... to preserve,
promote and perpetuate the Blues Tradition ...
of Local Interest
- Robert Alan "Rocky" Adcock
May 9, 1946 - Jan 24, 2017
Rocky & Dana
KBS Blues News Cover, Mar 2017
- Dana Michael Roy
Jan 16, 1953 - Jan 30, 2017
- Phillip Eugene "Blue" Phillips
1956 - Nov 13, 2016
w/ The Tarnations
- Joey "Lamont" Gillispie
Feb 20, 1953-Apr 10, 2015
Lamont & Jimmy
KBS Blues News Cover, May 2015
- James Douglas "Jimmy" Gardner, Jr.
Jan 15, 1951 - Mar 22, 2015
- Henry C. Woodruff, 82 of Louisville, died Jan 5,
2005. He was the first recipient of the Kentuckiana Blues
Society's Sylvester Weaver Award in
1989. Henry is buried at Green Meadows Memorial Cemetery
off of Cane Run Road.
Read Keith Clement's "So
Long Henry" article in his February 2005 Louisville
Music News article "I've A Mind To Ramble".
Henry Woodruff at the Cherokee Blues Club
Photo by Keith Clements
||Mary Ann Fisher at Rick's Square
Piano, Feb. 26, 1997
Photo by Keith Clements
- Louisville Bluesman Fred L. Murphy
passed away Saturday, November 8, 2003. Following
is the obituary from The Courier-Journal on 11/12/2003
Fred L. Murphy, 84, of
Louisville, died Saturday. Funeral: 1 p.m. Saturday at Oak Grove
Baptist Church, 4033 Vermont Ave. Burial: Green Meadows
Cemetery. Visitation: 7-9 p.m. Friday at Perryman's Mortuary,
34th and Broadway.
- Kentuckiana Blues Society Board Member Paul McNeal
passed away Wednesday, June 13, 2001.
He is sorely missed! Following is the obituary
from the Courier-Journal
Paul M. McNeal Jr., 48, died Monday at
Norton Hospital. He was a native of Madisonville, an employee
of the Department of Social Services and a member of
Kentuckiana Blues Society and Oak Grove Baptist Church in
Madisonville. Survivors: his wife, Martha McNeal; a sister,
Teresa Matchum; and brothers Stevie D. and Michael McNeal.
Funeral: 6 p.m. Wednesday, G.C. Williams, 1935 W. Broadway.
Burial: Odd Fellows Cemetery, Madisonville. Visitation: after
2 p.m. Wednesday.
Photo by Debbie D. Wilson
Aug 6, 1999
- Mary Jean Zena, owner of Zena's
Café in Louisville, died Sunday, December 24, 2000 - following is
the obituary from the the Courier-Journal.
Mary Jean Zena, 73, died Sunday (Dec 24, 2000) at Norton Suburban Hospital. She
was the former Mary Jean Herbold, owner of Zena's Cafe and a member of
Ursuline College Alumni Association and a member of St. Boniface
Catholic Church. Survivors: her husband, Robert B. Zena; daughters
Barbara Z. Dozier and Karen Z. Thurman; sons Dr. Robert, Randall,
Anthony, Christopher and Samuel Zena; four grandchildren; and two
great-grandchildren. Funeral: noon Thursday, her church, 531 E. Liberty
St. Burial: St. Michael Cemetery. Visitation: Ratterman's, 3711
Lexington Road, 3-5 and 7-9 p.m. Wednesday. Memorial gifts: American
From Brenda in the
January, 2000 KBS Blues News:
The Louisville blues world has lost
another icon and friend. Mary Jean Zena passed away over the
Christmas holiday. Ms. Z had been an institution of the Louisville
blues scene for so long I guess I just expected her to be there
forever. Some of the losses in your life you regret more than
others and for me personally, this is one I really regret. I don't
think I ever told Ms. Z how much she touched my life. I hadn't
seen her in a while, but at a time in my life when there were few
constants she was always there. I guess, after all those years in
the bar business, she'd heard most everything, but she'd listen
one more time. She was a lady that knew her own mind and did
things her own way. I didn't always agree with her but I always
respected her. She was there supporting the music and local bands
for a long time. Knowing she's not there now leaves a very big
Mary Jean Zena
June 25, 1927
December 24, 2000
Louisville, Kentucky musician
Hardy died Monday, January 10, 2000 - following is the obituary from the
Winston R. Hardy, 56, died Monday at Baptist Hospital East. He was a
musician, a leader of the Winston Hardy and The Roadmasters bands and a member of Masonic
Lodge 850, Kyana Blues Society, Musicians Local 11-637, Kosair Shrine Temple and Scottish
Rite. Survivors his wife, the former Nancye Reiss; sons Winston R. II and Harold M. Hardy;
and daughters Ariel and Juliana Hardy. Funeral 11:30 a.m. Friday, Arch L. Heady Hikes
Point, 4109 Taylorsville Road. Burial Cave Hill. Visitation noon-9 p.m. Thursday. Memorial
gifts Musicians Relief Fund, c/o the funeral home.
