘Cool Breeze’ Brown

2022 at Jimmy’s Event Center and Mancini’s
Blues Performer: Moses Oakland
Blues Sideman: Tom Kochie
Supporter of the Blues (Non-Performer):  Steve “Nipper” Barrette
Blues Song: “Boxwood’s Dream” –Lonesome Dan Kase
Blues Recording: “Vicksburg Blues” Pat Donohue & Butch Thompson
Arts, Literature and Media:  ‘Blues Guitar Highway” Book by Paul Metsa
Blues Legend: Papa John Kolstad
Blues Legacy:  Paul Manske
Keeping the Blues Alive:  Everett Smithson (Blues Educator)