Before Chicago great Blues Musician, Buddy Guy, headed to Washington D.C. to receive a lifetime achievement award for his lifetime contribution to the Blues at the Kennedy Center, he was given a royal send off from Chicago. The sendoff included Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Buddy’s eldest sister Annie Mae Guy Holmes, his brother Sam Guy, and several of his adult children.
The Chicago Blues Kids, led by founder Fernando Jones, began the program on the stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park on November 27th, 2012. It was a fine tribute to Buddy Guy as many of Chicago’s best Blues performers paid tribute by performing his songs right there in front of him. (93XRT)
WXRT’s DJ, Tom Marker, gave a brief introduction, followed by the Mayor of Chicago. The mayor talked about Buddy’s migration from Baton Rouge, LA to Chicago and how Buddy would be receiving the highest honor from President Barack Obama. The primary criterion for the selection process is excellence and Guy’s lifelong commitment to his craft that led to a powerful influence on countless guitarists in not only the Blues genre but rock and-roll as well. Then Buddy came to the microphone and thanked Chicago.
For more than 50 years, Guy has been an invaluable American treasure and a Chicago Blues original, linking a proud but often under appreciated American musical past with a new generation of master musicians destined to keep the Blues alive. He belongs to an era that pioneered the Blues, working alongside such legendary figures as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Koko Taylor, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Junior Wells, and B.B. King. His youngest brother, Phil Guy (deceased), followed his older brother to Chicago and also played alongside him for many years, and his presence could be felt in ‘the House,’ that evening, as well.
Performers included Wayne Beker Brooks, Ronnie Brooks, Lonnie Brooks, Eddie Clearwater, Ronnie Hicks, Kenny Kinsey, Fernando Jones, Paul Wertico, Jimmy Johnson and more.
The 35th Honors Medals were presented at a State Department dinner on December 1st, 2012. The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts honorees included Buddy Guy, Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Natalia Makarova and Led Zeppelin. A reception at the White House and a performance at the Kennedy Center was held the next day, and was taped for a television broadcast which aired on December 26 on CBS.