Rocky Adcock wrote a very nice piece
on Winston ... click here to read it.
KBS received a VERY GENEROUS
donation in January 2000 in the memory of Clara Willis.
Read the details here
Louisville's Blues Scene lost Jim
Rosen on February 18, 1998 just 2 days after his 42nd
birthday. Jim was a founding member of The Mudcats Blues Band which has produced three CDs
locally. The Mudcats and Jim Rosen were a very popular force in the region. His death will
again desimate the local blues scene and he will be sorely missed.
The untimely death of Foree Wells on Jan 8, 1997 decimated the local Blues scene. Foree
was a tremendous - though often unappreciated and always understated - influence on the
Blues locally. For the previous two years he had been anticipating the release of a CD on
the ROOSTER BLUES label, based in Mississippi. In a truly tragic coincidence of events it
now appears that this CD will be released - now to serve as a testimony to Foree and a
legacy for his fans rather than a springboard to greater regional and national
Foree's wife Lorene S. Wells passed
away on Feb 20, 1999
Through several fund raising events, KBS raised
enough donations to pay for a headstone for Foree and Lorene.
- Yank Rachel, Indianapolis based Bluesman, died April
9, 1997 at the age of 87. Yank was an old time string band musician who made a second
career out of a thin legacy. He played in the 70's in a string band with J.T. Adams and
Shirley Griffith. His death leaves only Howard Armstrong as a survivor of this great Blues
tradition. The Blues Society of Indiana is raising funds to pay for a headstone. Send any
contributions to BSI, PO Box 2263, Indianapolis IN 46206.
- Mighty Joe Young - Born September 23, 1927 Shreveport, Louisiana / Died
March 24, 1999 Chicago, Illinois
The following was taken from an e-mail sent by the American Legends Music Organization:
We sadly send news that American blues icon, MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, passed away on
March 25, 1999 in Chicago, Illinois. Young was in the hospital since
away from phenomena after complications from a spinal operation he hoped would restore his
ability to play guitar again. He was 71.
Mighty Joe Young was one of the first blues artists to break through on
the North Side of Chicago in the very early 1970s, playing to packed clubs and becoming
one of the premier and best-known touring blues artists on the festival and university
circuits. Between tours in 1986 he had taken his band into the studio on his own money and
started to lay down tracks to finally do a recording - his way. But after recording only
three numbers he shelved the project when in the fall of 1986 he decided to have surgery
on a pinched nerve in his neck. After the surgery he suffered complications and didn't
heal from the operation until after a year after the operation. It took a year of rehab
before he regained his balance for walking, but he never fully recovered the sensation in
his fingers to play guitar. As a result he made only rare appearances over the last
decade. His greatest hope was to regain his ability to play guitar as he did before his
Joe Young was still mighty in his seventieth year. His regular work-outs at the health
club helped maintain his barrel-chested former boxer's physique. Always a strong family
man, he has made his recovery surrounded by children and grandchildren. He made
appearances again as a singer and was on the schedule for the 1997 Chicago Blues Festival.
Born September 23, 1927 in Shreveport, Louisiana, Young also lived for a time in
Milwaukee and Los Angeles, where in the late 40s he was an amateur boxer. He began playing
in the early 1950s, working clubs in Milwaukee and then back in his native Louisiana where
in 1955 he first recorded for the tiny Jiffy label.
The next year he came to Chicago where he worked with Joe Little and his Heart
Breakers, Jimmy Rogers, Billy Boy Arnold and Otis Rush. He eventually recorded a few more
singles for Atomic H, Fire (where in 1961 he was given the "Mighty" moniker),
Webcor, Celtex and U.S.A. and appeared on disc with blues titans Magic Sam (on both
Delmark LPs), Willie Dixon, Albert King, Jimmy Dawkins, Tyrone Davis (including his hit
"Can I Change My Mind") and Koko Taylor (on Chess and Alligator). In 1969, his
sensational appearance with Koko at Chicago's first Grant Park Blues Festival was an
enormous boost to both of their careers. In typically humble fashion Joe Young plays down
his role as one of the first to bring blues to North Side clubs, but back when blues was
new to young, white audiences, he was a huge draw at Alice's Revisited, Minstrels, Biddy
Mulligan's and Wise Fools where he played 12 straight New Year's Eve engagements. His
memorable appearances at the Ann Arbor Festivals in the early '70s solidified his hold on
the festival and university circuits, and by the mid-1980s Young's successful career had
taken him all over North America and Europe.
Mighty Joe Young will be remembered for his pioneering work as one of the first Chicago
singer/guitarists to meld soul and blues in tight, fresh, horn-laden arrangements. His
music will continue to spark memories of powerful good-times, nightclubs jam-packed to the
rafters, and Chicago-style soul-blues. Young is survived by his son, Joe Young, Jr., and
other family members.