Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

National Blues Museum Discussion Highlights Passing of the Torch

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

National Blues Museum Discussion Highlights Passing of the Torch

Article excerpt

When blues legend Muddy Waters put out his "Fathers and Sons" album in 1969, it was probably his most commercially successful release.

That title, and the fact that April 4 would have been Waters' 103rd birthday, inspired the name of the National Blues Museum's first panel discussion, "Fathers and Sons," Saturday in the Lumire Place Legends Room.

The discussion looks at the passing of the torch from blues music's forefathers to the younger generation who will carry it on, as told by the sons of blues figures.

The event will feature Eric Luther Ingram, son of R&B singer Luther Ingram; Alonzo Townsend, son of Grammy-winning St. Louis blues legend Henry Townsend; and Lou Thimes Jr. (the Real J.R.), son of blues disc jockey Lou "Fatha" Thimes. All of the fathers are deceased.

Longtime blues radio broadcaster Bernie Hayes will moderate. He has known each of the guests since they were young.

"It's going to be a good energy," says Jacqueline K. Dace, interpretive manager for the museum. "I thought about having a group of sons of legends in the industry and them talking about their fathers and how they passed the torch onto them and how they are keeping their fathers' names alive. A lot of them haven't received the recognition they should."

Dace says she's been contacted by people who want to make sure their own fathers are remembered as part of the blues story.

"We're trying to encourage that their stories are told," she says. "It's a challenge, but it gives us much more material in the future. But there are multiple ways of getting the stories out there rather than just being in an exhibit."

And the panel discussion is one such example.

"I'm interested in finding out more about their lives and what they're doing to keep the memories alive," she says. "That's what they're striving for showcasing the depth of the fathers."

Alonzo Townsend says his father was "so proud of everything he was, everything he accomplished and was respected for. …

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