The 17th Annual W.C. Handy Awards . . .

. . . ceremony took place Thursday, May 2, 1996, in Memphis, Tennessee. Presented to the world's greatest bluesmakers, the W.C. Handy Awards have become the industry's equivalent to the Grammy's, with the nominees and recipients determined by the collective membership of The Blues Foundation.

For more information about this year's awards and The Blues Foundation, phone (901) 527-2583, fax (901) 529-4030, or write The Blues Foundation, 49 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103.

The nominees follow. The recipients are in bold italic. Congratulations, and thank you to the bluesmakers everywhere!

Blues Entertainer of the Year
Rod Piazza, B.B. King, R.L. Burnside, Luther Allison, Little Milton

Blues Band of the Year
Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Roomful Of Blues, Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets w/Sam Myers, Joe Louis Walker & The Bosstalkers

Contemporary Blues -- Male Artist of the Year
Luther Allison, Joe Louis Walker, Coco Montoya, Otis Rush, Robert Ward

Contemporary Blues -- Female Artist of the Year
Koko Taylor, Debbie Davies, Keri Leigh, Tracy Nelson, Marcia Ball

Soul/Blues -- Male Artist of the Year
Little Milton, Otis Clay, Syl Johnson, Bobby Parker, Solomon Burke

Soul/Blues -- Female Artist of the Year
Denise LaSalle, Lavelle White, Etta James, Toni Lynn Washington, E.C. Scott

Traditional Blues -- Male Artist of the Year
R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Robert Lockwood Jr., Jimmy Rogers

Traditional Blues -- Female Artist of the Year
Katie Webster, Ann Rabson, Bonnie Lee, Dietra Farr, Saffire

Country/Acoustic Blues -- Artist of the Year
Keb' Mo', Lonnie Pitchford, John Hammond, Corey Harris, Cephas & Wiggins

Best New Blues Artist of the Year
Mem Shannon, Dave Thompson, Coco Montoya, Corey Harris, Paul "Wine" Jones

Blues Instrumentalist -- Guitar
Luther Allison, Joe Louis Walker, Coco Montoya, Ronnie Earl, Bob Margolin

Blues Instrumentalist -- Harmonica
Rod Piazza, Charlie Musselwhite, Carrie Bell, Billy Boy Arnold, Kim Wilson

Blues Instrumentalist -- Keyboards
Charles Brown, Johnnie Johnson, Pinetop Perkins, Honey Alexander, Marcia Ball

Blues Instrumentalist -- Bass
Willie Kent, Calvin Jones, Johnny B. Gayden, Aron Burton, Sister Sarah Brown

Blues Instrumentalist -- Drums
Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Sam Lay, Jimi Bott, Ted Harvey, Ray "Killer" Allison

Blues Instrumentalist -- Other
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown (violin), Sonny Rhodes (lap steel), Memphis Horns, Roomful Of Blues (horns), Lonnie Pitchford (one string)

Contemporary Blues Album of the Year
Little Dave & Big Love -- Dave Thompson
Blues Of The Month Club -- Joe Louis Walker
Live '92-'93 -- Albert Collins & The Icebreakers
Blue Streak -- Luther Allison
Gotta Mind To Travel -- Coco Montoya

Soul/Blues Album of the Year
Back In The Game -- Syl Johnson
Blue Night -- Percy Sledge
Right On Time -- Little Buster & The Soul Bros.
Keep On Movin' -- Mighty Sam McClain
Shine Me Up -- Bobby Parker

Traditional Blues Album of the Year
El Dorado Cadillac -- Billy Boy Arnold
The Real Deal -- Smokey Wilson
Chill Out -- John Lee Hooker
Sittin' Here Wonderin' -- Louisiana Red
Mule -- Paul "Wine" Jones

Comeback Blues Album of the Year
Back In The Game -- Syl Johnson
Blue Night -- Percy Sledge
I'm A Jockey -- Jimmy Johnson
Let Your Hair Down -- Floyd McDaniel & The Blues Swingers
Sweetheart Of The Blues -- Bonnie Lee

Country/Acoustic Blues Album of the Year
When A Woman Gets The Blues -- Rory Block
Between Midnight & Day -- Corey Harris
Self Portrait In Blues -- Paul Geremia
Fresh Catfish -- Catfish Keith
Louie Bluie -- Howard Armstrong

Reissue Blues Album of the Year
The Complete Capitol and Black & White -- T-Bone Walker, Capitol
So Many Roads -- Otis Rush, Delmark
Down To Earth/The Bluesway Recordings -- Otis Spann, MCA/Chess
Vietnam Blues -- J.B. Lenoir, Evidence
Blues With A Feeling -- Little Walter, MCA/Chess

Blues Song of the Year
Bluesifyin' - Joe Louis Walker (Joe Louis Walker, Blues Of The Month Club)
Move From The Hood - Luther Allison & James Solberg (Luther Allison, Blue Streak)
Here's Your Mop Mr. Johnson - Keri Leigh, Mark Lyon, Thomas Anderson (Keri Leigh, Arrival)
Cherry Red Wine - Luther Allison (Luther Allison, Blue Streak)
The Blues Follow Me Around - Carl Weathersby (Billy Branch, The Blues Keep Following Me Around)

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